Students Present on Variety of Topics at ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference
Six students with a variety of research projects—such as community attachment resilience in a deindustrialized city, the effects of using different basketballs in NCAA play and 3D flow visualization in virtual reality—represented Syracuse University at this year’s ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference.
An annual showcase of some of the ACC’s most outstanding scholars, the ACC Meeting of the Minds (M.O.M.) Conference highlights students from each of the 15 ACC institutions presenting their research and creative work. Students display their knowledge and creativity, but their presence also has greater impacts for their continued learning.
Genevieve Starke ’17 presented her research on how sound radiates from the exhaust flow of supersonic jets. Along with highlighting her research, the conference, held this year at Duke University, allowed her to experience a variety of work in various disciplines. But her biggest takeaway was in the challenge to ensure her work was understandable to everyone at the interdisciplinary conference.
“There’s a lot of specialized vocabulary in the disciplines, and it was difficult to filter out or explain these terms so that everyone there could understand the research,” says Starke, who graduated with a degree in aerospace engineering from the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “This is a really important thing to remember in research, because we usually go to conferences where everyone understands the vocabulary and terms and also the importance of the research. But research should be accessible to everyone, so this conference was a good reminder of how difficult but necessary this is.”
The students were selected by a panel of Syracuse University faculty members to attend the conference, which provides students with a chance to hone their research presentation skills. It was held March 31-April 2. They were accompanied by Chris Johnson, professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science and interim director of the Renée Crown University Honors Program.
“The students who attended the Meeting of the Minds at Duke represented the best undergraduate scholars at the member universities of the ACC,” Johnson says. “For Syracuse’s student representatives it was a chance to showcase their research and creative accomplishments alongside their colleagues from some of the top research universities in America. It was also a chance to network with students and faculty at other schools and to explore new directions for their own scholarship.”
The students and their projects were the following:
- Rachel Brown-Weinstock ’17, sociology, policy studies and citizenship and civic engagement, College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School, senior class marshal, Remembrance University Scholar and member of the Renée Crown University Honors Program, “Fallen Factories, Facebook, and Frames: An Application of Neighborhood Narrative Frame Theory to Explain Community Attachment Resilience in a Deindustrialized, Socially Disorganized City.” Faculty mentor/advisor: Assistant Professor Rebecca Schewe.
- Ranbir Dhillon ’17, aerospace engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Renée Crown Honors Program, “Three Dimensional Flow Visualization in Virtual Reality.” Faculty mentor/advisor: Assistant Professor Melissa Green.
- Hasmik Djoulakian ’17, women’s and gender studies and citizenship and civic engagement, College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School, University Scholar, member of the Renée Crown University Honors Program, “An Invisibilized Genocide: A Feminist Cultural Analysis of Zabel Yesayan’s Writings.” Faculty mentor/advisor: Assistant Professor Himika Bhattacharya.
- Ismael M. Gonzalez ’18, biochemistry and neuroscience, College of Arts and Sciences, member of the Renée Crown University Honors Program, “Characterization of K27 and K29-linked Polyubiquitin Chains: Identification of K27 and K29-linked PolyUb binding partners.” Faculty mentor/advisor: Assistant Professor Carlos A. Castaneda.
- Genevieve Starke ’17, aerospace engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science, University Scholar, “Directionality and Pulsing of Acoustic Propagation to the Far-Field of a Supersonic Jet Flow.” Faculty mentor/advisor: Associate Professor Jacques Lewalle.
- Evan Weiss ’19, sport analytics, Falk College, “Effects of Use of Different Balls in NCAA Basketball.” Faculty mentor/advisor: Professor Rodney Paul.
Ranbir Singh Dhillon ’17, who graduated with a degree in aerospace engineering, decided to apply for the conference as a way to meet and interact with other students also conducting undergraduate research. He also found it a good opportunity to present his research to others outside his field.
“For my project, I wrote a program that allows three-dimensional models to be analyzed in virtual reality. Specifically, I was using three-dimensional models of the wake behind a pitching panel,” says Dhillon. “I enjoyed seeing the breadth of research being conducted. This experience gave me practice explaining my research to people who were not necessarily in my field, which will be useful in my future professional life.”
Starke, who used data from supersonic jet experiments performed at the Skytop Turbulence Lab for her research, appreciated the variety of undergraduate research at the conference.
“It was really cool to see what undergraduates from other universities were doing,” she says. “I’m in engineering, and there were bio talks, history, sociology, etc. It was great to learn about other subjects as well as the research at other universities.”
Johnson says the students are important ambassadors for the University.
“Presenting their work alongside students from Duke, Georgia Tech, Virginia and the other great schools of the ACC is a powerful validation of the quality of the undergraduate research done at Syracuse University, not just by these six students, but across the entire University,” Johnson says. “I would hope that the students who participated in the Meeting of the Minds came away feeling proud of their work and enthusiastic about pursuing careers in research and creative scholarship.”