The fifth annual Harker Research Symposium filled the Nichols Center on the Saratoga Campus on Saturday, April 10. Entitled “Technology for Life”, the event provided a venue for students in grades 6-12 to showcase their year-long research projects. Equally important was the opportunity to share ideas with other students, hear from alumni doing research in a variety of fields, interface with keynote speakers, and discuss practical applications and careers with sponsors.
The day featured breakout sessions where students presented projects ranging from a novel method of typing human blood to understanding the English language through probabilistic modeling. Students who prepared poster presentations were available throughout the day to discuss their exhibits.
The symposium welcomed alumni presenters Jennifer Ong ’07, plus Richard Kwant ’07 and Brian Ma ‘08 via video conference. Currently a junior at the University of California, San Diego, Ong is the new Chief Operations Officer for The Triple Helix, a non-profit whose publications feature writings of undergraduate students worldwide.
Kwant is a junior at Harvard where his work involves the crystallization of proteins to better understand their structure and mechanisms. A bioengineering major at the California Institute of Technology, Ma’s interest in regeneration and cloning led to a summer research project which he presented at the symposium.
Keynote speakers included Dr. William McClure and Dr. Christopher Gilbert. Dr. McClure is a partner in Napa Valley Plastic Surgery, Inc., and a recognized expert in cosmetic surgery and noted humanitarian for his work with children.
Dr. Gilbert is Vice President of Science and Technology at Keystone Dental, Inc. A graduate in materials science from University of California, Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Gilbert has melded science and business, holding positions in mergers and acquisitions, consulting, and research.
Corporate sponsors were Covidien Surgical, East Bay Cardiovascular and Thoracic Asssociates, Dr. Ray Engstrom, Ethicon, Hunter Labs, Medtronic Cardiovascular, The Triple Helix, and HSBC.