Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates (DREU) was known as the Distributed Mentor Project (DMP) prior to 2009. The objective of the DREU is to increase the number of women and underrepresented groups entering graduate studies in the fields of computer science and engineering. This highly selective program matches promising undergraduate women and underrepresented groups with a faculty mentor for a summer research experience at the faculty member's home institution. Students are directly involved in a research project and interact with graduate students and professors on a daily basis. This experience is invaluable for students who are considering graduate school, providing them with a close-up view of what graduate school is really like and also increasing their competitiveness as an applicant for graduate admissions and fellowships.
[ Summer 2015 Program Info | Summer 2015 Application ]
Accomplishments of DREU Participants
- Laura Barreto (DREU 2014) has had a full paper on her DREU research at Texas A&M accepted at the 27th Annual Conference on Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence (IAAI-15). Her paper titled "Maestoso: An Intelligent Educational Sketching Tool for Learning Music Theory", which was co-authored by mentors Dr. Tracy Hammond and doctoral student Paul Taele, describes her summer research work on an intelligent sketching system for teaching people with little to no background about music theory using sketching input and human automated human instructor-emulated feedback.
- Sarah Ita Levitan (DREU 2012) received an NSF Graduate Fellowship. She is now a PhD program at Columbia University.
- Katherine Coons (DMP 2004) who worked with Kathryn McKinley, was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2006-2009) and a Microsoft Research Fellowship (2009-2011) for her PhD work at the University of Texas at Austin. She earned her PhD in 2013, entitled "Bounded Partial Order Reduction." Her research finds errors in concurrent programs with coverage guarantees.
- Carol Reiley (DMP 2003) who worked with Lori Pollock at the University of Delaware was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowhip (2006-2009). Carol is currently a masters student at Johns Hopkins University and is currently deciding where to pursue her PhD.
- Two of the four undergraduate recipients of the Google 2004 Anita Borg Scholarships were DREU students: Kami Vaniea (DMP 2003) of Oregon State University who worked with Prof. Elizabeth Sklar at Columbia University, and Neha Jain (DMP 2004) of North Carolina State University who worked with Prof. Annie Anton at North Carolina State University.
- Sara Smolensky (DMP 1999) of Mississippi State University who worked with Prof. Kathryn McKinley at the University of Massachusetts, was selected as the Outstanding Undergraduate Student of 2001 by the President's Commission on the Status of Women at Mississippi State University.
- Jessica Stumpfel (DMP 1999) of Duke University
who worked with Prof. Jessica Hodgins at Georgia Tech, received two graduate fellowships: a National Physical Science Consortium Graduate Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
- Kristin Kaster (DMP 1998, 1999) was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
- Since 2007, the DREU program has been jointly administrated by the CRA-W and the CDC and has been supported by a grant from the NSF Broadening Participation in Computing program (NSF CNS-0540631).
- $1,614,000 for 2002-2009 (NSF EIA-0124641, PI and CRA-W DMP Co-Director Nancy Amato)
- $640,000 for 1999-2001 (NSF EIA-9813290, PI and CRA-W DMP Director Mary Jean Harrold)
- $530,000 for 1996-1998 (NSF CDA-9507756, PI and CRA-W DMP Director Anne Condon)
- $240,000 for 1994-1995 (NSF EIA-9302536, PI and CRA-W DMP Director Joseph O'Rourke)
In addition to the generous NSF support mentioned above, the DREU project has received additional support over the years from the Education, Outreach, and Training program of NSF's Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI), AAAI, the Henry Luce Foundation (current), the Shanahan Trust, and USENIX.
More Information about DREU
The CRA-W Distributed Mentoring Program (DMP) was conceived of and managed by the Computing Research Association Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) from 1994-2006 with the objective of increasing the number of women entering graduate studies in the fields of computer science and engineering. Since 2007, the program has been jointly administrated by the CRA-W and the Coalition to Diversity Computing (CDC), and its objective has been expanded to encourage computer scientists and engineers from all underrepresented groups to consider graduate school. Beginning with 2009, the program name was changed to DREU, Distributed Research Experiences for
Undergraduates, to more accurately reflect the program. The DREU experience is invaluable for students who are considering graduate school, providing them with a close-up view of what graduate school is really like and also increasing their competitiveness as an applicant for graduate admissions and fellowships.
DREU matches promising undergraduates with a faculty mentor for a summer research experience at the faculty member's home institution. Students are directly involved in a research project and interact with graduate students and professors on a daily basis. Students maintain a weekly journal and website documenting their progress on the project. Students and mentors submit a progress report about midway through the summer, and students prepare a technical paper reporting on their project. At the end of the summer, the student websites and final reports are posted on the DREU website at the CRA. In addition, students are also encouraged to submit papers and to present their work to other appropriate journals and conferences.
Funding for the student consists of a weekly stipend plus relocation travel assistance when appropriate. A student's funding is intended to cover 10 weeks of research during the summer, but alternative arrangements are possible. Additional funds may be available to support student conference travel, either during the summer or afterward, and for outreach activities promoting DREU.
Since 1994, over 400 students from more than 100 different academic institutions have participated in DMP/DREU. From 1994-2001, an average of 25 students participated each year. These numbers have been steadily increasing, and now about 40 students participate in the program each year. The number of student applications has also increased dramatically - from an average of roughly 60 per year from 1994-2001 to more 200 a year now. There is also great interest on the part of potential faculty mentors, with 80-100 applying each year for 25-30 positions.
A third party assessment of the CRA-W DMP by the University of Wisconsin LEAD (Learning through Evaluation, Adaptation and Dissemination) Center has established that the program was effective in increasing the number of women entering graduate studies in CS&CE - for example, they found that students that participated in the DMP were twenty(!) times as likely to attend graduate school than a control group with comparable grades.
Other Mentoring Project Pages and Information
Other Useful Links
DREU is a joint project of CRA-W and the Coalition to Diversify Computing.