2. Noon Research Symposia.
Each TTH from 12-1:30 p.m., interns will attend a noon research symposium directed by the RA and attended by the PI. The first week, the RA or another graduate student will present their Master’s Thesis Research Proposal to the REU interns, exposing the group of interns to graduate thesis research at the outset (in previous summers, the RA actually formally defended her Thesis Research Proposal before her Thesis Committee with all interns in attendance, a remarkable learning experience for our interns in the conduct of graduate thesis research). Each week thereafter during this symposium, each intern will present a formal discussion of the primary literature in their research area, their research methods, a reporting on the progress of their respective research projects, troubleshooting of any problems that have arisen, and collegial sharing, all over lunch provided by the REU program. These meetings will allow a more structured, yet non-threatening group interaction of all students, the further exchange of project information, and the awareness that the pursuit of scientific truth requires directed thought, collegial interactions, and teamwork. Additionally, these sessions will provide students with opportunities to plan educational, cultural, social, and physical activities outside of the laboratory and classroom. These noon research symposia have historically resulted in more focused student research projects and more professional presentation styles.