REU: Computing for Structure

Participate in a summer research experience focusing on the discovery and visualization of structure in large datasets.

The ten week program runs from May 21 to July 27 at the Department of Computer Science and the Center for Computational Science at the University of Miami.

Applications are open now. Please email Two essays, transcript and a letter of a reference will be required.

Quick Links:

Visualization of paths of
Hurricane Sandy, Mentor Mirzargar

Mentored Projects

Computation is becoming increasingly important for finding structure in large-scale complex scientific data. The Department of Computer Science (CSC) in partnership with the Center for Computational Science (CCS) and other departments according to the specific project, will provide NSF sponsored summer research experiences (REU) in this focus area.

The heart of an NSF REU is the mentored research experience. You will work on authentic research projects in close collaboration with a UM researcher.

The following projects are proposed:

  • The design of environmentally friendly chemical solvents, Orlando Acevedo, Associate Professor of Chemistry.
  • Modeling big behavioral data to predict typical and atypical development, Daniel Messinger, Professor of Pediatrics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Music Engineering.
  • Exploring Visualization in Making Sense of Ensemble Data, Mahsa Mirzargar, Assistant Professor Computer Science.
  • Community attacks in cryptography, Burton Rosenberg, Associate Professor Computer Science.
  • Neural network processing of visual scenes, Odelia Schwartz, Associate Professor Computer Science.
  • Brain connectivity in typical and atypical development, Lucina Q. Uddin, Assistant Professor of Psychology.
  • Computational Projects in Neuroscience, Vance Lemmon, Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery; Prof. Victor Milenkovic, Computer Science; Prof. Stefan Wufty, Computer Science.

For a full description of each project, see the current Computing For Structure Projects document.

Neural net for visual system
feature detection. Mentor Schwartz.

A Program of Exploration

Training, mentorship, presentation, and peer engagement are all key elements of this project to assist or encourage you to become a research scientist. The program includes:

  • A week-long bootcamp to bring you up to speed on the way computers are used in scientific computation.
  • The Nature of Science lecture series, to introduce new and hopefully exciting viewpoints on science.
  • A Professional Development Workshop, which will help you research efficiently, present effectively, and interact productively.
  • A concluding presentation, to present your research to your peers and the research community at the site, and some projects and participants sent to national conferences (depending on funding and topic).
Also planned are meetups and social activities among your peers in the program and a companion REU at the Department of Chemistry.

Mentor Uddin and her research group
around the mock FMRI scanner.

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation

The NSF has set up the REU program in order to involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs so as to attract talented students into careers in science and engineering.

Students in this REU program are offered:

  • A $5,000 stipend.
  • Housing in the residence halls of University of Miami.
  • Food stipends of $120 per week.
  • Travel allowance of $600.
  • A budget for conference travel for selected projects.
Students might familiarize themselves with the NSF REU and other REU sites by visiting the NSF REU Information For Students web page. All applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents.

The full title of this program is REU Site: Scientific Computing for Structure in Big or Complex Datasets and it is NSF grant CNS-1659144. The REU program is described in program solicitation NSF 13-542, Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU).

The Science Quadrangle Fountain
with umbrellas for sunny days

How to apply

Selection of students is based on relative GPA and the applicant must submit two essays. In one essay the student can introduce herself or himself. We encourage biographic sketches, or statements of aspirational models. In the second essay, the applicant should focus on her or his expectations for the summer program.

We will take a holistic approach in selection but evidence of academic promise and conscientious writing will be heavily considered. Although targeted to students in the first and second year of undergraduate studies, the project is flexible as to the undergraduate year of the applicant.

All applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents, and must be an enrolled undergraduate during the REU summer.

Apply online:

  1. Prepare your essays, and essay summary, the name and email of a reference, and know your GPA.
  2. Fill out the online registration form
  3. Email your essays to
  4. Email a scan of your transcripts to
  5. We will email your reference for a brief statement.

Please email Prof. Rosenberg,, for more information.

Recommendations online:

Requests for letters of recommendation will be sent out for each applicant, but the applicant is free to ask their reviewer to visit this recommendation form.