UROP Expects Steady SummerBy Christopher L. Falling
Despite tighter funding limits, the number of students participating in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program increased this spring and is looking good for the summer, according to the UROP office.
Involvement in spring UROP rose to 1095 students, about 100 students more than in the fall. Of the 658 projects for pay, 143 were funded by the UROPoffice, while all but three of the rest relied on faculty-sponsored research funds.
While numbers are not yet available for the summer, "things are feeling OK," said Debbie H. Shoap, UROP office staff associate. "We never know when funding circumstances may change for the program or the corporate scholarship program, though," she added.
Departments fund summer UROP
Although the deadline is July 31, the office is already processing summer requests.
For summer, department-funded UROPprojects also appear to be relatively healthy.
Professor of Biology Gene M. Brown, UROPcoordinator for the biology department, said that the number of UROPstudents in the department is almost the same as it was last year. The number of UROPs for credit rose to 115.
The number of funded UROPs decreased slightly; the department will finance the 40 or so students who will do UROP projects for pay department and the nearby Whitehead Institute.
Professor of Physics David E. Pritchard, the department's UROPcoordinator, said that total numbers of UROP projects supported by the Physics department has gone down by about a dozen since the government changed overhead rules two years ago, effectively doubling the cost of hiring students. However, a gift to the physics department may be used to provide summer to freshmen, he said.
This summer the physics department is trying to secure summer financing for the twelve juniors with previous UROPsupport so they can use their project for their undergraduate thesis.
Marilyn W. Melithoniotes, the personnel advisor for the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, said the lab's UROP numbers remained fairly constant. "I haven't seen that much of a change [this fall and spring compared to] compared to previous falls and springs," she said.
The number of spring and fall UROP projects in mechanical engineering did not change appreciably over a year before, said Professor of Mechanical Engineering Peter Griffith PhD '56, the department's UROPcoordinator.
"I continue to be a strong supporter of the UROP program," Griffith said.