Science student wins 3-Minute Thesis competition
Kien Ly from the School of Biological Sciences won the 3-Minute Thesis competition 2012 with his PhD thesis presentation “Rise of the planet of the worms: towards a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease”. More than 70 postgraduate students from throughout the University competed in this year’s competition where competitors must sum up their entire research in just three minutes using only one PowerPoint slide.
Kien was one of eight finalists who battled it out to be crowned this year’s winner in what was an entertaining and animated final. At the sound of a buzzer each competitor raced against the clock to present their ultimate “elevator pitch” on thesis topics ranging from bionic suits and agent based modeling to Alzheimer’s and anthraquinones.
Kien was applauded by the judges for his ability to present a serious study with flair, animation and humour. Supervised by Dr Russell Snell he is using a species of microscopic worm called C. elegans to understand Alzheimer’s disease and his presentation focused on why he chose worms over more traditional model species such as rats and monkeys.
Yusnidar Yusof from the School of Architecture came second in the event. Judges particularly enjoyed the description of her research investigating how school design affects academic excellence and social wellbeing in New Zealand schools.
Third place went to Ben Davies from the Department of Anthropology who presented his research on simulating the formation of the archaeological record in Australia’s arid zone.
As the 3-Minute Thesis competition winner, Kien will fly to Brisbane to represent The University of Auckland at the trans-Tasman finals hosted by The University of Queensland in October.