Distinguished Majors Program FAQ

Your research is presented in three formats and two events. It is presented as a poster at the annual ACS Poster Session here at UVA's Department of Chemistry. Your poster should be clear and concise and you should be prepared to answer questions about the research you conducted. It is also presented at the Distinguished Majors Symposium in a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation (10 minutes for the presentation followed by 5 minutes for questions and answers).  Remember you have a general audience.  Give an appropriate talk with enough background that they know what it is about. 

The classroom for the symposium will have connectivity for your laptop. The Department of Chemistry will provide a laser pointer.  You can have you talk on a memory stick but if it has videos you should check that this will play on from the memory stick on a new machine without problems.  Mac PowerPoints frequently have font problems on a PC.  So if you have a Mac, check that out beforehand or supply your own Mac.  

Your thesis is due three days prior to the symposium.  Check with your mentor to see how in-depth/lengthy he/she wants it.  Some mentors request your thesis to be quite detailed; others just want an overview of the research you did. There is no defense of your thesis. 

Both events are free and open to the public.  You should know the fundamentals of what you are doing and be able to explain it in simple lucid manner (e.g., pcr). But this is not a test of your general chemistry background unless it is relevant to your work.  So don’t dig out your inorganic text if you are doing biochemistry.  It is not an inquisition.  It is intended as a learning experience and to determine how much the student knows.  It is good practice for the type of oral examinations you will encounter in med school or graduate school.

Still have questions?  Contact Cindy Knight.