This summer, CIERA hosted 15 undergraduate students as a part of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. Heading into a second year of remote experience, the CIERA REU program continued to provide 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 through August A career panel discussion featured scientists with a variety of experiences that were able to provide insight into what exactly a career in science looks lie. 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, commented on how the continued remote REU experience has the potential to create difficulties for the students who participated, but that they rose to the occasion admirably. “The students did an amazing job this summer, despite the program running remotely and the challenges inherent in remote research”. Many of the students are also planning to attend the 2021 American Astronomical Society Meeting in Utah in-person this year. We are excited for them to participate and experience the meeting — it will also be the first time they meet in person!
Congratulations to the talented undergraduates on their hard work this summer!
Learn more about the 2021 REU student cohort, including their home institutions, Northwestern advisors, and project titles.