17th Annual Undergraduate Physics Symposium

From States of Decay to pathogen detection in blood, undergraduate students presented their symposiums on various physics topics to help further scientific research.


A total of 16 students presented their Undergraduate Symposiums on Friday, April 9, 2021. Out of the presenters, four awards were given out to the best presentations that showed excellence within the department.


Two Department of Physics Awards were given. The first was to Chase Hanson for his presentation titled “Electronic structure of higher-order Ruddlesden Popper nickelates”. The second award was given to Patrick Walker for his presentation on “Search for new states that decay K*K”. Hanson feels excited over being recognized by faculty and alumni judging the presentation.


“I got a lot of questions from faculty and they asked very good questions. It was really fun to talk to them, and yeah I mean I honestly I'm honored.”


Patrick Walker, the second award recipient, feels like earning the award was the ‘icing on the cake’ after all the work he put in.


“The data analysis is one thing but the other half of it is learning the systems and all that stuff that we use to analyze these data sets. So, that was a huge learning curve. I actually spent most of the fall semester learning the software and how to get used to it and all that stuff before I was actually digging through any tangible data.”


The Women in Physics Award for Undergraduate Research was presented to Anna Costelle for her presentation titled “Construction of Event Generators for Strangeness-Containing Final States”. Costelle feels the award is important to her due to women being excluded from the STEM field previously.


“I remember in one of my AP physics classes I was literally the only girl in that class,” Costelle said. “And so to be recognized as a woman in Physics and to have these kind of opportunities available to me that meant a lot just because I know that there are a lot of women in the past who would have loved to have this opportunity and they couldn't.”


The John and Richard Jacob Award for Undergraduate Research was presented to Edis Jakupovic for his presentation titled “MPI-parallel Molecular Dynamics Trajectory Analysis with the H5MD Format in the MDAnalysis Python Package”.


Finally, The Physics Community Choice Award was given to Riley Rane, Tanvi Sathish, and Karishma Sivakumar for their project on ‘InnovaBug’, a small, low-cost, fast, medical diagnostic device used to detect pathogens in small volumes of fluid.