Index of this document/page (sorry for less-than-glitzy presentation – but we focus more on content and action than “slickery”). We welcome questions from serious inquirers!


·         Advertising flyer

·         Overview of the program

·         Faculty mentors for this program

·         Overview of the curriculum and activities

·         Other information you may find useful


SPECIAL NOTE: Applications are due midnight Monday, Feb 8, 2021.





If you have questions, contact with a subject line of REEU.




Overview of the Program:


This summer experiential research program, hosted at Purdue University, is designed to equip 5 cohorts with a total of 47 participants with data science skills that complement their agricultural discipline knowledge. We will enable them to contribute to the rapidly developing research and practice of digital agriculture in a student-centered, active-learning environment with a combined course/research experience.


The Program Objectives and Student Learning Goals are:

● understand application program interfaces (APIs) well enough to collect data and wrangle data into informed decisions

● perform proper statistical analysis and be able to communicate process and results

● understand the industry opportunities in agri-business data science


The project will address a variety of the AFRI farm bill priority areas with focus on Cyberinformatics and Tools for Food and Agricultural Data Analysis and Data-Driven Applications (FACT). With the intellectual focus on digital agriculture and data analytics, we will introduce algorithmic thinking in basic elements, and will empower those students to integrate different concepts into their own research area and to communicate that effectively.


The culmination of the summer research experience will be a mini-symposium with student presentations (live and virtual) to internal and external stakeholders. This presentation/communication experience will give them firsthand experience documenting their own learning and methods in a way that improves retention and transfer of the knowledge (a metacognition exercise).


This experience involves strong mentoring by faculty in assorted disciplines as well as coordinated activities with other research programs to bring about mutual benefits in culture and intellectual maturity.


In addition to experiences directly led by the faculty mentors, this program will involve activities organized by the Purdue Office for Undergraduate Research (OUR):

·         Facilitation of housing

·         Social activities and research-related seminars

·         Involvement in the annual campus-wide research poster symposium as well as programs offered by the College of Agriculture including:

·         Science communication workshops

·         Social and networking activities including connection to agricultural administrators

·         Participation in agricultural research center tours




Faculty mentors for this program:


Dr. Dennis Buckmaster, Professor of Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Dean’s Fellow for Digital Agriculture


Dr. James Krogmeier, Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Co-founder of the Open Ag Technology & Systems Center


Dr. Mark Daniel Ward, Professor of Statistics, Associate Director of Actuary Science and Lead of the Data Mine Living Learning Community


Dr. Dharmendra Saraswat, Associate Professor of Agricultural & Biological Engineering


Dr. Bruce Erickson, Agronomy Education Distance & Outreach Director


Dr. Jeff Holland, Professor of Entomology




Overview of the curriculum and activities


We can provide access to the entire syllabus for 2019 to individuals with deep interest.  This is a synopsis of the curriculum, projects, and activities. It will vary from year to year, but there will be strong consistency.



·         1.5 weeks regarding Excel for modeling and use of public data sources related to cropping systems

·         1.5 weeks regarding R and big data analytics

·         1.5 weeks related to geographic information systems and their applications

·         1.5 weeks using Python, Matlab, and other tools for data wrangling

·         1 week on specific precision ag topics including decision aids

·         Special campus speakers on bioinformatics, app design, github, writing apps, current state of IoT for agriculture, use of public databases, data management and archiving, artificial intelligence

·         Participation in a series of lunch-time workshops related to communication of science

·         Outside/corporate speakers including Climate Corp, Solinftec


And all of these topics help participants have context and fill a toolbox to enable an independent research project which is presented at the summer research symposium.


Tours & Activities:

·         Envision Center

·         Controlled environment greenhouses

·         Phenotyping facility

·         Research farms

·         Disc golf outings

·         Experience the Tech (driving state-of-the art ag machinery)

·         Unmanned vehicle demonstrations

·         Attend related thesis defense presentations

·         Summer social


Capping it off – topics presented by previous students at the all-university summer research symposium:

·         Are you in a food desert?

·         Optimizing harvest with machine data

·         Supply chain of rice in the U.S.

·         Understanding topography as a factor in yield variation

·         An invasive species, the Gypsy moth

·         Economic and informational barriers to eating healthy

·         Using Python to Predict Field Outcomes




Other information you may find useful:


Information about Purdue University, Indiana’s Land Grant Institution –  over 40,000 students in over 200 majors with 2000+ undergraduate research projects


Purdue Agriculture: 3 World Food Prize Laureates, #8 Ag program in the world, #1 Agricultural & Biological Engineering Department in the US


Purdue Engineering: #9 Engineering program in the US


Visiting Purdue


Visiting the area: Two Great Cities, One Great University