Training the physicists of tomorrow

Physics students Jeremy Côté and Jaeden Bardati demonstrate the calibre of undergraduate research and academics of Bishop’s University’s Physics and Astronomy Department, pursuing their academic goals at advanced levels.

Their strong academic performance and passion for discovery drove them to apply to programs of study at the prestigious Perimeter Institute, a non-profit charity devoted to research, training, and educational outreach in theoretical physics.

Jeremy Côté

Jeremy Côté graduated from BU in 2019 and spent a year doing an accelerated, course-based graduate program at the Institute before going on to pursue his PhD from Université de Sherbrooke. He was first inspired to explore scientific research by a physics course he took during CEGEP, becoming fascinated by the ways physics can be useful outside of its practical applications. Reflecting Bishop’s student-centred undergraduate experience, Jeremy took part in summer research programs, learning about advanced physics in Bishop’s University’s close-knit academic setting, an opportunity not afforded to undergraduates at larger institutions.

At Bishop’s, professors have the time to mentor and teach. Both Jeremy and Jaeden worked directly with faculty supervisors on research relevant to their degrees. During his three summers as a Bishop’s student, Jeremy worked one-on-one with Dr. Valerio Faraoni, and in small groups with other students. Working on theoretical models of gravity and general relativity, Jeremy learned about the bigger, wider world of physics and wanted to explore more.

Jaeden Bardati

Jaeden Bardati, currently a senior undergraduate with honours at the University, spent the summer of 2022 taking part in the PSI Start program, an online school in theoretical physics where 50 students are invited to a part-time ten-week semester. Like Jeremy, Jaeden engaged in one-on-one mentorship with his professors at the University. He also worked with Dr. Faraoni, and with Dr. John Ruan, where he researched black hole mergers and galaxy formation using computer simulations. Each supported his application to Perimeter’s PSI Start, a theoretical physics program for students who are interested in pursuing a master’s degree.

Even though the small size of the department meant that he could not pursue more theoretical models of gravity, it did mean that when he found such an opportunity at the Perimeter Institute’s program, he was uniquely prepared by his experience at Bishop’s. Coming from a smaller school prepared Jaeden Bardati for Perimeter’s small class sizes, which felt more similar to some of his courses at Bishop’s than to students from other larger, international schools.

The four courses of the PSI Start program were challenging courses on quantum mechanics and numerical methods dealing with the forefront of physics. Jaeden was one of about 50 applicants chosen out of thousands for the online school and one of 10 selected for their accompanying internship. However, Jaeden declined the internship in order to continue working with Dr. Ruan.

Learn more about the Physics and Astronomy department HERE

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