Undergraduate Research Symposium

Undergraduate Research Symposium

The Penn State Lehigh Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium is held annually in the spring. This event affords Penn State Lehigh Valley students the opportunity to share their academic research projects with the Penn State Lehigh Valley community through the presentation of scholarly posters. This year's symposium will be held beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 5, 2018 in room 135 at the Lehigh Valley campus.

Many project types will be presented during the Undergraduate Research Symposium. These will include independent research and research-based course projects, honors research projects, and traditional course-related projects that required significant research.

Keynote Speaker

Each year, this event features a prominent speaker that is well-accomplished in their area of research. This annual speaker is sponsored by the Penn State Faculty Invitational Lecture Series.

This year's keynote is Dr. Todd Retzlaff, assistant professor of mathematics at Penn State Lehigh Valley. Retzlaff received bachelor degrees in Mathematics and Integrated Science from Northwestern University. He also completed the coursework for a degree in Molecular Biology, but never applied to receive the degree. He received his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The title of his dissertation was The Rate of Decay of Concentration Functions on Locally Compact Groups. His research interests have ranged over: Concentration Functions; Random Walks; Real Estate Economics; Mathematical Pedagogy; Optimization of Financial Trusts; and now the application of aspects of Cognitive Psychology to Mathematics Education.

Presentation Title: Random Walks, Reflection, and Intuition

Description: When learning a new concept, or trying to describe aspects of the world we live in, we often rely on our intuition. Having a model which makes intuitive sense to us is comforting and “feels right”. There are many instances, however, where our intuition leads us astray. Several such counter-intuitive results from Mathematics, Economics, and Finance will be discussed as well as what their existence says about the nature of Mathematics, the process of learning, and potentially research in all fields.

The 2018 winning student research projects include:

ARTS, HUMANITIES, BUSINESS, AND SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES

First Place
“Prescription Drug Use and Secondary Exposure among College Students: A Focus on Gender and Social Class” 
Amanda Borges, Kirsten Mears
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Parker

Second Place
“Women in the 21st Century”
Kristen Abdouche
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nichola Gutgold

Third Place
“United Airlines in Shambles”
Kristen Abdouche
Faculty Mentor: Beth Michalec

STEM

First Place - tie
“Power of Rotor Blade versus Centroid Position”
Connor Haney
Faculty Mentor:  Tracey Carbonetto

First Place - tie
“The Potential of Coating Polyurethane with ‘Self-like’ Molecules to Reduce the Host Response to Implanted Medical Devices”
Sheherbano Hussain, Zoha Babar, Jimmy Hadid 
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jacqueline McLaughlin

Second Place
“Custom iPad Apps in IST"
Jacqueline Tran
Faculty Mentor: Jeffery Stone

Third Place 
“Variations in Airglow Temperature Influenced by the Increasing of CO2, Solar Cycle Variation and Geomagnetic Activity” 
Michael Vanyo 
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Tai-Yin Huang

INFORMATION LITERACY

First Place
“The Potential of Coating Polyurethane with ‘Self-like’ Molecules to Reduce the Host Response to Implanted Medical Devices”
Sheherbano Hussain, Zoha Babar, Jimmy Hadid
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jacqueline McLaughlin 

Second Place
“Variations in Airglow Temperature Influenced by the Increasing of CO2, Solar Cycle Variation and Geomagnetic Activity”
Michael Vanyo Faculty
Mentor: Dr. Tai-Yin Huang

Third Place
“Power of Rotor Blade versus Centroid Position”
Connor Haney
Faculty Mentor: Tracey Carbonetto

The winners will present their work at the annual Penn State Regional Undergraduate Research Symposium, which will be held at Penn State Abington this year on April 21.