Preview of Grad Slam prelim rounds 9 and 10: Friday, April 12

by Daina Tagavi, Professional Development Peer
Thursday, April 11, 2019 8:00 AM



The 7th Annual Grad Slam continues with prelim rounds 9 and 10. 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 9
Fri Apr 12 | 11a-12p
​SRB Multipurpose Room

​Camille Herrera | Environmental Science & Management
Climate Change and the Apparel Industry: Can They Reduce Their GHG Emissions?
As of 2016, the apparel industry accounted for 7% of global CO2 emissions. If apparel companies use different materials, they can reduce their contribution to climate change. But what happens when our demand for fashion causes apparel industry growth to outpace sustainability savings?

Lauren Kaapcke
 | Environmental Science & Management

Encouraging Investment in Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are effective in protecting coastlines during storm events as well as providing many other ecosystem services, however the total benefits and costs of preserving these ecosystems is not well-documented. My team seeks to encourage investment in reefs by quantifying the benefits and costs so coastal stakeholders can make informed decisions.

You-Jin Kim | Media Arts and Technology
Virtual Personal Space
You-Jin is exploring how the city with inverted colors invokes nostalgic emotions when being observed. In addition, he is experimenting with the idea of taking photos in the augmented reality environment. The photos captured in the rendered city can represent both memory and imagination. You-Jin strives to research and explores the relationship between virtual reality (computational experience) and the individual’s ability to extract information.

Zachary Reitz | Chemistry
Chained by Iron: The Tug-of-War Between Bacteria and our Body
Bacteria need iron to grow, just like we do. Many of them get it by making siderophores, which are molecules that grab iron and hold it tightly. Pathogens can even use siderophores to rip iron out of our blood. By studying the genomes of bacteria, we can learn how these molecules are made.

Andrew Rowberg | Materials
Engineering High-Performance Materials for the Hydrogen Economy
Hydrogen is gaining increased visibility as a viable source of renewable energy, particularly in the transportation sector. In my research, I use computational tools to study the electronic and structural properties of high-performing, safe, solid-state hydrogen fuel cell materials at the quantum scale. Transitioning to a carbon-free society will require input from a wide range of energy sources, and I will discuss the ways in which we envision our hydrogen energy materials becoming part of that portfolio.

Leilai Shao | Electrical & Computer Engineering

Stretch Your Imagination
Flexible and strechable electronics are revolutionizing the design of wearables and IoT devices. Among various promising materials, carbon nanotube show great potentials with high electrical performance and great mechanical flexibility. Various promising directions regarding carbon-based stretchable/flexible electronics will be highlighted.

Emily Williams | Geography

Who Pays When Disaster Strikes? Attributing Impacts on the Frontlines of Climate Justice
Communities around the world are already enduring the impacts of human-driven climate change, leading to questions about responsibility, accountability, and attributability. Over the past decade, scientists, lawyers, and policy makers have become increasingly concerned about who is responsible for these impacts and how impacts can be directly attributed not just to climate change, but to the entities most responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, be they individuals, corporations, or governments. This talk will explore how we can blend disciplinary fields and different forms of knowledge to ensure that those least responsible for climate change, who shoulder the greatest burden of impacts, receive compensation and justice. 

ROUND 10
Fri Apr 12 | 3-4p
​SRB, Multipurpose Room

Tom Costigan | Philosophy
The Gettier Problem
Philosophy graduate research is unique, in that we cannot give you an answer in 3 minutes. But also the answers are not interesting on their own; a philosophic answer is jargon laden, logically pedantic sentences, which on their own sound like a different language. So, today I will tell you a story about my friend, Lavender, and myself, and hopefully you will question the nature of knowledge.

Violane Desgens-Martin | Environmental Science & Management

​Going Full Circle: Is Treated Wastewater the Future of Drinking Water in Drought-Stricken Areas?
Reusing treated wastewater is becoming an increasing need, especially in drought-stricken states such as California. Are we ready to drink reused wastewater? Yes! The technology exists and the infrastructure for reusing highly treated wastewater previously re-injected in the environment, or indirect potable reuse, is already in place in California and elsewhere. The next challenge is to move towards direct potable reuse (DPR), where the highly treated wastewater is directly injected into the drinking water system, an option currently met with regulatory issues and resistance from the public. Since DPR is being contemplated as a source of drinking water in the future, we must understand and address any public health concerns, as well as its feasibility.

Michael Haggmark | Chemistry
Uncovering the Mechanisms of Indigo Dye's Lasting Color
Indigo is a blue dye that has been used since antiquity, with 6000 year old garments found in Peru still showing the characteristic color. The color and photostability of the dye lend to the use of indigo in the modern era, in the form of blue jeans. We focus on understanding the fundamental mechanisms on a molecular level that allows indigo to persist over thousands of years, a timeframe over which other dyes would have faded. 

Tiffany Halvorsen | Biomolecular Science & Engineering
​How Infectious Bacteria Forge Their Weapons
My talk will introduce the paradigm shift in human perception of microbial communities from dangerous to largely beneficial. I will explore our classic approach to treating infections with antibiotics, and then introduce an alternative approach that has been made possible by research in our lab, which is currently being explored by us and our collaborators. I am aiming for this talk to be much different from my last GradSlam talk in the approach I take to introduce bacteria, and in my discussion of the implications of my research.

Jesus Olguin
 | Linguistics

Linguistic Typology as a Window ​Into Human Cognition
In this presentation I explain how linguistic typology can help us to uncover universal principles of human cognition that shape and constrain languages. In doing so, I explore different types of adverbial clauses, such as temporal clauses (e.g. As soon as you left, he arrived), conditional clauses (e.g. If you had gone, you would have had fun), and concessive clauses (e.g. Although you were sick, you didn't go to see the doctor), among others, by taking into account a sample of 300 languages not genetically related. 

Margaret Schimmel | Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology

Designing the Cure for Polycystic Kidney Disease: A Novel Immunotherapy
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is a very common inherited disease classified by aberrant proliferation of renal cells, resulting in the formation of fluid-filled cysts, tissue damage, and eventually kidney failure. This disease affects an estimated 12 million people worldwide and there is currently no effective treatment. With that, I aim to develop a novel antibody that specifically targets renal cysts and effectively blocks cellular growth signaling, preventing the detrimental cyst development characteristic of ADPKD.

Vinnie Wu | Psychological & Brain Sciences
Motivation Matters: Are Positive Intergroup Interactions Positive for Everyone?
With increasing racial diversity and geographic mobility, intergroup interactions are inevitable, often resulting in conflict. Previous research establishes the effectiveness of positive intergroup interactions in reducing prejudice. In this talk, I propose that this effectiveness differs depending on individuals’ motivational orientation, distinguishing between approach- and avoidance-oriented individuals.