The second issue of the MIT Journal of Undergraduate Research (MURJ) was distributed on campus yesterday. The entirely student-produced publication contains in-depth features on the Human Genome Project, the challenges of information retrieval technology and the Laboratory for Computer Science's Project Oxygen, among other topics.
"This edition is considerably thicker than our first edition, and reflects the growing number of students interested in lively academic debate on broad research issues," said founder Sanjay Basu, a junior in brain and cognitive sciences. "We've succeeded in creating a sustainable forum for intellectual discourse in only one year, and I think that's a remarkable achievement."
The slick 63-page publication, which has a circulation of 3,000, aims to provide undergraduate students with an opportunity to discuss new science and research developments in a wide range of disciplines. Its first issue came out last April (MIT Tech Talk, April 26, 2000).
"Our intent to provide an intellectual forum to students seems to be fulfilled with this new issue. The range of disciplines represented is enormously wide. Hopefully, students will find MURJ an interesting avenue to discuss their research and ideas," Mr. Basu said.
MURJ sections include Features, Reports and Science News in Review, which provides short descriptions of research breakthroughs at MIT and elsewhere. Reports address a general undergraduate audience and focus on the implications of a student's research in light of the work completed by other scientists in the field, he said. Reports are checked for scientific accuracy by faculty reviewers. While no freshmen wrote research reports for this edition, first-year students contributed policy discussions for the features section.
"I'm pleased that we've sustained our role as an interdisciplinary journal. The reports this year vary in subject from architecture and psychology to astrophysics and materials science. I hope to continue this trend in diversity in the future," Mr. Basu said.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 13, 2000.