Undergraduate students present their research at the Fall Frontiers exhibition

Graphic retrieved from UConnOffice of Undergraduate Research website.

On Monday night the University of Connecticut invited students to join the undergraduate research community for the Fall Frontiers exhibition. The exhibition gave undergraduate students the opportunity to present their research and final conclusions.  

Jacob Krucinski, a first-semester computer science and engineering major, conducted his research on machine learning for missile streak tracking. His research works to detect and intercept missiles, which is vital for national security.  

“This research is obviously important because it plays a key role in national security,” he said. “It’s vital for nations to be able to detect and intercept these incoming missiles, while also being able to be applied to many other areas of study.”  

Krucinski first began his research after he took a course in high school called Advanced Research Mentorship, which included him beginning a mentorship at UConn. Him and his mentor discussed possible research options, and eventually ended up on machine learning. Krucinski had no specific interest; he simply knew he wanted to learn something new.  

“My mentor taught me everything I know, from square one to where I am now. I realized that machine learning is not as intimidating as it seems to be, and it’s what I hope to pursue as a career path,” he said.  

Sarah Platt, a fifth-semester biological sciences major, conducted her research in Madison, Connecticut. She focused on uniting her community through gardening, specifically by making it intergenerational.  

“My main goal was to bridge generational gaps in my community”

“My main goal was to bridge generational gaps in my community,” she said. “There are a lot of older people in my town who are isolated from these smaller communities that are spread throughout the town.”  

When the pandemic hit, Platt had to make major adjustments regarding her gardening program. She was able to team up with an undergraduate student who helped her build a donation website, which ended up being very effective.  

While her plan was to initially plant the garden in the senior center, it ended up at her middle school. She cultivated it during the summer, and students who attended the school in the fall harvested the produce. Platt believes Madison was the perfect location for her garden.  

“Madison, my hometown, is actually very interested in food and growing locally, so it wasn’t too difficult to find people who wanted to participate”

“Madison, my hometown, is actually very interested in food and growing locally, so it wasn’t too difficult to find people who wanted to participate,” she said.  

Along with Platt and Krucinski, seventh-semester natural resources major Annika Benedetti presented on the effects of an increased density testament on tadpole development during frog virus 3 epidemics. Caroline Herbet, a seventh-semester speech, language and hearing sciences and cognitive science major, presented her research on the effects of language experience on spontaneous counting as an argumentative tool for mapping, and seventh-semester cognitive science major Calli Smith presented on the effects of presentation contrast and response hand on phoneme perception. 

The Fall Frontiers exhibition takes place in both the spring and fall, however it is now moved online for the time being. According to the undergraduate research website, “Fall Frontiers is part of the Month of Discovery, a series of impactful and informative events designed to connect undergraduates to the opportunities they seek in enrichment, research, innovation, and creativity.”  

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