CALL FOR UNDERGRADUATE INTERNS

Appointment Term: 

8 weeks in summer 2020

Closing Date: 

Friday, March 6, 2020 - 12:00

CALL FOR UNDERGRADUATE INTERNS!  DEADLINE: 6 MARCH 2020

Are you keen to work collaboratively with historians of science to influence undergraduate courses, encouraging an interconnected global view of science/maths?

Would you like to research a diverse range of scientists who are not typically included in course material?

Could you help make a real difference to undergraduate STEM teaching?

The Diversifying STEM Curriculum project aims to bring the conversation and actions around diversifying and decolonising the curriculum in higher education into the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines. We are looking for interns to research the historical contributions from the diverse range of people who have contributed to scientific knowledge construction; colonial contexts in which ideas about whose knowledge is ‘scientific’ have been developed and deployed and their consequences for indigenous knowledge; and historical work revising older narratives of scientific progress.

Who you are:

A current student with a background in Physics, Maths, Chemistry or Engineering;
Demonstrated interest in history, history of science, and/or equality and diversity in science;
Have ability to clearly communicate (in writing and verbally) complex scientific concepts to a lay audience – ability to work in other languages would be useful but not required;
Able to demonstrate excellent time management and ability to meet tight deadlines; and
Available to work for 8 weeks in Summer 2020. 

What you will gain:

Paid internship consistent with the Oxford Living Wage;
Experience of independent research;
Broader scientific and historical understanding of scientific developments;
Building collaborations with colleagues across different departments and subject areas; and
An opportunity to present your research at the History of Science Museum in Oxford and share your work online to a wide audience.

What you will be part of:

A cohort of four interns, two DPhil historians of science, one postdoc in History, and a number of academics and administrators working on this project;
An innovative project with the potential for real impact within the University and beyond; and
Lectures and events in departments.  

HOW TO APPLY: Please provide your CV and (up to one page) statement explaining why you are interested in this project and what relevant experience you have, and email the documents to diversity@mpls.ox.ac.uk by 6 March 2020.

If you have any questions, please contact: diversity@mpls.ox.ac.uk

 

HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF POTENTIAL SUMMER RESEARCH TOPICS

Maths

Solution of systems of linear equations in China in 2nd century BCE and later
Solution of polynomial (quadratic) equations by al-Khwarizmi in 9th-century Baghdad
Study of infinite series by the 'Kerala School' in India (14th-16th century CE)
Seki Takakazu's 'circle principles' (calculating arc lengths, areas, and volumes) in 17th-century Japan, andSeki's work on determinants
Ancient Chinese number theory – particularly the Chinese Remainder Theorem
Emmy Noether on abstract rings (1920s)
Mechanics via the writings of Emilie du Châtelet and/or Mary Somerville (18th-19th centuries)

Physics

Women leaders in climate and planetary physics
South Asian contributions to maths and astronomy, for example, Indian astronomical models from the 18th century and earlier
History of modern measurement, which is tied deeply to the idea of the ‘Empire’ and Imperial standardisation
Exploring ways in which the first industrial revolution and the birth of 'modern science' ushered in a new era of social change, and the impact of thermodynamics