The goal of this new Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site is to give students experience with fundamental research in acquisition and fusion of multisource sensing data related to human beings. Students will be challenged to make sense of human behaviors and cognitive processes with hardware, software, and complex thinking, exploring the nexus of computational science, scientific practice, and the human experience. Traditionally, sensors have been understood narrowly, often as physiological measurements. This project envisions sensing in broader, new ways, as time-evolving measurable data directly linked to individuals and, by extension, to their communities. With this understanding, sensing data may involve language, social network and environment signals, or emotional-creative reactions.
The projects link in applications that students can directly relate to and that enable them to make concrete, real-world contributions. Further, the increasing demand for collaborative team science requires a new generation of scientists who approach research questions differently, exploring complementary perspectives and integrating methodologies and analysis tools in creative ways. Fundamental research in multisource data acquisition and fusion has valuable implications for many fields including human-computer interaction, accessibility, health and wellbeing, and gaming. This REU program is designed to build essential life-long capabilities in students for continued research careers, and to yield positive outcomes at the institutional and research community levels.