Ashwini Gupta and Kristen Nixon, both graduate students in the department, have been selected as finalists in the 2022 Empower Your Pitch competition. Held by PHutures and open to all doctoral students at JHU, Empower Your Pitch is a research competition that develops the research communication skills of presenters from across the Hopkins’ graduate schools to diverse audiences.

The competition empowers presenters to communicate the value of their research at any stage of development and across all disciplines using presentations that include varied elements, including traditional spoken word presentations, music, poetry, rap, electronic media, and props. The goal is to capture the audience’s attention, convey the essence of their research, and explain its relevance to their listeners in a maximum time frame of three minutes.

The finale will be held on Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 2 p.m. ET via Zoom. Registration is required to attend.

Ashwini is a PhD researcher in Prof. Lori Graham-Brady’s group who is collaborating with a group of scientists at Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) with the goal to design data-driven faster computational models to study uncertainty in very complex physical systems. His pitch, titled  “How Artificial Intelligence Designs Stronger Structures” draws on his experience designing novel methods in computational mechanics.

As a first year PhD student in the Center for Systems Science and Engineering working with Prof. Lauren Gardner, Kristen drew on her involvement in the real-time forecasting efforts for the CDC COVID-19 Forecast Hub to develop her pitch. Titled “Did the Onslaught of COVID-19 Research Actually Improve Public Health Outcomes?”, her pitch showcases her research interests including sociotechnical systems, data-driven decision making, technology ethics, and science translation.