Meeting of the Minds

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Meeting of the MindsMeeting of the Minds

Quintin Carlson

Meeting of the Minds

Kimberly Josephson

The opportunity to participate in research has enabled them to explore their interests, and today, more than 500 Carnegie Mellon University undergraduate students present their findings at the annual Meeting of the Minds Symposium.

"The Meeting of the Minds Symposium really defines what is so unique about Carnegie Mellon University," said Stephanie Wallach, assistant vice provost for undergraduate education. "The undergraduate research opportunities offered here so often serendipitously connect a student's interests in ways they never predicted, outlining the next steps in their careers."

Quintin Carlson (DC'14), a junior majoring in both decision sciences and human-computer interaction, was part of a team of students who developed an iPad app aimed at helping special education teachers move away from paper-based methods of tracking student behavior.

"Right now teachers are swamped under piles of paper and stuck graphing charts by hand. Our iPad app, called Zephyr, will give them more time to spend working with the students, while allowing for more collaborative care between therapists, teachers and administrators," said Carlson.

Carlson says he chose CMU because of its Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) and the opportunity as an undergraduate to define and pursue a unique set of academic and research interests.

"It has been amazing to work directly with faculty members who are leaders in their field," Carlson said. "I've completed both an independent study project and worked as a researcher in HCII for about a year. Through this experience, I have had the chance to meet not only faculty members from CMU, but also from other universities, who are changing the Human-Computer Interaction landscape."

Carlson says he has also had the opportunity to co-author a paper that was admitted to the Computer-Human Interaction Conference, which has opened many doors for him — including a summer internship at the Evernote Corporation as a user experience designer.

Kimberly Josephson (CMU'13) traveled to Spain where she studied the topic of stolen babies in the country.

"These human rights abuses began as a political scandal that later evolved into an economically-driven black market throughout the entire country," explained Josephson, who is majoring in both international relations and politics, and hispanic studies. She was able to interview victims' organizations and take advantage of unique research opportunities offered abroad.

"The opportunity to participate in — and direct my own — undergraduate research has allowed me to explore a topic of interest much deeper than any course permits, and to become an expert on that topic." She added, "I feel more developed as an international relations major and can apply these research and writing skills to future jobs, regardless of the topic."
The Meeting of the Minds Symposium takes place May 8, 2013 between 10:00 and 5:00 p.m. in the University Center on CMU's Pittsburgh campus.

Related Links: About Meeting of the Minds | Undergraduate Research Office | Small Undergraduate Research Grants (SURG) | Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF)

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