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Pharmaceutical sciences student wins Three Minute Thesis competition

Pharmaceutical sciences doctoral student Riddhi Trivedi was named the winner of NDSU’s annual Three Minute Thesis Competition Feb. 20. Trivedi also received the People’s Choice Award at the competition.

The event, which highlights graduate student research, is hosted by the College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies. The prizes were sponsored by Gate City Bank.

Trivedi presented “No More Hide and Seek: NanoParticles Seek Out the Hiding HIV in Brain to Combat NeuroAIDS,” in which she explained how her research can improve the lives of HIV-positive patients. Her advisers are Amrita Banerjee and Jagdish Singh.

Trivedi receives the $1,000 grand prize. She said her motivation for participating was the encouragement she received from the judges at the Graduate Student Council competition.

“When I told them about my research, it was the first time I had to explain it in a non-technical way,” Trivedi said. “I saw the joy on their faces when they understood what I’m doing and how important it is, which really struck a chord with me. That was my motivation for participating, because the Three Minute Thesis competition gave me that same opportunity to share not only my findings but also the impact that it can have.”

Trivedi will advance to the Western Association of Graduate Schools regional competition in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The competition began with 30 contestants giving presentations in six preliminary rounds. The winner of those rounds moved on to the finals.

Other finalists included:

• Alireza Rahimi

Coatings and polymeric materials

“Developing of Anti-icing Paints”

Adviser: Dean C. Webster

• Babak Jahani

Mechanical engineering

“The Effects of Surface Roughness on Functionality of Orthopedic Implants”
Adviser: Xinnan Wang

• Babak Mamnoon

Pharmaceutical sciences 

“Smart Nanosoldiers to Combat Deadliest Cancers”

Adviser: Sanku Mallik

• Hizb Ullah Sajid

Civil Engineering

“Bio-based Additives for Mitigating Corrosion in Transportation Infrastructure”
Adviser: Ravi Kiran Yellavajjala

• Jasmine Cutter

Range science

“Just Crumbs: How We’re Starving Native Bees in America’s Bread Basket”

Advisers: Torre Hovick, Ben Geaumont

Preliminary round winners received a $250 prize.

“The quality of the presentations today is representative of the overall quality of our NDSU graduate students,” said Brandy A. Randall, associate dean of the College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies and professor of human development and family science. “Our students are doing amazing things. These are people who are going to be changing the world in the years to come, and everybody needs to keep an eye out for them.”

The competition was held in conjunction with the Graduate Student Showcase held in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

The Showcase People’s Choice for Best Poster went to Hafiz Usman Ahmed for “Calibrating Smartphones for Monitoring Road Roughness on Paved and Unpaved Roads.” Ahmed’s adviser is Ying Huang, associate professor of civil engineering.

The Showcase People’s Choice for Best Display went to Kutay Yilmaz for “A Nutritious New Edible Grain in North Dakota.” Yilmaz’s adviser is Burton L. Johnson, professor of plant sciences.

Australia's University of Queensland developed the first Three Minute Thesis competition in 2008, and the concept has spread to institutions around the world. More than 600 universities in more than 65 countries now hold competitions.

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