"True Undergraduate Research: Foundation for Graduate Studies and Critical Thinking"

( by N. L. Passos , and S. Carpenter) in the Proceedings of the 1999 Frontiers in Education Conference, November 1999, San Juan, Puerto Rico, session 13c5, pp. 7-12.




The fast advance of computer technology and the economic pressure to increase profits force the industry research to focus on short-term goals that do not allow the in-depth study and theoretical investigation associated with long-term scientific research. Furthermore, today's attractive job market tends to absorb an enormous number of computer science graduates, reducing the quantity and quality of the student body seeking advanced degrees. This second factor may slow the technological progress achieved through academic research. In order to improve the chances of new discoveries in the Computer Science field, new graduates must be trained for critical thinking and motivated to pursue academic careers. This paper discusses the preparation of computer science undergraduate students for future participation in new discoveries through the pursuit of an academic career or more in-depth industry research. This preparation is conducted through a research methodology that improves the motivation of undergraduate students to seek new discoveries. First results of applying such a methodology in a study focused on developing new computer architecture features and supporting theory are presented. The method has also been used in the Software Engineering field with significant success. This paper reports a successful experience in this area, showing how the students were selected, motivated and coached to achieve the research goals


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