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#RoadtoBURS to highlight research ‘through the eyes of others’

Whether in mathematics or art, Belmont undergraduate students will be able to show their research “Through the Eyes of Others.”

The 24th annual Belmont Undergraduate Research Symposium begins today and continues through Tuesday in various classrooms on Belmont’s campus.

Several undergraduate departments are participating, and students will present projects that vary from academic research on vampires to Hollywood movie posters but are all connected to the theme of “Through the Eyes of Others.”

The BURS student research presentations kicks off with the math and computer science departments.

Annie Brunelle, a junior math and actuarial science double major, is among the participants tonight.

“My topic is a section of my honors thesis on Brownian Motion and Stochastic Calculus,” said Brunelle. “Basically I am looking at two models that incorporate randomness. It sounds straightforward, but it is actually pretty interesting because the random component throws everything for a loop.”

Tuesday is packed with presentations from departments ranging from philosophy to public relations.

Cassidy Conway, a senior art history major with a theatre minor, will be presenting a topic from art history, “The Meaning Behind Adelicia Acklen’s Copied Paintings at the Belmont Mansion,” a project she found inspiration from in her American art class.

Conway wants to find out why Acklen decided to purchase and display the many specific copies of her painting collection. During that time period, it was not as important to own the originals as it is today.

“I hope to offer some psychological explanations behind art collecting in America during the lifetime of Adelicia Acklen,” said Conway.

Other projects on Tuesday night cover a wide array of topics such as, “Kiss Me with those [Prepubescent] Red Lips: ‘Lolita’s’ Humbert Humbert as Stoker’s Vampire,” “I Just Don’t Have the Taste for It: How Taste Can Influence Likability of Faces and Distance Perception” and “Some Historical Roots of Violence in Modern-Day Africa.”

Tuesday night, keynote speaker, Dr. Bey-Ling Sha, a professor in the school of journalism and media studies at San Diego State University, will address, “Identity, Humanity and Divinity: Through the Eyes of Others,” in the Frist Lecture Hall at 5:30 p.m. for academic lecture convocation credit.

Social media will also play a role in BURS this year for both presenters and attendees. Presenters will be sharing their journey to BURS via the #RoadtoBURS.

BURS attendees can compete in a contest using #BURS2014 to share content and their experiences of the event.

Tower Creative, Belmont’s student-run public relations firm, has received donations of prizes to be given out to whomever captured the best content of the BURS event.

“Shared research, whether through an oral presentation or a published manuscript, provides a glimpse into the discovery process through the eyes of the one conducting the research,” said Kevin Trowbridge, the co-chair of the event and public relations professor. “No matter the methodology, historical, critical, quantitative or qualitative, research is a dominant way of establishing facts and reaching new conclusions.”

-Erin Lewis and Ashley Heyen 

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