Elke A. Rundensteiner
SGER: Research Experience for K12 (REK)
This project seeks to inspire young people to consider advanced degrees and skilled professions in computer science. The approach taken towards outreach is unique. One, students are targeted at an early stage, namely, in K12. Two, these K12 students are given the opportunity to first-hand engage in an active research project -- working side by side with scientists (REU students, graduate students, and faculty) in the computer science department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The two-tier involvement of participants consists of stage 1: smaller projects throughout the academic school year, and and stage 2: in-depth projects during the subsequent summer. This project takes place under the umbrella of on-going NSF-projects research projects in stream monitoring technology and its applications. Stream monitoring is a novel paradigm for processing queries over data streams (instead of in a static database only), supporting applications such as sensor stream monitoring, fire spread prediction, and network intrusion detection. The effectiveness of this outreach project is assessed based on standard pre- and post- surveys. As broader impact, participants are recruited from the (highly diverse) public school system of the City of Worcester. This exploratory project is to inspire the K12 participants to consider future careers in computer science, thus contributing to a much needed skilled workforce in this increasingly digital world. It may also provide new insights into models of how to inspire our youth to consider careers in computer science, and possibly other sciences or engineering. The project results will be disseminated via the project Web site: (http://davis.wpi.edu/~dsrg/PROJECTS/REK-NSF/).