Three-Minute Research Presentation Workshop

On October 25, 2013 by Grad Forum

Andy Chen (PBS) presents his research.

The Graduate Studies Office held a workshop on October 16 at which graduate students were asked to present their research in only three minutes. Graduate students from many departments accepted the challenge and presented their work to their non-expert peers.

Being able to communicate one’s research to a broad audience in a concise manner is a very valuable skill. Learning how to exchange scientific jargon for everyday language is not an easy task for students who are accustomed to presenting their work in the form of long seminars to experts in their field.

Students from the molecular and cellular biology (MCB), psychological and brain sciences (PBS), engineering, and computer science programs presented their research at the workshop and were given feedback by their peers on what they did well and how they could improve. No computers or visual aids were allowed, only graduate students speaking from memory.

At the end of the workshop, the group voted on the best presentation. The coveted prize awarded to the winner was two tickets to the Nugget Theater! The research presentations covered the broad range of topics listed below:

Andy Chen, PBS, Studying self-regulation using behavioral and neuroimaging techniques

Roy Williams, MCB, Computational study of a water-borne pathogen

Haofeng Li, Engineering, Developing materials for use in microchips for data transmission

Anna Prescott, PBS, Social psychology study of “the Self” employing neuroimaging approaches

Max Mehlman, PBS, Neural mechanisms underlying navigation and spatial cognition

Gilbert Rahme, MCB, Studying the genetics of brain tumor invasion

Heidi Meyer, PBS, Behavioral psychology study of impulsivity during adolescence

Kanghoon Jung, PBS, Goal directed and habitual behavior in complex decision making

Ye Xu, Computer Science, Social network analysis, evaluating similarities among users

Carolyn Parkinson, PBS, Mechanisms governing abstract cognition

All of the participants presented clear, concise speeches, and voting for the best one proved difficult.  After a second round of voting to break a tie, Roy Williams was announced the winner! Williams is taking the Communicating Science course offered through the Office of the Provost this term, and it appears to be paying off!

Kerry Landers, assistant dean of Graduate Student Affairs, offered some final advice to students, “Ask questions to pull people in and show them how your research is relevant to them.” Knowing your audience is the first step to engaging them.

by Amanda Balboni


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