June 6, 2005
Symposium showcases graduate research throughout
By Louise Donahue
Theres no doubt about it: UCSCs first Graduate
Research Symposium wont be its last.
Ph.D. student Jean Waldbieser, left, discusses her research
on amphiphilic polymers with Chancellor Denton on the Graduate
Photo: Louise Donahue
symposium winners named
Its succeeded beyond what we envisioned,
said associate dean of graduate studies Lisa Sloan as students,
staff, and faculty crowded into the Graduate Commons on June
2 to look over research posters and view research presentations.
Sloan said the event had been optimistically titled the first
annual symposium, but it is now a sure thing to return
A series of 10-minute oral presentations highlighted the variety
of research being conducted:
Science and journalism came together in Max
Boykoffs analysis of global climate change and the
U.S. mass media. Boykoffs research forms the basis of
an article he plans to submit to the journal Science.
found a way to make his research on optical microlithography
understandable to even the technologically-impaired.
Research on sea otters physiological constraints,
presented by Laura
Yeates, provided interesting insights into the challenges
these animals face.
And that was just a sampling of the 12 talks. (A complete list
of presentations is available online at graddiv.ucsc.edu/gradsymposium.html.)
Supplementing the oral presentations were a live soundscape
presentation and presentations with computers, video, and television/DVD
Several graduate students also had the opportunity to explain
their research projects to Chancellor Denice D. Denton, who
circulated through the research displays, talking with students
and visitors. She was joined by Interim Campus Provost/Executive
Vice Chancellor David Kliger.
The event drew rave reviews from participating students. Sloan
said several of the graduate students thanked her for organizing
the event. The graduate students really enjoy seeing what
their peers are doing in other divisions.
Alisa Neeman of computer science agreed. For me, its
a chance to see presentations on something other than computer
science, said Neeman, on hand to present her research
on computer science digitization. Its a big eye-opener.
Its amazing that so many things are going on on campus
that you dont know about. And its all fun.
Catherine Plesko of Earth sciences saw an additional benefit.
Its great to see whats out there for potential
collaborations. Standing in front of her research poster,
Pesko explained that she is developing a technique using artificial
intelligence to count craters of a certain size on Mars. The
new method takes less than a second per image, while each image
takes people about half an hour to count. When you consider
the number of images that need to be surveyed, it makes an impossible
task possible, she said. Her most
recent paper is posted online.
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