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College of Science and Mathematics

Research

Research opportunities are available for both undergraduate and graduate students at the College of Science and Mathematics. These research experiences help students understand a particular topic or phenomenon in a field while simultaneously strengthening their comprehension of research and research methods. Students will engage in inquiry-based learning that involves practicing a discipline, not just being told about it. Students learn and apply the tools by which knowledge is created in their disciplines. They discover firsthand how the steps of the research process are related to one another, experience the triumphs and pitfalls inherent to the creative process, see that research is an iterative process and that ambiguity is part of the real world, develop an understanding and appreciation of how knowledge evolves, and produce an original contribution to that body of knowledge.

Students who are interested in pursuing research should reach out to faculty. It is important to find a faculty mentor whose research aligns with their interests. To learn more visit our virtual 360 tour or watch our featured research playlist. 

360 Virtual Tour Research Video Playlist

Research by Discipline

Environmental, Evolutionary and Ecological Systems

These fields of science strive to understand basic mechanistic processes at scales from within ecosystems to the entire globe and provide a framework for investigating aspects of human-accelerated environmental change, including climate change, acid deposition, eutrophication, land-use change, the impacts of invasive species, and loss of native biodiversity. 

Faculty 

Physiological, Behavioral and Developmental Systems

This research comprises faculty and students interested in understanding the processes and mechanisms of developmental change, from infancy through adolescence. We seek to understand change over both short and long timescales, and how interactions at all levels of the developing system produce change.We represent a broad range of theoretical viewpoints, including embodiment, connectionism, ecological psychology, and developmental systems theory. 

Faculty

Molecular, Cellular and Genetic Systems

This discipline aims to educate and train students to make paradigm-shifting discoveries in a diverse range of disciplines, including molecular biology, cell biology, genomics and quantitative biology, stem cells and developmental biology, cancer biology and human disease modeling. Our research emphasizes interdisciplinary training and collaborative research using cutting-edge technologies.

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Biochemical and Biophysical Chemistry

Biological and biophysical chemistry use chemical and physical techniques to investigate biological systems and their structure, properties, and behavior. These investigations are important in understanding the cause of disease and developing treatments and cures for these diseases.

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Environmental and Applied Chemistry

Analytical and physical chemistry provide measurement techniques that can be used to address challenges facing our communities ranging from crime to climate change and environmental health. Research programs in this area build on the departments strong traditions of laboratory training and take our technical expertise to engage with our local community.

Faculty

Nanochemistry and Measurements

Nanochemistry is a new field of chemistry dealing with the syntheses, characterizations, and applications of nanoscale (from ~1 to ~100 nm) materials. In this size regime, many materials show unique physical and/or chemical properties that neither their bulk counterparts nor atoms/molecules have. Our discipline provides various research activities in, but not limited to, creating new chemical nanostructures, uncovering and understanding their novel properties, and learning how to organize these new nanostructures into larger and more complex functional structures and devices.

Faculty

Synthesis and Catalysis

The main goal in this area of research is to discover efficient, practical, and environmentally friendly synthetic routes for the preparation of organic compounds that are beneficial to the society (e.g. pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, etc.). This broad area of research may involve one or more of the following topics: organic or organometallic synthesis design, reaction techniques, process chemistry, multiphase catalysis, green solvents, catalyst immobilization and/or recycling, and chromatographic separations. In addition, a variety of instrumental analytical techniques (NMR, IR, UV-Vis spectroscopy; mass spectrometry; X-ray crystallography) are used for structural identification of newly discovered compounds. A current topic is "green chemistry" and both homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, as well as enzymatic reactions, feature prominently.

Faculty

Chemical Education Research

Chemical Education Research (CER) uses quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method techniques to investigate effective approaches to cognition, instruction, and assessment. Such investigations are important in aspiring future chemists, retaining people within the field of Chemistry, and broadening the wider public's understanding of Chemistry as a discipline and its applications to their everyday life.

With constantly improving curriculum and burgeoning technology affordances, there are many exciting opportunities for research in chemical education.

Faculty

Algorithms and Big Data 

The end target with this research is to further refine the data to a point where the information that results can be applied to business decisions. It is this process of informing downstream processes with more refined and higher value data that is a fundamental to companies becoming truly harnessing the value of their data and achieving the results that they desire

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Artificial Intelligence

HPC and Bioinformatic

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Open Source Software Development

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Virtual Reality and GPU Computing

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Wireless and Multimedia Networking 

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Biomedical Physics

An applied branch of physics concerned with the application of the concepts and methods of physics to the diagnosis, management, and treatment of human disease. It is allied with medical electronics, bioengineering, and health physics.

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High Energy Physics

The goal of high energy physics is to understand the most fundamental constituents of matter and their interactions, and the origin, nature, and fate of the universe. Using powerful accelerators and particle detectors, we can study what comes from the small Big-Bangs to answer the deepest questions about the nature of space and time, the origin, nature, and fate of the universe. 

Faculty 

Astronomy

Astronomy is the science of everything beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Astronomy is the oldest of the sciences. It is here that humankind’s interest in science began. "To boldly go where no one has gone before" isn't a cliché here: it's what we do.

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Condensed Matter

Condensed Matter Physics is the study of the properties and mechanisms in crystalline and amorphous solids and liquids. Matter Physics is the largest field in Physics and highly interdisciplinary with Chemistry, Engineering, and the life sciences. Most of the development in modern technology is related to Condensed Matter Physics.

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Physics Education

Physics Education seeks to examine the historical, current, and possible future methods of teaching physics. It is an area of research that utilizes models and techniques to characterize and assess learning difficulties and develops measures to quantify learning gains.

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Theoretical Physics 

Theoretical Physics seeks to take the enormous complexity of the universe that we see around us – the afterglow of the Big Bang, stars fusing hydrogen to helium, the motion planets around the Sun, the phenomenon of lighting, the binding of quarks into protons and neutrons – and tries to give a single underlying physical principle to explain all of these phenomenon.  This effort has led to the Standard Model of particle physics (which explains the small scale phenomenon in the Universe) and General Relativity (which explains the large scale phenomenon in the Universe). Current efforts seek to combine these two pillars of theoretical physics into a single theory.

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Computation Physics

Computational physics is a new branch of physics, and it addresses the question: how can we use a computer to deepen our understanding of the laws of nature? It is a highly interdisciplinary field where fundamental physics and mathematics “join forces” with sophisticated programming techniques, artificial intelligence, design of new computers and related disciplines.

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General Experimental

Experimental research uses scientific methods to collect data and perform research. Often, the work builds, one study at a time, to a larger finding or conclusion. Some researchers have devoted their entire career to answering one complex research question. 

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Applied Behavioral Analysis

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a science that uses principles of learning and motivation that have come from decades of scientific research to solve problems of behavior that matter to society.

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