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Minutes Matter: OU Graduate Students Explain Research in 180 Seconds

Minutes Matter: OU Graduate Students Explain Research in 180 Seconds

Marvin Manalastas from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at OU-Tulsa presents his Three-Minute Thesis

Imagine devoting months or years to a research project. Then, an exciting opportunity arises to communicate the importance of your research in a clear and compelling manner to a non-specialist audience, with the caveat that you only have three minutes and a single static image as your singular prop. This is the challenge 10 graduate students accepted at the finals of OU’s fourth annual Three Minute Thesis Competition on Feb. 21.

The Three Minute Thesis Competition, or 3MT®, originated at Australia’s University of Queensland in 2008. The competition is now held at over 900 universities across more than 85 countries worldwide. 

In January, the Norman Graduate College hosted four days of preliminary competition rounds, which included more than 40 students from the Norman, Tulsa and Health Sciences Center campuses. Ten of these students were chosen to present their research at the final competition.

“3MT® is one of my favorite events each year because it showcases the great breadth of the innovative and impactful research and creative activity happening every day in graduate programs across OU,” said Randall S. Hewes, senior associate vice president for research and partnerships and dean of the Norman Graduate College. “This event challenges students to move way outside their comfort zone in ways that support their professional growth. It’s also just a lot of fun.”


The winners of OU’s fourth annual 3MT® competition were:


First Place – Michelle Zalles, Oklahoma Center for Neuroscience, Health Sciences Center

Runner-up – Layne Rodden, Oklahoma Center for Neuroscience, Health Sciences Center

People’s Choice Award (tie; both from the Norman campus) – Anh Lam, Chemistry and Biochemistry; and Thomas Cain, Civil Engineering and Environmental Science


By Linda Kelly

Michelle Zalles accepts winner award
Anh Lam accepts people's choice
Layne Rodden accepts runner-up award
Thomas Cain accepts people's choice

Article Published: Wednesday, February 26, 2020