Chris Hughes, James Madison University
Sudipta Seal, University of Central Florida
Steven Yalisove, University of Michigan
Symposium Support Council on Undergraduate Research
AAA3: Examples of Successful REU Programs
Monday PM, December 01, 2014
Sheraton, 3rd Floor, Hampton
2:30 AM - AAA3.01
REU in Physics at Howard University
Prabhakar Misra 1 Tristan Hubsch 1 Demetrius Venable 1 Silvina Gatica 1 Kimani Stancil 1 Belay Demoz 1 Gregory Jenkins 1
1Howard University Washington USAShow Abstract
The NSF-funded REU summer program in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Howard University provided cutting-edge research opportunities in Computational Nanophysics, Experimental Nanophysics, Laser Spectroscopy, Atmospheric Physics and Superstring Theory to six undergraduate students recruited from across the U.S. The REU students were engaged in challenging research projects under the supervision of seasoned mentors across a variety of stimulating physics sub-disciplines that included: (1) computation-intensive surface nanophysics of condensed phase systems focused on the adsorption of gases in Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs); (2) experimental measurements using light scattering techniques on gels and polymers in the condensed phase; (3) experimental laser spectroscopy with special emphasis on Raman spectral measurements on tungsten oxide nanolayer deposited on a silicon substrate; (4) observation-based and modeling-intensive atmospheric physics project for developing better understanding of wind lidar performance under various aerosol/cloud loading and relative humidity scenarios in the U.S. and regional ozone and aerosols modeling and analysis of data recorded in West Africa; and (5) a cross-disciplinary project involving quantum theory, supersymmetry, graph theory, encryption, and super-commutative algebra and algebraic geometry with applications to string theory. Each student learned a multitude of relevant techniques related to their research projects, with the vision of teaching and nurturing knowledge, both theoretical and experimental, that will be useful throughout their academic careers both in their major discipline and in interdisciplinary research as a whole. Raman Spectroscopy, 3D Physics Modeling, Monte Carlo Simulations, Algebraic Geometry and Graph Theory are some of the techniques that the students learned, which illustrate the importance of physics research in general and have wide-ranging applications in interdisciplinary studies. In addition, the students participated in field trips to the University of Maryland (visit coinciding with NanoDay), Georgetown University (cleanroom tour and research presentations), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (visit coinciding with Science Jamboree Day), and Smithsonian Museums (coinciding with evening fireworks viewing on the Mall on July 4). Finally, the REU students gave midterm and final research presentations, and submitted a research paper in refereed journal format at the end of their internship.
2:45 AM - AAA3.02
An REU in Glass Science -Lessons and Legacy for Undergraduate Materials Education
William R Heffner 1 Himanshu Jain 1
1Lehigh University Bethlehem USAShow Abstract
The International Materials Institute for New Functionality in Glass (IMI-NFG - www.lehigh.edu/imi) was established in 2004 . Two important goals of this institute have been to facilitate international collaboration in glass research and to support the training of a professional workforce. The REU program has been an important component of our mission since 2005. Glass science provides the central theme of our program, which has both an international and domestic component. In this paper we provide a summary of our accomplishments and experiences with this unique and innovative, materials focused, multidisciplinary REU program. While glass provides the unifying theme of our program, the research topics and project advisers come from various departments including biology, physics, environmental and civil engineering, electrical engineering, etc. This mode of REU operation has provided an effective means to introduce faculty from other departments to new and innovative applications of glass as an enabling material for their own work.
For the domestic REU, we partner with the Physics REU Program at Lehigh, sharing many crucial administrative aspects as well as housing, seminars and social events. The complementary approach of the two REU programs has been very beneficial to both of them. We will discuss details of our approaches to recruitment, selection and creating an environment conducive to cohesive and motivated community of young researchers. While the majority of student experiences have been through individual projects, we have also experimented with small teams headed by a single adviser. These teams emphasize a cooperative education model and the group can thus accommodate a greater diversity of individual student skills and experiences. Such projects tend to provide opportunity for open-ended exploration within the context of a general goal. Some of the projects are specifically focused on developing low-cost, hands-on methods for teaching glass science to others through a more experiential and intuitive approach. All of these REU projects have been incorporated in an on-line collection of activities for the science education community at large as reported previously [2,3].
For the international component, our role has been to support glass faculty in the country, who wish to engage their own undergraduate students in a glass based summer research in the lab of an international colleague. These experiences require considerable preparation and individual attention. We will discuss the challenges as well as some of our successful strategies to deal with both the international and domestic programs.
1. IMI-NFG is supported by National Science Foundation (DMR-0844014).
2. W. Heffner and H. Jain, Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc., Vol. 1233, 2010.
3. W. Heffner and H. Jain, Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc., Vol. 1657, 2014.
3:00 AM - AAA3.03
Undergraduate Research in Interactive Biomaterials at Syracuse University
Patrick T Mather 1 Julie M Hasenwinkel 1
1Syracuse University Syracuse USAShow Abstract
At Syracuse University we have launched an REU Site on “Interactive Biomaterials” to train students in modern research techniques through independent biomaterials research projects in a multidisciplinary, collaborative, and open laboratory environment. We have sought to provide multi-faceted mentoring opportunities and network building experiences that may increase the likelihood that participants pursue graduate education in their chosen discipline. We also seek to train students to be effective communicators of their research to their peers and the scientific community. To do this, we have instituted interactive biomaterials research projects in faculty laboratories, one-on-one mentoring from faculty advisors and graduate student coaches, an innovative career mentoring program, interactive laboratory tours with REU student-led demonstrations, student research presentations, team building activities, and social events. With very careful “match-making” of students with mentors and project, we engage students in meaningful research, educational, and social experiences as to increase their enthusiasm and preparation for future graduate study and careers in biomaterials. Strengthened by a close collaboration with Hampton University, we broadened the participation of students from institutions with limited research opportunities, women, and underrepresented minorities in research. Further, we have woven into the program elements of career mentoring, with emphasis on both industrial and academic career paths at the PhD level, revealing the importance and benefits of graduate education in STEM disciplines. Research projects have spanned a wide range of topics to include shape memory polymers, drug delivery, control of bacterial biofilms, cell-biomaterial interactions, electrochemistry of metallic biomaterials, tissue engineering, and molecular modeling of interactive biomaterials. These multidisciplinary research projects draw upon the collective expertise of the faculty of the Syracuse Biomaterials Institute and, in many cases, nucleate collaborative research across faculty laboratories, academic departments, and institutions. We have observed that graduate student mentors have, themselves, grown in their abilities to guide undergraduate researchers in planning and executing research and in effectively communicating the results. In addition, the undergraduate researchers emerge from the program with excellent training in the use of modern materials research instrumentation. In our presentation, we will provide several research highlights and then focus on student recruiting methods, the structure of our program, lessons learned, and best practices that we recommend for adoption by other materials-focused REUs. In addition, we will report on the assessment of our program as conducted using end-of-program surveys, leading to our suggestions for similar programs at other institutions.
3:15 AM - AAA3.04
REU Activities in Materials Chemistry at Texas A&M University
Holly C. Gaede 1 James D. Batteas 1
1Texas Aamp;M Univ College Station USAShow Abstract
In this presentation an overview of the REU program in the Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M University will be given. This REU site focuses on three primary areas, Biological, Green, and Materials Chemistry. The program brings together 10 - 15 students per year to participate in active research projects across these areas, offered in conjunction with 28 faculty, with nearly half of the projects being in materials chemistry. The projects in materials chemistry span the development of organic electronic materials for solar cells, to scalable nano-manufacturing, to the development of coatings for reducing friction and wear at interfaces, anti-fouling and corrosion protection. This past summer the site also participated in the I-REU opportunities coordinated through the American Chemical Society to bring international students to US REU sites. Our REU participants become full members of a research group, interacting closely with a faculty advisor and graduate student mentor in an independent research project. The graduate student mentors receive mentor training to aid in their development. The REU students learn about additional areas of chemistry through weekly faculty-led discussions across the topics found in our program. Students also benefit from weekly Career Development seminars, highlighted by a Career Day, in which Ph.D. chemists from a variety of careers come to speak about their training and career path. Our REU participants are exposed to the opportunities available in a major research university by coordinated activities with over a dozen other REU programs on campus. This synergy of multiple programs fosters social connections with students from these other research programs, and further exposes students to other research arenas. An overview of the outcomes and benefits of the program will also be described.
4:00 AM - AAA3.05
REU and RET Programs and Undergraduate Materials Research at Northwestern University
Kathleen A Stair 1
1Northwestern University Evanston USAShow Abstract
The Materials Research Center at Northwestern offers a nine-week Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program each summer, with the goal of providing undergraduate students from community colleges, liberal arts colleges, and four-year universities the opportunity to participate in research led by Center faculty members. The program has expanded beyond that funded by NSF to include additional students funded by other sources. This subset includes international students.
In addition to conducting research with MRSEC faculty members and graduate mentors, the students participate in regularly scheduled research group meetings, write a technical report at the end of the summer program, and give a 15-minute presentation on their research at a symposium that is open to public. Other program activities include safety training, responsible conduct in research training, a field trip to Argonne National Laboratory, a panel discussion of graduate school programs and admissions, and seminars by NU faculty and students. Graduate student mentors participate in mentor training discussions prior to the start of the program.
The impact of the REU program on participants is measured using the Undergraduate Research Student Self-Assessment tool developed at the University of Colorado and customized for MRSEC REU programs. An additional survey was performed to evaluate how recruitment for the NU-MRSEC program can be improved.
In 2014, four high school teachers will participate in the 23nd annual NU-MRSEC Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program for eight weeks of cutting edge materials science research. The program helps teachers network with scientific colleagues, keep abreast of new scientific and technological developments, and successfully integrate their summer research into the classroom. Teachers are paired with Center faculty based on shared research interests.
The Materials Research Center also sponsors a few NU undergraduate researchers during the academic year. In addition, all undergraduate majors in Materials Science and Engineering complete a two-quarter (minimum) mentored research experience.
4:15 AM - AAA3.06
Biological and Soft Matter Research Traineeships (B-SMaRT) REU
Jennifer L Ross 1
1University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst USAShow Abstract
The research experience for undergraduates (REU) on biolmaterials and soft materials called Biological and Soft Matter Research Traineeships (B-SMaRT) began this past summer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Department of Physics. Biological and Soft Materials are all around us, and many of the experimental and theoretical techniques are easily accessible to students. Students were oriented through specific bootcamps in scientific research, experimental methods, and theoretical and computational methods. Scientific and professional development workshops were held through the summer to educate and train students in scientific reasoning and problem solving skills and give them valuable skills such as communication and presentation skills.The REU is a partnership with a nearby community college, Springfield Technical Community College (STCC). In our first year, we had 6 students, four of whom were from STCC. They had projects on contact angle measurements, mitosis, and modeling of thin elastic sheets. We will discuss some lessons learned from our first year.
4:30 AM - AAA3.07
Results from a Long-Running Research Experience for Undergraduates Program: NNIN 1997-2014
Nancy Healy 1 Lynn Rathbun 2
1Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta USA2Cornell University Ithaca USAShow Abstract
The National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) is an integrated partnership of 14 universities across the US funded by NSF to support nanoscale researchers. Within the NNIN&’s education and outreach programs is a large and long-running Research Experience for Undergraduates Program. The program has been in continuous operation since 1997, begun under the National Nanotechnology Users Network. One of our goals, is to encourage and develop talented post-secondary students to become future leaders in nanotechnology. Between 40 and 100 students have participated annually and over 1200 undergraduates having completed this summer research program. From this long running program, we have developed best practices which allow for an efficient and successful operation of a large program across multiple sites. These practices will be shared in the presentation. We have several years&’ worth of evaluation results from annual surveys which we use to modify the program and to measure the impact of our program on career choices. Because of its size and long history, the NNUN/NNUN program has had the opportunity to generate statistically meaningful, long-term outcome data on its participants. In 2006, we began a longitudinal study to determine the educational and career path of interns who participated in the early (pre-2003) years of the program; since then, that window has been gradually expanded to include all participants between 1997- 2009, encompassing all past participants who are more than 4 years out of the program. Of the 670 participants from 1997-2009, 553 (83%). Seventy-four percent of the respondents indicated that the program significantly or very significantly influenced their career path. The presentation will include best practices and results from our survey instruments.
4:45 AM - AAA3.08
Can a National Network of Undergraduate Research Directors Validate a Set of Professional Skills-Building Science Communication Workshops?
Carol Lynn Alpert 1 2 3 Karine Thate 1 2 3
1Museum of Science Boston USA2NSF Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network Boston USA3Center for Integrated Quantum Materials Cambridge USAShow Abstract
The presentation of research is an integral aspect of professional science and engineering practice. Successful development and delivery of a good research presentation or poster can help students draw meaning and context from their weeks of immersion in laboratory activities and provide them with a sense of reward and accomplishment through sharing with mentors and peers. The Research Experience for Undergraduates Science Communication Workshop (REU SCW) is designed to: (1) Encourage students to explore the broader context of their research; (2) Guide them in developing professional science communication skills; and (3) Enhance their confidence in pursuing careers in science and in speaking about science in a variety of settings. The REU SCW was develped at the Museum of Science, Boston (MOS), in collaboration with two NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers. It is designed to integrate into the 8-12 week trajectory of a typical undergraduate research experience program, with two sessions, one near the start of the research experience and one close to the end, when students are preparing final reports and presentations on their projects. Workshop pedagogy emphasizes small-group practice and teaches students methods of improving their own communciation skills while also providing peer mentoring and feedback within a supportive learning community. The program has been rigorously evaluated and improved over a ten-year period. The NSF Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network supported the development of a planning and implementation guide with extensive resources, hand-outs, and multimedia, and an implementation training workshop for education directors at university research centers. The REU SCW program has now been implemented multiple years at a dozen universities across the U.S., and MOS has facilitiated IRB-approved online collection of student evaluation and impact data across all sites. This data has been fed back to each program provider on an ongoing basis to aid in site implementation improvement and has also been aggregated from all sites to gain knowledge and insight into the evolution of trends in prior undergraduate experience in science communication over time, impacts of the program on student science communication skills and self-confidence (as reported by students and faculty mentors/advisors), and implementation insights gained from undergraduate research directors. This paper will build on reports delivered at previous stages of these efforts [C.L. Alpert, “Beyond ‘Train-the-Trainer:&’ A Prelim. Report on a New Scaffolding Strategy for Sci. Comm. Worksh. Dissem.,” MRS Online Proc.1532 (2013), and C.L. Alpert et al, “Tackling Science Communication with REU Students: A Formative Evaluation of a Collaborative Approach,” Mat.Ed., eds. Patterson et al, MRS Symp.Proc.1234 (2009)], and will address aggregated outcomes across the student cohorts over both a three- and five- year period, including the summer 2014 implementation.
5:00 AM - AAA3.09
Eighteen Years of Multi-Program Undergraduate Summer Research
Michael J. Kelley 1 2 Jan Tyler 2
1College of William amp; Mary Newport News USA2Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility Newport News USAShow Abstract
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab) and the Applied Research Center (ARC), a regional university collaboration located at JLab, have hosted undergraduate researchers every summer since 1997, more than 75 in 2014. The program mix began with Department of Energy&’s Summer Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) and has grown in partnership with local universities to include Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) and individual programs. A key element of success is the emergence of a cadre of professionals who plan on the regular participation of summer undergraduate researchers and structure their programs accordingly. Another element is the infrastructure provided by an experienced core administrative staff. Illustrative examples are offered.
AAA1: Institutional Support for Undergraduate Research
Monday AM, December 01, 2014
Sheraton, 3rd Floor, Hampton
9:45 AM - *AAA1.01
The Impact of Broadening Participation in Undergraduate Research
Sandra Gregerman 1
1University of Michigan Ann Arbor USAShow Abstract
This talk will discuss the role undergraduate research can play in student retention, academic and social integration and engagement, and the pursuit of graduate education with a focus on historically underrepresented students and community college transfer students. Drawing from the relevant literature, the presenter will discuss the rationale for using undergraduate research to retain and engage students, the role of undergraduate research in encouraging students to pursue graduate education, and the presenter will also share a model for early engagement of students in research including a description of lessons learned from a 20 year program to provide early engagement at the University of Michigan including key program components, peer advising, research seminars, and skill-building workshops), administrative structures, student and faculty recruitment, and data from a carefully designed, longitudinal assessment of the impact of undergraduate research on student retention and academic success through to graduate school. The presenter will also share other models from different types of institutions. Participants will have the opportunity to conduct an institutional audit of the feasibility of adapting the program models to engage and retain diverse students on their own campuses.
10:15 AM - AAA1.02
An Unanticipated Outcome of Undergraduate Research Experiences for Community College Students: Creation of a Materials Science and Engineering Educational Program
Bartlett Michael Sheinberg 1
1Houston Community College Houston USAShow Abstract
Since 2005 the West Houston Center for Science & Engineering (Houston Community College- Northwest) has provided opportunities for select cohorts of community college students to participate in summer research experiences. Participating research institutions providing these expereinces include regional universities and one of the United States federal labs. The student research activities crossed numerous engineering, physical and biological sciences, and computational disciplines and were funded through awards from federal agencies and corporate and educational foundations.
These student research experiences generated three important outcomes: (1) Providing significant motivation and important perspectives for students regarding university transfer and completion of undergraduate degrees in science and engineering; (2) Generating realistic perspectives for students to consider as they completed their undergraduate degrees and transitioned into the science and engineering workforce and/or graduate school; and, (3) Providing the fundamental basis of support and motivation for creation of a formal materials science and engineering educational program at the West Houston Center.
This presentation will describe these outcomes and the unanticipated significant impact which the Materials Research Society, through its members, meetings and working committees, has contributed to the transitioning of the West Houston Center from a broad based science and engineering educational center to one with a concentration on materials science and engineering.
10:30 AM - AAA1.03
Impacts of a Multi-University REU Program
Carol Forance Barry 1 2 Jacqueline Isaacs 3 4 Glen P Miller 5 Carol Lynn Alpert 6
1University of Massachusetts Lowell Lowell USA2University of Massachusetts Lowell Lowell USA3Northeastern University Boston USA4Northeastern University Boston USA5University of New Hampshire Durham USA6Boston Museum of Science Boston USAShow Abstract
For nine years, an REU program placed over 200 undergraduate researchers at Northeastern University, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and the University of New Hampshire through the NSF-funded Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing. The cross-university professional development program included university-based research skills, communication skills with the Boston Museum of Science, and a unique method for researcher evaluation of the societal impact of their decisions. This work presents the impacts of this research program as measured at program end, along with the career progress of the REU participants, recent interviews with REU participants, and reflections by REU program leaders.
10:45 AM - AAA1.04
A Recipe for Successful Undergraduate Research
Sunghee Lee 1
1Iona College New Rochelle USAShow Abstract
Our research group at Iona College is solely composed of undergraduate students and has a strong track record of active research (see www.iona.edu/faculty/slee ). This presentation will highlight the author's experience in fostering a successful undergraduate research program in chemistry with a large array of involved undergraduates. We will also offer successful strategies for establishing and maintaining an undergraduate research program effectively. The educational outcome for undergraduate students who participated in research will be also shared.
AAA2: Recognizing Best Practices in Undergraduate Research
Monday AM, December 01, 2014
Sheraton, 3rd Floor, Hampton
11:30 AM - *AAA2.01
Factors Associated with Student Decision-Making for Participation REU Programs
D. R. Economy 1 J. L. Sharp 2 J. P. Martin 3 M. S. Kennedy 1
1Clemson University Clemson USA2Clemson University Clemson USA3Clemson University Clemson USAShow Abstract
The National Science Foundation (NSF) makes significant investments in exposing undergraduate students to academic research in engineering and science through its Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. REU faculty administrators are not only responsible for providing a high quality research experience to participants, but are also focused on successfully recruiting a diverse pool of applicants and ensuring acceptances from highly competitive participants. This study examines how applicants view the importance of programmatic and application factors. With a goal to provide practical implications for program administrators and others interested in promoting undergraduate research participation, this study primarily considered items identified as controllable by the site directors/administrators to improve recruitment efforts. An online survey was created and distributed to current program participants by participating research site administrators at 34 institutions yielding 129 complete responses. Analysis of participants&’ responses showed that 34% were offered multiple positions and 17% of respondents declined another employment offer before accepting their current position. The primary factors that student applicants consider important for impacting their selections were (1) focus of the research project, (2) stipend or compensation, and (3) the date they receive their acceptance and offer.
12:15 PM - *AAA2.03
Characteristics of Excellence in Undergraduate Research (COEUR): A Guide to Building Productive, Sustainable Undergraduate Research Programs
Roger Rowlett 1
1Colgate University Hamilton USAShow Abstract
in Undergraduate Research (COEUR) is a document developed by the Council on Undergraduate Research as a guide to faculty and administrators for developing productive, sustainable undergraduate research programs. This presentation will focus on key strategies that faculty and administrators can adopt to foster and sustain undergraduate research programs, including developing research-supportive, research-rich curricula; faculty and administrative expectations and partnering; and summer research programs.
Chris Hughes, James Madison University
Sudipta Seal, University of Central Florida
Steven Yalisove, University of Michigan
Symposium Support Council on Undergraduate Research
AAA6: Making Undergraduate Research Fit Into the Curriculum
Tuesday PM, December 02, 2014
Sheraton, 3rd Floor, Hampton
2:30 AM - *AAA6.01
Early Undergraduate Research Opportunities: Skills Programs for Hitting the Ground Running
David F Bahr 1 Susan Burkett 2 John Lusth 2 Shelley Pressley 3 Kimberly R Schneider 4
1Purdue University West Lafayette USA2University of Alabama Tuscaloosa USA3Washington State University Pullman USA4University of Central Florida Orlando USAShow Abstract
The field of materials science and engineering has historically been host to a relatively high percentage of undergraduate researchers; per capita undergraduate research participation rates within the field are, at some universities, the highest within engineering colleges. However, the total number of students within the materials research community is only a fraction of the total STEM population, and therefore broad college and university wide programs can have impact on larger number of students than “MSE-only” programming. This presentation will describe the Early Undergraduate Research Opportunity (EURO) programs developed by a diverse team of faculty and administrators at four institutions, and the resulting impact on student participation, learning, and retention. The EURO programs focus on broad research skills, rather than research techniques used within a field; topics covered include developing resumes for research positions, literature reviews, writing abstracts, creating posters, and other cross-cutting skills needed in all undergraduate research endeavors. Three formats for promoting these skills are presented: the week-long, faculty led “boot c& a two day short course led by peer mentors, and a more conventional semester long seminar. The participating institutions have run over 500 students through these programs over the past four years. The differences in audience in the formats were significant, however, the end result in general is that exposing students to research skills within their first year at a four year institution can reach participation rates of about 60%. 30% of participants decide that research is “not for them” at the current time, while only 10% appear to be unable to find a research position. Lessons learned in the implications of centralized offices on undergraduate research skills course format will be discussed. A pre-post test assessment, similar in format to a concept inventory, will be presented and results from the assessment tool will show how the learning gains can be similar no matter which method of delivery is chosen.
3:00 AM - AAA6.02
Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Team via Independent Study Courses
Kyle Gipson 1
1James Madison University Harrisonburg USAShow Abstract
Undergraduate students from Engineering, Physics & Chemistry come together to form a multidisciplinary team as part of an undergraduate research opportunity through a sequence of independent study courses within the Department of Engineering at James Madison University. The undergraduate research team typically ranges from freshman to seniors totaling approximately six to eight students per academic year. One of the primary objectives is to provide a high-level research experience for undergraduates in a nurturing environment within the academic year. Peer-mentoring is integral piece to the team dynamics. Within our framework, the juniors and seniors serve as peer-mentors to the freshman and sophomores. The research backdrop deals with synthesizing polymer nanocomposites comprised of rare-earth doped ligand surface treated nanocrystals within polymers.
The focus of the talk will be the course sequence that facilitates the research opportunity that could be applied to obtaining a minor in Materials Science. The sequence of courses allows for problem-based learning, inquiry-based learning, and collaborative efforts with outside entities. The course objectives are geared towards developing critical & creative thinking, technical writing and oral communication skills through the development of planned action & experiments with data analysis as well as submitting findings to present at regional and national conferences.
3:15 AM - AAA6.03
Enhanced Learning of Mechanical Behavior of Materials via Combined Experiments and nanoHUB Simulations: Learning Modules for Sophomore MSE Students
Aisling Coughlan 1 David Johnson 1 Tanya A Faltens 2 K. Anna Douglas 3 Heidi A Diefes-Dux 3 Alejandro Strachan 1
1Purdue University West Lafayette USA2Purdue University West Lafayette USA3Purdue University West Lafayette USAShow Abstract
More than 30% of the undergraduate students in the School of Materials Engineering at Purdue University participate in faculty led undergraduate research projects. We attribute this large percentage, at least partially, to the success of laboratory courses which expose students to tools and techniques that enable effective entry into academic research. This paper describes one such activity where students use a research-grade molecular simulation tool together with hands-on experiments in a sophomore-level MSE laboratory course. While the simulation was created for the purpose of molecular research, we propose its use as a pedagogical tool to assist student's development of an intuitive picture of plastic deformation of crystalline materials at both the atomic and bulk (microstructural) levels. In this learning module, students use online molecular dynamics simulations to perform virtual tensile deformation tests on nanowires, analyze the simulation results using powerful and interactive visualization and then compare these results directly with ones from their tensile tests. The simulations are performed using the nanoMATERIALS simulation tool in nanoHUB.org, a web-portal that enables online simulations using a standard web-browser without the need to download or install any software nor provide the compute cycles for the simulations. The combined experiments have been effective in introducing concepts related to slip, dislocation motion, strain hardening, and microstructure. The course materials as well as the simulation tool are freely available at nanoHUB (https://nanohub.org/topics/LearningModulePlasticityMD). In addition to learning fundamental concepts, this assessment will link students' use of the simulations to their interest in pursuing undergraduate research opportunities.
4:00 AM - AAA6.04
Relationships between Undergraduate Research and the Advanced Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory
Colin E Inglefield 1
1Weber State University Ogden USAShow Abstract
I will present a model for a complementary relationship between an undergraduate research program and the undergraduate teaching laboratories in materials science. One clear example is using the teaching laboratory to prepare students to do more independent undergraduate research by emphasizing appropriate skills and knowledge, but there are several others. Undergraduate researchers can work with faculty to develop new and novel experiments and apparatus that can be used in the teaching laboratory. Undergraduates can gain working knowledge of common research techniques and equipment within their program. I will focus on examples from the course Materials Characterization Laboratory in the Physics of Materials option of our BS program and from my own experience with undergraduate research in the Physics Department at Weber State University, a primarily undergraduate institution. The ideas should be applicable to any institution placing a priority on undergraduate research and undergraduate education.
4:15 AM - AAA6.05
nanoHUB.org: A Gateway to Undergraduate Simulation-Based Research in Materials Science and Related Field
Tanya A. Faltens 2 Peter Bermel 1 Amanda Buckles 2 K. Anna Douglas 3 Alejandro Strachan 4 Lynn Zentner 2 Gerhard Klimeck 2 1
1Purdue University West Lafayette USA2Purdue University West Lafayette USA3Purdue University West Lafayette USA4Purdue University West Lafayette USAShow Abstract
The Congressional Research Service stated in 2009 that the U.S. faces a challenge in developing STEM graduates equipped to meet the demands of cutting-edge interdisciplinary research. An increasingly important element of this work involves experimentally relevant computation and simulation, meaning that our future engineers and scientists will likely be required to use advanced simulations to solve many of tomorrow's challenges. In order to prepare students to meet this need, the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) provides simulation-focused research experiences for undergraduates at an early point in their educational path. It has been shown that participation in undergraduate research significantly increases the likelihood that a student will ultimately complete a doctoral program.
The NCN summer research program currently serves over 20 undergraduate students per year who are recruited nationwide, selected by NCN and the faculty for aptitude in their chosen field, as well as complementary skills such as coding and written communication. Under the guidance of graduate student and faculty mentors, undergraduates modify or build nanoHUB simulation tools for exploring interdisciplinary problems in materials science and engineering, and related fields. NCN is an NSF-funded project that developed and operates nanoHUB.org, an open-access science gateway for cloud-based simulation tools and resources for research and education in nanoscale science and technology.
While the summer projects exist within an overarching research context, the specific tasks that NCN undergraduate students engage in range from modifying existing tools to building new tools for nanoHUB and using them to conduct original research. It is important to note that the simulation tool development takes place within nanoHUB, using its workspace, computational clusters, and additional training and educational resources. One objective of the program is for the students to publish their simulation tools on nanoHUB. These tools can be accessed and executed freely from around the world using a standard web browser; thus students can remain engaged with their work beyond the summer and into their careers.
We will describe the NCN model for undergraduate summer research, which includes: 1) recruitment and selection of a diverse group of participants; 2) support and training given to mentors; 3) mentoring and training given to undergraduates; 4) enrichment activities; 5) enhancing conceptual knowledge of, and interest in nanotechnology and simulation; and 6) impacting students&’ career path choices. Through this model, students gain valuable research experience, mentoring, and peer support that contribute to both their educational and career development. We believe that our model is one that can be adopted by other universities, and will discuss the potential for others to engage undergraduate students in simulation- based research using free nanoHUB resources.
4:30 AM - AAA6.06
NanoFab Lab hellip; in a Box!trade;
Mike Zach 2 1 Jonathan Moritz 1 Tyler Firkus 1 Benjamin McDowell 1 Kevin Barthman 1 Zakarias Driscoll 1 Zach Laffin 3 Matthew Lindsey 3
1University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Stevens Point USA2EChem Nanowires Educational Foundation Stevens Point USA3Wausau Engineering and Global Leadership Academy Wausau USAShow Abstract
Normally, to synthesize patterned nanowires or highly ordered nanostructures, it has been necessary to have access to expensive tools such as electron beam lithography, a multi-million dollar clean room fabrication facility, and highly trained staff. Furthermore, making duplicate structures requires many hours of patterning, photoresist developing, vacuum deposition and selective removal of materials. With all such work, there are no short cuts.
The undergraduate research group at University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point is introducing a practical alternative to these techniques for a wide variety of materials. Electroplate and Lift Lithography1,2 is very different process that uses a simple electroplating on a permanent template and removal of the wires. Duplication of identical structures can be accomplished in minutes using simple equipment on an ordinary laboratory bench top. As a STEM outreach activity, this provides some extraordinary opportunities for students and provides a pathway for high school students to make novel microwire/nanowire research contributions while they are still in high school. The talk will include a brief demonstration of growing copper microwires using a very simple, handheld instrument.
(1) Seley, D.B. et. al., ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2011, 3 (4), pp 925-930 (cover story)
(2) Supporting animation: http://chemdept-nmr.uwsp.edu/~mzach/UWSP_Download.wmv
4:45 AM - AAA6.07
Where Do Our Students Encounter Materials: Everywhere and Rarely
George O. Zimmerman 1 Isa Kaftal Zimmerman 2
1Boston University Boston USA2IKZ Advisors Boston USAShow Abstract
In our increasingly digitized and safety conscious society, we tend to shield our children form real contacts with the material world and tend to steer them to increasingly virtual experiences. Appliances are not repaired but replaced. So do materials used in everyday life. As a consequence, we cannot assume experiences with materials which were a given in the past. We will concentrate on both K-12 and Undergraduate education with examples of the necessity of consciously encountering "materials" in our increasingly digital society, and how students can be taught to realize the properties and necessity of consciously encountering materials. We will draw our examples from the lack of that experience students bring to undergraduate research, and how that deficiency can be remedied.
5:00 AM - AAA6.08
Impact of Sustainable Structural Systems Undergraduate Research on Education and Program Development at MSU Denver
Jeno Balogh 1 Sandra Haynes 1 Aaron Brown 1
1Metropolitan State University of Denver Denver USAShow Abstract
This paper presents the impact of two undergraduate research projects focusing on constructability assessment of adhesive-based wood-concrete composite structural members, on engineering education and program development at MSU Denver. The topic was pursued within senior project classes offered in summer 2013 and 2014 at MSU Denver. The first project addressed new members, while the second dealt with retrofits. These projects were motivated by faculty research in developing new sustainable construction systems using composites. Since underlining faculty research is on an international scale, students had direct access to researchers world-wide. Such research was used as an instrument in the Experimental Methods in Structural Engineering course. The students were also exposed to a broader-range of diverse ideas within the field of research by attending an international conference on timber bridges. The paper describes how experiences gained through the undergraduate research activities were applied in the design of a Sustainable track for a proposed Systems Engineering degree within an Advanced Manufacturing Program.
AAA4: Broadening Participation and Increasing Retention Through Undergraduate Research
Tuesday AM, December 02, 2014
Sheraton, 3rd Floor, Hampton
10:15 AM - AAA4.01
Tribute to Frank W. Snowden Champion for STEM Diversity
Daniel J Steinberg 1
1Princeton University Princeton USAShow Abstract
For over 15 years, Frank W. Snowden was the Associate Director of Education and Human Resources in the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) program. Dr. Snowden was a leader in the community of Materials Science and Engineering educators and in the MRSEC educators network. There are few in the community who were not profoundly influenced in positive ways by Frank&’s knowledge and passion for science education equality and diversity. He led the way in clarifying the need for diversity in STEM for the benefit of our society—not just because it was the right thing to do, but because a diverse population in STEM is still necessary for our nation to thrive in the future. Frank was an active teacher and mentor into his 80&’s and inspired many young people along the way. He succeeded for years in recruiting and retaining minority students to pursue advanced degrees while running multiple REU programs for the MRSEC at the University of Minnesota. In this talk, we will review the career of Frank Snowden, and have a dialogue about his dream to create a truly diverse Materials Science and STEM community in the nation, and discuss how it can meaningfully impact future REUs and undergraduate research.
10:30 AM - AAA4.03
Undergraduate Material Research in a Land Grant HBCU to Sustain Local Farmers Communities
Deborah Sauder 1 Victoria V. Volkis 1
1University of Maryland Eastern Shore Princess Anne USAShow Abstract
Land-Grant Universities including those that were developed under the second Morrill Act in 1890 have historically been a key resource for the best scientifically based information for agricultural production. The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) is situated on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, a critical area, with small farms and underserved farmers. This unique location serves as an interface between University specialty crop research and those farmers. While prices of crops such as corn and soy, which traditionally have been a major source of income for local farmers, have increased dramatically over the past years, small farms cannot generate enough income from these commodity crops alone, and a need alternatives for extra income. In UMES agricultural, chemical and material research specialists formed a special research and training cluster in which they work jointly on non-traditional and non-food related applications of specialty crops in the field of material research leading to non-traditional applications of such crops. Examples of such research are: (i) blending natural specialty crops extracts with polymers to develop natural and effective anti-foaling coating to prevent biofilm formation on objects including military ships, platforms etc.; (ii) using biocompatible polymeric chitosan-based blends as sorbents for reversible carbon dioxide capturing and controlled release in algae-growing reactors and in the process of transforming biomass into alcohol by fermentation to increase the effectiveness of biomass use. Only about 20% of students-researchers in the cluster are graduate students and the rest are undergraduates. The main focus is to provide undergraduate students with research experience as a powerful tool for their education and career development. Focus on students performing outstanding research through their undergraduate education is the main priority in UMES. Working on the material research projects described above, our material cluster has developed some practices which effectively involve undergraduate students in research. These practices include early involvement, development of special workshops and training sessions for fast project starts, working in small groups lead by more experienced students, picking projects that can be easy divided into small tasks suitable to undergraduate student&’s schedules, and supporting travel for undergraduates to attend professional meetings. In this presentation we will review the two material research projects for undergraduate students mentioned above and will show how our best practices are implemented in each of these projects.
10:45 AM - AAA4.04
Nanoscience and Society: Engineering Recruitment and Retention through Societal Relevance
Bryan D. Huey 1 Nora Madjar-Nanovska 2 Manisha Srivastava 4 Helena Silva 3 Alexander Agrios 5 Leslie Shor 6
1University of Connecticut Storrs USA2University of Connecticut Storrs USA3University of Connecticut Storrs USA4SurePath Evaluations LLC Hartford USA5University of Connecticut Storrs USA6University of Connecticut Storrs USAShow Abstract
It is recognized that students are motivated by a wide variety of circumstances and experiences when selecting a major. This work builds on the hypothesis that some students, and even segments of the population, are largely motivated by the societal implications of the research they do or someday will conduct. Since traditional engineering education often under-represents this connection, a new course has been developed emphasizing the influence of engineering on issues relevant to society. The class focuses primarily on technological advances impacting energy, health, the environment, and food and water supplies, with particular emphasis on materials science and engineering aspects that enable these advances (or may in the future). The culminating course projects include proposing research and development to address grand challenges.
In order to assess how the course may have changed student perspectives about engineering, pre- and post- course surveys have been conducted with the ~60 students taught over 2 different semesters. As the class is taught to a range of students including engineers and non-engineers, the results are revealing in terms of varying expectations, awareness, comfort with, and motivations about engineering and research. The results are put in context by comparing the outcomes with those from separate surveys of more than 500 engineers, biologists, business students, and others. As just a few examples, with statistical significance social factors are found to be more important for women than men in making a career choice, along with job security, flexibility, and work-life balance. Those prioritizing such social factors tended to selected disciplines related to biology, however, instead of engineering (or business). Somewhat surprisingly, men tended to believe more than women that the engineering profession is more beneficial to society. Finally, engineers as a whole prioritized research related skills (creativity, group work, research, and innovation). Access to 1st and 2nd year students through such a class as Nanoscience and Society therefore should, and in fact did, enhance recruitment into engineering, particularly the home department of the lead professor (Huey, MSE). Similar efforts are underway with junior and senior level courses emphasizing creativity, teamwork, and interdisciplinary research.
AAA5: A Look Back at the UMRI Program
Tuesday AM, December 02, 2014
Sheraton, 3rd Floor, Hampton
11:30 AM - *AAA5.01
A Look Back at the UMRI Program
Beth Stadler 1
1University of Minnesota Minneapolis USAShow Abstract
The Undergraduate Materials Research Initiative or UMRI program was an internally funded program of the MRS from 1999-2001. The board of MRS set aside funds to give grants of up to $2000 to undergraduate students who proposed research projects in materials science. Most of these students used part of this funding to attend the spring meeting in San Francisco to present their research in a special undergraduate poster session. This talk will look back at the challenges and accomplishments of the program, recognize the people involved in making it happen, and celebrate the successes of those students since they were awarded their UMRI grants.
12:00 PM - AAA5.02
UMRI Alumni: From Characterization of High Temperature Solution Growth Cr 2+:CdSe to Developing Videos to Enhance Diversity in Materials Science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
Oludurotimi Adetunji 1
1Brown University Providence USAShow Abstract
The path from cutting edge materials science research to the development and study of cutting edge approaches to interest and engage students in materials science and in STEM represented a logical development of a scientist&’s professional interests. This pathway will be briefly discussed, along with a description of a novel, experimental approach to curricular and pedagogical materials development.
Our new model for scientific communication, dubbed Science Cartoons (Sci-Toons), is based on our Multimedia Learning Theoretical Framework (MLTF) (Adetunji & Targan, 2012). Sci-Toons are developed by teams of students (STEM and non-STEM majors), STEM and non-STEM experts, and individuals with expertise in animations. They are provided with technical training in animation, storytelling and science. We will describe the Sci-Toons design structure and its creative process, share selected animation products, and describe how these products were developed and its viewing impacts.
In addition, we will describe our experimental approach to address questions such as: Can the Sci-Toons design process and products broaden participation in STEM research, STEM fields and STEM careers? What impacts do Sci-Toons have on its creators&’ and viewers&’ understanding and appreciation of science? What are the characteristics of teams that produce the highest quality animations? Can the Sci-Toons model be replicated at other universities and in other settings (e.g., informal science environments)?
 Adetunji, O. O., & Targan, D. (2012, November). Science Cartoons (SCI#8208;Toons) and STEM Literacy: The Stealth Approach (Multimedia Learning Theoretical Framework). Session presented at the Association of American Colleges and Universities Network for Academic Renewal Conference, Kansas City, MO. http://www.aacu.org/meetings/stem/12/documents/STEM2012Program.pdf
12:15 PM - AAA5.03
UMRI Alumni: From Atoms to 3-D Nanostructures: High Resolution Characterization using Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy
Ilke Arslan 1
1Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Richland USAShow Abstract
My UMRI grant was entitled “Developing an Atomic Scale Understanding of the Structure-Property Relationships of Dislocation Cores in GaN.” I used multiple scattering simulations to understand the differences in electronic structure of 3 different dislocation cores in GaN. Further, the grant gave me the ability to start learning how to use a transmission electron microscope (TEM). As these instruments cost several million dollars each, not many undergraduates had this opportunity. No one in my family is in the sciences or has a Ph.D., so I never knew what a Ph.D. or research entailed before I had this opportunity. After one year of undergraduate research, I liked it so much I went on to do a Ph.D. in physics. During my postdoctoral years, I learned how to do 3-D imaging using electron tomography. This opened up, literally, a new dimension of understanding in my research. I am currently a Senior Scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, with previous appointments as an Assistant Professor at the University of California-Davis, a Truman Fellow at Sandia National Laboratories, and an NSF International Research Fellow and Royal Society Fellow at the University of Cambridge. If it weren&’t for undergraduate research, and the opportunity provided by the UMRI, it is not clear I would ever have gotten a Ph.D. and I would not be where I am today.
12:30 PM - AAA5.04
UMRI Alumni: From UMRI to PECASE, The Power of Undergraduate Research in Materials Science
Mathew M. Maye 1
1Syracuse University Syracuse USAShow Abstract
In this presentation I will describe how my wonderful experience in undergraduate research at SUNY-Binghamton in materials chemistry, which included multiple MRS conferences, and being awarded two UMRI awards, catalyzed my career to academia and broadened my perspective on what research can do.
Chris Hughes, James Madison University
Sudipta Seal, University of Central Florida
Steven Yalisove, University of Michigan
Symposium Support Council on Undergraduate Research
AAA7: International Undergraduate Research
Wednesday AM, December 03, 2014
Sheraton, 3rd Floor, Hampton
9:00 AM - *AAA7.01
Using Overseas Undergraduate Research Experiences as a Catalyst to Develop Historically Underrepresented Science Students in South Africa
Brian H Augustine 1 Wm. Christopher Hughes 2
1High Point University High Point USA2James Madison University Harrisonburg USAShow Abstract
In the twenty years since the end of apartheid in South Africa in 1994, significant strides have been made in increasing the participation of women and indigenous Africans in university studies and more specifically in the STEM fields. Despite the notable increase in participation of these groups, there remain many deep-rooted structural challenges in the primary and secondary educational system with the majority of students being educated in poor performing rural or township schools. A 2014 World Economic Forum report has rated South Africa the worst out of 148 countries surveyed in terms of math and science education. Thus, students who enroll in university STEM programs often struggle with basic scientific principles and mathematical proficiency due of their primary and secondary schooling environment. We report on a project to engage two third-year South African chemistry students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in undergraduate materials science research at James Madison University in Virginia. These students were identified as having shown promise in their first three years of coursework, but not having fully met the standards required to advance to an honors BSc degree. This degree is preferred by employers and required for admission to postgraduate study in South Africa. The students were active participants in an eight week undergraduate research program partnered with U.S. students as part of an established undergraduate research community at JMU. Issues to be discussed include integrating international students from a developing country into a U.S. research laboratory, cultural differences, mentoring requirements and funding needed to sustain such a program.
9:30 AM - *AAA7.02
Enriching and Broadening Undergraduate Research through International Experiences
Isabelle Lagadic 1
1Northern Kentucky University Highland Heights USAShow Abstract
Preparing undergraduate students to succeed in a society, a marketplace and work platforms rapidly moving toward globalization is becoming increasingly important in all academic disciplines. For the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines with sequential and tight curricula, providing undergraduates with study abroad experiences may be very challenging. Yet, most of the future jobs awaiting current undergraduates will involve one or more STEM disciplines and will require a sense of global skills and ability to work effectively across cultures and languages. For the past three years, the department of chemistry at Northern Kentucky University (NKU) has developed an International Summer Research Internship program that hosted a total of 12 international students from China, Ecuador, France and Romania for a period of 8 to 12 weeks to conduct chemistry research in collaboration with their American peers under the supervision of a faculty mentor. This program has not only provided an innovative alternative for chemistry students to connect with international partners, but has also facilitated the creation of research abroad opportunities for NKU students and international research collaborations for NKU faculty. This session will discuss how faculty can develop successful international student exchange programs for undergraduate research in STEM disciplines, as well as how to find and secure funding through multiple institutional partners.
10:00 AM - AAA7.03
Optics in the City of Light - An International REU Program in Paris, France
Steven Yalisove 1
1University of Michigan Ann Arbor USAShow Abstract
This talk will present our experience in developing and running an REU site program in Paris, France that we have been running for the past 6 years. We will examine the difficulties in engaging researchers in a culture where there is no tradition of undergraduate research. We will also discuss how to handle logistics for housing, insurance, acculturation, language, and safety. Examples of problems and solutions will be presented along with some of our tracking strategies and research results from the students.
10:15 AM - AAA7.04
Fostering Interest in Research Careers through Undergraduate Research Programs in Materials Science in Uruguay
Ivana Aguiar 1 Maria Eugenia Perez Barthaburu 2 Mauricio Rodriguez 1 Isabel Galain 1 Andres Cardenas 1 Laura Fornaro 2
1Universidad de la Repamp;#250;blica Montevideo Uruguay2Universidad de la Repamp;#250;blica Rocha UruguayShow Abstract
The Universidad de la Repuacute;blica, Uruguay, strongly encourages undergraduate research from an early age, and includes research (and outreach) into the curricula. In particular, the Compound Semiconductors Group (GSC) from Facultad de Química and Centro Universitario de la Regioacute;n Este (CURE) has developed a hands-on crystal growth course which implies to perform a research work in one of the GSC&’s topics. The course follows a previous one addressed to crystalline materials. The course implies to elaborate a theoretical and experimental work project, an oral presentation and the writing of a research report. The course intends to tackle three weaknesses of science teaching in Uruguay: the compartimentalization of science into disciplines, the rigidity of practical experiments, and the lack of access to the higher levels of knowledge. The methodology applied in the course gives the students a comprehensive perspective while allowing them to acquire laboratory skills without repeating a technique. Moreover, the course also has an attitudinal approach, motivating the students to browse information about the topic and to perform the experimental activities. Since the creation of the course in 2007, 42% of the students are still working in academic research, and 25% of them work in research and development sectors in industry. In our experience, the undergraduate research fuels interest in research work and it is an invaluable tool to foster interest of students to pursue a post graduate degree.
10:30 AM - *AAA7.05
Polymeric Nanoparticles to Decipher the Function of GABAergic Neurotransmission in Planaria: An International Undergraduate Materials Research Experience
John Wade 1 Sonu Kumar 2 Priyadarsi De 2 Latha Ramakrishnan 1
1St. Cloud State University St. Cloud USA2Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata Nadia IndiaShow Abstract
Through the funding received from the National Science Foundations&’ Catalyzing New International Collaboration (NSF-CNIC) grant program, materials research collaboration was initiated between St. Cloud State University, MN and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research-Kolkata (IISER-K), India. This collaboration enabled a senior undergraduate student from St. Cloud State to participate in a two-week long on-site training at IISER-K in the synthesis of side-chain amino acid containing methacrylate polymers using the reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization technique and characterization of the synthesized polymers using various spectroscopic techniques. The undergraduate student also received training and hands-on-experience in the formulation of nanoparticles using the synthesized polymers and subsequent characterization of the polymeric nanoparticles using dynamic light scattering (DLS) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Upon returning to St. Cloud State, the undergraduate student will share his experience via a departmental seminar, present at the annual student research colloquium, and be directly involved in the training of other undergraduate students in the laboratory on the fabrication and characterization of nanoparticles. Further, the student will fabricate the cationic polymeric nanoparticles (PNPs) for studying their biocompatibility and ability to deliver small interfering RNA (siRNA) to silence genes of interest in planaria (flatworms). This international experience in undergraduate materials research proved to be valuable as the student was exposed to tools, techniques, and sophisticated instruments employed in fabrication and characterization of materials for biological applications. This experience has had profound impact on the professional development of the participating student in terms of diversity and boosting the student&’s interest and confidence in pursuing graduate education in the field of materials science.
AAA8: Career Impacts and Mentoring in Undergraduate Research
Wednesday AM, December 03, 2014
Sheraton, 3rd Floor, Hampton
11:30 AM - *AAA8.01
Finding a Faculty Position at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution: The Value of the Materials Science Degree
David J McGee 1
1The College of New Jersey Ewing USAShow Abstract
In the search for a materials science faculty position, candidates quickly realize there are considerably more physics and chemistry departments than materials science departments, and compounding this scarcity of positions is the fact that most materials science departments are found in PhD-granting institutions. However, primarily undergraduate institutions (PUI) with traditional physics and chemistry departments (and materials science departments) can offer an attractive research environment, particularly since such institutions often are quite interested in candidates with the broad interdisciplinary background characteristic of the materials science degree. This talk will therefore focus on (1) preparing for a job search at a PUI, including the role of mentoring undergraduates as a graduate student/postdoctoral student, (2) finding a PUI that is a reasonable match to one&’s abilities and interests, and (3) scaling graduate-level/postdoctoral research to be more aligned with the resources and goals of a PUI. One theme connecting these points will be the perspective of the search committee, and how best to educate such committees that materials science research at a PUI is an outstanding opportunity to invigorate traditional physical science departments with a multidisciplinary perspective.
12:00 PM - AAA8.02
It Takes a Village: Extended Full-Time Undergraduate Research Changes Lives
Debra R. Rolison 1 Jeffrey W. Long 1 Jeremy J. Pietron 1 Jean Marie Wallace 1 2 Christopher N. Chervin 1 Megan B. Sassin 1 Joseph F. Parker 1
1U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Washington USA2Nova Research, Inc. Alexandria USAShow Abstract
Our team at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, a working-capital governmental (not national) laboratory, can be said to serve as the Navy&’s nanoarchitectural firm. We design, synthesize, characterize, and apply multifunctional, hold-in-your-hand architectures that are bench-top-derived and nanoscale-modified for high performance in energy storage and conversion, catalysis, and sensing [1-5]. Although the bulk of our team comprises Ph.D. research staff and postdoctoral associates, one of the keys to our success is the undergraduate researcher—someone who interrupts his or her on-campus course-taking to spend six-to-twelve months with us doing full-time research. As valuable as a summer research experience may be for an undergraduate, we find an extended full-time research experience is invaluable—for the undergraduate, for the Ph.D.s, and for the science. The energy and sense of adventure our undergraduate colleagues bring help to revitalize our postdoctoral colleagues (still a touch jaded from the joys of the graduate student experience, even at the non-dysfunctional science & engineering departments) and spur “what happens when” explorations that frequently sprout new research off-shoots. The undergraduates tell us they earn a deeper appreciation of the why-and-what their faculty cover in lectures but more importantly come to recognize that they are not students, but scientists (e.g., co-authors on references 2, 4, and 5) and the future avenues they can take in science and engineering fields are many, not few.
This work is supported by the Office of Naval Research.
 D.R. Rolison, J.W. Long, Acc. Chem. Res. 2007, 40, 854.
 D.R. Rolison, J.W. Long, J.C. Lytle, A.E. Fischer, C.P. Rhodes, T.M. McEvoy, M.E. Bourg, A.M. Lubers, Chem. Soc. Rev. 2009, 38, 226.
 D.R. Rolison, Science2003, 299, 1698.
 J.C. Lytle, J.M. Wallace, M.B. Sassin, A.J. Barrow, J.W. Long, J.L. Dysart, C.H. Renninger, M.P. Saunders, N.L. Brandell, and D.R. Rolison, Energy Environ. Sci.2011, 4, 1913.
 J.F. Parker, C.N. Chervin, E.S. Nelson, D.R. Rolison, and J.W. Long. Energy Environ. Sci.2014, 7, 1117.
12:15 PM - AAA8.03
Research Experiences for Students: Interdisciplinary Skill Development to Prepare the Future Workforce for Success
Nicole Ferrari 3 Carol Jenkins 1 2 Jacquelynn Garafano 2 4 Deborah Day 5 Todd Schwendemann 1 2 Christine Broadbridge 1 2
1Southern Connecticut State University New Haven USA2Yale University and Southern Connecticut State University New Haven USA3Southern Connecticut State University New Haven USA4United Technologies Research Center East Hartford USA5Amity Regional High School Woodbridge USAShow Abstract
Research experiences for undergraduate students traditionally function as a recruitment vehicle to encourage students to pursue further studies in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and as an opportunity for STEM majors to delve deeper into their chosen fields of study. Based on a critical examination of REU student feedback, evaluators at CRISP (Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena) have found that in addition to these conventional benefits of research-based experiences, the value of interdisciplinary skill development is integral to the REU experience, and these contributions may warrant a more formal evaluative definition. Using the emerging 21st century skills framework, CRISP has begun conducting a series of small-scale studies in an effort to define the contribution of student research experiences in cross-disciplinary skill development and the positive effects that exposure to real-world science practices have on refinement of career decisions and vocational success. Using Likert-type survey methods, this study directly examines current and former REU students&’ perceptions of the importance of interdisciplinary 21st century skills such as creativity, collaboration, communication, information literacy, and problem-solving in their REU experience and their perceived value of these skills in their future and/or current careers. Through better understanding the role these “soft skills” play in student research experiences, CRISP maximizes on these interdisciplinary benefits within its REU program to best prepare REU students for the complex demands of the 21st century workplace.
12:30 PM - AAA8.04
Mentoring Undergraduate Students in Computational Materials Research
Jie Zou 1
1Eastern Illinois University Charleston USAShow Abstract
Computation has become an increasingly important tool in materials science. Compared to experimental research, which requires facilities that are often beyond the financial capability of primarily-undergraduate institutions, computation provides a more affordable approach for involving undergraduates in materials research. Since 2006, I have mentored both physics and pre-engineering undergraduate students in a variety of topics in materials research, ranging from the calculation of phonon dispersion in semiconductor nanostructures to the Monte Carlo simulation of wetting and capillary condensation. These research projects have resulted in a journal publication with two undergraduate students, many undergraduate research grants (from the author&’s institution), and several undergraduate research presentation awards at state-level meetings. In this presentation, using specific undergraduate research projects as examples, I will discuss (i) how to motivate undergraduates in research, (ii) how to design research projects for undergraduates, (iii) how to effectively mentor undergraduate research, and (iv) how undergraduate research has impacted our careers, both mine and my students&’.
12:45 PM - AAA8.05
SURFing Materials Science at NIST
Terrell Vanderah 1 Robert Shull 2
1NIST Gaithersburg USA2NIST Gaithersburg USAShow Abstract
Through Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships, this program provides a joint opportunity for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Science Foundation&’s Division of Materials Research to conduct a rigorous training program in diverse areas of materials research on the electronic, magnetic, optical, mechanical, thermal, chemical, and structural properties of metals, ceramics, polymers, biomaterials, and composites. Each summer approximately 40 undergraduates spend eleven weeks engaged in materials research at the Gaithersburg site, working one-on-one with NIST scientists on projects that combine the quest for fundamental knowledge with direct applications to problems of national importance. Publications and presentations at professional conferences are strongly encouraged; SURF students have received national recognition for their research conducted under this program and have presented and co-authored 231 presentations and publications since the inception of the program in 1998. This Materials Science REU program is seamlessly embedded in the larger NIST-wide REU program SURFing the NIST Laboratories.