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U of U Undergraduate Research Symposium to Celebrate the Thrill of Discovery

April 15, 2004 — Slava Lubomudrov, senior associate dean of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Utah, likens the excitement generated by research experiences to “being with Newton when he comprehended gravity-and helping him flesh out that vision.”

The campus community and public is invited to participate in the excitement of undergraduate students’ achievement in research and creative artistic work on Tuesday, April 20, by attending the University of Utah Undergraduate Research Symposium, an event that represents almost every major offered at the U. Nearly 150 students, working under faculty supervision, will participate in oral presentations, poster sessions and creative artistic performances, between 10 a.m. and noon and 1 and 3 p.m. The free event will be held throughout the Olpin Union Building. Information on presentation locations may be obtained at the symposium desk, located in the Union foyer. For a full symposium schedule, go to

Co-sponsored by the University’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and the Honors Program, the symposium will include a wide variety of topics-a feasibility study of solar power utilization along the Wasatch Front; an evaluation of the utility of a genetic model for the study of depression; an examination of the effectiveness of anti-sway bars on off-road vehicles; an exploration of brain functioning during information processing; a study of issues related to personal privacy protection in a technological age; a study of the role of dreams and text in the works of Joyce and Freud; and an evaluation of solutions to the No Child Left Behind Program. Oral and poster sessions will include student reports on research conducted under supervision of internationally-renowned scientists at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics, the Moran Eye Center and the University’s School of Medicine. Two modern dance performances, created and choreographed by students, will be presented.

Earlier this year, 20 of the 150 undergraduate participants involved in Tuesday’s symposium presented their findings before Utah State Legislators, demonstrating to lawmakers the opportunities presented to them at the U, a public research extensive (formerly called “research 1”) university, to pursue quality research activities in health and physical sciences, engineering, social sciences and creative activities.

“Performing quality research is a very unusual, special learning experience where students work with faculty members,” notes Lubomudrov. “They are both engaged in discovery; going down a path no one has ever gone down before. Students are often driven by the realization that their projects may have very important, long-term, social, political and life-altering impact. They realize that research makes positive contributions to the world around them.”