Fall 2020 Virtual Conferences

Professional development activities represent an important component of KGSP students’ academic journey each year. These short-term activities provide invaluable real-world, resume-building experience in the material they are studying as undergraduates, broaden their awareness of current research and initiatives, and offer extensive networking opportunities. Conference attendance is one of the more popular choices of enrichment activities students choose to pursue throughout the year. Hosted by renowned universities, academic associations, and professional organizations, conferences offer students an opportunity to participate in meaningful exchange outside of a classroom setting, and to see the theoretical knowledge of their discipline rendered into practical application.

As conference attendees, KGSP students learn directly from leading scientists, researchers, and industry experts, and explore their field’s latest cutting-edge breakthroughs. This creates an opportunity for students to expand their own skillsets, exchange ideas, and seek professional mentorship, as well as network with peers interested in similar topics—undergraduates and young professionals who will soon form the next generation of STEM thought leaders.  Such networking is not only inspiring, but often leads to pathways for joint research collaboration, internships, or future career prospects.

To ensure students have access to such opportunities, the KGSP curates a bi-annual list of top conferences for students to consider attending, the cost of which is fully funded by the Program. This Fall, most conferences have needed to convert into a virtual format. While admittedly a different type of experience, virtual conferences are not without benefit—they offer greater flexibility for students to attend many sessions, view recorded presentations, and communicate with presenters and speakers through online platforms – all while still successfully managing their classes and coursework.

This fall, KGSP students have attended (or soon will) virtual conferences including The Association for Computing Machinery’s 26th SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, the 73rd Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics, the ASME’s Robotics for Inspection and Maintenance, IEEE’s Third International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Knowledge Engineering, and IEEE’s Physical Assurance and Inspection of Electronics.

Student feedback confirms that the research presented in the conferences they have attended corresponds with subject matter from their university classes, augmenting the relevance and applicability of their coursework and furthering their own academic and career prospects as top undergraduates.