REU SITE: Astronomical Research and Instrumentation at Texas A&M University
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Texas A&M University (TAMU) will host a summer REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) program in astronomy. Students will complete individual research projects with a faculty mentor. They will also benefit from interaction with summer students in 14 other TAMU REU programs, such as the REU Summer Scholars Program (weekly informal lunch discussions focusing on ethnic minority issues) and the university-wide summer REU Poster Session. This program will benefit society by enhancing the education of undergraduates through research and professional development programs, by involving them in the development of advanced astronomical instrumentation, and by extending these opportunities to students from institutions otherwise unable to offer such experiences, which will be a primary focus of the recruitment efforts. The summer will begin with a 3-day workshop that will give them a hands-on introduction to data visualization and computational data analysis. Students will also have the opportunity to design, construct, test, and deploy a variety of instruments to be used at astronomical observatories around the world. TAMU astronomy faculty are involved in most of the current and future large-scale observational astronomy collaborations. All of the REU students have the opportunity to spend one week observing at McDonald Observatory in west Texas, and they will be invited to participate in public outreach activities.