University of Tennessee
Materials Science & Engineering Department

PowerPoint Karaoke @ UTK MSE
Knoxville, TN, April 2, 2024

The local student chapter of the Materials Research Society at the University of Tennessee hosted a PowerPoint Karaoke event, where participants presented a slide drawn from random, created by one of their peers. Undergraduates, graduate students and faculty participated in the event. Below we show a selection of snapshots from the presentations.

Kim kicked the night off with an impassioned delivery of her study of the science of pies, aka pieology.

Rebecca gave us the hard sell for a time share in southwest Alaska that seemed too good to be true.

Jakob advocated that we spend our leisure time on a dating app with only one potential suitor, a mysterious figure by the name of Krobus.

Kyle shared some scary thoughts regarding the voices in his head, all of whom he refers to as SpongeBob. After this presentation, there was a Q&A where graduate students discussed whether their respective advisors more resembled Squidward or Eugene Krabs.

Kaden dived deep into the material science behind emission wavelengths of kyber crystals contained within each lightsaber. His newly-proposed mechanism, centered on metastable hole traps, was fairly convincing to all assembled, save Prof. Gao, who adhered to the heretical "miniature tokamak" theory.

Nathan advocated the fringe culinary hobby of growing your own turkey crystals. To be honest, some in the audience admitted that it had never cross their minds to think of crystals as potentially disgusting until this presentation. Perhaps the presenter anticipated a hostile reaction from the audience, because he armored himself with a bike helmet prior to mounting the stage.

Under orders from unnamed corporate overlords, Sean hosted a focus group on the subject of the future of hotdogs. Some revelatory insights were generated that shall not be reproduced here.

In a timely multi-slide presentation, Prof. Gao shared his thought on the current state of college basketball.

He concluded his talk with a moving declaration of his love for Alabama. Then he recited an impromptu poem in the style of Dr. Seuss entitled "Bubba and Bama", which went a little bit something like this:
From west comes Bama
From east come Bubba
Bubba wants Bama to bring him to Alabama
Bama does not want Bubba to Alabama
If you want know who's gonna win over Bama
Forrest Gump needs to ask his Mama.
Sadly, the cameras were not rolling.

Jocelyn proved an enthustiastic advocate for the virtues of the base-6 number system. The audience particularly enjoyed the vocabulary of base-6 counting, such as thrisy (30) and fifsy (50).

Lia gave a well-researched investigation into local purveyors of fried chicken, which mixed personal experience with scientific observation.

Two awards were given out in the Best Presenter category. One award went to Joceyln.

The other award for Best Presenter went to Prof. Gao. (Forgive the blurry picture. Apparently, the amateur photographer was trying to applaud while taking the photo.)

Two awards were given out in the Best Slide Design category. Kaden took home one award for his assiduous study of base-6 numbers.

Prof. Keffer took home the other award for Best Slide Design for his well annotated slide on light sabers.

Thanks to the local student chapter of the Materials Research Society for hosting this fun community-building event. Special thanks to Rebecca Lalk, Kim Pestovich and all the organizers.

More photos on the Keffer research group site.