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Saturday, October 23, 2021

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The symposium is an opportunity for the community to see the fascinating, high level work SDSU students and faculty are collaborating on. The symposium is an opportunity for the community to see the fascinating, high level work SDSU students and faculty are collaborating on.

An Inside Look at Top Student Research

The SDSU Student Research Symposium on March 8 and 9 recognizes outstanding scholarly research accomplishments by SDSU students.
By Natalia Van Stralen

More than 450 graduate and undergraduate San Diego State University students across 80 majors and disciplines will showcase their original research, scholarship projects or creative activities as part of the sixth annual Student Research Symposium.

Happening on March 8 and 9 in Love Library at SDSU, the Symposium recognizes outstanding scholarly research accomplishments of current SDSU students from every major and program.

Set up like a public forum, the event is an opportunity for the community to see the fascinating, high level work SDSU students and faculty are collaborating on.

Emilio Ulloa, psychology professor and chair of the symposium, said the event draws a parallel between what students are doing at SDSU and “a very important life skill – and that’s the ability to articulate an idea or a result to an audience. It is a skill set they have to develop as professionals to convey their thoughts effectively to others.”

Real-world research impact

The winning team members’ research of last year’s symposium advanced the work of the National Science Foundation-funded Engineering Research Center – a joint endeavor of SDSU, MIT and the University of Washington – whose goal is to perfect brain-controlled bionics.

An award-winning student at the 2012 symposium.

They presented their novel concept: an array of electrodes, which they affectionately named “Gandalf,” could theoretically be placed atop the brain, specifically the motor cortex, of a person with a severed spinal cord or a missing limb.

The device, controlled by a chip, would relay signals from the neurons firing in the brain to a robotic limb, enabling it to perform the desired functions.

Student research areas

Oral and poster presentations are organized by academic disciplines with divisions for undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students.

Student researchers giving 10-minute presentations on areas of expertise include “Evolutionary Biology,” “Women Agency and Activism,” “Public and Environmental Health,” “Research in Health and Well-being,” “Issues in Education,” and “Solar Energy” among others.

Poster presentation topics include “Nutritional Health Status of Homeless Veterans in San Diego” or “Association of Physical Activity and Life Satisfaction to Health-Related Quality of Life in Hodgkin Lymphoma Survivors.”


Scholarships and awards help to promote and support student research at SDSU.

Ten presidential awards worth $500 each will be given to oral presenters recognized for outstanding achievement in original scholarship. These graduate and undergraduate students will go on to represent SDSU at the CSU Student Research Competition in May 2013.

Presenters will also have the opportunity to win awards for recognition of excellence in a variety of categories.

More information

Faculty, students and staff will participate in the campus-wide event from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, March 8 and from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 in Love Library at SDSU.

The symposium is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the SDSU Student Research Symposium website.

The Student Research Symposium is hosted by SDSU’s University Research Council’s Student Research Committee. It is made possible through the generous support of the President’s Leadership Fund, Aztec Parents Fund, Academic Deans, Aztec Shops, Division of Undergraduate Studies, Graduate and Research Affairs, Office of the Provost, Honors Council and SDSU Research Foundation and University Advancement.