ISU showcase of undergraduate research and creative expression set for April 15

Symposium logo

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University undergraduates will display their research and creative endeavors during the eighth annual Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression. A total of 150 students will give research presentations and exhibit artwork on topics ranging from asteroid deflection to zebrafish.

The symposium will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, in the Memorial Union on the ISU campus. It is free and open to the public.

"Undergraduates from all majors have the opportunity to share their research through academic conference-style oral presentation sessions," said Dana Schumacher, the University Honor Program's assistant director for scholarship and research.

"This year’s symposium is the largest and most varied yet, with more than 100 research presentations plus a writers' forum and an art exhibit. And 45 majors are represented," she said.

Former NASA astronaut and Aerospace Engineering Senior Lecturer Clayton Anderson will moderate the “Science and Space” session at 3:45 p.m., with presentations on “Developing Explosion Models for Optimal Fragmentation of a Hazardous Asteroid,” by Jacob Harry, senior in aerospace engineering and a Goldwater Scholar; and “A Glimpse into NASA Planetary Protection: Bacterial Communities Residing on Mars-Bound Spacecraft ” by Garrett Smith, senior in microbiology and genetics and an Amgen Scholar.

And, Schumacher said, several symposium presentations will focus on the environment, including the following:

  • A multi-disciplinary team working with Integrated Studio Arts Associate Professor Chris Martin will describe developing a molding process to produce desks from recycled waste plastic in Ghana.
  • Landscape architecture senior Qiyi Li will share the story of  "A Little Dreamer," her installation of paper airplanes in ISU’s College of Design atrium that symbolized the trees cut to create paper. Her work earned a recent ISU “Live Green” award.
  • Civil engineering senior William Cord will present "Heated Transportation Infrastructure: Prevention of Ice Formation on Paved Surfaces."
  • John Harlow, chemical engineering sophomore, will show a poster on "Improvement to the Air Management Practices Tool."
  • Meteorology senior Kayla Schuster will share "Change in Heat Stress Days from Present to Future Climate."
  • Toni Proescholdt, senior in biology, will discuss "Understanding Interactions between Butterflies and their Floral Resources in Iowa Grasslands."

Three new professional development sessions will be offered for presenters and attendees. ISU’s Center for Writing and Media will present programs on writing personal statements and preparing conference proposals. And a panel of faculty and graduate students will discuss National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships.

The day’s events will begin at 9 a.m. in the Pioneer Room with opening remarks by Sarah Nusser, vice president for research. Concurrent presentation sessions will follow throughout the day. A midday break will feature undergraduate artists whose works are part of the juried FOCUS exhibit of student artwork. And a poster presentation will be in the Gallery from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. A detailed schedule of events and presentations is online.

research poster