Carnegie Mellon University
April 18, 2018

Biological Sciences' Shorr Wins Third in Three Minute Thesis Competition

By Shannon Riffe

Doctoral students took the stage at Kresge Auditorium to describe their research and its significance in three minutes or less during the finals of Carnegie Mellon University's Three Minute Thesis competition.

Ardon Shorr from the Department of Biological Sciences placed third in the competition.

The event, in its fifth year at Carnegie Mellon, started at the University of Queensland in 2008 and has been adopted by hundreds of institutions in more than 57 countries. University Libraries Dean Keith Webster, who brought the competition to CMU, served as host of Tuesday's finals.

The first-, second-, and third-place winners were all repeat participants, who had competed in at least one other Three Minute Thesis competition. For Shorr, a doctoral student in the Mellon College of Science who was a finalist in CMU's first Three Minute Thesis competition, this was his second championship.

"My first Three Minute Thesis talk was about why so many astronauts return from space with health problems," Shorr said. "This time, as my work has evolved, I'm talking about how we can learn about proteins in the body using astronomy software. It's a story of building tools by learning from other fields."

As a co-founder of the student group Public Communication for Researchers, which helps graduate students explain their work and why it matters, and a former presenter at TEDxCMU, Shorr approached the finals with experience in public speaking.

Read more about the competition.