November 22, 2005
Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456, email@example.com,
or Jaclyn Loveless, 661/654-2138, firstname.lastname@example.org
Three students from California State University, Bakersfield, presented research papers this past weekend at the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research (SCCUR) in Riverside in preparation for even bigger conferences later in the academic year.
The three students are:
- Kyle McWhorter, a junior mathematics major, whose presentation was titled, “Return times of a point in the shift space for arbitrary neighborhoods of itself.” His faculty advisor is mathematics professor Kamel Haddad.
- Alex Todd, a graduate student in physics, whose faculty advisor is physics professor Alexander Dzyubenko.
- Jared Chapman, a junior psychology and religious studies double major, whos presentation was titlted, “Effects of Religioisity on reading scientific texts. His faculty advisor is psychology professor Anne Duran.
Haddad said the students’ presentations are important because “research at the undergraduate level is becoming more and more popular in the United States. It better prepares students for graduate work. It starts them on research projects that they can handle.
“These conferences let the students practice presenting while they’re still undergraduates,” he continued. “Usually they student presenters are planning on graduate school. But there’s a push by professors at non-research universities to engage students early on in the research we do. It’s a really wonderful experience for them.”
The students have been aided by grant programs operating on campus.
McWhorter’s research was funded by Minority Access to Research Careers – Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research, or MARC U*STAR, program. Chapman’s was funded by the McNair Scholars Program.
The conference also allows others to see the students work. “Jared did both and oral and poster presentation,” Duran said. “He did really well.
He was approached afterwards by a professor at UC Riverside who wants to link the slides on Jared’s poster to the professor’s website. Jared was really excited by that.”
Both Chapman and McWhorter are preparing for major conferences next year.
McWhorter will attend the American Mathematical Society/Mathematics Association of America (AMS/MAA) meetings in January. “You win awards there,” Haddad said. “That’s the biggest mathematics meeting in the country. Two CSUB students won first place there a couple of years ago.”
Likewise Chapman is looking forward to the Western Psychological Association conference in the spring. “That’s a big one,” Duran said.
The SCCUR where the three students made presentations “is a huge conference that features poster and oral presentations in all disciplines,” Haddad said. It’s incredibly valuable in preparing the students for future presentations, he added.