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The annual DSI Thesis Show presentations will be held on Monday May 1st, from noon to 4pm at the SVA Beatrice Theater.

Please join us as the Class of 2017 presents their thesis projects on the critical topics of today including: health, climate change, education, elderly care, language and much more.


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Thesis Projects

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Chinatown Connects

Chinatown Connects is a community newspaper created BY and FOR Chinese seniors to highlight their common interests and build lasting interaction opportunities among them. The goal is to connect isolated Chinese seniors in New York through their own stories.

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From Experience, With Love

In partnership with Meals-on-Wheels, From Experience, With Love moves fluidly between digital and analog mediums to connect the digital natives of the world with homebound seniors in East Harlem who aren’t quite sure what the internet is about. Young people ask questions via online interfaces, seniors give answers via letters delivered by Meals-on-Wheels. Like a slower, lower tech, but infinitely more thoughtful search engine, this is advice about life from people who’ve literally been through it all.

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Get to Know

Qatar is undergoing a huge transformation as the global oil industry declines. The hoped-for transition is into a Knowledge Based Economy, but it is far from over, and some sectors need help growing. How can we inspire high-school students in Qatar to view a career in Science and Research as viable? Get To Know delivers an experience to high-school students in Qatar to help them explore the world of opportunities.

A black and white image of a small child sitting with a group of people. In the bottom left corner is a yellow square, and inside the square in white text reads:

Hataat (In My Hand)

In a typical small village in western India, people’s income is completely dependent on agriculture. Most people work as laborers on land they don’t own, for a daily wage of less than two dollars. My hypothesis is that a new experience, which makes saving tangible, flexible, personalized (and fun) will motivate them to overcome the barriers to save for their goals (beginning with short term goals, like objects for the home, which will motivate saving as a long term activity.)

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Hi, Tide

Over the past two decades, global sea levels have risen roughly twice as fast as they did during the 20th century, and it is only expected to keep rising. Hi, Tide is a short messaging service (SMS) that allows residents in Rockaway, NY to easily report problems in their neighborhood that are related to sea level rise and tidal flooding. The project allows residents to become more familiar with these issues by focusing on a problem that is close to them and they deal with every day.

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Karaoke Club

For immigrants, language is one of the main obstacles when arriving to a new country, and it is the main barrier for adapting and accessing opportunities. Many feel intimidated to practice and further their English skills because they do not feel comfortable, and it is very difficult for them to find a safe space in which they can practice. Music connects across cultures and can break down barriers. Without necessarily understanding the lyrics, many people feel connected to the American culture through music.

A large grey circle with black Arabic text inside of it. Underneath the text, in English letters reads:

Lugaty (My Language)

Arab expat families temporarily residing in the U.S, unintentionally create disadvantages for their children, who lose their fundamental native language skills. This program helps children temporarily located in the U.S. maintain their fluency and avoid communication challenges in the future.

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PEER UP For Cancer

When people are diagnosed with cancer, and when they are undergoing treatment, it’s often a challenge for them to communicate openly about what they’re feeling and what they need. PEER UP for Cancer helps young adult cancer patients easily communicate their needs and feelings with friends and makes it easier for them to offer help.

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Redemption Food

Every year the average American consumes approximately eight hundred pounds of animal products, with negative effects that include more global greenhouse gas emissions than all transportation combined, consumption of half of all fresh water in the US, and contribution to ocean dead zones. Redemption Food incentivizes the New York metal music community, which research shows is a concerned one with great potential, to change their consumption habits through a narrative that uses fast food data integrated with their cultural aesthetics.

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Time In

Time In is a superhero themed classroom program for Black Male Elementary students who have been suspended and show signs of repeated problematic behavior that make them likely to get suspended again. The program is a space for these students to address and express their emotions and high energy needs in order to increase their self confidence, motivation, and rigor in the classroom.

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Being gay is unaccepted in China, and men there have to fake it by marrying a woman, because they want to make their parents proud. This painful lie has continued from generation to generation. How can we stop making the same mistake? Togayther is a liberation movement in support of gay Chinese men to help educate and build community and support in an otherwise conservative culture.

A woman with brown hair in a white shirt is holding up a piece of paper with an image of two eye-like shapes: one of them is drawn in blue with white space inside and two circles reminiscent of an iris, and the other is also drawn in blue but the inside is filled with pink.


Duquesa is a small, extremely poor community in rural Dominican Republic. Their livelihood comes from diving into a landfill that is a few miles away to sort recyclable material. This practice doesn’t discriminate age — from eleven, children go to work helping their families, which makes them vulnerable to dropping out of school. Trueque leverages insights from behavioral science, education and design to create favorable conditions for positive behavior change among children and ultimately the entire community.

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Wealthier With Water

The further people live from a source of clean drinking water, the less likely they are to drink it. Spring Health, a clean water service, is addressing this issue by delivering to the doorstep of customers in rural India every morning. They have reached 250 villages, providing clean water to 146,000 people, but their growth has stopped. This modified subscription model, is designed to ensure an increase in daily use of clean water by reducing the amount of bad water consumed, while still being financially profitable to Spring Health.


In China, elderly patients who take medications for more than one type of chronic disease often experience adverse drug reactions because different doctors prescribe similar medications, there is no medical record system and they themselves are confused. My intervention will help young family members work with elderly relatives with multiple chronic diseases to help them manage their medications. This will lower their risk of overmedication and drug reactions as well as making them feel cared for.

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Works Art Center

In the city of Changsha, China, there are roughly 308,000 people with disabilities; or one in every five families. They are segregated from society, and for the most part, unemployed. How can their talents be encouraged and connected to jobs that will help make them part of society again? Works Art Center is A program that helps people with disabilities to master skills that will connect them to jobs.

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