Diversity Highlighted at Undergraduate Research Symposium
The Bayer School's 15th annual Undergraduate Research Program (URP) culminated at the end of July with a symposium featuring a lecture from Dr. S. James Gates Jr., a national figure in theoretical physics, the John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland and director of its Center for String and Particle Theory.
The URP is a 10-week intensive research program that integrates undergraduate students into high-level research teams. This year's students came from more than 20 institutions across the region. Their positions were funded by grants including the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
Gates, a past president of the National Society of Black Physicists, said, "Great science belongs to everyone." He delivered the symposium's keynote, Uncovering the Codes for Reality, discussing how digital codes, as seen in computer browsers, could be part of the DNA of reality.
Gates' appearance at Duquesne dovetailed with recent attention given to an increased push by the Bayer School to promote ethnic and gender diversity in sciences and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects.
Dean David Seybert said, "Given the interest in our Bayer Scholars program and other diversity initiatives, we're extremely pleased to be able to expose students and faculty to the work of an outstanding scientist and to offer students the opportunity to engage with his ideas. While this is one high point of the event, the symposium celebrates the high caliber of undergraduate science research in the Pittsburgh region. Students, science faculty and area professionals are invited to share in their discoveries."
Student research, for instance, examined: