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2010 Physics/Engineering/etc REUs and other summer research programs results

  1. Mar 11, 2010 #1
    Hi, I was wondering if anyone has heard back from summer programs in fields other than math. (Math REUs already has its own thread.)

    I applied to:
    -Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) NREL and Argonne
    -Collaborative Undergraduate Research in Energy Program (CURE) at MassAmcrest
    -Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) at Stanford
    -REU Cornell Center for Materials Research
    -Berkeley Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems (COINS) Undergraduate Research Program
    -University of Maryland’s Materials Science and Engineering Center (UMD-MRSEC) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)
    -Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at MIT’s Materials Processing Center (MPC)

    I have only heard back from 3 of them so far COINS, CURE and Cornell's REU. (waitlisted, rejected, accepted-oh so happy!)
    Apparently there were a ridiculous number of applications this year. COINS had 170 applications for 10 spots and CURE had 200 applications for 10 spots. I didn't realize these programs had only like a 5% acceptance rate. Isn't this like 4x lower than grad school admissions?

    How is everyone else doing?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2010 #2


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    I know of at least one student who have heard about the SULI application (in physics), since I accepted him and he has accepted the offer.

    And yes, this year, the number of applicants was huge. We get to choose from some of the best applicant pool that we can ever remember in years.

  4. Mar 11, 2010 #3
    I applied to 8 places.

    I got into:
    Notre Dame (Physics)
    Penn (Mat. Sci.)
    Penn State (Mat. Sci.)

    I got wait listed at:
    Northwestern (Mat. Sci.)

    Never heard back from:
    Boston College (physics)
    Indiana (Physics)
    Wash. State (Physics)
    UCSB (Mat. Sci.)

    I think Im going to take Penn State. I heard from Northwestern that this year was the best year of applicants they have had so far. They had to pick like 15 people out of over 500 applicants.
  5. Mar 11, 2010 #4
    Actually SULI is the one that I'm most eager to hear back from. Are they really going to wait until April 1st to notify me? I'm just worried because I need to make a decision about Cornell before then. And just out of curiosity, how does it work? Does the admissions department send out all the applications that they received to potential mentors and the mentors choose the one they want?
  6. Mar 11, 2010 #5


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    All the mentors at a particular lab have access to all applicants that select that lab either as a first or second choice within a particular field. So we get to see all of the applications for physics, let's say. I made my selection about almost 4 weeks ago, and within a week, we had an offer out, and within another week, the student accepted. This was 2 weeks ago, at least.

  7. Mar 11, 2010 #6


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    Will be [staying] at Cornell this summer doing an REU with the astronomy department. Numerical solving of the Einstein equations and what have you.
  8. Mar 11, 2010 #7
    applied to an ungodly number of programs. rejected from northwestern mat sci, uchicago physics, and austria/syracuse.

    got into my top choice (its a secret... its an international program but not super prestigious like mit or harvard or something)
    EDIT: im not saying cause im trying to keep myself a little bit anonymous...

    i just sent a bunch of emails to all my other programs saying im going to take my top choice. i kinda want to leave them just to see if i get int, but it seems mean to make them consider taking me when i wont take it.
  9. Mar 12, 2010 #8


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    That would only get you OFF their list of consideration. I certainly would strike you off my list immediately if I get that kind of an e-mail.

    When the crop is bountiful, like it is this year, action like that doesn't do you any good, and in fact, can backfire.

  10. Mar 12, 2010 #9


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    I think that's what he wants. He's been accepted into his top choice, and is going to take it, so is informing other programs he's applied to to be removed from the list. Quite thoughtful, to be honest!
  11. Mar 12, 2010 #10


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    In case of SULI, a student did not apply to a specific program at a specific location. The application comes in through the DOE office. So one really does not have a specific person or contact location to write to to do that. Besides, I'm guessing that there is a way for an applicant to indicate that they've accepted so that they are automatically of the list of candidates.

  12. Mar 12, 2010 #11


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    Ah, I see, my mistake!
  13. Mar 12, 2010 #12
    all the programs i applied to were major university programs (like Mat sci @ northwestern, mat sci @ harvard, etc), rather than any govt type programs (SULI for example). i simply emailed the various offices in charge of each admission asking to be taken off as I already know where im spending my summer.

    i dont see what i did wrong? im a little confused.
  14. Mar 12, 2010 #13
    And....rejected from MIT Materials Science REU.
  15. Mar 13, 2010 #14
    I've also heard back from SULI (at NREL), although it will be my second year so I might have heard earlier than others. However, they haven't sent out the email to all the interns yet, so they may still be making decisions, but I wouldn't count on it.
  16. Mar 13, 2010 #15
    Being a freshman, I am pretty new to this REU thing, so I have a couple of questions about it.

    I know I have missed the deadline to apply (obviously because everyone is starting to get their acceptance letters), but what is the minimum math I should take before considering applying to one next year?

    When should I begin sending my applications out?

    Who pays for this? Is there any financial aid available for any of these REUs? I'm kind of on my own to pay for school, so if mommy and daddy are supposed to flip the bill, I guess I can just not even worry about it. But stuff like transportation to the colleges, and I'm sure these camps aren't free, as well as room and board, food, etc. This would probably be my main question.

  17. Mar 13, 2010 #16
    Usually they are paid for by the school or funded by an organization like the NSF. So essentially they are usually free to you, except maybe food. Most of the places will pay for lodging as well. The draw back is they are usually highly competitive to get into. I applied to 12, & had one phone interview so far. The rest have been completely silent. In perspective I've taken all mathematics up to abstract algebra, & with physics I've taken modern, electromagnetics, mathematical physics, quantum mechanics. The only B I've gotten so far was in discrete mathematics & sociology. I've been told my recommendations were very strong. I only list this information to show how competitive these programs really are. Granted I do come from a school with a small physics department though. Most deadlines are early Feb. to early March. Some really competitive programs are even sooner.
  18. Mar 15, 2010 #17
    Just accepted an offer from a small program. I'm very happy with the project I was assigned even though it'll be quiet challenging.
    Some info.
    Cornell Astronomy - about 200 applications (rejected)
    Lehigh - over 550 applications

    I think a lot of the astronomy/astrophysics programs are still deciding though. If people are still looking for REU, I know Case Western's deadline is 3/20. I also heard through the grape vine that LSU will soon be announcing their REU program if you keep checking their website.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
  19. Mar 17, 2010 #18
    Some random data points:

    I applied to UC Davis, UWash, U Wash State, William and Mary, U Rochester, SULI (Berkeley and Brookhaven), and the PPPL NUF program (all for physics). I was offered a position at U Rochester early February but declined and have also been offered a position for the NUF program (which I am sitting on now). I haven't heard back from anywhere else. I also applied to Georgia Tech's math REU (which is where I am a student at) but the deadline to apply for that was today so they probably haven't done much yet.
  20. Mar 24, 2010 #19
    applied to a bunch of physics and materials science programs.

    rejected by-
    national nanotechnology infrastructure network
    optics in paris through the university of michigan
    accepted by-
    materials science at georgia tech
    plasma physics NUF at General Atomics in san diego

    haven't heard back from about 8 other places. i'm waiting to see if I hear back from any others by friday. if not, i'm going to Georgia tech, i think.
  21. Mar 25, 2010 #20
    I applied to 18 summer programs (11 REU, 3 NASA, 2 DOE, 2 Misc). The REU and DOE applications were all geared towards nuclear/quantum projects.

    Results (so far):
    Rochester-Accepted (quantum optics)
    Indiana-Accepted (particle)
    Suli-Accepted (exp. neutron)
    Duke Tunl-Accepted (exp. nuclear)
    MSU-Accepted (nuclear)

    It was a really tough decision, but I ended up going with the Suli internship based on the type of project and the positive communication I had with the project leader.
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