We strongly encourage Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics students with special interests to conduct independent study projects. An independent study project provides the qualified student with an opportunity for in-depth research into their topic of choice. Topics for independent studies often come from the students, either from a topic mentioned briefly in a class or from discussions of possibilities with the faculty. Avery Makel is shown with a solar collector for his original design of a mobile solar-powered refrigeration unit for medicine storage in third-world countries.
Here are other recent topics that have been explored.
Mathematics of the Heart: April Saul studied the use of chaos theory techniques in analyzing the dynamics of the human heart rate.
Computer Science of Robotics: Thomas Lux developed techniques for localization mapping.
Physics of Nanotechnology: Daniel Ballou synthesized Goethite nanotubes.
Mathematics of Networks: Sarah Witt studied various measures of influence in social networks (Facebook).
Computer Science of Networks: Jonathan Thompson computed large matchings of planar graphs.
Physics of Galaxy Formation: David Guynn studied the influence of environment on galaxy clusters.
Mathematics of Gambling: Heather Cook studied optimal strategies in a new variant on a card game, Blackjack Switch.
Computer Science of Artificial Intelligence: Justyn Dooley investigated the analysis of directional thoughts.
Physics of Material Science: Anne Kyner analyzed Mossbauer data from planet Mars.
Examples of MCSP independent studies can be found at this link.
“If I can help pique my students’ interest in research and scientific careers, I feel that I have done my job as a professor to promote an extended education,” Dr. Balasubramanian says.