Auburn Research Faculty Symposium opens Jan. 29 in virtual format

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The annual Auburn Research Faculty Symposium—normally held in the fall but postponed this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic—is planned to open Jan. 29 and will be conducted in a virtual format.

The symposium brings together researchers from all of Auburn’s colleges and schools for a day of scholarly sharing; showcasing of exceptional and diverse research projects that are underway throughout the university’s faculty community; and learning from participation in poster sessions, roundtable discussions and expert presentations.

“In the years past, this event has been held at the Melton Student Center and offered faculty a day to share, learn and interact in person,” said Rodney Greer, assistant dean for research in the College of Education and steering committee chair for this year’s symposium. “Due to the challenges stemming from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are conducting this year’s event in a virtual environment.”

Greer explained that the online format will offer the same types of programs, content and opportunities offered at past symposia.

“There will be around 100 poster presentations from Auburn University as well as Auburn University Montgomery faculty, but instead of being displayed in the large ballroom, they will be arranged in a virtual event hall,” Greer said. “Each virtual hall will contain 12 posters, and faculty can enter and view at their leisure for the time that the symposium is open. Some will also have pre-recorded audio or video files through which the poster presenters discuss their research.”

While most of the symposium will be presented on the Canvas system used by Auburn for online learning, parts of it will be offered on the Zoom meeting platform so that faculty can interact, Greer added.

“The roundtable discussions will be presented via Zoom, and faculty will be able to participate in real-time discussions,” Greer said.

Roundtable topics include the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, telehealth, communicating science and intellectual property.

Moderated “Auburn Talks” with a focus on key research topics, offered last year for the first time and facilitated by Mike Clardy, Auburn’s assistant vice president for communications and marketing, also will be part of this year’s symposium, according to Greer. This year, however, the session will consist of pre-recorded panel discussions available as part of the online event.

These discussions will center on areas of research focus: the improvement of health care; artificial intelligence; cyber and homeland security; and building resilient societies.

“The purpose of the annual Auburn Research Faculty Symposium is to promote connections among researchers and creative scholars and to increase the visibility of our work across diverse audiences,” Greer said. “We are pleased to be able to offer this symposium again this year for our faculty, who continue to make significant advancements through their research, even under the challenges of COVID-19.”

Greer said additional details about log-on processes and formats will be announced to faculty soon. And although the symposium opens officially on Jan. 29, posters and sessions will remain available throughout the spring semester.

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