‘Research Live!’ registration ends today


By Daily Illini Staff Report

Today is the final day to register for the University’s “Research Live!” competition, in which all University graduate students may present their graduate research to an audience in three minutes using only two slides.

Participants may use one title slide, prepared by the Research Live! team, and submit one image to use as a second slide for their presentation. Participants will be judged on criteria such as delivery, clarity of presentation and effectiveness of visual material.

On Nov. 8, the University will hold the final round of the competition and announce the winner of “Research Live!”. This event will be open to the public to attend as audience members.

This is the third year of Research Live!.

Judges will include Niala Boodhoo, executive producer of “The 21st”, Illinois Public media’s statewide talk show, Jeffrey Magee, director of the School of Music and Melanie Loots, executive associate vice chancellor for Research at the University.

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Last year’s first place winner, Ritu Raman, received her Ph.D. from the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering in December 2016. She went on to become one of the five recipients in the For Women in Science Fellowship in 2017.

“I really enjoyed meeting other participants and hearing about research from all areas in the University, especially those outside science/engineering,” Raman said in an email.

Raman currently does research at MIT, focusing on the design of new smart materials that dynamically respond and adapt to their environment.

“I participated in this competition at the end of my time as a graduate student at Illinois, and it helped me shape how I share my Ph.D. research with new people I meet in my new job as a postdoc at MIT,” Raman said.

Raman’s presentation was about bio-bot, the idea of 3D printing soft robotic devices powered by living skeletal muscles. She recommends that all students should look into participating in Research live saying that it improved her communication skills.

Raman recommends that students participating in Research Live this year talk to friends outside their field about their research in order to practice.

“I think every student should actively try to pursue some avenue of science communication (science writing, science speaking, science art, etc.) – understanding your audience’s perspective and engaging with them in a meaningful way is one of the best skills you can develop as a graduate student,” Raman said.  

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