'The first line of my senior thesis is ...'

May 9, 2018, 12:18 p.m.

Art, war, contraception, economic volatility, "Pirates of the Caribbean" — the senior theses produced by Princeton undergraduates represent their academic interests and personal passions. The first line of each thesis provides an instant glimpse into a year or more worth of research, writing and close collaboration with a faculty adviser.

Over the last few weeks, as seniors completed their theses, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students has recorded and received more than 30 videos of students reading the first line. Check out a selection of their Instagram posts and a transcription of the students' remarks below, and visit their Instagram account, @princeton_odus, to see more.

Hi, I'm Ariana Mirzada. I'm a senior in the Near Eastern studies department, and this is the first line of my thesis: "My interest in the refugee crisis began when I heard of a summer opportunity to work in a Greek refugee camp in the rural town of Katsikas."

My name is Steven Sobel, and I'm in the ORFE department. The first line of my thesis is, "Within recent years we've seen driverless and electric vehicle technology take tremendous leaps and bounds."

My name is Wilglory Tanjong. I am part of the very first Princeton class to major in African American studies, and the title of my thesis is, "The Case of the Cameroons: Building a Nation from the Remnants of Colonialism." The first line of my thesis is: "Cameroon's history does not begin with colonialism." Boom!

Hi! I'm Nick Wu. I'm a senior in the Woodrow Wilson School, and here's the first line of my thesis: "Introduction: In February 2018, the Chicago Tribune profiled Maryori Urbina-Contreras, a 17-year-old Honduran teenager who had immigrated alone to the United States at the age of 13."

Hi! I'm Zoe. I'm in the chemistry department, and the first line of my thesis is: "Compared with other heteroatoms, fluorine has had a brief but important history in pharmaceutics."

Hi, my name is Matt. I'm a senior in the economics department, and the first line of my thesis is: "When the bitcoin network first went live in 2009, launched by its ingenious but reclusive, pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto, it did more than just introduce a new payment platform to the world — it created an entirely new field of study."