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2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Physical Sciences, Math, and Computer Science

About the Symposium   Click here for a PDF of the 2017 program

The Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Computer Science will be Friday-Saturday November 3-4, 2017 at the University of Chicago. The purpose of the Symposium is to provide undergraduates from the physical sciences, math, and computer science fields with a venue to present their research projects and results to peers and faculty in a professional setting outside of their home institution.  Students are welcome to present on topics including computer science, engineering, environmental science, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, mathematics, statistics, geology, astronomy and other physical science and/or math-related disciplines.  This conference is open only to students and faculty from colleges and universities that are members of the Midstates Consortium for Math and Science. Costs for participants including transportation, lodging, and meals will be covered by the Consortium.

All symposium participants are invited to attend the Graduate School Exploration and Preparation Seminar on Friday, November 3 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, hosted in the Eckhardt Research Center on the University of Chicago campus. Panels of University faculty and graduate students will cover key questions to consider throughout the graduate school application process, including items such as fellowships, structuring your undergraduate career, and other topics that come up during the admission process. If you are considering an M.S. or a Ph.D. in a physical or mathematical sciences field, we strongly recommend you attend this program. For information and to register for the Grad School Seminar so they can plan accordingly (this is separate from the Symposium registration), please click here.

The Symposium will begin Friday after the Graduate School Seminar with dinner and the Janet Andersen Award Keynote Lecture.  There will be oral and poster presentations Saturday morning and afternoon, and the conference will conclude at 5 pm on Saturday. Oral presentations are scheduled at 15-minute intervals, allowing 12 minutes for the presentation and 3 minutes for questions. Poster presentations allow participants to display their experimental results on a tack board panel. Lodging will be arranged for you and provided by the Consortium at the Hyatt Place Chicago-South/University Medical Center (5225 South Harper Avenue, Chicago, IL 60615, phone: 773-752-5300,  Please contact your campus Midstates representative regarding arrangments for group travel of participants from your home institution. 


2017 Midstates Undergraduate Research Symposium Registration Timeline

  • August 21, 2017 Online Abstract Submissions & Registration Opens (see link below)
  • Sept. 29, 2017 Abstract Submission & Registration Deadline, both meetings
  • Sept. 30-Oct 8, 2017 Review of Submissions
  • Oct. 9, 2017 Notification of Decision on Abstracts, Lodging & Travel
  • Nov 3-4, 2017 Physical Sciences Symposium - University of Chicago
  • Nov 10-11, 2017 Biological Sciences Symposium - Washington University St. Louis

The registration deadline for both meetings is Friday, September 29, 2017.  It is important that EVERYONE presenting or co-presenting register. Listing co-presenters on the abstract DOES NOT automatically register them.  Please read the abstract guidelines below before registering. Faculty members also need to register using the same form -- just leave blank any irrelevant fields. If you have not been notified of your participation by October 9, or if you have other questions at any time, you may contact Dr. Michael Seymour at

Abstract guidelines

  • Title: 15 word limit, no special characters except Greek letters and punctuation. Firstword and proper noun capitalization only.
  • Abstract: 200 word limit. No figures, tables, or references. Avoid special characters other than Greek letters if possible - please put a note in your registration if a special character is required.
  • Author/presenter/advisor names: Full first (given) name followed by last (family) name. Middle names/initials optional. No titles (Dr., Prof.), no degrees (Ph.D., M.D.). Other suffixes OK (III, Jr.)


Click here for the online registration form


The 2017 Janet Andersen Award Keynote Lecture

Dr. Thomas Varberg, DeWitt Wallace Professor of Chemistry, Macalester College

For more information: 

Hosts at the University of Chicago

  • Dr. Michael Stein,
  • Susan Rueth,