The Computer Science department strongly supports Simpson’s commitment to undergraduate research. We believe that undergraduate research is a valuable experience for all students – it broadens their horizons and enhances the sound understanding of what is taught in the classroom. By doing undergraduate research projects, students can find out whether they have a passion for research and whether they should pursue a graduate degree. In some classes, students are required to complete a research project. Other students have done research projects as independent study, or a capstone experience or just for the fun of it.
Usually, a research project has the following tasks:
- Choose a topic
- Find an interesting problem
- Investigate and compare existing solutions
- Look for directions for improvements
- Propose modifications
- Implement a solution and describe the research in a paper
Students may work individually or in teams. At the end of the semester, the research projects are presented in class. Students with outstanding work present at the Computer Science seminar and at Simpson’s Undergraduate Symposium. Some students have published and presented their work at regional or national forums, e.g. the Midwest Instruction and Computing Symposium, the CCSC Central Planes Conference and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. One student presented his work in Washington, DC at the “Posters on the Hill” event, sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research.