Montana State University Solar Physics REU 2017


  • Allison Bartz, Physics, Grinnell College
  • Lilly Bralts-Kelly, Physics and Astronomy, Macalester College
  • Kaitlin Cerrillo, Physics and Applied Math, Buffalo State College
  • Darci Collins, Physics and Math, Wesleyan University
  • Callum Fairbairn, Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathematics, University of St Andrews
  • Brendan Gallagher, Physics, George Mason University
  • Kendra Gillis, Physics, Brigham Young University Idaho
  • Scott Hunter, Engineering Physics, Northwests Nazarene University
  • Chen Xing, Astronomy, Nanjing University
  • Julia Quebral, Physics, University at Buffalo
  • Jessica Sydnor, Physics, College of William and Mary
  • William Weiss, Physics, Brigham Young University Idaho

  • Research projects and mentors are described here.

    Pre-arrival tasks list is here.

    Your arrival schedule and transportation are described here.

    Room and computer arrangements are described here.


    The Calendar of Events includes:
  • Introductory Interactive Data Language (IDL) tutorials
  • Talks about physics of the Sun, your classroom physics in the context of our star, see The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Sun"
  • Talks about web page authoring, ethics in science, what to expect in grad school
  • Lectures on solar magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) by Prof. Eric Priest, St. Andrews University


  • Default schedule: plan to arrive on May 29, depart on August 5.

  • By air: work out your detailed itinerary to Bozeman (BZN) airport and its cost, and send, by email, this information to your program coordinator, who will confirm the itinerary and the amount we will pay (the least expensive economy/coach round-trip airfare from your home or university to Bozeman on the default arrival and departure dates). You will purchase the ticket only after receiving this confirmation e-mail from the program coordinator to authorize the reimbursement. The reimbursement will be issued after your arrival at Bozeman. For reimbursement, you should provide:
    (1) your receipt;
    (2) your itinerary -- which may be included in your receipt;
    (3) the authorizing e-mail from the program coordinator, and
    (4) the boarding pass
    So please make sure you keep these documents and submit upon your arrival.

  • By car: if you plan to drive, you will be reimbursed for mileage ($0.54/mile up to 1000 miles, $0.50/mile thereafter) on the basis of the distance from your home or university to Bozeman. However, the total reimbursement cannot exceed the amount of round trip airfare from the commercial airport nearest your home or university to the Bozeman airport (BZN). Please send an email to the program coordinator to inform of your plan to drive, together with the following information: (1) the distance (printout from, or the like), (2) the round trip airfare on the default travel dates (printout from, or the like); and your program coordinator will send you an authorizing e-mail stating how much the REU program will reimburse you for your travel expenses. When you submit your request for reimbursement (after you arrive in Bozeman), you will be expected to provide documentation of:
    (1) the distance (printout from, or the like);
    (2) the round trip airfare on the default travel dates (printout from, or the like);
    (3) the amount the program coordinator has committed to pay for your travel (printout of the authorizing e-mail).

  • From outside the US: For non-US participants, support for travel costs is based on the agreement between sponsoring institutions. If you are not a US citizen, you will need a J-1 visa to enter the United States. Contact the REU program coordinator as soon as possible to get this process started.


    You will, together with all students attending the summer program, be lodged in Johnstone Residence Hall, which is the MSU student dormitory. You will have a single occupancy room, fully furnished with linens (including two sheets, mattress pad, pillow case, pillow and blanket, but not towels), personal refrigerator, fan, telephone, and internet connection. Extra blankets are available at the front desk upon request. Hannon has shared laundry and kitchen facilities (with pots and pans). Housing, parking, and internet connection fees are paid by the REU program. A parking permit can be picked up at the University Police Station (Huffman Building; locate it on the campus map) when you arrive.


    Library access is provided by the Solar Physics REU program. The program also pays for your use of the gym in the summer. Please visit the gym office during the office hour, and request to activate your Cat Card for the gym pass during the summer.


    The stipend for the 10-week program is $6600 plus a $440 meal allowance. Partial payments of the stipend will be distributed at the beginning of the 1st, 5th, and 9th weeks of the 9-week program. The balance will be mailed after the MSU residence hall staff confirms that there are no charges for damage, cleaning, etc, and the MSU library staff confirms that all library materials have been returned. Unless you request otherwise (say, because you choose to buy a residence hall meal plan), the meal allowance will credited to your MSU ID card (called a Cat Card). This card, funded by the REU program, can be used at the cafeteria in the Strand Union Building and summer dinining halls . Meal plans are also available and may be purchased at the Miller Dining Hall.

    Information about the taxability of the stipend is here .

    Information about what do do with your stipend, banking-wise (for international students), is here.


    You are advised to carry medical insurance. MSU does not provide health and accident insurance for REU program participants. You are financially responsible for any medical bills incurred as a result of emergency or other medical treatment. You must notify the REU program coordinator in writing if you have medical conditions about which emergency medical personnel should be informed.


    Consent forms serve several purposes. If medical treatment is needed because of injury or illness during the REU program, every effort will be made to comply with the information that you provide. We need your consent to obtain emergency treatment on your behalf, and need documentation of your insurance coverage (a copy of your insurance card) for that purpose. Also, during the REU program photographs and videotape footage may be obtained to document the program's activities. Your consent is needed for this purpose.


    The REU program provides participants with access, through their Cat Card, to facilities such as those of Intramurals and Recreation and Outdoor Recreation. Bring appropriate clothing and gear for camping and backpacking, if you want to join these trips!


  • MSU information
  • Bozeman information
  • Outside Bozeman
  • Montana information
  • Contact Information