Undergraduate Academic Affairs

May 16, 2019

Undergraduates to present research spanning academic disciplines on May 17, 2019

Undergraduate Academic Affairs

On Friday, May 17, more than 1,200 University of Washington undergraduates and visiting undergraduate student scholars will participate in the 22nd Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium — an event that is one of the largest of its kind in the nation.


The Symposium runs from 11 a.m.–6 p.m. on the UW Seattle campus. Students will present their research in poster, oral and performing arts sessions in Mary Gates Hall and Johnson Hall, and in a visual arts and design showcase in Odegaard Undergraduate Library (see event details below). UW Regent Constance Rice, Provost Mark Richards and Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs Ed Taylor are scheduled to provide opening remarks at 11 a.m. in Mary Gates Hall.

Through undergraduate research, students contribute to groundbreaking work and gain the experience necessary to one day lead innovative research themselves. UW undergraduates are getting involved in research in increasing numbers — more than 9,000 students participated in research in 2017–18. More than 1,000 faculty, post-doc, research staff and graduate student mentors supported this year’s Symposium presenters through their research, helping students develop subject area knowledge, transferable skills and an entrepreneurial perspective that will prepare them for future employment, education and civic engagement.

Photos hang from the ceiling.

Art installation from the 2015 Visual Arts and Design Showcase.

The Undergraduate Research Symposium showcases the diversity of undergraduate research, which spans all disciplines and addresses critical issues of our time. Students will share their research on topics as diverse and broad as: global warming and energy conservation; improving rocket performance; effects of mindfulness on new moms and their babies; Native American and Alaska Native experience in higher education; the study of Alzheimer’s disease; computer security; political meme responding to Brexit; birdsong evolution and so much more. The titles of students’ presentations give more detail about the range and complexity of their projects. A small sampling of titles include:

  • Hopping and Grabbing Insect-Inspired Robot for Space Exploration
  • Analysis of the Susceptibility of Smart Home Interfaces to End User Error
  • The Art of Cultural Outreach
  • Customizable Tactile Maps for the Visually-Impaired
  • On the Social Ecology of Environmental Dance: Fostering Community Dialogue and Environmental Action
  • A 3D Printed Microfluidic, Tumor Organoid Testing Platform for Personalized Cancer Care and Treatment

The Symposium is open to selected undergraduates from other institutions, and we are thrilled to welcome presenters from 32 other institutions in addition to McNair Scholar institutions, the Seattle Colleges, Bellevue College, Portland State University, Everett Community College and California State University San Marcos.

The Symposium is organized by Undergraduate Academic Affairs’ Undergraduate Research Program.

Event Details

What: The 22nd Annual Research Symposium at the University of Washington
Who: More than 1,200 inspiring undergraduates at UW presenting ground-breaking research and selected undergraduates from other institutions
When: Friday, May 17, 2019, 11:00 a.m.­–6:00 p.m.
Where: Mary Gates Hall, select rooms in Johnson Hall, and Odegaard Undergraduate Library
Plan ahead: See event schedule and search the Online Proceedings at symposium.uw.edu.