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McCormick Students Participate in Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium

Nearly two dozen McCormick undergraduates will present research this weekend at the 2012 Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium, one of the largest undergraduate research conferences in the country.

Students from Chicago-area universities who have conducted faculty-mentored research are invited to attend and present at the eighth annual conference, which will be held Saturday, March 3 at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza Chicago Hotel. Research areas include not just engineering but the physical and life sciences, mathematics, psychology, and sociology and anthropology.

A limited number of participants — including three from McCormick — will give oral presentations about their research:

  • Yoon Lee (’14 biomedical engineering), “Leptin Signaling in Brain Results in Sensitivity of Weight Gain to Time of Food Intake”

  • Ken Park (’12 applied math/mathematical methods in the social sciences, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences), “Determining an Optimal Network-Reducing Methodology for Financial Investment Network”

  • Anvesh Tanuku (’13 applied math and electrical engineering), “Can We Use Heuristics to Predict the Energy Characteristics of Solids?”

Five additional Northwestern-affiliated teams will showcase research in the conference’s Engineering category:

  • Anne Song, Judy Mo, Sam Malin, Xiaorui Xu, “Condom Design: Why Is It Not Always Effective?” Advisers: Jeanne Olson, Kim Hoffmann.

  • Timi Chu, Maria Knikou, Chaithanya K. Mummidisetty, Andrew C. Smith, “Cortical Facilitation of Flexion Reflexes During Robotic-Assisted Stepping.” Adviser: Maria Knikou.

  • Caitlin Ramsey, “Reducing Chance of Injury Through Design Modifications to Figure Skating Boots.” Adviser: Ann McKenna.

  • Matthew A. Pilecki, Ryan Boehler, Stanley Weng, Seungjin Shin, Ting He, Lonnie Shea, “Optimization of Lentiviral Vector Production Transfection Conditions via Physical and Active Titration Analysis for Gene Delivery in Spinal Cord Regeneration.” Adviser: Lonnie Shea.

  • Michael Reddick, William Rodriguez-Limas, “Control of Yeast Growth By External Factors: A Synthetic Biology Platform for Cell-to-Cell Communication.” Adviser: Keith E. J. Tyo.

One Northwestern-affiliated team will showcase research in the Mathematics category:

  • Ken Park, “Determining an Optimal Network-Reducing Methodology for Financial Investment Network.” Adviser: Dirk Brockmann.

The Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium was founded in 2005 by a Northwestern University undergraduate. It is funded by six sponsor institutions: DePaul University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The symposium was organized by the 2012 Inter-School Board, a group of students representing the six member schools. Representing Northwestern on the board are Jeffrey Heiferman, Michael Reddick, Felix Richter, and Madhav Suresh.