March 2018

Another Year with the Student Research Week teaser image
This is my fourth year at A&M, and my fourth time participating in the Student Research Week (SRW). Believe it or not, our SRW, which started 21 years ago, is now the largest student-run conference in the entire nation. When many students are very much in need of a friendly occasion to try out their presentation skills, students at A&M can register every spring for this event, walk to the conference venue in a couple of minutes, participate, and win awards for presenting their research. How cool is that? If you have never heard of SRW, or you are still hesitating about taking part in it, let me walk you through some awesome benefits that you can get at SRW.
 
As a presenter/competitor, you can register under ten different subject areas (the one that best fits your research topic, not necessarily your major/department) and two different formats (oral and poster), either as an individual presenter or as a group. Sessions are arranged in a way very similar to a conference setting: 12 minutes for oral presentation, and 10 minutes for poster presentation. Judge and feedback forms will be posted online before the event, so you can prepare your presentations according to the rubric. If you have a conference coming up, SRW is a great chance to present your initial ideas and get feedback from both content experts and lay audience. SRW has subject area awards and special awards every year for the highest scoring presentations. Why not win some extra money to support your research?
 
If you are willing to help your fellow Aggies with their research, sign up to be a judge for SRW! Both undergraduate and graduate students can sign up to serve as a topic judge or a layman judge (although a topic judge must have already earned the degree for the degree level of the student they are judging). You will get the experience to evaluate student presentations and provide valuable feedbacks!
 
SRW also rely heavily on volunteers (after all, it’s a student-run event). They take both individual volunteers and student organizations (the organization with the largest involvement will win a special SRW prize!). Schedule for volunteering is pretty flexible, and volunteers will have the chance to network with faculty, sponsors, and fellow students.
 
If you are interested in get involved in the planning process of SRW, there will be a call for committee members every fall. Through serving on the committee, you will get extensive leadership experience, and will be able to organize an event at such a magnificent scale (SRW had 800+ competitors this year). Look out for the campus email about how to join the planning committee and make this fabulous week happen!

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Mingqian Liu | Architecture
Mingqian Liu is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Architecture

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