Eighty students from the University of Missouri-Rolla recently participated in the 2006 Undergraduate Research Conference at UMR. This was the second year for the event, which gives undergraduates opportunities to showcase research efforts to the campus community and general public.
The conference also gives the students opportunities to compete against their peers.
“The conference is unique because it is a contest,” says Dr. Harvest Collier, vice provost of undergraduate and graduate studies at UMR. “Students are responsible for answering questions, interpreting data, showing they contributed — it’s what they’ll be experiencing out there in the real world.”
Judges awarded cash prizes – $750 for first place – in multiple categories, which were based on fields of study and types of presentations. The following were judged first-place winners in the 2006 UMR Undergraduate Research Conference:
Engineering poster session
First place – Robert Duke Adams, a freshman in freshman engineering from Rolla, “Robotic prosthetic arm,” advised by Dr. Keith Stanek, Finley Distinguished Professor of electrical and computer engineering
Humanities/social sciences poster session
First place – Natalie Shanklin, a sophomore in psychology from Rolla, “Why fathers are important to the understanding of drinking behaviors,” advised by Dr. Julie Patock-Peckham, assistant professor of psychology
Natural sciences poster session
First place – Cory Cheatham, a junior in biological sciences from St. Robert, Mo., “Traditional and molecular techniques for describing fungi in streams,” advised by Dr. Dev Niyogi, assistant professor of biological sciences
Engineering oral session
First place – Parviz Palangpour, a senior in computer engineering from Columbia, Mo., “A neural network based approach to elephant migration prediction,” advised by Dr. Ganesh Kumar Venayagamoorthy, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering
Humanities/social sciences oral session
First place – Philip Norfolk, a senior in psychology from Blue Springs, Mo., “Effects of task difficulty and distracter congruency on visual attention,” advised by Dr. Michael Nelson, assistant professor of psychology
Natural sciences oral session
First place – Jessica Mueller, a senior in biological sciences from Rolla, “Skeletal morphology of Blanchard’s cricket frog,” advised by Dr. Anne Maglia, associate professor of biological sciences
First place – Darla Ellis, a senior in chemical engineering from St. Louis, “Effects of microgravity on bone tissue scaffolds for in vitro tissue growth,” advised by Dr. Roger Brown, professor of biological sciences, and Dr. Harvest Collier, professor of chemistry and vice provost for undergraduate and graduate studies.