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UC Merced Ph.D. Student Wins UC Grad Slam Competition

May 7, 2021
Applied Math graduate student Shayna Bennett
Applied Mathematics graduate student Shayna Bennett was awarded first place at the University of California Grad Slam finals on May 7.

Applied Mathematics graduate student Shayna Bennett won first place at the University of California’s Grad Slam finals today (May 7).

Bennett presented her dissertation research, “A New Tool to Fight Invasive Species,” in just three minutes and won $7,000 and the systemwide trophy — known as the Slammy — the campus’s first time winning the top prize.

Bennett represented UC Merced along with finalists from the nine other UC campuses. All competitors presented their research in three minutes, using only three slides. Second place was awarded to An-Chieh Feng of UCLA, third place was awarded to Adélaïde Bernard of UC Berkeley, and people’s choice went to Logan Kozal of UC Santa Barbara.

For the campus’s Grad Slam final round in April, Bennett earned first place and $5,000. Second place and $2,000 was awarded to Mechanical Engineering student Azhar Vellore, and third place and $1,000 went to Quantitative and Systems Biology student Megha Suswaram.

Watch the UC Grad Slam finale here