Learning Through Research

As the roles of research and innovation—the driving forces in our world economy—continue to expand, the importance of a university that gives you opportunities to participate in creative projects and faculty-guided research can’t be overlooked. At RIT, recognizing that many of the best careers in the future will likely require strong research skills, our undergraduates find opportunities to apply their knowledge in all kinds of fields.

sony_machineYou might work on an original research project in collaboration with a faculty member, or on a project sponsored and funded by industry. Depending on your major and your interests, you might work on an academic paper; market research project; scientific experiment; film, art, or photo exhibition; or engineering project. Our co-op program also provides opportunities for students to conduct applied research in a corporate or industrial setting. Here are a few examples:

Three RIT students earned undergraduate laboratory fellowships sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Michael Shepard, a computer engineering major, “trained” artificial neural networks. Lynn Hall, an applied mathematics major, developed mathematical models in the metals and ceramics division. Todd Kuiken worked in the environmental sciences division during his senior year and returned after graduation to work on a biogeochemical project. These RIT students were among 450 chosen for this program from 2,700 applicants across the United States.

As a biology major, Michelle Lavallee spent a summer researching how to make compounds for medical use. Her work with chemistry professor James Worman was supported by the pharmaceutical company SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline).