the curriculum of each department is unique, important generalizations
can be made about the presence of a research component at
all levels. At the introductory level, courses include laboratory
sections, led by the professor responsible for the course,
in which students learn basic research techniques and research
design. Students write lab reports that are evaluated by the
professor. Primary research material is introduced along with
textbook material. Because of the reliance on primary materials
in courses it is relatively easy for Reed faculty to incorporate
emerging scientific developments into their teaching.
mid- and upper-level courses, students propose research, indicate
analyses, anticipate outcomes, and discuss implications. Some
courses require students to do quasi-independent research,
often in groups. Primary research material is emphasized.
Independent research, designed and executed by students, is
required in most upper-level courses. These experiences prepare
students for the senior thesis research project.
commitment to the integration of research and education is
exemplified by support for student research opportunities
and access to equipment. The college recently created an institution-wide
undergraduate research expense endowment available to all
juniors and seniors for costs associated with student research.
Students are also supported with faculty grants and college
funds to do research in on-campus faculty laboratories during
the summer, an important complement to the regular academic
science laboratories at Reed are among the best equipped of
any undergraduate college in the United States. More important
than the equipment itself, however, is the philosophy of its
use. While sophisticated instruments in university laboratories
are often available only to graduate students and faculty,
Reed undergraduates have complete access to all equipment.
Upper division students receive keys to laboratories and offices,
and these facilities are often used around the clock. This
tradition of "open shop" access enables Reed students to become
familiar with instrumentation techniques not commonly available
to undergraduates and gives them a distinct advantage in more
advanced scientific environments.