- About Us
- Prospective Students
- Apply Now
- Application Process
- Enrollment Guide
- Family Resources
- Fellowship Programs
- Financing Graduate School
- Health Insurance
- International Students
- Schedule a Tour
- Student Housing
- Veteran's Academic Services
- A to Z Degree Program Listing
- Listing by Subject
- Listing by Campus
- Listing by Degree
- Online Graduate Degrees
- Professional Development
- Apply Now
REU Program Looks To Bring Students
The Oklahoma State University Physics Research Experience for Undergrads (REU) Program is in the business of making new Cowboys.
If you need proof, just look at Calvin Ainsworth and Jacob Crosby – two of seven students who came to Stillwater last year to be a part of the program – who will be starting class at OSU in the fall.
You can also talk to Lucas Blake – who attended the program last summer as well.
“[REU] is a great opportunity. It’s a great résumé builder. It’s a great way to make a great cohort, make new friends, and learn a lot about that university,” Blake said.
The ten-week National Science Foundation program spans over the summer and brings undergraduate students from across the nation to Stillwater. The program includes a $5,000 stipend, attendance at a national professional meeting and the participants’ travel, housing and meals covered.
“The program is necessary because it gives students who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to do research to be involved in research,” Dr. Mario Borunda, one of the co-directors of the program, said.
“It applies to universities that don’t have research facilities and it also helps us recruit some of those students. We want some of those students to come back to OSU as grad students,” he said.
Which is exactly what Blake is considering now.
“From last summer, I decided I’m really interested in going [into] photonics as a career. So I’m actually considering OSU for graduate school,” Blake said.
Which is quite different from where he was before the program.
“I had actually never heard of photonics before I came to OSU this summer,” he said. “I had originally talked to the physics REU and I ended up in photonics. I didn’t know the subset of optics that was photonics beforehand.”
Blake was definitely given an introduction though.
Each student in the program goes through eight-hour workdays in the lab working in fields such as condensed matter physics, atomic and molecular optics and photonics, and high energy physics.
Participants also get to attend multiple workshops including how to apply to grad school, what is required for taking the GRE and finding the best way to present data.
“I didn’t have a thorough background in optimal electronics or anything photonics related,” Blake said. “I used a lot of stuff I learned in quantum mechanics and other undergraduate level physics courses and I could see the transition between that and the graduate level courses involving photonics. And the stuff I learned there I got to work from scratch.”
This is one experience Borunda believes all REU participants should have in their time in the program.