The Search for a Mentor

Since this is my first post, I guess I had better make it at least somewhat interesting. For those of you who haven’t read the “About Page” my name is Josh and I’m a double major in physics and mathematics at Northern Illinois University and I am a part of the Research Rookies Program here at NIU.

The first part (and I think the hardest!) of the program is finding a mentor for my research topic. I originally was looking into medical physics, but due to a lack of communication between myself and the professors with whom I was interested in working with and a shift in my interests, I am looking to do research in condensed matter physics, specifically in solid state physics. It’s some pretty cool stuff.

I’ve managed to hear back from the three professors I’ve selected, which is fantastic. I have interviews scheduled for Thursday and Friday with Dr. Veenendaal and Dr. Thompson respectively. I’ve also spoken to Dr. Winkler. While he is out of town this week, it looks like I’ll be meeting with him some time next week.

I find the research of these faculty members to be equally interesting. However, I may not have a solid enough of a foundation in math and physics for some of the work, so it will be interesting to see how things work out. I am incredibly excited  to meet with the professors and even more excited  to finally start work on a research project. I’m a bit nervous as well, but I suppose that’s natural. Just as a closing comment,  I am so incredibly thankful for this opportunity to conduct research not just as an undergraduate, but as a freshman. It’s a fantastic way to start off my college career on the right foot (my left foot is hurting from all this walking I have to do to get from class to class).

I know this blog isn’t very pretty right now, but I’ll be working to tidy it up in the next couple days.

~Josh.

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