Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Heather Lewandowski

Second Advisor

John Cumalat

Third Advisor

J. Harrison Carpenter

Fourth Advisor

Dimitri Dounas-Frazer


The American Physical Society released a statement in 2014 calling on all university physics departments to provide all undergraduate students with access to research experiences. In response, we investigated the current status of access to undergraduate research at CU-Boulder, a large research institution where the number of undergraduate physics majors outnumber faculty by more than five to one. We created and administered two surveys within CU-Boulder’s Physics Department: one probed undergraduate students’ familiarity with and participation in research; the other probed faculty members’ experiences mentoring undergraduate researchers. This report presents results from these surveys as well as a discussion of undergraduate research within CU-Boulder’s Physics Department.