Summer Research Experience at CSI

Summer is typically a time when students head home to visit friends and family, go on a vacation, or in the case of some students at Indiana University they get introduced to conducting research for the first time. The Center for Security Informatics (CSI) hosted students from two different research experience programs at Indiana University. Two incoming freshmen students were from the Groups Scholars Program Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Initiative that focuses on supporting first-generation, underrepresented students in STEM disciplines through a 5-week research project. Indiana University's School of Informatics & Computing also had undergraduate researchers and a high school student at CSI from the Summer Research Opportunities in Computing (SROC) program for a ten-week summer research experience.

The students were all paired with CSI graduate students who mentored them during the time period of their research experience programs. CSI worked to pair summer researchers with mentors who were working on projects that the students might be interested in doing for their project. Students and mentors had multiple meetings each week and the groups worked on a variety of different projects regarding two-factor authentication usage, internet enabled toy bear, and phishing, just to name a few examples.

All of the summer research students presented their work at two poster sessions where faculty, students, and staff were invited to attend and hear the students talk about their work and the results of their summer of research. When asked for feedback about their summer and experience, the students naturally gave different responses regarding their favorite aspect of the program. Henry Lin, an incoming freshman with the Groups Scholars Program STEM Initiative, said his favorite portion of working on the project was learning how to program using R, a programming language for statistical computing and graphics.

The varied group of students and projects at CSI during the summer led to a time of learning not only for the new researchers, but also for the graduate student mentors. For many of the mentors, it was their first experience helping to guide new students through the process of conducting research in an academic environment.