16th Annual Graduate Research Symposium

Online Zoom Presentations
May 8, 2020, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.


Shirin Bakhshay

Tie for Best Overall, $1000
Shirin Bakhshay
Social Sciences Division
Satisfying the Urge to Punish: Exploring Strategies for Increasing Support for Restorative Justice Practices

Mali'o Kodis Tie for Best Overall, $1000
Mali'o Kodis
Physical and Biological Sciences Division
Coastal Science and Policy
Strategic Retreat for Resilient Climate Adaptation
Joseph Finkel Best of the Arts Division, $250
Joseph Finkel
Music + Mycology = Local Musicology: John Cage and the UC Santa Cruz Special Collections
Vishal Chakraborty Best of the Baskin School of Engineering, $250
Vishal Chakraborty
Computer Science
Possible Winners on Partial Chains
Taylor Kurupas Best of the Humanities Division, $250
Taylor Kurupas
Stereotyping the Stereo: Sound, Space, Race, and Technology in New York City from the 1970-1980s
Nolan Smyth Best of the Physical and Biological Sciences Division, $250
Nolan Smyth
Primordial Black Holes as Dark Matter
Abigail Walsh Best of the Social Sciences Division, $250
Abigail Walsh
Examining the Impact of Nonbinary and Gender-Diverse Television Characters on Attitudes and Behaviors

Presentation Formats

The UC Santa Cruz Graduate Research Symposium offers graduate students from every division the opportunity to discuss their research or other graduate work with colleagues on campus and with the public. For the live event in past years, graduate students have presented their work in short talks (5 minutes) with or without slides or other visual accompaniments, large research posters, or alternative media such as video clips or software game snippets. During the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, holding a live symposium at McHenry Library was not possible, so the Division of Graduate Studies held its first all-virtual event as a replacement on May 8.

All graduate students could participate, but participation was entirely optional. Those who had received a fellowship that included mandatory participation in the symposium were excused from that requirement.

The formats of presentation remained the same, except that they were presented via a Zoom meeting hosted by the graduate student presenter.

  • 5-minute-maximum talk with or without visual accompaniment (slide presentation)
  • 5-minute-maximum talk with a virtual poster: prepared as one slide at 4:3 ratio (PowerPoint, Google Slides, etc.)
  • 5-minute-maximum talk with alternative media (audio/video presentation, software game presentation)
See Best Practices.


  • Best of the Symposium $1000
  • Best of the Arts Division $250
  • Best of the Baskin School of Engineering $250
  • Best of Humanities Division $250
  • Best of the Physical and Biological Sciences Division $250
  • Best of the Social Sciences Division $250


The symposium awards are decided by judges invited by the Division of Graduate Studies from among faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, alumni, trustees, donors, and community members.

See the Judging Rubric.


The Division of Graduate Studies reserves the right to cancel the virtual symposium of May 8 should an insufficient number of graduate students register by the registration deadline of May 1.

Winners of the 2019 symposium are listed here.