Competition features research snapshots
November 2, 2017

Esther Chun Chun Ng’s image shows the phenotypic plasticity of Pristimantis Mutabilis. The exhibit of research images is at the UIC libraries at 801 S. Morgan St. and 1750 W. Polk St. from now through Tuesday, Jan. 30.

The Image of Research competition gave University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) graduate and professional students the opportunity to present their research through a new medium and to a new audience. The competition, cosponsored by the Graduate College and the University Library, invites students to look at their work in a new light as they develop an image that encapsulates their research.

“When you take time to look at your research and think, ‘What does this look like to the world?’ and carry a third lens to your own stories, you can find a lot of story there to tell,” said Kevin Monahan, coordinator of the Image of Research exhibition and director of graduate program review and information systems.

To help tell that story, a short text accompanied each image to provide non-technical insight into the subject. This year a multidisciplinary judging panel evaluated the 128 still and moving image submissions based on originality, relationship to the student’s research, and aesthetic appeal.

“These students don’t claim to be artists, but they are bringing art to the campus,” Monahan said.

Esther Chun Chun Ng’s award-winning image, for example, presented a newly discovered Ecuadorian species of frog, the Pristimantis mutabilis, which has the unique ability to alter its skin texture from tubercular to smooth as an adaptive mechanism to environmental conditions.

“I consider how to communicate the science of this frog to the general public using my visualization skills,” Ng said.

The image on page 1 from the exhibition is “HIV Invasion” and was submitted by Christina Sidorowych.

All winning entries can be found at and will be on display in the Richard J. Daley Library at 801 S. Morgan St. and the Library of Health Sciences at 1750 W. Polk St. from now through Tuesday, Jan. 30.