Computing Research Day

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Connect with PhD students, find opportunities, and dive into your interests! Computing Research Day is open to all undergrads and grads, no research experience needed.

Friday, March 5th, from 1:30 to 3:30pm

(If you run into problems in Gather with video sharing in Firefox, please try Chrome.)

Have you ever wondered what computing research is going on at the U? Are you interested in getting involved in computing outside of the classroom? Would you like to meet PhDs and other undergraduates working on research in computing to hear about the projects they work on and the people they work with?

Then join us for the School of Computing Research Day hosted virtually via Gather.

No prior experience level or background is needed; just bring your curiosity.

Walk around (virtually), check out research posters, connect with our PhD students, and socialize. We will also have a table staffed to answer your questions about computing research, research seminars, graduate school, and anything else you want to ask.

Undergrad Research FAQ

Utah’s School of Computing hosts one of the top ranked computer science research programs in the United States. Our research efforts help strengthen the classroom experience at the U, but, beyond that, undergraduates also directly contribute to this research by getting involved outside the classroom and working with faculty and graduate students. Getting involved in undergraduate research is a great way to apply what you are learning, to build your skills, and to work with great people, all without having to leave campus.

In algorithms and theory, machine learning, computer software and hardware systems, human-centered applications and more, the U has top-tier work going on in nearly all areas of computing.

However, most students don’t know where to start when they are interested in getting involved. Successful research projects also require substantial persistent effort and sustained mentoring by faculty or graduate students. The purpose of this article is to help you understand some of the benefits and challenges of getting involved in research, and to help you understand what opportunities are available to you.

What is the best way to get involved and find opportunities?

Computing Research Day! The right place to start is here, casually exploring what is going on in the department and asking good questions to our talented PhD students who drive all the interesting work. Talk to them, explore your interests, and make some connections. If you find something exceptionally interesting, ask the poster presenters about how they got involved in research and what avenues they would suggest for getting involved in work in their specific research area.

Please also join our list of students that are interested in opportunities (see the document on the table at the Undergrad Research Q&A table in Gather), which we will also use as a mailing list for opportunities. But, the truth is that the best way to get involved is to make a connection with existing students doing research.

What kinds of computing research is happening at the U?

Our website lists several general areas of research and which faculty focus on that area within the department. Most of these areas are represented here at the Computing Research Day poster session, so head inside and check out what is on display.

What background would I need? What are the expectations?

Every project and research group has different areas and expectations, and research doesn’t take anything special. Virtually anyone can do it. But, like anything else, getting results and benefits requires training and persistent hard work. This has two consequences that make getting started in research hard: first, faculty are busy with their own hard work on research efforts, and, second, students struggle to find time in their own schedules and the mentoring they need to succeed in research.

This is why we are excited about Computing Research Day. First, it gives you a chance to find things you might be passionate about that others are passionate about as well. Like anything else in life, that interest is crucial since it can drive you to explore and invest in a topic. Second, it connects you to the students who do the real work and the ones that would most likely be able to mentor you to success. Our PhD students are busy, but many of them find time to mentor undergraduate students.

How does research fit in with graduate school? Do undergraduates publish research articles here at the U?

Many of our students go on to graduate school here at the U and at top-ranked computer science programs, and research often ties into that both before and after students finish their undergraduate degree. If you are considering continuing your education beyond your current degree and have questions about what that path might look like, then come talk to us at the help booth. We had those questions ourselves not that long ago, and we’d be excited to tell you how it works, what it’s like, and what opportunities are possible in academia and research beyond your time here.