Four undergraduate students at UC San Diego whose research topics ranged from Bronze Age artifacts to micrometers, and college admissions practices to the symmetry of protein structure, have been awarded the 2013 Undergraduate Library Research Prize.
Co-sponsored by the UC San Diego Library, the UCSD Alumni Association, and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the annual prize includes cash awards of $1000 and $500 for first and second place, respectively. Awards are given in two categories: Social Sciences and Humanities, and Physical and Life Sciences.
"These students clearly demonstrated the outstanding research skills needed to excel at a major research university such as UC San Diego," said Brian E.C. Schottlaender, the university's Audrey Geisel University Librarian. "This year's winners have set the bar pretty high for future student researchers. They have learned that good academic research does not happen without careful, studious, and strategic library research. Undergraduate research is such an important part of our students' education, so we are pleased that we can continue to support and recognize-with Student Affairs and Alumni Affairs-these achievements."
To be considered for the Undergraduate Libraries Research Prize, students must be nominated by faculty members and must participate in either the annual UC San Diego Undergraduate Research Conference held in the spring, or in other university programs that foster and recognize student research and scholarship. The Undergraduate Research Conference is one of three major undergraduate scholarly meetings that the Academic Enrichment Programs coordinate each year that afford students from all academic disciplines the opportunity to present findings of research conducted under the guidance of UC San Diego faculty members.
"This year's winners have demonstrated an impressive level of intellectual prowess and accomplishment," said Alan Houston, interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs. "We are proud to support their efforts and applaud their ability to skillfully and fully take advantage of the Library's abundant knowledge resources."
Added Armin Afsahi, assistant vice chancellor for Alumni Affairs, "It's very gratifying to see our students' ability to expertly utilize the Library's rich and diverse information resources. "I know this skillset will help in their current as well as future success, both in their academic careers and beyond."
In the Social Sciences and Humanities category, first prize went to Kathleen Huggins, a Muir College senior, for her project, "Breaking the Ingot out of the Mold: A Practical Approach to Technological Ceramics." She was nominated by Thomas Levy, professor of Anthropology. Second prize in this category was awarded to Andres Albarran, fourth year student at Sixth College, nominated by Frances Contreras, Ethnic Studies professor.
First prize in the Physical and Life Sciences category went to Douglas Myers-Turnbull, fourth year student at Marshall College, whose research project was titled "Symmetry and Protein Fold Space." He was nominated by Phillip Bourne, CSE (bioinformatics) professor. Second prize went to Allen Pei, third year student at Revelle College, nominated by Joseph Wang, professor of Nanoengineering/Applied Mathematics.