Mellon Forums

Click here to download “Guidelines for Presenters”

The Mellon Senior Forum is one of the special benefits of being a senior at Yale.  It provides seniors an opportunity to present on their research, often but not always, the topic of their senior essay.  It uniquely provides all in attendance the opportunity to learn, in an informal and convivial setting, what their fellow classmates are doing in that “other major.”   Often the talks (about 10-15 minutes in length)  are about works in progress, rather than a finished project—and these works in progress make for some of the most interesting presentations, as questions from the audience can help the speaker crystallize his or her ideas.  Past talks have ranged from “Detecting Scintillation in Helium Gas:  the Search for Dark Matter” to “ ‘Her Loose Amber Curls:’  Images of Ideal Victorian Women in Lady Audley’s Secret.”  Usually the students use power point, but some have presented short performances of  plays  or musical compositions.   The Forum meets about ten times a year, with four meetings in the fall semester and six or seven in spring semester.  In the past the Forum has met on Monday nights at 5:45 pm for drinks followed by  dinner (catered by nearby restaurants); usually three to four students present in an evening and the Forum finishes between 7:30-8:00 pm.  Many students have reported that the Mellon Forum is a highlight of their Yale experience, offering them the chance to engage in stimulating conversations and to strengthen their bond to Morse and to their fellow Morsels.