Last summer I was selected for the Research Experience for Undergraduates in Empirical Software Engineering at the University of Alabama. I was encouraged to apply for this opportunity in the Spring of 2012 by my professor, Dr. Hamid. The REU was a 9 week long paid internship. In addition, housing, food, and travel expenses were paid for.
My role as a research intern was to aid Dr. Jeffrey Carver and Dr. Nicholas Kraft in the study of the benefits of design patterns in the software development process. In addition to all the reading, studying, researching, and reporting I did for the benefits of of design patterns in software engineering, I also spent much of my time preparing myself for graduate school. Two professional development workshops each week aided me in my goal to be prepared to apply to graduate school and also to be prepared for my professional life after graduate school. I also attended lab meetings and cohort meetings with nine other REU interns and two graduate assistants who were all there during my stay at Alabama.
I completed my time at Alabama with a presentation of my group’s final project. In summary, two of us group members were tasked with implementing the “Game of Life” using MPI with no design patterns. The other two members were instructed to use design patterns. The goal of our study was to better understand the effectiveness of design patterns. Our study was essentially a pilot study for Dr. Carver and his graduate assistant to use as a foundation to write a formal research paper.
My group members on presentation day: Chelsea, Kaleb, myself, and Robert.
My time with my REU group is not over yet. I will be attending ACM SIGSOFT 2012 — the 20th International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (http://www.sigsoft.org/fse20/). This year it is being held in Cary, North Carolina (near Raleigh) from November 13 to November 15.
My REU experience in Alabama was amazing. I encourage all undergraduate students to apply for an REU in their respective fields.