Ninety-four undergraduates gathered in the Rockwell Pavilion on October 1st to present their work at the 5th annual Undergraduate Research Day (UR Day), an event that recognizes the accomplishments of undergraduate students conducting research under the guidance of UH faculty mentors. This year’s event was unprecedented in its size and scope, with nine different colleges and 29 different disciplines represented. The students presenting were enthusiastic and eager to share their findings with attendeesm and were instrumental in making this the most successful research day to date.
This year’s research projects ranged from studying eye tracking to determine how autistic and non-autistic subjects function differently when presented with a visual task, to exploring why water can support so many living creatures by using computer simulations to model its structure, to investigating the impact that 20th century printing equipment has had on the modern printing industry. Clearly a wide range of original, creative, and ambitious projects were demonstrated at the event, which allowed for a more dynamic and significant celebration for the University of Houston.
Several hundred faculty, staff, and students attended UR Day, and were genuinely impressed by the caliber of the research posters and the number of students presenting. Thomas Lowder, Assistant Professor in Health Human Performance, shared, “I was very impressed with the event. I expected some good things, but I was literally taken aback by the quality of the entire session from the posters to how well it ran.” Simon Bott, Undergraduate Chair of Chemistry, added, “This event supported our push for Tier-One status. It was a good day for our students and a good day for the University of Houston.”
The success of this year’s research day is even more impressive considering how much the event has grown since its inception. The first Undergraduate Research Day took place in 2005 and had only 27 presenters and a handful of attendees. The success of this year’s event shows that the campus community supports Undergraduate Research Day, making it one of the University’s premier events.
When asked about the future for the event, Stuart Long, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Research and The Honors College, said he expected research day to continue to grow in importance in the years ahead, “You haven’t seen anything yet. We are just getting started.”