I want to get an REU, how do i do this? Obviously I'm a bit late for this year but I want to start working on stuff now that will make me stand out for one next year. I'd like to do it in astronomy or similar but any field is fine. I have solid programming skills(former CS major) and a good GPA at my current school. I have a dodgy academic past(before settling into my current school), but hopefully that won't even come up for REU's. What else can I do to look good and be competitive for a good REU next year? Also, I should note my school has no Astronomy research available and very little in the way of physics either, its a pretty crappy school. Will that actually help me?