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Art and Research

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Showcasing a Community of Creative Thinkers

Justin Anderson  
Max Elfelt  

The wealth of experience gained through undergraduate or artistic research on campus can be hard to explain in a short period of time, as UMD Undergraduate Research Opportunity (UROP) participants could likely tell you. Despite this difficulty, UROP students from all different disciplines will be delighted to try at the 2012 Undergraduate Research and Artistic Showcase, which will be held on April 12 from 12 noon - 4 pm. The poster presentations will be held in Kirby Ballroom. The presentations will be held in the Kirby Garden Room and Kirby 355. The afternoon is packed with activity, 40 individual or team posters will be displayed and 21 students will give presentations. Over 70 students in all will participate.

Opening Remarks will be presented by Timothy Holst, director of Sponsored Research Administration and Penelope Morton, interim dean Swenson College of Science and Engineering at the
Undergraduate Research and Artistic Showcase on
April 12 at 12 noon in the Kirby Garden Room.

This event is designed to highlight student scholarship and research conducted on campus. It showcases student presentations of in-depth, original, scholarly work and research. Projects from all academic disciplines will participate, including business, liberal arts, fine arts, education, human service professions, as well as the sciences. SEE FULL SCHEDULE

One highlight of the event will be the viewing of short video clips showcasing four of UMD's research projects supported by the National Science Foundation. The video viewing will be held at 2 pm in the Garden Room on April 12. UMD currently has over 20 NSF projects, many of which use undergraduate student researchers. The NSF videos are:
Ojibwe Language | Antarctica | Worm Watch | Lake Superior

Two undergraduate researchers, Justin Anderson and Max Elfelt, presented the findings of their research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2012 at Weber State University in Utah.

Justin Anderson is junior at UMD majoring in Organizational Management and minoring in Spanish. He found the NCUR event rewarding “I got to meet a lot of smart and talented people,” he said. “It was very intellectually stimulating.”

Anderson studied outside of his major, with a focus on economics and statistics for his Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) project. His project aimed to statistically analyze Free Trade Agreements between Chile and North America using an international trade econometric model. He found that the Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Chile was greatly significant on exports and imports, whereas it was less so with Mexico and Canada.

He says one of his most important experiences at UMD has been learning how to self-motivate. “Engaging myself has been difficult,” he said. “My project is not in my field, so it’s really stretched my boundaries.”

Looking ahead, Anderson hopes to research whether or not bilateral trade through Free Trade Agreement has affected the financial health of the average Chilean.

Max Elfelt is a senior with a double major in Environmental Science and Biology. He created an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program project that called on knowledge from both majors.

He hopes to find out if the oyster mushroom can be used to break down pollutants called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the sediments of the St. Louis Bay. He’s still working for an answer and feels optimistic.

When Elfelt showed his project at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) he enjoyed seeing all the other mushroom presentations there.

“I saw some cool things that sparked my interest,” Elfelt said. “I thought, ‘Oh, maybe I should learn more about genetics.’”

Elfelt says the experience at UMD that’s impacted him the most is learning how to teach himself.

“[Professors] will teach you material, but what’s really important is learning a method to gather information by yourself,” he said. “After college, I expect I’ll be able to pick up textbooks and teach myself.”

Elfelt is currently busy carrying 19 credits and a job but he plans to do further research on his project.

To hear more stories such as these, stop by the Undergraduate Research and Artistic Showcase and observe some presentations by more UMD UROP students.

Note: Sierra Kamatchus, graphics design major, designed the Showcase poster and t-shirt. Below: Past UROP poster projects.

poster poster poster
poster poster poster

Written by Maeggie Licht, Zach Lunderberg and Cheryl Reitan, April 2012

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