College of Science and Mathematics’ Festival of Research to showcase talent

The Festival of Research, hosted by the College of Science and Mathematics, showcases Wright State student and faculty research and scholarship on Sept. 20 in the Neuroscience Engineering Collaboration Building.

Supersonic airflow over the nosecones of fighter jets, visual recognition technology and bacteria in the soil are among the projects.

They are Wright State University research work and will be showcased during the daylong Festival of Research hosted by the College of Science and Mathematics on Friday, Sept. 20.

The second annual festival is being held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Neuroscience Engineering Collaboration Building. The festival will then segue into the statewide Ohio Physiological Society meeting on Sept. 20 and 21 at the Boonshoft School of Medicine.

The research-related events are free and open to the campus community and the general public.

The Festival of Research, which will showcase Wright State student and faculty research and scholarship, is expected to feature 110 poster, mini-symposia and pub science presentations.

Oral presentations will be made in the auditorium while posters will be displayed in the hallways and atrium of the four-story Neuroscience Engineering Collaboration Building. The setup is designed to create a quiet exchange between the researchers and the attendees without distractions.

“It’s so good for the students to be able to be questioned on their research by their peers, teachers and others,” said Christopher Wyatt, associate chair of Neuroscience, Cell Biology and Physiology. “It’s just a terrific environment and a good learning experience for the students.”

Wyatt said the research being done at the College of Science and Mathematics is on the rise, with all eight departments in the college actively conducting research.

“We are getting more and more undergraduate students into the laboratories earlier. And we have multiple master’s degree programs across the college and Ph.D. programs as well,” he said.

Primary festival organizer Mill Miller, director of the college’s Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Program, said the high level of undergraduate research in the various laboratories wouldn’t be possible if there wasn’t already terrific graduate research going on.

“It showcases the breadth of research at Wright State,” Wyatt said of the festival. “And it raises the enthusiasm about the research that is being done at the college.”

Miller said the festival teaches students how to communicate their research to others by distilling it into something that can be clearly understood. And he said they learn how to do that in the festival’s friendly and nurturing environment.

Sixty students from high schools in the region are scheduled to attend the festival. They will hear presentations from deans and department chairs about their programs, attend the festival and tour the labs.

“As soon as students see cutting-edge, multi-photon microscopes and laboratories they get excited,” said Wyatt.

At 3 p.m. on Sept. 20, the focus moves from the research festival over to the Boonshoft School of Medicine, where there will be research poster displays as part of the Ohio Physiological Society meeting, which continues through Sept. 21.

Faculty and students conducting physiology and biomedical research at The Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, University of Toledo, Kent State University, Ohio University and other schools are expected to attend.

“It pulls in scientists from all over Ohio to exchange ideas,” said Andrew Voss, associate professor of biological sciences and president of the society. “People get to come to Wright State and see what it’s like. The research and labs we have here are impressive. It’s nice to be able to showcase that.”

There will be 71 presentations of research abstracts at the event.

Robert Dirksen, chair of the University of Rochester’s Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, will be the plenary speaker, at 7 p.m. on Sept. 20. Dirksen’s research is aimed at advancing treatment for muscular dystrophy and heart disease.

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