TMVs

Science communication is a critical aspect of our academic lives. A PhD student spends long hours working on exciting problems, double-checking each result, designing beautiful illustrations, and carefully parsing each sentence to produce a PhD thesis. But have you–the PhD student–ever stepped back from this nitty-gritty to introspect about how the public perceives your work? Do you find it challenging to explain your research to friends and family? Let us make it even more challenging: Can you explain your research to a general audience in three minutes using a video? Note that the attention span of people you talk to might not be more than three minutes unless they are intent on knowing what research you are doing. So, you need to catch everybody’s attention in just three minutes.

With this in mind, Prof. Namrata Gundiah conducted a Three-Minute-Video (TMV fo short) competition during the lockdown when all our students were home. The students were given about two weeks to prepare TMVs. The top prize for this competition was Rs. 5,000 (1st place), Rs. 3,000 (2nd place) and Rs. 2,000 for the people’s choice award.

Here are the winners of the first TMV event held virtually on May 26th, 2020.

First prize and People’s Choice Award: Mr. Pabitra Badhuk (here in the link to TMV)
Second prize: Mr. Prasenjit Ghosh (here in the link to TMV)
Other two contenders who presented in the TMV event:
Mr. Vageesh Baghel (here in the link to TMV)
Mr. Akshay Desai (here in the link to TMV)
 

Modus Operandi of the TMV contest

Who was eligible?  
PhD students in me@IISc who completed the comprehensive exam.
 
What was required?  
(i) Submitting the intent via email to the office (office.me@iisc.ac.in) by 8th May, 2020. (ii) Preparing a three-minute video based on thesis work that must be understood by a layperson. The student should first introduce self, explain the relevance of the problem, the approach, key findings, and how this work has advanced our understanding of the problem. One may not use rap, poetry, or verse. Non copy-right images and audio are allowed. One may use graphics, animations, simulations, video clips, props or anything that makes for good visual and audio appeal. The entry (viewable in Quicktime) should be a maximum of 10 MB. The videos cannot be changed once they are submitted.
 
Who judged?
A committee of faculty, that also loves to watch movies, will help pick the top contenders who will be invited to make a presentation (virtually) to all in the department. Winners will be selected from this sub-set.
 
What inputs would the committee use to judge your entry?  
Was the presenter clearly audible and did the video make us want to hear more? Was the presenter careful not to use jargon but convey the research succinctly without trivializing or overemphasizing the findings? Was the presenter enthusiastic? Was there any aspect of the presentation that made the audience go “wow”?
 
What else is in it besides the prize money?
The winning entries will feature on the department website and also the Institute Facebook and Twitter pages. And you win our admiration!