graphic with text `CSUURE'

California State University Undergraduate Research Experiences in Astronomy at San Diego State University

Summer 2012

The Program:

SDSU offers a 10 week summer research program for undergraduates in Astronomy. We expect to host 6 students in summer 2012. Each student will work with a faculty mentor on a research project in astronomy.

Some Potential Research Projects:

(Look here for student reports on research projects from previous years.)

In the first two weeks of the program, students will take part in a hands-on training program in our computer center. SDSU faculty will introduce students to the basics of the UNIX operating system; CCD light detectors; how to analyze astronomy images using the IRAF software package; how to measure the brightness of stars (photometry); and the basics of using research telescopes.

The Mount Laguna 1.0 Meter Telescope Dome (Photo courtesy of
Fred Ringwald)
The Mount Laguna 1.0 Meter Telescope Dome (Photo courtesy of Fred Ringwald)
Later in the summer, students will be given the opportunity to train on research-grade telescopes at Mount Laguna Observatory, a 45-minute drive east of San Diego. We will also take at least one field trip to Palomar Observatory, Griffith Observatory, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, or Mount Wilson Observatory near Los Angeles.

Students will give an oral presentation of their work at the end of the summer. The student with the best overall presentation will be present their results at an American Astronomical Society meeting (expenses paid).

San Diego offers excellent recreational opportunities. Many beaches and hiking trails lie within 30 minutes of campus. San Diego is also home to a number of famous attractions: Sea World, The San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal Park, Balboa Park and its museums, the U.S.S. Midway aircraft carrier museum, and Cabrillo National Monument among others.

The Dates:

The program lasts 10 weeks, from Monday June 11 to Friday August 17, 2012.


photograph of the summer 2007 REU students and advisors at Mt. Laguna Observatory
Summer 2007 REU Students and Advisors
To be eligible, students must be undergraduates attending a campus of the California State University system, the University of Kansas, or a community college in San Diego or Imperial Counties. Students must be at least one year away from completing their undergraduate degree program and must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S..

(If you are currently a student of CSU Los Angeles, you are not currently eligible because CSULA currently has a summer program in astronomy.)

If you are currently a student of the University of Kansas, please contact faculty in the Department of Physics and Astronomy: Barbara Anthony-Twarog ( or Bruce Twarog (


Students will receive a stipend of $450 per week, and will receive housing on the SDSU campus during the program. Travel to and from the program will be reimbursed for students from outside San Diego County. Students are expected to pay for their own meals, but campus meal plans are available.

The Application:

An application is composed of a completed application form, an official transcript, and one letter of recommendation (preferably from a professor that knows you well). The application form can be sent by mail or by e-mail to Eric Sandquist (

Application Deadline: March 2, 2012 (although late applications will be considered until all spots are filled)

Send applications to:

Department of Astronomy
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-1221
Attn: Summer REU Program

For further information about the Summer Program, contact Eric Sandquist

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