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Committee on Research Schedules Open Meeting May 11

STANFORD -- The role of undergraduates in research will be the main topic of the annual open meeting of the Faculty Senate's Committee on Research on Thursday, May 11. Faculty, students and staff are invited to attend the session from 3:15 to 5 p.m. in Tresidder Union's Cypress Rooms.

Invited speakers include Laura Selznick, director of Undergraduate Research Opportunities; Craig Heller, associate dean of research and principal investigator of a major Hughes Foundation grant to support undergraduates in research; Brad Osgood, professor of mathematics and chair of the provost's Science Committee exploring a new science core curriculum for undergraduates; Tim Bresnahan, professor of economics; and an undergraduate researcher.

Robert Byer, professor of applied physics and chair of the Committee on Research, said undergraduate participation in research was one of the major issues to emerge from a 1992 faculty retreat on the future of research.

"Parents whose sons and daughters come to Stanford expect them to make an intellectual connection with some of the finest faculty members in the world," Byer said. "We do that in a number of ways, and one is through research projects. There is a high correlation between the undergraduates who participate in research and those who go on to an advanced degree.

"The question is, how does the faculty do this and balance our time? How do we balance teaching, research and professional responsibilities to our specialties and to the university, with the special responsibilities of including undergraduates in research projects? The students have the same question -- they have to balance the opportunity to do this special project with their responsibilities to their classes and their majors."

A second item on the agenda will be an open discussion on Stanford's secrecy in research policy. Byer said that in the coming year, the Committee on Research will undertake to update and re-write the policy, which has been modified three times since it was first established in 1969. Copies of the policy will be available at the meeting or can be obtained beforehand by calling Michelle Armstrong at 723-1655.


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