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2014-2015 Projects

Bioengineering Student Seminar Series

Contact: Nimit Jain,

The Bioengineering Student Seminar Series is a platform for graduate students and post-docs from departments across Stanford to showcase their research work at the intersection of biology, medicine and engineering. We host talks in areas as diverse as robotics, medical diagnostics, tissue engineering, bioinformatics, immunology, genetics and neural prosthetics.

Biomechanical Engineering Mini-Poster Series

Contact: Eileen Mazzochette,

A bi-weekly, mini-poster session series in which 4-5 volunteers present her/his work. This is an informal, casual atmosphere among members of the biomechanical engineering community with a framework for discussing current work and fostering opportunity for collaboration. As part of the casual atmosphere and to increase attendance, we propose serving coffee and pastries to the attendees. Posters can be ones which students recently took to conferences or plan to present soon.

Classical Theater: Translation and Performance

Contact: Stephen Sansom,

The purpose of Stanford Classics in Theater (SCIT) is to promote understanding of and engagement with classical theater through original research, rehearsal and production. Each year, members of SCIT translate, adapt and perform a play from ancient Greece or Rome. SCIT aims to bring together students from various academic backgrounds and interests, primarily among the graduate students of the Department of Classics, but also including undergraduates, faculty and others from the broader Stanford community.

Conjuncture: Eurasia at Crossroads

Contact: Wenfei Zhou,

Conjuncture: Eurasia at Crossroads is an inter-departmental social hub designed to foster academic and creative exchanges between scholars in social sciences and the humanities with a focus on the regional political and cultural dynamics in the Eurasian region (Greater China, Russia, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe). The project sees itself as a space for innovative thinking and interdisciplinary research that will contribute to student’s scholarship in the future. Towards this end, the project looks forward to host monthly lunch and dinner discussions, invited lectures, and a film series to build a community of interested scholars from the ground up. In the coming year, we wish to focus on three critical themes: China and Social Ecology, Ukrainian Crisis, and the future of global history. Our film series is specifically dedicated to each topic of our choice, and we welcome graduate students, faculty members, and undergraduates to participate in our screenings.

Cross-disciplinary Healthcare Innovation Partnership at Stanford (CHIPS)

Contact: Arielle Yablonovitch,

The Cross-disciplinary Healthcare Innovation Partnership at Stanford (CHIPS) brings together all students interested in healthcare at Stanford. We host a variety of events to build interdisciplinary connections and catalyze innovation in healthcare. Our main event is a biannual series of dinners focused on healthcare that draw many participants from across campus, and includes professionals from various healthcare fields. We also host a lunch series that brings small groups from across campus together with presenters from different healthcare industries. We collaborate often with other healthcare clubs on campus as well, including those in the Business, Law, and Medical schools.

Current Research in Sociology and Psychology (CRISP)

Contact: Gregg Sparkman,

The Current Research in Sociology / Psychology (CRiSP) Group holds monthly meetings to facilitate a collaborative approach to reviewing the latest journal articles in the areas of Sociology and Psychology. Graduate students in both departments work together to stay up to date on the most recent research in their areas. We compile a list of research interests that we share and then members review key journals each month. By pulling articles that are relevant to the group, each member does her / his share to help everyone stay up to date with dozens of journals spanning several areas of research. Moreover, by discussing these articles in monthly meetings we foster a sense of intellectual community across disciplines and career stages.

Dirty Leviathan Interdisciplinary Group

Contact: Alexandra Blackman,

The Dirty Leviathan Interdisciplinary Group is a graduate student group that fosters collaboration and an atmosphere supportive of various academic projects at the intersection of philosophy, political science, and law. The group's initiatives include a group retreat during which graduate students from various departments present their current work and get feedback from an interdisciplinary audience of their peers, as well as quarterly discussions with faculty members on issues related to law, public policy, and ethics.

Doc Design Lab

Contact: Elizabeth Lo,

The Stanford Documentary Design Lab is a graduate student group that promotes interdisciplinary dialogue between the documentary, art history, and design programs. At their core, all three disciplines draw inspiration from anthropology and strive to create works that resonate with the communities around them. A quarterly screening will bring together students, professors, and working artists to showcase films and designs rooted in the ethnographic encounter. It will also be an opportunity for students to present ongoing projects. The curation will foster discussion around representation, aesthetics, and social impact, and encourage students to further experiment with these concepts in their own work.

Environmental Humanities Project

Contact: Sylvan Goldberg,

Environmental Humanities Project (EHP) is coordinated by a collective of Stanford graduate students dedicated to interdisciplinary environmental thought and research. We host a number of events that aim to bridge the humanities and sciences, foregrounding humanistic and post-humanistic approaches to environmental knowledge and representation. Events include our “Field Notes” discussion series, held once each quarter, in which we facilitate an interdisciplinary conversation around a precirculated reading on a topic central to the environmental humanities. Additionally, we host a symposium in the spring quarter, at which graduate students from Stanford and other regional universities present their research. Other events include film screenings, lectures, and field trips.

Goggles Optional Podcast

Contact: Diego Calderon,

Goggles Optional is a podcast where scientists from Stanford University provide their professional yet humorous takes from the world of science. Join us as our hosts explore the significant news and discoveries of the week using a combination of wit, analogies, and words with less than four syllables. Goggles Optional has been featured as a New and Noteworthy science podcast on iTunes and by the Stanford School of Medicine blog. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a scientist to listen. The Goggles are Optional!

Graduate Humanities and Social Sciences Society

Contact: Tanya Llewellyn,

The purpose of the GHSS is to facilitate dialogue and collaboration among graduate students with a broad range of interests and to create a supportive and visible community for the humanities and social sciences at Stanford. The group holds monthly events that provide a forum for strengthening intellectual and social connections among grad students in these departments: facilitating collaboration, situating research in a broader intellectual context, and building on connections formed through classes, workshops, etc.

INFORMS 101 Series

Contact: INFORMS Stanford Chapter board,

INFORMS 101 Series offers talks at introductory level given by Stanford faculty from various fields that are broadly related to Operations Research, Management Sciences, and Analytics. The series aims to increase students' exposure to fields related to or different from their own area of study, while requiring little background knowledge from the audience. The series also offers a more efficient way of finding subjects of interests than the traditional way (shopping for classes). Students from all departments/programs are welcome to attend. For more details, please visit

Join Sociology Project for Intellectual Enhancement (J-SPICE)

Contact: Deon Magliozzi,

J-SPICE is a collaborative effort of two student-run projects that support the formation of intellectual communities in the sociology department. Each project functions as a distinct entity, but both span sociology sub-disciplines and graduate student cohorts. First, the Qualitative Methods Workshop (QMW) supports students using qualitative methods, who rarely have opportunities to collaborate and provide feedback on qualitative projects. QMW provides a forum for students to present their work, give and receive feedback, enhance their writing and analytical skills, share expertise developed in the field, and discuss issues related to the practice and status of qualitative research in the discipline. Second, the Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration (REI) group supports graduate students who work in the subfields of race, ethnicity, and immigration by sponsoring both reading and mentoring sessions. The REI group helps institutionalize mentoring relationships among graduate students and creates an environment where students can openly discuss their research ideas without fear of judgement.

KWH “the kilowatt-hour”

Contact: Antonio Baclig,

Energy GRID is a new energy reading group for Stanford graduate students. Every week, we gather for the "kW-hour," an informal discussion grounded in contemporary journal articles, news stories, and policy papers. Energy GRID draws students from across disciplines to explore topics in energy economics, policy, and technology.

MEET: MBAs and Engineers Engaging Together

Contact: Saara Khan,

MEET is an organization that aims to bring together MBA and Engineering students to meet their fellow students “across the street” on a monthly basis for networking, team formation, talks, ice breakers, and other interesting activities. We recognize that there are few opportunities on campus for interdepartmental events between these two student populations due to minimal class overlap. Our group has had wonderful success over the past 2 years in attracting thousands of students to our events and we see a 50/50 ratio between MBAs and Engineers. In addition, several startup teams and valuable partnerships have been formed through our events.

Networking Outreach Meals for Science

Contact: Sonya Mollinger,

The main purpose of the Networking outreach meals for science project is to bring together different sectors of the Physics and Applied Physics Community to interact in an informal environment and exchange ideas and advice. The project focuses on bringing together scientists and engineers who are at different stages in their careers and on creating a forum where those early in their career can reach out and network with those in later stages. Because the setting is a talk either over or followed by lunch or dinner rather than a formal workshop, panel, or colloquium setting, the conversations are one-on-one and more organic. There are two programs within this project: Applied Physics (AP)/Physics graduate student- Stanford faculty lunches, and AP/Physics graduate student- AP/Physics alumni talks and dinners.

Psychological Interventions In Educational Settings (PIES)

Contact: Kathy Sun,

Psychological Interventions in Educational Settings (PIES) aims to bring together graduate students from a variety of departments to collaborate and discuss research on psychological interventions that take place in authentic educational contexts. Meetings will provide opportunities for graduate students in a variety of departments to learn about important research in general psychology, educational psychology, and classroom instruction. The group will invite psychology, economics, and education faculty and researchers from Stanford and other institutions to present on their work and discuss how particular disciplines can inform the design of educational intervention research. During our meetings, graduate students at various stages of their careers will also present their research and receive feedback from their peers.

Stanford Workshop on Questionnaire Design

Contact: Rene Kizilcec,

The goal of this project is to provide a primer on questionnaire design to Stanford graduate students. In the social sciences, questionnaires are the dominant mode of data collection. Students engaging in experimental and observational research alike use questionnaires to collect data. However, many students have no formal training in question and questionnaire design, a fact that is likely to reduce the reliability and validity of the research produced. In cooperation with Stanford’s Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRISS), we will host a two-day summer workshop on questionnaire design. The first day of the workshop will cover existing research and theory on best practices for questionnaire design. The second day will give all participants an opportunity to work together to apply the principles from the previous days’ learning to their own questionnaires. We hope that this hands-on collaborative practice opportunity will increase awareness of the widespread community of researchers using questionnaires and generate a norm of collaborative questionnaire development and testing.

Stanford Archaeology Forum

Contact: Nathan Acebo,

The Stanford Archaeology Forum provides a student organized venue that engages faculty, students, scholars, and post-docs in topics across the discipline of archaeology. Discussion topics include cutting-edge issues concerning archaeological methods, archaeological theory, heritage management and ethics. The broad array of topics introduced in the archaeological forum allow for scholars in several different departments to network, debate, and workshop ideas that could benefit their future research and intellectual growth. The Forum, which meets every Wednesday at noon, will feature the ongoing research of undergraduates, graduates, post-docs, and Stanford and non-Stanford faculty/professionals. In addition to fostering an intellectual community between the disciplines of Anthropology, Archaeology, Classics, East Asian Studies, Earth Sciences, and Native American Studies at Stanford, the goal of the 2014-2015 forum is to bridge the intimate concerns for local material culture with wider global interests. We seek to provide a space of open dialog between scholars ranging from active heritage practitioners, members of indigenous communities, academic archaeologists, and students.

Stanford Biotechnology Business and Finance Group

Contact: Melina Mathur,

The Stanford Biotechnology Business & Finance Group (SBBFG) is an organization run by and for life science graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and medical students who are interested in exploring careers in biotechnology business, management, and investing. While there is a high degree of interest in these careers among scientists at Stanford, there are few resources available for experiential learning and practical skills building. Our experiential investment analysis project focuses the intellectual and quantitative training of our members on developing marketable skills and perspectives. SBBFG also hosts invited speakers, provides relevant online material in weekly digests, and facilitates varied opportunities for experiential education to allow members to survey the biotechnology business landscape and prepare for potential careers in these fields.

Stanford Complexity Group

Contact: Joel Thompson,

The mission of the Stanford Complexity Group (SCG) is to serve as an interdisciplinary forum for discussion of the findings, tools, and philosophical and cultural implications associated with the study of complex systems. This forum will include a centralized website, mailing list, invited speaker series, regular discussion sessions, and courses offered through Stanford University. Unlike similar organizations, such as The Santa Fe Institute, the purview of this group will not be limited to the sciences (or to cultures of knowledge striving to be science-like) but will traverse the bridges of complex systems thought to all fields touched by the systems view, including the arts and humanities. From a broader perspective, the recent focus on complexity in the sciences is only one manifestation of a general conceptual shift in which distributed control, contingency, and pluralism have been increasingly recognized as fundamental to fields as diverse as history, philosophy, and literature, among many others. The Stanford Complexity Group will offer a rare opportunity to expand beyond our disciplinary boundaries and talk with one another in a common language of general principles related to complex systems, thus stimulating both innovative approaches to research and novel ways of understanding of our world.

Stanford Food Forum

Contact: Priya Fielding-Singh,

The Stanford Food Forum is a student-run group that promotes cross-disciplinary dialogue around food systems issues. The group was founded in Fall 2011 with the aim of facilitating connections between the various students and faculty on campus pursuing food systems research. The forum has worked over the past year to establish a collaborative space for student-student and student-faculty exchange on the array of forces that affect how individuals, communities, and societies relate to, produce, and consume food. Each year, we hold a number of small-group discussions, interactive, workshops, panels, and film screenings. We aim to build a stronger network of Stanford food scholars while at the same time raising awareness around today’s most pressing food issues to the university community at large.

Stanford Network Forum

Contact: Jacob Reidhead,

"The Stanford Network Forum was organized in 2013 by graduate students across the university sharing a common interest in network science. For the 2014-2015 academic year, forum members have identified two themes of interest: 1) structure amid complexity, and 2) co-evolution of social networks and cultural fields. Activities centering on these themes include weekly forums and a quarterly colloquia featuring preeminent experts in the field of network science. More information can be found at and interested persons may add themselves to our mailing list at

Stanford Polymer Collective (SPC)

Contact: Jeff Lopez,

The Stanford Polymer Collective (SPC) works to foster a synergistic environment that will improve the research capability of the Stanford polymer community. This goal Is achieved by 1) Building an academic community that fosters interdisciplinary discussion and interactions, 2) Developing successful members who gain the skills and knowledge to become leaders in their field, and 3) by engaging in science outreach so that the public and non-scientists at Stanford (GSB, Law, Medicine) are informed and engaged in polymers research. This is done through regular outreach and educational events open to the entire Stanford community.

Stanford Prison Forum

Contact: Jeremy Jimenez,

For the fourth year in a row, our group is organizing and leading a graduate-level seminar at San Quentin State Prison in coordination with the Prison University Project. Each year a team of Stanford graduate students collaborates in the Fall to develop a new interdisciplinary course on the topic of incarceration, which is then taught in the Winter and Spring at San Quentin. Stanford participants each teach one or two lessons and serve as active participants in the other seminar meetings. By offering Stanford graduate students an opportunity to develop and co-teach an interdisciplinary course, the Stanford Prison Forum embodies VPGE's commitment to promoting intellectual community across academic disciplinary boundaries. Additionally, it provides an advanced interdisciplinary course to San Quentin students that is unique in the curriculum offered by the Prison University Project, and it provides Stanford students with an opportunity that cannot be found at Stanford: to deepen our understanding of our own fields through listening to rarely heard voices of the incarcerated. Invaluable support for the program comes from the Criminal Justice Center at Stanford Law School and particularly its Executive Director, Debbie Mukamal.

Stanford Sociology and Education Network (SAEN)

Contact: Julia Lerch,

The stanford sociology and education network (SAEN) is a growing community of sociologists of education at stanford, bridging the otherwise disconnected department of sociology and graduate school of education (GSE). Although stanford is home to a number of sociologists of education, students have recognized that there are limited opportunities to interact and share ideas with those outside of our own departments. to this aim, we have formed "SAEN," a group that consists of graduate students and faculty studying the sociology of education. as a group that has matured vastly over the last few years, our group now meets about 2 times a quarter to workshop research, discuss prevalent issues in the field, and provide an opportunity for interdisciplinary networking. this group provides students and faculty who are working in related fields the opportunity to discuss their work and collaborate on a diverse set of research projects and intellectual advancements. building on the strong momentum of previous years, our network continues to mature yearly and continues to grow into a diverse and productive intellectual community with the support from the SPICE grant.

Stanford Space Speaker Series

Contact: Charles Cox,

The Student Space Speaker Series from the Stanford Student Space Initiative is aimed at increasing interest in the developing space industry and promoting the collaboration of students across disciplines to foster ideas for projects and potential businesses. The speakers will consist of scientists on the leading edge of space exploration, leaders of large, proven commercial space companies developing capsules and rockets, and founders of new space companies to explain the process of space entrepreneurship. The series is aimed at students interested in space and will allow increased awareness and excitement for both graduates and undergraduates in the technical and scientific fields.

Stanford University Photonics Retreat (SUPR)

Contact: Jessica Piper,

The purpose of Stanford University Photonics Retreat (SUPR) is to promote greater cross-disciplinary interaction within the Stanford photonics community. Building upon the success of the previous six retreats, the event, to be held in April 2015, will consist of three days and two nights of programming (Friday-Sunday) that combines technical sessions, professional development, and social activities. Approximately 75 people will attend the retreat, including 55-60 graduate students and a number of postdocs, faculty, panelists, and distinguished invited speakers. SUPR provides a low-key forum for students from different departments to share experimental and theoretical techniques, present their own work, and builder stronger research networks.

Stanford Vaccine Forum

Contact: Jared Honeycutt,

The Stanford Vaccine Forum organizes conversations around the science, business and policy aspects of vaccine development and deployment. We aim to bring together students, postdocs and faculty from across the various schools and departments at Stanford to develop new research ideas and provide learning opportunities related to this important aspect of public health and scientific discovery. Find out more about the range of ways you can get involved by visiting

STAr-Science Teaching through Effective Visual Communication

Contact: Marius Cătălin Iordan,

The STAr Project promotes a high degree of interaction between trained scientists from STEM fields (undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral researchers) and local high school and community college students. The goal of STAr is two-fold. Firstly, the project is designed to help scientists learn to communicate complex research findings more effectively to people outside their own fields, and especially to non-expert audiences. Secondly, through direct exposure in an accessible manner to high impact, cutting edge scientific research, STAr aims to bolster interest and future engagement in STEM disciplines for young students who are at a critical point in the process of deciding their educational and career paths. As part of the program, the researchers will be guided through the process of developing a visually compelling poster describing their research in an accessible and engaging manner, with the help of workshops and interactive feedback sessions. The high school and community college students will then have the opportunity to engage with the researchers directly during 3-hour poster sessions that will be held on location at Cañada Community College and a local high school with the endorsement and help of science faculty representatives.

STEM Education: ASEE Breakfast Chats

Contact: ASEE Stanford Officers,

The Stanford Student Chapter of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) aims to promote awareness of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education research and best practices. We are dedicated to bringing the foremost education, science, and engineering researchers to Stanford to discuss current concerns and strategies for secondary education within STEM fields. As such, we will be hosting monthly ASEE Breakfast Chats (ABCs), which are open to the public and entire Stanford Community. The ABCs have three key features: (1) invited speaker(s) with experience in STEM education research (2) short presentations and discussions led by the invited speaker(s) and (3) breakfast. This set-up encourages discussion between attendees and speakers both before and after the formal ABC event. Overall, the ABCs are intended to empower students and educators in STEM fields to apply current education research practices in their own classes.