Learning Through Research
Get Active!
Are you interested in any of the following proposals? Are you willing to take the lead in organizing a particular project? Do you have an additional idea to share? Do you have material to add to the divisional web site?
Discussion and ideas are supported through the CUR Community!

  1. Additions to the CUR division web page
    What information should be added to the entry web page for the division? The page is quite rudimentary at this point. We might follow the lead of other divisions and use their web pages as a preliminary model. Any suggestions (with corresponding text) can be sent to Denise Byrnes for posting to the web site.
  2. Increase membership in the Math/CS division
    We have asked the National Office (NO) to provide us with membership numbers for the math/cs division over the last 10 years. Our impression is that CUR is something of a hard sell. Why? The membership survey may provide some answers. It seems likely, though, that a good first step to remedying the problem is to become more active and to have something to show potential members so they have a sense that they are getting something they need for their membership money. A second step is getting the word out. Once the division web site is more complete, we propose sending out a general announcement to the CUR Community asking math/cs members to look over the page. It would be great if we can also get a mailing list of members from the NO and include them in the CUR Community. Once we have the membership numbers, perhaps we can make one of our main goals for this year to do things that will improve our membership.
  3. Working groups
    We propose using a working group model for working on projects and presenting results at the national meeting. Not all projects would necessarily need any kind of presentation, but CUR as a whole might benefit from hearing about results of the larger projects. Of course, all project results would become part of our annual report. We need to follow up with the NO and executive board about working this into the national meeting.
  4. Mentoring service for advising computer scientists and mathematicians about grants, tenure files, beginning undergraduate research in mathematics, computer science, and interdisciplinary areas, etc.
    What mentoring services could we provide? Do we need a coordinator of this activity or can we simply provide a list of mentors and have them report on their activities? How should this service be advertised?
  5. Panel entitled "It seemed like a good idea at the time"
    This idea comes from a panel proposed for the national meeting of computer science educators. The idea is to have panelists talk about something they thought was a really good idea, that addressed an important problem, but which went completely bust. As the panel title suggests, this could also be a lot of fun. This might be something we do within our division or something that gets opened up with multi-divisional participation to broaden interest. Simon Gray can provide more details if there is interest.
  6. Samples of undergraduate research or projects to showcase what we have done at our institutions and to serve as models for others.
    Should there be a template for these write ups? Should we have a coordinator who reviews the write ups, possibly asking for revision, then sees to formatting for display on our web page?
  7. Models for research opportunities: internships, REUs, capstone courses, etc.
    If your institution hosts an REU or some other research-oriented program, you could write a brief description about how you got it started, what it takes to sustain it, the pros and cons of running such a program, etc. This could include how to build relationships with local industry for the purpose of finding research projects and communicating the relevance of mathematical and computational skills.
  8. Building interdisciplinary connections for undergrad research
    Math and CS are ripe for interdisciplinary work, but finding the right colleague, getting it started, finding a suitable student, etc. can make this challenging.This could include establishing collaborations with faculty and professionals in science using computation and modeling. Examples of successful projects would be welcome. Also, politely worded accounts of what doesn't work and what to avoid would be useful.
  9. Matching undergraduates at smaller schools with mentors at a research university working in the same area.
    Actually, this could apply to faculty as well, within our disciplines or something interdisciplinary. How do you make these contacts? What opportunities are there? Again, if you already have experience with this kind of thing, sharing information about it would be useful to others.
  10. Models for working research methods into an undergraduate curriculum.
    How do your students learn about research methods? Do you have a course dedicated to methods or do you work it into courses across you curriculum. Models of both approaches would be good to share. Related to this is assessment.
  11. Assessment of research-oriented projects.
    How do you assess the projects students work on? What criteria should be used? Do you have an assessment plan for research you would be willing to share?
  12. Writing grants to fund undergrad research.
    We could compile a list of government and non-government sources for funding, identifying the kinds of projects each is willing to support. This is also part of the mentor program suggested earlier. Ask a colleague to look over a draft of a proposal. Perhaps more generally, this could include a discussion about how to get your own institution to better support undergraduate research. This need not be funding the actual work, but for example doing a better job of informing your faculty about grant opportunities and getting through the obstacle course of writing and submitting a grant, or by providing opportunities for undergraduate research at your institution to be showcased.
  13. Suggestions for more creative ways to spend division funds to promote undergraduate research.
    A first step is to find out what is available to us. Does anyone know? We should also talk to other divisions to see how they spent their money and if they felt they achieved their objectives.
  14. How to sustain a research program using undergraduate research.
    Here we might talk about what the components of a successful undergraduate research program are, how to get them started/funded, what support needs to be provided by the home institution, etc. There may be several models here that would work at different institutions. Can we describe them in a way that an institution could adopt?
  15. Supporting women and minorities in mathematics and computer science.
    This might be interpreted narrowly as applying to research, or more broadly in terms of getting underrepresented groups into the sciences, then retaining them beyond the gateway courses so that they are in a position to participate in research work within math and cs. At a minimum we could identify resources (papers, workshops, existing programs to serve as models) and make those available.