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.