Approximately 150 students worked with faculty advisors this summer to answer difficult questions and uncover new knowledge in a range of disciplines, from computer science and chemistry to theater and English.
Each summer, students who wish to do intensive research are supported by many different fellowships, a number of which are offered by Bowdoin. Most of the student fellows live and work on campus.
Since 2008, the president of the college has honored student summer research by holding a fall symposium. This event typically features an invited speaker (this year, it was Peter Norvig, Google’s director of research) and a poster conference where students present their research. Because the event falls on Family Weekend, relatives of students are invited to attend.
President Clayton Rose updated the symposium this year to include not only student research in the life sciences, but also research in the humanities and social sciences. At the poster session, Clayton offered a few words about the symposium and the research featured in it. “The work you see here today represents eight to ten weeks of rigorous academic immersion and often serves as a springboard for independent study and honors projects,” he explained. “The experiences of a summer can lead to a lifelong interest in a subject and have a direct impact on career choices and opportunities.”
Rose also noted the breadth of investigations pursued by students. “As in other years, you can hear from students in this room about their contributions to ongoing research with crickets, lobster hearts, herring gulls, and various bacteria and chemical compounds used in important and longstanding faculty work. But this year you can also hear from students about their economic research, work on issues like food insecurity and homelessness, and creative work of all kinds—poetry, art, sculpture, playwriting, and more. It is an event that now truly represents all the disciplines and types of work that go on here at Bowdoin.”
Photos from the President’s Summer Research Symposium