Bone defect research takes first at 3 Minute Thesis

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) 3 Minute Thesis qualifier competition took place on March 6, in which 10 PhD students challenged themselves to present a distilled thesis within three minutes and with only one slide as a visual aid. Under the pressure of time and conveying their research to a general audience and a panel of five judges, Aditi Dahiya from the Department of Chemistry rose above her competing colleagues to win first place in the qualifying round.

Dahiya’s $1,000-winning presentation, “Healing Bone Using Spices,” focused on bone health issues and “merging natural medicinal compounds, [e.g., turmeric and oregano], with 3D printing technology to forge a tailored approach to bone defect treatments.” She notes that this type of research “could mark a pivotal step towards a more accessible and less invasive treatment modality for bone-related ailments.”

The $750 second place award went to Annesh Mukhopadhyay from the Department of Physics and Astronomy for his presentation titled “Understanding quantum mechanics through Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC).” Mukhopadhyay’s thesis presentation focused on how using an atomic gas, i.e., Bose-Einstein condensate, and cooling it to almost absolute zero to capture images enables the human eye to observe quantum behavior. This research informs the “basic principle behind such complex quantum phenomena” that will add to the future discoveries of quantum mechanics.

Patrick Gambill from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics took third place and a $500 award for his thesis presentation, “Mathematical Games and Redistricting,” that focused on applying mathematics for two-player games to predict potential advantages in bipartisan redistricting. “[T]his math can help us determine which districting plans favor a particular party and what strategies a bad actor might use.”

Aditi Dahiya.
Aditi Dahiya
Annesh Mukhopadhyay.
Annesh Mukhopadhyay
Patrick Gambill.
Patrick Gambill

In addition to the three top-place winners, the following doctoral students participated in the rousing qualifier round: Saheed Adeniyi Ogunkoya, Department of History; Matthew Beckman, Department of Chemistry; Andre Diehl, School of Languages, Cultures, and Race; Ela Sehic, Department of Psychology; Molly Sutter, Department of Mathematics and Statistics; Jennifer Moran, Department of History; Erik J. Wasleske, Department of Physics and Astronomy. Read about each of the competitors’ thesis presentations.

The CAS qualifier competition’s master of ceremony was Dean Luethi from the School of Music, and the judging panel consisted of Diamond Beverly-Porter, Department of Digital Technology and Culture; Erica Crespi, School of Biological Sciences; Henry Evans, Equity and Outreach; J.J. Harty, Department of Art; and Courtney Meehan, Graduate Studies. Judging evaluated comprehension and content, as well as engagement and communication.

As the first-place qualifying winner, Dahiya will compete in the university-wide 3 Minute Thesis competition on March 27 in Pullman at 1 pm in VBR 205 where winners will receive $3,000 for first place, $1,500 for second place, and $500 for third place. The event is open to the community to attend. Watch the complete 2024 College of Arts and Sciences 3 Minute Thesis qualifier competition.

By Christina Mancebo, College of Arts and Sciences