April 2022

COLLEGEADMISSIONS.UCHICAGO.EDU Snapshots of Life on Campus: Research Experiences At the University of Chicago, students engage with ideas both inside and outside of the classroom. UChicago sponsors a wealth of undergraduate research opportunities in programs ranging from economics and cinema studies to astrophysics and sociology. You can join the Institute of Politics to nurture your passion for public service or work in the Media Arts, Data, and Design Center (MADD Center) to experiment in the transdisciplinary crossroads between art, performance, design, gaming, virtual reality, and computing. Over 160 institutes and centers provide a home for true innovation. Check out some of our student bloggers’ research experiences! EXPLORE WHO YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU WANT TO BE! Going Beyond the Core: Experiences with Electives at UChicago If you’ve heard about academics at UChicago then you’ve probably heard about our liberal arts Core Curriculum. The Core curriculum accounts for the first third of a student ’s time in the College. But what about the electives which make up another third of a student ’s time in the College? How do students select their electives and what do they take away from them? Read the experiences and perspectives of our student bloggers as they navigate classes beyond the Core curriculum. Christina P. | Major: Molecular Engineering “Coming to UChicago I learned a couple things. First, lots of grad students and professors appreciate having undergrads help them with their work, so it’s true that you can always find open research positions! Secondly, it’s also possible to make money while working in research, whether that’s through your lab, UChicago’s Metcalf Grants, or outside grants. I decided to get involved in research during my second year of college. As a Molecular Engineering major, I knew that I wanted to join a Molecular Engineering lab. I ultimately… joined the Amanchukwu Lab as an undergraduate researcher! After going through training, my PI (principal investigator) gave me the responsibility of taking on my own project! The work I’m doing involves the design of immiscible electrolytes for lithiumbased batteries. I am now designing my own procedures and collecting data with the goal of publication!” Kate F. | Major: Psychology “I knew I wanted to get involved in research when I came to the College. I always wondered if it was possible for a first year to be involved in research, and, if it were possible, how I would even find a position. Through Handshake— our online jobs and internship database—I found a research position with the Thirty Million Words Initiative, applied, and got the position! The Thirty Million Words Initiative is a lab in the hospital that researches and works to close the literacy gap that can grow within the first three years a child’s life. As a research assistant in the hospital, I am able to transcribe and do morphology and behavioral coding for the longitudinal Thirty Million Words study. As I wander the halls of the hospital to get to the lab, I often see other undergraduates who, too, have research positions. Regardless of your major or interests, research is possible for all here at the University of Chicago!” Liam K. “I took a really unique class this past winter. It was called the ‘Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics.’ To provide a little background, I was interested in pursuing a physics major before I came to college. When I heard that the philosophy department was offering a class dealing with one of the most exciting, yet puzzling, areas of physics, I knew I had to take it. UChicago’s liberal arts educational philosophy means that one of the core tenets of education is the general enrichment of one’s mind and soul. And the starting point for this intellectual journey often comes in the form of curiosity and wonder… The quantum mechanics course was my experience of wonder. We started with some simple questions about quantum theory. I discussed and reflected on various philosophical ideas that sought to understand the very reality of physical nature. Then, after a quarter of studying, writing, and debating, I had even more to wonder about. This time, however, the questions were more nuanced, more cutting, and more illuminating. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity to think deeply and freely about such an interesting topic.” Kenna C. “At UChicago, Visual Art majors don’t have to choose a specialization, so I’ve had the opportunity to take various types of studio classes—including everything from Printmaking and 16mm Filmmaking to Metamedia Design and Data and Algorithms in Art.” “[When I chose the] “Sound/Image Mapping” class, I had no idea what to expect, but I was intrigued by the course name. Throughout the quarter, my professor showed us many video art and film clips that demonstrated surprising interactions between sounds and visual images. We learned about Foley artists (people who create sound effects for films and videos during post-production) and watched VR examples. We then created our own projects using coding and digital art tools. My favorite project was the final: I paired up with a classmate who’s a skilled violinist and together we developed a creepy, Tim Burton-inspired animation that interacted with the sound input from his violin.” Visit the Uncommon Blog to learn more about the perspectives of our student bloggers as as they navigate classes and research opportunities at UChicago.