CU Boulder Chemistry REU
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The REU program will not be conducted during the Summer of 2003.

Summer 2002 Students and Projects

Summer 2001 Students and Projects

 Summer 2000 Students and Projects

This web site contains information about the REU program and an application form (PDF). If you would like to speak to someone about the program call Dr. Laura Kuck at 303-735-1280 or email Dr. Kuck at .  The REU program will not be in effect during the summer of 2003.

Summer 2002 Faculty and Projects

 Overview of Program                                                                                                                                   Schedule of Events

Application Procedure                                                                                                                                 Social Activities

Living Arrangements                                                                                                                                     The Research Environment

Program Organization                                                                                                                                   Departmental Facilities and Resources


Overview of Program

The goal of the summer REU program at CU Boulder is to provide a unique and stimulating educational research experience for talented undergraduates interested in Chemistry. The research theme of the program is interfacial chemistry, i.e., the study of molecular systems for which the interface is a critical component in determining system behavior or characteristics. The team of 12 faculty members who participate in the program are exceptionally well qualified in terms of both research accomplishments and mentoring skills. There are a variety of planned interactions with faculty, post-doctoral associates, graduate students and other undergraduates. For example, there will be weekly meetings in which the REU group of faculty and students discuss science and research progress. In addition, the area near Boulder offers spectacular scenery and wonderful opportunities for a wide range of outdoor activities.

Students will earn $300 per week in stipend (nontaxable), some fraction of which may go towards housing costs (see the Living Arrangements section). In addition, up to $500 per student is available to cover moving expenses.

Application Procedure

 The following information must be received by March 1, 2002:

The complete application package, including recommendations, should be sent to:

Students have the option of either arranging their own living accomodations or staying in Sewall Hall,the on-campus dormitory. Doom rooms are available with either single or double occupancy; an attempt will be made to pair up students with compatible characteristics (i.e., smoking versus non-smoking). Meal plans can include 0, 10 or 17 meals per week. The cost of the housing arrangements is approximately as follows:
Double occupancy 17 meals per week $155/week
  10 meals per week $145/week
  0 meals per week $ 95/week
Single occupancy 17 meals per week $181/week
  10 meals per week $170/week
  0 meals per week $123/week

There are excellent transportation services for both the campus and between the campus and city. Boulder also has extensive biking and walking paths.

Program Organization

 Ten junior level undergraduate students will be invited for a 10 week summer research experience. Dr. Laura Kuck will serve as the first point of contact and the program coordinator. As shown in the schedule of events, several contacts between students and faculty will take place prior to the students arrival in Boulder. An initial contact will be made by faculty in order to get a more refined view of the student’s research interests. After the assignment of advisors, each advisor will then contact their student with specific information and recommendations for prior reading. Dr. Kuck will contact each selected student with detailed information about travel and housing. She will also facilitate the student’s introduction into the University environment (i.e., lab keys, directions, etc.). When the students arrive they will be welcomed and introduced to each other (as well as each of the faculty) during a party on Saturday afternoon. The detailed introduction to the research program will be conducted the following day, with an emphasis on the goals of the program and on safety in the lab. The students will then be immersed in their individual lab projects. Weekly "group meetings" with the REU students and faculty will be conducted. Students will be asked to present a summary of their efforts at the meetings. The meetings will begin during the second week with the initial goal of students having a clear idea of their research objectives. Each week 2-3 students will present a 10-15 minute summary of their efforts, with the presenting student’s advisor in attendance. During the last week of the program a mini-symposium will be held with each of the students presenting a 20 minute summary of their accomplishments.  In addition, the students will be required to write a summary of their work in the form of a journal article. An abstract of this article will be available on the REU web site. During the last week the students will be asked to meet with Dr. Kuck for an exit interview and will be asked to anonymously fill out an exit poll.

Schedule of Events

March 1 Deadline for applications
March 15 Selection of 10-12 students and alternates (by committee)
March 18 Notification of students and initial faculty contact for discussion of research interests
March 22 Advisor assignments (match student and faculty interests)
March 22 Administrative contact (advisor assignments and housing information)
April 1 Advisor contact with student for advice on reading materials
June 1 Students arrive
June 2 Welcome party 
June 3 Introduction to program
June 3- August 9 Weekly meetings with faculty and other students (informal discussions)
August 8 Exit poll
August 9 Student symposium and luncheon 

Social Activities

 The students will be given detailed information on our excellent Outdoor program organized through the recreation center. Dr. Laura Kuck will help the students organize trips, such as rafting, hiking, rock climbing etc. for those who want to go beyond the Outdoor program. In addition, a summer pass for the recreation center is available for interested students at the cost of about $55. The recreation center includes an ice rink, an aerobics studio, racquetball, squash and tennis courts, an indoor running track, a weightlifting room, a swimming pool, and a climbing wall.

The Research Environment

 The department offers two undergraduate B.A. degrees (Chemistry and Biochemistry) and typically has ~70 undergraduate majors graduate per year. The Department ranked 11th nationally in total number of bachelors graduating in Chemistry in 1995 (Chem.& Eng. News, Jan. 20, 1997). Fifteen undergraduate courses are offered with curricula related to environmental, biological, physical, and health-related sciences and engineering; typical enrollments are 3,500 students per year. The department also has vigorous M.S. and Ph.D. programs with 215 Ph.D. students currently enrolled. There are generally over 90 post-doctoral research assistants in the department. Graduate students have the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary programs in Chemical Physics, Biotechnology, and Atmospheric Chemistry.

The Department has 36 regular faculty, 6 adjoint faculty, 2 research faculty and 2 instructors. Adjoint faculty include distinguished scientists from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Eleven faculty members are women and five are ethnic minorities. The strength of the Department arises from superior faculty contributions to teaching and research missions. Nearly all of the faculty are research active and have at least one major research grant in force. In a survey by the National Science Foundation (Chem. and Eng. News, Sept. 1, 1997), the Department ranked 3rd in the United States in the amount of off-campus support awarded for research and development. The annual total awards received exceeds $10,000,000. The faculty are extremely productive in terms of publications in scholarly journals, e.g. 450 publications for the two-year period 1996-97. The quality of these publications is also extremely high; the Department ranked 7th worldwide in impact of published papers in chemistry (Science Watch , Nov. 1994). Faculty members give hundreds of invited research presentations every year at other institutions and at scientific conferences throughout the world. National and international recognition to the faculty includes the Nobel Prize (1989) and selection of eight members (two now retired) to the National Academy of Sciences. Other recent prestigious awards received by individual faculty include: the National Medal of Science; the Bonfils Stanton Award for Science; the Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics; a Dreyfus New Faculty Award; Arthur C. Cope Scholar Awards; National Science Foundation Career Awards; Guggenheim, Packard, Searle and Sloan Research Fellowships. Several faculty are joint members of campus institutes and programs, such as the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, the Environmental Program, and the Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

Philosophy Towards Undergraduate Research: Faculty within the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry here at the University of Colorado are dedicated to education, in the lab as well as the classroom. We believe that education through research is one of the most effective approaches for the development of critical thinking skills. In addition, research allows students to solidify and build on their knowledge base in a way that enhances "connections" with the real-world. Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to participate in the cutting edge research taking place in our department. As evidenced by the more than 160 undergraduates who have worked with the 12 faculty members included in this proposal, our faculty have a strong commitment to undergraduate research experience (see Specific Projects section). Last year 9 undergraduates participated in our Honors research program; 4 students graduated summa cum laude and 5 graduated magna cum laude. The University as a whole strongly supports undergraduate research through such programs as the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, the Howard Hughes Initiative, and the Ronald E. McNair Program for minorities.

Departmental Facilities and Resources

 The department is well equipped to conduct state-of-the-art research in many fields. The Magnetic Resonance Instrumentation Laboratory recently added a multinuclear 500 MHz NMR spectrometer to existing 300 MHz, 400 MHz, 500 MHz and 600 MHz NMR spectrometers. The available NMR instrumentation provides department researchers with hands-on access to modern NMR techniques including multi-dimensional, indirect detection, and pulsed field gradient experiments. Offline data processing is available via Sun workstations and X-terminals. Instrumentation for electron paramagnetic resonance and magnetic susceptibility measurements are also available. X-ray crystallography is carried out on two automated diffractometers, including a CCD-based area detector. This remarkably sensitive instrument allows for the study of much smaller samples with dramatically improved speed and accuracy. Data acquisition is routinely performed at 150 K to facilitate the handling of air- and moisture-sensitive compounds. Mass spectrometry needs are fulfilled by four mass spectrometers utilizing a variety of sample introduction and ionization methods. Other departmental instrumentation includes several Fourier transform infrared spectrometers, ultraviolet-visible spectrometers, a spectropolarimeter, an emission spectrograph, centrifuges, scintillation counters, and numerous optical-laser facilities. Furthermore, individual research groups maintain and operate diffractometers for protein crystallography, stopped -flow instruments, mass spectrometers, electrochemical instrumentation, gas and liquid chromatographs, inert atmosphere glow boxes, infrared and UV-Vis spectrometers, high-vacuum lines, photochemical apparatus, and other specialized equipment.

Many research projects require custom instrumentation. The department has a modern precision instrument shop equipped with several computer-controlled milling machines, a computer-controlled lathe, and conventional machine tools. Shop personnel are well versed in the design and fabrication of opto-mechanical, ultra-high vacuum and flight-based instrumentation for a variety of research disciplines. In addition, a second shop is available to students, giving them the opportunity to plan and build their own equipment. Design may be facilitated with the latest CAD/CAM techniques. The equipment includes a computer-controlled milling center, several vertical milling machines, lathes, and other machine tools. Hand tools, welding equipment, and small power tools are also available. The shop’s experience encompasses a wide variety of materials, from metals to ceramics and advanced polymers.

Acquiring chemicals and supplies is an important consideration for any research effort. The Chemistry and Biochemistry Stores are designed to meet the general needs for graduate research. An inventory of over 1300 items fulfills the glassware, apparatus, and chemical needs for most research pursuits. Most needs are met in a short period of time, not delaying research any more than necessary. Items not in inventory are readily procured via several mechanisms, often within a few days. The goal is to make the purchase of needed items as efficient and as painless as possible.

As might be expected, access to computers is readily available. Many research groups maintain powerful workstations, including systems from Digital Equipment, IBM, Silicon Graphics, and Sun Microsystems, as well as PC-clones and Apple Macintosh computers. Additionally, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, located in Boulder, houses a Cray super-computer which is available for specific research problems.

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