Carnegie Mellon University
May 05, 2021

Meeting of the Minds To Meet Remotely

By Heidi Opdyke

Jason Maderer
  • Marketing & Communications
  • 412-268-1151

For the first time ever, Carnegie Mellon University's Meeting of the Minds will be virtual.

The event, which provides undergraduates a forum to present research findings before faculty, staff and other students, will occur entirely online.

"We know that nothing can take the place of showing up at the Jared L. Cohon University Center and being amid all these talented, interesting students," said Stephanie Wallach, assistant vice provost for undergraduate education. "However, by being virtual this has become an opportunity to make the experience more broadly accessible for alumni, corporate partners and families across the globe. We're very excited about that."

Live presentations — organized in Zoom meetings that focus on specific disciplines — will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 12. Jen Weidenhof, program coordinator for the Undergraduate Research Office (URO), said that prerecorded talks may be viewed starting on May 10.

Some 400 students will present posters and offer live and recorded presentations. Students who received funds through the URO, such as a Small Undergraduate Research Grant and/or a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) are required to participate. Support for grants and fellowships comes from the generosity of individuals, foundations, corporations, departments and schools, as well as the Office of the Provost.

And, another first, students from outside of CMU will participate this year. A team consisting of one student from CMU, one from Morehouse College and one from Spelman College that worked on a project sponsored by the Department of Mathematical Sciences, will present a poster.

Wallach said that even with the pandemic, interest in undergraduate research continues to increase. Last summer, the office sponsored more than 100 students through its SURF program.

"An increasing number of students have had some research experience before they even come to CMU," she said.

And, a similar number is planned for this summer.

Some of the Minds Behind This Year's Presentations