The Computer Science Department regularly hires undergraduate students to work in areas of active research. The work done by undergraduates is actual cutting-edge research, not merely clerical duties or errand-running. Students get to work closely with faculty members who are at the top of their fields. As a culmination of their research, undergraduates may write and publish academic papers.
Are you interested in getting involved with research in computer science? Do you want to work closely with a faculty mentor? Faculty announce available opportunities at regularly scheduled departmental town meetings and undergraduate recruiting meetings. Also, feel free to inquire by email or by going to office hours. Note that research projects can be part-time during the school year or full-time in the summer.
Resources and Funding
Undergraduate can be paid as research assistants (RAs) from research grants managed by individual faculty members. In addition, Brown's UTRA program and the National Science Foundation's REU program provide dedicated funding for undergraduate research. Alternatively, undergraduates can earn academic credit for research work by enrolling in individual or group independent study projects. For further information, see the links below.
Because of the deadlines for applying to the UTRA program, you will need to have most of the details resolved well in advance. Usually, that means that you need to have interacted with the prospective faculty supervisor for the project several times, and written and revised a concrete proposal for the project you'll work on. You should expect to spend at least 2 weeks on a successful proposal.