Frequently Asked Questions


What are the benefits to me?

  • Come study with nationally recognized faculty.
  • Join other selected students from all over the country who share your interest in cybersecurity.
  • Explore and play in our hands-on, state-of-the-art technical labs.
  • Gain experience that will add value to your future applications and resume.
  • Receive a total stipend of $4,320, in addition to paid travel expenses, paid housing and meals.
  • Optional opportunities to visit South Dakota places of interest.

What will be required of me?

Once you have accepted an offer from this REU program, you are obligated to complete the summer program and meet the program requirements. The main requirements are as follows.

  • Attend all scheduled academic events, such as lectures, seminars, workshops, field trips, weekly meetings, and exit interview. During the weekly meetings, you will need to talk about your progress on your project.
  • Work with an academic mentor and meet their expectations.
  • Make two presentations. One is for defining your research project in the second week; the other is for the research results at the end of the summer program.
  • Write one paper. This paper describes your research work in a publishable format, like a conference paper or journal article.
  • After the summer program, keep updating your advisor or Dr. Dianxiang Xu on professional growth.

How will I spend my time?

In addition to attending the scheduled events, you will work independently on your research project in a laboratory or meet with your mentor. You are expected to work 40 hours per week.

Will there be other activities beyond work?

Yes, there will be field trips to Symantec in Minneapolis and USGS/EROS in Sioux Falls and social events (e.g., a trip to Mount Rushmore during a weekend). You will also have a paid community center pass to access the gymnasium facility.

How can I get a research topic?

This program provides several ways to help you to develop a research project. Before you apply for the summer program, you should get to know about our faculty mentors and sample research projects (refer to Faculty Mentors and Research Areas). Although your research project is not limited to these areas, your application must clearly indicate the research areas of your interest so that you will have an experienced mentor in your area to work with. After you have accepted the offer from this program and before the summer program starts, you should contact your mentor, e.g., asking for a reading list. During the first week of the summer program, you will attend seminars and workshops on introductions to the research areas and on how to conduct research. During the first two weeks, you will also work closely with your mentor to develop your research plan.

Where will I live?

All REU participants will live in one of DSU's dormitories. Meals will be provided by DSU's dining services. The program will pay for these expenses.

How will I get paid?

You will be paid every month through DSU's employment system. For the summer program in 2012, you will receive a total stipend of $4,320.

My question is not listed. Whom should I contact?

Dianxiang Xu
National Center for the Protection of the Financial Infrastructure
Dakota State University
820 N Washington Ave
Madison, SD 57042

Last Updated: 3/15/12