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Materials Sciences

NASA Interns Return With New Prospects, Realized Dreams

Zach Petrek, a second-year doctoral student in chemistry and chemical biology, can usually be found running experiments in the laboratory of his advisor, Professor Tao Ye. But this summer, he did something different — he went to NASA.

Petrek was one of seven UC Merced students to intern at NASA over the summer, an opportunity provided through MACES, the Merced nAnomaterials Center for Energy and Sensing.

Professors Demystify Eclipse for Merced Skygazers

As the frenzy surrounding the Aug. 21 solar eclipse begins to peak, physics Professor Wil van Breugel is using the opportunity to give Merced stargazers a crash course in the science and history of these astronomical curiosities.

“It’s important for people to fully appreciate the science,” van Breugel said. “This is an opportunity to try to explain things more fundamentally.”

Computational Training Expanding at UC Merced Through New Grants

Graduate students at the University of California, Merced, will benefit from extensive new research, funding and training opportunities, thanks to two National Science Foundation (NSF) grants totaling more than $3.25 million.

Interdisciplinary groups of computational sciences researchers won two of the 30 NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program grants the agency is giving out this year. The grants will fund 50 doctoral students and train another 100 graduate students over the course of five years.

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