This past April, twenty UT Dallas Computer Science Undergraduate students were invited to take part in the UG Research Networking and Faculty Matching Luncheon. The luncheon brought together both UT Dallas’s distinguished computer science and software engineering faculty members and a select group of highly ambitious CS/SE undergraduate students. Students who attended this exclusive event were invited based on their GPA of 3.8 or higher.
The event acts as an introduction to the Undergraduate Research course offered by the UT Dallas Computer Science Department. Drs. Janell Straach and Linda Morales, both UT Dallas CS Professors and the course’s supervising instructors, hold the networking luncheon each year to allow CS/SE undergraduate students to talk directly several different professors about their research in order to help the students make an informed choice when choosing what research project and which team they would like to participate in.
During the event, students were offered the opportunity to explore the following areas of research through direct and open dialogue with the following UT Dallas faculty members:
- Software-Defined Networks, Wireless Systems, and Optical Networks (Dr. Miguel Razo)
- Cyber Security (Dr. Zhiqiang Lin)
- Wireless Networking (Dr. Le Khiem)
- Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing (Dr. Vincent Ng)
- Data Science, Theoretical Computer Science, Bioinformatics, and Computational Geometry (Drs. Sergey Bereg and Ovidiu Daescu)
- Internet of Things (Dr. S. Venkatesan)
- Multimedia, Computer Vision, and Pattern Recognition (Dr. Ranran Feng)
Shiva Sharma, a newly graduated CS student and former undergraduate research student, spoke to the students about what she gained from enrolling in the course and some tips for taking part in research. “Sometimes we might know exactly what kind of research we want to work on, but when we delve deeper we might realize that we might be a better fit for something else. Therefore, we should always keep experimenting until we know for sure what it is that we can really thrive on. I started as an undergraduate researcher my sophomore year, but didn’t meet much success. However, intent on getting a true research experience, I constantly looked for opportunities around me. Sometimes you have to create the opportunities yourself and sometimes all it takes is a “Yes” to the right opportunity that presents itself.” She continued on saying, “My meeting with Dr. Sudborough was absolutely serendipitous. However, when he explained his area of research, I knew it was meant for me. I am so grateful that I could pursue an undergraduate research with him. Not only did I learn about the subject matter at hand, but also about how academic research works. I also got to present my poster and research to CS faculty, which helped me hone my presentation skills. Taking CS 4V98 Undergraduate research was one of the best decisions of my undergraduate career!” Shiva graduated this semester and will be moving to Seattle this summer to work at Microsoft as a Service Engineer in the Windows Devices Group, within the Core Enterprise and Security branch. During her time at UT Dallas, Shiva was an active part within the UT Dallas CS community. Ms. Sharma served as the President of the UT Dallas Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers from the Spring of 2016 to Spring of 2017, as well as being an active member of the UT Dallas Women Who Compute Club and a member of the invite-only Computing Scholar Honors Program.
Students enrolled in this course will be required to meet milestones and to make a presentation of their research at the end of the semester. Through the course, students will learn how to properly conduct research in many different settings including libraries and labs. In the course of this class, students are required to complete a research plan with their professors and teams, report their progress and findings on a weekly basis, and at the end of the course, make a detailed presentation of their research including a research poster to fellow students enrolled in the course. Through the entirety of the course, students become progressively more proficient when communicating their results. Undergraduate students enrolled in the research course will gain a skill set not usually available to them in the classroom.
Through the course, students gain the necessary experience to conduct future research and knowledge required to create a multifaceted resume. By pursuing the Undergraduate Research course, students who aim to obtain a Ph.D. will have a head start in their studies and research.
Click here to view all the photos from the Undergraduate Research Networking Luncheon.
ABOUT THE UT DALLAS COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT
The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 2,100 bachelor’s-degree students, more than 1,000 MS master’s students, 150 PhD students, and 86 faculty members, as of Fall 2016. With The University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.