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Undergraduates showcase research in expo

Lamar University’s students will showcase their work at the 4th annual Undergraduate Research and Creativity Expo, Friday, April 21.

The event, sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR), will include 120 presentations by 250 LU students mentored by 88 faculty members representing 28 academic departments. All abstracts were reviewed and selected by the Office of Undergraduate Research.

“This is a significant increase in participation from last year when we had 59 scholarly research projects presented by 98 students mentored by 43 faculty,” said Kumer Pial Das, director of the OUR.

“Nearly four-and-a-half years ago the Office of Undergraduate Research was created to promote and support student success thorough faculty-mentored undergraduate research, creative inquiry, and other scholarly experiences,” Das said. The office provides research grants, fellowships for summer research, travel grants and it also hosts faculty talks and workshops during the year. Catalina Castillon serves as the assistant director of undergraduate research.

Expo participants will hear from guest speaker Rissa Potter, executive director of the Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors, and keynote speaker James Bruce, professor of electrical engineering emeritus at MIT and vice president for Information Systems emeritus.

Bruce graduated from LU in 1958 with a B.S. in electrical engineering and a B.S. in mathematics. He continued his education earning master’s and doctoral degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and joined MIT’s faculty that year. Over 40 years of service on the faculty of MIT he held many roles, including 20 years as associate dean of engineering. He served 20 years as vice president for Information Systems and Chief Information Officer, the first to hold the position there. As CIO, he directed the evolution, integration and effective use of computing and communication resources throughout MIT. In the 1990s, he was a founder of NEARnet, the first academic and research IP-based network for the New England states. From 1999 to 2002, he chaired the Network Planning and Policy Advisory Committee for Internet2.

Following his retirement from MIT in 2004, he joined MOR Associates to design and offer a leadership development program that has served more than 2,800 individuals.