The Cooperative Computing Lab
2008 Summer Undergraduate Research Instructions

Welcome to Notre Dame for the summer! I hope you have a productive and enjoyable summer doing a research project with my group. Your summer salary has been funded by the National Science Foundation under grant NSF-CCF-0621434.

Before You Arrive

  • Keep in email contact Prof. Thain ( and with Dian Wordinger (, our secretary who will keep track of all your paperwork and other necessary items. She will help you to complete the three following distinct items:
  • Apply to the summer session.
  • Enroll in the REU course for the summer session.
  • Complete paperwork for employment.
  • Do not apply for housing, we have already done so for you.
  • Make sure that you collect and bring your employment verification documents to Notre Dame.
  • When You Arrive

  • Plan to arrive on campus on Monday, May 26th during the day.
  • Here is a Campus Map and driving directions.
  • Check in to Keough Hall (bldg 1178 on the map), get keys, and move in.
  • Here are Places to Eat when you first arrive.
  • Obtain an ID card and sign up for a meal plan at the Card Services Office.
  • The REU program will begin on Tuesday, May 27th at 9AM in 356A Fitzpatrick Hall. There will be an orientation, a campus tour, and some additional paperwork at that time. In the afternoon, we will sit down together and chart your activity for the summer.
  • Over the Summer

  • This summer project has two goals. First, you will participate in the construction of a repository for biometric data, which will play an important role in our ongoing research project. Second, you will gain some experience in doing research, which involves programming, making measurements, presenting results, and understanding other research projects in the field. By the end of the summer, you should have a good understanding of what it means to do research, and (we hope) you will consider that career path.

  • Plan to work 9AM-5PM Monday through Friday for ten weeks. You will be paid biweekly. Due to the short session, there are no vacation days. If you are sick, please contact Prof Thain ( / 631-6845) in the morning. Full or partial days not worked will be unpaid.

  • You will be assigned a desk, computer, and laptop in Cushing 222 on which to perform your work. You will be given remote access to other machines and equipment as your project requires. These machines are to be used for research purposes only, and should not be used for personal matters, especially not transferring, sharing, or storing copyrighed media. Notre Dame has a site license for Windows and Office ssoftware, these are to be used only on ND owned machines.

  • Research is a collaborative activity. You will be working with other students on a daily basis, and should be talking to each other regularly to identify problems and solutions. Our research group meets at 2PM every Wednesday in the CSE conference room. Everyone is expected to show a few slides and explain what they learned or accomplished in the last week. (Use your laptop and PowerPoint.)

  • To help you gain some background in our research area, I will assign one research paper for you to read each week. We will meet once week at 2PM on Tuesdays in my office, 382 Fitzpatrick to discuss the paper in detail. You should be prepared to explain the algorithms or system described in the paper, and have a list of questions for us to discuss.

  • Don't get stuck on a technical problem! Ask others for advice, get a book from the library, search for help on the web, but don't just spin your wheels. It's perfectly ok for you to come knock on my office and get help several times a day until you work through a problem.

  • There will be a number of social activities in conjunction with the ErWin REU Program. You will also be housed in the same dormitory with other students from around the country. Take the opportunity to make friends and relax in the evenings and weekends.

  • At Summer's End

  • You will make two final reports on your summer work. You will develop a detailed technical poster, which must be submitted for printing on Wednesday, July 23rd, and presented at the REU symposium on Thursday, July 31st. In addition, you will give a short presentation accompanied by slides on Tuesday, July 29th. (Again, use the provided laptop.)
  • The final activity for the summer will be a hosted lunch on Friday, August 1st. You may check out of your dormitory and depart that afternoon, or on Saturday, August 2nd.
  • Other Links of Interest

  • Notre Dame
  • Places to Eat at Notre Dame
  • LaFortune Student Center
  • St. Joseph's Beach on Campus
  • St Patrick's County Park
  • City of South Bend
  • South Bend Public Transportation
  • South Shore Railway