R Programs, Design & Entrepreneurship
In-Depth, Independent, and Driven
Research programs offer residential students the opportunity to conduct in-depth research in a single discipline, under the guidance of an NCSSM faculty member. The Entrepreneurship program provides the necessary background material and a structured opportunity for students with ideas for products or services to bring their ideas from conception to market through the real-life activity of entrepreneurship. All provide opportunities for driven students to further their expertise in a discipline of interest.
The Entrepreneurship program, called Applications in Entrepreneurship, is a one semester course by application for juniors and seniors across all NCSSM campuses. This course provides the necessary background material and a structured opportunity for students with ideas for products or services to bring their ideas from conception to market through this real-life activity of entrepreneurship. Students learn and apply the steps involved in marketing their ideas including market analysis, business plan development, and presentation to potential investors. Acceptance to Entrepreneurship is open to all students and does not exclude students from being accepted to Mentorship or R programs.
Robotics Design is a J-Term & second semester course by application for juniors and seniors that is for students who want to pursue a more formal design experience as part of NCSSM's FIRST Robotics Team, the Zebracorns. It is for students with the motivation, independence, and maturity necessary to conduct their own design projects in robotics, either related to software and control or mechanical design. Students can use industry-leading robotics software, the Robotics Operating System, to integrate sensor and machine learning systems required for robot control, build machine learning models, interfaces, or they can learn CAD (OnShape) to design a variety of mechanisms using motors, actuators, and pneumatics. Both the software and mechanical designs will undergo design reviews and can be tested under real world conditions, requiring sustained reliable operation, during the FIRST Robotics competition season. Final projects can include white papers and engineering design portfolios. Students will be accepted to this course by application.
Research programs, also called "R" programs, offer residential students the opportunity to conduct in-depth research in a single discipline, under the guidance of an NCSSM faculty member. R programs are offered in Humanities, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Computational Science, and Physics. Each program functions separately, and most often students may not participate in more than one R program. An R program typically includes 10-25 students, though the precise numbers vary among programs.
Applications for Entrepreneurship and all R programs except RHumanities applications are required and due 1st semester (see dates above). However, each program is associated with a different course sequence; some programs are multiple terms, while others are a single semester. For more details about each program, consult the "Program-Specific Information" table below (coming soon). Students may also reach out to the listed NCSSM faculty, read the course catalog descriptions, attend interest meetings to learn more.
The many benefits of R programs and Entrepreneurship for students include development of curiosity, resourcefulness, response to failure, responsibility, professional communication skills, critical reading and analysis, collaborative skills, and a realistic view of research or entrepreneurship and what it takes to be a researcher or entrepreneur. Students are also able to foster a strong relationship with the NCSSM faculty member who serves as their research/innovation instructors and as their mentor.