Ontario students share learning at Undergraduate Research Conference

North Bay, ON, July 06, 2010

The next generation of Ontario’s scientists, scholars and researchers will gather at Nipissing University March 23-24 to share their work and collaborate with fellow students at Nipissing’s Fifth Annual Undergraduate Research Conference.
The university will welcome roughly 100 undergraduate students to present their academic work on topics ranging from war to organic chemistry to orthogonal polygons to Facebook. Undergraduate student researchers were invited from every university in Ontario.
“This conference provides a great opportunity for students to understand the prospects that exist for them to collaborate with peers and share their work,” said David Tabachnick, associate professor in Political Science and conference Chair. “It gives them a taste of a scholarly conference in a way that is supportive and encouraging.”
The event opens Friday with a keynote address from McGill University’s Dr. Darin Barney at 7 p.m. in the Vittorio Fedeli Business Centre (room F210). Barney, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Technology and Citizenship, was selected as one of fifteen Leaders of Tomorrow by the Partnership Group for Science and Engineering in 2004. From 2000-2005, he served on the Advisory Council of the Law Commission of Canada.  His keynote address is titled, Courage and the University to Come.
Following the keynote address, student researchers will present their research posters in the Harris Learning Library, from 8 – 9 p.m.
Saturday events kick off early, with research presentations taking place throughout the day, from 9 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. in classrooms surrounding A246.  The presentations have been grouped into related panels to better engage meaningful discussion. 
Nipissing’s Dr. Mark Wachowiak, assistant professor of Computer Science will provide closing remarks before prizes are awarded for best panel presentation.
Here is a sampling of some of the research to be presented:
The Paradox of Movember: fourth-year sociology and gender equality and social justice student, Trevor Levesque, will argue that the “Movember campaign is structured around the same gender discourses of masculinity that men use to reject positive health behaviours and beliefs.”  Saturday at 10:45 a.m. in room A228.
School of Facebook: fourth-year concurrent education student at Nipissing Brantford, Aaron Fewkes, studied how secondary students in North Bay used Facebook. His study of 63 high school students, found 73 per cent used Facebook to enhance classroom learning. His conclusion? Teachers need to learn to use it effectively. Saturday at 10:45 a.m. in room A224.
Conscientiousness as a Moderator in the Relationship between Stress and Memory: fourth-year psychology and concurrent education student, Ashley Walter, studied if the personality characteristic, conscientiousness, was a moderator between stress and working memory. Saturday at 9 a.m. in room A242.
Optimizing traffic light synchronization: third-year computer science student, Alex Lambe Foster created a simulation to optimize traffic light synchronization in the City of North Bay to improve traffic flow. He developed a visualization software framework to display “a map of North Bay at road level with semi-randomly generated vehicles travelling along the streets, allowing traffic patterns and flow to be observed.” Saturday at 1 p.m. in room A228.
Growing data: A fourth-year mathematics and concurrent education student, Jocelynn Geertsema, assessed “the fusing of agricultural data and imagery from multiple sources to determine which fusion methods obtain the highest quality information.” She looked at multispectral images with soil maps, drainage maps and infiltration maps with radar and aerial images of farmland near Verner and Temiskaming Shores. Saturday at 9 a.m. in room A226.


For more information please contact:

Bob Pipe
Communications Officer
705-474-3450 ext 4528
cell: 705-471-6205