>>Hello everyone. Welcome to LinkedIn San Francisco, it’s great to have you. My name is Farhan Syed, Vice President of North American sales for LinkedIn’s learning solutions business, I’m personally excited to have the grad slam here and have the pleasure of introducing our MC in just a moment, there’s two reasons I’m excited, first of all I’m a graduate of UC Berkeley myself, go Bears. I majored in molecular and cell biology and actually Alan Sachs was one of my professors, I did do well in his class, it would be awkward if I didn’t, that’s a close one. But the reason I’m excited from that perspective is because I did major in a science and yet now I transitioned to the business world, so it’s intriguing to me to see what happening today with that underpinning of this idea that you are taking research in a variety of fields and thinking about real-world applications and making it simple for people to understand, so I appreciate that personally due to my own journey from one field to another. The second reason I’m interested and excited for this event to be here is because of LinkedIn’s stated vision. Our stated vision is to create economic opportunity for the global workforce. What does that mean? That means providing a platform for our members, of which there are over 600 million, and ideas, to start to meet and connect with each other to realize that stated vision. And what it also means is that what’s happening here today with the grad slam is very much in line with what we do as a company, which is why we love hosting this every year, if you will allow us the pleasure of doing it in perpetuity. We would love that. Today we will learn a lot about groundbreaking research distilled into bite sized pictures, I’m excited to see that. And what’s important to me coming from the business world is to see and appreciate the skills of our students to be able to do that, to communicate that. I know a lot of hard work goes behind this research but how do you communicate it in an easy way for people in the quote unquote real world to understand? That is an important skill. And without that skill some of this research may never leave the lab in the first place. Through programs like the grad slam this research is being shared, understood, and acted upon, that’s important but thinking even bigger perhaps some of these ideas will eventually become a reality and employ hundreds or thousands of people. And that’s creating economic opportunity as we talk about in our vision at LinkedIn, that’s inspiring to me. That you could be doing that for the benefit of other people, not just employing people but also the benefit of your ideas for all of humanity. So we value the work you’ve put into this research, we value the efforts you’ve put in to distill it down to these three-minute pitches, but we also value the potential impact this research has on our global community and we wish you all the success today, and may the best pitch win. Now I would like to introduce president Janet Napolitano. She became the 20th president of the University of California in 2013, the first woman to serve in this role. As president she leads a system with 10 campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national laboratories, and a statewide division of agriculture and natural resources. She is a distinguished public servant and is the former Secretary of Homeland security and two-time Governor of Arizona. Please join me in welcoming president Janet Napolitano.>>♪>>All right.>>Welcome to grand slam. Yeah. Thank you Farhan, and thank you all of you for being here today, this is one of my favorite events during the year because we get to hear today from some of the University’s brightest minds, and I’m thrilled to be able to MC us as we go through the program. I want to thank our gracious host, LinkedIn, for providing space and support for grad slam and for the partnership with the University of California to make this event a success. Grad slam offers a wonderful opportunity to pause for a moment and celebrate the purity of discovery an pursuit of truth. In the course of an ordinary day we don’t often think of the blood, sweat, and tears that go into the research that affects our lives, from the Internet to new types of citrus fruit to our ever evolving understanding of the human psyche or human history. We have graduate students to thank for many of these discoveries and innovations, and as one of the world’s great research institutions, the best public research university on the planet, University of California is in the business of creating new knowledge and discovering research solutions for big global challenges. As president of the Uversity of California are and passionate about making basic research more understandable and exciting to the world beyond the classroom or laboratory. I think that’s especially important today because as many of you know the future of federal research funding remains uncertain. We need to continue to urge policymakers in Washington, DC to invest in basic research, because it is key to our nation’s scientific and technological advancements, and to the health of our economy. And we need to continue to show the public the importance of this work to their everyday lives. The 10 graduate students we will hear from today are already champions of explaining their research to the public in engaging, dynamic, and understandable ways. They have proven that they know how to explain complicated research to those who do not conduct research, and they are well on their way to becoming research ambassadors, something our country needs. I’m probably students are part of the UC family and I’m excited to hear about their world changing ideas today. Before we meet our five distinguished judges I would like to take a moment to thank Thermo Fisher Scientific for being here today, they have generously sponsored all of today’s grad slam cash awards, so thank you.>>Now let’s meet our panel of judges. I’m going to ask them each to take a minute to introduce themselves, you can read more about their backgrounds in the grad slam program. Jessica, why don’t you begin?>>Thank you, President Napolitano. Hello everyone, I’m Jessica Aguirre I anchor the six and 11 o’clock news, I’m a veteran on this panel because I’ve done grad slam before, you will enjoy it so much, it’s a pleasure to be here to witness the type of innovation you see the UC system in California doing, California has got this right when it comes to schools, that’s for sure. And I’m the lead up to be here because I know by osmosis by the end of today I’m so much smarter than when I walked in.>>Good morning, my name is Alan Sachs, chief scientist at Thermo Fisher Scientific, and the private sector we hear pictures all the time, today I will enjoy hearing pitches about science which I can fully understand. So thank you for the invitation.>>Hello, my name is Deborah Cullinan, CEO of your Buena Center for the arts, a couple blocks away, please come over when you are done here. It is San Francisco’s center for art, civic, and public life and we believe everything starts with curiosity, imagination, and inspiration, so I’m super excited to be here and like Jessica I expect to leave much smarter.>>I want to say it’s a pleasure to be here in this room, my name is Serenity Bassett, I’m from Sacramento and I’m here proudly representing black girls code. Yes. Thank you so much. I am a senior graduating high school in Sacramento, I’m also part of the international baccalaureate program and national honor Society, and thanks again, it’s a pleasure to be here.>>I’m John Perez, a number of the Board of Regents, happy to be here, and one thing Serenity forgot to mention is she will be starting at UC Merced in the fall.>>Thank you, judges. We also have some of Serenity’s colleagues from black girls code today, give them a hand.>>Also with us today are some talented undergraduates that we hope will one day see as UC graduate students and competing in grand slam themselves, so please welcome undergraduate scholars from Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco State. Welcome.>>And there is one more special judge, that is all of you. Whether you are with us here at LinkedIn or watching on our live stream online, our audience will have an opportunity today to participate in grad slam. Once again we will award the people’s choice award along with the winner selected by our judges panel. After the presentations have concluded, we will provide instructions on how you in the audience and those watching online can vote, so keep track of your favorites and help choose the people’s choice award winner this year. Now, the research these graduate students are about to present to you represents years of hard work, so let’s give all of our contestants a warm welcome this morning.>>And now, I’d like to welcome our first contestant to the stage, give it up for George Degen from UC Santa Barbara.>>>>Have you ever successfully put a banded on when your skin is wet? It is really difficult to get things to stick underwater. And the reason for that is that water fundamentally changes the way that adhesives interact with surfaces. For example, materials that normally stick well in dry conditions, such as scotch tape or geckos, don’t work very well when they’re submerged. And this can be an issue because the majority of the human body is water, and surfaces in the body are wet. So when you are injured and you need surgery, a traditional adhesive normally won’t work, and instead the doctor has to use stitches or sutures to repair your tissue. And stitches are normally not a problem, until you need stitches on delicate tissues such as fetal surgery, where stitches do more harm than good. So it would be advantageous to replace stitches with an adhesive that works in wet conditions, and fortunately nature has already solved the problem. The ocean is wet, and has an acidity and salt concentration similar to the human body, and despite this, Marine mussels are able to stick to honest any surface underwater. To do this, when a mussel finder surface, say a rock, it extends an appendage called the mussel foot and this foot searches around on the surface of the rock and even now no one knows what the foot is searching for. But when it finds a spot it likes, it puts the foot down and injection molds a liquid mixture of proteins and other molecules onto the surface, and then the foot withdraws. And as the seawater rushes in, the entire thing solidifies forming an adhesive plaque connected to the rock attached to the body of the mussel by a thread, and this plaque thread architecture is amazing because the plaque perfectly channels force into the thread, and the thread acts as a shock absorber to dissipate energy and prevent the mussel from being torn from the rock by the waves. This allows it to live in the turbulent intertidal region between land and ocean. So in my research, I studied the interface between the plaque in the rock, and specifically the proteins that localized there, and I asked the question how are these proteins able to stick in wet conditions, when a Band Aid can’t? And I hope by answering this question, I can guide the design of future adhesives for use in the human body to replace stitches. Thank you.>>Now we do our spontaneous photo –>>All right. So your presentation had a lot of muscle to it.>>Thank you.>>Yeah, yeah. How did you get interested in doing this?>>I grew up in Wisconsin, I went to school in Pittsburgh, and then I came to California and I was excited about that because UCSB is a great place to do Marine research and mussel inspired research, I’m in chemical engineering but I work with people in marine bio and chemistry and the materials department are working on studying this system, the Marine mussel, there are so many things you can learn from it and UCSB is the perfect place to do that.>>You grew up in Wisconsin and Pittsburgh? How to get interested in Marine stuff?>>Mussel Research come if you can learn how they stuck you can copy it but you can also prevent them from sticking, which is relevant to the Midwest as well. My grandmother knows I study mussels so she sent me an email, George, I read in the newspaper that they’re trying to figure out a way to prevent zebra mussels from sticking to things.>>It’s an invasive species.>>They spread through Lake and River systems, and clogged intake valves in dams and cause dam fires.>>So that mussels are on fire?>>Though prevent the cooling system from keeping the dam cool, and they catch fire somewhere in there. That’s bad. I had heard about zebra mussels and that kind of problem with this is studying them in a different context for medical adhesives.>>What do you like to do when you aren’t studying mussels?>>I like to run. I was on the cross-country and track team as an undergrad, and I baked bread too, sourdough bread.>>Really?>>Yeah.>>Here it comes, I hope you win a lot of dough today. Okay, okay. This is a tough crowd. Okay. George, do you have brothers and sisters?>>Three younger.>>Are they also interested in science? How did you get interested in science to begin with?>>My siblings, my little sister, the longer of the two, starting at Northwestern for graduate school in systems bio in the fourth on excited for that, and interested in science, I liked math and chemistry in high school and I kind of just continued following it. In chemical engineering is flexible, so I could go into industry or research and study a lot of different things but I’m happy and it appeared.>>We are glad you are here too. What are you interested in doing after grad school?>>I want to do a postdoc and on the faculty search.>>There you go. Will you can also make some dough. You know, it just happens. Anyway, congratulations, good luck. Wax it just happens. Anyway, congratulations, good luck.>>Thanks.>>Okay, now I would like us to welcome our second contestant to the stage, Angela Nicholson from UC San Diego.>>♪>>Inside each one of our cells, millions of particles are bustling with activity. All this activity is organized by a molecule called RNA, shown by these yellow dots. Each piece of RNA is an individual written message that your genome uses to transmit information out to the working cell. This message system directs everything from production of muscle fibers to protecting you from viruses. When yourself first makes this RNA it synthesizes the main message portion. After that, a tablet added to each RNA at a predetermined long length, traditionally it’s been thought that Taylor protected the main message, so long was viewed as better, and it got written down in a textbook this way, RNA has long tails, and sometimes once something is in a textbook it’s assumed that the end of the story and it doesn’t get questioned anymore. But sometimes you find something unexpected in your research. Our lab has recently discovered that while RNA might start out its life like this, they wind up with a myriad of tail sizes, and actually short tales are the most common, but why would a cell bothered to negative along to the begin with just to shorten it up later on? By following the short tailed RNA and discovering they play a specific role in signaling to the cell that this particular message should be communicated quickly and effectively, by allowing for long tails on some RNAs and short tales on others, tail length can be a key part of differentiating each message being specific to what the cell needs. This finding turns the textbook dogma on its head. NOw, I’m talking about a small molecule and even smaller changes in this tail region, but these findings implicate tail length as a vital part of the message. For an example of how important this is want to talk about fragile X syndrome, a major cause of intellectual stability. Recently it’s been discovered that patients with fragile X have RNAs with different tail sizes as those not affected. The prevailing view means that tales are long and have no effect on how messages are communicated, so how can they be involved in a disease? Based on my work we know that tail length can have drastic effects on the element, so working to understand how tales are mis-regulated in fragile X can lead to important new treatments. This seemingly tiny change on a tiny molecule can affect how the entire human body is functioning. This is just one example of how my research could give us a new lens to reevaluate some complicated diseases. On top of the scientific implications, this work speaks to the importance of reevaluating long-held beliefs in any field. Scientists once thought the tale of an RNA was a passive bystander in regards to how messages were communicated, turns out it’s more the case of the tail wagging the dog. Staying open and curious in research can lead to big breakthroughs in the coming decades. Thank you.>>Congratulations.>>Okay, what got you interested in researching RNA tales?>>Perhaps the most exciting thing about it to me is that RNA and cell biology is at the base of all biology, so no matter what area you work in in science often this will relate to that because it’s a fundamental aspect of what every cell is doing, I think that’s exciting is that it affects all areas of biology.>>Have you always been interested in science? Did your family talk about RNA at the dinner table?>>I don’t know if they can tell you what it is still, none of my family is directly in science. I didn’t get interested in science until I was at community college, and I took a cell biology course, and I found it really interesting learning about the tools that we have in science and it left me with so many more questions, I feel like that’s continually pushed me along, I want to know more about this and what tools do we have here, I find the technology aspect interesting, developing new tools for science, so after that initial class that was a big impetus for my research during high school, I wasn’t interested in science at all to be honest, I took this class and I didn’t really think anything of it at the time until I got invested in what was going on similarly.>>That I see in your background that you also have done a lot of theater? Tell me what you did.>>I have a nontraditional background for a lot of people in grad school. I previously went to a conservatory for the performing arts and studied theater and dance, and worked in professional theater for a while before my science life. That’s another story, but I got a bad injury and had to kind of reevaluate careerwise what I was going to do, and I remember my interest in science, I came back to that and continued on with my science career, and even though they seem like different fields to most people, people asked me how did you transitionrom theater –>>I was going to ask the same question.>>There are a lot of similarities, kind of working with the team and the curiosity and openness to do something new I think is a lot of what you do, as an actor you are stepping into this new thing and thinking what can you do with this, and curiosity and innovation is a huge part of science, and of acting too. And in the lab I’m also building something and trying to figure it out and working with that and working with other people, I think there are similarities that match.>>That’s interesting. When you were acting, did you have a favorite role you performed?>>One of my favorite roles was in a musical called Curtains, which is relatively new so not a lot of people know it, it’s basically a spoof on a musical, and people were so excited in the audience that it made you feel so good to just be like, these people are so happy, and here I am dancing, and it was fun to interact with the audience. Everyone was so excited about it, I thought that was a fun connection. Corrected you have to sing in that news ago?>>Just a few bars.>>I don’t know about that.>>I won’t be recording any albums anytime soon.>>We will put that one aside. All right, congratulations.>>Thank you.>>All right, welcome to the stage, our third contestant, Kevin Pham from UC Riverside.>>>>For 1000 years, China colonized Vietnam. For almost 100 years, France colonized Vietnam. For 20 years, the United States fought a war in Vietnam. So today when most people think of Vietnam they think of colonialism and war. However, what many people do not know is that this history is just as much about cross-cultural learning. Now I’m not talking about how pho, Vietnamese beef noodle soup, might be inspired by a French beef stew. No. Instead and talking about ideas. By the 1920s, a generation of Vietnamese felt humiliated because foreigners had again conquered the country. These five Vietnamese thinkers proposed different modes of responding to Western domination. Between them waged a battle of ideas. For example, one argued that the Vietnamese were conquered because they were weak, because they forgot the teachings of Confucius, the Chinese philosopher. He thought that an idea from Europe called democracy could enhance Confucius’s methods of self-improvement in Vietnam. However, another argued the Vietnamese should turn to Indian and German great thinkers as role models in order to strengthen their intellectual culture. The each had different ideas but they all believed the way to overcome foreign domination was self-help. You are familiar with self-help books. Well, these guys had a lot to say about self-care, self-improvement, mental health spiritual health, and even physical health. For them, self-help was a way of strengthening the Viennese people to gain political power to become free and independent. Now, what is unusual and brilliant is that they created their theories of self-help by taking Asian ideas like Newsom, meditation, Confuciuan family values, and mixing them with Western ideas found in George Washington’s biography or French philosophy. Unfortunately their verses have been forgotten, my project is the first to analyze the writings to show the value of Vietnamese ideas for self-help and politics. They can teach us how to blend ideas from different cultures in order to improve ourselves. Today in our globalizing world different cultures are coming into more contact. We need to find out how to pick out the most useful from each, create something new, and use it to improve ourselves, our country, and our world. These Vietnamese thinkers show us how it might be done. Thank you.>>All right, let’s start and let me just ask how you got interested in this particular topic? Because you are kind of going in a new direction from traditional history, are you not?>>Yes. I guess I would say I am trying to feed two birds with one scone.>>Ugh.>>Kill two birds with one stone. The first bird is I wanted to rediscover my roots. My grandparents both passed away after I finished my senior year at UC Irvine, and I decided to move to Vietnam to relearn my native language Vietnamese because I was ashamed that I had never really had a conversation with my grandparents, I saw them all the time but I couldn’t really speak to them in Vietnamese, so I wanted to learn it again and find a project that would allow me to rediscover my roots and learn more about the history of the country where my parents came from. The second bird is that political theorists have studied a lot of European political philosophy and recently they’ve only started to study non-Western political thought such as China, India, and the Islamic world. It’s really those three. But so far no one has written anything on Vietnam and political theory, and so I wanted to contribute to this aspect, not because Vietnam has been ignored, but because I actually think they have really useful and important things to teach us.>>So if you were advising President Trump on how to imagine the United States in today’s world, what would be your top let’s say two pieces of advice? Put yourself in his head.>>The first thing is that if the United States wants to maintain their positive influence on the world, the United States needs to tap into what has best, which is diversity of cultures. There are many cultures in this country, and we need to take it seriously, we need to reach across the aisle to people of different cultures and learn what aspects of their culture, their religion, their ideas, and what they have, how they see the world, and we need to talk and come together and make this country a better place first, and it is because it has fewer blind spots, because we have many different cultures, and I think that’s what we contribute to the world, this model and philosophy of engaging people across cultures to tackle common problems.>>And are you — yeah. And are you thinking about how cultures come into contact with each other without also coming into conflict with each other?>>I did this when I said contact, because if we don’t make productive, constructive use of this encounter, it might end up in conflict. So I think these Vietnamese thinkers are valuable because they taught you that you can pick out the most useful from various cultures and synthesize them.>>And what do you like to do in your spare time, when you are not dissecting Vietnamese great thought?>>I have been spending a lot of time with a close friend and he has two small children, a three-year-old and a seven-year-old, and they speak French and soda why, so I’ve been reading them a lot of children’s books. In French. So I’m discovering the world through their eyes and seeing them grow and discover the world, and sometimes when books are not there I tried to tell them stories, so it’s really fun.>>Do you have a favorite children’s book?>>There is one we read recently called Pluke, it’s about a penguin who can’t swim, so it steals fish from this little Eskimo girl, and the Eskimo girl finds out, and the Eskimo girl hates the penguin and they get into a conflict –>>There is a clash of cultures.>>The Eskimo girl’s little sister starts sliding off the glacier into the water and then Pluke comes and he can’t swim because he’s never tried and he jumps in and he saves her, and he can swim. And then the Eskimo and the penguin are friends.>>Thank you, and thank you for sharing the story of Pluke. Yeah. Thank you very much.>>All right, now it’s time for our fourth contestant, welcome to the stage Nyasha Moforo from UCLA.>>>>Maforo>>>>At two years old my sister experienced a brain injury that led to two weeks in the hospital, but with powerful medical imaging doctors were able to provide the care she needed. Now she’s happy, healthy, and thriving, and fact she’s graduating high school tomorrow. As I look back at that time I realized it was a pivotal moment not only for my family but for me personally as well. It inspired beep to pursue a career where I could help kids and learn more about the medical imaging tools that helped my sister. So now in graduate school on using what I’ve learned about medical imaging to help kids with muscular dystrophy, DMD. It’s the most common fatal genetic muscular disorder primarily affecting boys. 300,000 boys are affected worldwide. DMD itself is caused by a DNA mutation that can only be passed down by the mothers to their sons, and this results in progressive muscle weakness. These kids are typically diagnosed before age 5, and often require use of a wheelchair by age 12. And because their diaphragm is also muscle, boys with because their diaphragm is also muscle, boys with DMD can face respiratory applications. Heart problems become the number one cause of death of these kids. But all hope is not lost, in order to reduce this frightening statistic this means we need to look at the heart little closer in order to better understand how this disease affects each boy’s heart, and we can do this using MRI. MRI was one of the imaging tests that help doctors help my sister when she was sick. But in my research, I’m using magnetic resonance imaging because one of its advantages is we can look at the heart from many different angles including the cross-section you see on the right. The dark circular region also highlighted in orange is the muscle we are interested in. One thing we don’t know about DMD is that we don’t quite understand when the heart becomes affected, and that the specific question I’m trying to answer with my research. I’m working to answer this question by analyzing hundreds of MRI images from boys that are healthy as well as boys with DMD at all ages. I’ve developed an analysis tool that utilizes color maps in order to look for patterns of muscle damage in the heart, and so far I’ve seen that in the muscle region of healthy boys it’s more uniform in color as you can see, however in the DMD heart it presents with an irregular color pattern, indicating where the heart is more affected. These results are exciting because this tells me that MRI can pinpoint the exact time the heart becomes affected. So finally this will impact those with DMD because doctors all over the world can use this analysis tool to track the disease progression of patients, and MRI can evaluate existing and new therapies helping kids with DMD. Thank you.>>Congratulations.>>All right, that’s great. You told us about your family story but have you always been interested in science?>>No I haven’t, very similarly to Angela I did not get interested in science until very late in the game. I think growing up I had a limited idea of what a scientist was and what they did, because I hadn’t really seen it. Also I come from an African family and its joked around often that the only careers our engineer, doctor, and nurse, and I didn’t know what that would look like. In college I got a summer research internship where I got to study something I was passionate about, that was breast cancer using MRI to better understand that too, and I realized, wow, this is cool, you are telling me if I can just research what I like and be able to share that with my friends and colleagues every year at conferences, that’s really exciting. So that is what got me in, I was sold on grad school.>>And here you are.>>Here I am.>>If you were talking to a group of high school students about research, how would you explain what it is that you do?>>That’s a good question. I think kind of like what I touched on, I would so research is being able to push the boundaries of what we know so far about something you are passionate about, and kind of how that directly impacts the world.>>Let me go in a somewhat different direction. Let’s imagine you are hosting a dinner party. And you get to invite three guests. Who is sitting around your dinner table?>>Okay.>>It can be alive or dead, actually.>>That’s great. My faith is important to me so I would love to have Jesus at the table, I’ve got a lot of questions for him. I would love to have a seat with Michelle Obama, she’s a huge mentor of mine whether she knows it or not. And I love to have you there because I think it would be great that you proposed this, we do it, we talk, and it would be cool.>>Nice touch. Nice touch. What do you like to do in your spare time?>>Living in LA I’ve gotten excited about doing outdoor things, I’ve enjoyed hiking, something my lab loves to do, running on the beach as well as yoga, cooking, and experiencing what LA has to offer.>>You like to cook?>>A little bit.>>Are you serving at our dinner party? Because I like to eat.>>That’s a good question. I’ve been trying to make sushi, maybe I’ll try that.>>Oh my gosh. And what do you think you will do after graduate school? What is your future?>>And keeping an open mind, I might go into clinical medical physics which what a lot of people in my program do, maybe stay in academia or industry. I’m keeping an open mind.>>Yeah, yeah. So you are at UCLA, any celebrity sightings?>>Oh yeah. There has been quite a few, that’s one of my favorite things about LA. I recently saw, what was his name –>>oh yeah, that guy.>>Ron Artest was in Whole Foods, that was really cool.>>Good luck to you, thank you.>>All right, let’s welcome to the stage contestant number five, Rachel Harbeitner from UC Santa Cruz.>>♪>>Every day you and I are adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere through our daily activities such as driving, and this carbon dioxide has been accumulating for a long time leaving it to be one of the major causes of climate change. Luckily we live on an amazing planet where three quarters of the surface of Earth is covered in oceans, and ocean works to regulate our global climate by acting as a buffer pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere into the ocean. There are small organisms that live in the service of the ocean that then use this carbon that oxide to build and grow their bodies. Eventually these organisms die and their bodies start to sink, and in the ocean the sinking bodies look a lot like snow, and they accumulate on the seafloor where they settle, they are buried kind of like a carbon graveyard, but some of these sinking bodies are consumed by tiny carbon eaters which you might know of as bacteria. So bacteria can be found everywhere, you and I are more bacteria than we are human. And they are important for most of our functions. And in the ocean bacteria, one of the roles is to eat carbon. But we don’t really have a full understanding of what their impact is on how carbon is cycling through the ocean. So to figure this out we went to sea, we used a giant robot to get to the seafloor, and did experience feeding carbon bodies to deep-sea bacteria to figure out which bacteria are eating this carbon and how long does it take him to eat it? We are thinking deep-sea bacteria will be very slow growers, they live somewhere that’s called, it is completely dark, and they are living under high pressure. I thought you’ll be in about a year they were eat the carbon I’ve provided them. It turns out deep-sea bacteria can eat carbon in the course of a week. That’s 50 times faster than we had expected. And will these bacteria are eating carbon bodies it’s getting converted back into carbon dioxide. So this carbon dioxide that starts in the atmosphere, gets pulled into the service ocean, turned into carbon bodies, is sinking, and getting converted back into carbon dioxide, and now has the chance to circulate through the ocean, reaching the surface ocean and being reintroduced into the atmosphere. We know that oceans are working to regulate climate and we are still trying to understand what impact do these tiny organisms like bacteria have on the carbon cycle within our atmosphere and within the ocean? So we can use this information from my experiments to better understand how the oceans respond to the human impacts of climate change. Thank you.>>All right. So, did I see that you also tagged some sharks underneath the water in Mexico?>>Yes, I’ve been interested in oceanography pretty much forever. One of my internships in college, I had the chance to tag sharks in the Gulf of Mexico.>>You have to tell you what that’s like.>>We go on a small ship and set up long lines and baited to catch sharks, we pulled them onto the deck of the ship and take measurements, figure out age, species, and stick tags on them to follow where they end up through the Gulf of Mexico or beyond.>>You stick tabs on them? M so maybe some of the mussel feet would be helpful. Wax right now it’s like the piercing of an ear, but there for an.>>You pierce the fan of the shark? Any exciting stories about that? How do they react?>>I don’t remember too much, mostly in the member fighting sharks to pull them on board.>>You said you’ve been interested in biology a long time, what got you interested?>>I grew up in Maryland where I was was part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, so the middle school I went to with a lot of outdoor school, we were out in the watershed and learning about how even though we lived the 45 minute drive from the day how our life was directly connected to the bay and the rest of the ocean and that got me hooked, and I’ve stayed coastal ever since.>>Is that what brought you to Santa Cruz?>>Coming to grad school here, I’ve worked on the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic, I figured why not that Pacific?>>If you were the head of the White House office of science, and there is one, what would you advise them with respect to climate change? And policy about climate change? Small question.>>I think one of the main things is that I think it’s pretty well-established now that climate change is happening, the question now is how much of it is our impact versus what was happening naturally. And I think kind of a lot of what the research we are doing is trying to so what’s the baseline of where we are to understand how are things changing, to then determine do we need to do something about it? Which things should be make changes for, and which things are located letting change a little bit?>>Any recommendations on that?>>Not at the moment.>>What do you like to do in your spare time?>>We are in Santa Cruz, it has great access to the ocean, Reds — redwoods, mountains, I spent a lot of time outside when I’m not finishing my dissertation. Also running, I cook a lot, I baked.>>What do you see for your future after you get your doctorate? Cracks I’ve applied for a few postdoc fellowships, hopefully in a month I will know where and up next.>>Very good. Okay, I will ask the dinner party question. You have three guests to a dinner party, who are they going to be?>>I think one of them would be Sylvia Earl, having a female oceanographer early on in the beginnings of being able to do oceanography. This is a really hard question.>>Alive or dead?>>I think having — that’s as far as ever gotten, I just want to talk to other oceanographers on how the field has changed and what they were able to do with limited technology, whereas now we have access to robots that we send to 2 1/2 miles below the seafloor and I do think most people do in alarm or even at the surface and I can use — leave experiments and come back to them year later. It’s cool to see where we’ve been able to progress.>>It would be cool to see where goes. Thank you very much.>>All right, welcome to the stage, give it up for sixth contestant, Katie Murphy from UC Davis.>>Let’s see by show of hands how many are looking forward to lunch today? Okay, keep your hand up if you would like to be able to eat lunch in 20 years. Okay, that will be one, two, let’s say just about everybody. My name is Katie Murphy, or as my students call me, the corn Queen, and I’m working to ensure food for our future. The unfortunate reality is that 20 years from now we expect to bring in more people on the planet. That is 2 billion more mouths to feed. Given our current production levels we cannot produce enough food. Lunch in the future could be a luxury. My graduate research at UC Davis is working to solve this problem. How do we grow more food using less resources? We stop losing crops to plant disease. Just like humans, plants get sick, and when they do our food dyes in the field and never makes it to your plate. The nasty, moldy ear of corn you see here is caused by a fungal disease. Fungus causes 10 percent crop loss of corn every year. If we are not having a nice buttery ear of corn for lunch I can guarantee we are eating something that was made with acorn byproduct or eating something that has eaten corn. It is the backbone of the American food supply. What a 10 percent crop loss looks like is a cornfield that covers the entire state of Florida rendered totally inedible. If we can rescue some of this crap from disease we can grow more food. My graduate research has uncovered a new group of chemicals that corn makes in response to this disease. Here corn acts as its own doctor, sensing is under attack, diagnosing itself with disease, and producing its own medicines, antibiotics really to fight off this fungus. Interestingly we have only ever seen these chemicals in corn, not any other plant. We now know the structure of the chemicals, the genes that controller production, and how they are working as antibiotics to fight off disease. I did so by taking the genes from corn and putting them into a bacteria I can grow in the lab in order to make these chemicals and figure out what they do. Now that I have this knowledge of these naturally produced plant antibiotics we can begin to reduce crop loss due to disease. They do, the corn Queen but I love all plants and so using genetics and breeding we can make corn varieties and other crops that can make their own medicines come of this will reduce current pesticide use, grow more food, and generate stronger plants to ensure food for the future. Thank you.>>Thank you. Thank you for giving us a real earful –>>It was a little corny.>>How would you pick corn as your field of study?>>Normally an outstanding in my field, too. It’s amazing, I know.>>It’s a slow one. Who are going to have a pun down here.>>don’t ask me any more. I fell in love with chemistry, and as an undergraduate I love chemistry but I found the lab work to be tedious and I couldn’t make molecules very well, so I joined a lab and she brought me my love of corn, she studies corn and how it develops, and I realized plants are better at chemistry than I will be, they can make so much more, and they do interesting things with chemicals. Then I fell in love with corn and got fortune at UC Davis that the perfect project was sitting there, there was a professor who wanted to study chemicals in corn and how they help corn fight disease. That’s where and up.>>And what are you thinking about doing postgraduate?>>I want to do a post doc, that’s kind of what you do after grad school, you do more research, I love research, I love being in the field and the lab and asking and answering interesting questions, it’s also important to me that my research makes it out to a farmer’s field one day, so I hope to stay in research but I’m excited to see what I can do with that.>>It’s interesting, one of the things we are trying to do is programs to interest young girls in science and math. If you are talking to a hypothetical high school class about what it is you do, and trying to get the young women to get excited, what do you tell them?>>I would say most young women are excited about science and math from an early age, and we see those numbers across high schoolers and undergraduate level, and in graduate we see 50-50 women and men, I often don’t think it’s a need to excite them, it’s a need to just see me and what I’ve done and tell them yes you can do this, women are welcome in this field and you can succeed because I think it’s been a lack of having some potential war models, being discouraged, I think even if they are excited about science girls don’t do science, so it’s telling them that yes you can do it, here’s what I do, I get paid to do research every day, that’s a dream, so I think that’s what I would tell them.>>When you are not researching in the lab, what do you like to do in your spare time?>>I like to garden and I try to plant things that aren’t corn so I have a balanced diet. And I just moved to Missouri two weeks ago for an internship so now I’m exploring St. Louis and seeing what it has to offer.>>Go up the arch.>>I haven’t gone there yet but it’s the plan.>>My grandparents are from St. Louis and my grandfather used to carve arch the largest croquet hoop in the world. And he thought East St. Louis, they should construct the largest croquet mallet.>>Good suggestion.>>Good luck to you.>>Thank you very much.>>All right, it’s time now to give it up for contestant number seven, Anh Diep from UC Merced.>>Who here has heard of Valley fever before? For those who don’t know, it’s a disease caused by a soil fungus once thought to be common just in one valley but now can be found from Washington to Mexico, and that all counties in California have reported cases. Behind me is a schematic of the lifecycle, it starts in the soil growing these long threads and the threads turn into tiny subunits that can break off, become aerosolized, and affect you. Anyone who spends time outdoors or worked around dirt is vulnerable. Inside your lungs these tiny subunits grow and then burst, filling them with spores, causing your immune cells to migrate. Fortunately only 40 percent of those infected actually develop disease, and it’s a mild disease, kind of like a code or flu, and your body can clear it up on its own. But there is a subset of those who develop severe disease marked by total fungal infiltration and profound exhaustion for the rest of your life. Why is it some people have severe disease and others don’t? This is an immune mystery. To study this question, I study direct interactions between your immune cells and the Valley fever fungus. To do this I simply put them together in a dish and let them interact, then with a microscope with a special computer program inside I can take pictures of your immune cells to see what’s going on. The arrow in white shows one of your immune cells digesting a Valley fever fungus. My data shows that your immune cells can target and destroy the fungus, but a special unknown activating signal is required to enhance the response. I’m currently investigating what the source of the signal could be. Why do I do what I do? The reality is if you traveled up and down California youth probably been exposed to Valley fever at one point. Worse, if you go to the doctor now and have a positive diagnosis the doctor can’t tell you if you can clear your infection or you will become chronic. My research addresses this gap in knowledge, if we can figure out what is boosting our immune system, the source of the activating signal, we can enhance the immune response paving the way for better drug development and better therapeutics. Worse, chronic Valley fever today is still treated with the same drugs from the 1980s, and patients have described these drugs as I can to setting their nerves on fire, so we need to solve the problem. On a more personal level I study Valley fever because as a Vietnamese immigrant and a transplant to California I’ve seen what this disease can do to communities without intervention. So to honor the people who built our home and to put food on our table I study this disease today. So to clear or not to clear, that is the question. But soon we can say we have an answer. Thank you.>>I spent a lot of my adult life in Arizona, and Valley fever is a big problem there. What got you interested in science at all? Will you always interested? That something turn you on?>>I have a nontraditional background, I started my freshman and sophomore year doing linguist six research in political metaphor, I worked with this great professor, some of my project also segued off the side to look at climate change communication, which sparked my interest in science communication overall but also science communication in the Central Valley. So when I was looking for grad school programs I thought I really like language but also love community engagement and civics and I love science, so what is a project that will let me do all of that? And Valley fever is perfectly that, it gives me the science component so I can ask these great questions but I can also go to the community and talk to the citizens of the Central Valley and share the knowledge that’s right there in their backyard literally.>>And when you finished your graduate school, what is in your future?>>I love teaching so if I could stay in academia that would be great, I’m also open-minded and kind of a quiet passion that’s coming out as I would love to work in the NIH or CDC and work in science communication, I feel like all this great work we do is awesome but I know people from the Central Valley who don’t know that Merced is doing Valley fever research, so if we can communicate that it would be great.>>Yeah. And in your spare time when you aren’t researching the cure for Valley fever, which would be awesome, what do you like to do?>>A lot. I love to read, write, I also really like to play video games.>>Do you have a favorite?>>I do. Overwatch. Thank you, my people.>>And you like to read, what are you reading now?>>Mostly every fantasy, I’m catching up again on Game of Thrones, we reading it because I’m up-to-date on the TV show, but the book always has more details.>>Are you watching the last season? What do you think? What is going to happen?>>I don’t know, every time I watch I end up a crying mess. I’m taking it as it comes.>>Do you ever been to watch?>>Yes. My professor doesn’t know this but during those long incubation hours I’m literally just sitting there and I will eat through three or four episodes.>>So you like a long incubation period?>>I make the most of it.>>Let me ask the dinner party question. Ready for It.>>Because You Knew It Was Going to Come.>>First, Anthony Bourdain, Rest in Peace. He is like my hero because he combines art, food, culture, politics. I would love to have conversations with him. I would love –>>Probably a good meal too.>>I would be cooking, so even more pressure. Probably Oscar Wilde, the poet, I love his poetry, the writing he’s done, and if history’s records are true he’s kind of a party animal.>>He and Anthony Bourdain would really — yeah. I’m imagining that. Class and unfortunately to throw him into the situation, Jeff Kaplan from the Overwatch team, he heads the direction and of element of the team. It would be two of these great, robust thinkers and talkers, and these two nerds and the corner.>>That sounds interesting.>>It would be.>>Thank you.>>All right, please welcome to the stage our VIIIth contestant, Nancy Freitas from UC Berkely.>>♪>>What if I told you that bacteria, tiny microbes we can’t even see with the naked eye, are partly responsible for some of the biggest climate changes we see on the planet? Bacteria are so tiny I could hold 1 billion of them in a handful of soil. Think about the number of handfuls of soil there are in the Arctic, where I work. All of that bacteria is changing our climate. On the left you can see the top layer of permafrost in the Arctic, it is made of plant material frozen for thousands of years. The next picture shows that climate change is following the permafrost. Bacteria that were dormant are waking up, and when they eat plant material to produce carbon dioxide and methane, potent greenhouse gases. This graphic shows northern Alaska where I work, and the ground is land and the blue is lakes. Scientists used to think that the soil under these lakes was unaffected by climate change but we are learning they were wrong. This is a huge problem, as you can see Loucks cover 40 percent of the area of the Arctic, that we don’t know how much greenhouse gas these deep soils are releasing. So the climate models we rely upon could be vastly underreporting greenhouse gas release in the Arctic. The goal of my research is to collect that missing data. On the left you can see part of a 60 foot long sediment core taken from below an Arctic Lake. The vials are samples taken at various depths, on the route I put the samples in jars, expose them to different temperatures, using the syringe I can capture and analyze the carbon dioxide and methane that the microbes and sediment are releasing. These data will be fed into a large climate model being compiled by four national laboratories. And it is crucial that we make these models as accurate as possible. It is the only way to understand what is happening with climate change. And the solutions are there. We even know what some of them are. It’s my hope that my work will motivate humans, which are much larger and smarter than microbes, to put our solutions into action. Thank you.>>All right. Did I see somewhere that you grew up in Arizona?>>I did.>>Do you still have family there?>>I do.>>Was your family there in the late 90s, early 2000?>>Yes, they were. And we’ve met before.>>. I was going to ask that the vote for me, but that is an inappropriate question.>>Yes.>>How do you get from Arizona to the Arctic and Alaska? What was the journey there?>>Similar to other people I wasn’t interested in science very much, I liked math, but I didn’t have a lot of female role models in the sciences, and I had a teacher in high school whose incredible, she pulled me into research and got me established in a lab early on, and through some of my lab work in undergraduate I got sent to the Arctic and started doing work on lakes. And it’s kind of taken off since then.>>How did you make the jump from doing research up there to climate change? Tell us about that journey?>>The Arctic is kind of on the frontier of climate change. We know climate change is happening, and the Arctic is warming up at twice the rate anywhere else in the world is, so these changes are happening very quickly. Like I was saying it’s crucial that we study them and that we start doing something about this.>>Yeah. And other models capable of analyzing not just the change that has occurred but the rate of change going forward?>>These are projections, and we are looking at current trends in the environment and trying to understand how they might change moving forward. And that IPCC, which releases climate change reports, climate reports, every few years, has different scenarios for warming that are possible, so using those scenarios we can come up with potential effects we might see.>>Pretend for a moment that I’m President Trump.>>Oh no.>>You are advising me on science policy affecting climate change. What are you telling me?>>I’m going to encourage you to go to some of the top universities in the country and listen to what scientists see every single day out in the field. I don’t think it’s effective to try to tell people about climate change and that it’s real when they don’t necessarily see that it’s real, but if people are able to experience what scientists experience on a daily basis it would be pretty hard to deny. I think policy will follow after that.>>Yeah, yeah. And you’d bring him to Berkeley for sure.>>Of course. And the University of Arizona, got to do both.>>What do you do when you aren’t exploring the changing climate?>>I play ultimate Frisbee, which is an up-and-coming sport.>>I see that phrase ultimate Frisbee, what is it?>>I love this question. This is much better than the dinner party question.>>Which may still be coming at you.>>Please don’t ask me. Ultimate Frisbee is played on a soccer sized field and has two end zones like football, there’s a kickoff kind of where one team throws the disc to the other team, and then they start playing. It looks kind of like rugby without the contact. You try to score in the end zone and play to a certain number of points.>>How many on a team?>>Usually between 20 and 25 people, but on the field you have seven for each team.>>Okay, so 14 people going after the disc.>>Yes.>>All right, you are going to get it.>>No, no!>>Your time technically is up but I’ve got to ask. Three people you are inviting to dinner.>>I have a question, can I squish people — can I make multiple people one person? It’s a theoretical dinner party, right? Quarks be as creative as you want to be.>>All four of my grandparents would be in one person, I would like to talk to them again. I would like past President Obama and Michelle in one.>>You are doing well.>>I have to cover all my bases.>>And I didn’t have an answer for the third one. Probably my parents.>>Squished into one.>>Yes, I’m squishing people.>>It will be a crowded dinner table. Thank you very much.>>Thank you.>>All right, let’s give it up for contestant number nine, David Wu from UCSF. David!>>>>Anyone can get a concussion. You don’t have to play for UCSF football. Every year over 1 million Americans go to the ER for falling and hitting their head, and even one concussion can cause long-term problems. Imagine you hit your head, at the ER you are asked a set of questions, what is your name, where do you think we are, can you tell the date? Right now a questionnaire is the best diagnostic for a concussion. A CAT scan of your brain isn’t sensitive enough so you are often sent home unsure if you had a brain injury. What if we had a sensitive test? You just your head, at the ER you take a blood test and tells you if you need medical care or you can just go home. 20 years ago a simple blood test revolutionized how we catch heart attacks. A unique molecule from your heart was caught leaking into the blood after heart attacks. If that showed up on a blood test doctors know this is serious. When you hit your head, your brain also leaks molecules into the blood and if that showed up on a blood test I think doctors would know this is serious. Sounds good, right? Why haven’t we done this? For heart attack it took decades of guesswork to find troponin. I have to graduate, so I devised a systematic two-part strategy to find troponin of concussions. Secret weapon one, instead of looking for the usual suspects we went unbiased, we came up with a way to profile thousands of molecules at once and looked in the blood of 100 people who just had a concussion and 100 people who didn’t. Secret weapon two, under your skull your brain isn’t naked, it has a soft covering that often gets overlooked because it seems really boring. We think it’s the perfect sensor for a mechanical head injury. It is thin, delicate, and while the brain is sealed from the blood but a barrier that can leak right into circulation so we analyze the human meninges for the first time in high-resolution, chartered a map of the molecules made in this special covering, this uncovered new molecules found nowhere else in the body. Here is a surprise, this actually worked. Those new molecules from the meninges, we saw them spilling into the blood after a concussion. Even if your CAT scan couldn’t catch it, the molecules are there telling us hey, this is serious. Work, we still have a lot of work to do, that we hope this brought us one step closer to the blood test we sorely need. Something everyone can take if they hit their head. No one should fall through the cracks, because anyone can get a concussion. Thank you.>>All right.>>Okay. David, what got you interested in science to begin with?>>It’s a long story, I did not like freshman biology in high school, I was planning to do something totally different.>>What were you planning to do?>>I was going to take chemistry or somethin, but the girl I had a crush on was taking AP Bio, so then I took AP Bio. I didn’t even end up in the same class, she dropped the class, it was a mass. That that started the chain of events that got me right here.>>You should be grateful to her. Class absolutely, if you are out there, thank you very much.>>If you have a high school class in front of you and you want to explain or excite them about doing science, give me the pitch for science.>>Most people don’t realize you get to choose a problem you care about a lot, that you are excited about and want to solve, and then people give you money and you go solve it. It’s the dream job, right? It’s not people — there’s no textbook you are reading, you are writing the textbook. I didn’t realize that until very late in my studies, but it’s really incredible. We are creating the knowledge. There is no other job like that.>>When you’re not doing science and researching concussions, how do you like to spend your spare time?>>I get randomly inspired every few months. Currently I been making craft cocktails. My roommate’s is here, he has heroically volunteered for a lot of these experiments at home. I don’t actually drink very much, so he kind of helps me out with that.>>I will volunteer.>>What kind of drinks do you like?>>Sweet, sour, sparkling?>>Sparkling, dry, that kind of stuff. Got some ideas?>>I got one for you. Take — St. George’s distillery in Alameda, they make this Lacour called brutal Americano, add this over sparkling wine or ginger beer, throw in a line, it’s incredible.>>That’s great. I’m so glad I came today, I got a cocktail recipe. Do you have brothers and sisters?>>It’s just me. We grew up in New York City, New York City has a one child policy. Economically — all my friends growing up, no one had brothers and sisters. That I moved to the DC area and everyone had a brother or sister. I was like, what is going on? We share some commonalities, we both went to UVA, not at the same time — and before coming to UC we both worked at the federal government in DC for a little bit.>>What did you do for the feds?>>I was at NIH, 2013 there was a government shutdown and I’m proud to say I was considered an essential employee at that time.>>Soul continued to work that weren’t getting code?>>Yeah, it was quite an honor.>>That is how those shutdowns work, if you are essential you have to keep working but you don’t get paid. If you are not essential you don’t have to work, and then you get paid too. It makes one wonder about essentiality, if that’s a word. Thank you so much.>>Thank you.>>All right, great, we are up to our 10th and final contestant, give it up for Rachel Rosenzweig from UC Irvine.>>♪>>When you hear the words swarming with deadly bacteria, you probably imagine environments like murky lakes with warning signs or rat infested landfills, or anything in a public restroom. But what if I told you the same deadly bacteria also infect surfaces we rely on for health and safety like hospitals? Every year there are 2 million cases of hospital heart infections due to contaminated medical devices and even implants. This leads to 100,000 deaths and over $20 billion in healthcare costs in the US alone. Are only current solutions are chemicals and antimicrobial drugs, but they are being overused and over prescribed, and helping these infectious microbes like bacteria and fungi develop a rise in antimicrobial resistance. The World Health Organization has declared these infectious microbes as a dominant threat to global health and called them superbugs, with death rates predicted to surpass cancer in 30 years. So how do we prevent these death rates and defeat superbugs? My research aims to engineer surfaces for commonly contaminated medical devices and implants that are antimicrobial without chemicals or antimicrobial drugs, or what I like to call superbugs kryptonite. To do this I go to who seems to have all the answers, nature. The wings of insects like butterflies, dragonflies, even cicadas may be beautiful to look at with our eyes but what we don’t see is the superbug kryptonite. When you zoom in on their wings they have an array of tiny nano pillars so tiny that there 1000 times slimmer than your own here, you can’t see or feel them, but infectious superbugs can. When they land on these wings they can’t grow and often rupture and die. To translate, these nano spoke surfaces onto commonly contaminated medical devices like contact lenses I use a low-cost technique called nano imprint mythography that heats up the material surface and applies a stamp with nano spike patterns on it, like using a stamp to seal wax on a letter. When I test the superbugs on these commonly contaminated medical devices were the only thing that’s changed is the physical surface texture, they also can’t grow and they rupture and die. So if we can apply these antimicrobial nano spikes onto commonly contaminated medical devices and even implants, again antimicrobial resistance superbugs, we can apply this tiny solution to this huge, deadly threat. Thank you.>>All right. Wasn’t hard going 10th?>>It was fun, I got to see all the talks, I got to learn.>>You got kind of a preview of some of the questions. I will throw a new question at you, you talked about superbugs and kryptonite. If you were a superhero, what superpower would you want to have?>>As a graduate student I would love to have a superpower of speed-reading. Then I could read so many papers, etc. But realistically for fun I would probably want to teleport so I don’t have to order a Lyft or drive.>>You could avoid traffic.>>Exactly.>>I’m with you. And when you aren’t doing research, what do you like to do?>>We are at UC Irvine in Southern California, one of the most things is there’s always new and exciting workouts to do which gets the endorphins flowing, helps you destress. I recently got into aerial acrobatics, as well as infrared heated logo with weights. So it’s fun to try different things.>>Aerial acrobatics, what does that entail?>>It’s basically called also aerial soak you have two silks from the ceiling, you hold onto them and feel like a kid at the jungle gym. You lift yourself up and do different poses and lifts and have worked out at the same time.>>Can you do that in a room with the infrared heat so you get both?>>It would get kind of sweaty, so I might slip. Probably not.>>Here is another one, tell us something about yourself that your graduate advisor doesn’t know.>>I had this question before, I thought of that, I think my graduate advisor probably knows me better than I know myself. But one thing a lot of people find amusing is that I guess I’m a very serious minimalist. For instance I only own one piece of furniture besides my mattress, I only have one app on my phone. One of everything.>>What has caused this syndrome to happen?>>My brain sometimes feels cluttered so when there’s less physical clutter around I feel so much better. It’s easy, just clean and feel good.>>What is the one piece of furniture?>>My dresser.>>Okay. And where do you see yourself going after you get your degree?>>I’m nearing the last stage of my PhD, hopefully after this I will do a post doc because now that we know what’s happening, the effect of the surfaces, the next step I want to look into is how it’s happening, what is the mechanism? It would be great to do a post doc to continue the work we started, and then go into academia and then write grants and have a team of other grad students who can do the work.>>Have you always been interested in science?>>Not necessarily, like many other contestants I grew up not really knowing any scientists or engineers. Not totally, then of course I fell in love with science and engineering as I went to college and I couldn’t imagine myself in any other field.>>Did you have a particular class or instructor that turned you on?>>I always liked science and engineering like most of the grad students who go into it, but probably just a regular seminar I took as an undergrad, intro to nanotechnology in the material science field, I like nanotechnology — class it is minimalist.>>You can’t see it, it’s invisible, but you are still solving a problem. I didn’t think of that, that’s probably why.>>You will get the dinner party question because who is going to sit in the one chair that you have at your dinner party?>>I don’t even on a chair or a desk. But I’ve been asked this before, the first person will be Michelle Obama because of her experience, and to increase diversity the second guest will be George RR Martin, just ask him some questions about what he thinks is going on in Game of Thrones now.>>Nobody understands what is going on.>>The third person, I would feel starstruck and awkward I would want Stephen Colbert to be there to facilitate the discussion.>>That would be awesome. Thank you very much. Let’s give it up for all of our contestants.>>[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>Great job, everybody. Great job, I would like now to turn the podium over to UC Provost Michael Brown.>>Thank you, President Napolitano, and thanks to all of our wonderful competitors and graduate students, let’s give it up for them again.>>That was simply exceptional, and I have to say at the beginning even though it’s not in my notes, thank you to our wonderful judges, I would not want to be you. This is difficult, I think. I’m so impressed with the quality of the presentations. Now, however, it is your turn. Don’t worry, I’m not going to call on you to make a presentation, but I have three assignments for you. Not necessarily in order of importance. One is, although this is important, we are at LinkedIn, are we not? And part of the purpose of LinkedIn is connecting, and connecting with those you know, that importantly with new people that you might not know, might not know, might be important to you, or you might be important to them. There is an opportunity at a lunch break for us to engage one another, so let’s take the opportunity of feeling the vibe of LinkedIn to get linked. So that’s one. As a matter of fact, I should call out there’s some wonderful people you might want to link up to. One, our UC leads, scholars, these are undergraduates in STEM preparing for leadership roles, and future graduate students. So you want to connect with them. We have undergraduate scholars from San Francisco State, can you show me your hands? There we go. All right. And we mentioned this before, we’ve got some black girls code, there are you? Stand up. All right. There is an opportunity to connect with them. And we have some junior high and high school students, if you are a junior higher or high school students, would you stand? All right. Let’s connect with them, bring them into the pipeline, all right. And part of the connection is just find out about them, tell me about yourself, who are you? What are you about, what are you interested in? Tell me what your passion is. People like to share their passions, and you never know, your passion might kick off something new you can relate to, so let’s connect about that. That is assignment number one, mix during lunch. Lunch is coming. Number two, I have to have you back here by 12:40 so lunch will be relatively constrained here. We are going to start, 12:40, be here or be square. Okay. Number three, and I want you to do this before you go to eat you, and you only got about 10 minutes to do it, I want you to vote for your choice of the people’s choice award. As a matter of fact, even while I’m talking, take time to do that. The screen behind me — okay. The screen behind me has information for those of you in this room and those of you who are watching online. You get to vote too. The top vote getter will be getting $1000, people’s choice award. And I understand that the online voting is now open, and we will keep it open for about — is it 20, still? About 15, we done contracted that. About 15 minutes. After you do that, you earn your opportunity to go and have lunch. So then you can have lunch, and we will be back at 12:40 to keep going. Are we still supposed to take pictures?>>The folks who are taking pictures are aware of it.>>Everyone else gets to eat but the rest of us still have to do some work, right?>>Don’t hesitate, we want you back here at 12:40.>>The ones that know they’re supposed to stay, stay, the rest of you can go.>>The judges are staying, everybody else has to come back.>>I was a little cornfused.>>[GROANS]>>This is a tough crowd. That’s a bad pun, too. So go and mange, 12:40 come back. All right, thank you very much.>>>>♪>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>We need everybody to be seated, because we are going to have a great revealing.>>All right, all right. We will give about less than 30 seconds to find your seat. My script says to say, and now back to our programming. Now, before we announce the winners, I want to take a moment and acknowledge our graduate deans from each campus. These are individuals that are responsible for leadership on behalf of graduate education throughout UC, and as I was sharing with one of our judges, graduate education in the UC system is what really is part of what makes UC and a research one University quite distinct from general undergraduate education, because research one universities are engaged in the production of knowledge, the creation of new knowledge, and graduate students are part and personal, intimate, to that process. And you can see in the work that has been done here what comes out of that research engine. What you may not see that might have heard kind of intimated is the work they are doing with their faculty and their faculty collaborate and work with them in shepherding this work, you might not have heard that in some of these projects there are undergraduates that are supporting them in this work, and therefore learning the production of knowledge through that process. And our graduate deans are intimate to that, so I want to identify them and if they will stand up it would be helpful, and we were clapping all of them are standing up. Fiona Doyle, I know you are here. Jean-Pierre DePlanc, Francis Leslie, I should have said Fiona is from Berkeley, Jean-Pierre from Davis, Francis Leslie from Irvine, Robin from UCLA, Marjorie Zats from UC Merced, Sean Voler from UC Riverside, Paul Yu from UC San Diego, Elizabeth Watkins from UC San Francisco, Carol Janetti from UC Santa Barbara. They are awesome, they deserve it. That’s all right. And I would like to mention that this is the last systemwide competition, at least as graduat deans, for two of our deans, and I want to acknowledge them, Francis Leslie from Irvine, Fiona Doyle from UC Berkeley, you all have been awesome. Let’s give it up for them. Now that we have taken this moment to acknowledge our graduate deans, oh — oh. It looks like we are being interrupted. As if there is breaking news. Okay? Apparently there will be a press conference concerning a UC grand slam.>>I must give way.>>>>Good afternoon. Thank you all for being here today, I and William Barr –>>President Trump’s personal Attorney General. On April 25, campuses at the University of California submitted their grand slam finalists for today’s competition. Because of rampant concerns around the 2016 presidential election I asked special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate whether the Russians attempted to interfere with this year’s grand slam competition. competition. Special counsel Mueller submitted a confidential report which I want to discuss with you but before I do that I want to thank Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for joining me today, he will be the fall guy if this schtick ends up being a bomb. I also want to thank the guy with the beard standing to my right, I would tell you his name but I redirected it and haven’t bothered to ask him. Thankfully I want to thank special counsel Mueller, I invited him to be here but he sent me a letter which I think was kind of snitty retracted his invitation. As I said in my Senate confirmation hearings, and committed to ensuring the greatest possible transparency concerning the special counsel’s investigation consistent with the law as I see it. That’s why I’m sharing the full Pharmafront version of the report on the screens behind me as you can see, the report contains limited reductions that cover two primary areas. Most of the redirections were compelled by the need to cover up interesting content I may include in a future book. Other redirections are facts that divide irrefutable evidence that there was obstruction of justice. Before open this up to questions I want answer, I would like to share a few comments about the report. First, the special counsel found no evidence that any Americans, including anyone associated with the Trump campaign, or Aunt Becky, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government to affect today’ is grand slam competition. Put another way, the special counsel found there was no the special counsel found there was no collusion. Second, the special counsel investigation also examined Russian efforts to publish stolen emails and documents on the Internet that would have disclosed today’s grand slam contestants and their research, but it appears the University of California, in advance of today’s competition, identified all contestants and their research projects on the web. In other words, the University leaked its own information and apparently does so on a regular basis, providing open access to its research so everyone can learn from its discoveries. Public research universities, what a business model. For the special counsel provided executive summaries that synthesized the facts associated with this case, Rod and I didn’t like that version of the story so recruited this one-page summary of our findings that presents an easily tweetable talking point, no collusion, it also redacts the names of today’ is grand slam winners knowing you can’t handle the truth. I believ the Pharmafont graphic reflect all we need to know about the investigation but I will also make myself available to testify before the Senate and House Judiciary committees. I mean, the Senate, not going to the house. And live from LinkedIn it’s grad slam awards!>>>>They work for me. And one of them seems to make a habit of these events, so I’m thinking that somewhere in comedy, theater, art, you know, let’s give it for that no collusion crew. We had Vice President Brown, no relation, Vice President Brown, associate Director Lourdes DeMattos, and Chris Procello. Thank you. Now to the undefiled voting and the outcome on these awards. I want to thank again Thermo Fisher Scientific for sponsoring the cash awards today, this is new and wonderful, so thank you. We will announce the people’s choice award winner, the third place winner, the second place winner, and the grand prize winner, but I want to say they are all winners. They are all winners.>>[APPLAUSE]>>And by the were the grand prize is called the Slammy. Okay.>>And I want to thank everyone in this room, those of you who are online who have taken the time to vote, and we’re now going to announce the people’s choice award, and I have it right here. The award goes to –>>La La Land.>>[LAUGHTER]>>Thank you, Regent Perez.>>The name is Anh Diep. From UC Merced. And Dean Marjorie Zats.>>>>Pictures, please.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Yes, yes.>>This is the third place winner. Rachel Harbeitner from UC Santa Cruz, Dean Laurie Kletzer, the grad dean.>>>>That is awesome. Now, the second-place award goes to David Wu, UC San Francisco, Liz Watkins, grad dean.>>♪>>And now the first place winner. And the Slammy.>>It goes to Katie Murphy, UC Davis. Dean J.P. DePlanc, grad dean.>>♪>>And we have one other award, and this we award as a consequence of the student winning, we award to the graduate Dean associated with the campus that student comes from, J.P. DePlanc, the perpetual plaque award. You are memorialized.>>♪>>Wow, that was just too much. Now I have to find out where I am in my notes.>>Okay. I’m almost at the end here. On behalf of President Napolitano and all of us at the office of the president, we want to thank again our wonderful event partner LinkedIn for hosting — that’s right, that’s right. That — hosting this grad slam event at their wonderful, beautiful — if you’re not here, those of you online, you’re missing something. It’s a beautiful San Francisco location. And for working with us again to present this grad slam award. We just couldn’t ask for better partners. We appreciate the work done by so many on behalf of this event, there are far too many to identify by name but there are some I want to. Certainly the whole LinkedIn team, there is more than probably Farhan but I want to acknowledge him, where are you at, Farhan Syed? Katie, you are here. That’s right. She is a senior director of workplace, community, and environment. I’m going to look at my notes and make sure I got the whole name. We thank you for your leadership and your commitment to partnering with us, Katie. They have been with us for a few years, even when they were still constructing this building. And there’s the audiovisual team associated — where are you? Okay, we should thank them. Much love.>>And I want to give a great big thank you to our folks at the University office of the president for making this event happen, there are many hands involved in this, and not just hands. Heads, because there is a lot of thinking and planning associated with this, but more than that, their hearts, their commitment to this event, so I want to acknowledge them, particularly the marketing and communications team and our graduate studies dream team, and I want to name Sandra Wolf, don’t you be hiding. Lissette Lim, Yeri Cesar, [INAUDIBLE], and Vanessa, let’s give a collective –>>They worked hard to make this happen this year. And finally I want to thank each of you, because you actually bring an energy and a spirit to this event, even laughing at all bad puns. That’s all right. We want to thank you for your support, your energy, and hopefully for those of you who didn’t know and understand graduate education and support it, you have a greater sense of it now, and for those who already did you will be ambassadors of that out in the world at large because most people don’t know maybe, and you are here to translate that for them. And what graduate education at the University of California means. So we hope that you will take that energy and insight and find ways to support graduate education in your own space and in your own way, so with that we are going to see you next year, right? Right? All right. Thank you. And thanks again to our judges.>>>>>>

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Dennis Veasley

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