In its fourth year now, the Western Student Research Conference provides undergraduates an avenue to present their work and see what their peers are doing. The WSRC will take place at the Mustang Lounge on March 24. The conference is affiliated with the Student Success Centre and has the support of the Ivey School of Business and the Faculties of Arts and Humanities, Engineering, Health Sciences, Information and Media Studies, Music, Science and Social Science.
“Often when we go to conferences, all the research is from people in the particular field the student is conducting research in and can have a narrow scope. As a conference, we want to expand the scope to provide a broader viewpoint for the students and presenters coming to the conference,” says Jason Baek, a science student and one of the co-chairs for the conference this year.
Baek is co-chairing the conference committee along with Selina Phan, third-year Social Science. While they both got involved with the conference in their first year, Phan joined in the conference as a Faculty of Social Science representative to provide a non-science, technology, engineering and mathematics focus to the conference.
“In first year, I did not know what kind of research was going on, but as a Scholars electives student I knew research was going to be a part of my coursework. I thought it was a great way for students to know what kind of projects are out there and what projects undergraduates get involved in. The interdisciplinary aspect was fascinating,” says Phan.
The conference begins with a keynote speech from is Dr. Charles Weijer, a Western University philosophy and medicine professor. His talk will focus on the topic of bioethics where he discusses ethics, philosophy and biology. In the afternoon, there will be two lightning talk workshops in the afternoon. One will be from HeForShe Western and will focus on feminism in science. The second talk will be from the Western Founders Network and will discuss applications of machine learning.
Baek thinks the event will appeal to all students and has benefits to attending. “Students can develop their professional selves and critical thinking and communication skills but also develop as a person and learn more about the academics and explore your interests,” said Baek.
Presenters are making oral and poster presentations at the conference. They will also compete for top three overall prizes that will be determined by judges scores at the venue. Interested students should look at the conference as a way to expand their horizons and learn more about undergraduate research at Western.
Tickets are $12 and are available at the door or online through Career Central or the website. The event starts at 9 a.m. with registration at 8 a.m.