Our REU/RET program features many research avenues and activities, which we believe are appropriate and well suited for undergraduate research projects. These include:
- Data analysis and interpretation (e.g. studying the decays of c-quarks and the tau lepton, or studying the distributions and correlations of particles produced in heavy ions collisions),
- Development of new particle detection apparatus (e.g., design, prototyping, testing, construction, and system integration),
- Increasing understanding of the physics of electron-positron and relativistic heavy ions colliders (e.g., simulations of beam dynamics and developing instrumentation to study beams),
- Advancing the state of the art of rf superconductivity for accelerators (e.g., basic surface physics studies, prototype tests, and computer simulations),
- Studying new, ultra high vacuum physics and technologies (e.g., studies of the properties of materials and performance of vacuum system components),
- Development of systems to manage a large number of computers,
- Utilizing synchrotron radiation x-rays to study a wide variety of important problems in physics, material sciences, chemistry, biology, and engineering,
- Designing and coding advanced software for data analysis.
Relaxed and frequent access to more experienced researchers is the principal means of building research skills and the confidence necessary to do research. Mentorship by young, experienced researchers, and frequent interactions with students and post-docs has an excellent impact on the REU students. First, they come to the realization that people “just like them” conduct scientific activities and they too, with work and dedication, can aspire to a scientific career. More importantly, they get to experience many facets of the scientific activity: the challenge, the satisfaction of learning something new every day, the pleasure of the discovery process, etc. Additionally, through their frequent interactions with their mentor and other researchers, students are able to confirm that their research is progressing steadily, and if problems are encountered, they can get the help they need to move forward.
Examples of actual projects can be found in the reports of the students - click here to see the reports.