June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Electrical and Computer
14.1177.1 - 14.1177.18
The AMALTHEA REU Program: Activities, Experiences & Outcomes of a Collaborative Summer Research Experience in Machine Learning
The AMALTHEA REU Program is a 10-week, summer research experience for science or engineering undergraduate students funded by the National Science Foundation since 2007 and featuring Machine Learning as its intellectual focus. Moreover, it is a joint effort of two collaborating universities in Central Florida, namely Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne and University of Central Florida in Orlando.
Organizing, implementing and directing REU Sites is typically perceived as a demanding effort; while offering unique advantages, operating collaborative sites may impose an additional layer of challenges. In this paper our intention is to present the objectives of our program, its unique characteristics, and the structure and organization of our collaborative site. Furthermore, we would like to give an informative account of our activities across the various aspects of the program, such as marketing of the experience, recruiting of student participants, the summer experience itself and our dissemination efforts. Finally, we report on our outcomes accomplished so far, which include research products and evaluation results.
While our program is only entering into its third year of operation, we do hope that, by sharing our experiences and promising strategies to date, we will encourage and aid prospective REU Site directors to successfully plan for and operate collaborative sites.
The AMALTHEA REU Program1 is a collaborative effort between two closely-located universities, Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne and University of Central Florida in Orlando. ``AMALTHEA'' stands for Advances of MAchine Learning in THEory & Applications, which, in turn, stems from the program's full title ``REU Site: Collaborative Research: Advances of Machine Learning in Theory and Applications (AMALTHEA).'' Finally, REU stands for ``Research Experiences for Undergraduates,'' which is the name of the National Science Foundation (NSF) program funding this effort. Overall, the project seeks to provide top quality educational experiences to a diverse community of learners through research participation in the area of Machine Learning (ML).
Machine Learning is nowadays a high-importance, ever- expanding discipline that draws concepts from a variety of fields, including artificial intelligence, cognitive sciences, information theory, statistics, mathematics, physics, philosophy and biology among others. On the other hand, automatic target recognition, earthquake prediction, gene expression discovery, intelligent credit fraud protection and affectionate computing, to mention just a few, are examples of cutting-edge applications of ML in various technological and scientific domains. The project's thrust area is the theory of ML and how it can be integrated and applied to important real-life problems, thus exposing participants to both theory and applications.
Anagnostopoulos, G., & Georgiopoulos, M., & Kepuska, V., & Stanley, K., & Morrison-Shetlar, A., & Lancey, P., & Krist, P., & Crouse, T. (2009, June), The Amalthea Reu Program: Activities, Experiences, And Outcomes Of A Collaborative Summer Research Experience In Machine Learning Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5218
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