March 4, 2004

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Contact: Sandra Wick, University Honors Program, (785) 864-3248,

KU Undergraduate Research Symposium to showcase students' projects March 6

LAWRENCE -- The seventh annual Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Symposium will be from 1 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 6, in the Kansas Union. From all academic disciplines, 45 students will present the results of their research/creative activity through oral, poster, video or piano performance presentations.

The events are free and open to the public, faculty and students. Oral presentations on topics of general interest will be from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. in Alderson Auditorium at the union. The presentations will follow opening remarks by John Gronbeck-Tedesco, acting director of the University Honors Program, and Christopher Haufler, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. From 2:30 to 4 p.m. will be three concurrent sessions with four oral presentations in physics and astronomy, math and engineering in Alderson Auditorium; five oral presentations in humanities, biological sciences and social sciences in the Jayhawk Room, and three video presentations in the International Room. From 4:15 to 6:15 p.m., 27 students will give poster presentations.

A banquet that includes a student's piano performance will follow for students and their faculty mentors at 6:30 p.m. in the Kansas Room. Paul Atchley, associate professor of psychology, will speak on the role of goals in higher education.

Among symposium presentation topics:

 • General interest, ranging from the relationship between standardized vocabulary test results and the way children learn words to a bioinformatics tracking system based on the Human Genome project.

 • Physics and astronomy, math and engineering, ranging from studying the parameters of physical theory by measuring parts of the gamma ray spectrum to formulating a linear equation for a molecular design computer program.

 • Humanities and biological and social sciences, ranging from a reference study of Cypro-Minoan, an undeciphered language from Bronze Age Cyprus, to the relationship of prairie dogs to their environment, particularly in western and central Kansas and adjacent parts of Nebraska.

A full schedule of events and details of each student's program abstract can be viewed at

Many undergraduate projects were supported by KU's long-running Undergraduate Research Award Program with funds from the state through the KU Center for Research, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the provost's office. Students with undergraduate research awards performed their research during spring 2003 or summer 2003. Others at the symposium are presenting work for a senior honors thesis, and a few were involved at an off-campus site.


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