Kennesaw State to offer undergraduate research experience in brainwave technology

KENNESAW, Ga. | Apr 11, 2023

For some students, the idea of seeing their professor use only their thoughts to move through a slide presentation might seem like science fiction. But students across the country will get the opportunity to study that technology in depth at Kennesaw State University over the next three summers. 

Selena He and Shirley Tian from the College of Computing and Software Engineering (CCSE) recently received a $324,000 grant to offer a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), a summer program that will allow students to dig deep into data discovery using innovative technology. 

Selena He and Shirley Tian
Selena He and Shirley Tian

“We have the confidence that by the end of each summer REU, the students will have implemented a prototype using brain-computer interfaces,” said Tian. “They will be able to use their thoughts to move technology in academia settings. It’s very exciting.”

The REU centers around noninvasive deep brain computer interfaces, and students will learn to use brain waves to manipulate technology. Students will get hands-on experience in how to use their thoughts to put content on a white board, for example, or to advance a slide being presented to a classroom. 

The two professors plan to hold a 10-week research program for the next three summers in which eight undergraduate students each session will assist in research and testing of the technology. The students will be paired with graduate students and mentors and will be expected to submit their final research papers to relevant conferences and journals. 

The program is open to students nationwide.

“We hope this program will attract women and students from other underrepresented groups in the STEM fields and provide them with research and hands-on learning opportunities that we hope will encourage them to pursue a career in scientific disciplines,” said Tian.

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– Amanda Cook
Photos by Matt Yung

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit