Graduate student Sabrina Liu competes at the Grad Slam with “The Power of Hope: First Year Students' Adjustment to College Amidst Tragedy.”
Patricia Marroquin, UCSB Graduate Division

Fast-talking UCSB graduate students have been competing these past two weeks at the annual Grad Slam, a TEDtalks-like competition in which they take a subject and compress it into a three-minute presentation. The winners of earlier rounds will be speaking on Friday on topics as varied as “Predicting Election Outcomes Using Wikipedia” (also an audience favorite) to “Using Sea Squirts to Find New Genetic Factors Controlling Birth Defects.”

The eight preliminary rounds featured speakers from across the campus and most of the departments. Judges chose a couple to advance to semifinal rounds, and the audience voted on a “People’s Choice” winner, who also went on to semifinals. More than $13,000 in prize money stands to be won, as well as entry into the UC-wide competition on May 4 in Oakland. This Friday’s finals take place at UCSB’s Corwin Pavilion from 3-4 p.m. It promises to be entertaining, and you’ll likely learn more about Chinese architecture, malicious software, and kelp forests on acid than you ever imagined possible.


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