Students attend National Conference of Undergraduate Research in Tennessee



MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE — While the Bloomington campus was enjoying the first week of April, seven IU students hit the road for the National Conference of Undergraduate Research. In December these students submitted abstracts for their research and were accepted to give presentations or participate in poster sessions in their field.

Paul Fogleman, associate director in the Undergraduate Scholars Office for Competitive Awards, Research and Engagement, has been responsible for this program for three years and has been taking all students accepted to NCUR when the conference is within driving distance.

“This opportunity is valuable to students,” Fogleman said. “Many nationally competitive awards require some measure of undergraduate research. This is a good opportunity for them to get their feet wet. It is not a professional conference. it’s more relaxed.”

All disciplines are welcome at NCUR. Students need only send an abstract of their research to the Council on Undergraduate Research where abstracts go through a selection process.

On April 5 students boarded a bus and headed south to attend the conference in Memphis this year

Each student shared their research at various times throughout the conference either through a poster session or a 15-minute oral presentation. In addition to the opportunity to view the work of other students, participants received feedback from peers and scholars in the field.

Only four students chose to present their research to an audience. The others did not. First up was Joshua Cannon, a senior studying computer informatics, who shared his research to develop an algorithm for inspecting integrated circuits.

The study was funded by the Naval Surface Warfare Center – Crane Division to find a way to reduce time spent manually inspecting circuits and eliminate the chance for human error.

He was followed by Margret Moore, a senior studying neuroscience, who was able to show through her research that current post-stroke tests are inaccurate because they measure physical damage rather than cognitive damage and the types of cognitive deficits are too broad.

Friday presentations began with Asiyah Din, a fifth year senior graduating in 2019 and studying physics, applied math and human biology. Her research worked to improve techniques for dark matter detection with SungWoo Youn at the Center for Axion Precision Physics in Daejeon, South Korea.

The last presentation of the conference was given by Samuel Pickett, a junior studying history, who traced the reason for developing a student social movement in Chile from 2011 to 2013. Although the movement failed, the fact that it happened showed a return to Chile’s characteristic social action, he said.

Though NCUR took up much of the students’ time during the day, they still found the time to go out and visit some of the popular tourist destinations. Fogleman planned excursions for students to the National Civil Rights Museum and Sun Studio during the day. During their free time, side excursions were made to the Peabody Hotel and the Memphis Zoo, while at night students developed a taste for local bands on Beale street in Memphis’ entertainment district.

Students arrived in Bloomington on Saturday evening.

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