Portraying the beauty of science

Adams Glacier in Antarctica

Hilary Dugan earned first place for “Of Ice and Men,” a photograph of Antarctica’s Adams Glacier through a ring of ice from Lake Miers.

“The Image of Research” competition gives UIC graduate student researchers a rare chance to display not only the breadth and depth of their work, but their artistic insights.

The exhibit opens Thursday with a reception at 2 p.m. in the lobby of the Daley Library, where it will be displayed through Jan. 31.

All graduate and professional students are invited to submit images they created and to describe how the images relate to their research. A multidisciplinary jury judges the submissions for originality, aesthetic appeal and relevance to the research.

First place this year went to “Of Ice and Men,” a photograph by Hilary Dugan, who recently completed a Ph.D. in earth and environmental sciences. Dugan shot Antarctica’s Adams Glacier through a ring of ice from Lake Miers.

“Lake ice can be used to reveal past climatic changes, and further our awareness of current changes in climate and water loss,” Dugan wrote. “This photo … encapulates how lake ice is the end of the water cycle, which once began as a glacier.”

Image of a mouse spine through a microscope

Xiaoyu Hu took second for a butterfly-like image in a mouse spine seen through a microscope.

Other winners: a butterfly-like image in a mouse spine seen through a microscope by Xiaoyu Hu, a biopharmaceutical sciences student who studies multiple sclerosis; and a close-up of a live jumping spider by José-Cristian Martínez, a biological sciences student studying woodlands restoration.

The competition included video for the first time, with four diverse entries.

• The winner was “Bioengineering,” by bioengineering doctoral student Christopher Knowlton, a dancer and choreographer who created a ballet on knee replacements. The video developed from Knowlton’s entry in Science magazine’s international “Dance Your PhD” challenge, where it was one of 12 finalists.

• “Soap Film Hydrodynamics” by Subinuer Yilixiati, a doctoral student in chemical engineering, resembles a ballet performed by suds.

• “Miller Beach,” a collaboration by 19 graduate students in urban planning, describes a section of Gary, Indiana, that has declined economically but still has positive qualities.

• If you’ve wondered why woodpeckers don’t get concussions while drumming their beaks against trees, “Woodpecker Head Morphology and Head Impact Injury Resistance” by Cari Jones, biomedical visualization, tells the answer in one minute, 20 seconds.

After the Daley Library exhibit, winning entries will be displayed at the Library of Health Sciences and on banners
around campus.

Previous entries appear in an online gallery of the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois.


Macro photo of a jumping spider

José-Cristian Martínez, who studies woodlands restoration, earned third place for his close-up of a jumping spider.

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Research, Students