The University of Oregon is a fully accredited, comprehensive research university. It was founded in 1876 and now enrolls close to 17,200 students. Of this total, 40 percent come from states other than Oregon, 10 percent come from other countries, and 7 percent are graduate students. In the Department of Physics there are currently more than 85 graduate students.
Graduate students in physics find excellent faculty members and facilities for the pursuit of advanced studies in many exciting areas. The department has thirty regular faculty members plus a number of visiting scientists and research associates. Classroom teaching loads are held to a level that encourages excellence in teaching and research and allows research students to receive a maximum of attention. Frequent seminars and weekly colloquia attract many distinguished visiting physicists to the campus, which further stimulates an active research environment.
Many faculty members in physics are internationally recognized in their fields of research specialization. That research is supported in part by competitively awarded research grants, which exceed $6.0 million each year. The faculty includes a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a recipient of a Presidential Young Investigator Award, two Sloan Fellows, ten fellows of the American Physical Society, and two past divisional chairmen of that society. Six faculty members serve as editors or on editorial boards of major scientific journals.
The science facilities are closely clustered on the university's 280-acre campus. The complex includes the science library and four new buildings recently constructed at a cost of $44 million. The new physics building , completed in 1989, contains 136,000 square feet of laboratory, classroom, and office space. The science departments support professionally staffed, well-equipped machine, electronics, and glass shops.
Computing resources are provided at the University level, within the physics department, and at the level of individual research groups. Students and faculty in the department have access to shared computing facilities that provide a range of services, from web space to data storage and batch processing. For high-performance computing, inter-departmental initiatives provide additional resources: For example, QC Cluster is a medium-scale, Beowulf-class Linux cluster operating at the Oregon Center for Optics, available for computational research within the department starting in 2009.
The university is located in Eugene, a city that offers many cultural, entertainment, and recreational opportunities, including an award-winning performing arts center , yet retains a friendly, small-town atmosphere. Skiing, hiking, mountaineering, rock climbing , white-water boating, hunting, and fishing are available in the Cascade Mountains and the adjacent high desert 50 to 100 miles to the east, and the coast of the Pacific Ocean seventy miles to the west offers more opportunities for outdoor activities.