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ENEE488 Directed Study - ENEE499/499L Undergraduate Research

Course Description

ENEE488: The purpose of an independent directed study course is to provide advanced undergraduates with the opportunities to craft and pursue an individualized course of study that meets their specific needs and interests. Directed studies are limited to material not presently offered at the University in any formal course.

ENEE499/ENEE499L: The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering strongly encourages all qualified students to engage in research at some point during their undergraduate education. Active participation in research not only allows students to apply what they have learned in class, it also gives them greater insight into a specific area within ECE and an appreciation for the subtleties and difficulties associated with the production of knowledge and fundamental new applications. Research experience also prepares students for the demands of graduate school and the work force and can serve as a source for future job or graduate school recommendations.

GPA requirements

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher is recommended but not required. Highly motivated students who wish to participate in directed study or undergraduate research but do not meet the minimum recommended GPA should contact the faculty member they are interested in working with about the possibility of pursuing directed study or undergraduate research under their guidance.

Prerequisite(s)

Students must have successfully completed (i.e. earned a ‘C-’ or higher) all lower-level engineering, science, and mathematics courses required for the major. Certain projects may also require successful completion of specific upper-level ENEE courses, as determined by the project supervisor.

Credits and time requirements

Students can enroll in ENEE488 for 1-3 credits or ENEE499/ENEE499L for 1-5 credits, depending on the scope of the project and the time commitment. Students should expect to work 3-4 hours a week (or a total of 45-60 hours over the course of a semester) for each credit of ENEE488/499/499L. The project proposal should contain an explanation of the proposed time commitment to justify the number of credits being requested.

Project supervisors

Only ECE and affiliated faculty and instructors may sponsor students for ENEE488. Students may earn ENEE499/ENEE499L research credit for projects performed with ECE faculty and instructors or supervisors outside of the UMCP ECE department. To qualify, projects must have a significant academic component and be electrical or computer engineering in nature.

Student and Supervisor Responsibilities

Project supervisors are responsible for making themselves available to meet regularly with their student(s) throughout the semester, for submitting a completed project assessment form to the ECE Undergraduate Office by the last day of finals, and for entering the student's final grade into UMEG. Students working with non-ECE supervisors will register under the ECE Associate Chair, who will submit the student's final grade upon receipt of the completed project assessment form from the project supervisor. Students are responsible for obtaining approval of their project proposal, scheduling appointments and regularly meeting with their faculty sponsor, and completing all work and required reports in a timely fashion.


Project proposal

ENEE488:
Students wishing to engage in a directed study must submit a completed application form and a detailed proposal. The Associate Chair will review the proposal to determine if the directed study is of suitable academic content and rigor, contains adequate assessments, and appropriately complements the student's program of study and academic goals. The sponsor of the directed should work closely with the student in preparing a proposal which, at a minimum, should include the following:

  1. Objectives
    • Provide a list of the main objectives for the directed study
  2. Outcomes
    • Outline of topics and material to be covered
    • Should cover the range of abilites, skills, and/or techniquest the student should demonstrate competency in by the end of the course of study
  3. Learning strategies
    • Including recommended reading materials or required training and where and how this is to take place
  4. Assessment
    • Detail the method(s) of evaluation, e.g. problem sets, papers, lab notebook, oral presentations, exams, direct performance assessment
  5. Prerequisites and/or corequisites
    • List specific courses, prerequisites, and/or co-requisites for the directed study
  6. Deliverables
    • Provide a list of deliverables if applicable

ENEE499/499L:
Students may receive ENEE499 credit for participation as an assistant on an on-going research project or they may propose their own research project with a project supervisor. The project can be experimental, computational, or theoretical in nature. If the project is at least 2/3 experimental in nature, senior laboratory credit may be obtained by completing the relevant section on the application form and obtaining approval to register for ENEE499L. A completed application form and detailed research proposal must be submitted for review by the Associate Chair, who will then determine if the project meets the necessary requirements for an undergraduate research project. Under no circumstances will credit be awarded for projects that are more than 25% completed at the time of application. The supervisor of the research project should work closely with the student in preparing a proposal which, at a minimum, should include the following:

  1. Project title
  2. Research objective(s)
    • Explain the primary and any secondary objectives of the research project, i.e. What do you expect to have accomplished by the end of the project?
  3. Overview
    • Provide background information to place your project in the context of previous studies related to the proposed work and explain your project’s significance
  4. Student Involvement
    • List all who will be involved in the project. If more than just the student and the supervisor will participate, clearly indicate the role of the other personnel and detail the tasks to be performed by the student.
    • If a project will be a group project, all student proposals must be submitted at the same time for review. The project proposals must be unique and clearly delineate each student's individual tasks and contributions to the project.
  5. Methodology
    • Explain what tools, techniques, and approaches you will use to complete the research project.
  6. Project Schedule
    • The schedule for the planned project should list at least 5-6 major milestones for the project (with target dates). Two of the milestones should be the mid-semester report and final report. Proposal must include a detailed weekly schedule of activities planned for project.
  7. Student Learning Outcomes
    • List the knowledge, techniques, skills, and any other competencies that the student will acquire as a result of successfully completing the project
  8. Advanced Laboratory Requirement
    • Indicate if the project is expected to satisfy the Advanced Laboratory Requirement.
    • NOTE: The project supervisor MUST also initial the appropriate box on the application form to indicate whether the project will or will not satisfy this requirement.
  9. References
    • Include an appropriately formatted list of references
Project deadlines

Students enrolled in ENEE488 must submit the application form and proposal; supervisors must submit the project assessment form. Students enrolled in ENEE499/499L must submit the application form and proposal, mid-semester progress report, and final report; supervisors must submit the project assessment form. All applications, proposals, reports, and assessment forms should be submitted electronically to the ECE Undergraduate Office via eceadvise@umd.edu.

  • Application: For Fall and Spring semesters - due one week after the first day of classes of the semester in which the project will be completed and credit will be awarded. For Winter and Summer terms - due on the first day of classes of the semester in which the project will be completed and credit will be awarded.
  • Mid-semester progress report: Must be at least one page (excluding figures and tables). Due by the end of the eighth week of classes.
  • Final report: The final research project report should be similar in content to a regular journal article and include: abstract, introduction, methodology, results, conclusion, and references. The report should be no shorter than four pages (excluding figures and tables). In order to receive credit for the course, an electronic copies of the project report must be submitted to both the supervisor and eceadvise@umd.edu no later than the last day of classes in the semester in which the project is to be completed.
  • Project assessment: Due the last day of finals in the semester in which the project is to be completed.
Forms

ENEE488/499/499L Application/Approval Form
ENEE488/499/499L Project Assessment Form