Welcome to UB CSE Experiential Learning and Research (EL/R)


What is EL/R?

So, you got an email about the new EL/R program, and you have questions - great! This document will attempt to answer some of the most common questions - but you can still mail the coordinator (ahunt@buffalo.edu) with anything that it does not cover.


The EL/R track is designed to let you join a real project with real goals; you will be developing software and systems for faculty members who need the outcome of your work to further their own research. In the process, you will acquire valuable technical and teamwork skills, troubleshooting ability, and experience working on something that makes a difference to the department and the field. There are three classes in the EL/R sequence, allowing you to join in 302, and then stay on the projet for up to three semesters, subsequently enrolling in 303 and 402 on that same project. The initial course (302) will have a limited lecture component (roughly once a week), and there will be team meetings and shared work time during recitations and the scheduled class periods when there are not lectures. You should expect a significant time commitment (~10 hours a week) for the class.

Experience and Training

You are all coming to the projects with different backgrounds, and we don’t expect you to know all of the technology you will need to be an effective project member on day one. There will be the opportunity for you to acquire the relevant skills, but this will be done (like the project) in a way that is more closely aligned to industry - resources will be provided for you to pick up these skills, and there will be a place to ask questions, but this is primarily self driven learning; there won’t be lectures specifically on technology. You will instead have a problem to solve, and be able to apply the learning as you acquire it.


The projects are team projects; you will be working along with 3 or 4 other students to help achieve the project goals. There will be weekly objectives assigned to you (whether they be training and learning related or development related) and weekly meetings where you can demonstrate your progress. There will also be four checkpoints in the semester where larger goals will be assessed and progress measured. The format will be similar to the way that 442 or 370 are run for the group projects.


These are graded classes. Since the work you will be doing is real, the grading is focused on your participation, progress, and adherence to the development lifecycle. There will also be peer reviews that impact your overall scores. There is some level of subjectivity to this process, and the best way to get an A is to show up every meeting, work hard, and achieve your assigned objectives in such a way that it solves the problem the project is trying to solve. If you are uncomfortable with this type of assessment, this may not be the opportunity for you.

How do I enroll?

You will need to submit a force registration request to be considered for the program. In this request, you should specify what your first, second, and third choices of project are from the list of projects available in the upcoming semester (see project lists in the left nav).