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October 9, 2000

Undergraduates present research findings at annual CAMP symposium

By Tim Stephens

Mai Rabbad and Ali Shakouri at CAMP
At the CAMP Undergraduate Research Symposium, undergraduate Mai Rabbad and her faculty mentor, assistant professor of electrical engineering Ali Shakouri, examined Rabbad's poster describing her research on thermoelectric effects in semiconductor chips.
Photo: UCSC Photo Services
Twenty-five undergraduates presented the results of their summer research projects at the Fourth Annual CAMP Undergraduate Research Symposium on Friday, September 29. The students presented their research on posters in the lobby of the Earth and Marine Sciences Building, and the event also featured oral presentations by two students.

From monitoring sea lion populations to analyzing thermoelectric effects in semiconductors, the undergraduate researchers pursued a wide range of investigations under the guidance of faculty mentors.

Most of the students are participants in the California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP) in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics. CAMP is a statewide program that supports and encourages undergraduates from underrepresented minorities to complete the B.S. degree. By integrating research and undergraduate education, CAMP creates a cohesive set of experiences that prepare undergraduates for graduate education and influence their career choices.

The symposium also included students involved in the ACCESS program, a partnership between UCSC and four community colleges to increase transfer rates of underrepresented students, and the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program, designed to give targeted minority students an opportunity to gain experience in laboratory research.

"The undergraduate research experience at UCSC provides students the rare opportunity to engage in supervised research and learn in a dynamic environment of discovery from professors who are leaders in their fields," said dean of natural sciences David Kliger.

Russell Flegal, professor of environmental toxicology and the CAMP regional director, noted the sophistication of the student research projects and the skills required to carry them out.

"We are extremely proud of the student achievements that are on display at this symposium," Flegal said.

In addition to the CAMP symposium, the Division of Natural Sciences also sponsors an annual poster symposium every spring that features a wide range of undergraduate research in the natural sciences and engineering.

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