An event hosted on April 15 by CSE gave undergraduates a taste of what it’s like to do research for a living. The poster session and panel on “Research as a Career” invited students to find out what it means to do research full time, to learn the ins and outs of a researcher’s life, and to ask questions of research scientists, engineers, PhD students, and faculty.
The event’s poster session was the culmination of a year-long program led by Prof. Rada Mihalcea and PhD students Laura Burdick, Laura Biester, and Allison Lahnala to engage undergraduate students conscious about diversity in research. The program enrolled 45 students, who were mentored by 16 faculty.
Throughout the semester, each student participated in 35 hours of research with their mentor on a task they worked together to define. Additionally, the program included workshop sessions, research seminars, and a panel on research careers.
The panel session afterwards included perspectives from a variety of researchers from U-M and industry. The panelists were Uriah Israel (U-M graduate student in Applied Physics), Verónica Pérez-Rosas (U-M Research Scientist in CSE), Prof. Danai Koutra (CSE), Rini Sherony (Toyota), and Beaumont Vance (TD Ameritrade).
Through the panel session and mentoring relationships established in the program, the organizers hoped to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to successfully apply to a graduate program, as well as the confidence that they can succeed in a research environment.
The project, “Building a Diverse Research Community: Introducing Women to Computer Science Research,” earned the maximum award of $35,000 from Google’s exploreCSR: Google Grant Pilot Program for Undergraduate Computer Science Research Focused Workshops for Women.