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UC Students Show and Tell at Undergraduate Research Conference

Anshana Suwendran, Iffat Jahan Lowra, and Suvabna Theivendrampillai

Students enrolled in University College’s signature academic programs gathered in East and West Hall recently for Research and Practice Day. The annual event showcases undergraduate students’ year-end projects and research findings on topics as varied as food addiction,  sex education, and robotics, just to name a few.

Apefa Adjivon and Karanvir Singh, first-year students taking the civics stream of UC One, looked at the Toronto Transit Commission from multiple angles, from operations and funding to growth strategy and suicide prevention. “It was hard to find statistics,” Apefa said, “but eventually an employee pointed us to the right place on the TTC website.”

Fourth-year Cognitive Science student Andrew Scicluna showed off a robot he designed to move along a black track by sensing changes in light levels. “It’s parallel processing,” he said. “There are sensors on both sides of the robot for correction, and what they’re actually doing is avoiding the black colour, even though it looks like they’re following it.”

Iffat Jahan Lowra, Anshana Suwendran, and Suvabna Theivendrampillai, students in the health stream of UC One, examined the response to Ontario’s new sexual education curriculum by tracking enrolment statistics, finding that a significant number of students were pulled from the public system after the changes were introduced.

A project entitled “Who is Toronto?”  by UC One drama stream students Alexandra MacDonald, Archibald Ross, and Cassandra Sherlock saw them eavesdrop on snippets of conversation in different neighbourhoods across the city. The students then composed dramatic monologues inspired by these encounters.

“It’s such a pleasure to see our undergraduates building new knowledge and becoming such experts,” University College Vice-Principal John Marshall says of the event, which demonstrates UC’s commitment to reinventing undergraduate education, one of the three priorities for the University identified by President Meric Gertler.