Dear Students and Faculty Research Advisors,
As many of you may know, it is that time of the year again when many institutions are accepting applications for summer research internships, a large number as part of the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) program. These internships typically run for 10 weeks in summer, during which students work closely with a scientific expert on a particular project, with results often presented at a subsequent conference. Stipends are usually on the order of $4000-$5000, and most travel expenses are covered. Applications are due as early as February 1st, depending on the program.
I strongly encourage all physics majors to consider an NSF-REU internship, even if you are only in your 2nd year. It’s the perfect chance to “try out” a field to see if you like it, gaining valuable research experience in a novel setting, and it looks good on graduate school applications! REUs are available in a wide variety of fields; a searchable list is provided here by the NSF:
Many of these positions are fairly competitive, so it’s wise to apply to more than one. Please consult each program’s web site for specific details, including application requirements. REUs for which I have seen direct announcements — a small subset of the full list — include the following:
Thanks for your attention, and good luck!
1) The SPS will tour Oak Ridge National Labs on Friday, October 7th. We will see the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, the Spallation Neutron Source, the supercomputing facility, the High Flux Isotope Reactor, and the Graphite Reactor.
2) The 2016 SPS Fall Picnic will be on Saturday, October 15th at Covington Woods Park Shelter #1 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome! The SPS will provide burgers, hot dogs, a vegetarian option, chips, and drinks. We ask that everyone bring a side item or dessert. There will be a sign-up sheet in the physics department office and in the SPS room. Please put your name down if you’d like to attend.
3) We’re cleaning out old lockers. If you haven’t already and you would like a locker, please claim one just by putting your name on an empty locker. We will clean out all lockers that haven’t been claimed this semester.
4) The SPS is hosting a “scary” movie party on October 28th (the Friday before Halloween). If you’d like to join in, drop by the SPS room and suggest a movie or vote for other suggested films.
5) We would like to set up visits to talk to local high school physics classes (or younger science classes). If you have contact or connections to a local school, or would like to participate, please let an officer know.
6) We need new designs for the SPS t-shirts for this year. If you are interested, please submit a design (or several) to one of the officers. We would like to have these by the end of October.
Dear SPS Students,
The 83rd Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society, hosted by the University of Virginia, will be held in Charlottesville, Virginia, November 10-12, 2016. Deadlines for hotel registration and abstract submission are approaching fast.
- Early registration room rate deadline at conference hotel: September 25, 2016
- Deadline for abstract submission: October 7, 2016
- Last day to register for the conference: November 1, 2016
For complete information and recent updates please check the conference website.
As always, there will be competitions for the Best Undergraduate Oral Presentation and the Best Undergraduate Poster Submission. If you wish to be included in the competition, please indicate that when you submit your abstract by leaving a comment in the special instructions section. Also, travel grants are available for the meeting! See the SESAPS website for information.
1) The annual Sigma Pi Sigma Banquet was last Friday. Our newly inducted officers are Nikola Cvijanovic, President-Elect, and James Pierce, Treasurer.
2) There will be an end of the year luncheon on Wednesday, May 11 at 12:00. This will be a nice time to take a break from finals week. We will convene in the back hallway, just as we do for the Holiday Luncheon. Barbecue, buns, and drinks will be provided; faculty are asked to bring a side dish. A sign up sheet is in the office. There is no cost for students: there is a suggested $10.00 donation for faculty. If you can’t make it to the office to sign up, you can call the office at 270-745-4357.
3) Summer recruitment plans were discussed:
+ MasterPlan Student Activities Fair
+ Bake sale at DSU during MasterPlan?
+ Recruitment: posters and side-walk chalk
+ Possible summer trip to Holiday World in Indiana; more to come
4) We are beginning to plan the field trip for next semester. Possible destinations include Oak Ridge National Labs and the Huntsville Space Museum, possibly during fall break.
5) We are discussing outreach ideas for local schools; more to come.
1) The WKU Office of Scholar Development gave a presentation about nationally and internationally competitive scholarships, and what they can do to help students applying for scholarships and grants. More information can be found on their website here.
2) New officers have been elected for the 2016-2017 academic year. Congratulations to Nikola Cvijanovic, who will serve as the new President-Elect, and James Pierce, who will serve as the new Treasurer.
3) The spring picnic is scheduled for Saturday, April 16th from 11:00 – 3:00 at Covington Woods Park. The SPS will provide burgers, hotdogs, chips, and drinks. Please bring a side dish or dessert. There are signup sheets in the SPS room and the physics department office. Please RSVP if you plan on attending.
4) The annual Sigma Pi Sigma Banquet will be held on Friday, April 29th at 6:00 p.m. at Cambridge Market. Department awards will be given out, new Sigma Pi Sigma members will be inducted, and the new officers will be sworn in. If you would like to help with planning this, have a suggestion, or would like more information, please contact one of the officers.
5) Volunteers are needed for the Science Olympiad! Contact Dr. Jason Boyles if you would like to help with this or want more information. Find the website here.
6) The SPS text alert system is now working. Please stop by the SPS room or talk to Trason if you would like to be added to this system.
The Spring 2016 SPS Picnic will be on Saturday, April 16th between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at Covington Woods Park, shelter #2. We ask that everyone bring a side item or dessert; the SPS will provide burgers, hot dogs, drinks, and chips. There are sign-up sheets in the Physics Department office and the SPS room, so please RSVP if you plan to attend. The picnics are always great fun and a good time to relax before the final stretch run of the semester, so we hope to see everyone there.
Randall Harper Award for Outstanding Research in Physics and Astronomy
The WKU Department of Physics and Astronomy is pleased to announce the Randall Harper Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research. Undergraduate students who have been involved in research projects, either on the WKU campus or through summer research experiences elsewhere, may apply for this award. Successful applicants will receive a certificate and $100 at the annual University Awards Ceremony.
The deadline for the 2016 competition is Monday, March 21, 2016 at noon. For further information please read the Award Announcement. To apply please download and complete the online application form using Adobe Acrobat Reader (PC) or Preview (Mac).
1) The SPS T-shirts have been ordered and will cost $10 each. They should be in the week after spring break. Please pay when you receive your shirt.
2) The spring picnic is scheduled for Saturday, April 16th from 11:00 – 3:00 at Covington Woods Park. The SPS will provide burgers, hotdogs, chips, and drinks. Please bring a side dish or dessert.
3) Officer nominations for the 2016-2017 academic year are being held now! The President-Elect and Treasurer positions are open. If you would like to run for one of these positions or nominate someone else, please stop by the SPS room. The nomination period will end on Friday, March 18th. View officer duties here.
4) The planned trip to Oak Ridge National Labs may be cancelled due to scheduling conflicts. More information to come.
5) The end of the year SPS banquet is being planned now. It will be held on a Friday evening towards the end of the semester. Department awards will be given out, new Sigma Pi Sigma members will be inducted, and the new officers will be sworn in. If you would like to help with planning this, have a suggestion, or would like more information, please contact one of the officers.
6) We are currently setting up a text alert system. If you would like to receive text reminders of SPS events and news, please stop by the SPS room to write down your phone number.
7) Physics department faculty are considering having an end of the year luncheon, similar to the holiday luncheon. If you would like to weigh in on this idea, please contact Dr. Carini.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory provides an array of undergraduate and graduate research internships. Levels include:
In addition, many National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates programs are still accepting applications. For example, the University of Chicago’s Materials Research Center has an REU deadline of February 15.