This project brings undergraduates to the University of Florida to conduct research on the physics of materials and their applications. Having students conduct research while an undergraduate is one of the best ways to encourage them to continue in science, technology, and engineering education. Applications come from across the United States, and there is a special emphasis on recruiting and accepting students from schools with limited research opportunities and from underrepresented groups in science and engineering. For many students this is their first and perhaps only opportunity to experience advanced scientific research. The research conducted lays the scientific foundation for the next generation of materials used in a myriad of applications.

TECHNICAL DETAILS: Each student works with a faculty mentor from physics, chemistry or materials science and engineering, alongside other members of their research group in a 10-week program. The research topics include: measuring the electronic, magnetic, thermal, and optical properties of nanometer scale materials, growing new materials including superconductors and those with topological properties, and computational modeling of electronic and biomaterials. The research conducted lays the foundation for applications of new materials. Students in the program attend professional development workshops on written and oral communication, applying to graduate school, cutting edge scientific research, and visit scientific facilities both on and off the University of Florida campus. The students become sufficiently knowledgeable in their research area that they give tours of their research labs during week 6 of the program. At the end of the program participants write a 10 to 20-page paper and give a presentation on their research. Many participants also present their results at scientific meetings and/or publish their results.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Materials Research (DMR)
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Lynnette Madsen
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University of Florida
United States
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