Summer REU Program Provides Valuable Research Experience Even with Artificial Intelligence
“I had no idea that I would have a chance to learn about artificial intelligence as a rising college sophomore during this incredible summer experience,” explained Trevon King.
This undergraduate student participated in Auburn University’s 2019 Collaborative Approaches among Scientists and Engineers (CASE) Research Experience Undergraduate (REU) Research Program. Trevon worked with Dr. Christopher Harris, an assistant professor of electrical engineering in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.
“He worked on neural machine translation, where a deep neural network is used to translate one language into another,” Dr. Harris shared.
This summer experience provided students with an opportunity to gain hands-on research, work at a R1 research facility and learn directly from faculty that mentored these future leaders.
“Research isn’t about just learning about a specific field,” Dr. Harris added. “Research transcends all disciplines, and provides a critical skill set to analyze, document, and think like a scientist.”
Dr. Cordelia Brown, director of the Engineering Academic Excellence Program at the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering is proud how the program is not limited to just a specific field. “This unique research experience provides students with a chance to navigate research with active learning in a diverse range of areas from engineering to science,” she explained.
Over the course of 10 weeks, these students are immersed in the fascinating world of research. Each student works in university labs with faculty mentor that provides feedback and advice. The program is a joint effort between the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM).
Assistant Dean for Inclusion, Equity and Diversity at COSAM, Dr. Kimberly Mulligan-Guy shared, “This program not only encourage students to explore possible careers in STEM, it helps them find their voice developing soft skills that will help them stand out in future professional settings.”
Dr. Christian Goldsmith, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, works with the program to help students begin to explore research.
“I like to be a mentor in this program because I get to help students learn and conduct research in our university setting,” he shared.
Dr. Vincent Ortiz, the Ruth W. Molette Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry explained that this program not only helps students, but has a much larger effect.
“Cultivating students from all backgrounds directly benefits the future careers of these students,” he said. “It also makes a tremendous impact through the ability to improve standards of health, environmental safety, and our entire economy.”
Dr. Rita Graze, an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, felt that this program gives students a chance to learn responsibility and resilience through working on hands-on projects in a lab.
“Research is crucially important,” shared Dr. Rita Graze. “It is a dynamic process and these students are part of developing new knowledge.”
Student who participated in this program had an opportunity to share their personal reflections during this year’s symposium held in the Student Center Ballroom. Below are some of the ways this program left an impact on their lives and toward their future careers: