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Student Spotlight: Ginger Johnson

by Marla Lobley on 2019-11-11T08:40:00-06:00 in Computer Science, Mathematics | Comments

Main take-away

REU's are an excellent opportunity for undergraduates to gain real-world research experience. 

See description below


Student Spotlight: Ginger Johnson, Mathematics & English
Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

Ginger participated in an REU at Oklahoma State University, resulting in a poster presentation at the OK-WISE conference in Tulsa. 

Why apply for an REU?

  • REU's help undergraduate students gain experience with graduate level research. You can also get paid for your work!

  • Ginger says, "I learned that I want to have a career in doing research and that I can accomplish more than I thought when I work hard, such as learning an entirely new language in just a few weeks."

  • To search for an REU, visit the National Science Foundation website at (opens a new tab) or the American Mathematical Society website at (opens a new tab)

Application process

  • Find REU opportunities and their specific requirements

  • Gather/write documents such as a personal statement, letters of reference, resume, and transcript

  • Apply to any REU that interests you- Ginger applied to 7!

  • Start early- Ginger applied in December and heard back in May

Ginger's REU Work

  • The goal of Ginger's project was to make Network Embedding systems faster without losing accuracy. Network Embedding is a way to model large amounts of real-world data so it can be studied.

  • Ginger contributed to the project by writing an implementation in Python to test an algorithm created by her mentor. 

  • She tested for accuracy and speed.

  • The algorithm made processing over 50% faster!

  • Ginger says, "I was surprised by how much work I was doing independently. I had to learn Python and would work on my own writing an implementation and running tests."

  • Ginger's mentor was Esra Akbas, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Oklahoma State University

Learn more!

  • Talk to your librarian to learn more about applying for an REU!

  • Visit (opens a new tab)


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