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An Undergraduate Summer Research Project: Simulation Of Nanostructure Based Devices And Associated Student Learning

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Graduate Education and Undergraduate Research in ET

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.234.1 - 12.234.8



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Paper Authors

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Jinwen Zhu Missouri Western State University

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Virendra Varma Missouri Western State University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

An Undergraduate Summer Research Project: Simulation of Nanostructure-Based Devices and Associated Student Learning


Undergraduate Summer Research Projects open up the opportunities for students to gain research experience. Research experiences for undergraduate students not only enhance students’ ability to apply the learned knowledge in practical applications but provide students with opportunities to develop life-long learning skills as well. In 2002, our institution launched a summer research program under the umbrella of the Summer Research Institute to increase the involvement of undergraduate students in research activities. The other goal of the program was to involve regional high school students in undergraduate research in partnership with university students and faculty, and to attract them to join our institution after their graduation from high school. In Summer 2006, the Engineering Technology programs were funded for the first time for two research projects. This paper describes one such research project entitled “Design and Simulation of Nanostructure-Based Devices.” Due to funding and time limitations, the summer research project was a challenge not only for the students but also for the project director .The scope and objectives of the research project were clearly defined to accomplish the results with in the eight-week period. Under this program of undergraduate research, a senior student participating in the project served as mentor to a high school student. During the course of this project, students were required to do literature search related to the project, design a device, and simulate the designed device. Although time limitations and student abilities of participating students posed challenges, the basic objectives of the project were achieved. The participating students presented their research at the Summer Research Institute symposium held on the university campus in Fall 2006. This research program can serve as a model at other institutions.


Missouri Western State University is a public four-year, state-supported institution. It offers a variety of degree programs through the colleges of liberal arts and sciences. It is also set on a course to offer selected graduate programs in the near future. Faculty members are expected to excel in areas of teaching, scholarship, and service. The normal faculty load is 23-25 hours for the academic year, which leaves faculty with very little time for research. In order to increase the faculty and student participation in research activities, the university initiated the Summer Research Institute (SRI) in 20021. During each summer, SRI sponsors several research project teams consisting of one faculty member, one current undergraduate student, and from one to three entering freshmen students from local high schools. The SRI program provides faculty with time and resources to engage in research with students during summer. Students on the other hand, get the benefit of undergraduate research experience from the project, and get stipend and college credit. In Summer 2006, a research project “Design and Simulation of Nanostructure-Based Devices” was sponsored by the SRI. The following sections describe the various aspects of this project.

Zhu, J., & Varma, V. (2007, June), An Undergraduate Summer Research Project: Simulation Of Nanostructure Based Devices And Associated Student Learning Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2090

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