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 20 to July 26 at the Department of Computer Science and the Center for Computational Science at the University of Miami.

Applications will open soon. Please email your interest in the program to burt@cs.miami.edu. Two essays, transcript and a letter of a reference will be required.

Applications now open! ⇒ Apply on-line

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.

Record of past REU's

  • REU 2017: Participants,
    • Rachel Arens, Kenyon College
    • Samuel Cooper, Fayetteville State University
    • Robby Costales, Bard College at Simon's Rock
    • Alex Fischer, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    • Serphina Gibson, Oberlin College
    • David Grossman, University of Miami
    • Ariel Lavi, University of California at Los Angles
    • Leon Lei, Brown University
    • Markandy Ravi, Arizona State University
    • Forrest Wang, University of Pittsburgh
  • REU 2018: Participants,
    • Tate Bestwick, University of Kansas
    • Michael Castellanos, University of Miami
    • Nathan C. Fox, University of Miami
    • Colin Jiang, Emory University
    • Nancy Newlin, University of Florida
    • Serena Nicholl, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
    • Morgan Rosser, St. Lawrence University
    • Jack Weissburg, University of Wisconsin-Madison
    • Blake Williams, University of Vermont
    • Joshua Zahner, University of Miami

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.
  • 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.


Neural net for visual system
feature detection. Mentor Schwartz.

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.

Housing begins on Sunday, May 19th, and extends until Sunday, July 28th. Housing is in the Mahoney-Hecht residential building, on campus. Flying into MIA airport gives a short taxi, Uber or metrorail journey (University stop) to the campus. The housing includes,

Miami is a fantastic city highly influenced by our South American and Caribbean neighbors, with activities at the unique Everglades National Park, brand new Frost Science Museum and Perez Art Museum, along with the famous Miami Beach Deco District, Wynwood art district with its fabled Wynwood Walls, the Fairchild Tropical Garden, Vizcaya, the Venetian Pool and many other attractions.

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).


Working space in the
Computer Science Department

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 application form
  3. Email your essays to my-reu-summer@cs.miami.edu
  4. Email a scan of your transcripts to my-reu-summer@cs.miami.edu.
  5. We will email your reference for a brief statement.

Please email Prof. Rosenberg, burt@cs.miami.edu, 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.