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CIERA’s REU Program Goes Virtual!

This summer, CIERA hosted 11 undergraduate students as a part of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. Adjusted for a remote experience, the CIERA REU program provided students with the opportunity to pursue an astrophysics-based interdisciplinary research project in collaboration with Northwestern faculty in a number of disciplines.

Through Zoom, students participated in computer programming and science communication workshops, in addition to research talks, from June 22 – August 21. A career panel discussion featured scientists with a variety of jobs and backgrounds. The program culminated in two poster sessions, one for a professional audience and another for friends and family. This opportunity to communicate their research and share their hard work took place virtually on the platform Mozilla Hubs, featuring different online poster rooms (see images below of virtual poster presentations).

REU program director, Dr. Aaron Geller, said that the transition to a remote REU experience went much smoother and turned out to be more effective than anticipated.

“The students completed all of our normal professional development activities, and they all had such amazing research results,” said Dr. Geller. “We also organized many online cohort building games and discussions, which brought the students together socially, almost like they were together in person.”

Congratulations to the talented undergraduates on their hard work this summer!

Learn more about the 2020 REU student cohort, including their home institutions, Northwestern advisors, and project titles.

2020 REU Students, top to bottom, left to right:
Erica Albrigo, Chloe Klare, Rachel Fry, Jared Siegel, Scott Mackey, Elena Gonzalez, Sarah Popp, Maddy Sita, Tobin Wainer, Estephani Torres Villanueva, Kwamena Awotwi