This award supports the renewal of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Each year, 12 undergraduate students will engage in hands-on, cutting-edge physics research. These students will work with senior faculty on forefront research projects in a variety of physics subdisciplines, with topics ranging from mapping the phase diagram of exotic superconductors, to determining the atomic-scale structure of DNA origami objects, to designing radiation-hard calorimeter components for the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. In addition to learning advanced research methods and gaining physics insight, the REU students will receive training in technical communications, teamwork, and leadership skills and receive graduate-school and career guidance.
The REU students will be integrated into senior-faculty-led research groups and contribute to on-going research projects in a variety of physics areas. The REU projects at UIUC are neither "cookbook" exercises nor simple manual labor. Students will have opportunities to write code that is subsequently used in real experiments, simulate and test components for real instruments, build and characterize novel devices, grow samples that are used in original research, and analyze real data. They will be exposed to principles of the responsible conduct of research and data management and preservation. They will receive instruction in professional technical communication skills and practice leadership and teamwork skills essential to their success as future scientists and engineers. They will experience a holistic program that teaches them not only how to do physics research, but also how to be successful physicists. This site is supported by the Department of Defense in partnership with the NSF REU program.
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.