RES.3-006 | Spring 2021 | Undergraduate
MICRO Mentoring Resources and Materials Science Curriculum

MICRO Student Curriculum

Week 1: Introduction to MICRO and Materials Science

        Video: Mark Miodownik: Stuff Matters

Week 2: Exploring Applications

Week 3: Crystallography

Week 4: Defects

  • Video: Defects I, 3.091 Intro to Solid State Chemistry, Prof. Jeff Grossman
  • Video: Defects II, 3.091 Intro to Solid State Chemistry, Prof. Jeff Grossman

Week 5: Phase Diagrams

Week 6: What is Materials Science?

This week, rather than having you watch any new lectures, we’d like you to reflect on what you have learned so far. To that end, we’re asking you to put together a short response to the question, “So what is Materials Science, anyway?” Your answer can draw on MICRO lectures, the research you’ve done thus far, past experience, or anything else. Importantly, we’re not asking for you to be comprehensive or exhaustive; we’re looking for your take on this intentionally open-ended question. There’s no hard length requirement, but we’re envisioning responses in the ballpark of 500-1,000 words.

Week 7: Beginning a Literature Review

In a few weeks, for your second assignment, you will be asked to submit a literature review. For the next two weeks, we’ll be providing you with resources to help you start thinking about this assignment.

Literature Review Step 1: To begin your literature review, take a look at the Materials Research Society’s archive of the MRS Bulletin.  Written for the broader scientific community, the MRS Bulletin focuses on a specific topic currently of interest in the field of MS&E. 

Look through to see if you can find a relevant volume.  Read through the issue to try to gain a better overview of the important research, developments, and challenges that relate to your field of MS&E research.

Week 8: Continuing the Literature Review

As with last week, we suggest you spend this week thinking more about the upcoming literature review.

This week, we’re suggesting that you take a look at the Materials Science resources available through the MIT library: MIT Libraries Guide: Materials Science and Engineering.

Weeks 9 and 10: Literature Review

The goal of this second assignment is for you to develop and communicate a deeper understanding of the relevant materials that you are studying in your research project. You will begin by conducting a literature review of the relevant materials and technologies and develop a bibliography of the important literature in the field. Then, you will do one of the following:

  • Write an academic literature review that describes the current state of research regarding your material(s) of interest.  Your literature review should reflect, in length and style, the introductory section of a scientific paper.
  • Write an article or blog post directed to a general audience that describes your material and explains why research into this material is important and exciting.

Final Project: Cumulative Presentation

For your final project, you will develop a 10-15 minute presentation that you will share over Zoom with the MICRO students and staff. (You are welcome to invite your research advisors, too!) 

Your presentation should include the following:

  • Motivation for the project you work on
  • Background and scientific questions and hypotheses relevant to your contribution to the project
  • A summary of the results of your research
  • A discussion of the conclusions that can be drawn from your results and any future work that you would recommend

We will also ask you to provide a short abstract that summarizes your work.  You can see examples of abstracts from previous MICRO students here.

Course Info
Learning Resource Types
assignment_turned_in Written Assignments with Examples
assignment Activity Assignments