Senior Thesis Workshop

An honors thesis is one of the capstones of an undergraduate education. Working usually in close collaboration with a faculty member, you undertake original research that draws upon the topical knowledge and research skills you have developed in the MBB program. This research is the most important contribution you can make to the study of mind/brain/behavior.

An important related activity is sharing your research with the scholarly community. The MBB Program offers both un-structured and structured interactions with fellow thesis writers and seasoned researchers. In addition to the informal, course-based, and laboratory-related contacts with faculty and fellow students, the Program holds a required, non-credit series of small group discussions for thesis writers. These meetings will allow you to report your thesis findings and discuss them with your fellow MBB thesis writers, as well as provide feedback to your peers as you learn about their work. By listening to each other, you will also learn about the other areas in mind/brain/behavior, some quite different in topic and approach from that of your own thesis. Finally, these thesis discussion groups will also be a forum to explore and examine wider issues, from MBB-related issues, topics, and research to communicating science and developing the writing, creative, and speaking skills to do so effectively.

2017-2018 Workshops Schedule

Introductory Meeting
Friday 15 September, 4 p.m., William James 105 (small lecture hall off lobby to the right)

October Meeting

Group One (Pedro de Abreu): Tuesday 3 October 4-6 p.m., William James 601
Group Two (April Boin Choi): Monday 16 October 4-6 p.m., William James 350
Group Three (Supriya Misra): Thursday 5 October 4-6 p.m., William James 350
Group Four (Ilya Vidrin): Friday 6 October 3-5 p.m., William James 350

November Meeting
Group One (Pedro de Abreu): Tuesday 7 November 6-8 p.m.
Group Two (April Boin Choi): Monday 13 November 4-6 p.m.
Group Three (Supriya Misra): Monday 6 November 3-5 p.m.
Group Four (Ilya Vidrin): Friday 3 November 3-5 p.m.

Spring Meetings
three meetings will be scheduled after these have been submitted

Optional Skills Meetings
These will depend upon student interest and may include Thesis Writing and Planning: Chart/Graph and Reference Software Packages, Thesis Writing Nuts and Bolts, Research Poster Preparation, Public Speaking.

Other Meetings
These may include an early spring study break and participation in the all-MBB spring poster session.

2017-2018 Workshop Leaders

De Abreu Photo 
Pedro de Abreu,
My research interest revolves around four areas about which I am deeply passionate: identity, motivation, achievement, and group difference — the last of which includes topics related to social justice, equality, stigma, inter and intra-group relations. I am interested in how those areas interact with each other and the powerful research questions that come from such interactions. I direct the Artificial Intelligence, Brain, and Cognitive Sciences thematic within The Future Society at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (link), work as a Co-Instructor and Teaching Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and facilitate the Mind, Brain, Behavior workshops. In my free time, I enjoy reading philosophy, poetry, classical studies in social, developmental, and cognitive psychology and neuroscience, fiction, and non-fiction. I also enjoy sports (soccer, running, cycling), volunteering, running, chess, writing, and eating cookies. For more info, visit here.

Choi Photo
April Boin Choi,
I am currently a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Human Development, Learning, and Teaching at Harvard University. I am broadly interested in early identification of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), which leads to early interventions that can promote optimal outcomes in children. Specifically, my doctoral work examines the early development of gestures and fine motor skills in infants who are at high risk for developing ASD, and the effects of early social communication intervention on children with tuberous sclerosis complex, 60% of whom develop autism. I received a B.A. in Biological Sciences from Cornell University and an Ed.M. in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. As a MBB thesis workshop leader, I am excited to support undergraduate students in developing their critical thinking and writing skills and to provide resources and support beyond their lab environments.

Misra Photo
Supriya Misra,
I am a doctoral candidate in the department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. My undergraduate and master's training is in Psychology, with a concentration in Neuroscience, from Stanford University. I worked for several years in nonprofit management to develop evidence-based health education and health technologies, and co-authored three books on best practices in behavioral health. My research interests include cultural differences in conceptions of mental health and mental health stigma; protective psychosocial factors to promote mental and physical health; and design and implementation of community-based interventions. My dissertation explores social determinants including discrimination and trauma in explaining health disparities for serious mental illnesses.

Vidrin Photo

Ilya Vidrin,
Ilya is a doctoral candidate focusing on choreology and the ethics of intimacy. His work asks "what does it mean to be connected" and is carried out through choreographic research with professional dance companies, as well as collaborative research projects on constructs of dynamic interaction through social network theory, immersive somatic practice, and cognitive neuroscience.