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Enhancing The Global Perspective Of Reu Site Students

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Global Engineering in an Interconnected World

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

12.674.1 - 12.674.10



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Paper Authors


Cesar Guerrero University of South Florida

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Cesar D. Guerrero is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of South Florida. He received his M.S. degree in Computer Science from the Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Mexico) in 2002. He is a Fulbright scholar who works with Universidad Autonoma de Bucaramanga (Colombia). His research interest includes Bandwidth Estimation and Network Measurement.

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Miguel Labrador University of South Florida


Rafael Perez University of South Florida

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Rafael A. Perez is Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and Dean of Academics of the College of Engineering at the University of South Florida. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, in 1967 and 1973 respectively. Before joining the University of South Florida as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in 1983, Dr. Perez worked as Project Manager with Westinghouse International Company. His research interests are in artificial intelligence, neural networks and genetic algorithms. Dr. Perez also has served as Coordinator for the IEEE Computer Society Latin America Distinguished Visitor's Program, Program Evaluator for the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, and Mentor for McNair Scholar's Program for Underrepresented minorities.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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.

1. Introduction

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. 10.18260/1-2--1607

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