Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium returns to live presentations on July 28

Rutgers professor Geraldine Cochran will discuss equity efforts in STEM disciplines

Elizabeth Lamark

Undergraduate students will present elements of their research, done over the past semester and this summer, as part of the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium taking place July 28. This photo is from the 2019 event.

The Undergraduate Research Symposium, RIT’s annual showcase of innovative projects, takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 28 and more than 200 students are expected to participate. The event will feature some of the best in undergraduate research ideas and solutions.

The full agenda can be found online, with opening remarks beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Alfred L. Davis Room, located in RIT’s Student Alumni Union (SAU). Presentations, poster sessions, and networking will begin at 9:15 a.m. in the Golisano Institute for Sustainability.

This year’s keynote speaker is Rutgers University physics professor Geraldine Cochran. She will discuss some of her work and national efforts to address inequities in STEM education. Cochran will present during lunch at 1 to 1:30 p.m. in the Davis Room of the SAU.

An associate professor of Professional Practice in the School of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers, Cochran is a physics education researcher, teaches introductory physics courses for engineering majors, and develops curricular materials for the high school physics classroom and introductory collegiate-level physics courses. Cochran is also a member of the university’s TRIAD Coalition, a campus organization supporting STEM education research, outreach, diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts, at the university and nationally.

“Dr. Cochran has long-lasting roots at RIT. She helped spearhead the NSF-funded Learning Assistant Program in the College of Science, was a member of Center for Advancing STEM Teaching, Learning & Evaluation, and served as an associate director in the Multicultural Center for Academic Success,” said Michael Coleman, associate professor in RIT’s School of Chemistry and Materials Science, and event chairperson. He leads a team of faculty-researchers from across campus and members of the RIT Research Division organizing the annual program highlighting undergraduate student work.

One of the newer aspects of the event is the International Day of Online Research Presentations Gallery. Students from RIT’s international colleges in Dubai, Croatia, Kosovo, and China will participate in the symposium sharing research outcomes through video presentations. Students from the Rochester campus will also participate in this format.

Photos from the 2019 event are available online. RIT’s undergraduate research initiatives are extensive and include not only this annual symposium but the Research Experience for Undergraduates, a summer intensive program where students from RIT and universities around the country participate in an onsite experience to contribute to research in fields such as STEM education, astrophysics, disaster resilience, imaging, and sensing.

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