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Natural Sciences Students Show Off Communication Skills in Video Competition

Natural Sciences Students Show Off Communication Skills in Video Competition

​Voting is underway for the Texas Student Research Showdown, and will go until Friday, Nov. 9. The Showdown is a competition open to undergraduate researchers at UT Austin across all disciplines and majors. Students submit a two minute YouTube video to effectively communicate their research projects while competing for recognition and cash prizes worth up to $2,500.

There are two aspects to the competition––faculty judging and student voting. The judges evaluate the full-length two-minute videos and select the top three. UT Austin students watch 35- to 45-second, social media compatible "trailer" versions that some competitors submitted and then vote for an Audience Choice winner. Winners will be announced at a reception on Nov. 13.

Thirteen students in the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) are vying for the prizes in the Research Showdown, making up nearly half of all the entries.

Vote for Audience Choice Award

The following CNS students are in the running for the Audience Choice award. Watch the trailers by following the links below. UT Austin students can vote at https://ugs.utexas.edu/our/showdown/voting, where the full-length entries can also be found.

Zoe de Beurs, Physics and Astronomy: Cosmic Bullets: Detection of Particles from Outer Space


Kelsey Mumford, Nursing Honors and Biology: Preventing Racial Bias in Autism Spectrum Disorder Screening


Roman Kuhn, Computer Science: Depression and Immunology


Simren Lakhotia, Neuroscience: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Detection via LAMP


Erin Choi, Biochemistry: Developing model substrates to characterize substrate selection by the 26S proteasome


Connie Chon, Biochemistry: Analyzing the Effect of ATM on CDX2


Watch the Rest

The seven other undergraduate researchers submitted two-minute videos to be considered just by the faculty judges, but they span a wide range of disciplines and showcase some of the many opportunities that undergraduates in CNS have to get involved in research. Watch the full-length videos below to learn more about their projects.


Colin Crawford, Biochemistry: Mutant Root Hair Growth and ATP


Jennifer Schlauch, Biology: Pheidole habitat preference and parasitoid interactions


Nicole Barnes, Nutrition: Food Science + Culinary Research: Building a Veggie-Based Burger


Isabel Cachola, Mathematics: Expressively Vulgar


Yun Cheng, Biochemistry: Bite ID Mobile App


Cole Maguire, Biochemistry: Synthesis of Lanthanide and Transition Metal Complexes


Daniel Moore, Computer Science: Auditing Custom Resources in Kubernetes


Winning Entries

The winners were announced on November 13, 2018, and College of  Natural Sciences students won three of the four awards given. 


  • First place: Zoe de Beurs, Physics honors, Cosmic Bullets: Detection of Particles from Outer Space
  • Second place: Kelsey Mumford, Biology and Nursing, Preventing Racial Bias in Autism Spectrum Disorder Screening
  • Audience Choice Award: Simren Lakhotia, Neuroscience, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Detection via LAMP

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Tuesday, 20 November 2018

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