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REU Site: Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering/Science Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1046.1 - 23.1046.12

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Paper Authors


Leyla F Conrad Georgia Institute of Technology

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Dr. Leyla Conrad is the director of outreach in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has been developing and leading programs for ECE female and minority students, as well as high school students and teachers that supports the ECE’s undergraduate recruitment and retention efforts. She is also the Education and Diversity Director of the NSF-funded Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at Georgia Tech. The Center’s objective is to research fabrication and characterization approaches for the implementation of epitaxial graphene as an electronic material and to educate a diverse group of students at all levels in this field. Before her current appointment, she served as the education director of the NSF-supported research centers: Packaging Research Center from 1998 to 2006, and Center on Materials Devices for IT Research from 2006 to 2008. In both positions, she created and implemented a highly integrated and comprehensive educational program at all levels to meet the educational needs of pre-college, undergraduate, and graduate students, and industry engineers. Dr. Conrad received her Ph.D. degree in Physics from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 1990.

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Gary S. May Georgia Institute of Technology

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Dr. Gary S. May is the dean of the College of Engineering and professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In that capacity, he serves as the chief academic officer of the college and provides leadership to over 400 faculty members and to more than 13,000 students. The College of Engineering at Georgia Tech is the largest producer of engineering graduates in the United States. In the most recent rankings by U.S. News & World Report, Georgia Tech’s engineering program ranked fourth.
Prior to his current appointment, Dr. May was the Steve W. Chaddick School of Electrical and Computer Engineering chair at Georgia Tech. At the conclusion of his leadership in 2011, graduate programs in electrical engineering and computer engineering each ranked sixth, the computer engineering undergraduate program also ranked sixth, and the electrical engineering undergraduate program ranked fifth. All of these rankings represented the highest in the history of the school up to that point.
Dr. May’s field of research is computer-aided manufacturing of integrated circuits. He has authored over 200 technical publications, contributed to fifteen books, and holds a patent on that topic. He has also participated in the acquisition of over $49 million in research funding, and he has graduated nineteen Ph.D. students. In 1993, Dr. May was named Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Young Alumnus, and in 1999, he received Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Service Award. Dr. May won international Best Paper Awards from IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing twice, in 1998 and 2000. In 2004, Dr. May received Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, as well as the Outstanding Minority Engineer Award from the American Society of Engineering Education. In 2006, he received the Mentor Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2010, he was named the Outstanding Electrical Engineering Alumnus of the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. May is a fellow of AAAS and the IEEE.
Dr. May created the Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering/Science (SURE) program, for which he has been granted $2.3 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Through SURE, he annually hosts minority students to perform research at Georgia Tech in the hopes that they will pursue a graduate degree. More than 73% of SURE participants enroll in graduate school. Dr. May is also the creator/director of the Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Science (FACES) program, for which he has been granted over $10 million from NSF to double the number of African American Ph.D. recipients produced by Georgia Tech. Over the duration of FACES, 373 minority students have received Ph.D. degrees in science or engineering at Georgia Tech – the most in such fields in the nation. Dr. May is a member of the National Advisory Board of the National Society of Black Engineers.
Dr. May received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1985 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1988 and 1991, respectively.

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JillL L Auerbach Georgia Institute of Technology

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Jill Auerbach is a senior academic professional in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. As the coordinator of assessment and student retention in the school, she is responsible for accreditation and program review requirements and assessment of several academic programs. In addition, Ms. Auerbach directs programs that promote student retention and success, especially among underrepresented, female and transfer student cohort groups. Her educational background is in the fields of Policy Analysis and Public Administration, with emphasis on research methodology.

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REU Site: Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering/Science Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology Leyla Conrad, Jill Auerbach and Gary May School of ECE, Georgia Institute of TechnologyThe Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering/Science (SURE)*program, initiated in 1992, is a ten-week summer program for junior and seniorlevel undergraduates from U.S. institutions. The overall goal of the program is toexpose underrepresented students to engineering research, and as a directconsequence, interest them in opportunities available through graduate study.Participating students are paired with faculty and graduate student socialmentors. During their stay, students attend weekly seminars on emergingresearch in engineering field, enrichment and academic development activities,and social events. Students conclude the program with research presentationsto their peers and faculty and graduate student mentors. During the past twentyyears, 502 students participated in the program who were selected from a pool of2,554 applicants. A comprehensive assessment program for SURE has beendeveloped and implemented. The assessment process is driven by the overallprogram objective to provide participants a meaningful research experience andto increase the likelihood that participants will attend graduate school inengineering. This model identifies three cohorts from which data is collected.Each data source provides unique information that contributes to acomprehensive analysis of the impact and experiences of program participantsand to an understanding of the academic trends of all SURE program applicants.The pre- and post-program surveys include a series of questions aboutparticipants’ perceived impact of SURE on planned graduate school attendanceand research interests. The faculty advisor survey includes questions about thecontribution the students made to their research programs, whether or not theirstudent would succeed in graduate school, the quality of the students' oral andwritten project presentations, and how the program could be improved in futureyears. The Longitudinal Survey of Former SURE Participants addresses theprimary objective of the SURE program to motivate participating students toattend graduate school in engineering. Respondents were asked a variety ofquestions about their academic decisions after participating in the SUREprogram. Detailed data about graduate school attendance, degree attainment,and major was collected. Questions were included to obtain feedback about theirco-curricular activities and the environment of their undergraduate institutions.Another set of questions referred to sources of encouragement that studentsmight have had when deciding to attend graduate school. Thus far, the programhas been tremendously successful in attaining its objectives. It is shown thatabout 75% of the students who participate in the program attend graduate schoolupon receiving their B.S. degrees* Supported by the NSF award EEC-0851643

Conrad, L. F., & May, G. S., & Auerbach, J. L. (2013, June), REU Site: Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering/Science Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia.

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