Course Overview

Reading disciplinary technical articles, synthesizing information, and applying them to solve disciplinary problems are very important and critical approaches for any college student to succeed in their academic career. Undergraduate research and creative scholarship activities provide students opportunity to practice all these skills at various levels of rigor. Students who participate in undergraduate research many benefits including increased persistence in their major; higher gains in research skills including gathering and analyzing data; better understanding of fundamentals of disciplinary topics, speaking and writing effectively; and gains in professional advancement, professional and personal development. But most importantly, undergraduate research opens numerous doors for students to pursue many high impact career.

In this course, you will have the opportunity to suggest, formulate, and execute your individual research idea. Throughout the entire research and writing phases, you will learn and utilize new tools, engaging in a comprehensive examination of the existing literature. Ultimately, you will produce a scientific paper that will showcase your research skills. This course will establish the theoretical foundation to equip you for the effective development of a research project. It will foster collaborative engagement, stimulate interest, and prepare you for a research career at the undergraduate level. The aim is to enhance your comprehension of the entire research process, encompassing discipline-specific research methods and ethical considerations integral to the research journey.

All students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the opportunity to request a Syracuse University noncredit transcript.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Prepare for undergraduate research in computing before joining college
  • Investigate different socially relevant computer science research problems
  • Identify and formulate a socially relevant research problem that is specific, measurable, attainable, and time-bound
  • Conduct a systematic review of existing literature by searching databases to identify scientific papers that are relevant to the research problem, understanding, evaluating, and synthesizing those articles/data
  • Design a study to answer a research question by applying appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative data analysis techniques
  • Investigate the efficacy of the solution or experiment by working with peers in a team setting –
  • Communicate effectively about computing research through delivering an oral presentation and writing a research article

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number: SCN 181

Format: Online

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school junior, or senior status – or a 2024 high school graduate. 

Credit: Noncredit

Grading: Pass/Fail

Cost: $1,995
Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees. Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Information

Summer College – Online: Explore college life before stepping foot on campus! High school students can enroll in a college-level course, pursue their academic interests, and meet likeminded students in daily virtual events and activities.

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse DatesSynchronous Class Time (Eastern Time)Credit/NoncreditStatus
Summer College – Online3-Week Session II: Monday, July 29 – Thursday, Aug. 15, 2024MTWTh;
3 – 5 p.m.

Course Requirements

Eligibility Requirements

Students must be of rising high school junior, or senior status – or a 2024 high school graduate, who has passed Algebra I and Geometry with understanding, and whose reading comprehension is sufficient to read a textbook or articles used in colleges and high schools. No previous programming experience required. Potentially helpful, but NOT required are exposure to basic statistical software, and basic experience using Word and Excel or PowerPoint software.

Student Expectations

Students are expected to attend every online class session and be engaged during all lectures, guest speakers and team activities. This course will offer the opportunity for academic and experiential learning, and the expectation is that all students come prepared to take full advantage of what is presented. Students are also expected to give each other feedback on in-class virtual presentation, and participate in the final student presentation.

Good behavior in class (no disrespect, no disruptions, no distractions, no extra-curricular computer or cell phone usage, no side conversations, etc.) and adherence to all pertinent conduct standards are expected from all students. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the instructors if they must miss a synchronous class session due to health concerns, religious observances, or other obligations.

Technology Requirements

  • Reliable internet access
  • A space conducive to taking an online class (without distractions)
  • Open source software: All the software that we will use are either open source (free) or free trials and we will install them in class so no need for students to have anything prepared ahead of time. However, it would be helpful to have MS Office apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Zoom: This course will require students to use zoom. Syracuse University provides a Zoom account to all pre-college student
  • Microsoft Teams: This course will require you to use your Syracuse University provided Microsoft and Google Accounts. Both accounts are based on your NetId. Your Google account is and your Microsoft Account is We will use Microsoft Teams for communications, questions, and general asynchronous discussion between students about homework and projects. You will receive an invitation to the join these forums

Typical Day

Each day typically begins with a review of previous covered topics and proceeds with coverage of new topics based on the currently due reading assignment. Then students work in small teams to perform exercises related to research methods in computing that reinforce their understanding of the topic. Occasionally, students will have guest lecture on emerging and hot topics in socially relevant computing. Note, while this is a sample structure, each day may look different and what will be covered could vary day to day.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College virtual activities to meet and connect with other students across the world. Check out our Virtual Campus Experience page for more information!

Faculty Bios

Dr. Farzana Rahman

Dr. Farzana Rahman, an associate professor of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), teaches many core programming and systems courses in the Computer Science major, for example – data structures, object oriented programming, computer systems organization, mobile app development and etc. She  has research interest in computer science education, design and development of technology-enhanced learning environments, and measuring the impact of integrating learning science theories in CS courses. Dr. Rahman has been awarded with the College Educator of the Year award by Technology Alliance of Central New York (TACNY) for her outstanding contribution towards creating equitable and engaging learning experiences for all students in her classes.

Dr. Rahman is the director of Research Exposure on Socially Relevant Computing (RESORC) Program, funded by Google Research, to increase both the exposure and visibility of undergraduate research at Syracuse SU. With more than 200 students participating in RESORC over the past 3 years, she has designed and facilitated multiple virtual workshops to help undergraduate students develop computing identity, research skills, practice teaching strategies, and explore research topics in computing and engineering domain. The project formalizes best practices in research experiences to reach more students, particularly women from historically excluded groups, and prepares them for graduate study.

Dr. Rahman’s research and mentoring initiatives has been funded by many agencies, including the National Science Foundation, Google, NCWIT, Google TensorFlow, and American Association of Colleges and Universities to develop effective pedagogy in undergraduate computer science education. She is the winner of the NCWIT Extension Services (NCWIT ES-UP) award, ABI Systers PIO (Pass-It-On) award, Google ExploreCSR Award, and NCWIT educator award.

In her free time, Dr. Rahman loves to read books on world history and philosophy, write comics with her daughter, and bake!