Tag Archive: DREU

DREUDREU

Expanding the Pipeline: Recruiting and Retaining Computing Students through Research Experiences for Undergraduates


As efforts to broaden computing have become more diverse, inclusive, and just, despite increasing enrollments in computer science, the percentages of historically excluded students have not changed much and many institutions are struggling to retain them. Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) are designed to introduce undergraduate students to research and present active training opportunities that may lead to students pursuing advanced academic degrees.  Students are exposed early in their academic careers to research as problem solving, and therefore can develop critical thinking skills independently of coding skills. REUs provide an alternative source of funding while engaging with faculty and mentors who can nurture their interests and provide encouragement to persist in their degree program, often prior to declaring a major. In addition to providing early research engagement opportunities for first year and second year students with insufficient experience to compete for cooperative and summer internships, applying to and participating in REUs provide experience navigating application requirements (including writing a personal statement and gaining strong letters of recommendation, which helps them get to know faculty and vice-versa), collaborating on a project, and building a set of skills that would make them an attractive graduate school applicants. REUs are especially beneficial for first-generation, community college, and non-traditional students who may have limited exposure and access to graduate school, the application process, and hands-on opportunities to explore the field more deeply.

We share some key insights that have been gleaned from evaluation reports of mentors and participants in the CRA Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research (CRA-WP)’s Collaborative Research Experiences for Undergraduates (CREU) and Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates (DREU) programs and our own firsthand experiences working with and mentoring undergraduate students.

DREUDREU

CRA-WP 2022 Distributed Research Experience for Undergraduates (DREU) – Applications Open!


DREU interns have the opportunity to be directly involved in a research project and interact with graduate students and professors on a daily basis. This experience is invaluable for those who are considering graduate school; DREU will provide a close-up view of what graduate school is really like and increase interns’ competitiveness as an applicant for graduate admissions and fellowships. Faculty mentors will have the opportunity to work on their research project with new students from other institutions and to mentor future graduate students.

DREU photoDREU photo

CRA-WP 2020 Virtual Summer REU


The Computing Research Association and organizers of the Distributed Research Experience for Undergraduates (DREU) Program made the decision to modify the 2020 DREU program from an onsite format to a virtual one.  Given the devastating impact of the COVID-19 virus we felt offering a virtual Distributed Research Experience for Undergraduates (vDREU) would better ensure the safety of all participants while continuing to provide research-intensive opportunities to students considering advanced degrees in computing.

Twenty-eight students worked with thirteen faculty mentors on virtual research projects in a number of areas. In addition to offering students and mentors the opportunity to participate in a virtual research experience we will be providing students with a travel budget to be used for a follow-up onsite REU activity that is coordinated with their mentor at a later date.

DREU Application Opening
In mid-October CRA-WP will begin accepting student and mentor applications for the Summer 2021 session. Learn more about first hand experiences with the DREU program this video.

DREU photoDREU photo

Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates: Deadline January 15


DREU interns have the opportunity to be directly involved in a research project and interact with graduate students and professors on a daily basis. This experience is invaluable for those who are considering graduate school; DREU will provide a close-up view of what graduate school is really like and increase interns’ competitiveness as an applicant for graduate admissions and fellowships. Faculty mentors will have the opportunity to work on their research project with new students from other institutions and to mentor future graduate students.

Twice as Many CREU/DREU Students Attend Graduate School, Compared to Other REU Students


During their final year in college, a sample of undergraduate computing majors completed CERP’s annual survey for graduating students. The sample contained past participants of the CRA-W/CDC Alliance’s Collaborative Research Experiences for Undergraduates (CREU) and Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates (DREU), students who had completed other REUs, and students who had never completed an REU. CREU/DREU participants were significantly more likely to report plans to attend a graduate program in computing in the upcoming fall, compared to students who had completed a different REU or no REU during college, p < .05. CREU/DREU students were also more likely to report that they were entering a Ph.D. program, compared to students with other REU experiences, or no REU experience, p < .05.

Gosha with StudentsGosha with Students

CRA-W/CDC REU Programs Encourage Minorities to Pursue Ph.D.s in Computing


Part of CRA’s mission is to facilitate the development of strong, diverse talent in the field. CRA takes action to help increase and strengthen the computing workforce through programs such as the Collaborative Research Experiences for Undergraduates (CREU) and Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates (DREU) programs.

The 2014 Taulbee Survey reports 152 African-American students enrolled in computer science Ph.D. programs–only 1.3 percent of the total students enrolled. Despite these low numbers, there is not a shortage of success stories. Morehouse College, a historically black institution, produces 13 percent of the male African-American Ph.D. students. I recently caught up with Kinnis Gosha, assistant professor of computer science and director of the Culturally Relevant Computing Lab (CRCL) at Morehouse College. Gosha has a Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing and started the CRCL in 2011. The lab investigates research problems centered on creating innovative computing technologies to solve cultural problems and issues.