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2016-2017 Projects

AMO Student Seminar Series

Participating Department(s): Applied Physics, Physics
Contact: Alexandra DeMaio,

The objective of this journal club is to create a comfortable and stress-free environment for graduate students and post-docs interested in atomic, molecular and optical (AMO) physics to learn more about this field of physics. The idea is that no professors are allowed in the journal club, creating a space where knowledge and understanding among graduate students can be exchanged without feeling any pressure to worry about the impression that they are making. In open journal clubs or seminars, the presence of professors tends to restrict questioning from the students. We believe that in creating this comfortable learning space, we will support students from diverse backgrounds— who are more likely to have "imposter syndrome"— and support the intellectual growth of all students involved.

Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Action Committee

Participating Department(s): Chemical Engineering
Contact: Julie A Fogarty,

We are a group of Chemical Engineering graduate students working to supplement the Stanford Chemical Engineering graduate school experience. The Action Committee sponsors and coordinates a variety of mentoring, social, and professional development events, including new student orientation panels, qualifying exam preparation, faculty luncheons for first year students, colloquia featuring student-selected faculty speakers from outside institutions, a yearly convocation featuring upper-year PhD candidate speakers, alumni career perspective sessions, career development sessions and workshops, academic milestone celebrations, summer barbeques, & intramural sports. Additionally, the Action Committee represents the interests of Chemical Engineering Masters and PhD students in interactions with the Stanford Chemical Engineering Department.

Computational Neuroscience Student Exchange & Reading Group

Participating Department(s): Applied Physics, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biology, Biomedical Informatics, Biophysics, Cancer Biology, Chemical and Systems Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Genetics, Mathematics, Medicine, Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Neurosciences, Physics, Psychology, Statistics, Symbolic Systems
Contact: Alex Williams, and Chris Stock,

We propose a monthly interdisciplinary seminar series to invite exceptional graduate students from other institutions to visit Stanford and share their research, as well as a weekly journal club of graduate students and postdocs whose work involves a combination of computer science, statistics, and neuroscience. The seminar series will involve a formal talk during the day open to the full Stanford community, as well as informal social events later in the evening open to graduate students. Our plan would benefit Stanford by attracting highly qualified post-doc candidates, bringing students and researchers from different departments within Stanford, and connecting Stanford students to other academic institutions. Furthermore, we are coordinating with friends and colleagues at UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and Columbia University to fund similar programs at these institutions, which would allow Stanford students to further participate in this exchange by traveling to other schools. We plan to record and upload the talks to YouTube (subject to the consent of the speakers) and create a website to advertise events and potentially coordinate similar programs at other institutions. The journal club will bring together researchers from diverse backgrounds to discuss and critique a recently published scientific paper on computational neuroscience each week. In addition to offering a unique training opportunity for graduate students in this highly interdisciplinary field, the journal club will bring together the strong -- but currently dispersed and largely disconnected -- population of computational neuroscientists at Stanford.

CRiSP: Current Research in Sociology and Psychology

Participating Department(s): Psychology, Sociology
Contact: Sandra Nakagawa,

For graduate students pursuing advanced degrees at research institutions like Stanford, it is necessary for each of us to be well-informed about the latest research coming out of peer-reviewed journals. However, most students find this task daunting since the journals one should be reading can easily exceed two dozen in number and can span many disciplines. Moreover, since graduate seminars tend to focus on well-established findings in the literature, many graduate students lack a place where they can come together with their peers to critically evaluate the most recent research in their field. The Current Research in Social and Psychology (CRiSP) group aims to fill this gap. With members spanning all phases of the graduate career, from first year students to those finishing their dissertations, CRiSP allows students to collaborate to keep up with the most cutting edge research in their area. Each member shares their research interests with the group (e.g., gender bias in organizations) and is assigned two to four journals to review. Before meetings, each person goes over the latest research from their scholarly journals while looking out for any articles that might overlap with the research interests of their fellow CRiSP members. When members find relevant articles, the citation information is shared in a Google Doc that allows all members to easily access the research. During group meetings that take place twice each quarter, members discuss articles they found and get a chance to critically engage with each other to scrutinize the research too. By combining our efforts to review the latest academic papers, CRiSP members are able to stay on top of the latest research findings in dozens of the top journals while also participating in a vibrant intellectual community.

Critical Gaming Workshop

Participating Department(s): Art and Art History, Comparative Literature, English, French and Italian, German Studies, Modern Thought and Literature, Theater and Performance Studies
Contact: Natalie Deam,

Our main goal is to create a space in which people from diverse academic fields and gaming backgrounds can come together to discuss video games in a critical way. Stanford University has many scholars working on games and new media without any official group to organize discussions, share resources, and workshop ideas; we hope to create that space. It is our goal that members not only explore new video games, but that they also become more familiar with theory and critical ideas through the hands-on approach of gaming. In our discussions, we intend to foster interdisciplinary approaches to video gaming—including performance, film, critical theory, and game design—by providing readings and organizing speakers and discussion moderators. Graduate students and faculty from any department interested in discussing gaming with a theoretical approach will be welcome to join.

Cross-disciplinary Healthcare Innovation Partnership at Stanford (CHIPS)

Participating Department(s): Anthropology, Applied Physics, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biology, Biomedical Informatics, Biophysics, Business, Cancer Biology, Chemical Systems, Chemical and Systems Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Computer Science, Developmental Biology, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Genetics, Health Policy Research, Immunology, Institute for Computational and Mathematical, Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine (MDs or Postdocs), Microbiology and Immunology, Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Neurosciences, Pathology, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Public Policy, Statistics, Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine, Structural Biology
Contact: Daniel Kim,

The Cross-Disciplinary Healthcare Innovation Partnership at Stanford (CHIPS) brings together all students interested in healthcare at Stanford. We seek to build interdisciplinary connections to catalyze innovation in healthcare. One of our main events is a biannual series of dinners focused on healthcare that draws ~100 participants from across the campus, and which includes invited guests from different fields of healthcare as well. In addition, we have strengthened our connections with healthcare clubs in the Business and Law school by co-hosting and advertising their events to the broader Stanford community. We have continued to host a lunch series that connects students with each other, with industry sources, and with professors. We are also planning new events, including a Biotechnology/Healthcare Start-up series and a Healthcare Innovation Forum where students use design thinking approaches to tackle a current challenge in healthcare. We want to continue building interdepartmental interactions, and we want to foster interactions that develop into long term connections between current Stanford students. We work closely with student groups from the Schools of Medicine, Humanities and Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Law, including Stanford Biosciences Student Association (SBSA), Stanford Medical Student Association (SMSA), the GSB Healthcare Club, and Bio-Law.

Dish on Science

Participating Department(s): Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biology, Cancer Biology, Chemical and Systems Biology, Developmental Biology, Genetics, Medicine (MDs or Postdocs), Microbiology and Immunology, Neurosciences, Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine
Contact: Joy Y. Wan,

The goal of the Dish on Science is to promote accessibility, understanding, and interest in topics in STEM fields among the general public through the use of blogging and social media (e.g. Twitter). The club seeks to act as a science education resource for adults and would like to have our content marketed as having been created by Stanford graduate students.

East Asian Studies Intellectual Community

Participating Department(s): Anthropology, Art and Art History, Comparative Literature, East Asian Language and Cultures, East Asian Studies, Economics, History, International Policy Studies, Law, Modern Thought and Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies, Sociology, Theater and Performance Studies
Contact: David Hazard,

The East Asian Studies Intellectual Community seeks to connect graduate students across various departments at Stanford studying East Asia. Graduate students with a focus on East Asia are spread across departments as diverse as: History, Art History, Religious Studies, Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology, Economics, Comparative Literature, East Asian Literature and Cultures, and more. However, there is nothing at Stanford the connects these students. Our group desires to radically change that paradigm, and create a supportive intellectual community that will continue to thrive after the initial funding period has ended. Group activities will center on sharing research and receiving feedback from other students, round table discussions on interdisciplinary topics, and discovering who our other classmates are and their research. Our group will fulfill a dire need at Stanford that can be built upon in the future.

Goggles Optional Podcast

Participating Department(s): Applied Physics, Biology, Biomedical Informatics, Chemistry, Immunology, Medicine (MDs or Postdocs), Physics
Contact: Diego Calderon,

Goggles Optional is a podcast where scientists from Stanford University provide their professional yet humorous takes from the world of science. Our hosts invite listeners to 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 on the Stanford School of Medicine blog. Don't worry, you don't need to be a scientist to listen. The goggles are optional!

kWh - The Kilowatt hour

Participating Department(s): Applied Physics, Business, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, Energy Resources Engineering, Environmental Earth System Science Law, Management Science and Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering
Contact: Ari Gold-Parker,

Energy GRID (Graduate Reading-Informed Discussion) is an energy-focused reading group for Stanford graduate students. The group evolved from connections made at the fall, 2013 Energy@Stanford & SLAC program. Every week, we gather for the Kilowatt 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.

MASALA: Music, Arts, and Sciences: Advancing our Lives in Academia

Participating Department(s): Art and Art History, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Music, Neurosciences, Psychology
Contact: Elliot Kermit-Canfield,

The interests of graduate students in the Stanford music department are diverse and encompass a multitude of sub-disciplines. This SPICE grant proposes a suite of activities that foster collaboration, discussion, and academic exploration both within and outside the music department. We recognize a need for students to share their work, and so we propose two programs: a colloquium series comprised of conference-style presentations for developed work and several "rapid-fire" talk sessions for short presentations on current work. We also propose to host guest lecturers, who will share current research relevant to young scholars in the music department. In addition to these three presentation formats, we propose two discussion clubs: a listening club to stimulate thought and analysis of music composition and an interdisciplinary journal club to discuss new and pertinent papers in the diverse fields of music scholarship. Finally, to exchange new viewpoints and culminate the school year, we will carry out a Research Symposium ran by and featuring the work of Graduate students working in the music department. Cumulatively, through this suite of activities, MASALA would fulfill the music department's need for an intellectual community that transcends traditional boundaries.

Meeting of Astrophysics Students at Stanford (MASS)

Participating Department(s): Physics
Contact: Devon Powell,

MASS (the Meeting of Astrophysics Students at Stanford) is an existing students-only seminar series within the Physics department and the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC). We wish to expand MASS into a combination seminar series and journal club, supported by a SPICE grant. MASS will continue to focus on topics in astrophysics and cosmology, and the main audience will be graduate students in the Physics department/KIPAC, for whom this is most relevant to their thesis work. However, we will encourage students from all disciplines in physics to attend. We will meet during lunch on Wednesdays and provide food to increase comfort and encourage attendance. Our main objective is to provide a comfortable, stress-free setting in which graduate students can practice presenting and discuss current papers amongst themselves, with no added pressure due to the presence of faculty.

Networking Outreach Meals for Science

Participating Department(s): Applied Physics, Physics
Contact: Ruby Lai,

The main purpose of the Networking Outreach Meals for Science project is to bring together various sectors of the scientific community to interact in an informal environment to 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.

Popular Music and the Contemporary

Participating Department(s): Art and Art History, Education, English, Modern Thought and Literature, Music
Contact: Max Suechting,

The Working Group on Popular Music and the Contemporary will meet regularly to discuss issues relating to the topics of popular music (defined broadly, across genre, style, and nationality) and the contemporary world. What role does popular music play in defining and/or periodizing contemporary popular culture? How does various popular music around the globe intersect and contaminate one another? What role does celebrity play in defining the place and style of popular music today? How do different popular-musical forms, media, and practices engage politics around the globe? And how does the changing media landscape affect the production and circulation of popular music and culture? In addition to conducting seminar-style discussions of these topics, the group will host paper presentations from participants as well as attend musical performances at Stanford and in San Francisco and ideally host small events with visiting scholars (hopefully including scholars such as John Kun, Jason Robinson, and Alex Weheliye).

Prison Education Project

Participating Department(s): Education, Law, Sociology
Contact: Kathleen (Katie) Remington,

Using our experience from the past five years organizing and leading a graduate-level seminar at San Quentin State Prison in coordination with the Prison University Project, we are forming a new group of students to do similar work with the Santa Clara County Jail system. Our goal is to take what we've learned from our work at San Quentin and create a college-level seminar course for individuals in the Elmwood Jail in San Jose.

Psychological Interventions in Educational Settings

Participating Department(s): Education, Psychology
Contact: Shannon Brady,

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 provide opportunities for graduate students in a variety of departments to learn about important research in general psychology, educational psychology, classroom instruction, and teacher education. The group invites relevant 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 also present their research and receive feedback from their peers.

Qualitative Methods Workshop

Participating Department(s): Anthropology, Education, Sociology
Contact: Devon Magliozzi,

The Qualitative Methods Workshop (QMW) provides a forum for students in sociology and related fields to share research and resources as they conduct fieldwork, including ethnographic observation and in-depth interviews. QMW fills a gap in existing resources in the sociology department. Although the department offers a course in qualitative methods and includes many students (approximately 20 at any given time) who are conducting qualitative research, most workshops within the department are skewed towards presentations of quantitative research. As a result, without QMW, there is no space for students to receive in-depth methodological feedback, to troubleshoot problems that arise while conducting independent research, or to build a community of support. Qualitative research is often an intensive experience as students build relationships with their research subjects, many of whom are facing multiple forms of oppression and disadvantage. Having a community that can provide support and advice throughout the process is essential to conducting high quality research. QMW has received SPICE funding for several years, and as a result has been able to reach out to students across years of study and discipline. We hope to continue and expand upon the growth we have accomplished in recent years as we go forward.

Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration (REI)

Participating Department(s): Education, History, Modern Thought and Literature, Psychology, Sociology
Contact: Juan Pedroza,

The mission of the Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration (REI) reading and mentorship group is to support graduate students across different programs and years who do work in the subfields of race, ethnicity, and immigration. REI originated in sociology as a space to cultivate constructive and supportive mentoring relationships among graduate student peers and it aims to continue to augment the few institutional channels for such supportive mentoring as we expand our reach to other departments with shared intellectual interests. REI will help students: 1) get to know other students with similar academic and research interests; 2) create an environment where students can openly discuss ideas and challenge each other intellectually without fear of judgment; and 3) institutionalize mentoring relationships among graduate students and across departments.

Science Teaching through Art (STAR)

Participating Department(s): All
Contact: Anna Lee,

The Science Teaching through Art (STAR) program teaches Stanford researchers to use art and design principles to communicate their work to a general audience. Through a series of interactive workshops, participants in the STAR program design and create striking and effective visual aids to convey their research to a variety of audiences. Visual aids, whether they are highly literal schematics or interpretive, abstract pieces, capture the attention of audiences, distill complicated concepts to their essence, and open lines of communication between the researcher and the public. The STAR program culminates in a series of poster exhibitions at Stanford, local high schools, and community colleges, where participants both hone their presentation skills based on principles they learned in the workshops, and inspire the next generation of researchers. Thanks to financial support from Stanford's VPGE Office and Office of Community Engagement, and the support of our community partners, we increased the number of our poster exhibitions from 2 in 2014 to 4 in 2015. This increased our outreach from approximately 100 to over 455 local students and community members. Now entering its fourth year, the STAR program will see several additional improvements in 2016. First, we will enhance the interactive element of the program, not only by instructing our students to craft infographic-style posters and videos of their research, but also by adding a design workshop that focuses on incorporating tactile and other forms of stimulation into these infographic visual aids. Second, we will provide participants the opportunity to edit and reprint their visual aids to allow them to incorporate feedback from audience members. Finally, we will increase the number of community members impacted by the program by adding additional poster exhibitions, and by making STAR posters publicly available to download and print.

Stanford Archaeology Forum

Participating Department(s): African Studies, Anthropology, Art and Art History, Classics, East Asian Studies, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Health Policy Research, History, Latin American Studies, Microbiology and Immunology, Public Policy, Religious Studies
Contact: David Pickel,

The Stanford Archaeology Forum is an essential component of the Stanford archaeological community, providing an open and comfortable venue in which graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and post-doctoral scholars of all disciplines, as well as members of the local community are able to convene and engage one another over lunch on a weekly basis concerning topics relating to current archaeological research. The proposed theme of the 2016 - 2017 Stanford Archaeology Forum is "Archaeology in its Environment, from Classical to Contemporary." Meeting every Wednesday at noon, the Stanford Archaeological Forum will feature the recent work of an invited speaker whose research relates to this dynamic and interdisciplinary theme. After a 30 to 45-minute presentation by the forum's speaker, participants will be invited to ask questions about or comment on the presented work, affording those in attendance the opportunity to actively participate in an academic discourse, benefiting their future research and intellectual growth, as well as providing an opportunity for both speakers and those present to meet one another and to form potentially fruitful academic partnerships.

Stanford Biotechnology Group

Participating Department(s): Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biology, Biophysics, Business, Cancer Biology, Chemical and Systems Biology, Immunology, Medicine (MDs or Postdocs), Microbiology and Immunology, Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine
Contact: Melina Mathur,

The Stanford Biotechnology Group (SBG) is an organization run by and for Stanford life science graduate students, business students, and medical students who are interested in exploring careers in biotechnology business, management, and investing. SBG facilitates opportunities for experiential education, hosts invited speakers, and provides relevant online content to allow our members to survey the biotechnology business landscape and prepare for careers in these fields.

Stanford Classics in Theater

Participating Department(s): Classics
Contact: Lizzy Ten-Hove,

In 2016-2017, Stanford Classics in Theatre hopes to adapt, translate, and perform a work of Classical (Greco-Roman) drama, as we have done each year since 2008-2009. SCIT is one of the key graduate student initiatives in the Classics Department, with all graduate students voting to select a play for adaptation early in the Fall Quarter. Many of the graduate students go on to translate the play together on a group retreat later in the fall (attendance averages around 18-20 of our department's 36 graduate students). In the Winter and Spring Quarters, we edit and produce the play, with both Classics graduate students and members of the broader Stanford community taking on roles in the cast and crew. Our combination of graduate student translation, open casting, and public performance fosters intra-departmental discussion, inter-departmental collaboration, and public enjoyment of ancient drama.

Stanford Department of Biology Surf 'n' Turf Symposium

Participating Department(s): Biology
Contact: Laura Bogar,

Our purpose is to create a space for scientists from all corners of the Stanford Department of Biology to communicate, collaborate, and connect on personal and professional levels. In particular, we want to foster collaboration between graduate students from the Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey ("surf") and students from the main Stanford campus ("turf"), and among students from the three tracks within the Department of Biology: Cell and Molecular Biology, Integrative and Organismal Biology, and Ecology, Evolution, and Population Biology. Although our department conducts world-class research in a number of areas, we lack a forum for direct, accessible communication across subdisciplines. Most of our research is presented in long, technical talks to other Stanford researchers working in closely related fields. We think that students in our department miss out on opportunities for synthesis and collaboration by communicating only with other labs working on obviously similar topics. Our hope is that the Surf 'n' Turf Symposium will help Biology graduate students communicate their research effectively, spark new collaborations across subdisciplines, and help students develop professional skills such as grant writing in small-group workshops.

Stanford Educational Review

Participating Department(s): Education
Contact: Tina Cheuk,

The Stanford Educational Review will be a student-run initiative whose primary purpose this spring and fall is to work on a business plan for launching a journal of educational scholarship. The Review will be an electronic journal that comes out annually, and is part of open access such that all articles are available online free of charge. Student editors will make all editorial and organizational decisions with operations and financial support from the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Its mission will be to provide an interdisciplinary forum for discourse at the intersection of research, practice, and policy-making in education. The Review's intended readership includes policymakers, researchers, and practitioners. This request for funds will be for a planning grant to gather ideas and to put forth a full proposal and business plan for GSE faculty review and financial support for the winter of 2016-2017 academic year.

Stanford Environment & Behavior (SEB) student group

Participating Department(s): Biology, Business, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Communication, Economics, Education, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, Energy Resources Engineering, Environmental Earth System Science, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Management Science and Engineering, Medicine (MDs or Postdocs), Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Structural Biology
Contact: Jennifer Wang,

The goal of the Stanford Environment and Behavior (SEB) Student Group is to facilitate learning, collaboration, and networking across disciplines among future leaders in environmental behavior research. SEB serves two main roles: first, to facilitate interdisciplinary forums and organize events that bring students and scholars together (e.g. bi-weekly student seminar, interdisciplinary networking); and secondly, to act as a hub of information, resources and contacts relevant to students and scholars with interests in environment and behavior topics (e.g. resource-share and website, guest speakers, joint projects with external collaborators). In doing so, we aspire to increase awareness of current trends and research, provide an organized outlet for integrating knowledge and skills across disciplines, and spark collaborations and friendships that will lead to the development of innovative approaches towards positive social and environmental change.

Stanford Higher Education Exchange of Research (SHEER)

Participating Department(s): Economics, Education, Sociology
Contact: Angela Sun,

SHEER offers students from different academic disciplines a place to develop and share ideas regarding the theories and functions of higher education. The monthly research workshop serves as a forum for burgeoning scholars to present works in progress and get feedback from knowledgeable peers. The gathering also creates a network of colleagues for interdisciplinary collaboration.

Stanford Native American Graduate Students (SNAGS)

Participating Department(s): All
Contact: Sandra Manosalvas-Kjono,

Stanford Native American Graduate Students (SNAGS) is committed to providing academic, professional and cultural resources to the American Indian, First Nations, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiian graduate communities at Stanford. Through programming such as our Stanford Native Academic Pipeline (SNAP) quarterly programming, our Student Projects Accelerating and Reshaping Knowledge (SPARK) annual campus-wide research forum, annual two quarter Frosh Fellows Research Program, and quarterly community social events, we bring Native students together to build a sense of community while educating each other and the broader Stanford Community about our research, identities, and ideas.

Stanford Network Forum

Participating Department(s): Anthropology, Biology, Business, Communication, Computer Science, East Asian Language and Cultures, East Asian Studies, Economics, Education, History, Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering, International Policy Studies, Linguistics, Management Science and Engineering, Mathematics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Statistics, Symbolic Systems
Contact: Jacob Reidhead,

Social and semantic networks have enormous potential for exploration, modeling, and visualization in the social sciences and humanities. However, researchers in these disciplines often struggle to link network methods and concepts to their substantive questions. Bridging the gap between empirics, methods and theory, the Stanford Network Forum fosters an open, approachable intellectual community where graduate students workshop their research, self-teach methods tutorials, and engage with top network researchers from around the world.

Stanford Optical Society

Participating Department(s): Aeronautics and Astronautics, Applied Physics, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biology, Biophysics, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Structural Biology
Contact: Therice Morris,

The Stanford Optical Society is a joint student chapter of two professional societies involved in optics (OSA and SPIE) and, over the past decade, has become one of the largest student chapters in the world. It is also one of the most active graduate student groups on campus. With a multi-disciplinary focus, we have organized a variety of activities to bring students together for technical education, science education outreach, and networking/social events. The largest event we plan each year is our photonics retreat (SUPR). In addition to our seminars and conferences, recent chapter activities include high-impact science education outreach events such as the Stanford Splash! program, the Bay Area Science Festival, Girls' Day, Expanding Your Horizons, the Maker Faire, the Frontiers in Optics Educators' Day, a grant writing workshop for teachers, and an international photography competition for middle school and high school students. Additionally, we often hold joint events with other Bay Area OSA and SPIE student chapters, including UC Berkeley, UC Davis, SF State, and SJ State. More information about the Stanford Optical Society is available at our website:

Stanford Polymer Collective (SPC)

Participating Department(s): Applied Physics, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
Contact: Jeffrey Lopez,

The Stanford Polymer Collective (SPC) was formed in 2011 as an effort to create a collaborative environment in which Stanford's macromolecule research community could build connections, share information and resources, and ultimately improve the research capability of participating students. This goal is achieved by 1) building an academic community that fosters interdisciplinary discussion and interactions that would not occur otherwise, 2) providing members opportunities to grow academically and professionally, and 3) engaging in science outreach so that people outside our group are informed and engaged with the polymer research that occurs on campus. We accomplish all of this by hosting regular events including invited speakers, small-group discussions, industry tours, K-12 science outreach, and an annual poster symposium.

Stanford Sociology and Education Network (SAEN)

Participating Department(s): Education, Sociology
Contact: Diana Mercado-Garcia,

The Stanford Sociology and Education Network (SAEN) is a community of sociologists of education at Stanford whose goal is to bridge the department of Sociology and the Graduate School of Education to foster collaboration and communication. 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 areas related to the sociology of education. As a group that has matured vastly over the last several years, our group now meets about 1-2 times a quarter for a variety of purposes, which includes: discussing our own research, talking about relevant issues in the field, and providing an opportunity for interdisciplinary networking and professional development. SAEN gives students and faculty who are working in sociology of education 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 grow into a diverse and productive intellectual community with the support from SPICE.

Stanford Women in Earth Science

Participating Department(s): -
Contact: Nina Randazzo,

Our group works to empower women on campus in their Earth Science careers. We achieve this goal by setting up events in which successful female Earth scientists share their experiences (either through formal talks or informal lunches) and in which our members can network and discuss their goals. We work closely with other groups to increase our reach and to further the overall goal of gender diversity in the sciences. For example, this proposal focuses on an event for which we will work with SWiFD (Stanford Women in Fluid Dynamics) and the Stanford chapter of oSTEM ("Out in STEM," which is a group geared towards the LGBT+ community in the STEM fields).

STATS: Student Talks in Applied and Theoretical Statistics

Participating Department(s): Statistics
Contact: Alex Chin,

The Student Representatives of the Department of Statistics foster a strong graduate student community so that incoming students can become part of a social and academic network immediately upon entering the department. This is accomplished through academic events such as student conferences, which give students an opportunity to present their research and learn about the work of their peers, and through social events such as weekly afternoon teas and holiday parties, which encourage department socialization in a non-academic setting. Our main annual event is a full weekend conference, the Student Talks in Applied and Theoretical (STATS) which embodies these goals. As the student body of our department is growing rapidly, events like the STATS talks are central to promoting an open exchange of ideas between all the students in our department.

SWAYWO 2016 - Student Conference

Participating Department(s): Education
Contact: Eduardo Munoz-Munoz,

Our proposal describes the May 2016 edition of So What Are You Working On? (SWAYWO), a research conference for students, by students. Under this year’s theme, Discussing Diversity, Here & Now, we hope to reach to the entire Stanford Graduate School of Education community and beyond, building bridges with other groups and individuals from other disciplines, departments and schools whose interests connect with education. The organizing group has been convened for the purpose of organizing this year's event and also to prepare for a continuation of the experience in future years.

Urban (De)Coloniality Working Group

Participating Department(s): Comparative Literature, English, Iberian and Latin American Cultures, Modern Thought and Literature
Contact: Cynthia Garcia,

The Urban (De)Coloniality Working Group seeks to relate the theoretical production of (de)colonial thought to academic discourses of spatial theory in a global framework. The group invites participants to think about (de)coloniality through a transcultural lens, beyond the linear developmental narrative of modernity, and the privileging of hegemonic languages and dominant disciplinary methods. Furthermore, the group seeks to link (de)colonial analysis to questions of the organization of urban space and its material, political, and ideological consequences for colonized peoples and marginalized communities. Urban (De)Coloniality seeks to be an inclusive discursive platform for the discussion of various ways of understanding urban space in tandem with (de)colonial concerns. Session formats will alternate between discussions of readings of foundational and recent texts in urban spatial and (de)colonial theory, presentations of works-in-progress, and talks by guest speakers.

Working Group in Literary and Visual Culture

Participating Department(s): Art and Art History, Comparative Literature, English, French and Italian, History, Modern Thought and Literature
Contact: Maria Cichosz,

This January, the Cantor Arts Center held Angles on Art, a series designed to foster cross-disciplinary conversation around a single featured artwork. Long after the event's main crowd had dispersed, a group of students from literature-based fields across the humanities stood gathered around the painting, discussing their perspectives in a conversation that continued into an impromptu dinner that evening. The enthusiasm and participant spillover generated by such events shows that there is a sizable community of graduate students at Stanford who hold a strong interest in both literary and visual culture. While these students regularly meet at such events, or take classes together in Art History and English, there is no designated, inter-departmental space in which discussions and collaborations at the intersection of literature and art can occur. In the spirit of fostering this vibrant, already existing community, the Interdisciplinary Working Group in Literary and Visual Culture aims to bring together students from across departments in the humanities to have conversations about literature, theory, art, and visual culture. The goal of this working group is to create a space in which perspectives from diverse fields of inquiry can blend in unexpected and productive ways and in which students can work and think together. To this end, the group will hold monthly workshops, host guest speakers from both academic and arts-based backgrounds, and plan trips to local galleries and art sites to stimulate collaborative discussions. In the long run, the working group envisions itself as a base for community building and a platform to support graduate students in their interdisciplinary academic projects.