The People, Ideas, and Things (PIT) organization creates avenues for students at Carolina to participate in undergraduate research that is driven by convergent, problem-based intellectual approaches. We support this undergraduate research mission in four key ways:
- The People, Ideas, and Things Journal highlights research developed by undergraduates. we regularly publish a peer-reviewed volume of the PIT Journal, which provides an outlet for student scholarship.
- Each semester, we host the PIT Conference, which provides students with a public audience and an opportunity to present, workshop, and peer-review their research. Our Spring 2024 conference information will be out soon.
- We coordinate regularly with first-year writing courses, engaging students who are new to Carolina with our public, interdisciplinary model of undergraduate research.
- Students involved in the PIT Journal and Conference–writers, readers, reviewers, and editors–join a vibrant intellectual community that cultivates a culture of undergraduate research and interdisciplinary scholarship. Participants also develop professional skills linked with publishing, organizing, and education.
We can no longer pretend the forces that shape our world are only human. Think of the impacts vaccines or cell phones have had on life or the ways that concepts like freedom or justice guide our decisions. It turns out that our ways of being in the world are determined by convergences of people, ideas, and things. And these convergences are dynamic, constantly evolving with entities combining and co-influencing one another; in the dark, a driver’s high beams light up a Coke can, an insight leads to an invention, reflectors are added to the highway, our ideas about safety shift.
We can see the power of these categories and combinations at the university. We focus on people, ideas, and things broadly as we work in the social sciences, humanities, and sciences. At the same time, we recognize that no single approach captures the complexities of what we study, and that bringing together researchers from multiple disciplines and fields is needed to engage problems, develop knowledge, and understand the world. The PIT organization is committed to this convergent research, and invites undergraduates to join us in this mission.