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Electrical and Computer Engineering

Specialized Programs in ECE


Applied Physics Program Website 

Rice University offers an M.S/Ph.D. degrees in Applied Physics (note: we do not offer a stand-alone MS degree; it is achieved as part of the PhD program). A joint effort of both the Natural Sciences and the Engineering divisions at Rice, the Applied Physics program is overseen by a committee composed of members from among the Departments of ChemistryElectrical and Computer Engineering, and Physics and Astronomy. The objective is to provide an interdisciplinary graduate education in the basic science that underlies important technology. The faculty believes that the experience obtained by performing research at the intellectually stimulating interface of physical science and engineering is particularly effective in producing graduates who succeed in careers based on new and emerging technologies.


NanoJapan Logo 

NanoJapan: International Research for Undergraduates Program
Website: http://nanojapan.rice.edu/educationOutreach_nanojapan_ireu.shtml
PI: Prof. Junichiro Kono, kono@rice.edu
Manager: Sarah Phillips, sphillips@rice.edu or nanojapan@rice.edu
The international nature of science and engineering research demands that students have the skillsets necessary to collaborate on a global scale. The NanoJapan International Research Experience for Undergraduates (IREU) Program is an innovative response to address this need. It is the key educational initiative of the NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) grant awarded to Rice University, first in 2006 and renewed in 2010. The NanoJapan: IREU is a twelve-week summer program in which freshman and sophomore science and engineering students from U.S. universities complete research internships in the multidisciplinary field of nanoscience and nanoengineering in leading Japanese laboratories.  NanoJapan recruits high-potential first and second year science and engineering undergraduates. Women, students traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields, and those from institutions with limited research opportunities available are strongly encouraged to apply.  The program aims: i) to increase the number of U.S. students who pursue graduate study in nanoscience-related fields ii) to jump-start their research careers and iii) to cultivate a generation of globally aware scientists and engineers who are prepared for international research collaborations.

The program is open to students nationwide and, from 2006 to 2015, a total of 144 students from 49 different universities and colleges nationwide participated including two-year, public, private, research intensive, and liberal arts institutions.  NanoJapan has been particularly successful with recruiting groups underrepresented in STEM fields: 35.4% of participants are women, and 16.8% represent diverse ethnic groups in STEM fields (not Asian or Caucasian). Of the 109 participants who have completed their undergraduate degrees, 64.2% are pursuing or have completed graduate study in STEM fields.  The program has been recognized as a model for the expansion of international opportunities for science & engineering students by the National Academy of Engineering in their 2012 “Infusing Real World Experiences into Engineering Education” report and the Institute of International Education’s Heiskell Award in 2008. 

The NSF-PIRE grant funded the program for ten years from 2006 – 2015 and we are currently in talks with a foundation for potential continued funding from 2016 onwards, though this has not yet been confirmed. More information on the future of NanoJapan will be made available on the program website once it becomes available.  

Related Articles & Press Coverage:  

S.R. Phillips and C.A. Matherly. "Expanding International Opportunities for Science and Engineering Students: A Case Study of the NanoJapan International Research Experience for Undergraduates Program", IIE Networker, Fall 2014. (Access Article Online) 

S.R. Phillips, C.A. Matherly and J. Kono, "NanoJapan-International research experience for undergraduates program: Fostering U.S.-Japan research collaborations in terahertz science and technology of nanostructures"
Proc. SPIE 9188, Optics Education and Outreach III, 918805 (September 15, 2014); doi:10.1117/12.2060166.

S.R. Phillips, C.A. Matherly, and J. Kono, “NanoJapan: An International Research Experience”, Optics and Photonics News, pp. 18 - 19 (2014). 

National Research Council. "NanoJapan: Connecting U.S. Undergraduates with the Best of Nanotechnology Research in Japan" Infusing Real World Experiences into Engineering Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, pp. 35, (2012). 

S. Bishop, "2008 Heiskell Awards: Best Practices in International Education", IIENetworker, Spring, pp. 12 - 18, (2008). 


Tomodachi_STEM_Logo_2015TOMODACHI STEM @ Rice University
Website: http://tomodachistem.blogs.rice.edu/  
PI: Prof. Junichiro Kono, kono@rice.edu
Manager: Sarah Phillips, sphillips@rice.edu or tomodachistem@rice.edu 

TOMODACHI-STEM @ Rice University is a five-week research internship program for 10 Japanese undergraduate students majoring in science & engineering (S&E). Held at Rice University in Houston, TX, the program will enable students to gain real world experience with S&E research, provide an introduction to U.S. higher education and provide opportunities for cultural engagement and collaboration with U.S. students. The program will serve as a catalyst for Japanese students interested in S&E study and research and engagement with the U.S. through international research collaborations. The program will be held from February 21 – March 26, 2016.  
The program is funded by a grant from the TOMODACHI Initiative, a public-private partnership between the U.S.-Japan Council and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. Born out of support for Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, TOMODACHI invests in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as leadership programs. We seek to foster a “TOMODACHI Generation” of young American and Japanese leaders who are committed to and engaged in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations, appreciate each other’s countries and cultures, and possess the global skills and mindsets needed to contribute to and thrive in a more cooperative, prosperous, and secure world.”