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Is there a difference between design and research? At what point does research become design or design become research? Addressing these questions is much like examining a fine work of art. Examine a painting by a master artist. Look at J the white of a lily such as those found in the painting by Sargent . Can you truly find anything that is just black or white? The fact is there are many colors in the blacks and whites and that the beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. As with art, the definition of design is often in the eye of the engineering professional. If the difference were black or white, the job of an engineering faculty member would be easy. A student understands design or doesn't. There would be no measuring the degrees of understanding. However, as professionals, we have learned that judging a student's ability to design is far more like judging shades of gray. This article explores many of the shades of gray with respect to the differences between design and research and proposes questions that can aid in differentiating between a major design experience and an academic research project.