Slideshow: Students Present Research at President’s Science Symposium

Last Friday, more than 100 students showed off their research at the President’s Science Symposium, an annual campus-wide celebration of Bowdoin student research.

The posters highlighted the breadth of research, ranging from investigations into robotic decision-making to the exploration of the microhabitat of Leach’s storm-petrel burrows. Students set up posters about their projects in Morrell Lounge, and stood by to answer the questions of passers-by.

Earlier in the afternoon, four students gave talks on their work, following the lecture of keynote speaker Dr. Thomas D. Seeley. Seeley, a professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University, spoke about the democracy of honeybees.

The four student speakers, Adam Childs ’14, Emma Cutler ’13, Jesus Navarro ’13 and Tippapha Pisithkul ’13, are focusing on different disciplines at Bowdoin.

Childs, who is majoring in chemistry and physics and minoring in mathematics, spoke about the structural analysis of thiopeptoids as potential biological probes, which could be helpful in developing treatments for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Childs is developing protocols for the synthesis of thiopeptoids, and is working with Assistant Professor of Chemistry Benjamin Gorske. His work was supported by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Summer Fellowship.

Cutler, a mathematics and environmental studies major, spoke about her research developing climate models to better understand the relationships between carbon dioxide, ice albedo, energy balance and temperature. Her project examines how mathematical equations have been used to show changes in the earth’s ice coverage as the climate has oscillated between warm and cold conditions. Cutler worked with R. Wells Johnson Professor of Mathematics Mary Lou Zeeman through a Clare Booth Luce Research Fellowship.

Navarro, a computer science major and math minor, spoke about how he, along with Ruben Martinez ’15, is creating a different method of defending computers from viral attacks, one in which the operating system plays an active role in its own protection. Navarro worked with Assistant Professor of Computer Science Daniela Oliveira as a Student Faculty Research Grant Fellow.

Pisithkul, a biochemistry major, is researching the fungal pathogen Candida albicans, and how it adapts to its host during infection. Her research, which could have implications for anti-fungal drug development, involves obtaining allelic sequences for four of the eight ALS genes in Candida albicans by cloning each gene for analysis. Pisithkul worked with Research Assistant Professor of Biology Anja Forche as a Student Faculty Research Grant Fellow.

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