Students will present findings from the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research on Thursday and Friday in the Gallogly DLC Collaboratory. These final presentations sum up the students’ work over the summer in various labs and provide a valuable chance to speak about their research to faculty, staff and other students.
Sharon Anderson, the director of active learning at the college, said the program allows students to work up to 30 hours per week in a research lab for 10 weeks over the summer with pay. This allows students who also want to take a class or two over the summer the opportunity to do so.
“Working in a lab can be life-altering for some students. They get to apply the concepts they’ve been learning in the classroom into a real-life experience,” she said. “Some students may not have the greatest academic credentials, but once they are working in a lab, it can motivate them to work harder in the classroom since they begin to understand why they need to master those concepts.”
The summer program is finishing its fourth year and is open to students with a GPA of 2.7 or better. Half of the funding for the program comes from the Engineering Excellence Fund, and the other half comes from the participating faculty member who mentors the student.
Students worked on a variety of projects this year, including research on natural gas development, membrane science and self-assembling modular robots.
Technology, Arts and Media senior Teresa Lim (pictured) was part of the program this year under Assistant Professor Stephen Voida’s Too Much Information research group. That group spans CU’s departments of Information Science and Computer Science. Her summer project centered on developing a self-tracking app for bipolar disorder and included partners here and on other campuses.
“I have only ever worked with students on campus – this is the first time collaborating and depending on other student groups and researchers,” said Lim, whose portion of the work focused on the front-end, human-computer interactions. “SPUR is a good opportunity for students who may not have time during the school year, and I would say they should reach out and see what is available and if there are projects they are interested in.”
In addition to the paid research opportunity, students get career advice and attend other presentations that will help them plan for the future, Anderson said.
“The session topics are Getting Started in Research, Ethics in Engineering, Life After Undergrad and Presentation Skills. They help get students thinking about what they want to do after they graduate and helps them master their skills before the final presentation this week,” she said.