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April 11, 2011

CCNY Hosts “Einsteins” International Student Research Conference

Einsteins in the City logo 


The City College of New York will host “Einsteins in the City 2011,” an international conference of top student researchers, April 13 through 15, in the Great Hall of Shepard Hall, 160 Convent Ave., New York. The theme for the event, “Transcending Boundaries; Communicating Across Disciplines,” promotes interdisciplinary cooperation in research and the cross-cultural exchange of ideas.

"What we are hoping to do with this conference is promote the culture of true cross-disciplinary and global communication among scholars,” commented Dr. Maria Tamargo, chair of the conference organizing committee and CCNY chemistry professor.  “I think that students are able to do this better than more experienced researchers, since they are not entrenched in habit. We hope that all of us can then learn from the experience."

Approximately 230 students, from undergraduates to PhD candidates, will present the findings of their multidisciplinary research in the sciences, engineering, social science, architecture, humanities, the arts and education.  The students hail from several City University of New York (CUNY) colleges, seven other U.S. institutions and three universities in Austria.  

The students will present their research during two poster sessions Thursday, April 14. Five of the students have been invited to give oral presentations that same day.

In addition, three plenary sessions will feature distinguished speakers representing interdisciplinary research in the humanities and sciences. Dr. Roberta Maierhofer, Vice Rector for International Relations and an associate university professor at Graz University, who studies and teaches American literature and cultural history, gerontology and female literature, will speak in the morning on April 14.

The afternoon plenary session will feature Dr. Rob DeSalle, curator in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History.  Dr. DeSalle studies gene family relationships and comparative genomics among microbial communities.  He also helps to conserve wildlife as a founder of the museum’s Conservation Genetics Program.

Dr. Charles J. Vörösmarty, professor of civil engineering in the Grove School of Engineering at CCNY and a distinguished scientist with the NOAA-Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center, will speak during the final plenary session on the morning of April 15. Dr. Vörösmarty studies the interactions among the water cycle, climate, biogeochemistry and human activities using computer modeling to examine local to global-scale changes in river systems and the water cycle.

Conference participants will also be able to attend activities associated with NOAA-CREST Day, another event on the City College campus presented by NOAA-Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center on Friday, April 15.

City College President Lisa Staiano-Coico, CUNY Vice Chancellor for Research Gillian Small and Dr. Neville Parker, director of the NYC Louis Stokes Alliance, will offer welcoming remarks.

The Einsteins conference series began 2005 to commemorate Albert Einstein’s five seminal publications, in 1905. It also celebrated his first speaking tour of the United States, which began on the City College campus. Now the fifth in a series, the conference alternates between CCNY and Vienna University of Technology, where it is called the Junior Scientists Conference.

This year’s event will also highlight its rich cultural composition by partnering with the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Urban Universities Conference Series.

On the Web:
•     Einsteins in the City site