School of Computing students spend summer on the cutting edge
It was an incredible summer for twenty-eight undergraduate students in the School of Computing who spent their four months away from classes getting paid to work on acclaimed and forward-thinking research in the labs of some of their professors.
“This summer was a very valuable learning experience, a wonderful opportunity to apply what I’ve been learning in classes,” says Tom Vaughan, a third year undergraduate student in the School of Computing. Mr. Vaughan was working on a computer assisted surgery project that will eventually make the repair of knee cartilage both more precise and less invasive, and was thrilled to be putting his theoretical knowledge to practical use.
But the program is not only beneficial to the students. Selim Akl, Director of the School of Computing, says that the professors benefit just as much as the students do from the summer collaboration.
“It’s a unique partnership that allows us to engage with our younger colleagues,” says Dr. Akl. “They bring in new ideas and a fresh perspective. We couldn’t do it without them.”
Many of the summer positions were funded through Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) programs, primarily the Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) program, as well as the Discovery and CREATE, programs Some undergraduate researchers receive support from special fellowships and other grants. Students typically apply for employment during the summer of their second or third year to work in a lab with a professor that shares their interests. Once accepted, they begin work as soon as classes end.
For more information about the USRA program visit the NSERC website.