Undergraduate Research Conference 2010

The University of Melbourne was delighted to host fifty eight students and eleven academic staff members from twenty one member institutions at the 2010 Universitas 21 Undergraduate Research Conference. This year’s theme, Faculty of Imagining, enabled students from a diverse range of disciplines to present their research either orally or in the form of a poster.

The majority of students arrived to register on Thursday 1 July and were greeted with typical Melbourne winter weather – sunny one minute and raining the next. Accommodation was arranged on campus by Trinity College and it was great to see that many students had already met in the hallway or even at the airport upon arrival! An informal dinner and trivia night was held at Trinity on the first night so that students could get to know each other and test their general knowledge on all things Australian.

This event was followed by a series of social excursions from Friday until Sunday night, which included a formal welcome from Professor John Dewar, Acting Vice-Chancellor and Provost, a trip to the football to watch an AFL game, a visit to the Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary and a day in the Yarra Valley, Victoria’s premier wine-making region.

The presentations took place from Monday to Wednesday, with all students delivering impressive oral presentations and those students who had submitted posters having the opportunity to discuss their research with delegates in more detail.

A formal closing dinner was held at the Old Melbourne Gaol on Wednesday night. The Gaol turned Museum is most famously known for being home to notorious bushranger Ned Kelly in his final days, and provided the perfect opportunity for students and staff to relax after a long week of activities.

We have received positive feedback from students and staff and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of hosting such a delightful group of individuals. We would like to thank this year’s delegates for their participation, the quality of their presentations and the enthusiasm with which they approached the 2010 URC.

There were a number of awards presented on the final night, voted by the delegates, details are listed below:

  • Best Oral Presentation: Andrew Hughes, University of British Columbia, Hemispheric Asymmetry & Processing of Emotion 

Runner-up: Graham Riach, University of Glasgow, Binary Unities: Split Selves in Yves Bonnefoy and Michel Henry 

  • Most Imaginative Research (Oral): Nicholas Fitzgerald, University of British Columbia, ASSESS: Abstractive Summarization System for Evaluative Statement Summarization 

Runner-up: Lisa Fendall, University of Auckland, General Anaesthesia steals the time of the Honey Bee 

  • Best Poster: Aaron McCrady, University of Virginia, A Simple Model for Parkinson's Disease 
  • Most Imaginative Research (Poster) - joint winners: Andrew Jones, University of Edinburgh, Flying Goose and Submerged Dragon: Wilderness Discourse in the Landscape Poetry of Xie Lingyun Lê-Anh Dinh-Williams, McGill University, Is Size all that Matters? An Investigation of Male Genital Perceptions and Body Image Concerns.