1,000 words challenge

Tonight, the Burke museum is hosting their annual graduate student happy hour. This year, the museum and FOSEP encouraged graduate students and post-docs to describe their research using only the 1,000 most common words in the English language (using this text editor). Below is my attempt. It is really is quite a difficult task… I won the Burke Museum’s “Style” award for this presentation!

“I study what’s left of groups of hair-having animals that lived a really long time ago near where we live now. I study these groups of hair-having animals because they are more like the hair-having animals we have today than the hair-having animals that lived even longer ago. They are also interesting because they lived at a time when stuff was happening and it was getting warmer, then cooler, then warmer. Today, it’s getting warmer and warmer. If we understand what happened to these really old hair-having animals when stuff happened, we might be able to know stuff about the hair-having animals we have today.

How can we learn about stuff from these old hair-having animals? I find what’s left of the hair-having animals in rocks, give them a name, and put them in groups. I do that for different places that are kind of close to one another. I end up with many names and different groups for each place. Then I look at how different the groups and names are from one place to another. I want to know if some of these places shared animals with the same name or same groups.

I hope that by understanding how different hair-having animals are across the land and how that was coupled with stuff happening we can tell how those groups of animals were put together and worked as a team (in which your friends eat you and you die and end up in rock).”

You can read more of the presentation’s on FOSEP’s blog.

UW’s Biology department did particularly well at this challenge. Read a summary on SciPos.


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