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Research Week 2016: Learning Beyond the Classroom

Research Week showcases undergraduate research and connects students with research opportunities.

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Research Week Whitney Barlow

Whitney Barlow, speech-language pathology senior, working on research at Sound Brain Laboratory. Photo courtesy of the School of Undergraduate Studies

Whitney Barlow is a speech-language pathology senior who studies how people perceive and learn new sounds. As an undergraduate, she is a research assistant at the Sound Brain Laboratory in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the Moody College of Communication.

When a graduate mentor encouraged her to get into this research — studying speech using neuroscience methods — she remembers being intimidated.

“I never expected that I would be working on something that is investigating the brain,” Barlow said. “I thought there is no way I am going to be able to learn all of that. But once you are actually in the observation room and you are watching that raw data come in and you see everything tied together, it becomes interesting. And that overpowers the intimidation.”

Barlow has been recognized for her work as a recipient of an Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the Office of the Vice President for Research. In addition to contributing to research in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Whitney is a participant of the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre-grad Internship program and works as a student associate in the School of Undergraduate Studies.

Barlow’s story is one of hundreds of undergraduate researchers at The University of Texas at Austin who advance their learning beyond the classroom.

Research Week — an annual campus-wide event — is a celebration of these students and their work. Research Week 2016 is scheduled for April 18-22. Co-sponsored by the Senate of College Councils and the School of Undergraduate Studies, the week of events showcases undergraduate research going on across campus, introduces students to the possibilities for participating in the research mission of the university, and connects them to opportunities to get involved in research in virtually any field of study.

Here are a few Research Week highlights.

View the full schedule for a comprehensive list.

Longhorn Research Bazaar

Wednesday, April 20
Noon-2 p.m.
Union Ballroom

The Longhorn Research Bazaar showcases student projects both in and out of the lab with topics like health, water, art, dogs, coffee and travel. Students present and explain their work in a poster session. Refreshments, free t-shirts and other fun giveaways will be provided.

Undergrad Research Forum

Friday, April 15
11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Texas Union

The College of Natural Sciences celebrates its student-scientists at this one-day event. More than 200 students present posters describing their research. The best and most innovative posters and presentations are recognized with awards judged and sponsored by the university, faculty, alumni and industry.

[[RELATED STORY: Ten Years In, Freshmen Research Initiative Keeps Blazing Trails]]
2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI), a unique approach to science education created at The University of Texas at Austin. FRI is the nation’s largest effort to involve first-year students in meaningful research. The program places freshmen in faculty-led laboratories working on real-world research projects from nanotechnology to astronomy. After 10 years, the program’s results are impressive. READ MORE 



Honors Day Poster Presentation

Saturday, April 16
3:30-5:30 p.m.
Student Activity Center Ballroom

Unlike traditional oral presentations that create a lecture atmosphere, a poster easily engages the presenter and the audience in a discussion of the topic. The College of Liberal Arts offers that opportunity to undergraduate researchers who wish to publicize their work. Approved applicants will have their posters professionally printed, courtesy of the college, and will present their posters at the Honors Day reception.

2016 Design IV Exhibition

April 18-22
8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Goldsmith, North Lobby

As an intermediate Architecture studio, the Design IV studios explore landscape, urban issues, housing and the implications of making “place.” This year, the Design IV Exhibition focuses on the small city of Miguel Alemán in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico. Miguel Alemán is positioned to be an area seeing dramatic growth in the future. The project is a collaboration between The University of Texas at Austin and the State government of Tamaulipas. The themes of the project are architecture as a contextual response, housing/urban theory, architecture as a formal exploration, and on the tectonic understanding and response of architecture. 

Undergraduate Research Mixer

Monday, April 18
3-5 p.m.
Burdine Hall

In celebration of the talent and hard work of all of its undergraduate students, the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies is hosting a research poster presentation and mixer to highlight its stellar undergrads.