This award supports the Boulder School for Condensed Matter and Materials Physics. This is an annual summer school held in Boulder, Colorado, at the University of Colorado. The goal of the School is to bridge the gap between graduate training and research by providing advanced graduate students and beginning postdoctoral researchers access to specialized training not readily available through graduate programs at any one institution. The School is also intended to foster a sense of community among junior researchers. Through online resources that are broadly available, the School is an educational resource for the community.
Schools typically run for four weeks in July each year and utilize facilities provided by the University of Colorado. Each school has about sixty students and twenty lecturers. Lectures expose the students to a wide range of subjects in forefront condensed matter and materials physics; topics that are often not available at students' home institutions. Members of underrepresented groups are always in attendance, as well as a number of international students.
The School has become an institution that plays an important role in the condensed matter and materials physics community. Through a diverse and evolving set of lectures, posted on the School's website, and proposed to be webcast and video-recorded, it contributes to the community well beyond student participants attending the School.
Each summer school also presents one or two public lectures for the Denver area community. Schools also expose local teachers participating in NSF's Research Experience for Teachers program and high school students to modern material science.