Summer 2016 REU Program Description

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program Description

Research Position Title: Social Computing Lab Research Assistant

Research Faculty: Jeff Bigham, Laura Dabbish, Jason Hong, Geoff Kauffman, Niki Kittur, Robert Kraut, and Chinmay Kulkarni.

Contact Information: Indra Danti:

Lab website:

The Social Computing Lab at Carnegie Mellon has an exciting summer research opportunity available to undergraduate students. This research program encourages applications from students who would like to conduct research in the fields of psychology, computer science, human-computer interfaces and language technologies.  This program seeks broad participation, including members of underrepresented groups as defined by the National Science Foundation (African American, Hispanic, Native American, people with disabilities) who may be considering pursuing further graduate study human-computer interaction, psychology or computer science.

The Social Computing Lab’s REU program allows talented undergraduates to spend 10 weeks during the summer in a research laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University, or one of our research partners. The REU program aims to make the Social Computing Lab’s programs more visible to students not traditionally exposed to our fields. The REU program supports the Social Computing Lab’s commitment to training a diverse set of science, technology, and psychology leaders.

Applications are encouraged from students who wish to learn to conduct research in a modern academic research laboratory under the guidance of experienced scientists and engineers and experiment in social computing and online collaboration. The REU program will expose students to the excitement and opportunities of a research career. This experience will provide excellent preparation for students interested in subsequently pursuing a Masters or Ph.D. degree. Although students from other years may apply, this opportunity is most fitting for a student at the end of the junior year of undergraduate studies.

Each student will receive a fellowship stipend. Students will conduct research in an area matched to the interests expressed in the student’s application. Guidance and supervision of the research project will be provided by the faculty member as well as, in some cases, postdoctoral fellows and/or graduate students.

Seminars specific to those participating in the REU program will be held weekly including seminars on graduate admissions and career opportunities in science, education, computer science and engineering. In addition, Social Computing Lab seminars and those held by Carnegie Mellon’s Human Computer Interaction Institute and Language Technologies Institute and will be open to the students, giving them exposure to a wide range of research in social computing.

REU Program Benefits

There are several benefits that the participating students may receive.

  • If the student’s research in the summer is of high quality and has added value to an ongoing research project, past students have been asked to be a coauthor on the research team’s publication on that subject. Addition of publications to the resume of a graduate school applicant always greatly improves the application.
  • If the quality of the research is high, the faculty member who advised the student would likely be willing to write a letter of recommendation for the student which could be included in a graduate school application.
  • Funding may be available for graduate research on projects in the Social Computing Lab. The student should inquire about these possibilities during the summer.

REU Program Dates: Students will begin their research experience May 31st, 2016 with a welcoming reception and orientation session. The REU program will end on August 5th, 2016 with a poster session in the afternoon. Submission of an application indicates that the applicant agrees to be present for the entire summer program period.

Application Deadline: Deadline for applications is March 15th, 2016

Minimum Requirements: Students should have a minimum of 3.5 GPA out of 4.0 although we will consider students who show by other measures that they are exceptional. Class standing and grades in specific subjects that are close to the field of research will also be considered, as are recommendations. Students must be US citizens or be a resident.

Number of slots/ positions available: The Social Computing Lab can accommodate as many as 10 positions, although in any given year, we may decide to fund fewer than 10 applicants.

Funding Source: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Application Instructions for Summer 2016

Application link

In addition to completing the above form, please email us ( the following to complete your application. These materials may be submitted after the March 15th deadline but should be sent as soon as possible before the program start date:

  • An unofficial copy or your latest SAT or ACT score report (if applicable)
  • Resume
  • [Optional] Two letters of recommendation (at least one from someone you have taken a course from at your university)

Please have your official transcripts mailed to:

Human-Computer Interaction Institute

c/o Indra Danti NSH 3607

Carnegie Mellon University

5000 Forbes Ave

Pittsburgh, PA 15213


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