Tuesday, May 3, 2005

UH students
show off research

A symposium draws
74 presentations from
33 departments

University of Hawaii undergraduates put on their best show in research and creative projects ranging from design of a micro-satellite to indoctrination of child terrorists.

University of Hawaii Faculty members who judged the 74 students' poster and oral presentations in Jefferson Hall at the East-West Center on Friday and Saturday praised the high quality and variety of the work.

Some students end up being co-authors on published articles in sciences and in humanities, said Jim Caron, UH-Manoa Honors Program director.

"That is the kind of caliber of work some of these folks are doing," he said, commending the faculty for being willing to mentor students in the projects.

Student participants increased to 74 this year from 67 last year. Some 33 departments on UH-Manoa and UH-Hilo campuses and Kapiolani, Leeward, Honolulu and Windward community colleges took part in the presentation, called Symposium 2005.

Ed Scott, a UH-Manoa planetary scientist, said about 16 Hawaii Space Consortium students participated from UH-Hilo and community colleges on Oahu. "They are pretty enthusiastic," he said.

Robert Allen, a WCC engineering major, worked with a team on a space grant project to design and build CANSAT, a fully functioning micro-satellite no bigger than a soda can.

Eric Lee, a KCC electrical engineering major, also was part of a CANSAT project involving data acquisition and telemetry of an airborne transmitter on a tethered balloon to a ground-based receiver.

Some students, such as Lee, are just beginning their research.

So is UH-Manoa biology major Megan Motosue. "It can be overwhelming," she said, explaining that her mentor, Pratibha Nerurkar, guided her through the science process as she investigated use of bitter melon to treat Type 2 diabetes.

Jhonsen Djajamuliadi, a UH-Manoa chemistry major, also is in the early stage of looking for synthetic material similar to manganese-ferro crust material from the ocean floor that could absorb noxious gases and other pollutants like a sponge.

"We have to start somewhere," he said in his oral presentation.

Nicholas Fujii, a UH-Manoa economics and mathematics major, was selected by classmates in the honors program as their peer role model in the introduction to research class.

First-prize winners for posters received $100 certificates to the UH bookstore, and honorable mention winners won $25 certificates. They were:

» Humanities: Paul Ganir, a Japanese and mathematics major, for "Kanji Learning Tactics of Japanese Language Learners." Honorable mention, Mandakini Goode, English, and Fumie Arai, art.

» Social Sciences, Maile Cooke, "Symbolic Matching in Honeybees." Honorable mention, Oriana Cederstrom, political science, and Justin Uniatowski, anthropology.

» Science and engineering, Lisa Ann Oliveira, biology, on how the physiology and biology of the zooplankton species Calanus finmarchicus is vital to understand the ecology of the North Atlantic. Honorable mention, Motosue, biology, and Lee, engineering.

Winners of oral presentations, each receiving a $75 gift certificate to the UH bookstore, were Motosue, biology; Sarah Knights, astronomy; Sage Takehiro, English; Scott Harada, microbiology; Brent Fujioka, English; Malia Eischen, microbiology; Christopher Yogi, English and marketing; Lori-Ann Wong, political science; Kristine Wada, English and Japanese; Tsz-Him Tsui, interdisciplinary studies; Nel Venzon Jr., biology; and Krystalynn Ontai, English.

University of Hawaii

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