What is the AGS Symposium?

The annual Graduate Research Symposium provides a venue for UCI to showcase outstanding graduate and professional student research. Graduate students are challenged to take the results of thousands of hours of academic research and discovery and present it in terms that a general audience can understand and appreciate.

On April 22, 2016, we invite students, faculty, and the local Orange County community to:

  • Interact with outstanding graduate student researchers. UCI graduate and professional students will present short “TED-style” talks in individual sessions aimed at a general audience.
  • Help judge the best speakers from our line-up of excellent talks. Judges and audience members will help decide which speakers gave the most accessible and engaging presentation. Winners will receive cash prizes.


  • Network with industry and academic professionals. A networking event at the end of the day will provide a space for all speakers and attendees to network with judges and local industry representatives.


This year’s Symposium will have 12 presentation sessions, with each session having 8 to 10 presenters. Talks are 7 minutes each with 2 minutes for questions. Presentations from the same or closely related fields are grouped into the same sessions.

Speakers are encouraged to target a general audience that is not well-informed in the specific area of research. There will be two winners in each session judged on the talks’ accessibility by a general audience, one based on the judges’ scores ($400) and one based on the audience’s scores ($200). The judging rubric can be found here.

Meet the Symposium Organizing Committee

Liuyi (Ye) Pei — School of Physical Sciences
AGS Chief of Staff, Chair of Symposium Organizing Committee

I am a 6th year PhD student in Astronomy. This is my second year involved with AGS and leading the AGS Symposium, and I hope it’s just as successful as it was last year!

Ellen Wann — School of Biological Sciences
Professional Development Coordinator

I am a 4th year PhD student in Neurobiology and Behavior, and I’m interested in connecting graduate students with on campus and community resources for professional development.

Li Xiao — School of Engineering

I am a 4th year PhD student in Biomedical Engineer, and I’m interested in providing students good resources and training on their academic studies and career developments.

Sarah Nainar — School of Biological Sciences

I am a 2nd year PhD student in Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Alec Follmer — School of Biological Sciences

I am a 2nd year PhD student in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.

Andrew Pace — School of Physical Sciences

I am a 5th year PhD student in Astronomy.

Bianca Cung — School of Education


agsWho are AGS?

Associated Graduate Students (AGS) is UC Irvine’s graduate student government. We advocate for graduate student needs and provide services ranging from social events to research travel grants.