The Physics Department encourages all majors to become involved with research before they graduate. The usual way to become associated with a research group is by directly contacting faculty members. Descriptions of physics faculty research interests can be found on the faculty pages.
Summer programs called “Research Experiences for Undergraduates” (REU) are excellent paid research opportunities for undergraduate students organized on university campuses all over US. Information on these programs is widely available on the web. The main REU site at NSF is the official place to start your search. The national Society for Physics Students maintains an extensive list of internships, as well as the Department of Energy.
Invite your professor to lunch!
A very important part of the college experience is getting to know your professors. The “Invite your professor to lunch” program promotes student and faculty interaction outside the classroom. Physics majors can invite their professor to breakfast or lunch at any of the dining centers on campus. The department covers the cost of the students’ and faculty member’s meal. Three such events will be approved per semester: two for undergraduate students, and one for graduate students. Requests will be approved on a “first come, first served” basis. If there are numerous requests, more may be approved. How does “Invite your professor to lunch” work?
1) Form a group of 3-4 undergraduate/graduate physics majors and invite a professor to lunch by asking him/her before or after class; calling his/her office; sending him/her an e-mail.
2) Fill out this Invite your professor to lunch! form either electronically or by hand and turn it in to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Silvia Bompadre. Once the form is submitted, you will receive a confirmation email and instructions on how to proceed.
3) Take your professor to lunch! Have a great conversation with your professor. Consider talking about a topic discussed in class; an upcoming assignment; how the professor’s academic career developed; why the professor came to MU; what the professor enjoys about teaching; your career goals and aspirations; hobbies, sports, fine arts, or anything else. Get to know your professors on a personal basis too!
5) Give us your feedback! Send an e-mail and tell us more about your experience.
6) Encourage your friends, classmates, and others to experience “Invite your professor to lunch”!