Undergraduate Research Studios (UGRS)

Are you a UTA student interested in participating in Human-Computer Interaction research?
Workshop tools.
Image by Juraj Varga from Pixabay

We are a creative technology research lab exploring a range of research topics in Human-Computer Interaction, Digital Fabrication, and Art Practice, and we are looking for skilled and passionate undergraduate students to join us. The Undergraduate Research Studios program is designed to provide a structured research experience, expose you to new digital fabrication equipment and techniques, support you in developing critical research skills, and allow you to make connections with other like-minded undergrads.

UGRS participants will have access to state-of-the-art digital fabrication equipment and materials.

Participants can choose from one of three research areas to explore (see below for more information). Each research area requires a diverse set of skills – from material science to art to signal processing to psychology. We are especially interested in students with sophomore- or junior-standing from across the College of Engineering and College of Liberal Arts.

Prior research experience is not needed, but a passion for making is strongly encouraged. We expect members of the program to be able to commit 10 hours/week of their time towards research and atelier projects, to help and support other UGRS participants, and to publish their work in the atelier through an open-source software/hardware repository, as an Instructable or Thing , or as a research product (e.g., peer-reviewed video, demo, poster, work-in-progress, or paper).

Research credit is available. Only 5 positions will be made available for the Fall 2021 Cycle (please review application deadlines). Funded positions will be made available in the future, with special preference for atelier members.

The application will ask you to provide:

demographic information,
info about your skillset and background,
your research preferences for the program,
and an example of an artifact you have made (e.g. as an image, video, PDF, etc...).
Apply Here

Important Dates (Fall 2021 Cycle)

Applications Open August 26, 2021
Applications Due Sept 7, 2021
Notification of Acceptance Sept 9, 2021
Safety Training 2nd week of September 2021
1st Lab Mtg Weekly, TBA

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Program Goals

Provide an authentic research experience to undergraduates.
Increase participation in Computer Science research by underrepresented student populations.
Advise on graduate school opportunities (e.g., REUs, applications, writing statement of purpose)
Develop a support system and community of making within the larger UTA campus.
Provide trained undergraduates to serve as research assistants for other faculty.
Further the research agenda of the Hybrid Atelier.

Research Areas

The Fall 2021 UGRS program will focus on the following research areas:

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Hybrid Media

Media is constantly transforming, questioning traditional notions of what it means to be an author, what constitutes matter, and how messages are conveyed. Leveraging digital fabrication technologies and emerging smart materials, this research area explores the development of New Media practices incl ...
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Hybrid Hand

In Human-Computer Interaction, we have seen skills develop around the keyboard, pen, and mouse, yet the hand and body can communicate much more richness and nuance than what is being captured. We explore such research areas like: * **Smart Tools** – Every discipline has developed tools that cap ...
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Hybrid Spaces

Each creative practice has developed a creative space, fueled by decades or millennia of grassroots innovations that are passed down from practitioner to practitioner. What might we learn from these spaces that could allow us to design, re-invent, or support emerging practices like digital fabricatio ...

Program Activities

Members will engage in weekly community showcases, describing progress, struggles, goals, and research framing.
Members will engage in weekly research presentations, synthesizing and discussing a relevant research paper each week.
Members will be assigned a graduate student mentor.
Members will facilitate community workshops with the wider UTA campus.
The Hybrid Atelier will provide materials, equipment, and training resources.
The Hybrid Atelier will bring in expert guest makers to provide workshops.
The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) will supplement the program with workshops on technical writing, graduate applications, and other research related topics.

Eligibility and Capacity

UGRS positions are available to currently enrolled UTA undergraduates. We are especially interested in participation from sophomore and junior-level standing students, especially students with interdisciplinary interests (e.g., double majors, minors, interdisciplinary research experience). A total of 5 positions will be available for Fall 2021. To promote interdisciplinarity, the following quotas are in place:

2 positions for CSE students
2 positions for Art + Art History students
1 positions for other COE/COLA/COS students

Come be a part of an interdisciplinary research lab!

Roles & Stipend

Students will receive a stipend commensurable with their participation and skill level within the lab. Promotion to a different expertise will be based on an end-of-semester critique of artifacts and determined by three independent judges. Fully-funded positions will be made available in the future (e.g., work study, semester/summer REU, research assistantships), with special consideration to existing atelier members.

Compensation

We have changed the funding model of the UGRS program to be reward-based. Every research activity in the lab carries a point-value. At the conclusion of the semester, these points are tabulated to provide a monetary reward for undergraduate research fellows. For example, presenting at lab meeting contributes to these point values. There is a minimum threshold for these points to turn into a reward. The points earned in one semester transfer to subsequent semesters. Rewards range from $50-$200.

This reward system is designed to allow UGRS fellows to match their schedule and availability to research activities in the program.

Time Commitment


Students interested becoming a member of the atelier should plan to:

Participate in weekly virtual meetings.
Be able to commit around 3 hours per week in lab and 2 hours per week out of lab.
There is no expectation of commitment during Dead Week or Finals.

Apply Here