How does sus­pense affect heart rate? Or what can be learned from mod­eling and ana­lyzing bacteria’s move­ments or exam­ining the dif­fer­ences in coor­di­na­tion due to hand dom­i­nance with and without visual feed­back? These are just a few exam­ples of the range of research topics explored by first-​​year stu­dents last month in the Summer Dis­covery Expe­ri­ence, an inten­sive summer ini­tia­tive run by the National Sci­ence Foundation-​​funded PRISM pro­gram.

In this four-​​week immer­sive pro­gram, stu­dents expe­ri­ence hands-​​on research in math­e­matics, physics, and biology, and receive an intro­duc­tion to basic research and data analysis methods—all under the guid­ance of fac­ulty and stu­dent men­tors. The summer pro­gram is taught by three fac­ulty mem­bers: Dagmar Sternad, pro­fessor of biology and elec­trical and com­puter engi­neering; Alain Karma, pro­fessor of physics; and Christo­pher King, pro­fessor of math­e­matics.

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