REUMass Amherst: A Summer Computing Research Experience in Data Science

Program Overview

Starting in Summer 2015, the College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst will offer a new 10-week data science summer research program for undergraduates. Students will have the opportunity to conduct research projects in multiple areas relevant to data science including applications (computational social science, computational ecology and sustainability, mobile health, etc.), data analytics (machine learning, NLP, etc.), and computational infrastructure for data science (databases, parallel and distributed systems, cloud computing, etc.).

Students will work on research projects under the supervision of a faculty member and graduate student mentor. Students will present the final results of their work at an open poster session during the final week of the program and, where appropriate, at their home institutions and/or scholarly venues such as conferences.

Program Details

Student Stipends, Travel, Housing and Meals


REUMass will start with a one-week intensive data science boot camp for all participants. The program will also include weekly group lunches with a short presentation from a current CS graduate student and a technical presentation or talk relevant to data science research. The program also includes a field trip to nearby Computer Science research centers like Google Cambridge and the Microsoft NERD Lab.

Program Requirements

Accepted participants must diligently work towards completing a research project during the duration of the program. To guide you with your research, we ask our students to submit a topic of their summer research, approved by their mentors by the end of their 2nd/3rd week. This is followed by a 10-min presentation of their research progress at the end of 6th week. Finally, students will participate in a poster session showcasing their research in the last week of the program.

Research Project Areas

Students participating in the program will have the opportunity to work on a research project related to one or more of the areas listed below. During the application process, students can select up to three areas of interest to help route their applications to faculty members with related interests. Students may also describe on their research interests in more detail, along with any related background or prior experience, in their statement of interest.

  • Applications: Computational Ecology and Sustainability
  • Applications: Computational Neuroscience
  • Applications: Computational Social Science
  • Applications: Health and Medicine
  • Analytics: Graphics and Visualization
  • Analytics: Information Retrieval and Search
  • Analytics: Machine Learning
  • Analytics: Natural Language Processing
  • Analytics: Theory
  • Infrastructure: Cloud Computing
  • Infrastructure: Databases
  • Infrastructure: Parallel and Distributed Systems
  • Infrastructure: Programming Languages

Eligibility and Requirements

NSF requires that all student participants be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. No exceptions can be made. Undergraduates who have taken computer science courses and will be entering their junior or senior year in Sept. 2016 are eligible to apply. We particularly encourage students with community college experience, either those in the process of transferring from a community college to a 4-year institution or those who are already at a 4-year institution but were previously enrolled at a community college.

Application Process (Now Closed)

Students are required to complete a two-step online application consisting of a Google forms questionnaire and the submission of additional materials including a current transcript and a 1-2 page statement of interest in the program. Students must also supply names and email addresses for two references who will provide recommendation letters (preferably faculty members at the student's home institution -- or another University -- who know the student well). All application materials (including letters) must be submitted by Friday, January 29, 2016. The submission of new applications is now closed, but the submission deadline for reference letters has been extended.

Important Dates

  • Application deadline: 11:59pm PST, Friday, January 29, 2016 [Deadline passed]
  • Extended deadline for reference letters: 11:59pm PST, Wednesday, February 3 2016 [Deadline passed]
  • Notification of acceptance¬†begins:¬†Friday, February 19, 2016
  • As of Monday March 14, 2016, we are still admitting for final openings. All declined applicants will be notified when all positions are filled.
  • Move in dates: May 30, 2016
  • Program start date: May 31, 2016
  • Program end date: Aug 5, 2016
  • Move out dates:¬† Aug 6, 2016

Contact Us


Mailing Address:
REUMass Program
College of Information and Computer Sciences
University of Massachusetts
140 Governors Dr.
Amherst MA 01003