17th Annual Graduate Research Symposium

Friday, April 23, 2021

Video Presentations Available on the Division of Graduate Studies YouTube channel

Video of interim Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Division Quentin Williams announcing winners, with welcome by Chancellor Cynthia Larive, YouTube


Colleen Murphy Best Overall Presentation of the Symposium, $1000
Colleen Murphy
Physical and Biological Sciences Division
Earth and Planetary Science
Sluggish Slides: Why Some Landslides Never Pick Up the Pace
Marilia Kaisar Best of the Arts Division, $250
Marilia Kaisar
Film and Digital Media
F*cking with the virtual: Siri, Alexa, Lana and Desire
Ryan Johnson Best of the Baskin School of Engineering, $250
Ryan Johnson
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Parameter Estimation for Hybrid Dynamical Systems
Gabriel Mindel Best of the Humanities Division, $250
Gabriel Mindel
History of Consciousness
The Invisible Monument to Free Speech, or The Problem with Property
lourdes-martinez-estevez-124-x-124-2nd.jpg Best of the Physical and Biological Sciences Division, $250
María de Lourdes “Luli” Martínez Estévez
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Spatial ecology of hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) in the Gulf of
Katherine Quinteros Best of the Social Sciences Division, $250
Katherine Quinteros
Building Belonging Through Researcher-Practitioner Collaboration

Presentation Format

The UC Santa Cruz Graduate Research Symposium offers graduate students from every division the opportunity to present their research or other graduate work to the public. For the in-person live event in past years at McHenry Library, 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. For the 2020 symposium during the COVID-19 pandemic and campus shutdown, presenters held private Zoom meetings with their assigned judges. This year, graduate student presenters recorded their presentations, and these are available for public viewing on the Division of Graduate Studies YouTube channel.

All current graduate students may participate in the Graduate Research Symposium. Recipients of qualifying fellowships are required to participate.

Recording the presentation gives great flexibility. Presenters may opt for any visual aid accompaniment, such as slides, taking the audience through a poster, showing a video clip or game snippet, and so on. Presenters may opt to have no visual aid accompaniment and give a speaking presentation only. If presenters opt to include visual aid accompaniment, they should make the visual aid screen time supplemental (not more than 50%) to their appearance in the video. The time limit for the video is five minutes.

Registration is limited to 100 presenters.

The judging rubric remains the same as in past years. To prepare your presentation video and upload it to your personal UCSC Google Drive symposium folder, follow these Instructions.


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.

Announcement of Winners and Prizes

Interim Vice Provost and Dean of the Division of Graduate Studies Quentin Williams will announce the winners via Zoom webinar.

Friday, April 23, 2021
4:00–5:00 p.m. Pacific Time

  • 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 Division of Graduate Studies reserves the right to cancel the symposium should an insufficient number of graduate students register by the registration deadline of April 16.

Winners of the 2020 symposium are listed here.