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Students wrap up summer research projects with poster session


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Amanda Laven '13 performs "Lolita-chan in Taiko Land."President Stephen C. Ainlay talks Benjamin Glaser-Nolan '13 about his summer research project. Tokuei Higashino ‘13 talks about his research.
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Over 50 people gathered on the Reamer patio Wednesday to watch the "Lolita-chan in Taiko Land," a  15 minute drum performance by Amanda Laven ’13. Laven’s self-composed, three-movement piece took her three weeks to develop and represented part of her summer research project.

Each movement was accompanied by a specific rhythm and corresponding costume, illustrating the progression from traditional Japan to modern, Western-influenced Japan. Laven created two of the three costumes herself and plans to add embroidery before she performs at other venues.

Laven is one of among 110 students who are wrapping up their undergraduate summer research. Rising first year students, sophomores and juniors whose majors range from biology to mechanical engineering to visual arts have spent their summers working on independent projects which are financed by the College or through private funding sources such as the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.

A poster session in the Wold Center where students presented their research followed the drumming performance.

Tokuei Higashino ‘13, a mathematics major, discussed his observation of the transiting exoplanet Wasp3b. He explained that if a planet is orbiting a star, the star becomes dimmer as the planet moves in front of it. Six hours of observation and 40 images proved that Wasp3b orbits a star. Higashino originally studied this concept for his sophomore research and continued because he found it so enjoyable. 

David Carabis ’13 worked on his project “Catalytic Aerogel Research.” This mechanical engineering major spent seven weeks designing a test to see if aerogels are photocatalytic. By observing the consistency of toluene levels in each three hour trial, he will determine if the aerogel has photocatalytic properties. Carabis believes that this program has given him practical, real world experience in scientific research and design projects.

For a list of summer projects, click here.