Archive for Wednesday, February 27, 2002

KU symposium to include a variety of undergraduate research

February 27, 2002


When terrorists killed thousands on the East Coast last September, Christopher Blunk took out his video camera and began filming.

The Kansas University sophomore chronicled the reactions of his fellow students for the two weeks after the terrorist attacks.

"Some people were really shocked and really angry  extreme emotions," Blunk said. "Others were strangely complacent. But not complacent because they didn't care  complacent because it was far away. Like one student said, it looked like a movie."

Blunk's documentary, "Unity through diversity: The KU campus reacts to Sept. 11," will be one of about 60 presentations Saturday at KU's fifth annual Undergraduate Research Symposium.

The symposium, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Kansas Union, features research projects from a variety of disciplines. It is a free, public event.

Blunk's hour-long video, which will play at 11 a.m. and noon in the Big 12 Room of the union, chronicles student reactions on Sept. 11 and the events that followed, including a student forum, fast, memorial services and peace rally.

Craig Martin, an ecology and evolutionary biology professor who helped organize the symposium, said the event shows the diversity of undergraduate research being conducted at KU.

Research topics include the effect of school desegregation in Topeka, the mate-selection progress in katydids, attitudes of men and women toward their first sexual experiences and the academic performance of Malaysian children.

Martin said he thought undergraduates played a larger role in research at KU than at other universities.

"Students at KU are doing incredible things," Martin said. "The public doesn't know that. Most people think it's professors in their ivory towers."

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