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Princeton Undergraduate Research Experience

Computer Science Dept
Princeton University

Answers to frequently asked questions.

Want to get your feet wet in research this summer? The Princeton Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) program recently launched by the Computer Science department may be able to fund your work.

This program is now also open to undergraduates from other universities. Those students should look at this page to find a project they like and apply for it.

What constitutes "research"?

Maybe you came up with an exciting idea while taking a course and want to implement/develop it. That could count as ``research." Or maybe you have ideas on how to redesign a computer science course to make it more interesting, and want to work with the professor teaching it. That could also count as ``research."

We have no set notions. Surprise us!

Features of the program

  • Each project must involve some participation by CS faculty. This can range from being a "sponsor" (namely, evaluating your initial idea and then periodically checking the status of your project) to being a full-fledged "advisor."
  • A PURE project can involve more than one student.
  • Program participants will be paid on a per-hour basis (up to 40 hrs/week).
  • Research done as part of PURE cannot count towards academic year independent work, and vice versa. If you ever plan to do independent work in the same broad area as your PURE research, talk to your advisor and work out a sufficiently different emphasis.
  • How to apply:

    Think of an idea for a project and do some preliminary work to determine its feasibility. Find a faculty member who is interested in your idea and is willing to sponsor you.

    Then write a brief (3-5 pages) proposal describing your project, and make a realistic estimate of the time (and resources) required for it. Ask your faculty sponsor to write a brief letter supporting your idea.

    Have these two sent to: Randy Wang   email: rywang@cs.princeton.edu. You will hear soon about whether or not your project has been approved for funding.

    Note: Occasionally, faculty members will announce research projects they are willing to guide students on. (See below.)

    Send in your application by March 31, 2001. If you apply after that date, funds may or may not be available.

    Looking for projects?

    A partial list of faculty members who are willing to sponsor PURE projects in summer 2000.

  • Andrew Appel Projects on compilers and intermediate representations.
  • Sanjeev Arora Any projects on algorithm design and/or implementation or complexity theory.
  • Doug Clark
  • Perry Cook
  • David Dobkin Projects related to computational geometry and computer graphics.
  • Ed Felten
  • Tom Funkhouser Projects related to computer graphics.
  • Kai Li
  • J.P.Singh
  • Ken Steiglitz Work related to Scientific Computing.