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Undergraduate Academic Affairs
University of Washington

Celebrating undergraduate scholarship and creative work

Hundreds of projects showcased at thirteenth Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium
May 6, 2010 Post to digg Post to delicious Post to facebook Post to twitter Post to google Post to stumbleupon Post to technorati Email article link

Nearly 750 of the University of Washington’s most talented and accomplished undergraduates will showcase their contributions to innovative and groundbreaking research at the Thirteenth Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. The symposium is May 21, 2010, in Mary Gates Hall Commons from noon to 5:00 p.m. and is organized by UW’s Undergraduate Research Program, which facilitates research experiences for students in all academic disciplines.

The Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium enables undergraduates to present what they have learned through their research to a larger audience. It also provides a forum for students, faculty, and the community to discuss cutting edge research topics and examine how undergraduate research can even help solve real-life issues. The proceedings for the 2010 Symposium are online attendees can search topics of interest to them and create their own guide to the Symposium.

With topics ranging from alternative energy to materials science to the performing arts, undergraduate research at UW has truly taken 21st century education out of the classroom and into the field. Working with faculty mentors and benefitting from the University’s resources as a research powerhouse, undergraduates fully engage with a meaningful issue or problem within their discipline.

Daniel Kore, a senior in political science and informatics, will present his research in designing a “smart” running shoe that reduces the likelihood of injury through microprocessors and data analysis. In high school, Kore was an accomplished runner whose career was cut short due to injury. His research includes interviewing runners, coaches, and running shoe companies to learn the most prevalent types of injury and what is currently being done to address them. He has pulled together that information and designed a high-fidelity proto-type of a running shoe. Kore will present his research in the second poster session.

“My majors in informatics and political science have allowed me to innovate, research, and excite my curiosity about technology and how it can be implemented to solve current problems,” Kore wrote in an email.

Sherry LeeSherry Lee, a senior in biology who is also a Mary Gates Research Scholar and Levinson Scholar is researching Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare but aggressive skin cancer associated with immune suppression. Lee will present “Merkel cell carcinoma genome-wide studies identify Merkel cell polymavirus-dependent and –independent paths to Rb inactivation and a novel virus-encoded microRNA” in the oral session “Models for Human Disease.”

“Undergraduate research has complemented my lecture-based education at the UW,” wrote Lee in an email. “Encountering and overcoming obstacles have taught me key steps of the scientific process that textbooks did not provide.”

In addition to Kore and Lee, students from all three UW campuses as well as students from other Washington four-year and community colleges will share their work through poster and oral presentations, encouraging interdisciplinary discourse and allowing students to learn from each other about a broad range of innovative research arenas. To accommodate the number of students interested in presenting their research, the Symposium will have two distinct oral and poster sessions.

Of particular note this year is a collaboration between undergraduate engineering students in a Freshman Interest Group at the University of Washington and undergraduate engineering students at Tohoku University in Japan. The Japanese students will visit the UW and, with their UW student collaborators, present their research projects in materials science, water purification, semiconductors and other topics in a joint oral presentation session. Professor Raj Bordia has mentored students participating in this unique collaboration.

A performance session, “New Perspectives in Performance Studies,” will be held in Meany Studio from 1-2:30 p.m.

Create your own proceedings

Beginning May 14, Symposium attendees can search the online proceedings, locate the oral and presentation sessions that interest them, and create their own, personalized proceedings to navigate the Symposium. Visit here to use this tool.

Event Details

WHAT: Thirteenth Annual Research Symposium at the University of Washington
WHO: Nearly 750 of the sharpest young minds at UW presenting ground-breaking undergraduate research
WHEN: Friday, May 21, 2010, 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
WHERE: Mary Gates Hall Commons with performance presentations in Meany Studio, UW Seattle
SPONSOR: Undergraduate Research Program, a unit within Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Examples of oral presentations

Following are a few examples of the 39 concurrent oral presentation sessions. These show the breadth of topics to be discussed at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Though one student is noted in the sessions below, 5-9 students present their research in each session, some presentations are group presentations, and each session is moderated by a faculty member.

Collaboration between UW and Tohoku University Undergraduate Engineers
Chen Shi, sophomore, bioengineering
Oral presentation topic: Clean Water: Study of Nutrient and Pharmaceutical Absorption by Scenedesmus obliquus
Mentor: Professor Raj Bordia, materials science and engineering
Session Moderator: Professor Raj Bordia, materials science and engineering

Chemistry and Materials for Alternative Energy Applications
Noah Horwitz, senior, chemistry
Oral presentation topic: Built-in Field Characterization of Self-Assembled Monolayers in Organic Photovoltaics
Mentor: Associate Professor David Ginger, chemistry
Session Moderator: Jennifer Chen, post-doc, chemistry

Social and Cultural Geographies of the Seattle Region
Shaylee Suitts, senior, anthropology
Oral presentation topic: ‘Buying In’ to Middle Class: A Study of Contemporary Material Standards of Living in Seattle
Mentor: Jason De Leon, full-time lecturer, anthropology
Session Moderator: Associate Professor Sarah Elwood, geography

Global Issues for the 21st Century
Charmila Ajmera, senior, international studies, and fellow members of task force researching this topic. Thirteen students comprised the task force.
Oral presentation topic: Next Steps for the US in Afghanistan
Mentor: Anand Yang, director, Jackson School of International Studies
Session Moderator: Associate Professor John Wilkerson, political science

New Perspectives in Performance Studies
Alethea Alexander, junior, dance and environmental studies
Performance presentation topic: Reliving Modern Dance History in the Seattle and Global Communities
Mentor: Professor Hannah Wiley, dance
Session Moderator: Associate Professor Betsy Cooper, dance

About the Undergraduate Research Program

The Undergraduate Research Program facilitates research experiences for undergraduates with UW faculty members across departments and disciplines. Since 1997, it has produced the Undergraduate Research Symposium, during which hundreds of undergraduates present their research to the campus and community. It is among the largest symposia for undergraduates in the nation. The Undergraduate Research Program is housed within Undergraduate Academic Affairs’ Center for Experiential Learning.

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