Undergraduate students present research at 2017 COS-JAM

Author: Grant Johnson and Deanna Csomo McCool

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More than 500 students attended the 11th College of Science Joint Annual Meeting (COS-JAM) on Friday, May 5, in the Jordan Hall of Science. The event highlighted the research achievements of undergraduate students and is part of the Undergraduate Scholars Conference.

Students and faculty attend COS-JAM from all departments within the college in order to learn more about the exciting work their peers are engaged in.

For the presenters, of which there were 203 student authors and 143 abstracts, the experience of sharing their research with their peers prepares them for future attendance at regional or national scientific meetings, said Dominic Chaloner, undergraduate research coordinator for the college and research associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. Presenting to peers at COS-JAM is a low-stakes environment for presenting work, he said.

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“This experience is crucial to becoming familiar with the scientific process, especially if they have never had the opportunity to author their own research paper,” Chaloner said. At COS-JAM, “they are able to demonstrate to potential graduate school mentors that they are able take research at least to the point where they present as a poster or talk.”

Students’ research and presentations reflected the diversity of topics being studied by faculty within the college, according to Chaloner.

A similar event for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers was held May 4, 2017. The next COS-JAM event for undergraduate researchers will be held on Friday, May 4, 2018.