Physics/Astronomy Undergrad Summer Research
This past summer the Department of Physics and Astronomy was a beehive of activity!
We had more than 20 undergraduates working on 8 to 10-week long research projects with eight faculty mentors. For most of these projects support for the students came from faculty research grants from places like NSF, NASA, and Research Corporation. Some projects however, had to rely on department money. Such funding is very limited. Last year, for example, the department was able to fund just two students who applied for summer research support. The goal of this crowdfunding effort is to help more of our students experience summer research. Every donation we receive will go towards supporting student research which would otherwise not be possible.
Working one on one with a research mentor at a small institution like Western can be a life-changing experience! Summer research is, in many cases, a stepping stone towards long-term research during the academic year, future graduate studies, and/or employment. Summer research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields has been shown to lead to improved academic outcomes of students, particularly those of underrepresented minority students. Our department has tremendous facilities, talented faculty, and close connections with other STEM departments on campus. Research in the department is wide-ranging. To name just a few of our faculty members’ interests: improving the cost-effectiveness of solar cells, nanotechnology, correlated electrons, quantum optimal control, theoretical modeling of ultra-cold gases, interstellar dust, the how and why of galaxy cluster formation, and studies of the effectiveness of various strategies in the teaching of physics. Opportunities for student research here at Western are boundless. All that is needed is the financial support to help them happen!
Please consider contributing to this very noble cause & help to spread the word to those who might be interested!