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21 undergraduates conduct summer research with REU and ISG

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) 2023

This summer, CIERA hosted 15 undergraduate students from 12 different institutions as a part of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. This NSF-sponsored program provides students with the opportunity to pursue an astrophysics-based interdisciplinary research project in collaboration with Northwestern faculty in a number of disciplines. A full list of student projects can be found here, with more detailed explanations available on each student’s research website developed during the REU program.

On top of research experience, the program also provides opportunities for professional development, networking, and community building. Such opportunities include computer programming tutorials, high performance computing workshops, access to Northwestern’s Quest Supercomputer, RCTP science communication workshops, scientific journal article writing workshops, research talks from faculty, graduate school and GRE-prep panel discussions, career panel discussion (including non-academic career paths), and organized field trips. This year, students visited Fermilab and the Adler Planetarium, and participated in the University of Notre Dame’s REU Physics Olympics.

In the program’s final week, the REU students presented their research results both virtually and in-person with a conference-style poster presentation for family, friends and the CIERA community. The CIERA REU program is co-directed by CIERA Professor Aaron Geller and CIERA postdoctoral alum Dr. Emily Leiner (now a Teaching Assistant Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology).

2023 cohort: Sebastian Banaszak, Mars Bell, Woodkensia Charles, Elizabeth Cogan, Vishnu Gade, Owen Gonzales, Juan Guerrero, Dean Kousiounelos, Anurathi Madasi, Amelia Marengo, Rujuta Purohit, Jacob Schimp, Emma VanderKooi, Justyce Watson, Guangyi Zhang




Illinois Space Grant (ISG) 2023

This summer, CIERA also hosted 6 undergraduate recipients of the Illinois Space Grant, a NASA-funded summer research program. Students worked with professors in one of several areas of space sciences and astrophysics, culminating in a verbal presentation of their research. The Northwestern ISG program is overseen by Physics and Astronomy Professor Mel Ulmer.

2023 cohort: Leka Davis, Seca Widyatmodjo, Madd Vivona, Charles Gibson, Claire Zwicker, Trevin Cox

Congratulations to the talented undergraduates of the REU and ISG programs on their hard work this summer and thank you to all of the graduate students, faculty, and staff that helped make these programs possible!