Frequently Asked Questions

Here we present you with a collection of questions that our online visitors commonly ask. We will keep updating this collection with more information as it becomes available or necessary. Thus, before you contact us via email with your questions, we kindly ask you to first browse our FAQ items below, which are categorized into two main groups: general, which encompasses all questions of general nature about us and website-specific.



[general]   [website


General FAQs


What do the NSF, CISE, REU and PI acronyms stand for?

NSF ( stands for National Science Foundation. Accoridng to its website, ...the National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…". More information on NSF can be found here. CISE stands for Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering and is an administartive subdivision of NSF. More information about CISE can be found here. On the other hand, REU stands for Research Experiences for Undergraduates and is the name of  an NSF-wide program, which is also offered by CISE. See further below for more about the REU program. Finally, PI stands for Principal Investigator; a PI is a typically a faculty that is repsonsible for an REU Site. 


Who are we and what is this site about?

We are the community of principal investigators responsible for REU Sites that have been funded through NSF's CISE directorate. Part of our community are also NSF officers associated to the REU Program, as well as other people affiliated to individual REU Sites, such as site coordinators and educational specialists. is our official website and online outlet, where we provide communication tools to support interactions between our members and an online repository of useful, collective knowledge and experience regarding REU Sites.


What is the REU Program about?

According to NSF, "...the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. REU projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program...". Projects under the REU (Site) Porgram are typically referred to as REU Sites and implement single- or  multi-disciplinary research activities with a common, coherent intellectual focus through a summer experience that involves undergraduate students. More on the REU Program can be found here.


What can I find on this site?

On our News page you will find a list of the most recent announcements related to our community. Next, our Calendar page is based on Google's calendar features and contains major community-related, as well as individual REU Site-related events.  Under our Meetings page we keep all pertinent information about past and upcoming annual meetings. Furthermore, we host a list of Forums, where our members can interact and can take part in public discussions. Additionally, our website's Wiki constitutes the repository of our collective knowledge and experience. Here we share with the world among other information the lessons we have learned in the past, our best practices, resources we have found to be valuable in running our REU sites and any other kind of crystallized knowledge our Working Groups managed to gather and organize.


Who developed this website? was developed over the periods of February-April and August-October 2008 by Rong Li and Todd Alexander, two undergraduate students in the Electrical & Computer Engineering Dept. at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida. The team was supervised by Georgios C. Anagnostopoulos, associate professor in the same department.


Who sponsors this website?

The development and maintenance of this website has been supported by National Science Foundation through an REU supplement associated to Grant No. 0647018. Additionally, Florida Institute of Technology ( has provided the necessary infrastructure to host on one of its servers. Please note that any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on any web page of are those of the corresponding authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of our sponsors. Furthermore, our sponsors should not be held accountable for the content of


Who can I contact if I have questions?

If you have questions regarding NSF, CISE and/or the REU Program itself, please contact the relevant NSF officers directly by sending an email to or by calling (703)292-8950. If you would like to ask our online community REU-related questions, please use the appropriate Forum. Otherwise, if you have any questions or you need assistance specifically related to this website, please contact its administrators by using the link located on every web page footer.



[general]   [website]


Website-specific FAQs


How can I advertise announcements on the News page?

First, please submit your announcement as a message to the General Discussion forum. Once it is approved by the moderator(s) of the forum and posted, please contact the Administrators with a brief message and request them to replicate your message as a news item.


How can I add an event to the community calendar related to my REU Site?

Same thing as in the previous case; please submit your event as a message to the General Discussion forum and, once approved and posted, please contact the Administrators and request the event to be entered into the community calendar.


How do I post messages (create new topics or reply) on the forums?

First, you need to register with our site; the registration process is quick and easy. Once you have successfully registered, you will be able to submit messages for posting in the forums. Keep in mind, though, that, when trying to post something to moderated forums, your message will be posted only after a moderator of the particular forum has approved it. Moreover, once your message has been reviewed and accepted or rejected by one of the moderators, you will receive an appropriate email notification.


I would like to become a moderator of the XYZ forum. What do I do?

Contact one of the moderators of the XYZ forum and request to become a moderator too.


I am a Working Group lead and I need a private forum for my group to interact. How do I get one setup?

Please contact the Administrators and they will set up a private forum for your group. Only persons directly authorized by your group will be able to see the forum and post to it.


I would like to contribute to the Wiki. What do I do?

The content of our Wiki is community-driven and, therefore, every member of our community that has registered with our site is welcome to contribute their knowledge and experience. Nevertheless, before actually editing or adding content, please make sure to visit the relevant disccusion pages in the Wiki and confirm with the members that have already worked on the material you intent to augment or change.



[general]   [website]