Varied research choices for undergraduates

At UW Bothell, teaching and research often go hand in hand. In the classroom and in the field, students work with faculty on research, scholarship and creative practices of many kinds. These experiences do more than enhance students’ education on campus. They also can lead to scholarships, open up the door to graduate school and create pathways to a wide variety of careers.

Ongoing research topics include:

  • the challenge of defending the Internet of Things from hackers,
  • a survey the political attitudes of American Muslims,
  • efforts to restore kokanee to local streams,
  • a study of African and Afro-Caribbean women’s health,
  • use of financial information in executive compensation, and
  • the problems of stereotypes in the politics of representation.

These kinds of opportunities — and more — were part of the Undergraduate Research & Creative Practice Fair Oct. 11 and can be found on an online database.

Annika Lawrence, one of the poster presenters at the fair in the Activities and Recreation Center, is an Electrical Engineering senior. She helped develop a biomedical device over the summer in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program led by Tadesse Ghirmai, associate professor in the division of Engineering and Mathematics. Three UW Bothell students from the REU presented abstracts in October at a biomedical conference in Atlanta, Ghirmai said.

Annika Lawrence

“At first it was daunting,” said Lawrence, who worked on a micro device that could be implanted under the skin to measure pH (the degree of alkalinity or acidity). “This is totally graduate level,” she thought. “I don’t know what I’m doing as an undergrad.”

Working with Hung Cao, an assistant professor, and Paul Marsh, a graduate assistant, Lawrence learned to use UW Bothell’s labs and equipment, including a scanning electron microscope and the clean room where micro devices are fabricated.

“By the end I came out having the understanding to be able to continue research,” Lawrence said.

The experience, she said, “gave me the confidence to say, ‘Yes I can do grad school.’”

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