A Research University

13 points of (research) pride

The work of a research university consists of a myriad of projects and relationships — large, small and in-between. We can’t show you each one, but here is a sampling.

Applied science student using microscope in ISC lab

#1 We've been investing in research

We’ve been investing in research infrastructure (with help from the commonwealth and other stakeholders). Our Integrated Science Center is a work in progress, with Phase 4 on the drawing board. And while we’re still planning facilities, inside the labs much work is in progress.

Larry Evans

#2 How legislation happens

Dozens of William & Mary students helped a government professor scour tens of thousands of documents for a book that paints a picture of the “whip system,” the way coalitions are assembled in the U.S. House and Senate.


#3 "The Core of Cores"

Our researchers have a wide variety of instruments here on campus, but no single university can offer every possible type of microscope, spectrometer, x-ray diffractometer, etc. William & Mary has joined six other Virginia institutions in a formal agreement to share lab instruments.

Kristin Wustholz (right) adjusts optics for the SERS apparatus with graduate student Shelle Butler

#4 A seamless blend of research and teaching

The university has nine Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars among its faculty. It’s an honor bestowed by the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation upon chemistry professors who are particularly successful at integrating undergraduate teaching into their research.


#5 It's just like neurons

William & Mary is a participant in the Virginia Neuroscience Initiative, which promotes and encourages collaboration among neuroscientists in the commonwealth.


#6 The world's biggest experiments

Our scientists collaborate in some of the world’s biggest particle physics experiments. Sometimes our people are embedded in the experiment and sometimes we can monitor progress from right here in Williamsburg.


#7 That's a lot of zeros

Imagine exascale: Supercomputers that push out 10{sup}18{/sup} floating point operations per second. (Watson, the IBM {em}Jeopardy!{/em} champ maxes out at 10{sup}12{/sup}.)


#8 Yes, Mars needs bricks

If humans go to Mars, those homes will have to live in radiation-shielded quarters. We’re working on the formula for the bricks.


#9 If science had a World Cup, this would be it

iGEM is an annual competition for the world’s best ideas in synthetic biology. Every year our team does well. In 2017, our team was First Runner-Up — the only North American team among the finalists. In 2015, our team won the Grand Prize, bringing home what was called the World Cup of Science.


#10 Gravitational waves?

William & Mary is the only Virginia university involved in the LIGO Science Collaborative, whose three leaders were awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Students and faculty member on rock outcrop in Virginia

#11 Virginia has the best geology

The Commonwealth yields to none when it comes to geological variety, from the Coastal Plain to the Appalachian Plateau. Our geologists were instrumental in producing The Geology of Virginia, the first definitive survey since 1907.

Tack Faculty Lecture poster - Women Out Loud!

#12 It's a Tack Lecture!

Want a sample of what William & Mary researchers are working on? Check out a Tack Faculty Lecture, offered once each semester to showcase a scientist or scholar. If you can’t catch one live, we’ve archived videos of several.


#13 What's good for the birds is also good for us

Problem interactions with birds can be mitigated by technology such as Sonic Nets and Acoustic Lighthouse. Good for birds; good for humans.