Hello, I currently "work" on one of my physics professor's lab projects, basically I do some coding and make pretty graphs for him. Its not really physics, but as a sophomore I don't know enough physics to really be useful and I question any REU that claims to provide any more meaningful a job position. My question is, when it comes to admissions offices, how prestigious are REU's really? How important are they? I have read that two REU's are becoming standard, but I may not have enough summer time real estate over the next few years to complete two REU's and my other plans. So, is an independent lab position considered equal to an experience with the REU program? By the way, I have been doing this since freshmen year, and I plan to continue till I graduate (I really like the professor and there's another undergrad who does the same thing with the same prof and he's extremely helpful). Will the length of duration affect how admissions see this position?