Flexible and Extendable Scientific Undergraduate Experience

Program Overview

Weber Building on a snowy day

The need for interdisciplinary research that combines the mathematical and life sciences is increasingly urgent as our abilities to gather data outpace our ability to effectively analyze them, and as we seek to understand phenomena over ever wider ranges of scales. While the jointly-mentored research experience will be our focal point, FEScUE is a comprehensive educational experience that includes special seminars (Team Research and Interdisciplinary Scientific), gateway and fusion courses and career advising.

Students apply to the program during their freshman year, and once accepted participate in the Interdisciplinary Science and Team Research Seminars during their sophomore year. They begin work in their research clusters in the summer following their sophomore year. During their junior year, FEScUE students take advanced fusion courses and the Interdisciplinary Scientific Seminar. Research activities will continue for the second summer following their junior year.

FEScUE encompasses research clusters representing traditional and emerging strengths in research at CSU:

Current Research Clusters

Past Research Clusters

The inclusion of junior faculty in each cluster provides a mechanism for expanding the range of research clusters as new faculty research interests emerge. Many questions facing the modern scientist span multiple traditional intellectual fields. We believe this trend towards interdisciplinary research endeavors will continue. FEScUE aspires to provide a template for interdisciplinary undergraduate research and the education of the next generation of scientists who, to succeed, must overcome entrenched disciplinary boundaries. The structure based on existing gateway courses, Team Research and Interdisciplinary Science Seminars and advanced fusion courses can be easily expanded through the creation of new cross-listed courses as interest in interdisciplinary research develops.

FEScUE will actively engage high schools around the state and open opportunities to some of Colorado’s best and brightest students. Existing connections and programs will be exploited to encourage participation by populations traditionally under-represented in STEM disciplines. We will promote interdisciplinary pursuits amongst CSU faculty and students by highlighting the importance of mathematics and statistics in the modern scientific endeavor and in the life sciences in particular. We will impart the notion that the undergraduate degree is not the end of the learning process and encourage undergraduate students to aspire to graduate school and to independent research careers.