CCI Once Again Hosts Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Date Published: 
Sunday, August 13, 2017

Fourteen students from colleges and universities from across the country recently participated in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) hosted by the College of Computing and Informatics.  The program engages undergrad students in socially relevant computing research in a collaborative research community.

“We teach research skills through training sessions and experiential hands-on learning,” said Heather Lipford (, Ph.D., REU Site Program Director.  “We welcome participation from all students but we are particularly committed to broadening participation of underrepresented groups in computing, and to providing research opportunities to students from institutions with limited research activities.”

Dr. Lipford said the students have the unique opportunity to explore and advance the state of the art in Human-Computer Interaction, computer vision, information visualization, and visual analytics, to address real-world problems with broad societal impact.  Students are paired with faculty mentors to pursue research over a 9 week period, working alongside graduate students within the college’s research labs. This year’s projects included understanding confirmation bias in visual analytic systems, inclusivity of makerspaces, enhancing computing education, and improving interoperability of fingerprint sensors. Students presented their research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium poster session. The winning poster, presented by a student from St. John’s University in Minnesota, summarized research to try to determine how artificial intelligence models of curiosity can be used to change human behavior—in this case their eating habits.

“The program prepares students to pursue graduate studies in computing,” said Dr. Lipford.  “It also helps them to build support networks as they prepare for careers.  Students who have participated have gone on to co-author publications, developed long-term peer and student-mentor relationships, and in some cases win fellowships for graduate study.”

The REU site has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) since 2006.  Each student receives up to $7,000 financial package for the nine week program.

About the College of Computing and Informatics
The College of Computing and Informatics (CCI) is the largest and most comprehensive technology program in North Carolina, and one of the largest in the nation, offering scale and critical mass in cutting-edge research and innovation. CCI is a national leader in interdisciplinary partnerships, bridging fundamental research with critical scientific, societal, and national defense challenges. It is also the home to leading research centers and institutes, including the Cyber Defense and Network Assurability (CyberDNA) Center, the Bioinformatics Research Center, the Charlotte Visualization Center, the Complex Systems Institute, and the Center for Education Innovation.  Active research awards currently total $38 Million.  @UNCC_CCI

About the University of North Carolina at Charlotte

UNC Charlotte is North Carolina’s urban research university. It is the fourth largest campus among the seventeen institutions of the University of North Carolina system and the largest institution of higher education in the Charlotte region. Current enrollment exceeds 28,000 students, including 5,000 graduate students.

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Media Contact:  Clark G. Curtis, 704-687-7983,