Senior Thesis Workshops

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 thesis workshops are a full-year, seminar style series of modules that focus on developing presentation and communication skills, as well as bolstering the diverse community of concentrations. 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.


WORKSHOP OBJECTIVES

  1. Develop formal and informal presentation skills audiences
  2. Create an environment for support and development through dialogue and fun games
  3. Practice compressed articulation of thesis work (Bok Center support to film and review)
     

ACTIVITIES RATIONALE

  1. Create a space of awareness, vulnerability, and growth for social learning
    1. Accepting each other’s offers and building on them
    2. The group as a collective (supportive, making each other look good, etc.)
  2. Extend the range of possible ways of communicating by trying on different emotions/roles
    1. Uninformed audience (i.e. family member, friend, etc.)
    2. Potential investor (i.e. funding body)



WORKSHOPS SCHEDULE

Fall 2018 Sessions: Presentation and Visualization Skills
The Fall workshops are focused on building an interdisciplinary community. Students will share and reflect on their process, as well as practice framing their work through visualization tasks. Activities throughout the Fall are designed to prepare students for oral presentations, as well as designing supporting materials.

Fall Intro Meeting - Thursday 4 October, 4-5:30 p.m., William James B1

First Fall Workshop

Tuesday 16 October, 2-4 p.m., William James 305 (Group One/Ilya)
Thursday 18 October, 5-7 p.m., William James 950 (Group Two/Benedek)
Friday 26 October, 2-4 p.m., William James 950 (Group Three/Maggie)

Second Fall Workshop
Tuesday 13 November, 2-4 p.m., Bok Center 317, 50 Church Street (Group One/Ilya)
Friday 16 November, 2:30-4:30 p.m., Bok Center 317, 50 Church Street (Group Three/Maggie)
Thursday 29 November, 5-7 p.m., Bok Center 317, 50 Church Street (Group Two/Benedek)


Option Skills Workshops - to be announced, depending on student interest (possibilities include Thesis Writing and Planning, Chart/Graph and Reference Software Packages)


Spring 2019 Sesssions: Beyond the Field
The Spring workshops are focused on sharing work beyond disciplinary boundaries. Students will continue to reflect on their process, as well as design capstone infographics to share with a wide audience within and beyond the academy.

Spring Intro Meeting and Brain Break (including Juniors)
Monday 4 February, 4-5:30 p.m., William James Library


Three Workshops - to be scheduled for April, after theses have been submitted

MBB Poster Session - Thursday 25 April, 3-5 p.m., William James Library - The MBB Poster Session will feature research conducted by MBB post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduates. Thesis writers who received Mary Gordon Roberts MBB Summer Thesis Fellowships will be expected to take part, and all MBB thesis writers will be invited to participate.

Senior Recognition Ceremony - Wedcnesday 29 May, 9-10:30 a.m., Faculty Club – Certificates in Mind Brain Behavior will be awarded.

Optional Skills Workshops - to be announced, depending on student interest (possibilities include Thesis Writing Nuts and Bolts, Public Speaking, Communicating Science for Public Policy)



Workshop Leaders


Maggie Kandel photograph

Maggie Kandel, mkandel@g.harvard.edu

Maggie is a Ph.D. student in the psychology department, with a background in linguistics. Her research interests include language acquisition and the cognitive mechanisms underlying human language production and comprehension. She has a strong belief in the importance of interdisciplinary research and dialogue and looks forward to sharing this passion with the undergraduate MBB thesis writers!

 

Benedek Kurdi photograph
Benedek Kurdi, kurdi@g.harvard.edu

I am a fifth-year graduate student in the Social Cognition Lab at the Department of Psychology, working with Mahzarin R. Banaji. My research relies on formal models of learning (including Pavlovian learning, reinforcement learning, and causal learning) to investigate what kinds of mental representations underlie and what kinds of learning processes give rise to implicit attitudes, that is, automatically activated evaluations of people, things, and places that we encounter in our environment. In addition to psychology, I also have some background in linguistics, political science, statistics, and computer science, which makes me especially excited to learn about and support interdisciplinary work. For more information about me and my research, visit my website.


Vidrin Photo

Ilya Vidrin, ilya_vidrin@mail.harvard.edu
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.