Kevin Reiss

Never did Kevin Reiss expect that he would share a byline in a prestigious science journal with one of the field’s leading experts—as a rising college sophomore no less.
But that’s exactly what happened. The summer after his first year, Kevin teamed up with renowned BU physics Professor David Campbell through BU’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Together with another student researcher, they worked on a study of a decades-old problem in chaos theory and eventually published their findings in the peer-reviewed journal, Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science.

“Initially, I was working on obtaining numerical results,” Kevin says, “but I was eventually able to learn enough to start asking my own questions and ended up writing almost an entire section of the paper myself.”

The experience not only gained Kevin a lifelong mentor in Campbell, it also led him to discover his true academic path.

“That research project was one of the biggest reasons I changed my major,” he says. “I was in computer engineering, which is what I thought I wanted to pursue, but after doing the research, I realized that I wanted to focus on the actual nitty-gritty of physics.”

“The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program has provided me with funding and credibility to pursue research at BU.”

But even before Kevin began parsing particles on campus, he’d discovered another area of fulfillment—in BU’s Scarlet Band, playing tuba.

“At BU Orientation, I talked to the band director and some current students and they ended up recruiting me. In fact, I didn’t even get to march in Matriculation because I was playing in the parade. Since then, I’ve been in the Marching Band, the Pep Band, and the Scarlet Band. It’s a really great community of people who you can always count on to welcome and accept you.”