Undergraduate Research

About:

UT CS is the largest top 10 CS department in the U.S. Our research program has the breadth you would expect from such a department. We have built an autonomous car, developed algorithms to map the tree of life, designed compilers for multicore architectures and examined ways to assure security and privacy on the Internet. We are ranked in the top 10 in the country in four research areas (Programming Languages, Artificial Intelligence, Systems and Theory). See the Department's research page for a more comprehensive description of our research program and to start finding faculty who work in the areas that interest you.

What research involves:

The Department of Computer Science actively encourages undergraduates to get involved in research. Your long-term career goal may be to become a software engineer, an entrepreneur, a professor, an industrial researcher, or a patent attorney. Regardless, an undergraduate research experience can be an eye-opening and rewarding experience.

Research involves:

  • Being innovative
  • Accepting responsibility
  • Taking risks
  • Basking in the glow of a new result

How to get involved in research:

UT encourages all its students to get involved in research. The College of Natural Sciences has created a web page to help science students find research opportunities. There are two ways to begin your research at UT:

  • Take a Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) course.
  • EUREKA is a UT-wide effort to encourage undergraduate research. Check their site for additional opportunities.
  • Find a faculty member and begin working on a project. Students generally do this during their junior and/or senior year, but there are opportunities for talented sophomores as well. Many faculty members require that students have taken one of their courses before joining their research teams. So you should start early to think about the area(s) you might want to do research in. Then take the relevant classes.

How to fit research in:

  • Most students choose to get course credit for some of their research time.
  • The department offers some financial support for undergraduate research. The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) enables students to work part-time as Undergraduate Research Assistants. Check the UROP page for details and application deadlines. Some individual faculty members may also be able to support students who work with them.
  • Research is for everyone. It prepares you for a creative career. But since many students may be thinking about research specifically because they know they want to go on to graduate school, we include here a link to our page on preparing for graduate school.
  • All students are invited to become involved in our research activity. Students who are pursuing an honors degree (the Natural Sciences College's Dean's Scholars degree, the CS Department's Turing Scholars degree or Special Departmental Honors) must complete an Honors Thesis that describes the results of a supervised research project. Visit the Honors Thesis Archive to get an idea of the breadth of the work our students do.

The UT Undergraduate Research Journal is a student-edited and published multidisciplinary journal. Its purpose is to highlight the research and independent studies of undergraduate students at UT.