UC PGSA held their inaugural ‘Bake Your Thesis’ competition this week with outstanding results as UC postgrad students presented their research in a different and tasty way.
The competition and award ceremony was held in the Living Room/Postgrad Space, beside UBS – University Bookshop Canterbury on Ilam Campus.
Astrid Simonsen (Department of Political Science and International Relations) with her Imposter Syndrome Cake, representing her research on nonviolent movements and the blank pages of a thesis, and how hard it can feel to try to write something for a PhD
Geela Fabic (Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering) for her Educational and Interactive Python Programming Cake, which you could actually program
Merel Keijsers (Human Interface Technology Lab) for her Bullied Robot Cake with an internal motherboard
Olivia Silvester (School of Biological Sciences) for her Wetlands Cake, full of native birds and skinks, and the Cat Cupcakes which couldn’t cross the water
• Mengping Cheng for her Chinese Book Cake – College of Education
• Ben Wamamili for his 6 layer Smoke-free 2025 Cake – School of Health Sciences
• Jamin Martin for his “Nanorama” – School of Physical and Chemical Sciences at UC
• Sam Davidson for his Subduction of a large chocolate province Cake – Department of Geological Science
Congrats to all!
Samantha Bodman (Physical and Chemical Sciences) was stunned when she won the Best Doctoral student presentation for Thesis-in-Three this week. As well as receiving prize money she will represent UC at the Asia-Pacific Competition in Brisbane.
Thesis-in-three is an opportunity for Doctoral and Masters thesis students to present their research in three minutes using a single PowerPoint slide.
We asked her to share about the competition and her presentation ‘Building the Block by Block’.
What was it about Thesis in Three that encouraged you to enter?
I was encourage to let people know about the ground breaking Chemistry research that is going on in the School of Physical and
Chemical Sciences. Plus letting the public know that new, more efficient solar cells are coming their way. The prize money was a bonus.
What was the best and/or most challenging aspect/s of Thesis in Three?
The most challenging part was explaining the complex aspects of what I do in a short amount of time to the public. I am so used to using scientific jargon day to day, explaining it without it, is a challenge.
I really enjoyed listening to other thesis students’ research in other
colleges. The competition was so tough and everyone did
so well. I was so stunned that I won!
A small challenge from UC Comms. What would you say to an everyday person if they asked you why your research was important in the ‘real world’….in 30 words or less?
My research involves making molecules that have the ability to double the energy produced from one photon (unit) of light. These molecules can make solar panels more efficient.
How do you distill the complexities of your postgraduate research into one slide in just three minutes, and in a way that will interest strangers?
It’s s not for the fainthearted – but that’s what the three winners of UC’s Thesis-in-Three finals did this week.
- Best Doctoral student presentation – Samantha Bodman (Physical and Chemical Sciences)
- Best Masters student presentation – Chris Boniface (Law)
- Third place winner – Kseniia Zahrai (Management, Marketing & Entrepreneurship)
Chris Boniface shares some insight into the competition and responds to the UC Comms Team’s own challenge: describe your research in one paragraph, 30 words.
The Effects of Artificial Intelligence on the New Zealand Healthcare System – Chris Boniface
Why did you enter Chris? – As a whole, I’m not a fan of, or at all experienced in public speaking or presenting but I want to pursue postgrad to its limits, including seminars, conferences, publications and more to get the career I want. Thesis in Three offered the opportunity to practice those skills in a fun, competitive environment.
What proved challenging? – Trying to fit my research into only three minutes, in a clear and succinct way. My speech only really covered one of four major aspects of my research, because if I tried to include everything it would be a rushed mess, and I had to make sure a part was engaging and interesting, but still concise!
One paragraph, 30 words. Can you do it? – When you’re in a vulnerable healthcare situation, knowing things are ready to help you when they go wrong is vital – the robots are coming, we need to be prepared!
Photo: Chris is congratulated by Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua Ian Wright.
Thesis-in-three is an opportunity for Doctoral and Masters thesis students to present their research in three minutes using a single powerpoint slide.
The UC finals will be held on Tuesday 14 August, 6pm, C3.
- Students have three minutes only to describe
what they are doing, why they are doing it –
the importance/impact of the research and
how they are doing it.
- Only a single slide, no additional electronic
media (e.g. sound and video files) and no
- There is a national Three Minute Thesis (3MT) for Master’s
students. This year this will be held at UC on 24 August.
- The best UC Doctoral student will represent UC at the Asia-Pacific Competition in Brisbane.
- The Thesis in Three format was first introduced
by the University of Queensland.
Gabrielle Mulder, a student studying their Masters in Child and Family Psychology, is exploring the influence of New Zealand European, Māori and Asian culture on parenting practices and children’s social behaviours.
- How does culture influence parenting practices?
- Do parents view their parenting through a cultural lens?
- How do parents of different cultures perceive their children’s behaviours?
- What are some of the similarities and differences among cultures in regards to parenting and children’s behaviour?
This project is seeking mothers and fathers of children between 3-5 who identify as either New Zealand European, Māori or Asian (Chinese, Indian, Filipino) to share their views and perceptions around how their culture has influenced their parenting, and their children’s social behaviours, with a view to completing two short questionnaires and an interview.
If you meet the criteria and are interesting in participating, please email Gabrielle Masters, who will be happy to send you through some more information.