University President Emerita Mary Sue Coleman was known to spin the Cube each day on her way to work, but that’s not the only cube taking off on campus.

In a different context, a “cube” is a group of three University faculty members from different departments. Each cube is formed with the intention of solving global challenges that are too difficult or broad for a single discipline to take on. At the 2014 MCubed Symposium Thursday, the cubes presented their findings from the past year.

This year was the second of the inaugural MCubed cycle. MCubed was launched in May 2012 when the University’s Third Century initiative allotted $15 million for the program, which aims to encourage interdisciplinary research. Of the $15 million, each cube receives $60,000 to begin their project. All cubes are required to involve one undergraduate student, graduate student or postdoctoral fellow to train the next generation of researchers.

The day began with a welcome speech from Jack Hu, interim vice president for research, and a keynote by University President Mark Schlissel. At noon, researchers began to present their findings in a poster session.

One innovative project was created in part by Associate Information Prof. Paul Conway. Conway’s focuses on releasing live music to the public from collections such as The Ark’s in Ann Arbor. He said this music is currently inaccessible because it often isn’t digital, or is restricted by copyright laws.

“Our solution is to build a system that would deliver the songs in context of the performance and then engage performers in cataloguing their music,” Conway said. “We educate them about their options for copyright release and ask them to make some decisions song by song.”

Rackham student Venkatram Pepakayala was participating in a much different project. He spent the past year working to improve biomedical implants by removing cells that would cause scar tissue formation. Pepakayala said he was in need of funding when he heard about MCubed.

“I was looking for funding for my Ph.D. work, and my previous budget ran out last year,” Pepakayala said. “My adviser got in touch with one of the doctors from the eye clinic, and they applied for a grant and they got it.”

LSA senior Jeff Pituch was at the Symposium not as a member of a cube but for personal enjoyment. A researcher himself, he said he came to the Symposium the year before and found it inspirational.

“I found it really helpful in terms of giving me new ideas to approach other people in different areas of research that have similar ideas that I could collaborate with in the future,” Pituch said. “We’re always looking for new, innovative solutions that I think are best brought about when you talk with somebody who really doesn’t know exactly what you’re doing, but likes to research and has a passion for finding out new things about literally anything.”

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