Mandel Subproject for SP0033448

  • Mandel, Mark (Subproject PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Statement of Purpose: Program for Multiple Undergraduate Research Projects Faculty Participants: Melville Ulmer, Michael Smutko, David Meyer, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Northwestern University (NU), Evanston, IL The stipend for the 5 full time and one part time selected astrophysics students will be $5,000. The exact period the students must be available to work is flexible, but period should be between approximately June 15 and September 25. All our projects here at Northwestern can provide tasks that will give the student extensive computer experience with a wide selection of mini-computers on campus or via electronic access to several off campus super-computers. Some of the areas of current research are: (1) Theoretical work on the physics of pulsars and black holes in the centers of galaxies (2) Radio maps of the Galactic Center and star formation regions; (3) Optical observations related to the study of the cosmic micro-wave background and the intergalactic gas; (4) Analysis of X-ray satellite data (5) Laboratory work to develop techniques for making mirrors which reflect X-rays or are light weight optical mirrors (6) Planetary system Formation and Evolution. The roles and responsibilities vary but typically require computer programming, running computer programs, downloading and analyzing satellite data sets, designing and machining pieces for the laboratory, running equipment such as vacuum systems and electroforming baths, and attending research team meetings and seminars. This past year we had 3 out of the 5 full time positions were female (one Hispanic). Thus in terms of funding the summer of 2014 we were above target for the females and nearly on target for underrepresented minorities. We anticipate the same mix for this coming summer of 20145 Last summer in the astrophysics program, we had: 3 females out of 5 participants (at our target for female participation without the Materials Research Center (MRSEC) participation); 5 were from Northwestern University. Furthermore, last summer when we had enough funds to send some to the Materials Research MRSEC, we had a very impressive list of 5 underrepresented minority participants: Carys Layton, Southern Oregon University, Daniel Martinez, Auburn University, Kaitlyn Perez, Bucknell University, Yeilyn Colon, Saint Mary’s College, and Kimberly Justle, Carnagie Mellon University. This brought us to above target for females and on target for underrepresented minorities. On average, we have taken 5 minorities (see above) from the MRC and anticipate on doing that again the summer of 2015. All the Astrophysics students will meet weekly for seminars which will be given by faculty and staff until the end of the summer when the students will give their own presentations. We estimate the total cost of the equipment that the students will have access to is over $lM. The selection criteria are for the students to be very interested in astrophysics (they submit an essay on why they are interested in astrophysics and describe any previous experience), be good students, have good letters of recommendation, good transcripts, and have an interest that matches that of faculty member. The NU SG director makes a pre-selection and match for all those students applying for astrophysics and are not at Northwestern. This year all the Northwestern students are already matched with a supervisor. The NU Illinois Space Grant (ISG) progam will also monitor the research projects and academic progress of those students that will receive fellowships and scholarships. Dire
Effective start/end date4/10/154/9/21


  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2015-05200-09(15789)-AB425//NNX154A)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (2015-05200-09(15789)-AB425//NNX154A)


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