Despite COVID-19, USC SHINE will still run June 15 – July 31, because university research continues despite all members of a professor’s research team being remote. SHINE will begin remotely in June and will most likely continue remotely through the entire seven weeks, as long as USC requires.  

We think SHINE remote will work. USC Viterbi researchers are shifting their work to remote, and SHINE students will be part of this historical process. SHINE prides itself in being real research and hands-on; COVID offer us all a real research challenge that USC Viterbi is ready to address.

For all seven weeks, whether on campus or remote, each SHINE student will have a paid, certified Ph.D. student mentor training the student in the professor’s engineering research goals, methods, and outcomes. SHINE ends on June 31 with our traditional poster session. In addition to the individual mentoring for each SHINE student, SHINE subgroups have been created so all the students researching robotics, for instance, can learn about research in other professors’ groups and help each other learn. Below, see the graphic that shows all the subgroups. Every Friday, Dr. Mills and others provide the entire cohort with research-related activities, lectures, and social opportunities.

As soon as it is safe for high school students to get together on campus, we will do so, meet each other face to face, visit labs, and celebrate. First USC must decide when researchers can return to campus, then each SHINE professor determines when it is safe for less experienced SHINE students to come into their labs and offices. We will keep you informed. 

SHINE students will be introduced to computational research, that is, using computer models, simulations, virtual reality, data visualization software, artificial intelligence and machine learning. These cutting-edge computational techniques are simply not available in high schools, so you will be exposed to absolute state-of-the-art methods. Rather than watching the Ph.D. students run experiments, you might spend time analyzing data that has already been collected from experiments – this will give you new skills in advanced software and statistics. You may be weighing out chemicals virtually in a simulated experiment, such as this Some research groups will create projects to mail you through the postal service. And I will rely on each of you to go out of your way to bond with the other students in the cohort, because they are the foundation of your professional network, and many will become your friends. 

This is a challenging time. I thank you for being open to continuing with SHINE during COVID. This will certainly be a summer to remember, so let’s make it a good one. 

Click here to view slides from Dr. Mills’ Zoom talk.

 The new SHINE fee will be $5,000. Payment via credit card can be made here.