Presentations on interrupting the achievement gap of students, technology for cooling devices, and understanding near-earth asteroids received the top prizes this year at UCF’s annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition.

The international event challenges doctoral students to present their research in three minutes using only one slide as a prompt. Judging of the students is based on research, their presentation skills and how they communicate their work to a general audience. The judges are non-scientists. This year was even more challenging because of the pandemic; students had to present via Zoom.

Hosted by the College of Graduate Studies and the Office of Research, ten finalists came from a wide range of disciplines, including criminal justice, engineering, sciences, nursing, sociology, and education.

Lauren Thomas from curriculum and instruction took first place with her presentation on Interrupting the Achievement Gap Ideology ; Khan Mohammad Rabbi from mechanical engineering took second with his research on cooling devices, and Anicia Arredondo from planetary sciences came in third with her explanation of the understanding of near-earth asteroids.

The judges were Michael Aldarondo-Jeffries, director of academic advancement programs and interim director for the Office of Undergraduate Research; Corinne Bishop, social sciences and graduate engagement librarian; and Brian Creel, assistant director for UCF Career Services. The top finishers shared a total of $2,000 in scholarship prizes.

3MT started at the University of Queensland in Australia in 2008 and has since spread to 600 universities in 65 countries around the world.