Summer Wrap-Up: Undergraduate Researchers Compete for Prize

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TREND 2013 and JQI Summer Research Participants

Some students spend their summer vacations lazing about the pool or exfoliating their toes in the sand and surf. Each summer, however, dozens of intrepid undergraduate scientists eschew the beach in favor of ten weeks spent designing and implementing their own research projects in labs across the University of Maryland campus.

On August 9, 2013, the ten students participating in the Training and Research Experiences in Nonlinear Dynamics 2013 (TREND) program at the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics (IREAP) joined students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s MERIT-BIEN and TE programs to present their research projects at a joint undergraduate student research fair.

TREND, now in its eleventh year, is a National Science Foundation, Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program that offers talented students from across the US the opportunity to work in labs at the University of Maryland’s Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics under the direction of Co-PI’s: Professor Thomas Murphy, Professor Michelle Girvan, and Barbara Brawn-Cinani. Additionally, this year IREAP joined with Dr. Louis Orozco of the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) to include two students from Mexico in many of the activities associated with the TREND program.

Students, whose backgrounds are in applied mathematics, engineering and physics, worked on projects ranging from investigating the properties of granular materials under shear and pressure to modeling how startle response changes collective behavior to examining the magnetic reconnectivity of dispersive waves. (See below for a full list of projects.)

Each year a prize for the top project is awarded to the student(s) whose work over the course of the TREND program exceeds expectations and shows initiative, dedication, innovation, and future promise. This year’s top prize went to the research team of Alex Gorowara (Worcester Polytechnic Institue) and Ari Zitin (University of North Carolina) for their project, "Plum Pudding Models for growing small-world networks". Honorable mentions were awarded to Alexandra Boldin of Macalester College for "Probing anomalously high quantum efficiency of self-healing gold photocathodes" and Carleen Boyer of Bucknell University for "Using frequency tuning to extend bandwidth in a pasotron". The judges for this year’s contest were Professor Sarah Eno (UMD, Phys.), Dr. Lou Pecora (NRL), and Dr. Sam Stanton (ARO).

Congratulations to all our participants on their excellent work this summer.

TREND 2013 Projects

  • Alexandra Boldin (Macalester College) – "Probing anomalously high quantum efficiency of self-healing gold photocathodes" advised by Dr. E.J. Montgomery and B. Riddick (Honorable Mention)
  • Carleen Boyer (Bucknell University) – "Using frequency tuning to extend bandwidth in a pasotron" advised by Dr. J.C. Rodgers and Dr. D.P. Lathrop (Honorable Mention)
  • Alexander Flanagan (University of Wisconsin-Madison) – "Dispersive waves and magnetic reconnection" advised by Dr. J.F. Drake and Dr. M. Swisdak
  • Jacob Fondriest (University of Alabama) – "Effects of substrate topography on actin dynamics and B cell receptor clustering" advised by Dr. Upadhyaya, Dr. Fourkas, Christina Ketchum, and Xiaovu Sun
  • Alex Gorowara (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) and Ari Zitin (UNC) – "Plum Pudding Model for growing small-world networks" advised by Dr. T. Antonsen, Dr. M. Girvan, Dr. E. Ott, M. Herrera, and S. Squires (2013 TREND Best Project Award)
  • Hanieh Nejadriahi (St. Olaf College) – "Evolution of a nonlinear system-route to chaos" advised by Dr. J. Rodgers
  • Allyson Rice (University of Texas at Austin) – "Behavior of shear-driven granular materials under applied loads" advised by Dr. W. Losert and Matt Harrington
  • Tony Sang (Concordia College) – "Startle response changes collective behavior" advised by Dr. D.A. Paley
  • Rafael Setra (UMD) – "Supressing SBS through chaotic phase modulation" advised by Dr. T.E. Murphy and Dr. R. Roy

JQI Summer Research 2013 Projects

  • J.O. Gómez Muñoz (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) – "Control of intensity drive of a Cavity QED system" advised by B.D. Patterson, A.D. Cimmarusti, W.M. Pimenta, and L.A. Orozco
  • E. del Rio Argüelles (Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosi) – "Mirror MOT for Coupling Neutral Atoms to a Superconducting Resonator" advised by J.A. Gover, J.E. Hoffman, P.A. Solano, J. Lee, S.L. Rolston and L.A. Orozco


Published August 14, 2013