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MERIT and TREND Fair Showcases Undergrads' Summer Research

MERIT and TREND Fair Showcases Undergrads' Summer Research


The annual fair showcasing undergraduate summer research projects from the Maryland Engineering Research Internship Teams (MERIT) Biosystems Internships for Engineers (BIEN) program and the Training and Research Experiences in Nonlinear Dynamics (TREND) program was held at the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building on Friday, August 7.

MERIT-BIEN and TREND constitute a unique, 11-week summer research program that offers top undergraduate engineering, mathematics and physics students from around the country the opportunity to engage in cutting-edge, team-based, cross-disciplinary research projects at the University of Maryland. The summer program culminates in the MERIT and TREND Fair, a half-day program that provides student teams a chance to showcase their work to a wider audience, and to be judged on the quality of their research efforts.

The students spoke about their individual projects in the morning in the Kim Lecture Hall, and later discussed their projects with visitors and judges at a poster session. Student projects were scrutinized by an independent panel of judges. MERIT-BIEN students worked primarily on projects related to nanotechnology and microelectronics devices, autonomous control, information security, system modeling and speech recognition, while TREND students worked primarily on projects related to nonlinear dynamics and physics.

The MERIT-BIEN award for Best Overall Project was for John Robert Bailey and Kossivi Edji for their research project, "Robust Speech Recognition: Articulatory Information to Account for Coarticulation." Their faculty advisor was Prof. Carol Espy-Wilson.

The runner up for Best Overall Project were Michael J. Kuhlman and Katherine McRoberts for their project "Bat-Inspired Robot Navigation Using Echolocation." Their faculty advisors were Prof. Timothy Horiuchi and Prof. P.S. Krishnaprasad.

John Andrew Turner and Ashia Wilson received the award for the Best Technical Report for their research project "Micro-Robot Control and Coordination" Their faculty advisors were Prof. Pamela Abshire and Prof. Nuno Martins.

Best Presentation was awarded to Marisel Villafane-Delgado and Nicholas Asendorf for their project "The Neural Representation of Auditory Modulations Relevant to Speech" under their advisor, Prof. Jonathan Simon.

TREND judges gave awards to the following students for their individual research projects: Jacob Chamoun for his research, "Anomalous Cosmic Ray Production in the Heliosheath", and Cristina Morales for her research, "Electron Cyclotron Emission Radiometer."

This year, 13 students participated in the MERIT program and 11 participated in TREND. In addition to University of Maryland students, MERIT and TREND participants included students from Harvard University, Cornell University, University of Michigan, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Pennsylvania State University, Tulane University, University of Florida, Grove City College, University of Puerto Rico, Mount Holyoke College, Olin College, Lawrence University, Montgomery College, Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, Florida International University, and Eastern Illinois University.

To see the event photos, please visit http://www.ece.umd.edu/News/images/09_08_Merit_Trend.

For more information about the MERIT program, please visit http://www.ece.umd.edu/MERIT.

For more information about the TREND program, please visit http://www.ireap.umd.edu/TREND/.

August 7, 2009


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