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PhD Comics tv
October 26, 2012 4:44 AM   Subscribe

You may already be familiar with PhDComics (Previously) and the PhDMovie (Previously), but PhDComics.tv has now become a pretty fantastic resource for both researchers and laymen.

Two Minute Thesis:
PhDComics challenged grad students and researchers all over the world to describe their thesis in two minutes or less. What they got was an incredible sampling of their creativity and communication skills now representing hundreds of diverse theses.

The 2012 Winners are:

Grand Prize Winner: "The Synthesis of NAViSection" (Now Animated!)
Description: What defines driver capabilities and how to link that capability to safety.
Author: Nahom M. Beyene, U. Pittsburgh

Second place: "Transubstantiation"
Description: Protestant and Catholic understandings of transubstantiation may not be so different after all.
Author: Brett Salkeld, Regis College

Third place: "Detective work in space"
Description: Theoretical astrophysics and binary stars
Author: Michael Marks, U. Bonn

Also animated: Whale Barf and Perfume Baillie Redfern from the U. of British Columbia explains her thesis of cloning DNA into yeast to produce an elusive perfume fixative compound called Ambergris. It involves whale barf.
Things Explained:
Alex and the gang visit the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California and go inside the Mars Rover Test lab and chat with engineers Chaz Morantz and (yes) Bobak Ferdowsi. (5:01)

Jorge talks to Physicists Daniel Whiteson and Jonathan Feng about what Dark Matters is, how much of it there is, and how we know it's there. (6:11)

Physicists Daniel Whiteson and Jonathan Feng update us on life after finding the Higgs Boson (8:11)

Jorge talks to Physicist Daniel Whiteson at CERN about what the Higgs Boson is and how they know if they've found it. (7:50) (Previously)

What is open access? Nick Shockey and Jonathan Eisen take us through the world of open access publishing and explain just what it's all about. (8:23)
PhD Detours:
Alex, Jorge and the gang travel around the world to talk to real grad students and young scholars about the work they do and why they do it. From hiking out in lava fields to ethnographic studies of tap dancers, Ph.Detours gives you an inside look at the environments and the people who are doing some of the most interesting research today.

Jorge and Alex travel to the highest peak in Hawaii for a look at how Astronomers figure out the molecular composition of far away stars and planets. (11:30)

In this episode, Alex and the gang travel to Hawaii to find active flows of lava (16:45)

Jorge visits the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute.

Soybeans and Symbiosis Jorge talks to Fernando, a Ph.D. student who takes care of the farm in exchange for cheap housing at the New Mexico State Chili Pepper Research Institute.

Jorge visits the New Mexico State University Chili Peppers Research Institute in Las Cruces, New Mexico and finds out what makes Chili Peppers so hot.
The Audio PhiD Podcast
Episode 1: In Which Curiosity Goes Gangnam Style (15:41)
posted by Blasdelb (2 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
These videos and animations are excellent and in my opinion are Jorge Cham's best work. It's great to see this here.
posted by Songdog at 5:40 AM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Its amazing how simply illustrating and animating an essay can make it more engaging, memorable, and accessible.

I didn't think I would have had the attention span to listen to 9 minutes about open-source research, but had no trouble with this piece and found it got its message across. Same applies for other bits previously on the blue about why you should vote for Obama, and why you should get your butt off the couch .

It probably ellicits long-buried childhood memories of watching hour upon hour of Saturday morning cartoons.
posted by cacofonie at 1:36 PM on October 26, 2012


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