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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2019 can be found here.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be
U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

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Project:  Documenting Medieval Experimental Practices
Disciplines:  English, History
Mentor:  Jennifer Jahner, Professor, (HSS),, Phone: 626-395-6985
Background:  Centuries before the emergence of a formal scientific method, scholars and laypeople in the Middle Ages conducted experiments: exercises meant to test out or discern principles of the natural world. These experiments encompassed a hugely eclectic range of interests, from optics to medicine to chemistry to magic. My research examines how this early history of experimentation shaped the ways that people made and disseminated literature in England from the 1200s through the 1400s. Many books copied by or for non-scholarly readers are rich with “experiments” of various kinds—from pharmaceutical recipes to optical illusions to tricks for “making yourself invisible.” I am looking to document these early forms of experimentation and understand what role they played in encouraging people to read, produce, and commission books of their own.
Description:  The student will assist me in compiling a database that catalogues “experiments” found in English manuscripts of the later Middle Ages. The project will introduce the student to the basic principles of medieval manuscript production but will not require any specialized skill in this area.
Student Requirements:  The ideal candidate has a demonstrated interest in the humanities and has completed some coursework in this area. Classes in medieval literature or history are helpful but not a requirement. The student must be strongly self-motivated and able to work independently.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    Caltech students only 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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