Conference for Careers and Undergraduate Research in the Natural Sciences

Attention STEM Majors...

Conference for Careers and Undergraduate Research in the Natural Sciences (CCURNS)

Saturday, April 16, 2016
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


Purpose of the Conference:

  • Promote insight into various career areas
  • Gain information about graduate/professional school planning
  • Network with professionals in STEM-related fields
  • Celebrate undergraduate research

The conference is also intended to be an opportunity for beginning researchers to gain a better understanding of areas undergraduate students are examining, as well as to exchange ideas with others in their field of interest. The environment will provide a comfortable forum in which to present research results, while obtaining advice and suggestions from their peers and mentors.  The day will include: keynote, panel discussions, workshops, research presentations, and a networking lunch.    



"My Computer Dreams of Triangles"

John Burkardt, Research Scientist
Department of Scientific Computing, Florida State University

Brief Biography: John Burkardt graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Mathematics.  Since then, he has worked at Bell Helicopter, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, Virginia Tech, Iowa State, and Florida State.  His job titles have included software engineer, program librarian, biomedical support programmer, research associate, computer lab director.  He has taught classes on calculus, algorithms, C and C++ programming, computational fluid flow, and scientific communication.

He maintains an extensive website of programs and data at:

Five embarrassing facts:
- he dropped his first computer class (which used IBM punch cards) because he couldn't get his program to run;
- he didn't know there was such a thing as graduate school;
- he lost his graduate scholarship because he decided not to show up for the preliminary exams;
- he ran out the clock (10 years) on his PhD, and then was persuaded to try all over again;
- he got his helicopter company boss in trouble when he decided that, instead of patching a program, he would rewrite it from scratch, keeping a factory waiting for weeks for his results.


Conference Agenda


Registration for the Conference

Registration will open in late January.  The Conference will be held at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg on Saturday, April 16, 2016.  There is a minimal fee of $5 for all Pitt-Greensburg students, which will be paid the day of the event.  (Pitt-Greensburg students may substitute the registration fee by using their meal plan for the event's lunch.  This option is included in your registration.)  Attendees from institutions in the region will be charged $10.  We require registration for all attendees.  Registration is open to students and faculty.

Click Here to Register

The deadline to register is Wednesday, April 6, 2016.



Undergraduate students (Freshmen – Senior) representing STEM-related majors from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg and area institutions are welcome to attend.  Faculty and staff with STEM-related backgrounds and focus areas are also invited to attend. We ask that all participants register online.

Faculty Session

We invite faculty of STEM-related majors to take part in an afternoon round-table discussion on the following topic: Best Practices for Teaching STEM Undergraduate Students in the 21st Century.

Call for Papers

The Conference for Careers and Undergraduate Research in the Natural Sciences is a one-day conference. Career-related workshops and panels, as well as 10 minute talks by students will be featured throughout the day. Undergraduate students at all levels in Science and Math-related fields are invited to discuss their work.

We invite undergraduates to submit the Title and Content Area of their presentation!  The deadline for submission is March 18, 2016.  Following this date, you will receive an email if you have been accepted to present.  We ask that each presenter have a faculty sponsor.  Students who wish to present should submit the title, content/subject area, and the sponsor's name during the time of online registration. When making a submission, please include any request for special equipment.

Paper Sessions

In a paper session, the presider introduces the presenters and monitors the time used for each presentation. Due to the number of presentations, all papers will be allotted 10 minutes for presentation and questions. The presider and audience will use any time remaining in the session for additional discussion, general review, and suggestions for further research. The overall length of the paper sessions may vary based on the number of papers assigned to that session, but each paper within a particular session will observe the 10-minute presentation guideline.


Guidelines for Meeting Presenters

  • Go to the designated room at least 15 minutes early.
  • Greet the presider/discussant.
  • CCURNS provides the LCD, laptop and screen in each presentation room. Have your presentation on a USB flash drive, preferably as a pdf.
  • Check your understanding of the LCD projector operation and any other audiovisual equipment prior to the session.
  • Keep presentation within the designated time limit.
  • Invite audience comments and questions.

Helpful Hints: Please make your presentation easily viewable and understandable with the appropriate amount of content to fit the 10 minute timeframe. The presentation should give the audience some insight into your topic and its key aspects/ideas.


Interactive Poster Sessions

If you are giving a poster presentation, please indicate that method during registration. This format offers presenters the opportunity to display their work graphically in a traditional poster session format. Posters should fit on the 48” (long) x 36” (high) tri-fold boards provided and should include a brief abstract (no more than 250 words) in large typescript. Refer to Figure 1 for the poster format and maximum dimensions.  Clips will be provided to clip a printed poster to the board.  Audience members will have approximately 50 minutes to circulate throughout the room to view the posters and interact with the presenters. Each presenter must set up the display prior to the start of the session and then remove it promptly at the end of the session. Each presenter is expected to be present with their poster.

Poster presenters are responsible for covering the cost of poster printing, either through appropriate funding from their own resources, research advisors, institutions, or other means of support.


Conference Sponsors
   Student Organizations
• Environmental Club – Advisor Tim Savisky
• Math Club – Advisor Gary Hart
• Rho Theta Chapter (of Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honor Society)- Advisor Mark Stauffer
• Science Club- Advisor Kerry Holzworth
• Tri-Beta (Biology Honor Society) – Advisor Diane Cheek
    Office of Academic Affairs
    Office of Career Services
    Pitt-Greensburg Division of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering
    Student Government Association


Please check back for details!