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April 16, 2011

 

Students, faculty show off their research

15th annual Scholars’ Day at SUNY Cortland covers wide spectrum of academic work

By MATTHEW NOJIRI
Staff Reporter
mnojiri@cortlandstandard.news.net

SUNY Cortland junior Kim Pereira pedaled a bicycle fast enough to illuminate three light bulbs during a demonstration Friday at SUNY Cortland.
Pereira was one of about five students involved in the “Human Power Project,” a three-university research collaboration designed to harness the energy exercisers produce while using campus fitness equipment at the Tomik fitness center.
The hope for the project is to take the energy produced by the exercisers and convert it into electrical energy that will lower SUNY Cortland’s campus energy needs and help community members with their energy bills.
The group showed their work during the 15th annual Scholars’ Day, which involves a series of presentations highlighting faculty, staff and student scholarship and research at SUNY Cortland.
The event showed about 90 different presentations and poster sessions offered by hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students and more than 50 faculty and staff members.
Faculty and students from SUNY Cortland and Brockport, as well as SUNY Binghamton are working on the energy project.
SUNY Binghamton graduate student Joseph Cipollina is an electrical engineer involved with the project. He said he was excited about the prospects of taking energy from exercisers and using it to help the community.
The group is looking for about $75,000 in funding to retrofit SUNY Cortland fitness equipment, such as exercise bicycles, with electronic equipment that will essentially convert gym-goers exercise into electrical energy.
“It’s been really interesting,” said Alyssa George, a SUNY Cortland senior who has been involved in the project. “It feels good to do something that can help the campus and the community.”
The wide range of topics discussed on Scholars’ Day included sustainable heating at SUNY Cortland using biomass and geothermal energy, human trafficking and garage sales.
SUNY Cortland sophomore Elijah Cedeno discussed research he did this semester about false memory, or recalling an event differently than how it occurred.
Cedeno said professors at SUNY Cortland are well-known for giving students opportunities to do research.
Cedeno said he learned through research that people sometimes have memories of events that did not actually occur. False memory is a pertinent issue when it comes to court cases where people are either convicted or exonerated based on eye-witness testimony, Cedeno said.
“I learned how tricky the mind is,” Cedeno said of his false memory research.
SUNY Cortland graduate James T. Costa, an entomologist and author, delivered the keynote address during the event.
Junior speech pathology major Alyssa Tyson attended Scholars’ Day with a few friends and as part of a requirement for a psychology class.
She said she enjoyed learning about the different research her peers have done.
“I liked presentations on false memory and graduate school,” Tyson said.

 

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