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Press Release

Contact:
Jonathan Potts
412-268-6094

For immediate release:
April 25, 2005

Like Proud Parents, Carnegie Mellon Shows Off Student Research at Meeting of the Minds


Meeting of the Minds is part of the Undergraduate Research Office, which encourages undergraduates to engage in the type of research and innovation that at many institutions is the sole domain of faculty and graduate students.

PITTSBURGH—Student projects ranging from a full-length feature film to a fingerprint recognition system to an analysis of automobile emissions will be on display Wednesday, May 4, during the 10th annual Meeting of the Minds, the undergraduate research symposium at Carnegie Mellon University. The work of 400 Carnegie Mellon students will be on display from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the University Center.

Meeting of the Minds is part of Carnegie Mellon's Undergraduate Research Office, which encourages and supports undergraduates to engage in the type of research and innovation that at many institutions is the sole domain of faculty and graduate students. Many projects grow out of students' coursework in their major, while others typify Carnegie Mellon's emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration to solve real-world problems. The Undergraduate Research Initiative was the brainchild of the late Barbara Lazarus, who was Carnegie Mellon's associate provost for academic affairs.

"Our Undergraduate Research Initiative started out as a strategy to get undergraduate students to become part of what is perhaps the most exciting and special thing of this university—our faculty and their research. It has grown to be a national model and in the typical Carnegie Mellon way, we defined 'research' as including creative works in the arts and humanities," said Indira Nair, vice provost of education at Carnegie Mellon.

Students from the university's six undergraduate schools will be demonstrating their projects, which include: a film about a 17-year-old Hispanic girl searching for her mother in Pittsburgh; a system for rapidly identifying people based on their fingerprints; a study of how auto emissions contribute to air pollution; a robotic system designed to catch flying objects; and a study of the success of corporations that are led by a joint CEO/chairman.

"Undergraduate research provides students the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom to novel situations that challenge even their professors. The Meeting of the Minds is a celebration of the amazing work that our students have conducted in all fields on campus," said Janet Stocks, assistant vice provost for education and director of undergraduate research.

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