Thursday, September 16, 2010

Your life in Three Minutes

If you had to tell a complete stranger a summary of your life in just three minutes, what would you say? That’s what the Three Minute Thesis Competition is about... sort of.

This year, resident UQ Psyc blogger Will Harrison is in the UQ finals of the Three Minute Thesis Competition and has to summarise his PhD research in three minutes. Will has to explain the topic of his research, why it’s important and why his results are so special. And if he takes even one second longer than three minutes, he’ll be disqualified.

The main challenge of the competition is for the PhD student to explain their research so anyone can understand it. This means not using any technical language, such as referring to specific parts of the brain—the general public simply don’t know what the ‘parietal cortex’ is.

Although it only takes three minutes, Will has put a lot of time and effort into preparing his presentation—as I’m sure the other seven competitors have—and the stakes are high. The UQ winner gets a $5,000 travel grant and goes on to compete against the winners from universities across Australia and New Zealand.

If you want to come along and here about some of the amazing research going on at UQ (or just to support Will), the finals are being held next Monday 20 September at 3.30pm in the UQ Centre. For more info about the finals and to register your attendance follow this link:

Here Will’s summary:

“Have you ever failed to find something even though it was right in front of you? To “see” something we are looking for we need to do more than just “look” for it - not only do we need to move our eyes around, but we also need to move our attention to notice the things that are important to us. My aim is to understand how our brains coordinate eye movements with shifts of attention to accomplish simple tasks like playing sports or crossing a road. My findings tell us why we sometimes fail to see something right in front of us and may help us to understand medical conditions in which vision and attention are compromised following a stroke.”

Hope to see you there!
Matt Thompson

1 comment:

  1. UQ now have a story about me on their news site too with a bit more info about my experience so far: