Summer REU Research

Cornell students frequently complete research experiences for undergraduates (REUs) during the summer at prestigious institutions around the world. Below are descriptions of some of their recent work.


Sean McKenna was one of a dozen students selected for the Space Astronomy Summer Program at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland. The Space Telescope Science Institute is the scientific operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and for the future James Webb Space Telescope. During the summer program, students work individually with STScI researchers and staff on research projects that might include data reduction and interpretation, software development, scientific writing, and preparing data for public releases.

Suzannah Wood earned a Cornell Fellowship to study with Joyce Guzik '82 at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Suzannah will work on modeling the interior of the Sun, including the effects of early mass loss and electron screening. 

Joey Hambleton participated in the NSF-REU research program in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Oklahoma University.  He analyzed data taken from the Fermilab high energy particle collider.


Alex Yeagle worked with the High Energy Physics group at Kansas State University as a part of the MicroBooNE collaboration. The goal of the project was to create a reliable procedure for hand-scanning events from computer simulations of the MicroBooNE detector. He worked to identify events caused by electron-neutrinos (νe) and discriminate from all other events in order to properly measure neutrino mixing angles.

Aaron Zaubi worked at the University of South Florida in the Applied Physics Department.  Aaron’s project was to help build a device to gather spectroscopic data from single quantum dots.  The device included optics to collimate and focus a laser beam used to excite the quantum dots, a cryostat to cool the quantum dots, and a spectrometer to collect the light emitted from the quantum dots.

Kunnawalkam Raghav did his summer internship at one of the leading theoretical research institutes, the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) in Chennai, India. The group Raghav worked with was trying to incorporate thermal field theory into non-commutative quantum field theory. Raghav’s work involved making calculations which were intended to help him improve his understanding of field theory. 

Suzannah Wood worked in the Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics & Engineering Research, at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.  Suzannah used a CCD camera imaging technique to determine the three dimensional structures of small dusty plasma clusters. She also carried out N-body numerical simulations of the structures to compare to the experimentally determined structures.


Adam Reindel                        Astrophysics                                Los Alamos National Lab


Julia Kamenetzky                   Astrophysics                                Cornell University


Esther Chapman                    Astrophysics                                Bucknell University

Zoe Downing                          High Energy Particle Physics       CERN (Switzerland)


Zoe Downing                         Condensed Matter Physics           Penn State University

Tim Harrington-Taber            Nuclear Physics                            Indiana University