Program Gives Undergraduates Research Roles

Feb. 12, 2010

A summer program at UT Dallas will give undergraduates in computer science and software engineering a research opportunity usually reserved for students pursuing advanced degrees.

Now in its second year, the program gives 10 undergraduates the opportunity to do research concerning verification and validation for software safety.  The work is key to ensuring critical software – in areas such as aviation, factory automation and nuclear power generation – has been thoroughly tested for safe operation.

“Many undergraduates never have the opportunity to experience the thrill and satisfaction of doing original research, and this is one of several efforts at UT Dallas to correct that,” said Eric Wong, an associate professor of computer science and the principal investigator for the summer program.

Funded by a $186,000 National Science Foundation grant, the eight-week program starts June 1.

The broad skills that students learn during the program will benefit them regardless of whether they opt for careers in research, Wong noted. In addition to working on research projects, students will visit Raytheon Co., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. and HP Enterprise Services (formerly EDS) for an inside view of how software safety is verified and validated in the real world.

The 10 participating students will each receive a grant to pursue summer research with a computer science faculty member at UT Dallas. Included will be a $3,600 stipend, a housing allowance and a travel reimbursement for those from outside the Dallas area. Students from underrepresented groups (women, minorities and persons with disabilities) are especially encouraged to apply, as are students from academic institutions with limited research opportunities.

The application deadline is March 15, or until the positions are filled. Details are available on the program Web site.


Media Contact: Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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Student researchers

Student researchers will work to make sure   software used in aviation and other critical areas has been thoroughly tested for safe operation.

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