Thoughts on undergraduate research
True understanding of the academic disciplines and professions on which the modern university is based requires understanding of the methods those disciplines or professions use to generate and evaluate knowledge. For Rutgers undergraduates, undergraduate research is the gateway to developing an understanding of how knowledge is created. It is the means through which advanced understanding of a discipline or profession can be derived.
Scientific literature on learning tells us that "hands-on" experiences enhance the acquisition of new information and skills. Through an undergraduate research experience, Rutgers students go beyond reading and hearing about the process of discovery in their courses, to engaging in it and experiencing it for themselves. The results can be seen in this volume of undergraduate student work in which students, alongside their faculty mentors, tackle scholarly and scientific issues with the hope of advancing knowledge and improving individual lives and society.
Susan G. Forman
With this, the 6th publication of the Rutgers Scholar, I step down as editor. It has been fun and interesting to work on "articles" from disciplines not my own, articles that have run the gamut of formats from traditional plaintext to video and audio clips. I like to think that the process of creating the articles has been useful for both the Rutgers Undergraduate Research Fellows who were the authors, and for unknown surfers of the web, who came to the Rutgers Scholar searching for information or were just browsing through.
I would like to thank all those who have supported the production of the journal and especially Susan Forman, our former Vice President for Undergraduate Education and Sam McDonald, who has been our web editor for the last two years.