This funding will establish a new CISE Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site at the University of Maryland-College Park. This Site focuses on research in combinatorial algorithms, which are algorithms that work on discrete objects such as numbers, graphs, or data where one needs to optimize over a space of possible solutions. To help create a climate in which students learn new techniques, understand a few real world problems, and work on designing and implementing algorithms, the students will be involved in applied algorithms research projects that will be jointly advised by members of the UMD theory group in conjunction with faculty in different research areas, such as systems, artificial intelligence, and databases.
This REU Site will support eight undergraduate students for ten weeks each year. The Site will recruit computer science, computer engineering, and mathematics majors, with a focus on students from Historically Black Colleges and Women's colleges. The Site will help bridge the gap between theory and practice, which will benefit both as it gives theorists new and exciting problems and non-theorists tools they can use. The students will have the opportunity to see what research is like, obtain a solid grounding in algorithms, and encourage them to go to graduate school.