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Robert Gustafson

Robert Gustafson

2020 Goldwater Scholar


Jeffersonville, IN


Physics and Astronomy, Mathematics


College of Science


Robert Gustafson has been awarded the Goldwater Scholarship. The highly-competitive scholarship recognizes undergraduates who are already conducting research in their fields and show great promise for the future. Gustafson stood out as a leader among his peers in physics from early in his studies as an associate professor of physics and astronomy in Raphael Lang’s research group. His independent spirit shone through during his internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory when he was able to propose a new method of using neutrinos to determine the internal composition of solar system bodies, like gaseous planets, by measuring muons, the evidence of interactions between neutrinos and particles of various kinds.


“My research experiences have been extremely rewarding,” he said. “I have greatly appreciated the opportunities to utilize creative independence within a larger collaboration and arrive at tangible conclusions that push the scientific community forward.”


Gustafson is also a member of Purdue Musical Organizations, where he serves as the first chair of the trombone section in the Purdue Band and Orchestras.


Following his undergraduate degree, Gustafson plans to pursue graduate school and a career in research.