National Science FoundationREU Program Objectives– To provide academic experiences forundergraduate students through participationin research– To help develop a diverse, internationallycompetitive, and globally-engaged scienceand engineering workforce
Our Unique REU Program Objectives– Provide a broad range of research projectoptions in computer science and engineering– Recruit under-represented minority studentsmainly from Puerto Rico and Florida– Include international students
Participants for 2005-2006Participants 2005 2006 TotalHispanics Puerto Rico 6 5 11 42 %Hispanics Other 2 1 3 11 %African Americans 2 1 3 11 %Whites 0 4 4 16 %International 2 3 5 20 %Total students 12 14 26 100 %Women 3 4 7 27%
Including International Students intoOur REU Site• Why did we choose to do it?• What did we learn from it?
Why Did We Choose to Do It?1. Benefit all of our Student Participants2. Contribute to NSF’s goal of developinga diverse, internationally competitive,and globally-engaged science andengineering workforce
Benefit Our Student Participants1. Cultural exchange prepares allstudents to participate successfully inan increasingly global world2. U.S. undergraduate students benefitfrom collaborating with internationalstudents, who come from highlyrigorous five-year programs and are intheir last year of study
Selecting Participating UniversitiesRanked well by accreditation organizations:•Consejo Nacional de Acreditación - in Colombia•Comisión Nacional de Acreditación de Programas - in Chile,•Sistema Nacional de Acreditación de la Educación Superior -in Costa Rica•Consejo para la Acreditación de la Educación Superior -inMéxico•Comisión Nacional de Evaluación y AcreditaciónUniversitaria - in Argentina.
Selecting International StudentsRecommendationsGPAExperience in researchResearch interests of the studentsLanguage skills
Funding an International REU StudentItemCostVISA (including trip to embassy) 500Health insurance 250Travel expenses 550Stipend 3,200Meal stipends 1,500Housing 1,500Total US$ 7,500
What Did We Learn From It?• U.S. students got a better perspective on educationand culture in Latin American countries• Low-cost and highly beneficial initiative• International students did not encounter any funding,cultural, or academic problems to prevent them fromsucceeding in this program• International links among educational institutions arestrengthened
What Did We Learn From It?• Administrative procedures are timeconsuming• Use English proficiency test in selectionprocess• Pair international and US students inresearch teams
Acknowledgements• National Science Foundation• University of South Florida College ofEngineering