Wisconsin REU in Astrophysics
Summer 2002


Wisconsin's REU students (Summer 2002) visiting the SynchrotronRadiation Center in Stoughton, WI. From left to right, are ChrisMoore (Synchrotron Radiation Center), Larry Isenhower (AbileneChristian University), Bob Benjamin (program director), Ben Ziemer (Universityof Wisconsin-Madison), Travis Laurance (Middle Tennessee State University), Kurt Soto(Ventura College/University of California-Berkeley), Genevieve de Messieres(Swarthmore College), Patricia Mutunga (Bethune-Cookman College), FanaMulu (Alabama A&M University), and Karen Bland (James MadisonUniversity). Missing is Ben Willett (University of Wisconsin-Madison).

This is the main information page for the 2002 summer REU program inAstrophysics, hosted jointly by the Astronomy and Physicsdepartments. This summer the 10 week program will run from Monday,June 3, to Friday, Aug 9. During this summer, you will be freed fromthose time consuming classes in order to spend a solid block of timepursuing a directed research project, using world-class facilities,with a knowledgeable advisor. At the end of the summer, you willpresent the results of your research and put together a set of webpages to detailing what you did. If your project isparticularly successful, you will be invited to present it at anAmerican Astronomical Society meeting, and your travel expenses to themeeting will be paid!

Stipend and housing information

Housing: You will be housed in Tripp Hall (see photos in the Picture Gallery). Everyone in our program this summer will have single, lakeview rooms with air conditioning! See the link above for more specific information. There will be male and female resident assistants (RAs) available to hope you get oriented and answer your questions about housing, the University, and Madison. Rooms are available for check-in from 6AM to 10 PM on Saturday and Sunday (Jun 1 and Jun 2), so try to arrive during this time. If you know you will be later, let Bob Benjamin know so he can get you a key.

Your mailing address during the program will be

Tripp Hall
University of Wisconsin
1510 Tripp Circle
Madison, WI 53706

Costs covered by the REU program: The first stipend check ($1200) and food allowance ($400) will be paid upon arrival (June 3), together with a set of meal tickets (5 breakfast/10 dinners) which can be used in Elizabeth Waters dining rooms. Subsequent stipend checks will be paid out on Jul 1 ($1200) and Aug 5 ($1100) assuming satisfactory progress is being made on the research projects. The director will let you know if this is potentially a problem.

The cost of housing and travel up to $400 (or the cost of the cheapestavailable plane ticket, for students who drive) are also covered bythe program. Health insurance coverage is provided by SHIP (StudentHealth Insurance Program) if needed. Also, a "segregated fee" card isprovided to permit access to University Health Service, libraries,computer labs, and sports/recreational facitilies.

Your first few days

Sat, Jun 1: If you are arriving by plane (on Saturday June1), we will send someone (probably Bob Benjamin , the programdirector) to pick you up at the airport. Look for someone who iswearing a T-shirt with a picture of a galaxy or is carrying a picture of thegalaxy. If there is any problem or delays with your flight, or youcan't seem to find Bob, call his home phone (256-7565) and leave amessage. For those of you who are driving into town, please let Bobknow when you plan to arrive, and give him a call (at the abovenumber) when you arrive in town. An interactive map of the campus canbe found here . On the main map, click on the Observatory to get a moredetailed map that shows where Tripp Hall is located (Building number198). If you need a map for the City of Madison, click on the map ofMadison in the lower left corner. If Bob doesn't manage to meet you on Saturday andgive you an information packet, he will leave it for you at the maindesk at Tripp Hall. This packet will contain maps and visitorinformation.

Sun, Jun 2 During the day, I suggest you settle in, andfamiliarize yourself with campus and Madison, and perhaps do somegrocery shopping to stock up your room (particularly food forlunches). The main commercial area near campus is State Street, whichcontains plenty of shops and restaurants. You may also want to checkout the Memorial Union, next to the Lake Monona on Langdon Dr, and theRed Gym right next door which has lots of visitor information. You canget to these buildings by using the lakeshore path that goes by yourdormitory. On Sunday evening, there will be a welcome dinner at5:30pm at "Frank's Place" (Lakeshorm Dorm Cafeteria). The cost will becovered by the program. This will be a great opportunity to meet allthe other REU students and your program director!

Mon, Jun 3 Monday morning will start the orientation to theprogram and to the Physics and Astronomy Departments. The orientationwill start at 9 am in Sterling Hall 4534A (Building 123 on campusmaps, near the corner of University Ave. and Charter St.), and will gountil noon. After lunch, you will get to meet with your advisors andtalk about research plans for the summer.

Program schedules

Astronomy and Physics Department events: There is a weeklylecture and discussion series to be held on Friday afternoons inSterling 4534A (4th floor conference room). Each week, there will be acheck-in session from 2-3pm with the program director, followed by alecture from 3-4pm. The tentative schedule is here .There will also be two field trips during the course of the program,probably to Yerkes Observatory and the Synchrotron RadiationCenter. All summer undergraduates are welcome to attend the weekly lecture series from 3-4 on Friday!

University events: There are several university-wide events open to students participating in nearly adozen summer research programs. These include welcome receptions, aprogram picnic, a grad school fair, an and a ethics movie series onThursday nights.

Department information

Office space and phones: Many of you will have your office inSterling 4569 (Phone number: 262-5425) unless your advisor hasrequested that you be placed in a different location (to be closer toyour advisor or other undergraduates in your research group). Checkthe student directory for your office assignments.

Keys: All students will be given a set of keys which provideaccess to the building, your office, common areas in the astronomydepartment (seminar rooms, etc.), and the computer rooms inastronomy. Depending on your research advisor, you may also be issuedadditional keys. The REU program will pay your deposit. However, ifyou lose your keys or do not return them, this deposit will bededucted from your stipend. The deposit is $5 per key, and $15 for thecomputer room key. Computer accounts: You all have been assigned an account onthe main space physics computer,, and will begiven your password when you arrive. Although you will probably beusing other computers to do your research, this should be your primarye-mail address, and where you keep your research web pages. A skeletonweb page will be provided.

After hours: You will be given keys to the building, computerrooms, and common usage rooms (seminar rooms, Woodman AstronomyLibrary). If you want to be in the department after hours, you willneed to have an after-hours pass which will be provided for you whenyou first arrive.

Photocopying and office supplies: We have an REU account forphotocopies set up on one machine in astronomy (Sterling 5529) and onemachine in Physics (Chamberlin 6216). You will be given the photocopy codewhen you arrive. Do not use any other copy code unless you have permission. Duplication is for research purposes only! Ifyou want to make personal copies, you will need to pay for it. Also,be sparing in your use of this privilege, i.e. do not copy entire books withoutasking permission first. If the charges become too high, the accountswill be deactivated. Access to office supplies should be discussedwith your advisor.

General info

Checking accounts: Most students have a checking account thatthey can access with an ATM card during their stay inMadison. However, if you do not, and you want to cash your stipend andmeal allowance checks, you must establish your own checking account inMadison. Most participants establish an account at the UW-Credit Union( This institution is accustomed to setting upshort-term accounts.

Parking: Parking is VERY limited on campus, and I would strongly discourage you from driving. If you bring a car, youwon't be able to drive to and from the department each day. There arefew lots near the department and your dormitory and parking isassigned. A parking permit for Lot 60 (on the far west end of campus)costs approximately $60 for the duration of the program; for other lots the price can be much steeper. The REU program will not pay for the cost of parking.

Space in this lot and others is filled on a first-come, first-servedbasis. Therefore, it is very important to get an application to theparking office complete as soon as possible . To download theform, go to the UW-Madisonparking office webpage , dowload the form labeled "Student ParkingApplication", and fill it out. (Don't worry about the deadlines stated on the web page.) At the top of the form, write "Summer Parking June3-August 10/Summer REU program in Astrophysics / Contact: RobertA. Benjamin (". Mail the form as soon as youcan to

Transporation Services
Attn: Linda Bladl
610 Walnut Street, Room 124
Madison, WI 53705

Food: In addition to the meal cards provided for you (with 5breakfasts and 10 dinners) food is available for cash at the studentunions and a number of inexpensive restaurants & food carts aroundcampus.

You can also purchase and prepare your own meals. There willbe a microwave available for your use in the dormitory den, and youwill have a small individual refrigerator in your room. A set of pots and pans, dishes and silverware will be available. If you choose to bring any of your own cooking equipment, you should be careful not to leave it out, as items have been known to walk off on their own. Hot plates are not allowed in the dormitory.

Telephone service: You will have a phone provided in yourdorm room. To make long distance calls from your dorm room, you needto have a long distance calling card. Make arrangements to get acalling card from your long distance carrier before coming toMadison. There is no charge for campus or local calls from yourroom. Pay phones are also available in the dorms.

Health care: All REU participants have access to theUniversity Health Service, which offers a wide range of outpatientservices at low or no cost.

Health Insurance and Contact Information: All REU participants must give the director a copy of their health insurance information, and an emergency contact number.

If you are not covered under your parent's or guardian's insurance, wewill enroll you in a university program for the summer (which willgive you coverage from June 1 to mid August). The program will pay forthis enrollment. To enroll, you must fill out an application formavailable at the Student HealthInsurance Program (SHIP) Just click on the link called"Enrollment Form" on the left column under the heading "AdditionalResources". Insurance application is due on May 1. Absolutely nolate forms will be accepted. Instructions for filling out theform are as follows:

Weather: Wisconsin's weather can be unpredictable. Theaverage summer temperature ranges from 75-90 F days and 55-60 Fnights. Summer weather can be very hot and humid, or cool enough torequire a jacket or sweater. To cover all possibilities, bring avariety of clothing. Also, don't forget an umbrella. Dress in thedepartment during the summer is completely casual.

Transportation The easiest way to get around campus andMadison in the summer is by bicycle. If you want a bicycle, we willsee if there is anyone in the department who is willing to loan you one.There is also a good bus system serving the city ofMadison. Your segregated fees card does not cover riding the bus. The cheapest way to use the city bus system is to buy packets of bus tickets at theService Desk on the first floor of the University Book Store (locatedat the base of State Street on Library Mall). The cost of thesetickets is 90 cents per ride rather than $1.50 per ride.

Back to Wisconsin Astrophysics REU home page

last update: Aug 9, 2002