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GROWTH selects 5 students for the 2016 undegraduate summer internship program

For most of us, summer invokes thoughts of travel, beach, holiday, or simply the long coveted relaxation time in a setting of our choice. Not so much for our five undergraduate students who were selected to take part in the annual GROWTH summer internship program. This group of young, ambitious and curious explorers will soon spread around the world to our international partner to carry out an intensive 2-month research project under the guidance of GROWTH senior researchers.

The purpose of this program is to place undergraduate students from the USA in a global colaborative research environment where in addition to obtaining valuable research experience, they develop the communications skills required for participating in or leading international scientific partnerships.

I am very excited about this opportunity and look forward to learning more about astronomical data processing and traveling to India this summer.

said Gabi Mehta, an undegraduate student from Pomona College who dreams of becoming an astrophysics researcher. She will be working on photometric and spectroscopic data analysis using optical and infrared data from PTF and the Indian AstroSAT satellite. The other selected participants in this year's GROWTH internship program are:

  • Kathleen Chinetti (Caltech) who's going to Liverpool John Moores University in the UK to work on photometric data analysis and develop algorithms for object classification using data from POINT-AGAPE.
  • Melanie Olaes (SDSU) who's going to the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel to apply a newly developed technique to study star formation rate and search for faitn novae in the halo of M81.
  • Shreya Anand (University of Maryland, College Park) who's going to the National Central University in Taiwan to learn more about star clusters and how to use them as a tool to diagnose the formation and evolution of the Galactic disk.
  • Atharva Patil (IUCAA, India) who is also going to the National Central University in Taiwan to work on software development for the robotization of the Lulin Telescope, which is part of the GROWTH network of observatories.

The GROWTH internship program is designed to facilitate exchange between undergraduate student or graduate students and postdocs from the GROWTH partners in the USA and our international partners in Sweden, Israel, Taiwan, Japan, India and Germany. Undergaduate students travel abroad to a host institution to carry out a 2-month long research project in the broad area of time-domain astronomy mentored by a senior researcher. Graduate students and postdocs can apply to the program year-round proposing a collaborative research with a GROWTH researcher from a different institution.

No doubt our students are in for much professional and personal growth during their GROWTH internships.

GROWTH is funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant No 1545949. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.