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Opening Minds at the SRC

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Photo by Guy Coburn

April 8, 2015

Students, faculty, and sponsors gathered in the Jesse Knight Building on Saturday, March 21, for the 29th annual Student Research Conference (SRC) sponsored by the College of Physical & Mathematical Sciences.

The SRC, which began twenty-nine years ago as a small gathering of students and professors in only two classrooms, has now expanded to occupy an entire building. This year, the conference hosted over 400 student presentations.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Adam Shumway, a mathematics and economics student from Rexburg, Idaho. “This is the first time I’ve presented. You [realize] there is a lot of stuff going on at BYU that you haven’t seen before.”

One of the primary purposes of the SRC is to give students valuable experience presenting in a professional atmosphere to their professors, peers, visitors, and members of the College Volunteer Leadership Council (CVLC), who participated in the conference as session chairs. Students who participate have the enlightening experience of condensing years of study into a twelve-minute, or even three minute, presentation—a difficult task.

Alex Erickson, a physics major from Phoenix, Arizona, said that the SRC is great at opening minds to new concepts and ideas.

“When you’re forced to reevaluate your entire experimental process and then break it down in such a way that anyone can understand it, you really find the holes in your own understanding,” he said.

The SRC is valuable not only for the presentation experience but also for the research experience that inspires it.

“The most significant learning that I’ve had in my undergraduate experience has been research,” said Ryan Horne, a chemical engineering student from Murray, Utah. “I’ve done a lot of research working one-on-one with my advisor, and I don’t think my education would be near what it is without that.”

From the hundreds of students who presented their research, fifty-two papers were selected as the 2015 SRC Session Winners.

In addition to attending presentations, students were also able to meet with representatives from the SRC’s corporate sponsors: Adobe, Goldman Sachs, the ICS Deparmtnet for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Moxtek, National Instruments, and Xactware.

These representatives discussed potential career opportunities with students that may be available to them after they graduate. Students who participated in the SRC have the advantage of demonstrating their research and presentation skills to these potential future employers.

See whose presentations won here.