Wednesday, April 3, 2013

3MT and 10,000 views

After my dissertation defense I realized that the live feed was actually not of my powerpoint slides but the isight camera on my computer. Sorry abou that, 50+ min of me infront of the camera talking was not what I had in mind. I am working on uploading the slides with the audio of my defense, but in the mean time I have something much more digestible.

On March 22, The Graduate Student Council at Vanderbilt University held its first Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition. The 3MT stated at the University of Queensland as a means to have graduates students develop the skills to effectively explain their research to a general audience, in three minutes. If you have a few minutes to spare, check out some of their presenters from this year: here. The competition has spread throughout Australia and New Zealand. The finalists are really impressive and worth the 3 minutes of their video.

Vanderbilt is one of only a handful of universities in the US that is holding 3MT competitions. I submitted my abstract and was one of the 72 selected semifinalists. So, only a few days after my actual defense, I was condensing my thesis into a short three minute segment.

The rules were fairly straight forward.
  1. Only one static (no animations) powerpoint slide
  2. You only have three minutes to speak, if you are one second over you are disqualified
  3. No costumes, props, or music
Really it is just you, standing there giving your 'elevator' pitch.

I really enjoyed my time at the competition. The quality of presentations were really top notch. I'm not sure if if the grad student council recorded any of them, but perhaps they will start doing so in the years to come. In the mean time, I recorded my 3MT for people to see. I would welcome any feedback on how to improve it. Please feel free to leave comments on this post or on the youtube channel directly. 

Jump to the 5:55 if you just want to hear the 3MT

Also, I have received over 10,000 views to my science illustration pages since June of 2012. That's really cool! I appreciate all those who have looked through my work. I have received several requests to provide instructional posts on how to do some of the illustrations and art. So, in the next few week I will be planning out some instructional videos of this nature--a how to communicate science and science art. Also, I will be going over some of the tools and tricks I have found useful in programs like PowerPoint, Excel, Illustrator, and Photoshop.