Undergrad research takes spotlight

A University-wide Undergraduate Research Symposium will be held on campus April 17, highlighting a range of research projects by undergraduates and honoring past and present award winners.

The Undergraduate Research Center, sponsoring the symposium, opened in September 1997 to promote, encourage and support undergraduate involvement in research.

"The major impact of the symposium will be to publicize and celebrate the very large amount of undergraduate research that takes place at Penn," said Lawrence B. Friedman, Ph.D., associate director for special programs in the College and acting director of the center, which was started through the 21st Century Project for Undergraduate Education.

The all-day symposium, to be held at the Penn Tower Hotel, will feature more than 100 research presentations, including poster presentations and papers by undergraduate researchers, Friedman said.

Also at the center, several undergraduates are currently working to revise, expand and make searchable the Undergraduate Research Directory. It is available now in hard copy and on line.

The directory contains about 350 entries that describe faculty research and specific opportunities for undergraduate participation, according to Friedman. Goals this year include expanding the directory to about 500 entries.

Established in the fall, the Undergraduate Research Center's Web site now contains links to a number of on-campus, research-oriented Web pages, as well as to off-campus sites such as the National Conference on Undergraduate Research and the Council for Undergraduate Research.

The symposium on April 17 will end with a reception at the Penn Tower Hotel to recognize and honor the undergraduates. For more information, call 898-4200.

Originally published on April 16, 1998