Sussex Researcher School

Sussex 3MT 2020

On Wednesday 17 June 2020, nine Sussex doctoral researchers from a range of disciplines competed for prizes and a place in the UK semi-final of the Three Minute Thesis

Three Minute Thesis Competition at Sussex - 2020

The Three Minute Thesis Competition was held virtually in June 2020 as part of our online Festival of Doctoral Research.

The nine entrants impressed with their presentations, particularly given the complexities of presenting online during a pandemic, and covered everything from blockchain and social media use to adoption in India and the origins of the universe.

Pro Vice Chancellor for Research Prof Stephen Shute chaired the event, and the judging panel consisted of Dr Katy Petherick (Public Engagement Coordinator at the School of Life Sciences), Dr Mahmoud Maina (Research Fellow and People’s Choice Winner 2016) and Dr Andrew Fleming (Regional Manager of The Brilliant Club).

The judges were wowed by all the presentations and found it difficult to choose a winner. They had to, though, and the results were:

  • Winner: Melina Galdos Frisancho (University of Sussex Business School) - Making sense of Inclusive Innovation: Institutional Drivers for Knowledge Production and Organisational Learning in Peru
  • 2nd Place: Sushri Sangita Puhan (Education and Social Work) - Why and how people think, talk and practice adoption in India
  • People's Choice Award: Judy Aslett (Media, Film and Music) - Making a TV documentary to support the #ENDFGM campaign in The Gambia

Melina received a first prize of £500 towards her research and was entered for the 2020 Vitae 3MT national competition

You can read more about the exciting live final on the Doctoral Connections blog.

Meet the 2020 presenters

Abrar Abdulaziz Almjally (School of Engineering and Informatics) - Investigating the role of physicality in learning programming for primary school students

Whenever I have a great idea that I need to jot down, I must have a pen and a paper, even though my modern smartphone is next to me. Many are like me? What about our children, growing up with so many types of technology around them? Do they feel the difference between tangible and graphical interactions while learning? Do physical elements in their learning activities affect their actions—specifically spontaneous gestures? Does children’s spontaneity impact how they learn computer concepts? My research is investigating the impacts of tangible and graphical user interfaces on developing children’s programming skills.

Catherine Hennessy (Brighton & Sussex Medical School) - Social media use by doctors: where the conflicts for professionalism lie

Inappropriate use of social media by doctors has previously resulted in doctors losing their registration to practice. Doctors are recommended to use social media conservatively by governing bodies but my research reveals that social media platforms, particularly WhatsApp, are used frequently by doctors for work tasks, including managing patient care. My research will provide more understanding on how and why social media is being used by doctors, despite the guidelines recommending minimal use. This conflict can then be highlighted to governing bodies and medical organisations, and prompt modifications to policies and approved methods of communication for busy working doctors.

Ferheen Ayaz (School of Engineering and Informatics) - Blockchain-Enabled Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications

An accident is usually followed by a traffic jam. If the oncoming vehicles are notified about the accident timely, they might be able to change their route so as to avoid traffic congestion. By using vehicle-to-vehicle communications, it is possible for vehicles to talk to each other within a particular range and send messages within milliseconds. Whereas, application of blockchain provides overall security in vehicle-to-vehicle communications and resolves relevant challenges, for example, identifying a malicious vehicle which sends false information. Blockchain also assists in incentivising vehicles which cooperate in disseminating information about the events occurring on road.

Judy Aslett (School of Media, Film and Music) - Making a TV documentary to support the #ENDFGM campaign in The Gambia

200 million women worldwide have undergone Female Genital Mutilation where their clitoris and other parts of their genitalia are cut off. In The Gambia most girls endure the practice as children, without anaesthetic. My thesis involves making the factual documentary, “My FGM story”, in collaboration with presenter Halimatou Ceesay, and assessing the impact of the film on men and women in The Gambia. It is the first time a documentary about FGM has been shown on TV in The Gambia. Halimatou interviews her family, Imams, health professionals and President Adama Barrow who supports her campaign to end FGM in a generation.

Meirin Evans (School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences) - Journey to the beginning of time

My experiment smashes together protons at very close to the speed of light to recreate the energies that were present tiny fractions of seconds after the Big Bang. My experiment is one of the biggest “big data” factories in the world, rivalling the likes of Google. My experiment pushes the boundaries of knowledge, technology, computing and engineering, which then spill out into everyday use. My experiment is one of the largest collaborative efforts ever attempted, with over 5500 members, from over 100 nationalities, working in 38 different countries. Want to know more?

Melina Galdos Frisancho (University of Sussex Business School) - Making sense of Inclusive Innovation: Institutional Drivers for Knowledge Production and Organisational Learning in Peru

In a world where 980 million people live without electricity, and 780 million cannot access to an improved water source, technological innovations developed in universities have improved the lives of thousands around the globe by providing ingenious alternatives to conventional ways of delivering basic services. But, have you ever wondered what drives research teams to respond to these challenges? How are their actions shaped by the context in which they operate? My research explores how researchers' sense-making shape their understandings, actions and the different ways in which they come together to create enabling environments for developing socially inclusive innovations.

Ranse Howell (University of Sussex Business School) - When you look at me what do you see?

We all have our own window on the world. Everything we experience is filtered through an outlook we perceive as normal. When interacting with others, we often interpret actual or imagined differences as a deviation from this norm. My research explores how disclosure of gay identity affects workplace interactions. Do straight people behave differently when they perceive a man to be gay? And what happens if the man discloses his gay identity? How does this impact upon the outcome of a negotiation? By asking these questions, I hope to provide evidence of the impact and scope for further research.

Rui Guo (School of Media, Film and Music) - A generative method for music with tension control

Tension is an intrinsic characteristic of music. It gives the listener a sense of building up and releasing nervous intensity. The change of tension within a piece of music makes it more interesting to listen to, and is a fundamental component of the progression of music. This work uses a tonal definition of tension to control music generation that is defined based on two measures. Compared to generative methods conditioned on chord sequences, our proposed tension control method does not require significant musical knowledge. Given a seed segment of music, we can generate a continuation with inverse or similar tension shape. By iterating this process, music with arbitrary length can be generated.

Sushri Sangita Puhan (School of Education and Social Work) - Why and how people think, talk and practice adoption in India

What story comes to your mind when you think of adoption? Do you think adoptive family lives are same across the globe? Perhaps not. Adoptive family lives vary across geography and culture. In recent years, adoption has been an emergent practice in India to forming a family. However, very little is known about the experiences of adoptive family lives. Since adopted children and adoptive parents have no access to the birth family information, it has been traditionally a confidential practice in the country. However, recently there is a transition in the legal process to promote adoption. In this context, my research on adoptive family lives in India aims to understand how and why people think, talk, and practice adoption in their everyday lives in an environment where adoption is largely unspoken.

Presentation Slides - open the Sway presentation in full screen for the best viewing experience and click to enlarge the slides

Sussex Researcher School