Program aims to drive future of Internet forward with undergrad grants
By Jorge Valero
Mar. 31, 2016 12:17 am
The Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science will award $15,000 to undergraduate students who propose research that can contribute to the future of the Internet, school officials announced Tuesday.
The Internet Research Incubator program will provide research grants to 12 undergraduate students during the 2016-2017 academic year, said Bradley Fidler, a program developer and post-doctoral researcher in computer science. Entrepreneur and alumnus Venky Harinarayan will fund the project for the next two years.
Leonard Kleinrock, a distinguished professor of computer science who made central contributions to the Arpanet and Internet, said he launched the project to broaden the scope of Internet research and involve more researchers and students in other academic fields.
“The Internet is often seen as the field for engineers, but we believe researchers from all academic fields can contribute meaningfully to Internet research,” he said.
For example, English students can work on the impact of database technology on literature and anthropology students can use social networks to study human interactions, Fidler said. He added projects can include papers, presentations or a new invention.
Kleinrock said undergraduate students often have great research ideas but have little to no access to the mentors, money, space and time necessary to pursue those ideas. He added he felt it was important to give students the ability to conduct research without having to support themselves with another job.
Fidler said he will work with student researchers to obtain the resources they need, such as lab equipment and work space.
Professors from UCLA and other universities, as well as select business leaders from California, will evaluate students’ proposals and pair them with mentors who can help them conduct their research. Students will be able to present their findings at an event in October 2017.
The application, which is available online, will close on May 4, and recipients will be notified by June 10, Kleinrock said. Students from all majors are welcome to apply.