Pitt’s Springboard 2009 Showcases Premier Undergraduate Research and Creativity

Issue Date: 
April 6, 2009
Patricia BeesonPatricia Beeson

From investigating the global economy and the biomechanics of human gait to staging Angels in America, University of Pittsburgh undergraduates will display their research and creativity during Pitt’s Springboard 2009.

The showcase includes performances, art exhibitions, research fairs, poster sessions, and miniconferences. Students from throughout the University system will share their faculty-guided research and creative endeavors with the University community. The work of talented undergraduates at all levels in their education, from freshmen engaged in initial forays into research to seniors reporting on in-depth capstone research, are included in the month-long event.

“Engagement in research is an important component of the Pitt experience for many of our students,” said Patricia Beeson, Pitt’s vice provost for graduate and undergraduate studies. “The Springboard events throughout April provide wonderful opportunities for these students to share their work with the broader community.”

Springboard events are open to the public. A schedule is available on Pitt’s Web site at www.pitt.edu/~provost/undergrad_research.html.

Brief descriptions of selected one-day events follow.

Pitt’s University Center for International Studies will present the Global Studies Student Symposium, which provides recognition for excellent student scholarship related to global studies from Pitt students in all disciplines. Global issues and trends relating to sustainable development, the globalized economy and global governance, changing identities in a global world, global conflict and conflict resolution, and global health will be addressed. The symposium begins at noon April 7 in Room 3610, Posvar Hall.

The University Honors College’s Undergraduate Research Fair is an interactive open-house poster session where undergraduates from all disciplines display posters on their research with audience discussion included. Last year’s event included student research on prehistoric climate change, pain sensitivity, and client satisfaction with mental health services. The fair begins at 11:30 a.m. April 8 in the Ballroom of the William Pitt Student Union.

The School of Arts and Sciences’ First Experiences in Research poster session will showcase the initial research endeavors of Arts and Sciences undergraduates with faculty mentors. In previous years, students exhibited such work as examining traumatic brain incidents, family-based stress management for childhood cancer, and Hong Kong films. The session begins at 4:45 p.m. April 13 in the Chevron Science Center.

The Swanson School of Engineering’s Department of Industrial Engineering will host Industrial Engineering Capstone Program presentations. Students will demonstrate the application of industrial engineering analysis to solve operations, planning, and process problems that arise in different settings. Their projects include improving the effectiveness of the UPMC patient-discharge process, analyzing the integration of mixed-model assembly lines at Mine Safety Appliances, improving process flow in the YR Manufacturing Center at the Elliott Company, and evaluating reserve racking utilization and configuration at Dick’s Sporting Goods. The presentations begin at 2 p.m. April 17 in Room 1021, Benedum Hall.

Brief descriptions of continuous and repeating events in April follow.

The Department of Studio Arts’ annual exhibition of juried art by graduating seniors and exceptional works by majors and nonmajors runs through April 25 in the University Art Gallery, Frick Fine Arts Building. (See article on Page 2.)

Students and faculty in theater arts in the School of Arts and Sciences will present Tony Kushner’s epic Angels in America Part Two: Perestroika. The play’s scenes, costumes, and lighting were designed by Pitt faculty and built by Pitt students and staff. The play runs through April 11 in the Charity Randall Theatre, Stephen Foster Memorial.