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Undergraduate Research Forum

Undergraduate Research Forum

Why conduct research?

You can be a key team member with the real possibility of co-authoring published research papers and presenting findings at professional conferences. Your work can open doors to careers and to the elite graduate programs of the world.

You'll find many benefits to research including:

  • Working with professionals in your field of study.
  • Forming relationships with people through the research process.
  • Taking classroom knowledge and putting it to practical use.
  • Getting class credits outside of class.
  • Gaining public recognition for your work.
Ecology researchers collecting water samples at Hueston Woods

Ecology researchers go to nearby Hueston Woods State Park to collect water samples from Acton Lake.

A forum for students with something to prove

Sometimes asking simple questions can start you on the path to solving complex problems. Each spring, more than 400 Miami University students from all disciplines demonstrate this remarkable process at the Undergraduate Research Forum.

In the case of kinesiology major, Emmanuel Caster, the simple question was, "How can I learn more about science?" Through his research on leptin (a hormone found in the human body), Emmanuel realized he was working to solve a not-so-simple problem: obesity.

"We found that the more body fat someone has, the more leptin they have and that obese people become leptin resistant. We're trying to find out exactly what leptin does to the body and how we can use it to help fight obesity," said Emmanuel.

A few months into his research, Emmanuel was sharing his findings with scientists, scholars, researchers, and peers at the research forum.

Developing a habit of mind

According to Martha Weber, Miami's undergraduate research coordinator, "The student and faculty mentor collaboration encourages students to construct evidence-based understanding of how a particular research study contributes something original to the scholarship of that area and why that contribution matters."

"Student researchers begin to construct their own understanding of 'how to learn' the context of their research area through interactions with experienced researchers," Weber added.

Where learning comes alive

Computer engineering and electrical engineering double-major Chad Sobota found that academic principles came to life as he and his teammates built an autonomous lawnmower and snowplow. "Instead of just figuring out equations, you get to apply what you’re learning. It allows you to get a better grasp on what goes on in a project and to work with a team toward a common problem."

Through research, students also discover connections between academic fields that they may have otherwise missed.

Supply chain management and environmental principles and practices co-major, Clare Wittenberg studied job satisfaction levels in student workers at Miami. "This research project made me realize the connection that management and leadership have to applied psychology, something that I probably wouldn’t have learned if I didn’t get to do a project on such a large scale."

At Miami, research opportunities are everywhere

Dr. Mark Krekeler, assistant professor of geology, sees undergraduate research as something that sets Miami apart from other universities. "There's an expectation that the faculty conduct undergraduate research with students and that's not true in all, perhaps many, universities. Here we have a heavy involvement with undergraduate research."

Dr. Krekeler continued, "We enjoy building good people. That's our product. We like to take a student and help them find the thing that really excites them, gets them motivated, and then go on a journey with them."

And it culminates each spring at the Undergraduate Research Forum.

Written by Jon Simon, University Communications and Marketing

Published April 2013

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RedBlade Autonomous Lawnmower

RedBlade Autonomous Lawnmower

Chemistry Lab

Chemistry Lab

Ecology Research

Ecology Research

Studio Art Research

Studio Art Research

Anthropology Research

Anthropology Research

HighWire Presentation

HighWire Presentation

Research Forum Poster Presentation

Research Forum Poster Presentation

Why conduct research?

You can be a key team member with the real possibility of co-authoring published research papers and presenting findings at professional conferences. Your work can open doors to careers and to the elite graduate programs of the world.

You'll find many benefits to research including:

  • Working with professionals in your field of study.
  • Forming relationships with people through the research process.
  • Taking classroom knowledge and putting it to practical use.
  • Getting class credits outside of class.
  • Gaining public recognition for your work.
Locations
Luxembourg
West Chester
Middletown
Hamilton
Oxford
  • Luxembourg
    Luxembourg

    John E. Dolibois European Center, Luxembourg

    One of Miami's oldest continuous study abroad programs, the Miami University John E. Dolibois Center (MUDEC) in Luxembourg offers students the opportunity to enroll in Miami classes taught by European-based and Ohio-based Miami faculty. Students enjoy a unique combination of first-class academics, engagement in the local community, and various faculty-guided and independent travel opportunities.

    Contact and emergency information for the Luxembourg Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    Château de Differdange
    1, Impasse du Château
    L-4524 Differdange
    Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
    luxembourg@MiamiOH.edu
    MiamiOH.edu/luxembourg

    217-222 MacMillan Hall
    531 E. Spring Street
    Oxford, Ohio 45056, USA

    Directions

    Main Operator: 011-352-582222-1
    Oxford-based Coordinator: 513-529-5050
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • West Chester
    West Chester

    Voice of America Learning Center

    Located midway between Cincinnati and Dayton along I-75, the Voice of America Learning Center (VOALC) offers undergraduate and graduate courses and programs drawn from Miami's Regional and Oxford campuses. Home to Miami's MBA program, the Learning Center provides ready access to graduate programs for area educators and courses leading to the BIS degree for undergraduates.

    Contact and emergency information for the Voice of America Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    7847 VOA Park Dr.
    (Corner of VOA Park Dr. and Cox Rd.)
    West Chester, OH 45069
     
    voalc@MiamiOH.edu
    MiamiOH.edu/voalc

    Printable Floor Plan
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-895-8862
    (From Middletown) 513-217-8862
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Middletown
    Middletown

    Middletown Regional Campus

    Nestled on 141 acres near I-75, Miami University Middletown offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Nearby Greentree Health Science Academy immerses Miami's nursing and health information technology students in the health care experience while taking classes.

    Contact and emergency information for the Middletown Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

     4200 N. University Blvd.
    Middletown, OH 45042
    regionalwebmaster@MiamiOH.edu
    regionals.MiamiOH.edu

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-727-3200
    (Toll-free) 1-86-MIAMI-MID
    Office of Admission: 513-727-3216
    Campus Status Line: 513-727-3477
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Hamilton
    Hamilton

    Hamilton Regional Campus

    A compact, friendly, commuter campus, Miami Hamilton offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Small class sizes, on-site child care, and flexible scheduling make Miami Hamilton attractive to students at all stages of life and career.

    Contact and emergency information for the Hamilton Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    1601 University Blvd.
    Hamilton, OH 45011
    regionalwebmaster@MiamiOH.edu
    regionals.MiamiOH.edu

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-785-3000
    Office of Admission: 513-785-3111
    Campus Status Line: 513-785-3077
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Oxford
    Oxford

    Miami University, Oxford Ohio

    Nationally recognized as one of the most outstanding undergraduate institutions, Miami University is a public university located in Oxford, Ohio. With a student body of 16,000, Miami effectively combines a wide range of strong academic programs with faculty who love to teach and the personal attention ordinarily found only at much smaller institutions.

    Contact and emergency information for the Oxford Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    501 E. High St.
    Oxford, OH 45056

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-529-1809
    Office of Admission: 513-529-2531
    Vine Hotline: 513-529-6400
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency