By Tim Stephens, UCSC Public Information Office

The 8th Annual Graduate Research Symposium featured graduate student researchers from across the divisions explaining their work to a diverse and appreciative audience at the University Center on Friday, May 11. Topics included Hawaiian prison songs, Japanese-American history, habitat restoration, nanotechnology, stem cell research, and distant planets.

“The Graduate Research Symposium profiles to the campus and broader community the remarkable range and quality of graduate student research at UCSC,” said Tyrus Miller, vice provost and dean of graduate studies.

A panel of judges awarded prizes for outstanding presentations in all the divisions. Among the winners was Allan Schwade, a graduate student in linguistics who has been studying the process of “loan word adaptation”–how words from one language are borrowed into another.

Schwade said he always learns a lot from presenting his work to others. “I’m always trying to think about how to explain my work to non-linguists, because it forces you to think about your work from a different perspective. Sometimes you see holes in your thinking that you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise,” he said.

Here is the complete list of award winners from this year’s symposium:

Chancellor’s Award ($500 cash prize)

Amie Radenbaugh, Biomolecular Engineering & Bioinformatics: Identification of DNA and RNA mutations in cancer using high-throughput sequencing data (Poster)

Graduate Dean’s Award ($250 cash prize)

Peter Cook, Psychology: California sea lions can keep the beat: synchronization of movement to rhythmic sounds by a vocally stereotypic species (Oral)

Alumni Association Awards($150 bookstore gift certificate)

Arts Division

Melinda James, Social Documentation: 16 Seeds: People of color and food justice in the Bay Area (Media)

Humanities Division

Kelly Feinstein-Johnson, History: An account of notorious robbers, murtherers, and sporting ladies: visual culture and English broadside ballads, 1600-1800 (Poster)

Physical & Biological Sciences Division

Eric D. Lopez, Astronomy & Astrophysics: How thermal evolution and mass loss sculpt populations of super-Earths and sub-Neptunes: application to the Kepler-11 system and beyond (Poster)

Social Sciences Division

Micha Rahder, Anthropology: But is it a basin? Science, controversy, and conspiracy in the fight for Mirador, Guatemala (Oral)

Jack Baskin School of Engineering

Yan Li, Computer Science: Who moved my data? Understanding how long your data on computer can survive (Poster)

Dean’s Awards ($100 bookstore gift certificate)

Arts Division

Giacomo Fiore, Music: (Re)fret not! The just intonation guitar works of James Tenney (Oral)

Humanities Division

Allan Schwade, Linguistics: The Matryoshka’s secret: What the online adaptation of Russian words by English speakers tells us about loanword phonology (Poster)

Physical & Biological Sciences Division

Tuguldur Sukhbold, Astronomy & Astrophysics: The compactness of massive stars (Oral)

Social Sciences Division

Joe Chee, Education: Teaching science to English learners: a case study (Poster)

Jack Baskin School of Engineering

Evan Paull, Biomolecular Engineering & Bioinformatics: Hotlink: Identifying causal paths linking genomic perturbations to expression states in cancer (Poster)