The 1st Annual
Undergraduate Research Conference, April 18, 1996
Information on the 2nd
Undergraduate Research Conference, April 23, 1997
IIT's Best show their
work at the April 1996
1st Annual Undergraduate Research
As I looked around campus, I
noticed that Professors, including myself, were sending students to
conferences, such as the NSF
Alabama UGR conference, to present the results of their research at other
institutions. It was clear we should showcase our best right here on the IIT campus and thus the
wheels were set in motion for IIT's 1st annual UGR
I walked around campus seeking support, conceptual and
financial, for a conference. I had opportunity to discuss the entire concept
with the "Man on the Bench". He was clearly supportive of the idea and suggested
I sit and talk for awhile. He is a very good listener. I explained that we
needed a date, a staff, judges, prizes, and
Dean of the Undergraduate College
quickly blessed the entire concept, particularly my picking up the cost of
the conference, and offered to provide prize money. ETC became the central location for
planning. Abstract forms were generated by Cheryl and mailed to students identified
as having done research in the last several years. .
As soon as
our speaker agreed to come, we made and posted flyers all over campus. Profs.
with students involved in UG research were encouraged to have those students
present their results. Metaphorically speaking, ideas and preparations were
flowing and we were ready to burst forth showcasing our talent. (Who wrote
The Hub staff in Herman Hall eagerly worked with
us to provide quality space and an attractive layout. A number of tough, but
fairminded Professors, such as Prof. Ken
Schug of the Biological, Chemical, and Physical Sciences (BCPS) Department, agreed to judge the
presentations and thus we were ready. Completed Abstracts were returned, sorted, compiled, and printed
The ever friendly Prof. Sheldon Mostovoy of the
Mechanical, Materials, and Areospace Engineering (MMAE) Department, accepted the second judge
position after I listened to his famous "can design" lecture. Did you know the
bottom of a can is stronger than its sides? The room was bare and cold but light
red table cloths quickly improved the ambiance..
Sanjida was one of the first to arrive at noon with her poster
board and computer. With help from Kamesh, she got her poster on "Antifreeze
Polypeptides" up. The compter was running CHARM, a program she used at Cornell University the prior summer to
simulate docking studies and do energy minimizations..
Dean of the Undergraduate
College John Kallend welcome the
assembled multitude and spoke on the importance of the undergraduate research
experience to the educational process. Kim Terrell, a junior in Electrical
Computer Engineering (ECE), an AMP Scholar, a NASA Scholar, and Student
Coordinator for the UGR Conference, introduced Dr. Aprille Ericsson-Jackson, an
Aerospace Engineer with the NASA
Group, who was our Invited Speaker..
Prof. David Patterson's Electrical and
Computer Engineering IPRO
(InterPROfessional project) Group stood together as a team presenting their
results on "Sensor Designs". IPROs
are IIT's team projects that engage students over several semesters while
seeking solutions to important problems. Faculty attendence was high and they
listened intently to the presentations..
Diego, an AMP Scholar who won a 1st place award at a
National NSF Conference in California in August,
demonstrated the "Interactive Tutorials" he developed working with Prof. Jim
Karagiannes of the BCPS Department. His display was hyperlinked and very
interactive impressing the judges that he could apply what he was learning to
Chemical Engineering majors Kristen and Georgia, both working
with Prof. Arastoopour of the Chemical Engineering Department (ChemE), presented preliminary results
related to their laboratory experience. Georgia's work was on "Bubble Flow" and
Kristen's on "Polyethlyene Degradation in Knee Replacements"..
Georgia thought some of the judges were "hardnosed" but
admitted the experience help prepared her for upcomming interviews. Both CHE's
are graduating seniors. As I returned to Sanjida's poster, she was showing
students how her work had been published on the Internet. She is one of IIT's
7-year Medical Students and expect to go on to attend medical school after
completing her Chemical Engineering degree this year..
Across the room, Scott, the
Chemistry Master Tutor for my freshmen chemistry course, CHEM124 was wowing Prof.
Schug with the "Organic Amine Detection Scheme" he developed working with Prof.
Stagliano of the BCPS Department. After the grilling, Scott was congradulated by
Cheryl Caplan who is Director of ETC and
manages many of IIT's tutoring programs..
Will and Alberto are both AMP
Scholars. Will worked with Prof. Corke of the Mechanical, Materials, and
Areospace Engineering (MMAE) Department to
improve the "Design of a Nose Cone". Alberto, whom I help recruit from Puerto Rico several years ago and who
will present his research in Detroit in Nov. 1996, worked
with Prof. David
Williams of the same department on "Feedback Control for Aircraft"..
Jake did his work on "Laser Altimetry" during the summer at the
Goddard Space Flight
Center working with Dr. Coyle. Many of our students find summer research
positions at other Universities and National Laboratories or Centers - A great
resume building and practical experience. Prof. Mukund Acharya, MMAE, runs a NSF funded UGR Program on campus.
Prof. Bob Jaeger of the Pritzker Institute of Medical and Mechanical Engineering
was "defending" a very expensive piece of equiment his student Tom needed to
demonstrate their results..
presentations were finished, the students congregated around the "free" food to
await the judging results. Conversation centered on projects, hopes and
concerns. Many students were gathered around Aprille asking about opportunities
at NASA and other government facitities. I saw her handing out applications so I
expect we will have students there this summer..
Dr. Ericsson-Jackson gave an inspiring talk centered around her
career and the importance that her undergraduate research experience had played
in her career decisions and advancement at NASA. First place was awarded to
Thomas Fuhr for his work with Prof. Jaeger on the "Hering -Breuer Effect". Tom
was an exchange student from Denmark spending a year
touring the USA between experiments..
won second place for the research he did with Prof. Eugene Smotkin of the
BCPS Department on "Electrocatalysis on Gold Surfaces". Prof. Smotkin is now a
member of the Chemical Engineering Department. Diego Carlton's work on
"Hypercard Tutorials", which is described above, was awarded third place. Prof.
Jim Karagiannes is now
working with a new group on a second generation of the Hypercard
Because of the very high quality of the work presented, Dean John Kallend
insisted upon reaching into his wallet and pulling out enough money to fund two
additional Honorable-Mention Awards. These went to Sanjida and Jake. The IIT
community says "good job" to all the presenters..
things do not just happen. The First Annual Undergraduate Research Conference
Committee drew its members from all parts of the University and worked hard to
ensure the 1st UGR
Conference's success. A round of applause for them-clap, clap - or a raise??
As the sun sets over Lake Michigan, we are already gearing up for next year.
[TOP] [2ndUGR] [News] [Prof J] [IIT] [IITPhoto] [PJsPage]
UGR Research and Conference Related
[New Mex97] [Depaul97] [Detroit96] [CSU 96] [Florida96] [NSF DC96] [Cal 95] [Ala 94]
Other IIT related pages
[ODClub] [PRico] [WisRiv] [SRSP] [AMP] [IITUGR] [BMT]