Submitted by 2022 REU Jayden Ratcliffe
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program enabled me to participate in computational high-entropy materials research with Dr. Cheng-Chien Chen, where I learned a great deal about machine learning methods and high-entropy borides. He invited me to present our research at a poster expo at the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society (SESAPS) conference in Oxford, MS. Taking part in the conference was a fantastic opportunity for me to attend talks about physics research across the country, support my mentor and colleagues from UAB, and present my own research.
Dr. Chen and his Ph.D. students gave highly informative talks about their specific research topics. I was also able to attend lectures given by several of my professors from my home college, Mississippi State University. There were so many various categories of physics lectures I could choose to attend, and I really appreciated that diversity. I was very fascinated in the astrophysics lecture session, where they discussed research on black holes and exoplanets.
At the poster expo I was able to discuss my research with students and professors. It was a wonderful way for me to become more comfortable talking about my research to people of diverse backgrounds. During my REU at UAB I presented at the poster expo, and this thoroughly prepared me for my presentation at the SESAPS convention. I want to thank UAB for their continuous support and Dr. Chen for all his challenging work in helping me succeed. I have learned so much from these experiences, and they will aid me in furthering my career in physics.