Undergraduates come to Notre Dame for computational research experience

Author: Brandi Klingerman

Group Photo 1Participants of the 2019 CRC REU program and Paul Brenner.

Ten undergraduate students have spent their summer at the University of Notre Dame for the Center for Research Computing’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program

Funded by the National Science Foundation, each year participants from all over the country are invited to spend 10 weeks on campus and conduct interdisciplinary computational research. The Center for Research Computing (CRC) typically offers two different undergraduate opportunities: a computational social science REU track and a data intensive scientific computing REU track.

“The CRC REU Program is designed to develop the skills of undergraduate students by including them in research programs at Notre Dame where they will be faced with a diverse range of real-world computational problems,” said Paul Brenner, senior associate director at the CRC at Notre Dame and co-director of the REU Program with Bettina Spencer, associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Department Chair at Saint Mary’s College. “Throughout the course of their summer on campus, these students gain new understanding of computational science that they can take back to their respective universities and, eventually, the workforce.”

The list of 2019 CRC REU Program participants and their projects are:

  • Nicole Aggarwal is a junior at Saint Mary’s College who is mentored by Susan Alexander, professor in the Department of Sociology at Saint Mary’s College. Her research project focuses on the construction of masculinity in various media platforms and the analysis of masculinity in white supremacist discourses in hate music videos, which is a common method used to recruit white supremacists.
  • Kyle Barrentine is a junior at North Carolina A&T State University. He is mentored by David Hachen, associate professor in the Department of Sociology and co-director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications at Notre Dame. Kyle’s REU project, which is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), examines student’s social networks, physical activity, and sleep habits to understand the link between social networks and health-related behaviors.
  • Timothy Burley is a sophomore at Notre Dame and is mentored by Brenner, Patrick Regan, professor in the Department of Political Science and in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and director of the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative, as well as Ernesto Verdeja, associate professor in the Department of Political Science and in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. This project will use modern computational interfaces and machine learning to study human migration and news bias on global scales.
  • Du Dongman is a sophomore at Cornell University. She is mentored by Sarah Kroeger, research assistant professor in the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities within the Department of Economics at Notre Dame. This REU project aims to identify innovative, effective, and scalable programs that can help move people out of poverty.
  • Ivol Frasier is sophomore at Saint Mary’s College and is mentored by Alison Cheng, associate professor in the Department of Psychology and affiliate of the Institute for Educational Initiatives at Notre Dame. Their research project will focus on data mining large-scale educational and psychological assessment data from over 60 countries.
  • Anastasia Hite is a junior at Saint Mary’s College. She is also mentored by Hachen. Their REU project is supported by the NIH and examines student’s social networks, physical activity, and sleep habits to understand the link between social networks and health-related behaviors.
  • Lorissa Humble is a junior at New Mexico State University and she is also mentored by Brenner, Regan, and Verdeja. This project will use modern computational interfaces and machine learning to study human migration and news bias on global scales.
  • Catherine Kehner is a junior at Saint Mary’s College and is also mentored by Alexander. The REU project focuses on the construction of masculinity in various media platforms and the analysis of masculinity in white supremacist discourses in hate music videos, which is a common method used to recruit white supremacists.
  • Charles Sleeper is a junior at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He is also mentored by Brenner, Regan, and Verdeja. Their project will use modern computational interfaces and machine learning to study human migration and news bias on global scales.
  • Issac Thusen is a junior at Indiana University and is also mentored by Cheng. This research project will focus on data mining large-scale educational and psychological assessment data from over 60 countries.

CRC REU students will present their work at the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium on Wednesday, July 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at the Galleria in Jordan Hall of Science. To learn more about the CRC’s REU Program, including full project descriptions and alumni, please visit https://crc.nd.edu/outreach/reu-program/.

The CRC at the University of Notre Dame facilitates multidisciplinary discoveries through advanced computation, software engineering, data analysis, and other digital research tools. The center enhances the University’s innovative applications of cyberinfrastructure, provides support for interdisciplinary research and education, and conducts computational research. Comprised of four groups – the Center for Social Science Research, computational science, High Performance Computing, and software development – the CRC supports discoveries in science, engineering, the arts, the humanities, and the social sciences. To learn more about the center, please visit crc.nd.edu.

Contact:

Brandi R. Wampler / Research Communications Specialist

Notre Dame Research / University of Notre Dame

brandiwampler@nd.edu / 574.631.8183

research.nd.edu / @UNDResearch

About Notre Dame Research:

The University of Notre Dame is a private research and teaching university inspired by its Catholic mission. Located in South Bend, Indiana, its researchers are advancing human understanding through research, scholarship, education, and creative endeavor in order to be a repository for knowledge and a powerful means for doing good in the world. For more information, please see research.nd.edu or @UNDResearch.

Originally published by Brandi Klingerman at crc.nd.edu on July 24, 2019.