Eric Meier '14
My methods include mainly statistical modeling using computer simulation, and the interpretation of results.
At the annual research presentation meeting, the professors in the physics department each give a short pitch about what they are doing and how students can get involved. At this meeting, I identified the research I personally found to be the most exciting and followed up with that professor (Dr. Homan) after the meeting. I subsequently have been researching during the academic year and summer since my sophomore year.
Through my research I have mastered many skills that have both helped me greatly with coursework and gone beyond coursework. I now have extensive practice using the Python language to write computer programs, I have solidified a lot of the notions of relativity through the relativistic nature of the objects I investigate, and I have become very adept at communicating complicated ideas and results to both my research advisor and others, to name a few.
On a typical day of research I do many things. The first and most prominent is debugging, improving, or writing completely new computer programs which help me to achieve accurate statistical modeling and sophisticated analysis of results. I also prepare results to discuss with my advisor. Since I am currently performing senior research for distinction, I also spend a lot of time working on my senior thesis.
Out of all the classes, experiences, and opportunities I have had at Denison, being involved in research has been the most satisfying and rewarding.