Proving the “Proof”: Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Positively Impacts Students

  • M. L. Crowe
  • J. Rychtář
  • O. Rueppell
  • M. Chhetri
  • D. L. Remington
  • S. N. Gupta
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Mathematics & Statistics book series (PROMS, volume 64)


The math biology program at UNCG has been running since 2006 when we first received the funding from NSF. Every year, we provided integrated research projects at the interface of biology and mathematics to eight UNCG undergraduate students who worked in interdisciplinary teams. Up to date, our project resulted in 32 peer-reviewed publications and over 200 presentations; this demonstrates the extent to which undergraduate research can produce genuine scientific advancement. Moreover, our program also prepared UNCG students for rigorous interdisciplinary graduate studies and career opportunities and set them on a path toward productive careers as twenty-one century scientists and educators. We hope our experience will motivate and encourage others to pursue similar efforts.


Faculty Member Student Participant Undergraduate Research Stem Education Interdisciplinary Research Project 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant numbers DMS 0634182 and DBI 0926288. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


  1. 1.
    Alexander, B.B., Foertsch, J., Daffinrud, S., Tapia, R.: The spend a summer with a scientist (sas) program at rice university: a study of program outcomes and essential elements, 1991–1997. CUR Q. 20(3), 127–133 (2000)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barker, W., Bressoud, D., Epp, S., Ganter S., Haver B., Pollatsek, H.: Undergraduate Programs and Courses in the Mathematical Sciences: CUPM Curriculum Guide. ERIC (2004)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Barratt, N.M.: Field botanist for a day: a group exercise for the introductory botany lab. Am. Biol. Teach. 66(5), 361–362 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bauer, K.W., Bennett, J.S.: Alumni perceptions used to assess undergraduate research experience. J. High. Educ. 74(2), 210–230 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Campbell, A., Skoog, G.: Preparing undergraduate women for science careers: facilitating success in professional research. J. Coll. Sci. Teach. 33(5), 24–26 (2004)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chandra, U., Stoecklin, S., Harmon, M.: A successful model for introducing research in an undergraduate program. J. Coll. Sci. Teach. 28, 113–116 (1998)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ganter, S.: Creating networks as vehicles for change. In: Steen, L.A., Madison, B.L. (eds.) The Future of Quantitative Literacy. National Council on Education and the Disciplines, Princeton (2003)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hakim, T.: Soft assessment of undergraduate research: reactions and student perceptions. Counc. Undergrad. Res. Q. 18, 189–192 (1998)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hathaway, R.S., Nagda, B.R.A., Gregerman, S.R.: The relationship of undergraduate research participation to graduate and professional education pursuit: An empirical study. J. Coll. Stud. Dev. 43(5), 614–631 (2002)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hippel, W., Lerner, J.S., Gregerman, S.R., Nagda, B.A., Jonides, J.: Undergraduate student-faculty research partnerships affect student retention. Rev. High. Educ. 22(1), 55–72 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Houlden, R.L., Raja, J.B., Collier, C.P., Clark, A.F., Waugh, J.M.: Medical students’ perceptions of an undergraduate research elective. Med. Teach. 26(7), 659–661 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ishiyama, J.: Undergraduate research and the success of first-generation, low-income college students. Counc. Undergrad. Res. Q. 22(1), 36–41 (2001)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ishiyama, J.: Does early participation in undergraduate research benefit social science and humanities students? Coll. Stud. J. 36(3), 381–387 (2002)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Johnson, D.W., Johnson, R.T., Smith, K.A.: Active Learning: Cooperation in the College Classroom. Interactive Book Company, Edina (1998)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kardash, C.A.M.: Evaluation of undergraduate research experience: perceptions of undergraduate interns and their faculty mentors. J. Educ. Psychol. 92(1), 191 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kremer, J.F., Bringle, R.G.: The effects of an intensive research experience on the careers of talented undergraduates. J. Res. Dev. Educ. 24(1), 1–5 (1990)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lopatto, D.: Survey of undergraduate research experiences (sure): first findings. Cell Biol. Educ. 3(4), 270–277 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lord, T.R. 101 reasons for using cooperative learning in biology teaching. Am. Biol. Teach. 63(1), 30–38 (2001)MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nnadozie, E., Ishiyama, J.T., Chon, J.: Undergraduate research internships and graduate school success. Journal of College Student Development 42, 145–156 (2001)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Seymour, E., Hunter, A.B., Laursen, S.L., DeAntoni, T.: Establishing the benefits of research experiences for undergraduates in the sciences: first findings from a three-year study. Sci. Educ. 88(4), 493–534 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Tenney, A., Houck, B.: Learning about leadership: team learning’s effect on peer leaders. J. Coll. Sci. Teach. 33(6), 25–29 (2004)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. L. Crowe
    • 1
  • J. Rychtář
    • 2
  • O. Rueppell
    • 3
  • M. Chhetri
    • 2
  • D. L. Remington
    • 3
  • S. N. Gupta
    • 2
  1. 1.Associate Provost of Experiential EducationFlorida Southern CollegeLakelandUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsThe University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyThe University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA

Personalised recommendations