Chase Mortensen Recognized As ITLS Undergraduate Researcher of the Year

Chase Mortensen
Chase Mortensen was selected as the Undergraduate Researcher of the Year for the 2017-2018 academic school year. This award was bestowed by the Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences (ITLS) Department at Utah State.

Mortensen received an URCO grant for his own research and stays active in several other research projects. He has been a first author on conference presentations, made significant contributions to peer-reviewed publications, and he will be running a workshop and presenting at the Connected Learning Summit this August. Dr. Breanne Litts, his main advisor and mentor, said, "He’s an incredibly strong asset to our lab in ways you don’t always see from an undergraduate ... He is performing at a graduate level." She cited examples of his strong analytical abilities, his computer science skills, his ability to push the technology beyond what others would imagine, and his teaching aptitude as examples.

"I got involved with research in the ITLS Department during the Fall semester of 2016 when I met Dr. Breanne Litts," Mortensen explained. "I'm really grateful for Dr. Litts and the opportunities she has given me; she's the one who has really been my mentor and introduced me to this whole world of research."

A fellow member of the L.E.D. Lab, Whitney Lewis, said, "Chase is an undergraduate who is taking full advantage of the opportunities research brings. He is always helpful and brings unique insights and perspectives to writing and research projects."

Mortensen explains he especially enjoys being a workshop facilitator. He participated in facilitating a workshop at FabLearn 2017 on an augmented reality app. "Going to FabLearn stood out to me because I was able to see how our lab and our research is a part of a larger community. Facilitating these workshops, especially the ones with younger participants, is rewarding."

His own research, for which he was awarded the URCO grant, involves comparing the affordances and limitations of mobile technology. He is specifically looking at ARIS, a augmented reality app, and PocketCHIP, a mobile device used for computer programming. As he works to complete his computer science degree at Utah State, he will continue his research. Eventually he wants to broaden his research. "I would love to do more research involving augmented reality, explore virtual reality, and investigate connections between musical composition and computational thinking."

You can read more about Chase Mortensen on the L.E.D. Labe website.


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