Event Date: March 4, 2022
[Dr. Phil Schneider] Starting us off we have Jocelyn Marshall. She will be talking about "Traumatic Reckonings: New Readings of Contemporary Feminist Art". She's from the English department in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, and in her free time she enjoys rock climbing, hiking and scuba diving. I believe Jocelyn is virtual with us today so stay tuned, and Jocelyn, are, can you hear me loud and clear?
Okay. Jocelyn, let's do one more mic check here loud and clear.
For us, let's do one more check here Jocelyn.
[Speaker: Jocelyn E. Marshall] Mic check, one two?
[Speaker: Dr. Phil Schneider] Oh beautiful, crisis averted Jocelyn. Okay, we have the timer set, uh, and on my mark, ready, set pitch!
[Speaker: Jocelyn E. Marshall] Silence is often considered the language of trauma, but how do we study silence? One artist of my project pictured here, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, addresses silence by mixing mediums and challenging stereotypes. Today she's typically described as a Korean-American poet, and often exclusively known for one book. However, her body of work includes many pieces outside of poetry, like performance and film, which is where this image of her smiling came from. In fact, such a glimpse from Cha's archive is just one example of how narrow categories pigeon-hole women artists, and simplify their work. My dissertation looks at contemporary artists with multi-ethnic backgrounds to analyze how they voice the language of trauma. Using archival research, I reveal the limitations of such pigeonholing, by showing just what can happen when we do study the silence, the language of trauma across mediums and personal backgrounds. This breaks from much work in trauma studies, which often focuses on military veterans and survivors of war. My goal is to expand the field into other disciplines, like visual arts and gender studies, to explore ways to hear the silence and voice new histories. My research shows this approach challenges general trends in U. S. feminism and art history to advocate for close analysis of how race, gender and trauma influence artistic practice. For example, most of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's films actually exclude her own image, which were created a time when many U. S.-based artists were using their own bodies and work. By highlighting such deviations in practice, my project identifies methods used to address U. S. history, histories of violence, racism and misogyny. This is significant as healing from trauma often involves voicing one's own experience, and learning from others voicing theirs. By identifying different kinds of testimonies, my dissertation reveals new ways to listen, and in turn, heal. This work is all the more pertinent, given that Cha's life was ended by horrific rape and murder, which is a detail oftentimes excluded from wall labels at the museum. When it is included, the phrase "rape and murder" is typically used very matter-of-factly, which undermines the gravity of the violence. By reading feminist art across disciplines, we can address these kinds of limited narratives of artists and write new histories. With this, we not only get to highlight the breadth of artistry at hand, but we can also challenge the type of nature around topics like gender-based violence, and ensure that silence no longer remains unheard. By reading women's artwork through an interdisciplinary lens, I demonstrate a feminist approach to trauma studies and art history. Using this new lens, we can see how connections between artists, communities and histories are vividly heard when we know how to listen for those silence. Thank you.
[Speaker: Dr. Phil Schneider] That was wonderful Jocelyn, thank you so much. I learn something every time on these three minutes, it's amazing how much you can pack in there. Thank you.
Advisor: Myung Mi Kim and Carrie Bramen
Biography: Jocelyn E. Marshall is a PhD Candidate in the Department of English from Tacoma, Washington. In her dissertation project entitled “Traumatic Reckonings as Feminist Praxis in 1970s-1980s U.S.-Based Women Artists”, Marshall examines how U.S.-based multiethnic women writers and artists address issues of gender-based and nation-state violence. Their research aims to identify feminist textual practices that interrogate the cultural and political implications of U.S. imperialism on displaced women and to expand historically male and psychoanalytic-centered trauma theories to advocate for the routine inclusion of trauma studies in gender, literary and visual studies. In their free time, Jocelyn enjoys rock climbing, hiking and scuba diving.
[Speaker: Dr. Phil Schneider] Presenter number two, uh, we have Sricharan Veeturi, so, from the Mechanical Engineering Department of Engineering and Supply—Applied Sciences, Sricharan has the unique ability to speak five different languages. What's more unique is he's watched Batman: Dark Knight seventy-two times. I don't know how you found time to write this between watching all the Batman, but I'm looking forward to hearing it. His topic, "Non-invasive Imaging Biomarkers for Risk Stratification of Brain Aneurysms". If you're ready? Ready, set pitch!
[Speaker: Sricharan Veeturi] Did you know that 1 in 50 people in the United States alone has a brain aneurysm? A brain aneurysm is a balloon-like structure that's formed in the vessels of your brain. And like a balloon, this can eventually grow and explode or rupture, which can cause permanent disability or even death. However, only three to five percent of these ever actually rupture, suggesting that if you were to treat all the aneurysms that come your way, you'll probably do more harm than good because the treatment procedure itself has risks too. Currently the doctors decide which aneurysms to treat primarily based on the size of the aneurysm, assuming that, like a balloon, the larger aneurysms are going to rupture soon. But studies have shown that more than twenty percent of all the aneurysms that do rupture are in fact small aneurysms. Hence, the size alone is not enough. You need something a bit more concrete to help the doctors decide which aneurysms they want to treat. Recently, a phenomenon called "vessel wall enhancement" has emerged as a potential solution to this problem. Vessel wall enhancement is a phenomenon wherein the doctors inject dye or contrast into your brain vessels, and this contrast is picked up by different parts of your brain vasculature in different proportions. This actually signifies which aneurysms are actually growing, or which remain relatively stable. This however is currently viewed on mere 2D slices, suggesting that it's very difficult to understand this phenomenon. And doctors kind of find it hard to like agree with each other on what's happening there. Imagine you're a pilot and you're looking at the 2D map of the world. Although all the information about the countries and oceans is present, it's not until you look at the 3D globe that you get a really good understanding of the curvature of the earth, and the best way to get from Location A to Location B. My thesis focuses on taking the information stored in these 2D MRI scans, and transforming it into 3D vessel structures, as shown in the figure over here. Additionally, we also provide a heat map, or a color-coded map, which signifies how much of this contrast is absorbed by different parts of the cerebral vasculature. Additionally, this is also a 3D structure, which gives additional insight and understanding into this phenomenon in 3D space to the doctors, helping them agree with each other a bit more. But that's not all. I also use pattern recognition to look at this distribution, and provide insight into whether it's a high risk aneurysm or a low-risk aneurysm, thus helping the doctors a bit more in their decision. Ultimately, the goal of my project is to help doctors provided with a tool, which can be used as a bedside tool, which they can use readily to make immediate and informed decisions and help save lives across the globe. Thank you.
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Vincent Tutino
Biography: Sricharan Veeturi is from Visakhapatnam, India. As a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, his research is focused on improving risk assessments based on medical imaging that is critical to proper disease management and treatment planning for brain aneurysms. The goal of his research is to develop tools to aid clinicians in better understanding the risk associated with brain aneurysms through visualization and quantification of nuanced features in non-invasive imaging. Outside of his research, he plays tennis, chess, video games and likes to hike and run. Upon graduation, he plans to work in the research and development sector.
[Speaker: Dr. Phil Schneider] Presenter number five, uh, Maria Amir, from the Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies. Maria has a title, uh, "Finding Jugni: A Sufi Mapping of 'Mera Jism, Meri Marzi' for Pakistan's Aurat Marches". That is a mouthful. I apologize. You're going to have to correct me when you give your three minute thesis here. Fun fact, many years ago she used to train dancing horses in Pakistan. I'd love to know more about that. I'll save that for another three minutes, but if you're ready? Ready, set pitch!
[Speaker: Maria Amir] Witches, blasphemers, sluts, whores, foreign foreign-funded CIA agents. These are just some of the things that Pakistani feminists are called every single day. According to the 2021 Global Gender Index Report, Pakistan is ranked as the fourth worst country in the world for women to live in. And since 2018, thousands of Pakistani women have been taking to the streets every single March 8th to celebrate International Women's Day under the banner of the Aurat March, or the Women’s Marches. They sing, they dance, they chant, they bear slogans, um, and placards that call out how Pakistan's deeply patriarchal system affects them personally. This is a system that is based and rooted in family honor, religious honor and national honor being located along women's bodies. So, it's not an exaggeration to say that the Aurat Marches have become a national problem because Pakistan's women are seldom seen in public spaces, let alone seen singing and screaming in droves. Every year before the Aurat March, a few months before, the state machinery, that includes the media and the clergy, launched a campaign of threats and abuse against the organizers of the march as well as the protesters. And most recently, those threats have taken the form of blasphemy allegations that have forced many women to have to seek asylum outside of the country. They have taken the form of rape threats and death threats and stoning of actual participants in the marches. So, it it's not an exaggeration to say that the women who are marching in these Aurat Marches are literally marching for their lives. The reason the Aurat Marches matter to me is because I've worked as a human rights journalist in Pakistan for twelve years. I've taught courses on gender and I know how deeply entrenched our patriarchy is and how it controls women's movements, their minds and their voices. So, in short I am a Pakistani woman and this is deeply personal for me. Um, the reason my research matters is because the biggest accusation that is hurled at the Aurat Marches, is that they are western and they are against Pakistani culture. And I hope to show through my research that Pakistan's marches, the Aurat Marches are deeply rooted in our indigenous culture. And, South Asian indigenous culture is based on resistance and it is based on women expressing their anger and reclaiming their bodies. So four days from now, when our women are marching, I hope to show that those women are doing so by reclaiming a local legacy. They are fire made flesh. They are what we call “Jubilees”. Thank you very much.
Department: Global, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Advisor: Marla Segol
Biography: Maria Amir is from Pakistan but has also lived in the United Kingdom and Denmark. As a PhD candidate in the Global, Gender & Sexuality Studies department, she is currently studying how indigenous folklore in Pakistan portrays female rebellion and resistance and tries to connect these themes with the Aurat Marches (Women's Marches) that have been taking place in the country since 2018. The goal of her work is to be able to demonstrate how art, poetry, and folklore can be crucial cornerstones for Pakistani feminist activism. In her spare time, she enjoys reading science fiction and painting. In the future, Amir wants to pursue a career in teaching.
[Speaker: Dr. Phil Schneider] Next, Bita Nasiri. Bita comes from the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department. And fun fact, she actually has two fun facts, one is she loves taking photos and she has over a million photos that if you're sitting there on a Friday night looking for something to do she's happy to walk you through those. And fun fact number two, she loves making hilarious sentences out of serious situations, finding humor in everything. Her 3MT presentation is titled "Cell-Free Vascular Graphs that Grow with the Host." Bita if you are ready. Ready, yes?
[Speaker: Bita Nasiri] This is the wrong one because I update that one. This is right but the first one, it was something different. But, okay.
[Speaker: Dr. Phil Schneider] Perfect, sounds good. If you're ready.
[Speaker: Bita Nasiri] Yeah.
[Speaker: Dr. Phil Schneider] Ready, set pitch!
[Speaker: Bita Nasiri] One of the happiest moment in life is when a baby is born. Imagine yourself as a parent. Happily expecting your beautiful baby to come into this world and holding them for the first time. I'm sure all of you here imagine this moment in a perfect health. But, what if it was not? What if doctors inform you that your baby is diagnosed with congenital heart disease, and needs multiple surgeries to survive? This is the reality for lots of parents in U.S. where congenital heart disease, known as CHD, affects 40,000 newborns annually. Babies with CHD are born with defective vessels, causing several multiple complication as blood does not flow properly from heart to the rest of the body. In severe cases of CHD, surgical integration needs to, needs to be performed immediately after birth to replace these defective vessels with an artificial one. However, these artificial vessels cannot grow with an infant as they get older. So, until reaching adulthood these babies needs multiple surgeries to replace this artificial vessel with a larger one. Besides huge expenses, this will bring a childhood full of scars, pains and this is the life that, “We are going home” means, “Until the next surgery next time”. So, what can we do to overcome this challenge? That's what my thesis is all about. My research is centered around developing artificial vessels coated in proteins act as a supportive framework to attract the cells from blood. These cells later grow in number and change into different type of cells that naturally exist in our own blood vessels. The, the initial artificial vessel slowly breaks down in following months, letting the new vessel to form and grow. To see how this artificial vessels works in body's environment, they were implanted in lambs cardiovascular system which is similar to babies. My findings demonstrated after six months, which is equivalent to five years in human, these artificial vessels grow in both lengths and diameter. This crossability of this artificial vessels is fascinating, because they can serve as a permanent replacement for the defective vessels and eliminates the need of repetitive surgeries starting from birth. This would alleviate surgery's cost. But, most importantly this will put an end to constant pain and fear both parents and the baby experience with each surgery. This would be a signaling of hope offering a chance of living a normal functional life. Thanks.
Department: Chemical and Biological Engineering
Advisor: Stelios Andreadis
Biography: Bita Nasiri is a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and is from Semnan, Iran. Her research studies the production of cell-free vascular grafts that grow with the host after implantation in a neonatal lamb model by homing cells from the blood. The goal of her research is to discover if these vascular grafts could be considered as a potential candidate for the treatment of congenital heart disease because they can grow with the host, enabling them to serve as a permanent replacement and eliminating the need for repeated surgical procedures in babies while they grow. Nasiri’s hobbies include cooking, baking, walking, hiking, reading, listening to music and photography. Nasiri would like to continue researching and is seeking a research scientist position in the future.
[Speaker: Dr. Phil Schneider] Up next presenter number eight, Mahasweta Bhattacharya. Close enough, sorry. Coming from us from the Biomedical Engineering Department, um, we have a 3MT presentation title called, "Decrypting the Brain: Quest for Smarter Machines". Something you may want to know, uh, one day she, uh, hopes to meet Leonardo Dicaprio. She's an avid fan, aren't we all? And if you notice by her socks she is a big Harry Potter fan, so she is still waiting for her letter for Hogwarts. UB is a good choice though, regardless. If you are ready? Ready, set pitch!
[Speaker: Mahasweta Bhattacharya] Do you wonder how we interact with nature? What helps us to learn or perceive? If you have guessed the brain, you guessed it right. Our brain is a mysteriously fascinating organ. It has billions of cells working together as a team, constantly sending informative signals to different body parts. Besides, it also learns and reprograms itself over a lifetime forming new memories for us to revisit. And all this while, the brain consumes minimal energy. So you can consider that our brain is like a super efficient and energy efficient computer. Speaking of which, how are the modern computers doing these days? With each day, we require machines with faster processors and more robust memories, but unfortunately such machines incur a lot of energy. Today any top of the line supercomputer will easily incur energy bill of around six to seven million dollars per year, leaving behind a significant amount of carbon footprint. Now that begs the question, what if we have computers which are super powerful and energy efficient and just like the brain will learn from the world around, form memories and teach itself the most optimized solutions to problems? That's what motivates my research. In my research, I study how the brain learns and mediates our behavior, and I decrypt the behavioral information from the brain waves of animals. What do we do? We train mice to learn a new skill and while they are learning, I study how the brain is changing and reconfiguring itself by improving the mouse performance over time. And I use some computational tools these days which are very popularly known as machine learning. It's not intimidating, it is just some computational tools which can learn a system behavior by studying the patterns in the data. And understanding this mysterious brain is very crucial to build the kind of super powerful brain inspired energy efficient machines we want. And their applications? There are many. For example, a neurological patient or a person who just lost a limb, we can build smart prosthetic devices for him to help him get back to normal life. We can have smart surgical robotics to perform even the complex surgeries with precision, smarter drones for climate studies or even smarter robotics for home improvement. Thus as you see, that my research answers the question that we have in every day of our life. And as we move on this quest for smarter machines, we mustn't share our responsibilities. So here I am, trying to do my part to build a cleaner and smarter world for all of us. Thank you.
Department: Biomedical Engineering
Advisor: Rudiyanto Gunawan
Biography: From Kolkata, India, Mahasweta Bhattacharya is a PhD candidate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. In her research, aims to understand how the activity of the brain enables a person to perform a task and to leverage this understanding in hopes to develop efficient brain-machine interfaces for the rehabilitation of neurodegenerative diseases. Her goal is to create an opportunity for neurodegenerative patients can have a better life not impeded by the inability to move, speak or work. Bhattacharya enjoys watching football, reading books and singing. In the future, she hopes to guide future researchers so that they can also continue the path of research for the betterment of humanity.
[Speaker: Dr. Phil Schneider] Last but not least, we have Judy Liu, who's talking about "Novel Configured Core Shell Supported Three-Way Catalyst". Judy shared with me before here that, uh, back in her hometown Taiwan, she would take motorcycle rides for about three hours just to see about a half an inch of snow. She assured me now that her time in Buffalo she will no longer be taking those rides, she has had enough. Uh Judy coming from, uh, Chemical and Biological Engineering department. Um Judy, if you are ready? Ready, set pitch!
[Speaker: Chih-Han Liu] Okay. I would like to ask you a question. Have you ever had this experience, when you are driving a car or when you are walking on the street, then a trust, uh, truck passed by leaving you a very bad smell. I believe the answer is 'Yes'. So what is that? It actually comes from the tailpipe of the vehicle, which we can understand as the sleeve of non-uh, non-used diesel on the truck. But what exactly it is? Actually it composed of the carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons, and none of this are good for our health. So you may say, "Okay, uh fine, I drive a gasoline car as it doesn't smell that bad". But the truth is even the car you're driving it may at least emit some of this harmful gases, you just don't smell that. So, in order to get rid of these harmful gases, a catalytic converter is used in all the vehicles, including the ones we are driving every day. So ideally after these harmful gases pass through this catalytic converter, they are converted to the carbon dioxide, nitrogen or water, and all of this are not as good for, as not harmful for our health. But again, it's ideally. So in the real scenario, a catalytic converter uses a material called cerium, which you can see in the yellow color, but this material is not durable. Or in other words, this cerium derogate, or you can say over-usage and it just lost its function. So what we end up is that we will going back to the word from the left-hand side, or we can take alternative that we have to replace our catalytic converter from our car frequently, and this is pricey. I believe nobody will love that. So my job here is to develop this material by covering the not durable cerium by this zirconium you see in the blue color. By doing that we are able to improve the, uh, durability of this catalytic converter. So in our lab aging, which simulates 75,000 mileage of the vehicle driving, we see this catalyst actually is able to convert more harmful gases than the conventional cerium itself over the whole period of time. So I believe, uh I, from my research I can bring the world from the left-hand side to the right-hand side. Or in the point of budget, I can save you money because you don't have to change your catalytic converter as frequently. So thank you for listening to my talk. Thank you.
Department: Chemical and Biological Engineering
Advisor: Eleni A. Kyriakidou
Biography: Chih-Han Liu is from Tainan, Taiwan. As a PhD student in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, her research targets improving gasoline vehicle efficiencies by developing uniquely structured catalysts with enhanced durability and low-temperature activity for emission remediation. The goal of Liu’s research is to approach the elimination of 90% vehicle exhaust pollutants at 150 oC, thus meeting the strict emissions standards introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency. She loves photography and uses her drone to explore beautiful locations whenever she gets the chance. After completing her PhD, Liu would like to continue her work as a research and development engineer.