I have just finished my bachelor's degree in computer engineering. I am doing an REU with the professor who will be my adviser this fall when I enter grad school. Currently my future Adviser has me working on research that involves image processing. I was hoping to head in other directions in embedded computing and security.
From our weekly research meetings it seems like my adviser will be assigning me research topics through out my grad school career. Is this normal that an adviser would insist on determining the research topic of the PhD students under them. I have not pushed back on this yet but I am not prepared to go in depth in image processing. I am not a math major or CS major and that field gives me little interest.
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As far as funding goes I am currently funded by and REU(research experience for undergraduates) and am unsure of where this funding comes from(NSF, department, professor). Here in 2 weeks though I will be funded by a Distinguished Academic Fellowship(DAF) that my university graduate school awarded me.
In order to get my DAF I had to write a research proposal. I proposed research into microprocessor, GPU, FPGA unification. As I understood it from those within my department I am not required to carry out that research as the proposal is more a way for the DAF committee to see that I can write a coherent proposal for later on in my academic career.
Concerning the union of my professors research interest and mine: He focuses on embedded system design for single specific applications. It just happens that in the current path of research he is onto it involves cameras. This then introduces the field of image processing into the project.
It seems that all his grad students are doing peripheral work on UAVs that will be coalesced into a UAV platform of some sort.