From algorithmic composition of music to Russian culture, students recently showed the breadth of research opportunities available at Hampden-Sydney College during their visit to the 2018 National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Oklahoma.
NCUR is the largest conference in the world dedicated to undergraduate research, with more than 4,000 students making presentations each year. With the development of the Office of Undergraduate Research at Hampden-Sydney, the College has begun sending regular delegations to this event.
This year, four students presented their work at NCUR. Seniors Carlo Anslemo and Joshua Elliott capped off their undergraduate experience by presenting their math and Russian research, respectively. Carlo showed how music can be generated through the predictive power of mathematical algorithms. Meanwhile, Joshua analyzed the banya (a Russian version of a sauna) and associated drinks in Russian culture.
Junior Travis Stackow analyzed the role of baseball in the lives of the main characters in the novel Fences with "There Ought Not Never Been No Time Called Too Early: The Double Meaning of 'Past Time' in August Wilson's Fences." Sophomore Shelby Hanna presented an analysis of President Theodore Roosevelt's foreign policy.
"By presenting in front of a national audience, these students are gaining invaluable experience in public speaking and defending of their ideas," says Dr. Michael Wolyniak, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. "It is a crucial capstone experience for those students who have dedicated themselves to pursuing independent research with their professors."
After several years of memorable presentations at NCUR, Hampden-Sydney College has established itself as a source for unique research opportunities at the undergraduate level.