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Reu Program In Telematics And Cyber Physical Systems: Sharing Strategies, Experience And Lessons Learned To Help Others

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Pedagogy and Assessment in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1038.1 - 15.1038.19



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Paper Authors

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Syed Masud Mahmud Wayne State University

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Cheng-Zhong Xu Wayne State University

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

REU Program in Telematics and Cyber Physical Systems (TCPS): Sharing Strategies, Experience and Lessons Learned to Help Others


During the summer of 2009 we ran an 8-week long NSF funded REU program in Telematics and Cyber Physical Systems. Ten undergraduate students were selected from various institutions around the country. The REU students were supervised by ten graduate student and eight faculty mentors. It was an intensive program as the students were involved in various activities including doing research, writing technical papers, making technical presentations, participating in field trips, writing field trip reports and creating posters for technical sessions. Students were required to attend weekly tutorial sessions where they were taught research methodologies and how to write technical papers and make technical presentations. The students were also required to participate in a final poster competition. Throughout the program, we assessed students’ progress and provided them with feedbacks. The students also participated in various types of surveys during the program. Throughout the program, we used the survey results to improve the tutorial sessions so that students could get better research and learning experience during the rest of the program. The main focus of this paper is to share our experience in various activities such as recruiting, organizing, mentoring, monitoring and assessing students’ activities with other current and future directors of REU programs so that they can successfully plan for and run their programs. In the paper, we present various assessment results of our program. The paper also presents the lessons that we have learned from this program. Finally, the paper presents recommendations regarding how to organize and run future REU programs by other program directors. We believe that our paper will help future REU program directors to plan ahead and avoid any last minute pitfalls in running the program.


Participation in research can promote retention for a variety of reasons. V. Tinto et. al.1 reported that students often fail to graduate due to a lack of persistence, rather than due to lack of intelligence or ability. Being familiar with “hands-on” technology in a laboratory where they become familiar with current equipment boosts self-confidence2. Participation in research groups can promote persistence in a variety of ways, in part by increasing personal attachment to the research group and the research objectives. Secondly, the mentoring process inherent in the relationship between the research supervisor and the student researchers permits identification of problems at critical junctures. Finally, the student researchers can learn important skills that will promote success in other academic activities. These skills include teamwork, written and oral communication skills, interdisciplinary thinking, experimental skills, decision-making and evaluation of competing solutions. In addition, the National Science Foundation has stated that it is important for all undergraduates to have access to research opportunities, an opinion echoed by the Boyer commission3. It is well recognized that research experiences for undergraduates (REU) programs are very effective educational tools for enhancing the undergraduate experience4,5 with various benefits5,6. The significant benefit of the REU program is an increased interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers5-8. REU fosters

Mahmud, S. M., & Xu, C. (2010, June), Reu Program In Telematics And Cyber Physical Systems: Sharing Strategies, Experience And Lessons Learned To Help Others Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--17000

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