Hillman Virtual Academy

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and restrictions related to it, the Hillman Academy has added some virtual offering so that we may still provide a research expereince to students interested in STEM. In 2020 we created the Hillman Virtual Academy to replace the in person Hillman Academy while quarantine restrictions are in place. Last year we were able to have some students on campus on a limited basis. In the event that these restrictions persist until the summer of 2022 we will likely be hosting the Hillman Academy virtually.

As opposed to our normal program which brings students into wet or dry labs at the University of Pittburgh and UPMC campuses, the Virtual Academy is entirely online and focuses predominantly on computational projects (we are still working with wetlabs to see if we can offer non-computational projects). We will still have authentic research projects that students will work on with a faculty mentor which will be the majority of what students will do. This will be supplemented with virtual lectures, online workspaces, activites, and support from the Hillman Academy team. Students are not expected to know any coding or have a computational background. Not having these skills will not affect your admission to the virtual program.

Important Application Note: The Hillman Academy is an insutiton dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusivity in STEM. As such we have two national grants from the National insittuties of Health and the Doris Duke Charitable foundation that provide compensation to a certain number of students from underrepresented backgrounds. The number of all students that we accept each year is limited by the number of mentors that we have avaiable. In the event of a virtual program we will not have as many mentors due to in person labs not being able to take students. As such we will prioritze the acceptance of students funded by these grants before taking students who would not be eligible for compensation.

We are still working on what the program will look like in 2022 and will be making changes based on the input of previous students and incoming applicants. Below is some information about the 2021 and 2020 summer programs, this will give a a good idea of what will be offered if we have to go virtual again.

Hillman Academy Final Presentations

At the end of each summer all of the Hillman Academy hosts a poster session where students present the research that they worked on for the last 7-8 weeks in a powerpoint presentation and a poster. In 2020 we moved the presentations toa virtual format hosted on Zoom and broadcast on YouTube for all to see. You can check out the presentation from last summer to get an idea of what the final goal would look like and what kinds of things students did researh on. Research projects change from year to year depending on mentor.

Virtual Lectures Series and Modules

Here we have included the schedule and some links to the lectures and presentations we did in 2020. These lectures are open not just to students within the program but also to students outside of the program either who were not accepted or did not apply. These events are not the full Hillman Academy expereience, and we strongly believe that one-on-one mentoring in an authentic research environment is the best way to learn and expereince STEM. However we do hope that these online offerings will whet the appetite of those interested in STEM and research and serve as a jumping off point to go deeper in the field.

Since these materials are being offered publicly we have to restrict video and audio privledges to only students within the program. Students and viewers outside the program can still comment and participate via Youtube, we will have somoene monitoring the streams and relaying any questions. Some lectures are from faculty working on confidential information and as such cannot be broadcasted on YouTube or recorded.

2020 Lecture series

26-JunCancelled Cancelled Cancelled Cancelled Cancelled
29-Jun12:00-1:00 PM ESTKeynote lectureDr. Malabika SenHow to give a good Oral, Poster, and Poerwoint Presentationshttps://youtu.be/x9hgbPb_F_s
6-Jul12:00-1:00 PM ESTKeynote lectureDr. Andreas VogtPrinciples of Drug DiscoveryWill not be recorded or broadcast to Youtube. Please email sol39@pitt.edu for link to lecture.
7-Jul1:00-2:00 PM ESTBonus LectureDr. Dara MendezIntro to Public Healthhttps://youtu.be/kTsIDqG3sF0
9-Jul3:00-4:00 PM ESTBonus LecturePublic Health PanelPublic Health Panelhttps://youtu.be/XHDAkqDpftg
10-Jul12:00-1:00 PM ESTKeynote LectureDr. Andrew DuncanLiver Regeneration from Ancient Greece to Modern Timeshttps://youtu.be/xpXR-Gf6CyE
13-Jul12:00-1:00 PM ESTKeynote LectureDr. Kara BernsteinHow I got into STEM + Personal research Will not be recorded or broadcast to Youtube. Please email sol39@pitt.edu for link to lecture.
13-Jul3:00-4:00 PM ESTModule ActivityDr. Abby MatelaEvolve STEM Modulehttps://youtu.be/tfvvP5ihHgs
14-Jul3:00-4:00 PM ESTModule ActivityDr. Abby MatelaEvolve STEM Modulehttps://youtu.be/DjTnANfryaY
15-Jul3:00-4:00 PM ESTModule ActivityDr. Abby MatelaEvolve STEM Modulehttps://youtu.be/G1qsnRKDLlE
16-Jul 2:00-3:00 PM EST Bonus LectureDavin SweeneyBonus Lecture: Collee Applications https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNBl0U1hzvk
16-Jul3:00-4:00 PM ESTModule ActivityDr. Abby MatelaEvolve STEM Modulehttps://youtu.be/y1-Yh9CGMws
17-Jul12:00-1:00 PM ESTKeynote LectureDr. Nilgun TasdemirBreast Cancer Overviewhttps://youtu.be/LA4Bie9B09g
17-Jul3:00-4:00 PM ESTModule ActivityDr. Abby MatelaEvolve STEM Modulehttps://youtu.be/K-fA2L_xyWU
20-Jul12:00-1:00 PM ESTKeynoteDr. Mike DingMachine Learninghttps://youtu.be/xElBi28gvpE
23-Jul12:00-2:00 PM ESTKeynoteDr. Roger Day, Samantha WatkinsCancer Breakthroughs and Scandalshttps://youtu.be/fxr81p2TcvE
24-Jul12:00-1:00 PM ESTKeynote LectureDr. David ClumpThe Evolving Role of Radiation Therapy within Oncologic Carehttps://youtu.be/yuwXLmnvGtY
27-Jul12:00-1:00 PM ESTKeynote Dr. Lyn RobertsonAddressing Local Cancer Disparities through a Focused  Community Approachhttps://youtu.be/dF5Cpm8a9AQ
29-Jul1:00-2:00 PM EST LecturePaul CantalupoVirology Basics with Coronavirus Concentration  Will not be recorded or broadcast to Youtube. Please email sol39@pitt.edu for link to lecture.
30-Jul12:00-1:00 PM ESTLecturePaul CantalupoProgramming in R to Download, Analyze and Visualize COVID Related Data Will not be recorded or broadcast to Youtube. Please email sol39@pitt.edu for link to lecture.
31-Jul12:00-1:00 PM ESTKeynote LectureDr. Nduka AmankulorHow I got into STEM + Personal researchhttps://youtu.be/KOaQrc5_YFU

Other Resources

Below are other virtual resources we have found. They are not from the Hillman Academy but are valuable for those interested in STEM and Research who want to go beyond our lectures. These resources are open to all students not just those in the Hillman Academy. We will be adding things to this list periodically as we find and create more content.

Khan Academy

https://www.khanacademy.org/ – Khan Academy has tons of great resources and lectures on a vareity of topics, especially coding. There is not one coding language that all of our projects will use but commonly used languauges include R and Python. All courses on Khan Academy are free

Data Camp

https://www.datacamp.com/ – Data Camp is another free resource that students can use to help buff up their coding skills.

Bio-Rad Online classroom resources:


The Bio-Rad online classroom is another resource for students and teachrs to use. these focus more on biology, chemistry, and things you would do in a wetlab. While there is not much computational content this is a great resource to help learn basic concepts in science.