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Citadel Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE)

In conjunction with the six departments, the School of Science and Mathematics has developed a strategic vision: to prepare leaders in science and mathematics by transforming the education of students to incorporate a new, high-impact, four-year model of research experience.

Research experiences for undergraduates have been shown to improve student recruitment, retention and learning. Most research experiences occur over 8 weeks during one summer. Very few colleges have a four-year model. We are building one such program here, using elements of The Citadel’s leadership program. We call it the Citadel Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE).

In addition to the academic programs being offered by the departments, we are providing opportunities for students to participate in cutting-edge research and will provide recognition to the very best cadets coming out of the program (our scientific leaders).

For more information regarding research opportunities available in your major, contact your Department Head or the Undergraduate Research Office.



In April 2016, the Vascular Flora class conducted a service learning activity at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, SC. On April 4th, 2016 cadets enrolled in the Vascular Flora class assisted the MCAS staff with the removal of loblolly pine saplings. These pines invaded a wetland that hosts a population of the rare plant, pondberry. While controlled burns would normally prevent pines from invading the wetland during drought periods, controlled burns are not always possible. The Marine Corps Air Station has to balance the need to manage the environmental resources with the needs to maintain their mission and provide safe conditions for nearby residents. Removal of the pines helps to restore the natural conditions of the wetland and should benefit the pondberry population over time. Visit the Biology website for more research experiences.


Cadet Nathan McAnally,'17 is a senior Mathematics major. He has been involved in research projects inNumber Theory since his sophomore year. He solved an advanced level open problem from the prestigious journal Fibonacci Quarterly. At the 2016 MAA-SE meeting (Southeastern Section of Mathematical Association of America), Nathan won a Walt and Susan Patterson Prize for an Outstanding Presentation for his oral presentation entitled "A Series of Four Sums of a Fibonacci Number to the Fourth Power”. He has presented his work at numerous other meetings and received great reviews from experienced researchers in Number Theory and Combinatorics. At present, he is working on a paper named “Identities on Generalized Fibonacci Polynomials” along with his research advisors Dr. Flórez and Dr. Mukherjee. This paper is very close to completion and will soon be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for consideration to be published. He will present his current research at the Joint Mathematics Meeting in January 2017, the biggest annual meeting for mathematicians from all over the world. He has also become a published author of the solution to the problem mentioned above.

marcus-harbol-math-majorCadet Marcus Harbol, ‘17, a Mathematics major with a minor in computer programming, has been conducting research since the beginning of his sophomore year. He has been investigating properties of augmented happy functions of higher powers. Happy functions take an integer and add the squares of all the digits. If the value reaches 1 after any number of iterations, then the number is considered happy. Mr. Harbol has found and proven several interesting properties of these functions. During Fall 2016, he extended his project to consider these functions applied to Gaussian integers. Mr. Harbol has presented his research at many regional and national conferences and has won two presentation awards. The first was at the South Carolina Academy of Science and the second was at the Kennesaw Mountain Undergraduate Mathematics Conference. In addition, he published an article in the Journal of the South Carolina Academy of Science. He will continue his research through graduation when he joins the Army.


Cadet Nicolas Haddad, ’17, is a Chemistry major who is investigating the reaction of formamide with pyrite. It is known that at high temperatures formamide reacts with pyrite to produce nucleic acids–components of DNA–and it is possible that this reaction played a role in prebiotic chemistry. Although temperatures this high occur at hydrothermal vents — it is not known whether this reaction could occur at more moderate temperatures, similar to what would obtain on the Earth’s surface. Furthermore, the mechanism of this reaction is unknown. Utilizing Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Mr. Haddad has demonstrated that formamide vapor does react with pyrite powder at 25̊C and he is planning future experiments to help determine the identify of the products that were observed on the pyrite surface as well as how the reaction occurs.

Health, Exercise and Sport Science


Undergraduate students helped Dr. Dena Garner complete assessments on the effect of mouthpiece use during exercise on respiratory parameters. Such parameters included changes in respiratory rate, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. Previous research had shown that lower mouthpieces affected breathing rates, potentially by stimulating the genioglossus. Current research with her students includes assessing the impact on respiratory rate with a mouthpiece that has been designed to stimulate the genioglossus.



Cadet Timothy Burke, '17 is at the beginning of an exciting career in physics. He has worked for nearly two years in the laboratory of Dr. Rob Clark focusing on testing new geometries of ion trap. As a result, he is now a published author of a peer-reviewed article and has presented his work at a national meeting of the American Physical Society. He recently completed a research internship at Georgia Tech, where he made significant contributions to the development of a novel cell-sorting device based on ion trap technology. He is now applying for graduate study in physics.

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