High school students participate in the Computer Science and Informatics Research Experiences (CSIRE)
Gone are the days when middle and high school students spend the summer running through sprinklers and avoiding “summer homework.” A special group of twenty students flocked toward the work this summer, spending five weeks in the CSIRE program at Stony Brook University. And they were glad they did!
Working on projects ranging in topics from studying the effects of social media on the opioid epidemic to medical image analytics, students from around the United States were selected to work this summer with a number of faculty and departments on campus.
This year’s program had more than a dozen faculty members and graduate students from four departments within the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences serving as mentors. On any given day high school students could be found working in research labs or meeting with the following professors and their Ph.D. students from the Departments of Computer Science (CS), Biomedical Informatics (BMI), Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), and Applied Mathematics and Statistics (AMS):
- Xiaojun Bi, Klaus Muller, Michael Ferdman (CS)
- Daifeng Wang and Fusheng Wang (BMI and BMI/CS)
- Fan Ye (ECE)
- Zhenhua Liu (AMS)
CSIRE partnered with Stony Brook’s Institute for STEM Education (ISTEM) this year, who helped with administration and is known as the “go-to center on campus” for K-12 STEM education. By the March 2018 deadline, a total of 46 applications were received. A committee then selected eighteen high school students and two middle school students from New York, New Jersey, Texas, Iowa, and Michigan to attend. In all, 40% of the participants were young women students interested in research. Many of the CSIRE students were from Long Island public schools including Commack HS, Syosset HS, and Jericho HS, which was recently named the #1 public school in America.
Seventeen research projects were completed this summer which involved seven research labs and combined the fields of informatics and computer science. High school students attended academic talks by faculty and PhD students, and a lecture about career decision-making presented by the Undergraduate Admissions Office and a student newly admitted by Yale. Weekly ice cream socials helped the students, many of whom chose to reside in dorms during their summer experience, get acclimated to life on campus.
According to Professor Fusheng Wang, who manages the program, “Students were most excited to visit the Reality Deck, where they were able to view 1.5 million Adélie penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula by a Stony Brook University scientist and her team of collaborators in an immersive environment.” Wang added that “all of the faculty were quite impressed with the caliber of students.”
In particular, the final poster exhibit in New Computer Science on July 27 was especially gratifying for all, including the parents. The eighteen posters on display demonstrated the students’ knowledge about their chosen topic, their ability to comprehend and analyze data, and the social skills needed to interact with colleagues and mentors to accurately convey their research approach. (View many of the posters by clicking the pdfs below)
The students had a wonderful experience and the parents really appreciate such opportunities for their soon to be college students. As in the case of some of last year’s participants, perhaps some of them will continue their research as part of the Regeneron Science Talent Search.