Dr. Jugal Kalita

College of Engineering and Applied Science

REU Site: Advances in Natural Language Processing

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) has had an REU (Research Experiece for Undergraduates) program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the past many years. The past three programs lasted nine years, from 2009-2011, 2014-2016, 2017-2019, and 2021-2023. The current program is starting from the summer of 2024. Here is a link to the abstract of the NSF Award.

UCCS is a predominantly undergraduate institution with a number of graduate programs. As of Fall 2023, UCCS enrolled 11,025 students of which 8,867 were undergraduates. The Computer Science Department has BS, BA and BI (Bachelor of Innovation) programs in Computer Science, Game Design and Development, and Cybersecurity; Master’s programs in Computer Science, Software Engineering, and Cybersecurity; and PhD programs in Computer Science and Cybersecurity. The Department has twenty-six full-time faculty members and 800 students, and is growing.

Colorado Springs is a beautiful city, only miles from the famed Pikes Peak sitting atop the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. There are many things to do outdoors as well as it has a decent city life. It’s a city with 500,000 people in the city and 750,000 people in the metropolitan area. Denver is about 50 miles straight up north.

The objective of the REU site is to expose bright and motivated undergraduates who want to pursue advanced careers in Computer Science related fields to work on hands-on research projects in recent advances in Natural Language Processing or Computational Linguistics. Students will work with two professors who specialize in several research areas, but each with a great deal of common interest in Natural Language Processing.

The program is held over ten weeks, starting late May/early June through the first week of August. The students need to attend the entire program in person, from beginning to end. The exact dates for the 2024 program will be finalized soon and posted here soon; it’s will start after Memorial Day and finish by the first or second week of August.


  • GPA of 3.20 or above. Although 3.20 is the minimum GPA we require, most applicants in the past have GPA over 3.5, quite a few in the 3.9-4.0 range.
  • Rising seniors preferred, although strong rising juniors will be considered; rising sophomores may be considered on a rare basis.
  • Self-motivated.
  • Major in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Mathematics or a related fields.
  • Strong mathematical skills.
  • Strong programming skills in one or more of Java, C, C++, C#, Python and ability to quickly learn languages and tools.
  • Must be citizen or permanent resident of the US.
  • Preference to students in institutions without substantial research facilities, but others are very welcome to apply.
  • Women and under-represented minority (African-American, Hispanic, American-Indian) applicants are very welcome to apply.
  • Students from smaller schools such as community colleges, 4-year colleges, minority serving college are encouraged to apply.
  • You must intend to go to graduate school. The REU program prepares students for graduate school and careers in research.
  • We want to be able to write papers based on your work. Quite frequently, the work a student does by the end of the summer is not enough to write a paper. We are looking for students who are serious about writing papers. This means that you are willing to put in some time during the Fall term or during the winter break (at your home institution or at home) tying up the loose ends so that we can submit papers.

Important Dates

The deadline for submitting a completed application is nominally February 28, 2024. However, our paperwork for renewal of the REU site were approved late, and hence, we will accept late applications.


$700/week during the summer for full-time research.

Interns are expected to be full-time. Interns are expected to put in at least 8 hours of work per day. Research should be your focus during the summer. Interns are expected to focus on doing well on their projects, whatever it takes.

Additional Benefits

We will pay each student an amount of $150/week for food. Food Service on campus during the summer is limited, but there are many eating establishments within 15 minutes of walking. If you are from out of town, we will house you in the dorms. Dorms on campus have excellent views of the Rocky Mountains. You will most likely be housed in the Alpine Village. We will provide the basics: linens, some pots and pans and utensils. We will make arrangements for your travel, although the amount may be limited. Dorm students able to park cars for free in a specific lot.

Project Ideas

We have many interesting projects in mind in natural language processing. Once you have been selected for a position, we will be in touch with you so that you have a project topic before you arrive. Each students will work on an individual project although there will be other projects with similar topics. Individual work will be emphasized although collaboration will be encouraged wherever possible. For more details on project ideas, look at recent publications of Professors Kalita and Moin in their websites or Google Scholar pages.

Faculty Web Pages

Please look at the Web sites of Professors Kalita and Moin if you would like to know more about the professors involved in this REU program. You can look up their Google Scholar pages also: Kalita, and Moin.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter indicating one or more preferred research areas and professors, an (un)official transcript, current vita containing pertinent course work, related experience, and professional and academic goals, a phone number for interview to Jugal Kalita. Please make a single PDF file containing all the documents before attaching it to your email. (We are going to set up an ETAP site for common applications soon; till then, please apply by email as requested above.)

Please request two individuals who know you as professor or supervisor to send letters of reference (which can be an email) to [email protected].

Since successful research involves copious writing, please include at least one technical paper that you have written. This can be paper for a class.

Prior REU Years

Here are links to papers written by REU students in several prior summers: REU 2010, REU 2011; REU 2014, REU 2015, REU 2016; REU 2017, REU 2018, REU 2019; REU 2021, REU 2022, REU 2023.