I've been asking around my department recently for opportunities assisting with research (I'm in electrical engineering). Some of my professors work in labs, but others do largely computer-based work. The computer-based work interests me more.
I understand research experience is very important when applying to grad school. What do graduate admissions committees really consider "research", though? Is it working in a lab? Is it "contributing to some certain extent to a research project?" Is it simply helping out a professor with his research? Is more independent-study type work considered research? Or is it necessary to be actively helping a professor with their research program?
As an undergraduate sophomore, I'm really not in a position to do groundbreaking research. What's considered a good research experience for me?