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Transition from Undergraduate Research Program Participants to Researchers and Open Source Community Contributors

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Innovative Instructional Strategies and Curricula in ECE I

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1548.1 - 22.1548.19



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Paper Authors

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MaryPat Beaufait


Duyun Chen University of Pennsylvania

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Undergraduate, Junior in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania with interest in Computer and Biomedical Science.

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Carl B Dietrich P.E. Virginia Tech

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Carl Dietrich is a research faculty member at Virginia Tech, where he completed Ph.D. and M.S. degrees after graduating from Texas A&M University. He worked with the Defense Information Systems Agency, Arlington, Virginia and Bell Northern Research, Richardson, Texas and conducted research on adaptive and diversity antenna systems and radio wave propagation. His current work in software defined radio (SDR) includes leading projects related to the OSSIE open source effort. He chairs the Wireless Innovation Forum Educational Work Group, is a member of ASEE, IEEE, and Eta Kappa Nu, and is a Professional Engineer in Virginia.

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Cecile Dietrich

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Garrett Michael Vanhoy University of Arizona

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Transition from Undergraduate Research Program Participants to Researchers and Open Source Community ContributorsThis paper provides a collaborative narrative of the experience of undergraduate studentparticipants and a faculty mentor in an intensive summer research program and the students’transition to a new role as researchers and developers of open source software infrastructure forfurther education, research, and experimentation.Student experiences include orientation to wireless communications in general and cognitive andsoftware defined radio communications in particular as well as an intensive orientation touniversity research, professional practices, and graduate education, and work in close knitengineering teams with colleagues from diverse backgrounds and engineering disciplines.The participants describe their collaborative process and experience in developing software thatsupports cognitive radio reconfiguration, including application of software engineering practicesand tools, as well as experience in presenting research results to peers, university researchers,and other wireless communications professionals and end users as part of the program.Following the program, the students transitioned to a role as research collaborators anddevelopers and maintainers of open source research infrastructure. Their experience incontinued collaboration with each other and their mentor, resulting in availability of the students’software and documentation as an open source resource for further research and education at thehost institution and worldwide, is described. The manuscript will include students’ experiencesin preparing the software for open source release and in presenting their work at an internationaltechnical conference, as well as an introduction to professional networking in the technicalspecialty that this experience provided. Other collaborative efforts with the mentor and graduateresearchers resulting in additional conference papers and possible publications are described aswell. Impact of the experience on the students’ current education and career plans is alsodescribed.These experiences are discussed in the context of relevant theoretical perspectives.References 1. J. Mitola and G. Maguire, “Cognitive radio: Making software radios more personal,” IEEE Personal Communications, Aug. 1999. 2. S. Haykin, “Cognitive radio: Brain-empowered wireless communications,” IEEE Journal in Selected Areas in Communications, vol. 23, pp. 1–20, 2005. 3. L.S. Vygotsky, Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1978. 4. J. Tudge, Vygotsky, the zone of proximal development, and peer collaboration: Implications for classroom practice. In L. Moll (Ed.) Vygotsky and education: Instructional implications and applications of sociohistorical psychology, pp. 155-172, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1990. 5. M. Hedegaard, Zone of proximal development as basis for instruction. In L. Moll (Ed.) 6. Vygotsky and education: Instructional implications and applications of sociohistorical psychology, pp. 349-371, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1990. 7. A.Y. Kolb, D. A. Kolb, “Learning styles and learning spaces: Enhancing experiential learning in higher education,” Academy of Management Learning and Education, 4(2), pp. 193-212, 2005.

Beaufait, M., & Chen, D., & Dietrich, C. B., & Dietrich, C., & Vanhoy, G. M. (2011, June), Transition from Undergraduate Research Program Participants to Researchers and Open Source Community Contributors Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18556

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