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One of the important goals of this experience is sparking the student's interest in scientific research as early as possible through student-faculty and student-student interaction. At the same time, we feel that each student must have sufficient time to mull over problems and somewhat independently achieve a reasonable level of solution of a problem of their own choosing. Students will be able to devote a major portion of their time to the project during the summer, since they will not be involved in regular courses then. During the academic year, continued student involvement will be ensured by the faculty member at each institution. The professor(s) at each institution will supervise the students through their registration in elective Computer Vision, independent study and senior project courses and through weekly individual and research group meetings.
This proposal covers a period of three years. Our experience has shown that there is a need for flexibility to deviate from the ``standard'' one calendar year in certain situations. Sometimes an excellent prospective participant has an academic or co-op schedule which does not allow a continuous 12-month participation. In such cases, it would be useful if the ``REU year'' could be spread over a longer calendar period. Sometimes, also, one of our participants does excellent work on his/her topic and does not graduate for as much as another year after the end of the 12-month REU schedule. In these cases, it is useful to offer the student a chance to stretch their ``REU year'' to some longer period. Lastly, a participant may be forced, due to personal reasons, to drop out of the program, and then a new participant must be found to take their place. We regularly see perhaps three special cases out of ten participants. Such cases are difficult to handle within the constraints of successive one-year grants. Also, the effort involved in preparing a new proposal each year is not trivial, and the investigators could perhaps better spend this time working with the students.