FAU Announces Winners of 2021 ‘Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition’


By brittany sylvestri | 5/5/2021

Florida Atlantic University has announced the winners of the 2021 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition organized by the Graduate College.

The goal of the 3MT® competition is for FAU graduate students from all departments and colleges to cultivate the ability to explain their research, including both breadth and significance, in a language appropriate to an audience containing both specialists and non-specialists. The 3MT® competition provides FAU graduate students with the opportunity to sharpen their professional development skills, reignite their passion for discovery, promote preeminent research, and foster community. 

“Our graduate programs seek to prepare students for academic and non-academic careers after completing their advanced degree,” said Robert W. Stackman, Jr., Ph.D., professor and dean of FAU’s Graduate College. “One of the critical skills that hiring employers look for in applicants is the ability to effectively communicate. The Three Minute Thesis (3MT ®) Competition enables participants to distill their years-long graduate research into a well-crafted and clearly articulated message. While this year’s event was again virtual, the quality of presentations by our graduate students was exceptional.”

More than 50 graduate students submitted three-minute videos pitching their research projects. Eighteen students advanced to the championship and were awarded scholarship prizes. A panel of distinguished FAU community members served on the championship judging panel to determine the 2021 first place, runner-up, and second runner-up championship winners. The people’s choice award was determined by more than 11,000 online votes submitted by public viewers.

The championship winners of the 3MT® competition include:

Championship Winner and recipient of the $2,500 Dr. Eric H. Shaw 3MT® Championship Award
Title: “Better by the Batch: Enhancing Drone Scheduling”
Presented by: Andrew Steinberg, FAU’s Ph.D. Computer Science program             
Faculty Advisors: Mihaela Cardei, Ph.D. & Ionut Cardei, Ph.D.
Video URL: https://www.youtube.com./watch?v=LYojy1UCZKU

Championship Runner-up and recipient of a $1,500 Award

Title: “Embodied Cognition: How cognitive behavior is not solely a construct of the brain but involves the entire body.”
Presented by: Claudius Osei, FAU’s Ph.D. Experimental Psychology program
Faculty Advisor: Elan Barenholtz, Ph.D.
Video URL: https://www.youtube.com./watch?v=9qW5cKJx07M

Championship Second Runner-up and recipient of a $1,000 Award
Title: “The Effects of STXBP1 in Infant Epilepsy”
Presented by: Nirthieca Suthakaran, FAU’s Ph.D. Integrative Biology program
Faculty Advisor: Ken Dawson-Scully, Ph.D.
Video URL: https://www.youtube.com./watch?v=bQxDo8PwU_w

Championship People's Choice Winner and recipient of a $1,500 Award (determined by public vote)

Title: “Playing a PTSD Survivor Onstage: How the Audience Can Further Understand Both Themselves and the Character in a 2-Hour Stretch of Time”
Presented by: Lindsey Marlin, FAU’s M.F.A. Theatre program
Faculty Advisor: Desmond Gallant, M.F.A.
Video URL: https://www.youtube.com./watch?v=N7SbNElfNLc

FAU 3MT® is a venue for graduate students from various disciplines to interact with one another and discuss their research and its implications.  The competition provides an opportunity for undergraduates, alumni, industry partners, various on-campus departments, institutions and the community to gain exposure to high-level, cutting-edge research being performed at FAU.

For more information on FAU’s 3MT competition, click here.