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Volume 6, 2004
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.
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