Denison is well known for creating the kind of research opportunities for undergraduate students that are often reserved for graduate students at other institutions. Every summer, a group of Denison computer science students engage in a variety of research projects, mentored by talented faculty who are active researchers in their areas. These experiences give students opportunities to stretch the limits of knowledge and prepare for their futures in graduate school or industry.
The Summer Scholars Program permits students to pursue full-time collaborative work with faculty members for a minimum of ten weeks during the summer. Students have opportunities to conduct advanced research in cutting-edge fields such as algorithm design, artificial intelligence, cluster computing, networking, and software verification.
In recent years, computer science students have also conducted interdisciplinary research in computational biology and paleontology and machine learning. Students regularly share the results of their summer research projects at regional and national research conferences. In some cases, summer research has led to work being published in highly-respected research journals and conference programs.
Summer Scholars in computer science are paid stipends and receive free housing for the summer, funded through internal sources such as the Anderson and Bowen Endowments or the Denison University Research Foundation (DURF), or through external grants obtained by faculty from the National Science Foundation
A student may choose to pursue a year-long research project during their senior year in collaboration with, or under the close supervision of, a computer science faculty member. This experience gives students opportunities to immerse themselves in a narrowly-defined topic for an extended period of time. Senior research requires a major thesis and carries eight semester-hours of credit for the year. Occasionally, a thesis is subsequently refined and submitted for publication in a research journal.
An independent or directed study is an opportunity for a student to study, under the supervision of a faculty member, a topic that is not normally covered in the computer science curriculum.