UNC Research

Racing Toward Innovation

Convergent science is characterized by cross-disciplinary research teams created to tackle big problems and speed the application of new breakthroughs to commercialization. At UNC, the Institute for Convergent Science is at the forefront of this pioneering framework.

Sayan Banerjee

Sayan Banerjee is an assistant professor in the Department of Statistics and Operations Research within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He studies emerging patterns in large random systems.

Anna Fraser

Anna Fraser is PhD student in the Department of Chemistry within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She designs, synthesizes, and characterizes polymers for water purification.

The Storm that Changed Her

A hurricane in 2010 turned Caela O’Connell’s dissertation plans upside down. It continues to affect her and her research 11 years later as a UNC-Chapel Hill anthropology professor.

Connecting Humans and Computers

For most of her life, Ayana Monroe has been fascinated by how people and computers connect — a field called human-computer interaction. Now, as a UNC-Chapel Hill junior and Chancellor’s Science Scholar, she engages in research to improve how we use technology to acquire information. She wants to teach the next generation to do the same.

Setting the Art World Ablaze

Upon discovering a series of political cartoons mocking artists in 18th- and 19th-century France in 2010, UNC-Chapel Hill art historian Kathryn Desplanque couldn’t stop searching for them. Now, she has amassed more than 500 and is using them to redefine how we think about art and the artist in modern-day society.

The Sanctity of Cherokee

As a result of systemic oppression, there are fewer than 200 native Cherokee speakers in North Carolina. To keep the language alive and pass it to the next generation, UNC-Chapel Hill researcher and Eastern Band Cherokeean citizen Benjamin Frey has teamed up with computer scientists Mohit Bansal and Shiyue Zhang to create a new translation model and grow the literary library of works available in Cherokee.

Anna Geib

Anna Geib is a junior double-majoring in exercise and sport science within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and nutrition within the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. She studies how diet and exercise improve the quality and length of life in different populations and is particularly interested in how it can mitigate the risks of space flight.

A Project of Her Own

Most UNC-Chapel Hill PhD students oversee their own research projects for their dissertations. But Kriddie Whitmore did it in a foreign country — and with the added challenges of a language barrier, bad weather, and limited equipment. This past summer, Whitmore traveled to the Andes Mountains in Ecuador, tackling their demands with incredible tenacity and creativity.

Putting Skill to Work

Nichola Lowe spotted the gaps in the U.S. workforce long before the pandemic shined a light on them. She’s spent the last 15 years studying how employees develop and use skills at work, and how employers encourage development of those skills. Most recently, she’s written a book on the topic and is using lessons from the pandemic to drive her current research.