Students present their own research at undergrad symposium

The U held its second annual Undergraduate Research Symposium Tuesday to celebrate undergraduate research and creative achievements at the U.

A luncheon was held at noon in the Union Ballroom where president of the U, Michael Young spoke to those presenting their research.

“This is, for me, one of the most exciting parts of being university president. It’s the opportunity to be able to wander around and see the projects that you do,” Young said. “What you have done is truly amazing.”

More than 200 students gathered in the ballroom to present the different projects they have been researching for the past months, and sometimes years. Students from more than 30 academic departments used posters or creative artwork and made oral presentations.

The topics of research varied from “The role of Iron-sulfur clusters in DNA repair” and “Attaining a competitive finance job.”

The symposium was a way for students to go beyond what they have learned in the classroom and use it in a practical way.

“What is key to all those projects is that it reflects your understanding that you can go beyond what was said to you, and you can actually take the principles and better understand the world,” President Young said.

Participating in the symposium helped undergraduates gain research experience for their rsum.

David Owen, a biology major, explained his research on the co-evolution of influenza and the human immune system. The symposium gave him an opportunity to take something he was interested in and spend months getting deeper and deeper into the research of that topic. He knows this event has many advantages for students.

“It helps undergraduates understand that the University of Utah is a research university. A lot of times students only worry about grades. They don’t realize that research is a big part of our education. It identifies a problem and then solves the problem,” Owen said.

President Young and the organizers of the event were pleased with the intellectual diversity and depth of research shown by U students.

“I’ve been at world class universities my whole adult life, such as Harvard. I taught at Columbia and Yale. The students here are second to none,” Young said.

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