2015 UCLA Grad Slam

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Robin L. Garrell Grad Slam Logo Mike Hirshman, GSA President

The Graduate Division and Graduate Student Association are pleased to announce UCLA’s inaugural Grad Slam.

Grad Slam is a campus-wide competition that showcases and awards the best 3-minute research presentations by graduate students. This competition will not only highlight the excellence, importance and relevance of UCLA graduate students and their research, but it will also help foster the skill of articulating graduate research in an understandable and engaging way to academics and the general community.

Grad Slam will take place April 6-16, 2015, with the campus winner advancing to a UC-wide competition that will be held in Oakland on May 4, 2015. First, second and third place winners in the UCLA competition will receive fellowships in the amounts of $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 respectively. There will also be an Audience Choice award in the amount of $500.

We are very excited about Grad Slam and hope that you will consider attending one or more of the preliminary and semi-final rounds of the competition. They are open to the entire campus community and general public.

Robin L. Garrell
Dean, Graduate Division
Vice Provost, Graduate Education
Professor of Chemistry

Michael C. Hirshman
President, UCLA Graduate Students Association (GSA)
MBA Class of 2015, UCLA Anderson School of Management

 

 

 

 The Competition

Graduate education is the heart of every great university. Graduate students come to UCLA to make creative contributions and research discoveries that advance human knowledge.

Inspired by similar competitions at four of our sister University of California campuses–San Diego, Santa Barbara, Riverside and San Francisco – as well as the UCLA Dissertation Launchpad and the ever-popular TED Talks, UCLA’s Grad Slam will take place April 6 – 16, 2015 with the campus winner advancing to the UC-wide competition that will be held in the San Francisco Bay Area on May 4, 2015.

The competition will be comprised of preliminary and semi-final rounds held in various locations on north and south campus, culminating in a final competition and reception on April 16, 2015. The final round will be broadcast live via an Internet feed.

View the Grad Slam Flyer.

 Competition Schedule

Full Grad Slam Schedule with Student Presenter Information

Preliminary Rounds

Monday, April 6, 2015
Round 1: Royce Hall, Room 314: 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Round 2: Kerckhoff Hall State Room: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Round 3: Royce Hall, Room 314: 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Round 4: Gonda Center, 1st Floor Conference Room: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Round 5: Young Hall, Room 2033: 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Round 6: Young Hall, Room 2033: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Thursday, April 9, 2015
Round 7: Charles E. Young Research Library (YRL), Room 11360: 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Round 8: Charles E. Young Research Library (YRL), Room 11360: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Friday, April 10, 2015
Round 9: Charles E. Young Research Library (YRL), Room 11360: 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Round 10: Gonda Center, 1st Floor Conference Room: 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm<

Semi-Final Rounds

Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Round 11: Royce Hall, Room 314: 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Round 12: Career Center, Room 200: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Final Competition

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Pauley Pavilion, Pavilion Club: 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
RSVP here  |  Live Stream

University of California Grad Slam

Monday, May 4, 2015
Oakland Marriott City Center, Junior Ballroom: 11:00 am – 1:30 pm

The UCLA campus winner will travel to Oakland to compete in the UC Grad Slam competition.
Event is invitation only. You can watch a live video stream of the contest, May 4, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.


Grad Slam Venue Map

Driving Directions to UCLA
Locate UCLA by zip code (90095) or by street address (405 Hilgard Avenue). Call 310-825-4321 for recorded directions. UCLA’s main campus is bounded by Sunset Boulevard. on the north and Le Conte Avenue. on the south; the east border is Hilgard Avenue and the west border is Gayley Avenue

Visitor parking at UCLA  |  Public Transit  |  Metro Trip Planner

 Am I Eligible?

The competition is open to all currently registered and enrolled UCLA graduate students regardless of discipline, school, or degree objective.

Students must be registered and enrolled during Spring Quarter 2015 in order to participate in the Grad Slam and to be eligible to receive any prize.

Students on an official leave of absence, paying a filing fee, or with lapsed status in Spring 2015 are not eligible to compete.

Students are only allowed to enter the competition individually. Joint presentations with other students are not permitted.

 Presentation Guidelines & Rules

UCLA’s Grad Slam will challenge graduate students to present a compelling presentation of their research in just 3 minutes using language appropriate for a non-specialist audience.

In cases of collaborative research, the presenter’s contribution to the project must be salient and clearly specified.

Presentations must be on research. Projects, business plans and Applied Policy Projects (APP) are not eligible.

Expected Participation

  1. Up to 10 students will compete during each preliminary round.
  2. On the day of your scheduled presentation, plan to arrive at the venue at least 15 minutes before the event start time to allow for check-in and other prep.
  3. You must be present for the full 2 hours of your scheduled round.

Presentations/Slides:

  1. Slides are optional.
  2. Presenters will be limited to a maximum of 3 PowerPoint slides, exclusive of the title slide.
  3. No Prezi or other presentation formats will be permitted.
  4. No animations.
  5. Embedded audio and/or video clips will be allowed.
  6. All work on the slides must be original to the student and cannot be generated by a professional.
  7. All presentations will be pre-loaded on the laptop on the day of the competition. You will be required to upload your PowerPoint presentations to a designated site no later than 9:00 a.m. PST one day prior to your scheduled competition. Specific upload instructions will be sent to each student presenter.
  8. Props are allowed, but need to be cleared by the Grad Slam program director, require minimal set-up and not produce a mess. Please email gdevents@grad.ucla.edu if you plan to use props.
  9. The room will be set-up with a laptop, projector, remote slide advancer, and laser pointer. A microphone will be provided, when necessary. There may or may not be a podium in the room, depending on the venue.

Audience

The audience may be comprised of graduate students, faculty, staff, campus leadership, alumni, donors, friends and family of the presenters, and members of the general public. We encourage all the students participating in the Grad Slam competition to invite colleagues, mentors, friends and family to your competition round.

A UCLA sanctioned photographer and/or videographer may also be present at some of the preliminary and semi-final rounds and at the final competition. As stated in the competition registration, any videotape footage, photographs, film and/or audio recordings will be used for UCLA archival and marketing purposes. No commercial use of the recordings are intended or will be authorized.

Members of the media may also be present and covering the competition.

The final competition on April 16th will be broadcast live online.

 Judging

Judging panels for the preliminary and semi-final rounds will be comprised of 3-4 people and may include faculty, academic deans, administrative staff, alumni, postdoctoral scholars, and associated VIPs. The judges will be selected to ensure disciplinary diversity and every effort will be made to avoid conflicts of interest.

Presenters will be judged on the intellectual significance of the subject, clarity and delivery, and their ability to provide context and engage with a non-specialist audience helping others understand and appreciate the significance of their research.

Each judge will award up to 35 points based on the following criteria:

  1. Clarity
  2. Organization
  3. Delivery
  4. Visuals
  5. Appropriateness
  6. Intellectual Significance
  7. Engagement

Judging Scorecard

Timing of each presentation will commence from the moment the student starts talking. Points will be deducted from the final score, beginning with a 1 point deduction at 3:03, and 1 point being taken off for every 2 seconds the speaker continues after that:

3:03 – 3:04 1 point
3:05 – 3:06 2 points
3:07 – 3:08 3 points
3:09 – 3:10 4 points
3:11 – 3:15 5 points
Speakers will be cut off at 3:30 (15 point deduction)

A yellow warning sign will be raised when there are 30 seconds remaining in the 3 minute period. Thereafter, a red warning sign will be raised at 3 minutes signaling the student to stop.

Judges will not be allowed to ask any questions of the presenters following their presentation.

 Prizes

First, second and third prizes will be awarded, as well as an Audience Choice award. If the Audience Choice awardee is the same as the first, second or third place winner, both awards will go to that person.

All Finalists

  1. Grad Slam Certificate
  2. $50 gift card to UCLA Store

1st Prize

  1. $3,000 stipend
  2. Dinner with Dean & Vice Provost Robin Garrell, Executive Vice Provost Scott Waugh and other VIP leadership on April 30, 2015
  3. Opportunity to present in a Grad Slam showcase at the UCLA Career Center’s Masters & PhD Career Conference on Thursday April 30th at 4 pm in the Ackerman Grand Ballroom
  4. Opportunity to present at an upcoming LA Nerd Nite (see description below) – coordinated by Society of Postdoctoral Scholars
  5. Paid round-trip travel expenses to compete in the UC-wide Grad Slam competition on May 4, 2015 in Oakland, California

2nd Prize

  1. $2,000 stipend
  2. Dinner with Dean & Vice Provost Robin Garrell, Executive Vice Provost Scott Waugh and other VIP leadership on April 30, 2015
  3. Opportunity to present in a Grad Slam showcase at the UCLA Career Center’s Masters & PhD Career Conference on Thursday April 30th at 4 pm in the Ackerman Grand Ballroom
  4. Opportunity to present at an upcoming LA Nerd Nite (see description below) – coordinated by Society of Postdoctoral Scholars

3rd Prize

  1. $1,000 stipend
  2. Dinner with Dean & Vice Provost Robin Garrell, Executive Vice Provost Scott Waugh and other VIP leadership on April 30, 2015
  3. Opportunity to present in a Grad Slam showcase at the UCLA Career Center’s Masters & PhD Career Conference on Thursday April 30th at 4 pm in the Ackerman Grand Ballroom
  4. Opportunity to present at an upcoming LA Nerd Nite (see description below) – coordinated by Society of Postdoctoral Scholars

Audience Choice Award

  1. $500 stipend
  2. Dinner with Dean & Vice Provost Robin Garrell, Executive Vice Provost Scott Waugh and other VIP leadership on April 30, 2015
  3. Opportunity to present in a Grad Slam showcase at the UCLA Career Center’s Masters & PhD Career Conference on Thursday April 30th at 4 pm in the Ackerman Grand Ballroom
  4. Opportunity to present at an upcoming LA Nerd Nite (see description below) – coordinated by Society of Postdoctoral Scholars

Nerd Nite is a monthly event held in more than 50 cities across the globe during which people give short, fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines – while the audience drinks along. Presenters are asked to put together a Powerpoint diving into a topic on which they are an expert. The night is meant to be fun, so humor and pictures are encouraged. However, whatever technical information is necessary to convey the subject, is also welcomed.

Students must be registered and enrolled during Spring Quarter 2015 in order to participate in the Grad Slam and to be eligible to receive any prize.

The prize money is a stipend and is considered income. It will be taxed and a student’s financial aid eligibility may be adjusted, as a result.

 Competition Results
  1. Up to 10 students will compete during each preliminary round.
  2. 2 students from each preliminary round will advance to the semi-finals.
  3. The semi-finals will be comprised of two rounds of 10 students each.
  4. 3 students from each semi-final round will advance to the finals. Thus, 6 students will compete in the final competition on April 16, 2015.

Results from each round of the competition will be posted on this page by 10:00 a.m. PST, the day following each competition round.

Preliminary Rounds

Monday, April 6, 2015

Round 1:

  1. Brian Odegaard, Recalibrating Your Brain: How Space and Time Influence the World Inside Your Head
  2. Roch Nianogo, Reconstructing the present of obesity to predict and change its future

Round 2:

  1. David Lick, Prejudice is in the Eye of the Beholder: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Prejudice Reduction
  2. Jean Paul Santos, Novel Antenna Array Enabling Direct-to-Earth (DTE) Communications in Mars Rovers

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Round 3:

  1. Sarah Hersman, Using Lasers to Illuminate Acetylcholine’s Role in Fear Memory
  2. Lauren Sherman, Social Media and the Teen Brain

Round 4:

  1. Scott Strutner, Magnetic Sensors for Safety
  2. Konstantine Tsotsos, Visual and Inertial Sensing for Autonomous Robots

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Round 5:

  1. Katherine Fehlhaber, Seeing the light: How our eyes use calcium to adapt to brighter environments
  2. Nathan Majernik, Betatron light source

Round 6:

  1. Leonardo Christov-Moore, Selective Altruism: Empathy and Its Control
  2. Jenny Link, Two X chromosomes cause obesity

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Round 7:

  1. Yean Eric Lee, Why We Have More Energy than We Can Harvest
  2. Yibo Zhang, Lensfree on-chip microscope for cancer detection

Round 8:

  1. May Bhetraratana, Searching for the link between air pollution and cardiovascular disease
  2. Hannah Williamson, Improving relationships for low-income couples

Friday, April 10, 2015

Round 9:

  1. Zoe Baker, Barriers to Obstetric Fistula Treatment in Developing Countries
  2. Christina Van, Viral Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

Round 10:

  1. Oscar Campos, Biological forces in the evolution of genome architecture
  2. Aolin Wang, Opening the black box: understand the pathways between night shift and heart disease

Semi-Final Rounds

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Round 11:

  1. Sarah Hersman, Using Lasers to Illuminate Acetylcholine’s Role in Fear Memory
  2. Brian Odegaard, Recalibrating Your Brain: How Space and Time Influence the World Inside Your Head
  3. Jean Paul Santos, Novel Antenna Array Enabling Direct-to-Earth (DTE) Communications in Mars Rovers

Round 12:

  1. Oscar Campos, Distorted DNA structure in cancer
  2. Aolin Wang, Opening the Black Box: Pathways from Night Shift to Heart Disease
  3. Yibo Zhang, Lensfree On-Chip Microscope for Cancer Detection

Finals

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Congratulations to our Grad Slam campus winners!

  1. 1st Place: Jean Paul Santos, Electrical Engineering – How to Talk to Mars
  2. 2nd Place: Yibo Zhang, Electrical Engineering – Lensfree On-Chip Microscope for Cancer Detection
  3. 3rd Place & Audience Choice Award: Sarah Hersman, Neuroscience Interdepartmental Program, Psychology – Using Lasers to Illuminate Acetylcholine’s Role in Fear Memory

2015 Grad Slam Winners with Robin Garrell
(left to right) Yibo Zhang, Jean Paul Santos, Sarah Hersman, Dean Robin Garrell
Photo credit: Reed Hutchinson

 How Do I Register?

Thank you for your interest in Grad Slam. We are no longer accepting registrations for this year’s competition.

However, if you are a graduate student we welcome and encourage you to attend any of our competition rounds so you can get a sense of the competition and begin planning for next year! And, please bring your friends and colleagues!

 How Do I Prepare?

The Graduate Division is very pleased to partner with the Graduate Student Resource Center to provide preparation workshops for Grad Slam entrants. The workshops are comprised of a large group public speaking workshop and small-group coaching sessions. Graduate students registered for the competition received details on how to sign up for these workshops.

Grad Slam Public Speaking Workshop (Part 1, one hour)
Condensing years of research into a three-minute, jargon-free presentation is a daunting task. This workshop introduces you to the Grad Slam format and covers presentation strategies and public speaking skills. The workshop will also include interactive exercises to help build confidence in public speaking.

Grad Slam Coaching Sessions (Part 2, one hour)
These small group workshops are limited to ten students. Each student will present a draft of their Grad Slam presentation and receive feedback. These sessions are by RSVP only and are limited to Grad Slam participants who have already attended the Part 1 Public Speaking Workshop.

Workshop Presenters

Allison Collins is a first-year PhD student in Comparative Literature. Her research focuses on Renaissance literature and culture. Allison earned her BA in Renaissance Studies from Yale University and her MA in Humanities from New York University. She has experience in teaching and academic publishing. In her spare time, Allison enjoys running, cooking, and watching too much Netflix.

Katelyn Caslavka is a fourth-year PhD candidate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Santa Clara University and her master’s degree in Biochemistry while at UCLA. During her graduate studies, she received the UCLA Alumni Association Fellowship and is a trainee on the Cellular and Molecular Biology Training Grant (part of a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award). When not in the lab, Katelyn enjoys baking (which she considers chemistry in the kitchen) and creative writing.

Online Resources

How to Talk like TED by Carmine Gallo, Article by Guy Kawasaki

10 Most Common Rookie Mistakes in Public Speaking by Terry Gault, Managing Partner and Vice President of the Henderson Group

Giving an Academic Talk by Jonathan Shewchuk, Associate Professor in Computer Science, University of California at Berkeley

Giving Oral Presentations from English Communication for Scientists by Jean-luc Doumont (ed.), Nature (2010)

Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds

Making the Most of Your Three Minutes for 3MT: The Three Minute Thesis by Simon Clews, Director, Writing Centre, University of Melbourne

10 Hints for Improving Presentations for the Three Minute Thesis Competition by Danielle Fischer, Charles Darwin University

Presentation Skills: Overcoming Stage Fright from the GradPost

Creating a Persuasive Presentation from the GradPost

Top Ten Tips for Writing and Delivering Very Brief Speeches by Bill Cole, Founder and CEO of William B. Cole Consultants

Need some inspiration?

TED Talks (up to 6 minutes in length): Brief talks on “ideas worth spreading.”

PhD Comics Two-Minute Thesis: PhD Comics challenged graduate students to explain their work in two minutes – the best have been turned into videos!

3 Minute Thesis Competition Winners: Winning presentations from a multi-university thesis competition in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and the South Pacific.

It is also recommended that you practice your presentation with other graduate students and people who are not directly familiar with your research topic.

2014 University of Western Sidney Three-Minute Thesis Finals

Practice, Practice, Practice

It is also recommended that you practice your presentation with other graduate students and people who are not directly familiar with your research topic.

 Photo & Video Galleries
 Press
 Grad Slam Campus Partners

The Graduate Division and Graduate Students Association are grateful to include the participation and assistance of our campus partners!

  1. Academic deans
  2. Graduate Student Resource Center
  3. Development
  4. UCLA Foundation
  5. Career Center
  6. Office of Residential Life – Graduate and Family Housing
  7. Alumni Association.
  8. Office of Media Relations
 Contact

gdevents@grad.ucla.edu – please include “Grad Slam” in the subject line

310.206.6086