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Research Day


Honors College Symposium for Research and Creative Projects

The Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College announces its tenth annual

Symposium for Research and Creative Projects

featuring the

Robert Lee and Thomas M. Chastain Honors Symposium Lecture Series

April 12, 2013

The Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University is celebrating the academic achievements of its students, and particularly those students in the Class of 2013, with its eleventh annual Symposium for Research and Creative Projects. All Wilkes Honors College students are engaged in interesting research and creative activities, including their senior thesis projects. The Symposium showcases honors students and their projects in a one-day event that includes a series of concurrent talks, a poster session, and a visual arts presentation.


The Chastain Honors Symposium lecture, The Evolution-Creation Dispute:  A Sibling Rivalry, will be given by Dr. Michael Ruse, the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and the Director of the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science at Florida State University.  He is the author of many books, and has most recently edited the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought.  A Guggenheim Fellowship winner, a Gifford Lecturer, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Professor Ruse still thinks the most important thing in his forty-eight year career as a university professor is the interaction between him and his students.  He says that the day he stops teaching will be the day when he discovers if being an atheist was the Biggest Mistake in his life.

Click here for a campus map and directions.

Click on any year for an archive of that year's symposia:
2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003

Symposium for Research and Creative Projects

Friday, April 12, 2013

Call for Papers

The Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University is celebrating the academic achievements of its students, and particularly those students in the Class of 2013, with its eleventh annual Symposium for Research and Creative Projects. All Wilkes Honors College students are engaged in interesting research and creative activities, including their senior thesis projects. The Symposium showcases honors students and their projects in a one-day event that includes a series of concurrent talks, a poster session, and a visual arts presentation.

Honors College students with completed or ongoing research and/or creative works are invited to participate by submitting an abstract for a 10-minute talk, a poster presentation, or description of visual art.

Submission Instructions and Additional Information

Abstracts: Students are expected to work with their advisors/instructors to prepare their abstract. A draft of the abstract must be submitted to your advisor by Tuesday, March 19, 2013. The final draft of abstracts of 150 words or less, together with the type of presentation (poster, paper, or visual art), title and author(s) must be received by Friday, March 22, 2013. See the detailed instructions for submission and use the abstract submission form.

Additional information for Posters: See the guidelines for posters. Use the poster template for all posters. A preliminary draft of your poster must be submitted to your advisor by Friday, March 22, 2013. The final version of your poster must be submitted by Thursday, March 28, 2013 for printing. The Honors College will print ONE poster for each accepted poster abstract, and presenters will be able to examine their posters before putting them up on Friday. Additional poster printings will cost $25 each.

Additional information for Papers: Papers (talks) will be 10 minutes long, with 5 minutes for questions between successive talks. Papers may be read, or talks may be given using Power Point. Further suggestions for preparing paper talks.

Important Dates for 2013

Date Event / Task
March 19
Registration Opens
March 19
Draft Abstracts are due to advisors.
March 22
Registration closes. Final abstracts and draft posters are due to advisors.
March 28
Final PowerPoint files for posters are due for printing.
March 29
Students are notified of acceptance and presentation schedule will be published.
April 12
Symposium for Research and Creative Projects.

Professional Courtesy

Please keep in mind that if you submit an abstract for a paper or poster, you are committing to making a presentation at the Symposium. Backing out of a talk at a conference is unacceptable in the academic world, except in cases of absolute emergency. When papers are withdrawn after acceptance, some professional organizations will bar the contributor from making another presentation for two years. The Honors College Symposium is a professional conference, and presenters are expected to treat it as such.

Symposium for Research and Creative Projects

Friday, April 12, 2013


Registration will open in February. Check back then.

Symposium for Research and Creative Projects - Program Overview

Friday, April 12, 2013

Time Event Location
8 - 9 am Participant Registration AD Building
9 - 10:15 am Session 1: Contributed Papers AD Building
10:15 - 10:30 am Break  
10:30 - 11:30 am Session 2: Contributed Papers AD Building
11:30 am - 1 pm Lunch  
1 - 2 pm Chastain Guest Lecturer AD Auditorium
2 - 4 pm Session 3: Visual Arts Projects Poster Session HC Building
  Download complete program Download scheduling grid  

Please join us for a reception in the Honors College Atrium from 2 - 4 pm.

Abstract Submission Instructions

See Important Dates for deadlines

Your abstract of 150 words or less should describe succinctly the major result or point of your presentation. The abstract provides an opportunity for you to draw an audience to your presentation, so try to make the abstract both interesting and informative. You are required to consult with your thesis advisor or your course instructor for advice on writing your abstract.

Instructions: Submit the online form, found here, by 5 pm, Friday, March 22, 2013.

Title No limit in size, but please be reasonable.

Author(s) List all people who contributed significantly to this research. List the presenting author first.

Email The primary email address of the presenting author should be included. Email addresses of other authors may be given as well.

Abstract No more than 150 words. This is a concise summary of the work to be presented (see example below).

Type of presentation Check the appropriate box(es) for your work. If you will be presenting something other than a talk or poster, please provide information regarding how the work will be displayed.

Type of project If this is a senior thesis project, indicate the expected semester of graduation (e.g., Spring 10). If this is work assigned for a course, provide course number and name (e.g., ISC 4933 Data Analysis). If you are presenting work completed for another purpose, such as an internship, please provide brief details.

Advisor/Professor List your thesis advisor or course professor as appropriate. If the project was completed for some other purpose, list the person responsible for overseeing the project.

Sample Abstract

An increase in task difficulty or in time pressure during the performance of cognitive tasks decreased the ability of older adults to recall the tasks at a later time. Adult age differences in recall of cognitive tasks were smaller for easier than for more difficult tasks, and age differences were smaller for cognitive tasks without time pressure than for tasks with time pressure. Older adults may have difficulty remembering difficult cognitive tasks and tasks with time pressure because of an increase in anxiety. During difficult or time pressured cognitive tasks, older adults may have trouble inhibiting negative thoughts about their performance, and thus they may devote fewer working memory resources to aspects of the tasks that would be beneficial for task recall.

Poster Guidelines and Submission Instructions

See Important Dates for deadlines

Creating Your Poster

Use the poster template to create your poster. As you prepare your poster, please keep in mind that your audience may have no prior knowledge of your topic. Please follow the guidelines presented below.

  • Your banner should contain a title for your project, the authors, and the college. Use the font and color choices provided on the template.
  • Do not change the font colors and size from those in the template. Do not move or resize the logo.
  • The font for text within the poster should be no smaller than 32 point.
  • Do not change the color of the background.
  • You are encouraged to use graphs, photographs, and other visual aides to help the viewer understand your project.
  • The poster should be 48 inches wide by 36 inches high.
  • Your poster will be hung prior to the Symposium. Do not remove your poster after it is hung.

Please proofread your poster with care. Due to the high cost of printing, only one copy of each poster will be printed. If you make an error on your poster, you will be charged $25 to print a second copy.

Save your poster with a filename in the format last-name_first-name.pptx. For example, Albert Einstein s poster would be saved as Einstein_Albert.pptx.

Tips for Poster Preparation

For scientific posters, be sure to clearly state the question your study addresses, your hypotheses, and your conclusions. Give a brief description of your methods.
Use handouts to supplement your poster, if appropriate.
Place related materials (for instance, a photo with accompanying text) close together, then highlight themes by framing collections of material with blank space.

Submission Instructions

Poster Submission

  1. E-mail your poster PowerPoint (.pptx) file to your advisor using the words "Poster Submission" on the subject line.
  2. Faculty advisor will review the file and then forward it to the Symposium Committee Chair.
  3. The Committee will review and approve the files.
  4. Once approved, Jeremy Hoyt will print the posters.

*NOTE: There seems to be an issue with downloading the .pptx file using MS Internet Explorer. We are working on resolving this. The following browsers, however, are working fine: Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Google Chrome.

Presentation submission

You should review their presentation with their faculty advisor.

Fine art submission

Coordinate with Professor Dorotha Lemeh, 561-799-8019.

Giving a Speech: Do's and Don'ts

General Guidelines

  • Practice, practice, practice. Be aware that your real talk will take about 10-20% longer than your practice talk.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Introduce your topic in its proper context at the very beginning of the talk. (What is the question? Why is it important? Who cares about it? Who studied it before you did? What is your contribution? What will you tell us?)
  • Speak loudly, slowly, and clearly.
  • Be professional: don't use profanities, colloquialisms, and space fillers (such as "you know", "so", "um", "uh", "like").
  • Know your audience: avoid special terminology and technical formulas; define all key terms before you use them.
  • Don't go overtime -- it's impolite to the audience and to the speakers after you.
  • Don't ask for questions at the end of the talk -- let the moderator do it.

Visual Aids

Use visual aids with care - this is the most efficient way to improve your presentation. Remember that the visual aids are exactly that - aids. They are supposed to help your talk, not to be your talk.

  • Don't read the text on the slides - explain it.
  • Prepare separate notes for each slide. Be careful not to block the view - keep your shoulder away from the projector.
  • Have a pointing device handy.
  • Maintain eye contact with your audience -- don't look at the screen or at your notes too much.


Keep in mind that using PowerPoint will not make a bad talk look good! If you use PowerPoint, the following apply:

  • Place the title, author(s), and affiliation (or project status) on the first slide.
  • Use a few well-written slides. Count about 2 min per slide (e.g. a 15-minute talk should have no more than 6-8 slides).
  • Each slide should clarify only one topic and have a short (one-line) title.
  • Print a few well-spaced lines (12 or less) per slide.
  • Use standard font of large size: at least 28 pt or 1/2" in height. (Sans serif fonts, such as Arial, look better than serif fonts, such as Times Roman, in PowerPoint.)
  • Make sure your graphs, charts, pictures, photos are large enough and clearly visible.
  • Use a few basic colors (black, blue, red). Don't mix red with green -- this particular color combination can be difficult to read.
  • Don't depend solely on the computer.
  • Don't go wild with the colors; use one of the professional-looking built-in color schemes. Make sure your slides have enough intensity contrast between the foreground and background colors.
  • Don't use cute but distracting and annoying transitions, animations, sounds, etc.
  • Press the space bar to go to the next slide and the Backspace key to go to the previous slide (it's easier than fumbling with the mouse in the dark).
  • Run your PowerPoint presentation in any HC classroom to make sure that your version of PowerPoint is compatible with the version used in HC classrooms and that your color schemes are effective using the HC version of PowerPoint.
Last Modified 11/21/13