Research Students Present at the Undergraduate Research Symposium for Physical Sciences, Math, and Computer Science Posted on December 9th, 2022 by


This November, a group of Gustavus students presented their research at the Midstates Consortium for Math and Sciences. The 2022 Undergraduate Research Symposium focused on Physical Sciences, Math, and Computer Science and was hosted by Washington University in St. Louis.

Founded in 1988, the Midstates Consortium for Mathematics and Science was created by the Pew Charitable Trusts. The Consortium looks to improve undergraduates from the physical sciences, math, and computer sciences education through professional opportunities, allowing students to present their research and attend fellow research collaborations. 

Students present their research on topics including computer science, engineering, environmental science, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, mathematics, statistics, geology, astronomy, and other physical science/math-related fields. 

Nine Gustavus student researchers presented their research including Federico Fiorda ‘23 and Katelyn Espe ‘23. 

Geology major / Geographic Information Science minor Fiorda presented his research on pebbles from Martian Surface in Jezero Crater as a proxy for habitability. He hopes this research project will help him wrap up his thesis, and set him on path for graduate school in the near future.

The presentation was great!” Fiorda said. “I got way more people interested than I had expected and had the chance to network, talk to some professors from WashU about grad school and make connections. Overall an amazing experience.”

Physics/Philosophy double major Espe completed research over this past summer at Duke University. She participated in the Duke High-Energy Physics REU and spent her summer at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland searching for a new particle- the Z’ boson. 

 “It was really fun! I enjoyed being able to share my research and hear feedback from fellow physics students. I also enjoyed listening to the talks of others and getting to see what other people our age are doing for research” said Espe. 

When asked about research at Gustavus overall, Fiorda said, “Definitely a must-do if you think you want to do research, even if you have your doubts like I did, everyone does and the faculty is here to help you out and make you succeed in whatever you intend to study.”

“I appreciate that we spend so much time working on oral presentations throughout the summer – you could definitely tell at Midstates that Gusties are confident presenting their research” mentioned Espe.

Alongside the student’s accomplishments, Dr. Dwight Stoll who is a chemistry professor at Gustavus Adolphus College was recognized for winning the 2021 Janet Andersen Lecture Award for Physical Sciences, Math, and Computer Sciences. 

The writer of the nomination letter for Dr. Stoll noted that “His research lab is not just open to the ‘best and the brightest’. He is willing to offer an opportunity to any student who expresses a genuine curiosity about science and even seeks out students who have a glimmer of scientific potential.


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