In a collaboration between the Undergraduate Research Students’ Association (URSA) and the Office of Undergraduate Research, the symposium offers students from all majors and disciplines the opportunity to showcase their research in an oral presentation. URSA is in its ninth year hosting this event.
“Most people at UT have interests that span multiple disciplines and across majors. The symposium is a chance for everyone to see the diverse research happening on campus that they might not necessarily know about by staying within their field,” remarked Sophia Cui, sophomore in the interdisciplinary program and chair of programming for URSA.
Students are given 15 minutes to present their research and conduct a question-and-answer session. For many, the symposium was the first time presenting their research in front of an audience.
“The more intimate feel of a classroom setting behind closed doors, in front of your friends, is a great way to practice and gain confidence before the EURēCA event next week,” said Cui.
“This is my first time presenting my work in front of anybody, and I’d definitely do this again. Talking in front of people who aren’t familiar with my field helps me solidify my explanations,” said Viktor Zenkov, sophomore in computer science, after his presentation on T cell movement in the liver.
Alex Bolinsky, junior in electrical engineering, is no stranger to presenting her research, however was not familiar with this format.
“Fielding questions from students helps reinforce my own knowledge of my work,” Bolinsky said. “I thought it was cool and was excited to participate.”
Bolinksy’s work involves the characterization of gallium nitride inverters in the solar industry.
“At the end of the day, Vols help Vols,” said Cui. “The students love to support each other during their presentations, and get excited about seeing each other’s work. That’s what the Symposium is about.”