UMass Amherst Hosts 18th Annual Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference April 27


DATE: Friday, April 27, 2012

WHAT: Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference

TIME: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

PLACE: Campus Center, UMass Amherst

More than 800 students from nearly all of the state’s public university and community college campuses will present their research. Students will report on thesis or capstone projects, independent study, community service and study abroad, as well as present creative work in the visual and performing arts. Some will deliver oral presentations, while others show posters to explain their research, share their findings and respond to questions.

"This conference is a display of the tremendous academic talent of students and their faculty mentors. Students not only conduct meaningful research and contribute knowledge to their fields of study but also present their work among peers and the public--that’s an invaluable opportunity," says Priscilla M. Clarkson, dean of Commonwealth Honors College.

UMass Amherst English professor Dara Wier will deliver the keynote address for the conference. In her talk, "How to Forget Everything You’ve Learned and Remember All You’ve Forgotten," she challenges traditional ways of learning in favor of actively forming connections among the objects, ideas and environments encountered in everyday life. The paradox, she asserts, is part of the presentation.

"Sometimes I just know what you’re thinking," she says, and recalls that the American composer and performance artist John Cage said "without thinking we can tell what is being said without understanding it." Likewise, she explains, sometimes we understand what is being said without thinking. Wier will discuss how we make sense of what we hear and see, and why we need to do so in order to take charge of our own lives, confident that we can interpret and understand what we observe going on around us.

The conference is co-sponsored by Commonwealth Honors College and the Massachusetts System of Public Higher Education, composed of 15 community colleges, nine state universities and the five campuses of the University of Massachusetts.

Full schedule (

8-9 a.m.: Registration • First Floor Concourse
9-9:25 a.m.: Poster Session
9:30-10:30 a.m.: Welcome and Keynote • Campus Center Auditorium
10:35-11 a.m.: Poster Session
10:40-11:25 a.m.: Oral Session
11:35 a.m.-12:20 p.m.: Poster & Oral Sessions
1:30-4:15 p.m.: Poster & Oral Sessions

Contact: Meredith Lind, executive director, 413/545-2483;