Soft MAtter Research in Theory Summer Program

Soft Matter Research in Theory (SMART) is a 10-week summer program at UMass, Amherst for undergraduates interested in learning about research in theoretical aspects of soft matter.  Soft matter is all the stuff (liquid crystals, plant and animal tissue, shampoo, living cells, plastics, etc.) whose properties fall in between liquid and crystalline solid.  Developing a quantitative understanding of soft materials is not-surprisingly an interdiscipinlary challenge, drawing on aspects of statistical mechanics, computational physics, geometry, continuum elasticity and physical chemistry.  Soft matter theory explores the fundamental principles that underlie the subtle properties of both real-world and advanced materials. 

Similar to many Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs, SMART integrates undergraduates in ongoing research projects in soft-matter theory groups in Polymer Science and Physics at UMass. In addition to research experience, participants in SMART will take part in a series of short-courses in soft-matter topics and theoretical methods lead by faculty. SMART participants will take part in weekly "group meetings" to discuss research and explore problem solving strategies.  Housing on the UMass campus will be provided for student participants, along with a stipend to offset travel and living expenses.

Though advanced training in upper-level physics, math or materials science is not a requirement for SMART participants, applicants are expected to have an introductory exposure to calculus, vector analysis, introductory mechanics and electricity & magnetism.  Visit the research groups page for descriptions of participating faculty members.

Applications are due on March 1, 2014 (see application page).  Please contact Greg Grason for further information.