ASU undergraduate research to be displayed at symposium

By

Rachel Bunning

This Tuesday, April 23, marks the inaugural Arizona State University Undergraduate Research Poster Symposium, an event that allows students from across the university to submit their own research in the form of posters to be featured alongside their peers.

With an event such as this, it is important to understand how starting research early in an academic career can further opportunities, resumes and communities.

Most undergraduate research at ASU is conducted outside of classrooms as projects with faculty members, graduate students or other undergrads and may seem difficult to take on. However, when the benefits of research are considered, the work becomes worth it.

Pursuing research opportunities as an undergraduate allows experience in a field of interest, provides opportunity to tackle challenges in the community, travel to foreign countries to conduct research and adds a boost to a resume.

“Undergraduate research is important because of its real-world relevance,” said history Professor J. Schermerhorn. “How do you take a project from conception to conclusion? How do you contextualize and analyze a complex idea or theme? Undergraduate research gives ASU students the tools to do that as part of a mentoring experience that involves best practices in research in multiple fields. It gives them an insider's view of the process of research and writing, in some cases an apprenticeship customized to their interests and aspirations.”

Schermerhorn is the faculty lead for the symposium, finding it will allow students to visualize and map their research as opposed to only writing.

“What does our research look like?” Schermerhorn asked. “How can we communicate a complex argument or subject to an audience of educated laypeople in fewer than 500 words? The poster symposium allows students to test out their visualizations for the public.”

Many schools and colleges have students participating in the inaugural event, including: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Barrett, The Honors College, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, the School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering, Department of Psychology, the School of Life Sciences, the School of Politics and Global Studies, the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics and the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies.

The Undergraduate Research Symposium will take place from noon to 2 p.m. in the Armstong Hall Atrium with a keynote speech from director of the IHR Elizabeth Langland at 12:30 p.m. It is sponsored by the Humanities Dean’s Office, the Institute for Humanities Research and the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies.