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Center for NASA Research & Technology

South Carolina State University


The URIA program is an eight-week, residential course of study in astrophysics at SCSU for underrepresented minority students. Since 1998 a total of 48 students have participated in the program with 9 having spent a second or even a third summer in the program.

The student's course of study included a number of astrophysical and computer related topics and experiences. Introductory training in UNIX was presented as well as training on several UNIX and PC based image processing applications. Astronomical topics included an overview of the universe, instrumentation, the Hubble Space Telescope and other space-based observatories, and in-depth coverage of selected topics including stellar, galactic and extragalactic astronomy, and cosmology. Hands-on experience was also gained in astronomical image processing that included reduction of CCD data using PC-based image processing software, use of professional astronomical image processing software (IRAF), and analysis of actual CCD imagery from the ground and the Hubble Space Telescope. Students are assigned to teams managed by a faculty mentor.

Ben Teasdel
Ben Teasdel giving his presentation at the
2000 MU-SPIN Conference.



Participants in the URIA program were required to prepare project papers or submit poster presentations of their work at the MU-SPIN Annual Users' Conferences and at other professional conferences throughout the nation. Go here for examples of their work.







In 1999, 2000 and in 2001 field trips were made to the American southwest to visit observatories in Arizona and New Mexico. If bandwidth is no problem and the stars are correctly aligned this link will open an interactive photo tours from the 2001 trip.

Funded by NASA's Minority University Space Interdisciplinary Network (MU-SPIN) under Cooperative Agreements NCC 5-116 and NCC 5-534, and under a subcontract from Tennessee State University through its NASA URC awards NCC 5-228 and NCCW- 0085