June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.674.1 - 12.674.10
Enhancing the Global Perspective of REU Site Students
Developing a diverse, internationally competitive and globally-engaged science and engineering workforce is one of the goals of the National Science Foundation. In this paper we describe our motivation for and experience with incorporating an international component into our NSF- funded summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site. Our experience shows that including international students in our REU program is relatively inexpensive and highly beneficial to all participating students and to the educational institutions that the students attend. This paper includes guidelines for dealing with the most important issues related to incorporating international students into an REU program, as well as some conclusions which may be beneficial to other REU programs.
The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) is designed to provide academic experiences for undergraduate students through participation in research. The program contributes to NSF's goal of developing a diverse, internationally competitive, and globally-engaged science and engineering workforce1.
Under this program, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of South Florida has run a unique NSF REU site -- A Computer Science and Engineering REU Site for Florida, Puerto Rico and Latin America2 , for the past two years. Compared to other REU sites, this program is unique in the following ways. First, it is not devoted to a particular theme or topic. Instead, it gives students a broad range of research project options in computer science and engineering. For example, the program includes research projects in robotics, computer networks, transportation, computer architecture, data mining, artificial intelligence, real-time software verification, game programming and digital image processing. The second distinctive aspect is that the program is committed to recruiting the majority of the students from minority groups, and Hispanics in particular, mainly from Puerto Rico and Florida. This is motivated by well published statistics that show very low participation of under-represented minority groups, especially Hispanics, in careers in engineering and computer science, in tenure-track faculty positions in those fields, and in industry and government leadership positions. The third distinctive aspect of the program is the commitment to recruiting at least one international student from a Latin American country. Since foreign students are not eligible to receive NSF funds, other funding mechanisms have to be used for this aspect of the program. In this paper we focus our attention on this international dimension of the program, describe our experiences, and provide recommendations for incorporating this innovative feature into an REU program.
Although International Science and Engineering REU site3 programs already exist, they are meant to provide educational opportunities and experiences in other countries for U.S. students. In contrast with these programs, our REU program includes international students who interact with U.S. students here in the United States. We maintain that adding this component is highly beneficial to all the participants in this type of program as well as to the educational institutions
Guerrero, C., & Labrador, M., & Perez, R. (2007, June), Enhancing The Global Perspective Of Reu Site Students Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1607
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