Four Ph.D. candidates were crowned “Academic Idols” at Carnegie Mellon’s 2014 Three Minute Thesis Championship round on Feb. 18.

The first-place winner was David Rollinson (Robotics Institute, SCS), who presented his thesis Snake Robots in the Wild!

Second place went to Suchitra Ramachandran (Biological Sciences, MCS), who presented The Brain as a Statistician.

Third place went to Patrick Foley (Statistics, DC) and his thesis Statistics and the Human Connectome.

In an audience vote, Ramachandran and Arun Shrivats (Biomedical Engineering, CIT) with the thesis siRNA Therapeutics for Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva tied for the People’s Choice Award.

Eleven Ph.D. candidates made it to the final round out of 140 initial registrants. The competition, brought to CMU by Dean of Libraries Keith Webster, challenged the doctoral students to present their thesis in three minutes or less in language understandable to a general audience.

Check out the CMU home page story: Academic Idol.

Watch all the 2014 finalists