Today (12-12-12) Cathy successfully defended her master dissertation entitled: “Augmented Objects to support the discrimination training of children with autism”

Cathy wore her hair up in a ponytail and an elegant gray suit with awesome black pumps looking formal and beautiful.

The day started a little bit shaky as to begin with I could not get the “precious” book on time. So I ran around UABC premises looking for Dr. Moran and Dr. Camarena, who step in and save the day bringing the book on perfect timing! So special thanks to both of them!

While I was looking for the book, Cathy was setting up in the meeting room. Lizbeth and her two-year old son Danny, as always arrived on time. Danny enormously contributed to calm Cathy playing around and being as perfectly sweet as he always is. Danny’s kiss to Cathy was his way to wish Cathy: best luck!.

Then, everything started to get serious when Cathy’s family and dissertation committee members arrived. Some other attendees including colleagues (Victoria Meza), and students from CICESE (Ray, Karina, Valeria y Maythe) and UABC (Ana, Lizbeth) also arrive to show support.

The dissertation committee members involved Dra. Marcela D. Rodriguez (UABC), Dr. J. Antonio Garcia-Macias (CICESE), Dr. Luis Castro (ITSON) and me. Unfortunately, we could not manage to get Dr. Luis Castro through videoconferencing but we are very grateful to him and to his valuable comments.

Then, Cathy gave a 30-ish minute talk about her work. I have to admit that even though Cathy was a little bit nervous at the beginning, she did an amazing job in describing her work.

Then, the dissertation committee members started the evaluation with very interesting questions.

Dr. J. Antonio Garcia-Macias as the external member from CICESE started the round of questions asking Cathy about how the impact of T3 could change after the effect of novelty wears off?, what are the tradeoffs between the effort in customizing the technology and the benefits of personalization? and What other therapies does T3 support?. At the end of his evaluation he congratulated Cathy:

“I want to congratulate you. Your work seems very realistic in terms of its applicability […] I think you should look into submit a patent about the product you implemented because I think this product could be a commercial success!”

Then, Dr. Marcela D. Rodriguez (UABC), first congratulated Cathy about her work:

“I want to congratulate you. Usually you don’t expect that much from a master dissertation […] a great balance between the scientific and technical merit!”

She asked questions about the importance of personalization for this technology? What sort of independence this technology promotes? and What are the design and methodology recommendations you have for others?

I close congratulating Cathy emphasizing how much she has grown as a researcher over the past two years, and how easy was for me to work with her. I re-directed Cathy to some alternative answers to the committee members’ questions.

Overall, I think Cathy made a superb job answering questions and defending her thesis. I am so proud of you girl!

Next the committee members deliberated for around 20 minutes, and after discussing Cathy’s performance we agreed to approve Cathy.

Then, attendees complimented Cathy on her work and awesome talk, and wish her the best of the luck in her career.  Finally, we took a lot of pictures and congratulated Cathy’s parents for her amazing girl.

Overall, it was a very nice thesis defense and I am happy to have had the opportunity to work with a very driven and committed student like Cathy!