Engage in Research!

Department faculty and students engage in a variety of research activities ranging from computerized diagnosis of melanoma to designing secure embedded systems. For a list of faculty research areas, please visit here.

We are one of the most research active departments in UCA. Our faculty brings as much as 20% of UCA’s annual federal research funding and publishes a large number of papers in reputable venues. Current or recent federal funding resources include the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Undergraduate students may receive credit for research by enrolling in CSCI 4v95: Independent Study (1–3 credit hours; a maximum of three credit hours may be applied towards any degree), which counts as a subject elective in BS degree programs in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Cybersecurity (only the Cyberphysical Security concentration). Graduate students, on the other hand, may receive credit for research by enrolling in CSCI 6395: Independent Study (a maximum of six credit hours may be applied towards the degree) or, if they are pursuing the thesis option, in CSCI 6v99: Master’s Thesis (1–6 credit hours; a total of six credit hours is required). Note that CSCI 4v95, 6395, and 6v99 are not traditional courses (e.g., there are no lectures). These research classes are all opened on demand.

Before embarking on a research project:

  1. Narrow down the list of research areas in which you are interested (for a list of faculty research areas, please visit here).
  2. If there are multiple faculty members working in your areas of interest, make an appointment with each.
  3. Meet with your prospective supervisors to talk about possible project topics. Be sure to  compile a list of questions that you would like to ask in advance. Example questions: does the faculty member have time to supervise your project?; what kind of background does the project require?; how long will it take?; what are the expectations of the faculty member? (more on this below); etc.
  4. Choose a supervisor with whom you can work and communicate easily.
  5. Choose a topic that is of interest to you, keeping in mind that some topics may be unattainable because of the complexity of the topic, shortness of the period of research, lack of experience of your supervisor in that domain, etc. For example, you may be fascinated with computer viruses, however, currently, we do not have any faculty members who specialize in that topic. In most cases, your prospective supervisors will recommend suitable topics that are very likely to be related to one of their current or recent research projects.
  6. If you plan to choose the thesis option (in the MS in Computer Science program) or pursue a doctoral degree later on, consider the publishability of the topic. Keep in mind that doing research is not the same as publishing it, and that it is easier to produce publishable research in some areas than others. If you publish a paper as a result of your research, this might turn into a thesis eventually or you might be able to get into a doctoral program by leveraging this research experience.
  7. Understand the expectations of your supervisor. For example, are you supposed to submit a paper as a result of this research or is your work supposed to be documented as a course report? What exactly is the measure of performance and the target? In other words, how do you know when you are done with your research project?
  8. If you would like to receive CSCI 4v95/6395/6v99 credit for your research, discuss this with your supervisor.

Possible Research Projects for Independent Study (CSCI 4v95 or 6395) or Thesis (CSCI 6v99)

  • Color Quantization: This project involves the design of efficient partitional clustering algorithms for reducing the number of distinct colors in an input image with minimum possible distortion. (Supervisor: Dr. Celebi)
  • Smart Parking: This project involves the design of image processing algorithms to detect the vehicles in a parking lot using cameras and to direct drivers to the nearest empty parking spot. (Supervisor: Dr. Karakaya)
  • Others…