Student Research

Students are encouraged to explore opportunities to do research off campus, especially during the summer months. Every year, we post opportunities for summer research, but student should also pursue this on their own and search for research projects that interest them.  Look for opportunities on the bulletin board by the labs!

Another great resource for summer research opportunities can be found at The Nucleus, an online resource for undergraduate in Physics & Astronomy.

Current student research for Summer 2020:

 Abigail Harden

 Abigail Harden (Astrophysics & Mathematics '21) - will be participating in the NRAO REU program this summer in Charlottesville, VA. She will be working with Dr. Eric Murphy and is looking forward to (hopefully!) visiting the Greenbank Telescope. In the past, she also participated in a heliophysics REU cohosted by the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). She worked with several MSFC scientists on a project titled ‘The Cause of Faint Coronal Jets from Emerging-Flux Regions in Coronal Holes’. The following summer she participated in Cornell University’s REU program on a project titled “Observations of Nearby Galaxies Using SOFIA FIFI-LS Spectroscopy”.






Azia Robinson (Astrophysics & Political Science ‘21) - will be a part of the NRAO's NAC fellowship in Socorro, New Mexico on the topic of 'Comprehensive SEDs of High-mass Protostars from Infrared to Radio'. Azia will  be mentored by Dr. Viviana Rosero.






Leo Skaer (Astrophysics '21) - has accepted an REU for this summer at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico They will be working, along with others, with Dr. Ben Perera, who is studying pulsar timing.






Mihika Rao (Astrophysics & Economics '21) - was accepted the NAC fellowship at Socorro this year. Her project is "VLBA Imaging of VLASS Detections" and she will be mentored by Dr. Tony Beasley. Mihika is extremely excited about this opportunity.





Student research done in the past:

Brynn Presler-Marshall (Astrophysics ‘19) - did research at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. She worked with the Planetary Radar group to study the surface features of a collection of near-Earth asteroids, and presented her work at the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting.  Brynn also did research at Lowell Observatory, modeling cometary jets.


Emma Shaw (Physics '20) - spent a summer at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA studying musical acoustics with Dr. James Cottingham. Her research  focused on air flow in Helmholtz resonators and free reed instruments, looking at how air flow affected higher modes of frequency and oscillation patterns using FFT analysis.


Kimberly Patterson (Astrophysics ‘20) - spent a summer participating in  an REU at the College of Wooster in Ohio studying the trajectories of movement on a theoretical cuboid shaped planet. When she wasn’t busy in the lab, she also gave a short physics demonstration on polarization for the camp BWISER, which aims to keep young girls interested in science and physics.


Sara Sloman (Astrophysics and Mathematics ‘20) - spent a summer in the Georgia Tech Physics Research Experiences for Undergraduates, working with Dr. Deirdre Shoemaker studying energy radiated per mode versus varying initial parameters from binary black hole mergers.  Her work used data from merger simulations to describe energy radiated from binary black hole systems.


Ruoyi Wang (Physics & Mathematics ‘20) - worked with Dr. Koch on a math conjecture about central binomial coefficient and its small prime divisor.  Later they branched off into looking at the base-3 expansion of 2k where k is an integer. They came up with a graph that was able to predict some the ternary expansion of some 2k without calculating it but not enough to solve the conjecture.