Books & Bagels: Monthly Interdisciplinary Conversations

feb books and bagels

Books & Bagels: Conversations on Interdisciplinary Research is a one-hour monthly lunch time program hosted by Drexel Graduate Student Association [GSA], The Graduate College of Drexel University and Student Life Center City Campus. The program started in 2012 and since has hosted more than 100 Drexel speakers including graduate students, alumni, and undergraduate students doing research from across all of Drexel’s colleges and schools.

Join us on Friday, February 26, 2016 at 12pm in the Graduate Student Lounge, located in Main 010. We are proud to be hosting the following outstanding speakers and moderator.


Persistence to Completion of Doctoral Degrees in Light of Student Creativity
EdD in Educational Leadership and Management (with a Concentration in Creativity and Innovation)
School of Education

Summary: This research explores the possession of creativity and the related factors of tolerance for ambiguity and risk taking of students who are either currently enrolled and persisting, or those who have successfully completed their doctoral degree program of choice. This mixed methods convergent parallel research design will focus on doctoral student persistence of students that are currently enrolled in various stages of their respective doctoral programs and those students who have graduated. Scholars have studied attrition rates in doctoral programs for decades in an effort to ameliorate it. One solution may lie within the selection criteria of potential students into doctoral programs. Creativity assessments could potentially be included in the current battery of selection criteria for admission to identify those applicants who are creative problem solvers, especially those who tolerate ambiguity and are risk takers.


3D Computational Modeling of Knitted Functional Fabrics
BS/MS in Materials Science & Engineering (BS) and Mechanical Engineering (MS)
College of Engineering

Summary: Functional fabrics (e.g. “smart” textiles) constitute an emerging class of tunable engineering materials that can “see, hear, sense, and adapt”, envisioned as device platforms for applications including consumer wearable electronics, biomedical monitoring, compliant robotics, and national defense. However, complex textile mechanics pose a formidable challenge for predictive design and manufacturing of advanced functional fabrics, forcing a “trial-and-error” design methodology. Daniel Christe is part of an interdisciplinary Drexel team working to develop computational models of functional fabrics driven by experimental information across scales. This work involves the formulation of a structural building block based on measurements of knitted fabrics. These building blocks form the basis for 3D digital models to simulate the mechanical response of fabrics under applied loads, providing valuable feedback to design and manufacturing of functional fabrics.


Graduate College Dean
Executive Vice Provost
Professor of Psychology


The program features 2-3 current graduate students who present a brief 15-20 minute overview of their research project(s) and talk about their graduate experiences in an interdisciplinary context touching on the challenges, benefits, successes, and implications of their work. The presentations are then followed by audience Q&A and discussion led by a faculty moderator. The format of the presentations are entirely up to the speaker. We have had PowerPoint presentations, Prezi’s, short videos, case studies, discussion groups, demonstrations, and more. In addition to the audience of students, faculty, and staff, there is also a live-stream for online students or for those unable to make it.

Books & Bagels is not an academic conference or meeting. Presentations should not include technical jargon or too many numbers and graphs, although some may be necessary. Presentations are meant to be a more personal and general overview of your research and experiences at Drexel or elsewhere that you may have travelled. Presentation materials should be understood by a wide variety of audiences, not just those in your field. Think about why your research is relevant and important to the general public. Presentation time is very short so that there is time at the end of the program for questions and discussion within the one-hour lunch time period.


The goals of the Books & Bagels program are for attendees to hear about what graduate students across the University are accomplishing; to challenge speakers and attendees to think about problem solving and research in new ways; and to spark conversation and collaboration among peers across different disciplines.

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