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NUS scholars hold inaugural Honours Research Conference

17 April 2012

Organisers and participants at the inaugural USP Honours Research Conference

NUS University Scholars Programme (USP) held its inaugural Honours Research Conference on 14 April at University Town to showcase its diversity of research and academic interests, particularly those of the final-year students. Twelve poster exhibits and six presentations gave expression to the undergraduate scholars' intellectual growth and maturity as they forged interdisciplinary connections at new levels.

Attended by students and faculty members, the conference brought its audience "From Past to Present" in the morning session. Keynote speaker Assoc Prof Barbara Ryan, an USP faculty staff, gave an engaging talk about the value and relevance of fan mail as contested data for developments in cultural history. This was followed by presentations by USP Honours students Isaac Tan (History + USP), Rebecca Tan (Political Science + USP) and Joel Tan (English Literature + USP) who spoke on "The Evolution of Eugenics Practices in Interwar Japan", "Framing Migrant Workers' Rights" and "Fat Studies", respectively.

In the afternoon, New Jin Rou (Statistics + USP), Tomithy Too (Computational Biology + USP) and Zheng Qingyu (Industrial and Systems Engineering + USP) steered the conference "From Present to Future". They focused on the potential applications of research in fields ranging from business to life sciences with the topics "Estimating Child Mortality", "User Interface Design for Protein Search Applications" and "Modeling Social Entrepreneurship".

Throughout the event, the presenters and audience had thought-provoking exchanges about the subjects discussed.

Initiated by USP undergraduates Haikel Lim, Jackie Tan Yen and Hannah Bull, the conference represented a platform where students could bring their work and ideas to the rest of the community. "We felt there weren't enough opportunities for NUS students to present their research," said Haikel. "We bring all the skills we have cultivated from the first-tier modules into our research, but no one actually gets to know about them. I think that sharing is important."

The team members hope the Honours Research Conference will become a yearly event that provides a collaborative space where the community can come together to support and learn from one another.

By University Scholars Programme