Lehigh University
Lehigh University

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Center stage for undergraduate research

The first-ever RCEAS Undergraduate Research Symposium, an effort to inspire students' interest in research, will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, in Room 91 of the Rauch Business Center.

About 15 students will make oral presentations, each lasting 10-12 minutes, to a panel of researchers from industry and other universities.

The students represent all seven RCEAS academic departments as well as the new major in bioengineering.

The panel will judge the students for research creativity, significance of results, ability to defend their work, and quality of presentation and time management.

The top three students will receive scholarships to travel to professonal meetings.

The idea for the symposium was conceived by Himanshu Jain, the Diamond Chair Professor of materials science and engineering. Jain and Wojciech Misiolek, the Loewy Chair in Materials Forming and Processing, helped organize the event and are advising the student presenters.

"I would like to see a change in culture on campus as far as undergraduate reseasrch is concerned," said Jain. "I would like to see more undergraduates gain an appreciation for research and for what it's like to come up with new ideas."

The symposium, said Jain, will give students "a chance to see what it's like to stand up at a professional meeting or international conference, present their work, communicate it properly, and then defend it."

The symposium will also seek to recognize students for their research accomplishments and to encourage more students to consider graduate studies.

A master class for student researchers was held at Lehigh in February, when seven graduate and undergraduate students from the RCEAS and the College of Arts and Sciences gave presentations on their research projects to Alan Heeger, winner of the 2000 Noble Prize in Chemistry.

Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005

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