For the past ten years, computer science students from the University of Puerto Rico have spent summers on the campus of the University of Kentucky gaining valuable research skills as well as cross-cultural experience. Vis Center Director and Computer Science Professor, Dr. Brent Seales first visited the island of Puerto Rico in 2000 to begin recruiting students for summer undergraduate research opportunities. Since then about thirty computer science students from the University of Puerto Rico have done research in visualization, networking and other computer science research areas at UK.
In the summer of 2010, the Vis Center launched its VisU program, a summer undergraduate research opportunity for Kentucky and Puerto Rico students. Six students participated in the program completing research projects that ranged from medical imaging and digital humanities applications to iPad app development.
This summer, the VisU program is expected to have between six and eight students working on summer research projects. These students will gain both valuable experiences for themselves as well as contributing meaningful work to the research team. Carla Lopez Narváez, one of the University of Puerto Rico students involved in the 2010 VisU program explained her experience this way: “This experience helped me learn how to work together with new people in order to manage and solve the problems we found during the process of our research. We learned how to apply the things we learned to our lives as well as to keep learning new things in order to accomplish our research and become more professional. I would love to do more research in the future!”
For more information on the VisU program please visit www.vis.uky.edu/visu