SciTech

Thought: A student research forum

You’ve been holed up inside the lab after classes all semester, working on your undergraduate research project. Wouldn’t it be nice to show your friends and parents what you’ve been doing? Wouldn’t it be nice to see your work published in a fancy journal?
Carnegie Mellon is well known for providing its undergrads with research opportunities, yet the only school venue for displaying student research is the annual Meeting of the Minds research symposium, held in late spring. Fortunately, a dedicated group of undergraduates are working hard to change this.
In short, they are creating a new journal called Thought, and they want to publish your research. Thought is the brainchild of Han Lee, a senior computer science major. He notes that while “Carnegie Mellon already has a thriving undergraduate research community, appearances would seem to indicate otherwise. There is no central icon of undergraduate research.”
Lee hopes to change this, and wants to “provide a central community … to showcase the best ideas and thoughts of CMU undergrads.” As chief director and editor of the journal, Lee has the difficult task of editing submissions, but he isn’t worried. “It’s not as big a task as I thought it would be: The people I work with are really good at what they do.”
Helping out is group of ten seniors and juniors. Managing editor Victoria Long, a senior social and decision sciences major, occupies the latter position and sees a bright future for the journal: “As we hope to be sponsored by companies as well as departments, we hope to reach more than just the undergraduates here at Carnegie. We’re a group of ambitious, creative individuals who really want to see this be successful.”
Funding comes both from Jennifer Church, Dean of Student Affairs, and Dr. Janet Stocks, who heads the Undergraduate Research Office and also serves as advisor to the team. Stocks says that she has been “hoping for several years that an undergraduate research journal would be initiated at Carnegie Mellon.”
While CMU students have attempted to create such a journal in the past, thorny issues involving intellectual property rights and the necessity of writing for a general audience have prevented them. But Stocks has faith in the new group of students, and has been “very impressed with [their] organizational skills and enthusiasm.”
In preparation for their inaugural issue, the staff of Thought is looking for submissions from undergraduate researchers. Stocks says that “submissions should be written for a general audience — not necessarily for people in the author’s field of study.” While Long admitted that “we have received a very limited number of research projects so far,” the staff hopes that submissions will allow them to publish Thought by early next semester.