Steinmetz Symposium a celebration of scholarly and artistic pursuits
Ali Khan ’22 started working on a project last summer to help visually impaired people cross the road.
Khan helped develop an iOS app that alerts the user via vibration notification when approaching a crosswalk. Using the phone’s built-in camera and an offline image processing model, the app also lets the user know via audio when it’s safe to cross by detecting traffic lights.
On Friday morning, Khan shared his research in a classroom at the Integrated Science and Engineering Complex.
“It was fun. I was looking forward to it,” said Khan, a computer engineering student with a math minor from Queens, NY. President of Union’s Robotics Club, Khan is starting work as a software engineer at JPMorgan Chase after graduating next month.
Khan was among hundreds of students, faculty and parents who fanned out across campus to celebrate undergraduate research and creativity as part of the 32nd Annual Steinmetz Symposium.
It was the first time since 2019 that the event was held in person after the pandemic forced the affair to go virtual for the past two years.
The day-long event included a diverse range of oral presentations, poster sessions and exhibitions showcasing student research as well as dance and music performances, an art exhibition and more. activities.
In keeping with tradition, classes have been canceled for the day to allow faculty, staff, students and visiting parents to sample projects in all areas – arts, humanities, social sciences, science and engineering.
A number of presentations touched on familiar themes, including race, power and privilege; risk of not succeeding; and COVID.
In a classroom in the basement of Lippman Hall, Margaret Hayes ’22 explained how the working hours of different groups have been affected during the pandemic by gender, marital status and parental status.
Working with her adviser, Younghwan Song, an economics professor, Hayes found that working hours dropped the most for married moms who didn’t work from home. The reason, she discovered, was increased childcare needs as their spouses continued to work their usual hours.
An economics student from West Sand Lake, NY, Hayes chose COVID as the central topic because “it was a historic event and I wanted to see how it affected different demographic groups.”
In the afternoon, 62 students performed on a stage built at Viniar Athletic Center at the annual Lothridge Dance Festival. The nearly hour-long show featured an array of dance styles featuring choreography from the Winter Dance Concert by Dance Program Director Miryam Moutillet and Assistant Dance Director Laurie Zabele Cawley. Student choreographers included Adenike Hickson ’22, Mary Melo ’22, Michela Michielli ’22, Dharshini Suresh ’22 and Zoe Watson ’23.
Also, African Dance Club, Bhangra Union and Hip-Hop and Union College Dance Team performed.
After the show, the Drama and Dance Department presented the Edward Villella Dance Fellowship to Zoe Watson ’22. She will continue her classical dance studies at the Boston Ballet.
The Steinmetz Symposium Student Art Exhibit filled the Crowell and West Galleries of the Feigenbaum Center for Visual Arts with 137 works by 79 students from a wide variety of disciplines and all grade levels. Mediums included digital art, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.
The day ended with a concert by the Union College Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Professor Tim Olsen, in Emerson Auditorium at the Taylor Music Center.
The Steinmetz Symposium is named after Charles Proteus Steinmetz (1865-1923), who taught electrical engineering and applied physics at Union. Also chief consulting engineer for the General Electric Company, he was widely regarded as America’s foremost electrical engineer.
The symposium coincides with Award Day, which begins at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Memorial Chapel. Students are honored for their academic achievements and leadership.
Among the major awards given are the Josephine Daggett Award to the elder for conduct and character and the Frank Bailey Award (1885) to the elder who has rendered the greatest service to the College in any field.