Abstract—Cleveland State University (CSU) has been striving to create a brand for itself with student engaged learning over the past decade. The engaged-learning effort spans both within classrooms and in extra curriculum activities. Undergraduate research experience is an important component in this effort. In this article, we share our experiences in designing and supervising projects for undergraduate research at CSU as a principal investigator, and the lessons learned in creating projects that are appropriate for undergraduate engineering students. Thanks to the funding from the US National Science Foundation, CSU Provost’s Office, CSU Office of Research, and Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, we have been supervising at least one team of CSU undergraduate students in every summer since 2008. We show that undergraduate research projects must be carefully designed at the level of undergraduate students. Inadequate research components in the projects could reduce them to some glorified homework, while over-demanding projects may discourage students’ engagement and their interest in science and engineering. The main theme of these projects is the utilization of cutting edge technologies to solve real-world problems, including Microsoft Kinect, Leap Motion Sensor, iOS devices (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch), Android Phone and Tablet, Smart Watches, and other portable programmable sensors. The integration of cutting edge technologies make it possible for us to design projects such that students: (1) will find the projects interesting, (2) can understand the research problems, and (3) can make significant research contributions.
Index Terms—Undergraduate research experience, Microsoft Kinect, pebble smart watch, smart phone.
W. Zhao is with the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH 44115 USA (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cite: Wenbing Zhao, "Enhancing Undergraduate Research Experience with Cutting Edge Technologies," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 7, no. 7, pp. 495-501, 2017.