There are several opportunities for undergraduate students to be involved in Computer Science research. Here are some pointers that can get you started.
Why do research ?
A focused research project provides you the opportunity to pursue your interests, sharpen problem-solving skills, learn something new and create something tangible and useful. Some of you may have had work experiences but a research process is different. It involves thinking critically, brain-storming different solutions, evaluating ideas, presenting results and sharing the knowledge with a wider audience. Working on a faculty-mentored research project allows you to learn the research process and an experienced researcher helps steer your ideas and shape your final product. Final products are software, experiments, research papers and presentations.
XKCD shows a common misconception between research in academic setting versus development in the industry setting :)
"Academia Vs Business", http://xkcd.com/664/
Are there special computer science classes that are research project focused ?
Yes! There are two highly recommended classes:
- CS 390 Research and Project Design Principles
- CS 490 Design Exhibition
- Additional Information on CS Capstone Experiences in CS 390 and 490
- CS 491 Industry-Sponsored Senior Design Project
Students in the BS CS program can use CS 390 as a CS-related elective and CS 490 as a CS-senior elective.