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Undergraduate physics students generally don’t delve into string theory until they take upper-level courses. And it’s rare, at best, to find them doing highly esoteric research in a field that explores the very essence of physical reality. But Jim Gates, one of the world’s premier string theory scholars, has been using undergraduate research assistants for over a decade, and their work has contributed to papers published in refereed journals.

As the United States strives to improve and protect its economic future by educating a skilled scientific and technical workforce, it must train students representing the entire spectrum of the American population, particularly minority groups who characterize the fastest-growing segments of the populace, experts say.

Women of color have made enormous progress in science-related fields since AAAS released the landmark “Double Bind” report 35 years ago, but today they are facing a new generation of challenges, according to a symposium in the Harvard Educational Review.