cryingsun wrote:I think there are pros and cons for both options. When helping a prof, he is the one leading the project and likely writing the paper, so it's more likely to get a paper out with ur name on it. When u have your own project, a professor with many students may pay less attention to your project, and since u r on your own, it's less likely to get a paper out. However if you do get a paper published, it will be a first author paper and is definitely better than second- or third- author.
So in my opinion it depends on how good you are and how busy your prof. is.
grae313 wrote:Most undergrads participate in a project funded and directed by a professor. This is the norm. Doing independent research is what you spend 6 years in a PhD program training to do...
signminus wrote:Most undergrads don't have enough knowledge in a specific research area to come up with a feasible independent research project and actually carry it out.
InquilineKea wrote:Hm though, don't people in REUs do their own projects? They write papers for their own projects (even if they aren't publishable for a journal). They're under massive guidance from a professor, but they still investigate the project with some independence, rather than do what their profs tell them to do (even if the ideas aren't their own).
This is also the case for a lot of the high school research people do in programs like HSHSP and RSI.
What I'm doing, on the other hand, is simply helping a professor - with programming and plotting. But I don't end up writing a paper (even an unpublishable one) or anything.
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