Despite being a relatively recent concept in the academic world, undergraduate research has become a commonly offered program at colleges throughout the nation. Undergraduate research is useful for those applying to graduate school, medical school and careers within the science industries. Some graduate schools even require undergraduate research for admittance.
Many of the faculty at Southwest Minnesota State University perform research in their field of study and several faculty members at SMSU offer undergraduate research opportunities.
Jay H. Brown, a professor of chemistry at SMSU, offers undergraduate research to students. Brown, with his undergraduate research students, has published several research papers. One of his most well-known research papers, which was published with the help of research students Darlene Guse, Matthew J. Bruzek and Paul DeVos, is on the discovery of how atrazine works.
Atrazine is a highly effective herbicide, that was being researched by several groups around the world to determine how atrazine was so effective. Brown and his group of research students were the first in the world to discover how atrazine worked.
One of Jay H. Brown’s well known scientific contributions was the development of a chromatic vision simulator. Brown spent 6 years developing this software. Brown published his software and offered it for free. Currently, Brown’s software has 11,000 downloads worldwide.
The undergraduate research program that Brown offers started in 1997 at Saint Michaels College in Vermont. Brown brought the research program to SMSU. So far, Brown’s research program has had four scientific publications with 15 student collaborators. Brown’s research program generally has two to three students per year. Brown’s research group doesn’t have scientific publications every year, but undergraduate research doesn’t have to result in publications to be useful for a student’s application to graduate schools.
Jay H. Brown offers undergraduate research to SMSU students who have taken Organic Chemistry 1 and 2 and who have taken either Spectroscopy or Analytical Chemistry. Students interested in undergraduate research should contact Professor Jay H. Brown at [email protected]