Research Program Creates Cross-Cultural Exchange

The Global Education, Academics, and Research Skills (GEARS) program highlights the impact of NC State’s international partnerships on campus success. 

The GEARS program, managed by the Global Training Initiative, gives academically-gifted undergraduate students at our partner universities the opportunity to come to Raleigh and experience life as an NC State student. GEARS students participate in workshops and study projects, hang out with NC State students, go on cultural excursions, and explore research with a paired faculty member.

Aydin Aysu, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, hosted a GEARS student last summer and shared his experience:

Why did you decide to participate in the GEARS program?

The program selects top international students, and it gives them an opportunity to experience the amazing world of research. My primary goal is to recruit those top students to our Ph.D. program.

What was the focus of the research you and your GEARS student collaborated on?

My research is broadly on cybersecurity with an emphasis on hardware-oriented security. The student worked and published a first-authored peer-reviewed paper, “Efficacy of Satisfiability-Based Attacks in the Presence of Circuit Reverse-Engineering Errors,” which has been accepted to be presented at the IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS).

How do you think this experience will help students with their future academic or career goals?

The student is currently seeking a Ph.D. position in hardware security. Having this first-authored paper at a major circuit design conference will definitely help him achieve his goal.

Will you be hosting GEARS students again?

Most definitely!

Tim Rose, GEARS Program Manager with the Global Training Initiative, sees multiple benefits of the program:

“GEARs is high-impact for the students participating in the program as well as for the host professors and their graduate students working with the students. From an NC State perspective, the program helps to highlight NC State’s vibrant research opportunities, recruit top-level graduate students, foster links with other international researchers and universities, publish articles with international citations, provide graduate students with supervisory and project management experience and globalize our campus through social and academic interactions with our international guests. We have seen an increased interest from partner universities and from NC State professors in the GEARs program and hope to increase the number of participants in both the Summer and Spring Semester programs. I definitely would encourage professors thinking about signing up as hosts to join the program.”    

The Summer 2020 GEARS program application is open, and admission decisions will be made between April 1-May 15. Learn more about the GEARS program as a student applicant.

Learn more about hosting GEARS students and participating as a faculty mentor.