I'm currently a fourth year undergraduate student graduating this year. I'm taking the upcoming school year off to travel, so instead of applying to grad school during my fourth year like most students, I will be applying this upcoming September (when I will have graduated).
I worked with two professors this school year doing research, one of which I got a publication out of. I plan on asking both for reference letters for my graduate school applications.
Both profs seem to like me and are happy with my work. However, I won't be actually applying to grad school until late this year (probably September-December), so I'm worried if I ask for a reference later in the year, they will have forgotten a significant chunk of their experience supervising me and my contributions.
I want to get a letter out of them now when I'm still fresh in their minds and can get a great recommendation out of them. I'm sure they'll give me a positive one either way, but I feel like if I get one now it'll be a lot stronger, where as if I do it several months in the future, considering how busy they are, I probably won't be nearly as well remembered and my letter will be a lot more generic.
I wasn't sure if this is appropriate to do, and how I should go about doing this, so I was hoping I could get some advice on this. Both profs work in ECE (electrical and computer engineering) and the programs I will be applying to will be a combination of ECE programs and computer science programs.