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35 award-winning undergraduate research projects

On October 14, discover Concordia student explorations of everything from music pedagogy to entrepreneurial risk assessment
September 28, 2016
By Renée Dunk

Justin Powlowski: “Research techniques can be taught, but research itself is very much something that you learn by doing.” “Research techniques can be taught, but research itself is very much something that you learn by doing.”

Using academic achievement to predict popularity in adolescents, examining risks in an entrepreneurial setting, constructing large-scale models of urban sites — Concordia undergraduates are gaining valuable experience through these and other research opportunities.

On the afternoon of Friday, October 14, the atrium of the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (EV Building) will be transformed to feature the third annual Undergraduate Research Showcase. Thirty-five students from all four faculties will be on hand to display their findings and talk about their work.

This event will highlight the winners of the 2016 Concordia Undergraduate Student Research Awards (CUSRA) as well as recipients of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Undergraduate Student Research Awards. In total 125 projects received funding, with a record 81 students earning support from CUSRA.

Justin Powlowski, associate vice-president of strategy and operations for the Office of Research, says that the goal of CUSRA is to bolster interest in all kinds of academic inquiry that complements coursework.

“Research techniques can be taught, but research itself is very much something that you learn by doing. The CUSRA program opens doors for students across the university to do research for a summer with a Concordia faculty member.

He adds that students generally work with faculty members in their own departments or in related disciplines, but some crossover to a different department or even faculty.

“The showcase is an opportunity for them to show off the results of their research and communicate them in an accessible way to the wider community.”

A more engaging learning experience

Under the supervision of Eldad Tsabary, music student Travis West proposed a research project that would uncover effective ways to teach frequency modulation (FM) in an interactive manner. His target audience? Other music students.

“My goal is to create a more engaging learning experience where students can work directly with the sounds of FM synthesis right away, without necessarily understanding every aspect of the synthesizer.”

West says he believes his work could have broader applications — for example, in interactive ear training and music education programs. “This is a huge potential field which remains relatively unexplored.”

Presentations at the showcase will include displays from students in all four faculties, running the gamut from electroacoustic studies and design in the Faculty of Fine Arts, to linguistics and synthetic biology in Arts and Science, to aerospace and cardiovascular health in Engineering and Computer Science, to consumer habits and mergers at the John Molson School of Business.

Don’t miss the Undergraduate Research Showcase, October 14 from 2 to 4 p.m.



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