REU SITE: Astronomical Instrumentation at Texas A&M University
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This award supports the establishment of a summer REU Site in astronomical research and instrumentation at Texas A&M University. The REU program will be offered annually to eight qualified applicants, who will work closely with mentors on projects related to basic research as well as the development, testing, and integration of state-of-the art astronomical instrumentation. The Site will leverage Texas A&M''s institutional memberships with large scale observational collaborations, such as the Giant Magellan Telescope, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment Survey, and the Dark Energy Survey. The overall aim is to train young scientists and engineers in the fields of modern observational astronomy and instrumentation. The REU students will use data obtained with modern instrumentation developed at Texas A&M and will have the opportunity to participate in the design of future instrumentation projects, providing them with hands-on experience applicable to multiple career paths in academia or industry. The Site will make a special effort to recruit women and minority students, as well as to reach out to students at smaller schools in Texas and across the country who may not yet have had access to cutting-edge astronomical instrumentation facilities.