Research Labs represent a different type of experience for students that can supplement the undergraduate curriculum. Students involved in undergraduate research work on cutting-edge scientific problems as part of a team comprising research faculty, Ph.D. students, M.S. students and undergraduates.
There are several ways that students can participate in research:
- Research Credits
- the student and professor agree to some standard for how much the student must contribute to the project to receive a passing grade. See your degree requirements for limitations on how much research credit can be applied to your degree.
- Thesis Credits
- Undergraduates wishing to graduate with department honors must complete some number of research credits under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Graduation with honors in CIS is possible even for students who are not enrolled in the Honors College. See your degree requirements for limitations on how much thesis credit can be applied to your degree.
- Paid Research
- Some professors have grants that support student researchers. The limitations on paid research are part of the specific grant and also subject to UO student employment policies; however, paid research cannot also be used for academic credit.
- Career Enhancement
- Most students do some research that is not covered by either academic credit or pay. Students use the opportunity to generate good recommendations, network with other students on and off the UO campus and have their names on published works.
Research and Thesis credits
To enroll in research or thesis credits, the CIS department requires an Individualized Study Approval Form be on file before the research begins.
Most professors have additional requirements for student researchers. Usually, a student pursuing honors will find a thesis advisor and explore the research area before pinning down the specific thesis topic, but students should have a fairly well developed interest in the field before contacting the thesis advisor.
Paid positions are usually offered to students who have done well in a seminar class or shown a particular aptitude toward the research. The department does not maintain a list of paid positions, and decisions about hiring are left entirely to the individual professor. The best way to be considered for a paid position is to participate enthusiastically in a lab or research project.
Professors have widely varying expectations and demands of students who participate in their research. Before contacting a professor regarding research opportunities, a student should visit the professor's website to become familiar with the projects, have completed at least CIS 313, and be a major in good academic standing. Most professors consider it polite to get an email requesting a meeting, rather than a visit during office hours. In the email, you should include a brief mini-resume that explains your preparedness for research. In addition to these general guidelines, some professors have specific guidelines that should be considered when approaching them about research.
CIS Department Opportunities
For information about research groups within the Computer and Information Science Department, please visit our research pages. You will find a comprehensive list of active research groups along with related faculty and links to online materials.
Colloquia offer an overview of several faculty member's research projects. They are offered about once per term on the colloquium schedule.
University of Oregon Collaborations
There are several research institutes and centers with collaborative research ties to the Computer and Information Science Department at the University of Oregon. The University of Oregon posts a comprehensive listing of research institutes.
- Performance Research Lab
- Neuroinfomatics Center
- Institute of Neuroscience
- Advanced Network Technology Center
- IE2: Institute of Ecology and Evolution
- META center for Systems Biology
- Spatial and Map Cognition Research Lab
National Summer Research Opportunities
The National Science Foundation funds a number of "Site REUs" where groups of undergraduates are brought together for summer research experiences. Many of these programs are open to all U.S. undergraduates.
- NSF Computer Science REU Sites
- CRA Computer Science Undergraduate Research Opportunities Zone
- List of research opportunities
Additional opportunities can be found at many campuses and government labs.
- Computing Research Association's Distributed REU Program
- For women and under-represented minorities, this is a excellent program!
- Computing Research Associations Collaborative Research Experiences for Undergraduates
- Again for women, this funds work during the academic year at your home institution.
- NSA Summer Research
- The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is America's cryptologic organization. The NSA offers well-paid, highly theoretical internships.
- DIMACS Summer Research
- If you like theoretical Computer Science, this would be terrific.
- Haystack Observatory
- Haystack Observatory invites undergraduate science, engineering and computer science students to apply for summer research positions. The program extends from mid-June to mid-August. Support is provided by the National Science Foundation's REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) program. Women, minorities, and students with disabilities are encouraged to apply.