3. You might get your research results published.
Working with Osburn, Burton's project involved developing a computer model to describe important astronomical systems at the forefront of astrophysics research. He investigated a common but extreme scenario where two compact celestial bodies encounter one another through a violent merger. Often these celestial bodies are black holes. "Through Justin's diligent efforts, the mathematical equations governing this system were successfully solved for the first time," Osburn says. Now, they're preparing these results for publication in a leading scientific journal.
Choi and Neuman also got some exciting results that they're looking forward to sharing at a fall conference. The Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (SERMACS) recently accepted Choi's research poster for presentation at their gathering this November in Augusta, Ga.
4. Experiencing different types of research can prepare you for future academic work.
Eden Nitza from Fort Wayne, Ind. — Nitza, now a junior biology major at Emory College, worked with Biology Lecturer Michael Martin. The project Martin designed consisted of field work, lab work, and computational work. "I loved experiencing all three of those types of research," Nitza recalls. She wants to be a conservation biologist, and hopes to conduct field research most of the time. Her research project examined the population genetic structure of the lichen grasshopper on rock outcrops in the piedmont of Georgia. "The research project we worked on is also closely related to what I want to study in graduate school, so it was nice to get a taste of what that will look like," she says.
5. Doing summer research gives you the opportunity to work one-on-one with skilled faculty.
From left: Thomas Osburn, Justin Burton, Eden Nitza, Min Ji Choi, and Michael Martin
Since SURE-Oxford was Choi's first research experience, she appreciated the interaction with her mentor. "Communicating with Dr. Neuman helped me to stay on track and be efficient in lab," she recalls. Oxford faculty also appreciate the in-depth collaboration with students. "It's so much fun to work one-on-one in the lab with a motivated student," Neuman says.
Michael Martin agrees with Neuman. "The SURE program offers a great experience for students interested in research," he emphasizes. "It offers hands-on experience with lab equipment and experimentation, as well as science communication and research skills."
6. Research teaches you critical thinking and resilience.
"Science is at least 50 percent failure," Martin admits. The lecturer in biology believes failure teaches students to troubleshoot problems and not fear starting over. "We work especially hard to work these lessons into courses, but SURE does an excellent job teaching the lessons in a real-world context," he adds.
7. Presenting research is fun.
"My favorite part of the summer program was presenting my poster to all of the different people at the SURE symposium," Burton says. "I loved the challenge of adapting my explanation for my audience, whether math professors or undergraduate humanities majors."
In August, the students presented their research posters in end-of-session gatherings in the Oxford Science Building and on the Atlanta campus to share and showcase their results.