UW News

May 13, 2014

Focus on research: Undergraduates bring findings alive Friday

News and Information

Join your colleagues at the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium Friday, May 16, to learn about University of Washington students who are helping intensive care units control hypothermia in premature infants, investigating the importance of cultural imagery in overcoming HIV in South Africa and helping engineer high-performance cardiac tissue that simulates the mechanics of the heart.

These projects and others will be described by more than 1,100 students selected to give presentations and poster sessions 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Mary Gates Hall.

A student stands by posters explaining work

More than 3,500 people attended last year’s symposium to talk with undergraduates about their research.U of Washington

Now in its 17th year, the symposium includes undergraduates from across all academic disciplines and all three UW campuses.

New this year is a “showcase” of visual arts and design giving students a chance to display work such as the design schematics and final plans behind an outdoor garden at Seattle’s Japanese Cultural and Community Center, a garden that should open to the public this June. The showcase will be 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Odegaard Undergraduate Library.

The symposium is organized by the Undergraduate Research Program, a part of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. During the year the program facilitates research experiences for UW undergraduates and, for the symposium, it helps students learn about writing abstracts, designing posters and prepping for talks.

“Students at the symposium have been guided by 800 faculty, post-doctoral researchers and graduate students,” said Janice DeCosmo, associate dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

This year’s recipients of mentoring awards will be recognized during the opening program with President Michael K. Young at 11 a.m. They are Sam Chung, endowed associate professor of information technology and systems, UW Tacoma; María Elena García, associate professor of comparative history of ideas; Merill Hille, professor of biology; Patricia Kramer, associate professor of anthropology; Robert Winglee, professor of Earth and space sciences; and Tracy Larson, graduate student in biology.

At the UW, more than 7,000 students participate in research and the Undergraduate Research Symposium is among the largest of its kind in the country. Through research experiences, students can develop subject-area knowledge, learn transferable skills and gain an entrepreneurial perspective that can prepare them well for careers, graduate school and their lives as citizens.

In conjunction with the symposium, another 38 undergraduates from UW and seven other universities will present research Friday at the 22nd annual regional McNair scholars conference at Mary Gates Hall. The conference, co-sponsored by the UW Early Identification Program for Graduate Studies and the Graduate School’s Graduate Opportunities & Minority Achievement Program, also features a graduate recruitment fair Thursday and alumni and faculty panels Saturday.