Campus News

Celebration of Undergraduate Research 2018

November 1, 2018

Communications Staff

Celebration of Undergraduate Research Graphic text

The Office of Undergraduate Research and the Center for Learning, Education, and Research in the Sciences invite all members of the campus and community to a one-day conference featuring Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music students’ research.

On Friday, November 2, more than 100 students will share research they completed in summer 2018. Forty-three students on 12 panels will give 15-minute presentations about their research, and 63 students will be available to explain and discuss their work during a poster session. The conference will examine a broad range of topics such as “Puerto Rican Hip Hop after Hurricane Maria” and “The Use of Magnetometers to Search for Dark Matter.”

The conference takes place in the Science Center. Concurrent sessions of oral presentations begin at 12 p.m. in various classrooms. There will be a reception at 6 p.m. in Perlik Commons. The poster session will begin at 6:15 p.m. in Bent Corridor and will conclude at 7:30 p.m.

View the event program .

Get a quick sampling of three of the projects from Friday's presenting students:

Presenter: Mobey Irizarry Lambright, Technology in Music & Related Arts and Comparative American Studies
Catastrophe Cypher: Puerto Rican Hip-Hop After Hurricane Maria

The purpose of this research project is to analyze the role of Puerto Rican Hip-Hop in the wake of Hurricane Maria. This project focuses on how the rapper Vladi portrays the structural, personal and emotional realities of the hurricane and the subsequent disaster on both a lyrical and sonic level. Following the scholarship of Antonio Vázquez-Arroyo on catastrophization, Naomi Klein on the Shock Doctrine and disaster capitalism, and recent calls for understanding contemporary Puerto Rican literature through the lense of “Literature of Disaster,” this project poses a new way of understanding Hip-Hop post-Maria as a “Hip Hop of Disaster.’’ Through lyrical and production analysis, I will focus on Vladi’s most recent EP “Rápfagas,” analyzing his lyricism and production. I hope to convey how this EP proposes new futures for the role and possibilities of Puerto Rican Hip-Hop after Hurricane Maria.

Presenter: Regina Stasser de Gonzalez, Chemistry
The Use of Magnetometers to Search for Dark Matter

This experiment uses a group of highly sensitive atomic optical magnetometers located around the world in order to search for dark matter existing as a coherent field. If dark matter truly did exist in this form, it could create domain walls around the universe that the earth would eventually pass through. Our magnetometer works by processing potassium and helium atoms around the magnetic field inside the magnetometer’s cell. While domain walls would not cause a change in the magnetic field, passing through one would mimic that kind of change. Thus, by measuring the magnetic field around the world with the use of the various magnetometers, we would be able to detect the change if it occurred. The numerous detectors around the world allow for the ability to discount false signals due differences in local variations of the magnetic field. We are currently working in junction with other stations to upload data that will later be analyzed onto a group server located in Mainz, Germany.

Karisma Palmore, Flute Performance and Individual Major
Using Spectral Analysis to Inform Flute Playing

The purpose of this research is to investigate the effects of manipulation of the vocal tract on the harmonic spectra of the flute sound. Continuing my research from last year on the similarities of voice and the flute, to begin this project I examined the movement of the vocal tract when playing flute, which proved very similar to that of a vocalist while singing. This can be attributed to the changes in vowel shape which are noted in flute pedagogy as useful for changing timbre/tone color. My research studies just how much this movement affects the flute sound and how this data can be recorded. Through this research I have found that not only can this movement be analyzed, but it can affect the tone of a flute player, though it may not cause a great auditory difference to the untrained ear.

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