Departmental Assistants and Tutors, Internships, and Research
Dr. Daniel Swets is
associate director for the NASA
Space Grant program in South Dakota, and chair of the Steering
Committee for the South Dakota NASA EPSCoR program. One of the functions
of these programs is to provide funding to support Augustana College
students who conduct research of interest to NASA. Students engage
in well-defined research projects with explicit outcomes that can
be accomplished in approximately one year, but that are very often
renewed for subsequent years. Students work nominally half time
for the year (full-time during the summer and 10 hours weekly during
the academic year). Past computer science-related projects have
been the development of a suite of software for processing satellite
images; the construction of a supercomputer through parallel cluster
computing; a study for recycling computers; and the initiation of
a comparative study between heritage and future NASA satellite sensors.
Computer science students typically work in close collaboration
with their faculty mentor at Augustana and with world-class scientists
employed at the USGS EROS Data
Center, situated near Sioux Falls.
Computer science and management information systems students, typically
in their sophomore and junior years, have the opportunity to work
as lab assistants and tutors. While there is a modest stipend associated
with these positions, the chance to learn teaching skills is especially
In their junior and senior years, students have the opportunity
to intern in area businesses which include the EROS Data Center,
Citibank, Lodgenet Entertainment, and UPS. In fact, many of our
students select from several internship offers.
While an internship gives students valuable work experience, it
earns college credits just as regular courses do. In many cases,
businesses and companies offer full-time positions to students who
have interned for them after the students' graduation.
Students in computer science have the opportunity to conduct research
under the supervision of a staff member. This experience is especially
valuable for students who want to go on to graduate school.