Thursday, April 10, 11 a.m. to noon, Elings 1605.
Here is what you may have missed at the seventh round of the Grad Slam.
The Grad Slam features three-minute presentations of student research.
The top two presenters from the preliminary round advance to the Semifinal round (and the top four receive $50 gift cards for the UCSB bookstore).
Fastest: Sungmin Moon (2:30)
Best Dressed: Dibella L. Wdzenczny
Best Storyteller: Esther Taxon
Best Visuals: Richard Huskey
Dibella L. Wdzenczny (advances to Semifinal round)
Nate Emery (advances to Semifinal round)
The Devil in the Brazilian Backlands, Eduardo Viana da Silva, Spanish and Portuguese
Eduardo discussed the personification of evil and the literary significance of the Devil in history and literature. He is examining novels written about one of the harshest wars in Brazilian history, the Battle of Canudos, 1896-97. This war, fought by the backland residents of Brazil, was seen as a struggle against the Devil himself. By conducting literary analysis of novels such as Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas’ “La Guerra del Fin del Mundo,” Eduardo hopes to better understand the motivations of those involved.
I Have the Foggiest Idea, Nate Emery, Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology
Nate discussed about how seasonal fogs can have an impact on plant physiology and wildfires in Southern California. Nate talked about how wetness in an area affects the plant growth and size. Nate referred to fog as a “hidden form of precipitation,” which influences the occurrence and frequency of wildfires in the coastal area of California.
This is Your Brain on Flow: Observing the Brain During Optimal Experiences, Richard Huskey, Communication
Richard shared his research on exploring the nature of our brain flow. His research focuses on finding out what specific aspects of an activity (e.g., playing video games) cause flow. Further, his research investigates what is going on in the brain during the flow, especially when a person is involved in a difficult task or activity. His research on flow measurement is unique because despite a long history of academic research on the concept of flow, there are limited studies on how to measure flow.
HIV: Gene Therapy Stealth Attack, Esther Taxon, Biomolecular Science and Engineering
Esther discussed the current research on gene therapies and how that can cure genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis. Her research involves using HIV and other viruses (e.g., adenovirus) to “sneak” in under the human immune system to produce lifesaving genes. Esther is hopeful about this gene therapy trend in research as a way to treat diseases.
Documenting the Endangered Languages of Siberia, Dibella L. Wdzenczny, Linguistics
Dibella’s research raised concerns on the language assimilation and the possible extinction of indigenous languages in Siberia. Currently, there is a language shift in Siberia, where children are not learning and maintaining their heritage language, but instead learning and speaking Russian and Chinese. Dibella explained how there is an urgent need for linguists to help maintain the indigenous languages in Siberia to preserve heritage, culture, and linguistic diversity.
TIMSS, the Past, the Present, and the Future, Sungmin Moon, Education
Sungmin’s presentation called for further involvement of fathers in children’s education to improve U.S. math and science achievement level. Sungmin’s research compares South Korea and U.S. growth of math and science education in history, and correlates these findings with father involvement in child’s learning.
For information on other events, visit the Graduate Student Showcase 2014 page.
Previous Grad Slam 2014 coverage
Grad Slam Round One Recap: Topics Range From Hearts to Handprints, Liberia to Light
Grad Slam Round Two Recap: Music and Poetry and Yoga, Oh My :-)
Grad Slam Round Three Recap: Clapping, Compost, Kids' Music, and More
Grad Slam Round Four Recap: Everyone's a Winner
Grad Slam Round Five Recap: Sex, Drugs, and Lasers
Grad Slam Round Six Recap: Writing, Repatriation, the Rural Midwest, and More