I enjoy working with undergraduate students on research. Often times, I provide what I call “half-baked” ideas to involved undergraduates. These are typically ideas motivated by a new technology or an emerging business model. I provide a list of potential areas to new students, and they provide feedback on which topics are of most interest to them. Typical undergraduate research tasks are to (1) conduct background research to understanding the new technology or business model; (2) conduct an academic literature review to understand the current state of the art in research; (3) brainstorm to identify approaches or decisions that would be altered by the new technology or business model; and (4) create a new mathematical model to aid decision making that captures the unique features of the technology.
A few of these experiences have culminated in blog posts, where the undergraduate students provide their perspective on what they find exciting about their topic and the research experience.