Students and faculty who quest to discover big solutions to world problems turned out in force on March 26 to highlight their hypotheses and findings at the annual Research and Scholarship Expo.
Over 240 posters — visual representations of research projects by faculty and students — were displayed at Cabot Cage in an afternoon event described by President Aoun as another manifestation of the great collaborative research taking place at Northeastern University.
“What we’ve seen is a crescendo of our research efforts over the last three years, and what has been happening at the Research Expo is outstanding,” Aoun said, noting that he hopes to see faculty and student work appear regularly on university Internet sites.
Topics for the poster presentations covered a wide-range of disciplines, from the sciences and engineering to the arts and social sciences.
Provost Stephen Director and Ken Blank, vice provost for research, each expressed excitement about the quality of work displayed by so many strong researchers.
“I’d like to congratulate the researchers,” said Director, “The work is truly phenomenal. We can take great pride in the work that is occurring at Northeastern.”
Blank described the expo as an invaluable opportunity for undergraduates to participate in high-level research in an open, collegial environment.
“This is a day to celebrate what we’ve done and where we’re headed,” he said. “It’s an important opportunity for the faculty and the students to learn what types of research are being performed throughout the university.”
Biology student Anna Meador, a lead investigator in research of pollution control through algae, said she worked side-by-side with master’s students on a project to decontaminate the New Bedford Harbor.
“I felt like I was a grad student because I was doing the same type of work,” she said, adding that she loved pulling on her boots and wading into the harbor. She was searching for evidence to link the capacity of green algae to absorb pollutants like PCB.
Here is a list of students with first-place winning posters in undergraduate and graduate competitions spanning seven categories:
Graduate student Laura Pfeifer and undergraduate Yamani Jana, both in computer and information sciences; graduate student Selvapraba Selvarasah and undergraduate Martina List, both in engineering and technology; graduate student Jamie Becker and undergraduate John Brabant, both in health sciences and technology; graduate student Aleta Budd and undergraduate Ying Xu, both in humanities and arts; graduate student Anthony Westphal and undergraduate Tom Cinq-Mars, both in interdisciplinary topics, centers and institutes; graduate student Thayaparan Paramanathan and undergraduate Kostas Papamarkakis, both in the physical and life sciences; and graduate student Kristen Hudak and undergraduate Vanessa Castro, both in social sciences, business and law.
Fourteen runners up were also selected.
Blank said the research taking place at Northeastern, whether recognized by a prize at the expo or not, is invigorating curriculum, creating excitement and opportunities. “This work is an important part of building a culture of inquiry,” he said.