TheBeast wrote:I was in a similar boat a few years ago. I went about contacting profs at a local university, via e-mail, completely out of the blue inquiring if they had research opportunities for someone with a bachelor's degree looking to get some experience before applying to grad school. Having had some money saved up, I said that I would work for free. At the time, my interests were varied, so I contacted around 12 profs in a variety of different fields that I was interested in. ...
I think this is incredibly good advice.
I can only add one thing. When you talk to these 12 professors, if they're not available for assistance, ask them if there's someone else you should be talking to, or other advice they can give you. (Which might be, for example, telling you that you should sign up as an "unmatriculated" grad student, or consider the math department, or get practice writing in C++, or whatever other advice they may have.) It's possible that they know someone, and professors love to give advice. This will extend your network vastly and might provide you with some useful advice.
Another thing you might consider doing is simply telling a professor that you're planning on working on something that's related to what they're doing and you'd like some advice on it. In your first email you might outline your plan to attack the problem. (This is what I'm doing and it seems to be going well.)