Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

What You Missed at the Undergraduate Conference

Ah, the Undergraduate Conference: a momentous day of rigorous research, academic inquiry, startling results, salient questions and a free lunch. What could be better? The only problem with the Conference is that so much happens in one day, it is impossible to see it all (made more impossible by the confusing schedule). Fear not: I have composed a brief recap of some of the better-done and lesser-known events of the day, for your education and betterment.

“Static Image Hypnosis and Suggestibility” (poster) – This research from brilliant psychology student Sophie Merizer is nothing short of revolutionary. The poster, just a large spiral that seems to slowly rotate, is simply entrancing, and I was quickly enthralled by the pattern and by Miss Merizer’s voice, which told me to empty out my pockets and give her all my money and knick knacks. When I came to an hour later, she was nowhere to be found. No doubt on her way to publish more groundbreaking research.

“Researching Research, Understanding Undergraduates, and Conferring with Conferences” (panel) – The innovative speakers at this panel questioned the very nature of research: what it means, where it comes from, and how we place value in it. Truly this panel was nothing short of revelatory, leaving all five of us who attended with profound questions. It is true that the majority of those questions consisted of “what was that?” and “what was the point?” and “did I really just waste an hour on that?” But aren’t those the most research-worthy questions of all?

“Toots and the Flatulators” (musical performance) – Often overshadowed by their Chamber and Jazz counterparts, this unconventional orchestra uses no instruments other than their mouths and armpits to create fart noises. Confined to an Olin classroom, their music nevertheless proved sonorous, and thankfully odorless. Their rendition of “Clare de Lune” brought me to tears (and not from laughter).

Honorable mentions:

  • “Ants, an Abridged History (part 48: The Red Scare)”
  • “Bend it Like Sagittarius A*: Factoring General Relativistic Effects into International Football”
  • “Look to Your Left, Now Left, Now Left One More Time: Owl Anatomy Explained”
  • “Pigs and Emus: Legacies of Animal-Based Wars”
  • “Spork!”

I hope this has been useful to those of you forced to choose between these multiple compelling research presentations. And if you missed the Conference entirely, forgoing the work of your peers to frolic in the sun? Well, it’s alright, I won’t hold it against you. But you are going to hell.

Publisher’s note: There was no free lunch.  Only light refreshments. 

Editor-in-Chief’s note: There was free lunch, if you liked jazz (and got there in the nick of time). 

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