USD Students Research the Future

9th Annual Creative Collaborations Conference Includes Multimedia and Robotic Presentations

How can the recycling of computers, monitors and other e-waste become more efficient? Will the 2012 summer games in London become the first “digital Olympics?” And does the “Make It Right” initiative in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina provide a model for affordable, sustainable homes for middle and lower-income families?

These are just a few of the innovative research projects to be presented at “Creative Collaborations,” the University of San Diego’s annual research conference on Thursday, April 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the University Center Forum.

Along with posters and exhibits, there will 10 interactive, multimedia exhibits, including theatre performances and robotic vehicles maneuvering through a maze. An Ethnic Studies project on San Diego’s Chicano Park murals will also include several lowrider cars on display in front of the University Center.

Supported by a $250,000 grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation, USD has become a model for the nation’s universities through the establishment of an Office of Undergraduate Research last fall. This year’s conference features more participation than ever before -- a total of 175 posters and exhibits presented by 282 undergraduates. USD offers students a number of opportunities for research, including the honors program and the McNair Scholars Program, which prepares underrepresented and first-generation college students for PhD programs and careers in higher education. USD is also an enhanced institutional member of the Council on Undergraduate Research, a national council that promotes research, scholarship and creative activities.

“Creative Collaborations celebrates the intellectual life of USD and showcases the vibrant student-faculty interactions that are the hallmark of a USD education,” said Sarah Kriz, PhD, director of USD’s Office of Undergraduate Research. “Many of our students who participate in Creative Collaborations also publish their work in academic journals and present their projects at national, international and regional conferences,” she said. “These projects often lead to graduate school acceptances and prestigious scholarship awards. The high-quality research reflects the outstanding mentoring abilities of USD faculty, as well as the intellectual curiosity of our undergraduate students.”

The presentations represent work from all of USD’s undergraduate units, including the physical and natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, fine arts, engineering, business and education.

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.