Purdue Agriculture hosts a summer Research and Extension Experiential Learning for Undergraduates (REEU) program designed to equip participants with data science skills that complement their agricultural discipline knowledge.


Dennis Buckmaster
Dean's Fellow for Digital Agriculture
Professor of Agricultural & Biological Engineering

Taking place each summer through 2024, this USDA/NIFA funded summer program, Research and Extension Experiential Learning for Undergraduates (REEU), hosted at Purdue University, is designed to equip participants with data science skills that complement their agricultural discipline knowledge. We will enable them to contribute to the rapidly developing research and practice of digital agriculture in a student-centered, active-learning environment with a combined course/research experience.

Program Objectives and Student Learning Goals:
  • understand application program interfaces (APIs) well enough to collect data and wrangle data into informed decisions
  • perform proper statistical analysis and be able to communicate process and results
  • understand the industry opportunities in agri-business data science

The project will address a variety of the AFRI farm bill priority areas with focus on Cyberinformatics and Tools for Food and Agricultural Data Analysis and Data-Driven Applications (FACT). With the intellectual focus on digital agriculture and data analytics, we will introduce algorithmic thinking in basic elements and will empower those students to integrate different concepts into their own research area and to communicate that effectively.

The culmination of the summer research experience will be a mini-symposium with student presentations (live and virtual) to internal and external stakeholders. This presentation experience will give them firsthand experience documenting their own learning and methods in a way that improves retention and transfer of the knowledge (a metacognition exercise).

This experience involves strong mentoring by faculty in assorted disciplines as well as coordinated activities with other research programs to bring about mutual benefits in culture and intellectual maturity.

Faculty Mentors in this Program:

Dr. Dennis Buckmaster, Professor of Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Dean’s Fellow for Digital Agriculture

Dr. James Krogmeier, Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Co-founder of the Open Ag Technology & Systems Center

Dr. Mark Daniel Ward, Professor of Statistics, Associate Director of Actuarial Science and Lead of the Data Mine Living Learning Community

Dr. Dharmendra Saraswat, Associate Professor of Agricultural & Biological Engineering

Overview of the Curriculum and Activities:

We can provide access to the entire syllabus for 2020 to individuals with deep interest.  This is a synopsis of the curriculum, projects and activities. It will vary from year to year, but there will be strong consistency.


  • 1.5 weeks regarding Excel for modeling and use of public data sources related to cropping systems
  • 1.5 weeks regarding R and big data analytics
  • 1.5 weeks related to geographic information systems and their applications
  • 1.5 weeks using Python, Matlab, and other tools for data wrangling
  • 1 week on specific precision ag topics including decision aids
  • Special campus speakers on bioinformatics, app design, github, writing apps, current state of IoT for agriculture, use of public databases, data management and archiving, artificial intelligence
  • Participation in a series of lunch-time workshops related to communication of science
  • Outside/corporate speakers including Climate Corp, Solinftec

And all of these topics help participants have context and fill a toolbox to enable an independent research project which is presented at the summer research symposium.

2023 Digital Agriculture REEU Program Flyer

We’d love to hear from you! If you have questions, please contact digitalag@purdue.edu

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