REU Program

Undergraduate Funded Research Opportunities



Location: Unity Hall

Program Overview


Former Site: Interdisciplinary Data Science Research for Safe, Sustainable and Healthy Communities (CNS-1560229. 2016 – 2019).

The Data Science Program at WPI, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, offers a 10-week, all-expenses paid Research Experience in Data Science for undergraduate students. The WPI Data Science program has successfully operated this site since 2016 under the leadership of PI Elke Rundensteiner, Co-PI Chun-Kit (Ben) Ngan, and Co-PI Kelsey Briggs. This site offers students from geographically diverse institutions around the country access to vibrant scientific research projects and undergraduate mentorship.

The students, working with WPI faculty, graduate students, and peer students, learn state-of-the-art data science techniques and technologies including machine learning, artificial intelligence, and big data technologies.  They apply these new skills to research focused on solving societal challenges of high impact in our communities.

Research topics include digital health, sustainability, and mobility, all interlinked concerns of critical national importance. Students present the results of their research at an Open Poster Session during the final week of the program, and, where appropriate, at scholarly venues and conferences.

Student Stipends, Travel, Housing, and Meals

  • $6000.00 stipend over the 10-week program ($600/week)

    • $500.00 weekly participation stipend

    • $100.00 weekly meal allowance

  • Up to $600.00 in travel expenses

  • LEED Gold–certificated on-campus residence housing, paid for directly by the program

Industry Visits & Professional Development Opportunities

The REU is enriched by symposia which are offered in job searching, applying to graduate school, writing a resume, and interview skills. Students also have the opportunity to network with data science professional alumni and industrial partners. Students also enjoy field trips to our industry partners engaged in data science, including, but not limited to, Google, MathWorks, Microsoft, MITRE Corporation, and National Grid. We can't thank them enough for hosting these bright young people. Social activities are organized by the students and include the history, culture, and sites of the greater New England area.

Program Requirements

REU students are expected to work a full 40-hour workweek for ten weeks, toward the completion of a research project. On the final day of the program, all research is placed on display for a Poster Presentation Symposium. This is a huge event combined with other REU sites and is attended by WPI faculty, guests, and fellow students.

Research Project Areas

REU students have the opportunity to work on a research project overseen by our WPI faculty. During the application process, students describe their research interests in detail, including any prior research experience, and we work to match them to their area of interest.

Research areas related to smart and healthy communities including Public Health, Personalized Mobile Wellness, Sustainability, Mobility, Economic Prosperity, and Social Good. Technical areas include data analytics, machine, and deep learning, statistical learning, data visualization, artificial intelligence, big data infrastructures, web technologies, natural language processing, and cloud and mobile computing.


The NSF requires that ALL REU student participants demonstrate proof of being a United States Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents. There are NO EXCEPTIONS. While we prefer sophomores and juniors who have a distinct interest in research, all U.S. students  are eligible for the REU program. Those students who have succeeded in courses in programming, computer science, linear algebra, and statistics are of particular interest to our program. Women and underrepresented groups in STEM fields, as well as students from a community college who have transferred to a 4-year institution are encouraged to apply.

Application Process

Students must fully complete the Online Application (above), and attach an unofficial transcript. We request two letters of recommendation, also submitted online via the Submit Faculty Recommendation button (above). The recommenders are preferably faculty members who know the student well and are at the student's home institution or another university.

All application materials, including letters, should be submitted by the application deadline to receive full consideration.


Questions? Email 

A Closer Look at Past REU Sites

2023 Summer REU

Coming Soon!

2022 Summer REU
REU 2022 Data Science

Meet our 14 research students who participated in the summer 2022 WPI Data Science REU.

The Data Science REU site hosted ten (10) NSF REU students, with an additional four (4) students who were supported by several diverse research grants.
Five(5) faculty mentors worked with the students throughout the summer on a number of projects and were supported by seven (7) graduate student mentors.  


On August 4th, the WPI community celebrated the achievements of our undergraduate summer researchers with the 2022 WPI Summer Research Showcase. All students who conducted research on the WPI campus throughout the summer were encouraged to participate in this event by presenting posters of their work. This event brings together undergraduate researchers from WPI's NSF funded REU sites, the EREE program, the STAR program, and others. This showcase highlights our undergraduate students' research and design projects with 81 posters represented!

Click the following links to view the poster program and student posters

The community had the opportunity to vote on 4 categories during the event including:

  • Your favorite poster (People's Choice)
  • The poster that made you to "hmmm" and want to know more
  • The poster with the most out-of-this-world research
  • The poster with the most enthusiastic presenter

In addition to internal, DS specific awards, We are thrilled to announce the DS REU site had 2 research groups selected as winners during the 2022 WPI Summer Research Showcase. The winners are:

Your favorite poster (People's Choice):

Title: Using Fair AI When Demographics Are Missing

Authors: Alex Pietrick, Alyssa Romportl, Shailen Smith, Oluseun Olulana

Advisors: Prof. Elke Rundensteiner and Ph.D. Student Kathleen Cachel


The Poster with the most out of this world research:

Title: Time Series Classification for Real-Time Feedback in Brain Computer Interfacing Video Game

Authors: Khashayar Hatami, Maya Liao, Humza Qureshi, and Nikola Grozdani

Advisors: Prof. Erin Solovey and Prof. Rodica Neamtu

2021 Summer REU
Reu 2021 Data Science

Meet our 27 research students who participated in the summer 2021 WPI Data Science REU.

The site hosted ten (10) NSF REU students, with an additional seventeen (17) students who were supported by six (6) diverse research grants.
Six (6) faculty mentors worked with the students throughout the summer and were supported by eleven (11) graduate student mentors.  

2020 Summer REU

Due to ongoing repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Summer 2020 REU site was canceled.

2019 Summer REU

Meet our 16 research students who participated in the summer 2019 WPI Data Science REU.

The site hosted ten (10) NSF REU students, with an additional six (6) students who were supported across several diverse research grants.

2019 REU Data Science


2019 REU Cohort- Check it out!

2018 Summer REU

Meet our 11 research students who participated in the summer 2018 WPI Data Science REU.

The site hosted eleven (11) NSF REU students!

2018 DS REU

Industry Visit: Students @ MathWorks                                                            

Industry Visit: Students @ Google

2017 Summer REU


Meet our 10 research students who participated in the summer 2017 WPI Data Science REU.

The site hosted ten (10) NSF REU students!


Learn how ten undergraduates from colleges and universities across the country are spending the summer at WPI working alongside data scientists, conducting groundbreaking research that could someday impact critical facets of society from healthcare to mobility.


2017 REU Cohort- Check it out!

2016 Summer REU

Meet our 10 research students who participated in the summer 2017 WPI Data Science REU.

The site hosted ten (10) NSF REU students!


2016 REU Cohort- Check it out!

Other REU Opportunities

Spend your summer with a team working to solve some compelling research problems. The NSF-supported Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs at WPI let you spend 8-10 weeks contributing to cutting-edge STEM research projects.


In one of WPI’s REU programs, you will participate in a distinctive experience in which you will build research skills while gaining professional development training, establishing a professional network, and performing work that matters.


The following are WPI's REU programs: Developing a Clean Energy Future, Industrial Mathematics & Statistics, Membrane Biochemistry & Bioinspired Synthesis, Robots and Sensors for Human Well-Being, and the LS& T Site (mentioned below). 


If our site has closed but you are still interested in participating in an REU at WPI, check out the Learning Sciences & Technology (LS&T) REU hosted by Professor Neil Heffernan and team. This site focuses on leveraging the learning sciences & technologies to address achievement gaps for secondary school students.

For more information about this REU, visit their website