This summer I have arranged to do research under the advisement of one of the professors at my university in the field of Computer Science. I am still and undergraduate, looking to go into graduate school (eventually to PhD) and would like to test out if research is for me.
My overall question is "What are the expectations of undergraduate research?" What constitutes a success? I realize that I'm most probably not going to make some insane breakthrough and become famous. The problem that he has said that we are going to be working on is a very important problem, with many applications. Finding an efficient algorithm for this problem would be very huge for the field. Since many people have been working on it over the years, it's obviously not an easy problem, otherwise someone would have solved it already.
What should I expect? If (when) I don't find this "magical" algorithm what kind of things could I pull out of this to make it a "successful" research endeavor?