I'm an undergraduate about to finish my first year of undergraduate research in CS. This past year has been mostly engineering-based as I learned how things worked in terms of implementation.
I'm looking to move from engineering / implementation of others' ideas into creating my own novel ideas and research, but I'm not sure how to best bridge this gap. I'm going to be attending a conference in my field soon, but I'm sure there are other things that I can do to help me along this transition.
I'd imagine its beneficial to read papers, but one of the issues that I am facing is that I'm not really sure what problems I want to work on, and thus don't know what area of research publications to focus on. Additionally, I'm finding it difficult to find the "core papers" of a problem, e.g. papers that present significant advances and are quite important. How would you make the transition between a more research engineer role to that of a research scientist?