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Students Share Summer Research, Make Connections

Student presents at summer research lunch

The annual event is organized by library staff to create an opportunity for students to share their interests and learn more about each other's work.

Earlier this month, more than 60 students, faculty, and staff filled Cornell Science Library to enjoy pizza and other treats and to hear 15 students give two-minute presentations on their summer work. Nabil Kashyap, librarian for digital initiatives and scholarship, used a small gong to good-naturedly keep everyone to their allotted time.

The annual event is organized by library staff to create a space where students can share their interests and learn more about each other's work.

“There are so many students doing work on campus [this summer],” Kashyap says, “but they don’t often have opportunities to all get together.”

Students presented on a range of topics from across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. 

First to present was Henry Wilson ’21, a philosophy major from Champaign, Ill., working as a photographer in the Friends Historical Library, discussed the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" and briefly explored the relationship between the philosophical concepts of light ontology and heavy ideology.

Ryan Stanton ’20, a biology major from Silver Spring, Md., working in Isaac H. Clothier Jr. Professor of Biology Amy Cheng Vollmer’s lab this summer, presented on the hummingbird gut microbiome, which is largely unstudied. This community of organisms is central to understanding hummingbird behavior because migration requires a doubling of a bird’s body mass, a process regulated by the microbiome.

Shira Samuels-Shragg ’20, a music major from Tarzana, Calif., talked about working with music lecturer Andrew Hauze ’04 on how to study a musical score, including how to listen and notate. She performed Mendelssohn’s quartet for a conductor event in New York City in mid-July.

Other presenters included:

  • Ziv Stern ’20, Linguistics, "Articulatory Properties of Vowels in Kyrgyz"
  • Katherine Knox ’21, Swarthmore Projects for Educational Exploration and Development (SPEED), "Bach Dictation Generator"
  • JJ Balisanyuka-Smith ’21, Mathematics and Statistics, "Comparing the Dynamics of a Detailed Neuron Model to a Two-Compartment Reduced Model"
  • Hari Srinivasulu ’21, Computer Science, "Strong Direct Sum for Query Complexity"
  • Lucy Atkinson ’22 and Gabriel Stuger ’20, Engineering, "Acoustics"
  • Micah Harkins ’21, Physics, "Taking a Picture of the Big Bang: Lensing the CMB"
  • Jordan Ando ’22, Engineering, "Four-Core Fiber Optic Sensing"
  • Cristopher Alvarado ’21, Engineering
  • Alice Huang ’22, SPEED, "Baseball WAR Data Visualization"
  • Vanessa Meng ’20, Religion, "Presence"
  • Edna Olvera ’21, Physics and Astronomy, "Creep in Granular Systems"
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