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The College of Arts Sciences

Research, Outreach & Teaching Opportunities

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The physics department encourages all majors to become involved with research before they graduate. The usual way to become associated with a research group on campus is to make arrangements directly with one of the faculty members. Descriptions of physics faculty research interests can be found on the faculty pages.

Students may also wish to consider research with faculty in the School of Applied and Engineering Physics, or other departments in the physical sciences or engineering. Anyone interested in advice about finding a suitable research position is encouraged to consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in physics.

Research Opportunities in the Department

External Research Opportunities:

Outreach Opportunities:

Sharing your love of physics with others in the community is very rewarding.  Outreach activities are organized by the Society of Physics Students, as well as by the Cornell Center for Materials Research and the Laboratory for Elementary Particle Physics.

EYH:  A particularly rewarding annual outreach event is Expanding Your Horizons, a program aimed at encouraging young women to consider  studying Mathematics and Science.  The program centers around a one-day workshop for 7-9th grade girls.

Internship Opportunities:

AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows Program
The Fellowship places senior undergraduate and graduate science, engineering and mathematics students at media sites nationwide to work as science reporters for ten weeks during the summer. Past sites include the Chicago Tribune, NPR and Scientific American. By exposing reporters and editors to the expertise of student scientists, while also training those same students in the nuances of journalism, the program can improve the quality of information that is disseminated.   More information:

Microsoft Research Internships
Internships and scholarships are available especially for students involved in computational physics.  More information:

Jet Propulsion Lab

The JPL Summer Internship Program offers 10-week, full-time, summer internship opportunities at JPL to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

Teaching Opportunities:

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Program
The Undergraduate Learning Assistant (UTA) program is an exciting opportunity offered by the Cornell University Physics department. The UTA program is a unique opportunity to: learn how to teach physics, experience the challenges of crafting a learning environment, and earn course credit.  As a UTA you will learn how to be a more effective learner and about the relatively new field of physics education research (PER). You will also help your fellow students master introductory physics by applying the student-centered teaching techniques that PER has shown to be most effective. And, you will be able to earn over $1,000 and receive one hour of course credit during the fall semester.  For more information, go to:

Tutoring at the Learning Skills Center
Undergraduate students who have received high grades in the basic Mechanics and E&M courses are hired every year to work as Tutors in the LSC Physics Help Center.  The LSC Center covers all the basically intro-level courses and provides a tutor with an excellent opportunity to develop their teaching ability. The twelve or so tutors are given a great deal of responsibility, often handling the office on their own— a center that’s open 7 days a week, afternoon and evenings.  The job is challenging in that the tutor is often required to jump from course to course and handle multiple sets of students. Generally the tutors find the program so stimulating and enriching that they continue to remain in the program for their remaining undergraduate years. Aside from developing superior teaching skills, it’s an opportunity for an undergraduate to build their resume for graduate or medical schools, which look very favorably upon this teaching experience.

Please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for additional opportunities at 255-1952.