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Department of Computer ScienceUndergraduate Research

Undergraduate research is the best way to help your career.


The Department of Computer Science, as well as Old Dominion University as a whole, has faculty engaged in research both within the field of computer science and beyond. For undergraduate students interested in research the process may seem overwhelming, so here are some FAQ's and resources to assist in getting started.

What is undergraduate research?

Students who are engaged in undergraduate research are mentored by faculty in a small-group environment to tackle specific tasks. Different mechanisms are available - paid undergraduate research assistants, unpaid research work that earns course credits, and research scholarships. The identification of a research opportunity needs communication with faculty who conduct research, in order to establish mutual interest.

Why should I do research?

Undergraduate research is an important element of excellence in education. Research by definition is "careful study and investigation for the purpose of discovering and explaining new knowledge" according to Merriam-Webster. Students are challenged with real-world problems, the solutions of which often need dedicated effort beyond the scope of a regular course. Students who have gone through undergraduate research generally have extremely positive feedback in the development of critical thinking skills, career planning, and professional communication and collaboration skills.

How should I identify research opportunities?

Identifying research opportunities involves communication with faculty who conduct research. The best way to start is to visit the research page of all faculty in the department to learn the overall interest of faculty. Titles of their publications often give you an overall scope of the research. There are undergraduate research activities hosted at CS department and at the university each year. Such events provide opportunities to learn many research topics and to meet other students who have done research.


  • Two students, Angelos Angelopoulos and Bradley Dash, traveled to Virginia Tech to present posters. They were supported by the Department of Computer Science and College of Sciences to attend the Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Research Conference (MAURC), March 23-24, 2019. See details about their posters in the Presentations tab.
  • Research and Opportunities Workshop: Computation in Biomedical Applications was hosted by the Department of Computer Science and M-MARC program on March 19, 2019. Dr. Ranjan, Dr. He, and Master student Tim Baker gave talks about interdisciplinary research.
  • Two students, Angelos Angelopoulos and Peter Scheible, presented at the ODU Undergraduate Symposium, February 2, 2019. Angelos Angelopoulos presented his work in two different projects. See details about his works in the Presentations tab.

Undergraduate authors are in bold.

  1. Islam, T., Poteat, M., and He, J. "Quantification of Twist from the Central Lines of β-strands" Journal of Computational Biology, 25(1), 114-20, 2018.
  2. Poteat, M., He, J. "Modeling Beta-sheets using Iterative Bezier Surface Fitting on Cryo-EM Density maps" Molecular Based Mathematical Biology, 5, 31-9, 2017.
  3. Zeil, S., Kovacs, J., Wriggers, W., He, J. "A Method to Compare an Atomic Model and Its Cryo-EM Image at the Central Axis of a Helix" Journal of Computational Biology, 24(1), 52-67, 2017.
  4. Islam, T., Poteat, M., and He, J. "Analysis of β-strand Twist from the 3-dimensional Image of a Protein", Proceedings of the 8th ACM International Conference on Bioinformatics, computational Biology, and Health Informatics (ACM-BCB 17), 650-54, Boston, August 20-23, 2017.
  5. Biswas, A., Ranjan, D., Zubair, M., Zeil, S., He, J. "An Effective Computational Method Incorporating Multiple Secondary Structure Predictions in Topology Determination for Cryo-EM Images", IEEE Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, DOI 10.1109/TCBB.2016.2543721, 2016.
  6. Haslam, D., Zubair, M., Ranjan, D., He, J. "Challenges in Matching Secondary Structures in Cryo-EM - an Exploration" IEEE International Conference of Bioinformatics and Biomedicine (BIBM) Workshops, Shenzhen, China, 1719-24, December 15-18, 2016.
  7. He, J., Zeil, S., Hallak, H., McKaig, K., Kovacs, J., Wriggers, W. "Comparison of an Atomic Model and the Cryo-EM Image at the Central Axis of a Helix", Proceeding of the IEEE International Conference of Bioinformatics and Biomedicine (BIBM), 1253-9, Washington, D. C., Nov. 9-12, 2015.

Undergraduate students who conducted research work are in bold.

  • Angelopoulos, A., Baker, T., He, J. "Visualization of Molecular Structures with Augmented Reality Goggles for STEM Education", Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Research Conference (MAURC), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, March 23-24,2019.
  • Dash, B., Wu, J. "Toward improving a neural network citation parser with large scale synthesized bibliography data", Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Research Conference (MAURC), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, March 23-24,2019.
  • Angelopoulos, A., Chrisochoides, N., "Deep Learning Real-Time Physics-based Non-Rigid Registration for Accurate Geometry Representation of Brain in Modeling Deformation During Glioma Resection", Undergraduate Research Symposium, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, February, 2, 2019.
  • Angelopoulos, A., Baker, T., He, J. "Visualization of Molecular Structures with Augmented Reality Goggles for STEM Education", Old Dominion University Undergraduate Research Symposium, Norfolk, February 2, 2019.
  • Scheible, P., He, J. "Separation of Sub-Image Entities in Cryo-Electron Microscopy Density Maps by Clustering" Old Dominion University Undergraduate Research Symposium, Norfolk, February 2, 2019.
  • Poteat, M., He, J. "Improving Detection of Secondary Structures within Medium Resolution Cryo-EM Density Maps" Old Dominion University Undergraduate Research Symposium, Norfolk, March 2, 2018.
  • Scheible, P., Sazzed, S., He, J. "Pattern Detection in Three-Dimensional Cryo-EM Images of Filament Bundles" Old Dominion University Undergraduate Research Symposium, Norfolk, March 2, 2018.
  • Hasty, B., He, J. "Comparison of Multiple Methods for Quantifying β-Strand Twist in a Protein Structure" Old Dominion University Undergraduate Research Symposium, Norfolk, March 2, 2018.
  • Zeil, S., Haslam, D., Wriggers, W., Kovacs, J., He, J. "Comparing an Atomic Model or Structure to a Corresponding Cryo-EM Image at the Central Axis of a Helix" Old Dominion University Undergraduate Research Symposium, Norfolk, February 18, 2017.
  • Poteat, M., He, J. "Modelling Beta-sheets using Iterative Bézier Surface Fitting on Cryo-EM Density Maps", Old Dominion University Undergraduate Research Symposium, Norfolk, February 18, 2017.
  • Haslam, D., Zubair, M., Ranjan, D., He, J. "Challenges in Matching Secondary Structures in Cryo-EM - An Exploration", Old Dominion University Undergraduate Research Symposium, Norfolk, February 18, 2017.
  • Spillers, C., Wriggers, W., He, J. "Development of a Software Tool for Protein Secondary Structure Detection from Electron Density Maps from Cryo-Electron Microscopy", Old Dominion University Undergraduate Research Symposium, Norfolk, February 18, 2017.
  • Rattz, J., Zubair, M, Ranjan, D., Terzic, B. "Improving the Efficiency of Compton Scattering Calculations", Old Dominion University Undergraduate Research Symposium, Norfolk, February 18, 2017.

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