Research Week Showcases Student Projects
April 13, 2017
Hans Ajieren, an electrical engineering major and 2014 McDermott Scholar (right), explains his work on cochlear implants to contest judge Todd Edwards, an engineer at Raytheon, during the 2016 Undergraduate Research Scholar Awards and Poster Contest. This year's event is 2-5 p.m. Tuesday in the Visitor Center Atrium.
The Office of Undergraduate Education and the Office of Graduate Studies are joining forces to present Research Week, a campuswide celebration highlighting research and creative accomplishments of UT Dallas students.
On Monday, the Office of Undergraduate Education kicks off the 2017 Exhibition of Excellence in Undergraduate Research, a weeklong series of activities for students that includes events to learn about research opportunities on campus and a workshop with tips on preparing a résumé for scientific and research-oriented jobs.
One of the highlights of the week is the annual poster contest for recipients of Undergraduate Research Scholar Awards. The awards support 127 students this academic year.
The campus community can view the posters from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Visitor Center Atrium. Research faculty members will review the entries and select two semifinalists from each academic discipline, who then advance to the final round of judging April 25.
Concurrent with the undergraduate poster competition, the Office of Graduate Studies sponsors displays highlighting the research and creative accomplishments of graduate students.
Anthony Dao, a biology major, describes his research on gold nanoparticles for biomedical applications. He won second place in the 2016 poster competition.
“Student research at UT Dallas continues to grow, both in the numbers of students taking part and in the scope of the topics,” said Courtney Brecheen, associate dean in the Office of Undergraduate Education. “We encourage members of the campus community to stop by the poster presentations to talk with students about their work and to experience their enthusiasm. This event also gives students a chance to practice communications skills, which are so important as they move forward in their chosen fields.”
Other activities during the week include a “lunch and learn” where students can learn how to get published in UT Dallas’s undergraduate research journal, The Exley. In addition, students looking for opportunities to conduct research on campus are encouraged to attend Undergraduate Research Match Day, which pairs motivated students with faculty who have research projects.
The Office of Graduate Studies will host events geared toward graduate students, including a showing of PHD the Movie, a live-action adaptation of the popular comic “Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD)” on Wednesday. On Thursday, doctoral students will take on the Three Minute Thesis challenge to explain their research and its importance to a general audience in less than 180 seconds. Undergraduate students will be among the judges for the event.
“The research question that excites a student as an undergraduate can be a question that inspires an entire career.”
“Research is done by students at all levels. Having graduate and undergraduate students participate in Research Week highlights the value we place on it,” said Dr. Marion Underwood, dean of graduate studies and Ashbel Smith Professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. “Having these groups interact more outside the lab provides undergraduates with a more complete look at graduate life.
“The research question that excites a student as an undergraduate can be a question that inspires an entire career,” Underwood said. “Seeing how expectations and experiences change from undergraduate to graduate school should keep those students focused and engaged.”