FAU Students Showcase Findings at Research Symposium

Florida Atlantic University’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry (OURI) hosted the sixth annual Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Graphic design students Ashley Chozas, Tali Kamholtz, and Luis Duitama showcase their findings on traffic sign effectiveness.


By kelsie-weekes | 4/5/2016

Florida Atlantic University’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry (OURI) hosted the sixth annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, which showcases undergraduate students who are engaged in research, scholarship, and creative activities. More than 150 students presented their findings through visual, oral, poster and performing arts presentations.

“Each year our students raise the bar with the caliber of their research and inquiry projects, which is a testament to the dedicated faculty we have here at FAU,” said Donna Chamely-Wiik, Ph.D., assistant dean in OURI. “We are proud of our undergraduates and look forward to their continued successes.”

Marianna Calvet, a dual-enrolled student at FAU High School and FAU, is part of a research project studying the impact of rainfall and temperature on the sex determination of green turtles. Turtle nests with cooler temperatures typically hatch more males, while warmer nests hatch more females. Since the green turtle is an endangered species, the project aims to provide a better understanding of current sex ratios, which is critical for this specie’s recovery. 

“Research gives you an edge,” said Calvet. “Everyone does their coursework, but when you do research, it shows you are willing to give up your valuable time.”

Undergraduate research isn’t just limited to the sciences. Graphic design students Ashley Chozas, Tali Kamholtz, and Luis Duitama used their art backgrounds to conduct research on traffic sign effectiveness. The team redesigned traffic signs and used eye-tracking technology to see if the signs grabbed the attention of more drivers. They concluded that colorful signs with fewer words are more effective at busy intersections.

“As artists, we are used to working alone in a room,” said Chozas. “This research project forced us to step out of our comfort zone. It was a brand new experience for all of us.”

To demonstrate FAU’s commitment to undergraduate research, the University will host the 2017 Florida Undergraduate Research Conference, a prestigious statewide conference open to all undergraduate researchers in Florida in February 2017.

For a complete list of this year’s winners, click here.

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