REU Site for Machine Learning: Theory and Applications

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) received funding from the National Science Foundation for an REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) for Machine Learning: Theory and Practice. The notification for the funding came in early April 2014 and we had an REU program in the summer of 2014. We will have REU programs during the summers of 2015 and 2016 as well.

UCCS is a predominantly undergraduate institution with selected graduate programs. As of Fall 2014, UCCS enrolled 11,132 students of which 9,379 were undergraduates. UCCS has been ranked as a top Western university every year since 2002 by US News and World Report. US News and World Report has nationally ranked the College of Engineering at UCCS as one of the best Masters level engineering colleges in the country. UCCS also has the reputation of being a leading institution in enrolling women students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) majors.

Colorado Springs is a beautiful city, only miles from the famed Pikes Peak sitting atop the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. There are many things to do outdoors as well as it has a decent city life. It's a city with about 500,000 people in the metropolitan area.

The objective of the REU site is to expose bright and motivated undergraduates who want to pursue advanced careers in Computer Science related fields to work on hands-on research projects in theory and practical applications of Machine Learning. Students will work with five professors who specialize in specific research areas, but each with a great deal of interest in machine learning.

2015 REU

As of 4/20/15, we have selected the participants for the 2015 program. If you applied and didn't receive a call, please be advised that the positions are filled; we are sorry!

The 2015 Program will start on June 1st and end on August 7th. Preliminary proposals (1-2 pages) are due by the end of the first week, and full proposals (2--3 pages) are due by the end of the second week. There will be proposal presentations (10-15 minutes) on the Friday of the second week. The mid-term papers (4-5 pages) are due on the Friday of the sixth week. There will be mid-term presentations (15-20 minutes) on this day as well. Pre-final papers are due on the Friday of the 9th week. Final papers (6-8 pages) are due on the Thursday of the final week. Final presentations (20-25 minutes) will be on the last Friday of the program. All papers will use the IEEE Journal Author Style. Note: We may have to change presentation and paper due dates due to any contingencies that may arise. And, don't panic! You can all do it!!

Students are requested to arrive on the Thursday or Friday prior to the start date. This will enable you to acclimatize, and do the paperwork at Student Employment, necessary to start working. This paperwork is required to get paid and sometimes it may take a while! If you arrive on Friday, make sure you have time for paperwork in the afternoon. We will make arrangement to pick you up at the airport in Colorado Springs if you want. You can leave during the weekend following the finish date. Our department's secretary Alessandra Langfels will be in touch with everyone  soon, for travel arrangements.

2014 REU

The 2014 REU program washeld between the 2nd of June and the 8th of August. Here is a link to the projects and final papers the students wrote.


  • GPA of 3.2 or above. Although 3.20 is the minimum GPA we require, most applicantsin the pasthave GPA over 3.5, quite a few in the 3.9-4.0 range.

  • Incoming seniors preferred, although strong incoming juniors and sophomores will be considered.

  • Self-motivated. Major in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Mathematics or a related fields.

  • Strong mathematical skills. Strong programming skills in one or more of Java, C, C++, C# and ability to quickly learn languages and tools.

  • Must be citizen or permanent resident of the US. Preference to students in institutions without substantial research facilities, but others are very welcome to apply.

  • Women and under-represented minority (African-American, Hispanic, American-Indian) applicants are very welcome to apply.

  • Students from smaller schools such as community colleges, 4-year colleges, minority serving college are encouraged to apply.

  • You must intend to go to graduate school. The REU program prepares students for graduate school and careers in research.

  • We want to be able to write papers based on your work. Quite frequently, the work a student does by the end of the summer is not enough to write a paper. We are looking for students who are serious about writing papers. This may mean that you are willing to put in some time during the Fall term or during the winter break (at your home institution or at home) tying up the loose ends so that we can submit papers.


Important Dates

The deadline for submitting a completed application is February 22, 2015 or till positions are filled. We will make offers by middle of March.



$500/week during the summer for full-time research.

Interns are expected to be full-time. Interns are expected to put in 8 hours of work per day. Research should be your focus during the summer. Since we are paying for a lot more than 8 hours of work, interns are expected to focus on doing well on their projects, whatever it takes.


Additional Benefits

We will pay each student $25/day for food if you are staying on campus. Food Service on campus during the summer is limited, but there are many eating establishments within 15 minutes of walking. If you are a local student, we will pay $12.50/day for food during the summer. Dorms on campus are new and have excellent views of the Rocky Mountains. In our previous, our students stayed in Alpine Village. We will provide the basics: linens, some pots and pans and utensils.


Project Ideas

We have many interesting projects in core machine learning and its applications. To find the major areas, click on the Projects tab above. You can also look at the final papers written by the prior REU students: 2010, 2011 and 2014. Once you have been selected for a position, we will be in touch with you so that you have a project topic before you arrive. Each students will work on an individual project although there will be other projects with similar topics. Individual work will be emphasized although collaboration will be encouraged wherever possible.


Faculty Web Pages

Please look at the Web sites of Professors Kalita, Boult, Lewis, Qing and Walcott-Justice if you would like to know more about the professors involved in this REU program.