Physics senior to present talk on research experiences at Science Seminar

Louisiana Tech University Physics senior, Evan Norris, will present a talk on undergraduate research opportunities at the University Science Seminar this week.

Norris will provide students with advice on why they should participate in undergraduate research experiences, or REUs, and how they can find and get accepted to such opportunities.

The talk will center on the application process, constructing personal statements and the benefits of undergraduate research and will include some of Norris’ own experiences with REUs both at Louisiana Tech and at the State University of New York (SUNY) Geneseo.

Norris joined his first REU during the summer after his sophomore year performing interdisciplinary research in Dr. Pedro Derosa’s lab in the Louisiana Tech Institute for Micromanufacturing, and then spent the following summer at SUNY Geneseo, where he performed computational work under the advice of a mentor.

Norris has experience in high-performance computing for material science and in studying optical scattering, or the way that light is scattered and absorbed when it interacts with matter. His work at SUNY Geneseo involved optics scattering in high-performance computing to determine what makes up the atmosphere.

“It was a great experience to see a part of the country that I’d never been to and meet other physicists,” he said, “and the research I did there inspired my current project here at Tech. I hope that my talk will help other students find a path to the same types of opportunity.”

Norris has been attending the seminars since his freshman year and says that he’s excited to provide his input at a talk. “These science seminars have helped me both indirectly and directly to begin my research and even teaching early in my academic career; it is because of these seminars that I became acquainted with my current research advisor (Dr. Pedro Derosa, professor of molecular science and nanotechnology, nanosystems engineering, and physics) and his work.

“I always recommend that students in engineering and science try and make it to as many seminars as possible to see what kind of work is out there. You won’t understand everything from these talks, but you will learn something.”

The Physics program hosts a talk in the Science Seminar series each Thursday of the Fall, Winter and Spring Quarters at 4 p.m. in Carson-Taylor Hall 322. Talk subjects vary and include multiple fields, student experiences, scientific research and discovery, and career options and are presented by students, faculty and guest speakers.

Join us to hear Norris speak this Thursday at 4 p.m. but arrive early if you want a seat (or refreshments, which are served at 3:30).