Indiana University’s Center of Excellence for Women in Technology paired 23 female undergraduate students with female faculty for one-on-one, hands-on research experiences through its Emerging Scholars Research Experience for Undergraduate Women program.
The program matches freshmen and sophomores on the IU Bloomington campus—regardless of school, major, or pre-major status—with faculty mentors to conduct a research project that includes a technology or computing- related component. Undergraduate student Miranda Barnett, who is studying astronomy and physics, worked with Liese van Zee, an associate professor in the Department of Astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences. Miranda said the project let her learn enough to begin figuring out her own interests. “Working with this specific kind of astronomy—galaxy evolution information—I am really interested in it, and I have been enjoying about how galaxies work,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot.” The research project centers around data collected for the Extended Disk Galaxy Exploration Science Survey to investigate the underlying stellar populations of nearby galaxies. The data includes optical and infrared images, which will be used to examine the stellar distribution and the current star formation activity in this statistical sample of galaxies.