Aug 26, 2011 - Claremont, Calif. -
The annual public event showcases the results of student research conducted both at HMC and off-campus at other universities and labs.
“An important part of being a scientist, mathematician or engineer, is the ability to present research findings in a way other scientists and the general public can understand,” said Ran Libeskind-Hadas, computer science department chair. “This event gives students an opportunity to describe their work to a broad audience and, we hope, to inspire their classmates to participate in research.”
Held in the Linde Activities Center, the event features a poster session format that allows attendees to freely explore a wide array of projects. The students will present their work and answer questions about their research.
This year’s list of 59 projects ranges from theoretical work to research that may benefit human health, improve the environment and help find life beyond Earth. Examples include:
HIV/AIDS Gene Therapy
Students tested the use of RNA interference to genetically modify cells to combat HIV/AIDS. Their research may lead to the development of a gene therapy that would suppress HIV replication by genetically altering the cells that HIV normally infects, making them resistant to the virus. (See video).
Helping Robots See
A student computer science team explored various computer-vision-based algorithms and machine-learning methods to help an ARDrone quad-rotor helicopter autonomously navigate its environment. Their research could benefit robots used in search and rescue operations, transportation, military applications and helping the visually impaired.
Looking for Life
Students designed an optical survey prototype that uses lasers to identify the presence of living organisms within rock and ice. Their system, which provides an economical way to study samples without destroying them, may one day be used to identify life on other planets.
The projects are part of HMC’s Summer Research Program, which engages students in 10 weeks of full-time research. More than 170 HMC students pursued research projects this summer alongside 45 faculty members in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics and physics.
Media Contact: Judy Augsburger