By Maureen C. Curran
Students in all majors are encouraged to apply
San Diego, CA, Feb. 9, 2010 — UCSD undergrads in all majors are encouraged to attend one of two information sessions this week about the Calit2 Summer Undergraduate Research Scholarship program. The sessions take place this Thursday (12:00 p.m.) and Friday (11:00 a.m.), in room 5004 in Atkinson Hall. The deadline for submitting an application for a $3,000 summer scholarship is noon on March 5. Approximately 25 undergrads will be selected from a competitive field.
This will be the tenth year of the highly successful program; more than 225 UCSD undergraduates from dozens of majors have been Calit2 Summer Scholars. Many have successfully used their experience as summer scholars as springboards to graduate school as well as positions in industry.
The scholarship program pays undergraduates to work as paid, full-time student researchers for a 10-week period during the summer in faculty labs across the campus. The students make a contribution to the research of their faculty advisor's lab, or work on a project of their own, the kind of hands-on research that is usually reserved for graduate students and senior researchers.
"I think the best thing about the program was being able to spend all day working on a project that I was interested in," says Reid Oda, 2009 Calit2 Summer Scholar, now a senior in cognitive science. Working with Gert Lanckriet, assistant professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Oda focused his summer research on "Audio Similarity Data Collection Via Social Games," in which he developed a Facebook game to collect similarity data for popular music.
"The Calit2 Summer Scholar program is a wonderful opportunity for undergraduate students to get involved in real research, typically pursued by graduate (Ph.D.) students," notes Vitaliy Lomakin, assistant professor of ECE.
Students choose and work with a faculty advisor to develop a research proposal as part of the application process. Applicants must be registered undergraduates during spring quarter, 2010 (incoming students for fall 2011 are also eligible). Late applications will not be accepted after the noon March 5 deadline.
The online application system is open (and available on the website, see link below). The selection committee expects to announce their decisions shortly thereafter, to help students plan for the summer. Students interested in applying are strongly encouraged to attend one of the two information sessions.
Research proposals must address the mission of Calit2, which means that they should be directed in some manner towards research regarding telecommunications and information technology, as well as how new advances will transform a range of applications important to the economy and citizens' quality of life.
In keeping with Calit2's multidisciplinary thrust, students from all academic majors are encouraged to apply. Last year's summer scholar projects represented a wide variety of research subjects: students came from 15 different majors and faculty mentors from the departments of biology, neuroscience, political science, visual arts, four departments in the School of Medicine (medicine, pathology, psychiatry and surgery), and four departments in the Jacobs School of Engineering (bioengineering, computer science and engineering, electrical and computer engineering and nanoengineering).
To enhance the research experience for the scholars, the faculty committee has designed weekly sessions which include seminars, building tours and presentations. Each student gives a presentation on their project at least three times during the program. All awardees are required to attend the weekly seminars and presentations and participate in the poster session at the end of the program (usually Welcome Week of Fall quarter).
"The best thing about this program is interacting with other students who are doing various research in different areas," says Anand Patel, "this was really beneficial to me, because I got to see what other undergrads were doing, not just those in my field." Patel, a 2008 Calit2 Summer Scholar and computer science major, worked with Vineet Bafna, assistant professor of computer science engineering, on "Modeling Fragmentation Patterns of ECD/ETD Mass Spectrometers."
Participation in the weekly seminars, presentations, and tours as scheduled all count towards the 40-hour work week. The scholarship amount of $3,000 will be paid in two installments of $1,500 each.
For more information on the 2010 program, please contact Samantha Romanin, the program coordinator, at 858.822.1499 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the program in general, as well as past students and projects, can be found in the links below.