Preview of Grad Slam prelim rounds 7 and 8: Thursday, April 11

by Daina Tagavi, Professional Development Peer
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 8:00 AM



The 7th Annual Grad Slam continues with prelim rounds 7 and 8. Remember to get out the vote to help your favorite presenters advance to the semifinal rounds! Check out a preview of the presentations below and be sure to follow us on Facebook for live updates on the winners of each round.

ROUND 7
Thu Apr 11 | 11a-12p
Engineering Science Building 1001

Yvonne Diaz | Chemistry
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish? Dead Fish!: Combating Food Spoilage with Color
Colors are beautiful, but they can also be powerful. My research aims to produce color-based sensors that will help address the world-wide issue of food spoilage.

Camille Endacott
 | Communication

When Artificial Intelligence Makes Your Day
Organizational leaders have entrusted assistants to manage their schedules for some time, but advances in artificial intelligence present new possibilities for how decisions about managerial time are made. Though the outsourcing decisions about one's schedule to humans or artificial intelligence may seem innocuous, these choices have important implications for how managerial attention is directed in organizations. This presentation compares decisions made by human and artificial intelligence related to managers' time and attention and discusses the consequences for organizations and society.

James O'Hara | Physics
Riding the Wave Function of Gallium Arsenide
Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) is a robust semiconductor already used in many electronic devices. The current uses of the material are limited to simple functionality, constrained to a limited parameter space. The Sherwin Group is exploring more physical properties, like Berry Curvature and band structure parameters, by observing High Order Sideband Generation in GaAs subjected to strong THz Fields. This provides a more complete picture of the wave function of this useful semiconductor, allowing for enhanced use in the future.

Colin Raymond | History of Art and Architecture
Formulations of a Medium: The Rise of Video in Japanese Art 1965-1989
Although the rise of video art was predicated on the development of the Sony Portapak in 1965, it was not until the mid-1970s that a second generation of Japanese video artists began to champion and work exclusively in video, carving out a unique field within or adjacent to the theoretical framework of intermedia art—a term used to refer to artworks which utilize multiple media simultaneously, including moving images, sound design, and consumer technology. The ensuing “split decade” (the mid-1970s to mid-1980s) saw a flurry of activity and international attention for the medium and specifically for Japanese video art, eventually establishing video as a medium with a distinctive style and nascent pedigree. Through analysis of the writings, artworks, and interconnected relationships—local and global, commercial and communal—of prominent first- and second-generation Japanese video artists, this presentation traces the rapid establishment, reification, and assimilation of the medium of video.

Christopher Salem | Education
Availability of Dental Services at School-Based Health Centers in California
Schools throughout CA and the US are investing in school-based health centers (SBHCs), which are medical clinics located on K-12 campuses. They promise to offer access to healthcare where it was previously unavailable to children and their families in order to improve school outcomes, such as attendance. This research starts with dental care, and uses GIS software to analyze the locations and distributions of SBHCs in California in comparison with the locations of dental offices that accept public insurance. This research allows us to better understand how SBHCs are sprouting up in the state and if they are occurring in communities where they can make the most impact.

Andrew Steinkruger | Environmental Science & Management
Conservation Opportunities in Commercial Aquaculture: The Case for Farming Totoaba
Crowding out poachers from markets for endangered species products is a difficult, and risky, concept: for charismatic species like rhinos and tigers, ranching has paid off for investors without yielding conservation benefits. The totoaba, an enormous fish endemic to the Gulf of California, offers another story. The species' life history and unique market in East Asia support a growing aquaculture industry. Our group develops a novel simulation model to test the benefits of commercial aquaculture for this remarkable endangered species' survival in the wild.

Juan Carlos Villaseñor-Derbez 
Environmental Science & Management

Tracking Fishing Vessels to Ensure Sustainable Oceans
Just like understanding animal movement is critical for conserving biodiversity, we must understand human movement and how we interact with organisms across space and time. Advances in satellite technology allow us to track some 70,000 fishing vessels worldwide. My work combines economic and ecological theory through Data Science to understand the implications of conservation interventions in the marine environment. Using these data, I quantify the benefits of conservation areas to sharks and mantas, evaluate behavioral changes of fishing vessels after spatial closures, and predict fishing catches in near-real time.

ROUND 8
Thu Apr 11 | 3-4p
SRB Multipurpose Room

Cory Brown | Mechanical Engineering
Dynamic Modes of Ignition Phenomena: Learning Chemistry from Data
There are currently no model-independent methods of identification of the causal chemical mechanisms hidden within the emergent dynamics of ignition phenomena. To tackle this problem, we have developed a machine learning methodology for dynamical processes, based on modern dynamical systems theory, and use it to extract dynamic patterns from extensive atomistic simulations of hydrogen oxidation. By defining persistent dynamic modes, we have developed a data-driven means to compute persistent local (in time) composite reactions along with a new definition of ignition which could be used to learn the chemistry of more complicated combustion reactions.

Taylor Heisley-Cook | Environmental Science & Management

​Waste to Wear: Fabric from Cannabis Waste
The biggest impact of any given garment comes from raw material production. MMC fabrics (better known as viscose, rayon, tencel, or modal) are made from wood pulp, which is often unsustainably harvested from Indonesian old-growth forests. I am developing a technique to convert cannabis waste -- millions of tons of which is currently being burned or sent to landfill each year -- into MMC feedstock pulp. 

Matthew Limb | History of Art and Architecture
Ceramics and the Environment in the American West
My research investigates ceramists working in the American West by advocating for environmentally-conscious object making through their materials, firing practices, and interest in a craftsman lifestyle. These makers explored and experienced their environments through objects. 

Bharat Monga | Mechanical Engineering
Cure for Parkinson's: A Dream Come True
Parkinson's disease is characterized by pathalogical synchronization in neuron activity in the patient's brain. An effective treatment can be devised by countering this synchrony. This talk will elucidate treatment for the disease by modeling synchrony in neuron activity in terms of oscillators.

Khanh Nguyen | Chemistry
When Proteins Hold Hands and Dance
Therapeutic drugs take effects on the human body via proteins, biological molecules that may just be a few millionths of an inch in size. The drug acts like a key to unlock and interact with the protein. Making an actual key in real life requires one to see the inside of the lock, just like designing drugs requires one to see the detailed structure of proteins. How do scientists look at something so tiny in such high-resolution details to cure diseases?

Nicol Parker | Environmental Science & Management
We All Need Somebody to Lean On
Bill Withers popular song 'Lean On Me' is a fantastic analogy for the modern era where the knowledge base of individuals are highly specialized, but limited in the vast array of factors affecting our daily lives. To navigate our increasingly complicated world, we all need somebody to lean on to enable us to be productive in the niche we carve out for ourselves as a parent, employee, civilian, or leader. One entity we all lean on for safety is our government, whether it be in the form of building codes, sewerage networks, social order, or health. I seek to share with the audience of the Grand Slam Competition the shortcomings in government oversight of chemical risks, and my research to lend a hand, so that I can help you carry on.

Vania Wang
 | Geography

WeMap: A Methodology to Map Unplanned Settlements Using Volunteered Geographic Information
The WeMap methodology utilizes crowd-sourced data to reveal networked travel paths underlying dynamic urban spaces. Using a combination of stochastic simulation, spatial data science, and epidemiological insights, WeMap is particularly well-suited to track rapid shifts in human movement allowing for applications across a wide range of informal settlements. With this novel and innovative approach to urban cartography, maps are not ordained by urban planners, but are drawn from cognitive processes that predispose human movement. In this way, the WeMap project has the powerful potential to provide insight on informal settlements like those in Malawi, visually representing how residents interact with their environment and allowing researchers and service providers a more nuanced insight into often poorly-studied urban and peri-urban communities. WeMap is an extensible, generalizable, and innovative mapping method that has the potential to catalyze impactful change in improving health provision to resource-poor communities on a global scale.