Six students are set to face off in the championship round of the NDSU Graduate School’s Three Minute Thesis Competition, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 16, at 2 p.m. in the Anishinaabe Theater of the Memorial Union.
The competition challenges graduate students to take their groundbreaking research out of the classroom or laboratory and present their work to the public clearly and concisely. An 80,000-word thesis would take nine hours to present in full. The contestants get 180 seconds.
The finalists advanced after a preliminary round where a total of 24 students submitted videos about their research projects. Each preliminary round winner received $250, while the championship round winner receives an additional $1,000.
“Graduate students seek opportunities to share their research, and the Three Minute Thesis Competition is an excellent venue for them to gain the skills necessary to communicate concisely and coherently about the amazing projects that they are completing during their graduate degree program to communities across and beyond the NDSU campus,” said Matthew Warner, Graduate Professional Skills Academy coordinator.
The finalists, their presentation titles and faculty advisors are:
• Shokoofeh Ghasemi, coatings and polymeric materials doctoral student, will present “Anti-ice coating; Making it hard for water to freeze.” Advisor - Dean Webster, professor and chair of coatings and polymeric materials
• Nitin Rai, agricultural and biosystems engineering doctoral candidate, will present “Drone spots illegal weed plants: The future of agriculture takes flight.” Advisor - Xin “Rex” Sun, assistant professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering
• Sifat Karim Chowdhury, mechanical engineering doctoral student, will present “Fluid-Structure Interaction of Collapsible Thin-Walled Vessel under Different Flow Conditions.” Advisor - Yan Zhang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering
• Ankita Sawant, master’s degree student in environmental and conservation sciences, will present “Mycorrhizas and native prairie restoration: exploring the effects of mycorrhizal inoculum, seed origin, and phosphorus on plant performance.” Advisor - Laura Aldrich-Wolfe, associate professor of biological sciences
• Siavash Mansouri, master’s degree student in coatings and polymeric materials, will present “Safe buildings by new green smart fire-fighting coating.” Advisor - Mohiuddin Quadir, assistant professor of coatings and polymeric materials
• Ellysa Johnson, master’s degree student in natural resources management, will present “That's One Hot Commodity: Both Cattle and Monarchs (Danaus plexippus) Eat Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) in Rangelands.” Advisor - Torre Hovick, associate professor in the School of Natural Resource Sciences
The competitors will be judged in the areas of content, comprehension, communication and engagement. Faculty, community members and graduate student representatives judge the preliminary round and the finals.
The Three Minute Thesis competition was developed by the University of Queensland in 2008, and the idea has spread worldwide. More than 200 NDSU graduate students have showcased their research since the Graduate School hosted its first competition in 2015.
The NDSU winner will advance to the Western Association of Graduate Schools regional competition in Portland, Oregon.
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