Carnegie Mellon University

Current Undergraduate Research Opportunities

If you are interested in doing research on campus, below are some options for professors you might approach. Also, feel free to knock on doors or contact Professor Ryan for guidance. Send her an email or schedule a meeting

Astrophysics & Cosmology

Rupert Croft - Cosmology

Using deep learning to investigate the intergalactic medium

Tiziana Di Matteo - Astrophysics & Cosmology

Simulating the first galaxies and black holes at the cosmic dawn

Richard Griffiths - Astrophysics

Computer modelling of gravitational lenses using python - matching observed images to models

Tina Kahniashvili - Theoretical Cosmology

Topic 1: Gravitational waves from the early universe
Topic 2: Cosmological magnetic fields: their origin, evolution, and signatures

Rachel Mandelbaum - Observational Cosmology

Exploration of real or simulated astronomical imaging datasets to address a wide variety of questions.
Professor Mandelbaum's group is full for fall 2020, but please be in touch to discuss options for spring or summer 2021. Remote research opportunities are possible.

Jeff Peterson - Radio Astronomy and Cosmology Instrument Development

Lab and field experience

Biological Physics

Shila Banerjee

We are looking for motivated undergraduates to conduct theoretical and/or computational research in the area of biological physics. Possible projects include: modelling the growth and replication cycle of bacteria, phase transition in cells, computational modelling of cell mechanical properties. No prior knowledge of biology is necessary and the research projects can be conducted remotely. Prospective students are encouraged to browse through work done in our group.

Ulrike Endesfelder

We are looking for highly motivated students who are interested in one or several of the following topics: single-molecule imaging, super-resolution microscopy, high-throughput analysis of big data and/or microscopy hard- and software. We offer a unique research experience in an interdisciplinary team (we are a group of Biologists, Chemists, Physicists and Computer Scientists) by tailoring research projects to the interests and experience of our students. Please have a look at our group!

John Nagle

I have an x-ray diffraction project that would be suitable for a one semester undergrad research course. This project is of interest to me and is not just a make work for a student. The five undergrads doing research with me in this decade are co-authors on publications. I anticipate that this project would also result in a publication.

Stephanie Tristram-Nagle

The Tristram-Nagle lab uses x-ray diffuse scattering (XDS) with the Physics Dept. x-ray instrument or a synchrotron source to study the interaction between antimicrobial peptides and lipid model membranes that mimic real bacterial and eukaryotic membranes. These peptides are a promising new antibiotic to overcome the problem of bacterial resistance leading to super bugs. Physics students will learn how to collect and analyze x-ray data, make graphs and write results into papers. We also use circular dichroism to determine the secondary structure of the peptides as they interact with lipid membranes. In the fall, Dr. T-Nagle would like to mentor 1-2 additional undergrad students.

Condensed Matter Physics

Randy Feenstra - Experimental Condensed Matter

Simulation and/or curve fitting of spectroscopic data from a scanning tunneling microscopy or a low-energy electron microscope.

Steve Garoff - Applied Soft Matter Physics

Experimental projects on a wide variety of topics in wetting and the behavior of complex fluids

Simran Singh - Experimental Condensed Matter

Spin transport in atomically thin quantum materials

Mike Widom - Condensed Matter Theory

Professor Widom models the structure and thermodynamics of complex crystal structures using a combination of quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics. Highly motivated students with strong computer skills are welcome to inquire about a research position.

Nuclear & Particle Physics

Roy Briere - Experimental Particle Physics

Belle II experiment at KEK; various software projects

Manfred Paulini and John Alison - Experimental Particle Physics

CMS experiment at CERN with various projects from hands-on instrumentation work to data analysis and also event classification using machine learning