The University of Houston's fourth annual Undergraduate Research Day proved to be the most exciting research day yet. The event, which took place on October 2nd, was held once again in the Rockwell Pavilion at the M.D. Anderson Library. Over 400 visitors gathered to view the posters of the 42 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program participants, and the posters of 17 other students that conducted substantive research projects within the year. In addition, five students gave oral presentations for the campus community immediately following the poster presentations. The student presenters represented most of the undergraduate colleges on campus, including Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Engineering, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Technology, Pharmacy, Education, Business, Architecture, and The Honors College.
This year's research projects covered a wide array of topics, including arguing that the Vietnam War triggered a global economic crisis, researching an unfinished opera by Blitzstein, studying Houston's modernist domestic architecture, creating wireless networks that monitor patients in healthcare operations, developing artificial skin, and investigating the use of nano-scale materials in electronics applications.
Door prizes and awards for the presenters were also given out at the Event. Noor Alzarka (NSM), Alexandra Canga (CLASS), Mary Elhardt (NSM), Steven Houle (NSM), Stacey Joldersma (CLASS), Justin Loop (TECH), and Minh Tran (ENGR) were all poster presentation winners, and Gregory Bohuslav (NSM) was the winner of the oral presentations.
Undergraduate Research Day once again included an impressive lineup of speakers, including many of UH's top administrators. Interim Provost Jerald Strickland, Vice President for Research Donald Birx, and Interim Dean of The Honors College and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Research Stuart Long all spoke at the event on the importance of undergraduate research to the campus community. The Office of Undergraduate Research also launched its second movie in its film series on the benefits of conducting research as an undergraduate.
Though Undergraduate Research Day has grown significantly from when it was first held four years ago with only 27 presenters, there are plans for this event to continue to grow in size and magnitude throughout the years to come. The office staff plans to continue to encourage more undergraduates to participate at the event, and hopes to expand the nature of the presentations that are offered during the day. "Undergraduate Research Day has quickly become one of the university's premier events highlighting our outstanding students. We look forward to making next year's UR Day a bigger and better event, with more awards and attendees, and more students showcasing their research successes."