Preview of Grad Slam prelim rounds 7 and 8: April 13

by Nicole Poletto, Professional Development Peer
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 9:09 AM

The 5th Annual Grad Slam competition continues with Preliminary Rounds 7 and 8. Your People's Choice vote can help your favorites advance to the semifinal round, so be sure to come and support your friends and fellow graduate students (#gradslamisbae). Here's a preview of what's to sure to follow us on Facebook for live updates on the winners of each round. 

Round 7

Thursday, April 13 | 11 a.m. to noon
Engineering Science Building 1001

Carl Gabrielson | East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies 
Encountering Allies: U.S. Bases in Japan  
Tens of thousands of Americans live and work on U.S. military bases in Japan. My research explores how they learn about and experience Japanese culture from within this militarized context, and what role their cross-cultural encounters play in U.S.-Japan interpersonal and international relations.

Joshua Goodman | Counseling, Clinical & School Psychology
The Development of a Resource to Increase Parent Support for Sexual Minority Youth
Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth face mental health disparities compared to their heterosexual peers, including heightened rates of depression, suicidality, and substance use. Parent support is one of the strongest predictors of LGB youth outcomes; however, parents may face barriers to providing support including being uncertain of how to be supportive and limited of access to resources that may increase support. This presentation will describe the development of an online psychological resource for parents of LGB youth—the Parent Resource for Increasing Sexual Minority Support (PRISMS)—that seeks to increase parents’ confidence and intentions of engaging in LGB-supportive parenting practices.

Jim Gribble | Education
Impact of Computer Coding on Communication of Children with Autism
This topic addresses the communication of two children in two settings: the elementary school classroom and the computer lab. One child was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the other is neural-typical. These students participated in a computer science curriculum designed for upper elementary school children which featured block based programming. Analysis of video data revealed a higher amount of communication from the child with ASD (initiated interactions and length) in the computer lab with lower amounts of communicating observed in the general classroom.

Brandon Isaac | Materials 
Light Circuits for Mobile Communication
I will be discussing the use of silicon and indium phosphide photonic devices to achieve high data rate communication for mobile devices.  We use silicon as a photonic signal processor, and InP as an optical to electrical converter and low pass filter.  This approach will hopefully be used in 5G mobile communication.  

Michael Paull  | Chemical Engineering
A Brief History of Your Immune System
When your body encounters a pathogen, it makes antibodies to fight that pathogen for the rest of your life. We have developed a method to “read” the antibodies in human blood to determine prior immune targets. By comparing the immune histories of sick and healthy patients, it may be possible to better understand, diagnose, and treat diseases.

Daniel Phillips | Geography
Defining the Community of Interest as a Cognitive Region
When deciding where to draw the boundaries for electoral districts, officials often strive to ensure that communities of interest are not split up but kept wholly within those boundaries. But what constitutes a community of interest is vague, with legal and academic sources describing either a thematic region with shared demographic and land-use traits, or a cognitive region that is meaningful to people and commonly agreed upon. This presentation shows how I identified communities of interest within Santa Barbara as cognitive regions--by surveying residents about the size and locational extent of their community and finding areas of agreement. I also discuss how I assessed the degree to which these regions overlap with the new city council districts.

Luke Rosedahl | Dynamical Neuroscience
Monsters in the Closet: Shining Light on Object Misclassification
Every day we classify thousands of objects. Most of them we classify correctly, but the ones we misclassify can lead to dire consequences. My research examines the aspects of classification tasks that negatively impact our performance.

Baoqing Zhou | Chemistry
Developing a Complex Oral Microbiome Model
The mouth is the gateway into the human body and therefore also the first line of defense against many pathogens. However, this defense system is not as simple as the elimination of all bacterial species. We need a suitable model to study the interplay of harmless and harmful bacteria and their co-evolution or competition, and we in the Chen Lab at the Department of Chemistry are developing such a model of many bacterial species. We mimic the unique formation conditions of dental plaque to generate complex bacterial communities and study their compositions.

Round 8

Thursday, April 13 | 3 to 4 p.m.
SRB Multipurpose Room

Kristen Bryant | Sociology
‚ÄčNot Just Child's Play
This piece presents a glimpse into the practice of toy collecting by adults, seeking to complicate the expectations of who toy consumers are (they’re not just children), as well as demonstrate the way these fans combine both adult and childlike aspects of play into their activities. Ultimately, I demonstrate that adult and child toy play do not encompass discrete categories, rather existing on a continuum of play throughout the life course, suggesting re-evaluation of when and how play fits into our lives.

Kimin Eom | Psychological and Brain Sciences 
We Believe, Therefore we Act? Social Class Difference in the Link Between Belief in Climate Change and Proenvironmental Action
As a way of increasing proenvironmental engagement among people, one common approach is informational strategies: educating and informing people about the actuality and urgency of environmental issues. The underlying assumption is that once individuals acknowledge the problem, they will engage in actions. My research shows such an assumption is applicable only to those who have resources to use their attitudes and beliefs as guidance of actions. We found that belief in climate change predicts proenvironmental action more strongly among people with a higher, relative to lower, SES background. I will discuss the significance of sociocultural and economic circumstances that shape how people are motivated to address environmental issues. 

Dominique Houston | Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology
DID I PAUSE? DIAPAUSE: A Story of Suspended Animation
Over the last century, the average person's lifespan has increased by 30 years in the United States. Unfortunately, these additional years have come at a cost; our so called "golden years" are now plagued with a multitude of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, heart disease, and cancer. So how can we improve the quality of these golden years? My research seeks to address this by uncovering the molecular mechanisms underlying the prevention of age related degeneration in the fruit fly. 

Abe Pressman | Chemical Engineering 
Controlling Molecular Evolution: the Next Generation of Next Generations
Controlled evolution is one of the most powerful—and poorly understood—tools in a modern biologist's toolkit. Through next-generation tools and analysis, my research looks at mathematical ways to improve our use and understanding of molecular evolution.

Burhan Saifaddin | Materials
Disinfecting LEDs
Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection systems can become more cost effective, and more integratabtle with LEDs. UV LEDs can be used for water disinfection in rural, off-grid and industrial areas. Currently, light extraction limits the efficiency of the UV LEDs but we present solutions to fabricate high light extraction and highly energy efficient LEDs. 

Adrianna Simone | Chicana and Chicano Studies 
It Was NEVER Fiction: The Decolonized Voice of Michele Serros
My presentation highlights the empowering effects of decolonial storytelling for personal transformations and growth. I utilize Chicana author Michele Serros as well as my own life-stories as examples of decolonial storytelling. This year, my presentation will focus more on the theoretical aspects of my research, such as decolonial methodologies and theory in the flesh, but grounded in a fashion so that a general public audience can connect to the materials. 

Jason Wien | Physics
What's Really Inside a Black Hole?
Theoretical physicists have known about black holes for just over 100 years, but we still don't have a complete description of their interiors. We know such a description must be quantum, but we still don't have the right theory. My research seeks to answer this question by adding the smallest amount of quantum theory to Einstein's theory of gravity. 

Sam Zahn |  Philosophy
The Battle of the Self Against the Functional Infinity of the Internet
The amount information on the internet that would be tremendously exciting to an individual is far larger than that individual could even scan, much less integrate into their understanding of the world. The human brain did not evolve to accept and organize this quantity of stimulating information. I will be exploring the vertiginous effects of this phenomenon on the self, especially as it loses the ability (and, interestingly, the desire) to understand itself in the world.