About the REU Program
The participants experience activities that characterize research careers such as: presenting their research and participating in scholarly forums, and working on the soft- and hard-skills needed to work in a inter-disciplinary research team. Our faculty mentors work with the students in individual and group meetings, and they provide activities that help the students appreciate the nature of multidisciplinary research and the value of working as a team. Training in cyberinfrastructure tools are a strong component of the REU program.
Participants are welcome into current CCT research groups by the faculty leader and the research staff, post docs, graduate and undergraduate students currently participating in the research. We believe this is an excellent setting for any students new to research because they have a variety of people at differing experience levels to mentor them. For the summer work, each person in the group is a mentor for the participants while the group leaders are ultimately responsible for the success of the participants in their group. Our experience with including undergraduates in our research lead us to believe this is the best way to ensure success.
In the beginning of the summer, the participants are directed by his/her mentor and expect help from the group in accomplishing their goals. By the middle of the summer, the participant will have learned to accomplish tasks on their own. By the end of the summer, we expect the participant to have learned how to take a lead in determining what needs to be done and be capable of doing it.
Each participant will create a poster based on their research. This poster will be placed in LSU's "Summer Undergraduate Research Forum" (SURF) at the end of the ten week session. The entire campus is invited to tour the event and visit each poster. Our REU will have a panel of distinguished faculty and/or researchers visit each of the ten posters, and select the top three posters to be awarded funding to attend a national conference if their poster is submitted and accepted at such a conference.
There is also required training to bring the participants up to speed with needed skills (all of LSU and LONI's supercomputers are Linux/Unix based operating systems so students must learn to use them). There are also be many training sessions on topics such as programming, computational science, and parallel programming.
Our participants will be rooming in the campus apartments with participants from the College of Basic Sciences (BASC)'s REU and we will all be attending social events, trips and extracurricular activities together, as well as our participants attending CCT-only events.
There will be weekly seminars where the participants in our REU will learn about their mentor's research and backgrounds. There are also many seminars, colloquia, and talks at CCT throughout the summer that students may attend if they are interested.
And of course, no REU would be much fun without special and social events. We have several of these planned, from a mentor/mentee softball game with a picnic, to science and cultural (New Orleans French Quarter, anyone?) field trips. Examples of other events might be a visit to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, LIGO, in Livingston; or a visit to Computer Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) and Southern University.
We will also have some special events that will encourage participants to attend graduate school:
- A visit to one of the faculty mentor's departments and a tour of their research labs. Graduate advisors and graduate students from the department will discuss about their experience with our REU students. As we plan our meeting, we will encourage the department to include individuals from underrepresented groups among the students and faculty we meet.
- A Q&A session with a Graduate School admissions counselor to talk about the application process.
- A moderated discussion of a panel of LSU graduates students who had participated in REUs or summer research internships. During the discussion, the graduate students will contrast and compare their former REU experiences to graduate school.
- A lunch seminar with the participating faculty and distinguished visitors. We will have speakers from LSU's Office of Diversity, LSU Graduate School and the Philosophy Department to speak on women in science, ethics in academia, research, science and technology, diversity, etc.
After the Summer Program
During the LSU's "Summer Undergraduate Research Forum", CCT faculty and research staff will select the top three posters of the CCT REU students. Those students will receive a travel award to an international or national conference in the field of their summer research. For example, 2010 REU students are participating or giving talks at the 6th High End Visualization Workshop in Austria, the APS March Meeting, CBHPC workshop at Grid2010 in Brussels, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, AIChE conference, etc.
Michael Thomas receiving the best poster award in the undegraduate category during the TeraGrid 2010 conference in Pittsburgh, PA
Students are encouraged to continue their research as independent research courses in their home departments with a faculty member there. The CCT faculty mentor will be available throughout the next year as an advisor to the participant. The students are also be encouraged to present the final results of his/her research in their home institution during the following fall semester. We hope these presentations will encourage other undergraduates to participate in REU and research programs in general.
Students are also asked to provide both school contact information and permanent residence, to facilitate post-program tracking.