Martha Pollack speaks to student researchers in the Physical Sciences Building, August 24th, 2017.

Cameron Pollack / Sun Photography Editor

Martha Pollack speaks to student researchers in the Physical Sciences Building, August 24th, 2017.

August 24, 2017

Students Kick off Inauguration by Sharing Research in Festival of Scholarship

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The 20 research projects displayed at the Festival of Scholarship launched the inauguration of President Martha E. Pollack, celebrating the breadth of scholarship at Cornell.

Attendees at the festival interacted with undergraduate, graduate and professional students in various colleges as they shared their academic projects in the Physical Sciences Building.

For Ethan Anderson ’18, the opportunity to present his research on the state of health insurance at the festival was an “honor.”

Anderson, who had been working on the project for two years, said it was important to him that his team’s work was part of the festival because their project was a social science, while so much research is hard-science based.

Martha Pollack speaks to student researchers in the Physical Sciences Building, August 24th, 2017.

Cameron Pollack / Sun Photography Editor

Martha Pollack speaks to student researchers in the Physical Sciences Building, August 24th, 2017.

“Social sciences are different because you can’t control for all the variables,” he said. “Usually it deals with some kind of human interaction — we try to look at trends and patterns to explain something that is happening in the world.”

Hard sciences were also represented at the event. Sam Whitehead ’19 said he had always been captivated by neuroscience, and in his research, titled “Teaching a Mouse to Use a Joystick,” he learned about how the brain operates by teaching mice to perform complex joystick tasks.

“It’s always fun to see what everyone on campus is doing and to talk to people who are interested in research,” he said.

Martha Pollack speaks to Elizabeth Cavic '18 in the Physical Sciences Building, August 24th, 2017.

Cameron Pollack / Sun Photography Editor

Martha Pollack speaks to Elizabeth Cavic ’18 in the Physical Sciences Building, August 24th, 2017.

Jing Jin ’19, an attendee at the festival, said he was excited to see work products in diverse fields.

“I really like this event because I can get to know more about research and see work from people in different departments,” she said. “I think it’s really important, especially for freshman who don’t know what they want to study yet, to see what research each of the departments are doing and decide what they are interested in.”

“This event is fantastic,” added attendee Andrew Guo ’19, who was leaving his lab when he heard the music and decided to check out the event. “It’s really cool seeing the research and seeing what projects my peers are doing because I don’t get a lot of chances to.”

Pollack, also among the attendees, spoke to each of the groups about their research. She told The Sun that she thoroughly enjoyed the event and was excited for the upcoming year.

“The range of work that our students are working on is so broad and so interesting and so representative of what we want to be as a University,” she said.