A cadre of students and faculty attended the 20th Annual Argonne Symposium for Undergraduates in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics on Friday 13 November 2009 at the Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Illinois, USA.
This event, held every year, is designed to give undergraduate students exposure to professional research activities. Students may propose research topics to present at the conference, or, if they like, they may just attend without presenting.
On Friday morning, we went to Argonne. The conference started at 9:00 A.M., at which time we heard the first keynote address. The symposium always begins and ends with a keynote address about some issue in science, but explained in a way that undergraduate students can follow.
The first address was "Novel H1N1: Perplexities In Pandemic Planning"
by Jamie L. Stalker, the Medical Director of Argonne. This talk explained the history of pandemics, the history of flu mutation, and how all of this relates to the current situation.
After this talk, the symposium divided itself into twenty different sessions--some starting immediately, others starting after lunch--pertaining to different areas of science.
Following was the lineup from NMU:
"Effects On The Permeability Of Calcium In The Presence Of Polydimethylated Siloxanes Through A Semi-Permeable Membrane."
Benjamin E. Wilson, supervised by Professor Eugene B. Wickenheiser, Chemistry.
COMPUTER SCIENCE I
"Analysis And 3D Visualization Of Multiple Trophic Cascade Scenarios."
Joshua M. Cook, Matthew J. Knox, Brian J. Krent, supervised by Associate Professor Randy R. Appleton, Computer Science.
"A Study Of Parallel Multiplication Algorithms Via GPGPU."
Jaclyn R. Beck, David E. Lyon, Darren M. St. Amour, Esther M. Su, supervised by Instructor Michael R. Kowalczyk, Computer Science.
"Evolution Of Motility Patterns in Simple, Blind Organisms In A Bounded Environment."
Geoffrey S. Riutta, supervised by Associate Professor Jeffrey Horn, Computer Science.
GENERAL PHYSICS, PHYSICS, AND MATERIALS SCIENCE II
"Development of Electronics To Automate The Cavity Testing Process."
Bradley D. Schoenrock, supervised by Cornell University Professor Dave J. Meidlinger, Physics.
MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTER SCIENCE II
"Computation of Escape Times Using Hybrid Monte Carlo Algorithms."
Paul D. Erickson, Axel T. Cisluycis, supervised by Instructor Michael R. Kowalczyk, Computer Science.
The closing keynote address was "A Biologist Goes To The Movies" given by Michael LaBarbera, Professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at The University of Chicago. He gave a very entertaining and enlightening lecture on the anatomy of various B-movie monsters, and how such monsters would actually behave if they were real.