Graduates compete by explaining ideas to general audiences

Graduates compete by explaining ideas to general audiences

March 04
22:55 2013

Jennifer Zhang / Intern

In UNT’s first ever Toulouse Graduate Exhibition last weekend, $10,000 in prize money was given to top competitors by a panel of judges who had little to no idea about the fields they were judging.

The point of the exhibition was to see how graduate students could convey information from their areas of expertise to someone outside of their field.

Sociology graduate Reza Amini was a judge at the exhibition said she had no prior knowledge of visual arts, the subject she was a judge for.

“I had no idea about visual arts so I just judged the artwork and documentaries as a normal person and gave them feedback,” she said. “I think the students love any feedback. It was a good experience for the students, and it gave them a lot of encouragement.”

About 150 graduate students entered the exhibition. There were eight different categories in which they could present their work in: computer technology and information systems, engineering, humanities, life sciences, music performance, physical and mathematical sciences, social sciences, and visual arts.

The top prize for each of the eight categories was $500 per person.

Judges included faculty, post-doctorates, honors students, Texas Academy of Mathematics and Sciences students and special volunteers.

Dean of the Toulouse Graduate School Mark Wardell said that the judges who didn’t have a complete understanding of the subject were “perfect” for the event.

“Judges should represent how well the presenters inform the judges about their projects: what they did, how they did it, why they did it, and what we as the audience should learn from their projects,” he said.

Many of the judges applauded the numerous projects they saw at the exhibition on Sunday.

Psychology sophomore Jeremy Deutsch said the variety of projects interested him.

“Some of my favorites included one that tried to create a synthesis of Indian culture and modern textures in fashion, while another project explained new techniques for efficient lighting which is important in today’s society,” he said.

The entire weekend consisted of musical performances, research presentations, visual art exhibitions and an awards ceremony.

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