Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS)

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science: Discovery Experiences at Scale

EECS’ degree programs (BS and L&S BA) have grown to be the largest on campus and in the nation. We have managed to sustain a remarkable standard of excellence in many dimensions, but there are aspects of our program that we have not been able to sustain at scale. The most important of these are undergraduate research opportunities and access to non-profit and social-impact company opportunities. 80% of our undergraduates want to do research but we can only place less than ¼ of those because of our high student/faculty ratio. We also face challenges finding well-prepared graduate mentors for those undergraduates who can find research, and on integrating individual discovery in very large classes. To address these challenges our Discover proposal will implement these new activities: 

  1. A new “how-to-do-research” course for undergraduates which is focused on team projects.
  2. A mentor training course for graduate students who advise undergraduate research.
  3. Redesign of 3 pilot courses to more fully elaborate a discovery arc within those courses.
  4. Team-based research experiences with faculty. Building on 1, students will start working in teams with shared interests as part of the intro course, and emerge as a team ready to work together on a research project for an individual faculty/graduate student mentor.
  5. A departmental “connector” between student groups and non-profit and social impact companies.

The plan will be executed by a team of EECS Faculty, Staff, and undergraduate and graduate students.

Team-based undergraduate research projects.

Teams working with external non-profits and orgs.