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2005 URC

A huge success!


On Friday, September 30, 2005, the Faculty of Science held its first annual Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) in Redpath Hall. Early announcements about the next URC will be made toward the end of the 2005-2006 academic year, with the expectation of holding the next URC in September 2006.

For the inaugural URC, students were nominated by each School or Department in the Faculty of Science, plus the four medical departments which offer undergraduate degrees, i.e., Anatomy and Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, and Physiology. There were 54 posters in total, and 58 participating students (there were some posters prepared by teams of 2 students). They set up their posters between 11:30a.m. and 12:30, and judging by McGill professors went from 12:30 to 3:30p.m.

First and second prizes were awarded in six categories as follows:

Physical Sciences

  1. Shreyans Shah, Employing the META System in Image Cross Correlation Spectroscopy: Removing Emission Bleed Through between Two Detection Channels
  2. A student from the Department of Chemistry

Mathematical and Computational Sciences

  1. Leonid Chindelevitch, Perturbative artificial boundary conditions
  2. Christopher Hundt, Some interesting features of convergent random variables

Earth System Science

  1. Elizabeth Anne Flanary and Sarah Anne Vereault, Behind the Map: Predicting Marine Species' Habitat Loss Using Global Climate Models
  2. Michelle Kyle Deakin, Crystal Growth of Diopside from a Carbonate Melt

Biological Sciences

(Research in fundamental non-human biological processes)

  1. Isabelle Racine-Miousse, FhuD interactome: Proposing protein interactions at the bacterial cell surface
  2. Talya Hackett, Stop, Drop or Handle: Multitasking in a Dog-Eat-Squirrel World

Medical Sciences

(Research with clear implications for human health)

  1. Vanela Bushi, Improving Measurements of Water Proton Density in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  2. Dominique Braidwood, Altered perception of vertical after exposure to simulated night vision goggles.

Health and Social Sciences

(Health services research, research on humans as social cultural beings; research on the economic, political, social and cultural dimensions of human activity)

  1. Christian Webb, Materialistic Values and Well-Being: A Multi-Wave Longitudinal Analysis by Latent Interaction Models
  2. Thien Kim Nguyen, The role of compensatory health beliefs and self-efficacy on treatment adherence in adolescents with Type 1 diabetes

At 3:45p.m., the Dean of Science, Martin Grant welcomed a standing-room-only crowd; approximately 250-300 people were present.

Associate Dean (Research) David Burns launched the new Office for Undergraduate Research in Science (OURS) and then announced the prizes, which were given by Martin Grant and Nobel Prize winner and special guest lecturer, Dr Leon M. Lederman. The Dean mentioned that prizes had been made available thanks to a generous donation from André Courtemanche, a graduate of the Faculty of Science and an entrepreneur, through his investment company VIAVAR Capital.

Other than the cash prizes, they received a certificate from the Faculty of Science, a membership in the Sigma Xi honour society, and a small trophy. Sigma Xi is an honour society of scientists and engineers founded in 1886 to promote research. Among its 70,000 members worldwide, nearly 200 of them have won the Nobel Prize and many more have been elected to Academies of Sciences and Engineering. The philosophy of the McGill-Montreal Chapter of Sigma Xi, established in 1921, is to stimulate enthusiasm for scientific research and to create a community of researchers of various backgrounds who expand their intellectual horizons by exchanging views with colleagues from different areas).

At 4:00p.m., Prof Charles Gale, Chair of Physics, introduced Dr Lederman, who delivered the Robert E. Bell Lecture in the Physical Sciences, co-sponsored by the Department of Physics. The title of his lecture was "How to win the Nobel prize" but he also explained a few things about neutrinos. Dr Lederman shared the 1988 Nobel Prize with Melvin Schwartz Jack Steinberger "for the neutrino beam method and the demonstration of the doublet structure of the leptons through the discovery of the muon neutrino".

A catered reception followed.