PHARM: Physical Acoustics Research and Mentoring

Brigham Young University emphasizes creating a world-class undergraduate educational experience.  The Department of Physics and Astronomy couples rigorous classroom instruction with an in-depth research experience culminating in a senior thesis or capstone report.  Within the Acoustics Research Group, we have emphasized the creation of student teams - faculty working with both graduate and undergraduate students, and the graduate students serving as peer mentors for the undergraduate students. 

Colleagues and I have created PHARM, an environment for undergraduate involvement in research.  Much of my research fits under the umbrella of physical acoustics and noise, two of the technical areas of the Acoustical Society of America.   In addition to external research funds, PHARM has been supported by two grants from the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

The PHARM framework has resulted in a significant increase in scholarship by undergraduate students.  The success of the mentoring model is evidenced by 29 undergraduate-authored papers between 2008-2014. Of these 29 papers, 21 had the undergraduate student as first author, and of this subset, 15 were refereed articles; the remainder of them were archived conference proceedings.  During this timeframe, PHARM students have given numerous presentations at regional, national, and international conferences.

Undergraduates interested in being a part of PHARM research should attend weekly Acoustics Research Group meetings, and then speak to Dr. Gee or Dr. Traci Neilsen about getting involved.