Helping undergraduate engineering students discover their interests (and reduce their fear of research)

Mary R. Anderson-Rowland, Armando Rodriguez, Anita E. Grierson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


In recent years, there has been an increased emphasis on undergraduate research. High tech companies need research to keep them competitive. This paper addresses the issue of getting engineering and computer science students interested in focused engineering and computer science areas so they are excited about these topics and want to learn more by doing research in that area. Our method is to encourage the student to research and write an interest paper as a first step to writing a proposal to seek and do organized research. In order to evaluate this approach, a survey was completed by 57 students in an Academic Success and Professional Development class who were assigned the writing of an interest paper in engineering or computer science. Results show that the assignment was successful for some students in leading them to an area of research in which they were interested and in other cases learning that they were not that interested in a particular area. Other students found a second interest. In this assignment, some students used an engineering data base for the first time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference
Subtitle of host publicationLaunching a New Vision in Engineering Education, FIE 2015 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479984534
StatePublished - Dec 2 2015
Event2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2015 - El Paso, United States
Duration: Oct 21 2015Oct 24 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Other2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityEl Paso


  • Increasing Interest in Engineering Topics
  • Research
  • Undergraduate Engineering and Computer Science Students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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