Research Commons

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Celebrate another virtual GIS Day with us (November 15-19, 2021)

GIS Day is an annual event for students, staff, faculty, and the broader community to learn more about geographic information systems (GIS) and to celebrate the power of geospatial data, methods, and technologies for answering research questions and solving real-world problems.

Register Today

Join us during the week of November 15-19 for a virtual 3C GIS Day(s) program featuring a keynote presentation, lightning talk sessions, and a digital map gallery. This event is free and open to the public, and registration is now open: Register for 3C GIS Day(s). 

Learn more and view a tentative schedule of our planned activities at: 

3C GIS Day(s) 2021 is a collaboration between Case Western Reserve University, The Ohio State University, and the University of Cincinnati. 

Lightning Talk Submissions Deadline Extended

The deadline for submitting a lightning talk proposal has been extended until Wednesday, October 27 using this linkLightning Talk Submission Form. 

The 3C GIS Day(s) planning committee invites submissions for lightning talks (10 minutes) from any faculty, staff, or students affiliated with one of the three organizing institutions. We encourage submissions from any disciplines that use geospatial information in any format, such as agriculture and environmental sciences, geography, engineering, business, health sciences, urban planning, and the humanities and social sciences, among others. We especially encourage submissions from graduate and undergraduate students who would like to showcase their work through a fun and informal presentation opportunity. 

Information collected during the submission process includes presenter name and affiliation, availability during proposed sessions times, and presentation details (title, brief description, and any collaborators). 

If you have questions, please contact 

Map Gallery Submissions Now Open

We also invite any faculty, staff, or students affiliated with Case Western Reserve University, The Ohio State University, and the University of Cincinnati to showcase their original cartographic work through a submission to our digital map gallery and competition. Help us highlight the great geospatial work happening across our institutions, and enjoy a chance to win prizes!  

Submission categories include static maps (e.g., from a conference poster or publication) and interactive maps (e.g., story maps, dashboards, and other web mapping applications). For complete details about awards, specifications, and evaluation criteria, visit the 3C GIS Day(s) Map Gallery web page. 

Please submit your map gallery entry by Wednesday, November 10 using this linkMap Gallery Submission Form. 

If you have questions, please contact 

Hayes Graduate Research Forum Series Spotlight: Noor Murteza

In this series, we are highlighting the experience of past winners of the Hayes Graduate Research Forum, which will take place virtually this year on April 9, 2021.

In our fourth installment, first-year PhD student in Arts Education, Administration, and Policy, Noor Murteza, discusses how the Hayes Forum could be one of the best experiences of a graduate career and shares how her research journey has led to interdisciplinary collaboration.

When I was contacted to write a short piece about my experiences with the Hayes graduate Conference, I jumped at the chance. Being part of the conference was one of the highlights of 2020 for me. I won’t keep you in suspense for too long on my recommendation: do it! If you have the opportunity, this could be one of the best choices you make as a graduate student at OSU for your future, both academic and personal. 

Throughout my Master of Fine Arts program years, I’d been working on fractal patterns and studying their effect on emotional and psychological wellbeing in Interior Spaces. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure anyone else was very interested. It wasn’t until Dr. Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders suggested I sign up for the Hayes Graduate Conference and present my work that I began to feel a sense of community interest in my work. Working closely and practicing frequently to make sure that my research was jargon-free and well organized for an audience outside my discipline was an exciting challenge and deeply rewarding. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to say that it was smooth sailing the whole way through—waking up at 6 a.m. to make it to campus by 7:30 a.m. was a challenge to say the least. To those who don’t know, the Hayes Graduate Forum starts notoriously early. 

To anyone thinking about pursuing an avenue of research with OSU I say go for it.  You are blessed to be on the Ohio State Campus- virtually and in-person. At any given time there are dozens of research opportunities happening all around you.  Look outside your department. You might find a researcher in the agriculture department who can shed light on a question in your design methodology class. To put it simply, there are over 3000 professors, 12 academic colleges, and about 11,000 graduate students at OSU. Insights and captivating ideas can come from any of them. Don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to someone outside of your area of study. It can be intimidating at first but the rewards are more than worth it. While being firmly rooted in the Design Department at OSU, my own research relied on conversation and support from the Department of Mathematics. Art and Math– who would have thought it! Also let’s remember the research institute and groups on campus. If it wasn’t for a professor at the Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute helping me out with my analysis software, I wouldn’t be where I am today. 

We are fortunate to have one of the best libraries and resource centers a researcher could wish for at our fingertips. I spent many hours in the 18th Ave. Library with piles of books and journals and more post-it notes than a stationary store in preparation for my final presentation. Over breaks, when I was done with all of the physical books I’d checked out, the digital resource library was there for me to utilize.

If I had not participated in the conference, I probably would not have stepped out of my comfort zone within Hayes Hall (Design Department) to speak with members of the other departments. I also would not have had the opportunity to develop many of the skills and the discipline that are helping me complete my postgraduate work these days. I have obtained my MFA and am now a first year PhD student at the Arts Education, Administration, and Policy Department at OSU.

The Conference is also a wonderful place to meet people.  It was through my conversations with the members of the art education and through attending their talks and their poster presentations that I first started becoming interested in design education. Fractals are all well and good, but the idea of awakening the artistic instincts in students and guiding them as they discover and develop their ability to express their point of view is infinitely more intriguing. 

Hayes Graduate Research Forum Series Spotlight: Michelle Scott

In this series, we are highlighting the experience of past winners of the Hayes Graduate Research Forum, which will take place virtually this year on April 9, 2021.

In our third installment, DDS and PhD Graduate Fellow, Michelle Scott, discusses her research, how the Hayes Forum helped her step out of her comfort zone and the importance of perseverance.

My first time presenting my research as a graduate student was as exciting as it was terrifying. What if I could not answer my judge’s questions? Or forgot how to explain the data analysis? Yet as daunting as it had been, it was in this space that I learned an essential aspect of being a graduate student: how to communicate my work. We spend a significant portion of our time diving further into our topics to understand as much as we can, but what good is this if we cannot explain our findings or reasoning? Since my first poster presentation, I have wanted to develop the skills necessary to communicate my science to all audiences. For me, the Hayes Forum marked stepping out of my comfort zone in dental and craniofacial sciences and into a space where my poster stood surrounded by all disciplines. Though I still have plenty to learn, being a part of last year’s Hayes Forum helped me to frame my research through a new lens and further develop the speaking abilities that will be crucial to my future goals.

My research is focused on the oral cavity and the oral microbiome, which is the complex microbial ecosystem that exists within our mouths. This environment is under a constant barrage from our everyday routines, and some of these behaviors can disrupt the delicate balance between our microbes and our immune system. One behavior that has been well studied is the impact of smoking cigarettes. Many studies have illustrated how cigarette smoke reduces beneficial bacteria, allowing pathogenic species to flourish and contributing to periodontal disease. E-cigarettes are an alternative to traditional cigarettes that are marketed as safer and healthier, but there is limited research into their health impact. My project presented at last year’s Hayes Forum focused on understanding how e-cigarettes impact the oral microbiome and bacterial metabolism. We saw that oral bacteria could metabolize the ingredients in e-cigarettes and the glycerol/glycol vehicle provided a carbon source that helped to fuel the significant increases in bacterial biofilm growth that we observed. Our next steps are to look at the interactions between the oral microbiome and human epithelial cells to understand how e-cigarettes impact the balance between our cells and our microbiome. My goal is to learn the necessary skillset to look at health as the combination of us and our microbes and understand how our lifestyles alter this balance.

Getting involved in research was one of the highlights of my undergraduate experience, and I encourage all students to try it out in at least some capacity. There are many great programs both on our campus and at other universities, ranging from volunteering to summer internships to research assistant jobs. I also urge students to present at as many conferences and forums as they can. It may not always go as expected, but the skills developed from presenting are applicable beyond just research. Even when things seem far from ideal, in those moments I have found that I grow the most. Some of my best presentations came after I forgot my poster or computer and had to drive back home to retrieve it. Even when a presentation feels failed from the start, persevering through this can sometimes produce better results than if things had gone as planned.

Hayes Graduate Research Forum Series Spotlight: Elizabeth Jergens

In this series, we are highlighting the experience of past winners of the Hayes Graduate Research Forum, which will take place virtually this year on April 9, 2021.

In our second installment, fourth-year PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering, Elizabeth Jergens, discusses her PhD journey, Hayes Forum experience and the important role mentorship has played.

When I started my PhD journey here at OSU, I had exactly zero experience with and knowledge about nanotechnology. Now, I am a fourth year PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering under the advisement of Dr. Jessica Winter. The main interest of my research is studying the interactions of DNA and nanoparticles for biological applications. At the Hayes Forum in 2020, I presented my work on the use of DNA cages for erasable fluorescent imaging. To sum up the important points, we produce custom nanoparticles in our lab that contain a fluorescent dye and we coat the surface of these nanoparticles with DNA tiles. These DNA tiles interlock with each other and have several targeting strands made of single-stranded DNA. This single stranded DNA will want to bind with a complimentary strand of DNA that we have conjugated to antibodies thus allowing for labeling of cells or tissue. DNA will want to bind to the most complimentary strand available which in this case allows for the removal of the DNA cages. Over the course of 15 minutes using DNA and a simple salt solution, up to 80% of the labeled signal can be erased. In the future, we hope to apply to histological samples using both fluorescent and colormetric dyes.

I decided to participate in the Hayes Forum for the past few years to practice my presentation skills and get better at explaining my research to those who are outside my area of expertise. Scientific research is very important but if the information can’t be communicated to the general public then the research means nothing. I hoped that the Hayes Forum could help me with this, and I believe that it did. To those who are considering presenting at the Hayes Forum in the future, I would highly encourage it. My advice is to keep your abstract simple with plain language so that people who are outside your field can easily understand the information that you are trying to provide.

My advice to anyone who wants to get involved in research at OSU is find work that interests you and is being done by a mentor that will help you learn and grow as a researcher. The research can be extremely interesting but if you don’t get to be involved how you want, then the work won’t be fulfilling. I am very grateful to be working with Dr. Winter since her work style matches mine and she pushes me to be better and think deeper about my research every day. In the future, I hope to be as a good a mentor as she is.

Hayes Graduate Research Forum Series Spotlight: John Harden

In this series, we are highlighting the experience of past winners of the Hayes Graduate Research Forum, which will take place virtually this year on April 9, 2021.

In our first installment of the series, Political Science PhD student John Harden discusses his research journey, his Hayes Forum experience, and offers advice to other student researchers. To learn more about John’s research you can visit his website. John welcomes anyone interested in connecting with him about his research or graduate school experience to email him.

I am a Political Scientist interested in International Relations. I focus on the human factor in International Relations. More specifically, my research agenda analyzes the role that grandiose narcissism, a personality trait, plays in preference formation and subsequently foreign policy decision-making. In other words, I think that while Donald Trump is unique, he is certainly more like a Richard Nixon rather than a Gerald Ford. I want to understand how Trump and Nixon’s desires and behaviors are similar. So far, I have found that more narcissistic presidents showboat on the international stage by eschewing allied assistance and unilaterally engaging in Great Power conflict. Some have wryly mentioned that they hear echoes of Trump insulting US allies and constantly discussing China when I present my findings. The data speaks!

The path to completing this research has been a long one, and graduate school has not always come naturally. Nearly 45% of students who complete their PhD have at least one parent with a graduate degree. Meanwhile, under 15% of Americans have a graduate degree. I was raised by a single mother for the first few years of my life. She dropped out of college to work and care for me. My (step)-father is the only member of my entire family who had completed his Bachelor’s Degree. I attended community college as an undergrad and found myself relatively lost when first navigating graduate school. It was a dauting task. I wager that other graduate students, especially those from similar backgrounds, share this experience.

My advice to student researchers looking to get involved in research at Ohio State is to practice being assertive and resourceful. Like most things in life, collaborative research opportunities will rarely fall in your lap. You often must take initiative by finding those opportunities and asking to be involved. You should build relationships with faculty conducting research you find interesting. I recommend helping a faculty member with their research for a semester or two before diving head-first into your own projects. Additionally, it’s important to find an advisor who is supportive enough of your research and success to provide strong critiques of your work.

My dissertation committee members are simultaneously a source of morale support and pointed critique. When forming my dissertation committee, I kept my mind on recruiting faculty with competing opinions on the big questions in our field. I have strengthened my dissertation project by navigating their disagreement, finding compromise where possible, and accepting that I cannot resolve some decades-long theoretical disputes (despite my early idealism). I want to thank Christopher Gelpi, Randall Schweller, and Amy Brunell for their support over the past few years. I give special thanks to Richard Herrmann, my dissertation chair, who has dedicated an immense amount of time and effort into molding me into a successful researcher and academic contributor.

I participated in the 2020 Hayes Forum because I wanted a chance to both share and strengthen my research. I thought that my research would be interesting to researchers in other fields. Presenting at the Hayes Forum strengthened my research by helping me figure out how to drop the language of my field to speak to a wider audience. While shifting language may sound like a relatively easy endeavor, PhD students are trained to use technical language for years. It can take some mindfulness and conscious work to briefly reverse this training for more diverse audiences.

Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum Friday February 28, 2020 (Jim Bowling – The Ohio State University Office of Student Life)

I was surprised and humbled to win first prize in my division at the Hayes Forum. My advice for others participating in the forum is to practice your presentation by translating your field’s technical language to everyday language. Do not drop the technical language entirely! Instead, first say what you did in technical language, and then immediately translate it to everyday language. This is something I noticed all the prize winners in my division did.

In the future, I will continue to work in academia so that I can engage with my research interests while helping younger scholars explore their ideas. My experience with the Hayes Forum has taught me the importance of presenting my research to wider audiences. I will continue to ask questions that wider audiences care about. I hope to use my talents as a researcher to help work towards a better future.

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