Benjamin Romano, a sophomore majoring in computer science, is setting up his project on weather data visualization for the University of Alabama's annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference. CW | Heather Buchanan
“The University of Alabama Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference is a great opportunity for undergraduate students to present their research to their peers and the faculty,” said Mary Katherine Alsip Shreves, director of the Emerging Scholars Program and assistant research associate at the Institute for Communication and Information Research. “Communicating findings is a step in the scientific method, and conferences are one way that professional researchers share their results with other experts in the field.”
This conference brings attention to the work the students do at the University of Alabama and the event gives student experience in presenting work to an audience. Students who present have the chance to earn a cash prize for top presentations. The conference helps students build relationships with their faculty mentors and other presenters.
Wesley Wood, a junior majoring in consumer sciences, said he appreciates the opportunity to both present his research and discover the findings of his peers.
“I’m excited about [the conference] for two reasons,” he said. “First, I think it will be a great opportunity to discuss my final project with other students, and faculty get feedback from them. Second, I can’t wait to look at other students’ research and learn more about different majors at the University.”
Shreves said she thought research is a critical part of a young person’s education.
“Research is important because it is how we learn more about the world around us,” Shreves said. “I believe research is an important part of the undergraduate experience because it helps students make the connection between scientific study and the lessons they are taught in the classroom. It can also help students learn more about topics they are passionate about and develop important critical thinking skills that will help them in their studies and in their future careers.”
Wood said his mentor helped him greatly in the course of his research process.
“I am grateful to have an awesome faculty advisor that walked me through the entire process,” he said. “We began by reading other academic research to find a hole in research we could look at and then incrementally work our way to our final project.”
The event will be held in the Bryant Conference Center. Poster and oral presentations will begin at 9 a.m. and last until 6 p.m. Judges will begin their review of the posters starting at 1 p.m. To view the complete schedule visit osp.ua.edu/undergradresearch.