I'm a prospective applicant (or will be in the near future) for PhD programs in Computer Science. I recently did an REU this past summer at a top-ranked CS school and am seriously considering graduate school, albeit after a break so I can be certain which particular area I may want to go into.
While I have my REU as some form of research experience, I'm wondering how much more I will need before I apply to graduate programs. In my department, there's been a couple who have worked in labs for maybe a year or so (but so far, nothing like two or three years like I have heard at other places), and others in our Honors program are required to do an honors project with a professor at the end. It's more or less rare that undergrads publish so much where I'm currently doing my undergrad.
While I have done the REU, I haven't gotten much further as far as doing research at my own school goes. I tried working with a professor one semester during my senior year, but I wasn't able to get much done before I had to stop due to a busy semester next semester. Generally speaking, is an REU more impressive to graduate admission committees over a senior thesis or doing research at your own institution?