Scholarship Award Alumni - Bryce Cousins


Bryce Cousins

Indiana University
Physics and Astrophysics
Bachelor of Science - 2019
2018 USRA Scholarship Winner

Bryce is drawn to “two deep unknowns that many of us take for granted each day -- the internal mystery of the brain, and the great scope of the Universe beyond Earth.”  He spent two years in research on computational neuroscience before turning his attention more fully to astronomy.   Bryce is also a practitioner and advocate for the public accessibility of data and research results embodied by open science.

Bryce has done research in computational cosmology, specifically cosmic superstring evolution within the formation of large scale structure in the universe.  He has also studied extragalactic star formation, developing software to automatically analyze hundreds of galaxy spectra.  Along the way, he taught himself a number of programming languages.

Bryce has also worked to promote and educate other undergraduate researchers.  During his senior year, he is serving as the Natural Sciences Board Chair of the IU Journal of Undergraduate Research, a student-run, open-access journal for undergraduate research in all disciplines.  Bryce manages the peer-revision process for natural science submissions, helping the Journal increase undergraduate scholarship at several college campuses in Indiana.  Through outreach with the Journal and IU’s Outreach for Undergraduate Research in STEM program, Bryce also informs undergraduates about getting involved in research, the publishing process, and applying to graduate school.  He has helped organized a symposium on this topic, and gave a talk on the research process which Bryce found to be “a very rewarding opportunity to help other students”.

When applying for scholarships, Bryce suggests choosing recommenders who can speak to a variety of one’s abilities, “ensuring that the reviewing committee sees a range of your strengths beyond a single component.”