(courtesy of UOIT School of Graduate Studies)
The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) recently held a Three-Minute Thesis competition (3MT®), which challenges a group of graduate students to present their research and explain its wider impact in three minutes or less to a panel of non-specialist judges. The challenge is to present complex research in an engaging, accessible and compelling way, using only one slide.
“Congratulations to all of the graduate student participants,” said Dr. Brian Campbell, Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies. “This competition provides students with an excellent opportunity to practice their presentation skills and help prepare them for the 21st-century workplace.”
Coming out on top were Aras Azimipanah, Master of Applied Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering student, and Kevin Stemmler, Master of Science in Applied Bioscience student. Both received their awards from Dr. Campbell. Azimipanah and Stemmler will advance to the provincial 3MT® competition at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario on Thursday, April 18.
“I was prepared well by my undergrad and graduate studies to talk in front of a large audience, and of course fan support in the audience helped,” said Stemmler. “There were still some nerves but I’m very happy to be going to the provincial competition.”
During the provincial showdown at Queen’s, Azimipanah and Stemmler will attend a gala dinner for all participants and supervising faculty for a chance to network and further develop their presentation skills.
The 3MT® competition provides graduate students with an opportunity to refine skills that can be transferred after graduation to diverse career paths. Distilling research into a clear form, without over-simplifying or making it overly complex, and highlighting the wider implications of the research are important skills to carry into post-graduate employment and public service.
The 3MT® competition was initially developed by the University of Queensland in Australia in 2008, soon followed by other Australian and New Zealand universities, culminating in the first Trans-Tasman competition in 2010. 3MT® has spread internationally: from Tokyo, London, Edinburgh and Vienna, to Vancouver and now Ontario. The University of British Colombia ran the first Canadian competition in 2011; Queen’s and Western University held competitions in 2012, challenging sister institutions to join in a province-wide competition. The inaugural Ontario 3MT® competition will be hosted by Queen’s University on April 18, 2013. Future competitions will be held at McMaster University (2014) and Western University (2015). Sixteen Ontario universities will be participating, including UOIT.