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 23 to July 29 at the Department of Computer Science and mentor's departments and laboratories.

The application requirements are simple, as the program mission is to include students new to research. The program will consider applicants based on motivation and interest.

A Program of Exploration

REU 2017: Leon Lei, Rachel Arens, Robert Costales, Samuel Cooper, Alex Fischer.
Participate in a summer research experience focusing on the discovery and visualization of structure in large datasets.

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

The ten week program runs from May 23 to July 29 at the Department of Computer Science and mentor departments and laboratories.

The program includes:
  • A week-long bootcamp to bring you up to speed on the way computers are used in scientific computation.
  • Continuing workshops on advanced topics such as GPU programming.
  • Career Development and Mentor Presentations.
  • 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).

Record of past REU's

  • REU 2021: Participants,
    • Santiago Cortes, Johns Hopkins University, with Prof. Acevedo
    • Annie DeForge, Bentley University, with Prof. Schwartz
    • Christian Jerry, Indiana University, guest researcher with Prof. Messinger
    • Maya Murry, Cornell University, with Prof. Lemmon
    • Nestor Orozco-Llamas, Middlebury College, with Prof. Messinger
    • Thomas Spangler, University of North Carolina Wilmington, with Prof. Acevedo
    • Kevin Wu, University of Miami, with Prof. Ogihara
  • REU 2020: Participants,
    • REU 2020 was postponed for COVID-19.
  • REU 2019: Participants,
    • Alexis L Delgado, Avila University
    • Angela Kihiko, Spelman College
    • Courtney M Sever, Florida State University
    • Giulia Bronzi, Wellesley College
    • Nicholas Cimaszewski, University of Rochester
    • Victor Jann, University of California, Berkeley
    • Juliana Hemela, UNC Chapel Hill
    • Azhar Moihdeen, Georgia Institute of Technology
    • Chris Fagin, Christian Brothers University
    • Gregory Hubbard, Old Dominion University
  • 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
  • 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

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 Institute for Data Science and Computing (IDSC) 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.
  • Artificial intelligence-based biomedical image analysis Vanessa Aguiar-Pulido, Assistant Professor of Computer Science The project's goal is to develop an AI-based model for the diagnosis of disease and extraction of relevant features using biomedical data. The method developed will be applied to cancer images.
  • 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, 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.

All applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents.

Students in this REU program are offered:
  • A $6,000 stipend.
  • 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.

The nominal plan for the REU is to be on-ite. However, the University rules concerning COVID at the time of the REU might revise this plan. If on-site, the REU will,

  • Provide and pay for housing.
  • Provide a food stipends of $110 per week.
  • Provide a travel allowance of $600 to and from the REU site.
If the REU needs to be virtual, the REU will,
  • Provide the on-site rental amount directly to the student.
  • Provide a food stipends of $110 per week.
  • Provide a travel allowance of $600 to and from the REU site.

The full title of this program is:

  • REU Site: Scientific Computing for Structure in Big or Complex Datasets, NSF grant CNS-1949972.
  • The REU program is described in program solicitation NSF 19‐582 Research Experiences for Undergraduates Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU).

The Science Quadrangle Fountain with
umbrellas for sunny days

Working space in the Computer Science

How to apply

Selection of students is based on a letter of recommendation, relative GPA and class history as shown in the undergraduate transcript, and two essays.

  1. In one essay the student can introduce herself or himself. We encourage biographic sketches, or statements of aspirational models.
  2. 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
  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.