This summer I was accepted for summer internship at the Nile University under the supervision of Dr. Moustafa Amin. The internship is a research internship at the WINC Research Center (Wireless Intelligent Networks Center) and its main requirements were good knowledge in both C/C++ programming and networking programming.
The kick off meeting was 2 weeks ahead of the internship. Dr. Moustafa gave us a general idea of what became later DNIS (Dynamic Network Interfaces Scheduler). He also gave us A LOT to read, which became the habit later on.
We started the journey of our research project which had 2 phases, the first was systems research and the second is the scheduling algorithm research. (I'll have later on a post on the details of the project).
By the end of the first phase we had some mock algorithms to test the whole idea, which is always the case with research, to see if the idea would really have positive results. When we tested the mock algorithms we got good results that encouraged us to go forward with the idea. By then the Dr. decided to submit the idea as a poster and a demo to a conference called MobiCom.
Now it's time for some definitions (According to Wikipedia):
MobiCom(International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking) is known to be the best conference on Networking and the fifth most influential conference in computer science.
A poster session is the juried presentation of research information by representatives of several research teams at a congress or conference with an academic or professional focus. These are particularly prominent at scientific conferences such as medical congresses.
A scientific demonstration is a scientific experiment carried out for the purposes of demonstrating scientific principles, rather than for hypothesis testing or knowledge gathering (although they may originally have been carried out for these purposes).
Our work A.K.A. DNIS was accepted as both a demo and a poster session in MobiCom 2009.
Since I have joined Computer and Systems Engineering Department (CSED) I have been interested in research. I have been faced with different types of support but after 3 years of trying I have came to believe that there is something called undergraduate research and it's a well established concept (unlike what I have heard over the past 3 years).
I'd like to conclude with this advice: You don't have to join a research center to do undergraduate research, just look for a Dr. that shares your interests, work hard, and don't expect it to come easy. There is undergraduate research in Egypt that was able to publish stuff in the biggest conferences in the world.