Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

A. Nicholas Santascoy

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Research on rejection sensitivity, the anxious expectation of and hostility to perceived rejection, has focused on mapping its possible causes and negative consequences. Positive emotion research, though, has revealed gratitude’s tendency to foster positive affect and pro-social behavior. Nicholas plans to examine the efficacy of gratitude in reducing negative aspects of rejection sensitivity while increasing positive emotions and behaviors within close relationships. In study 1, high rejection sensitive people will daily express gratitude in writing for the behavior of loved ones for two weeks. In study 2, high rejection sensitive […]

Kyle Rentschler

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Often understood as a film genre, melodrama is more accurately understood as a particular mode of expression which is actually highly prevalent in most forms of Western mass media. In his paper, Kyle will be addressing melodrama’s existence in video games. Focusing on narrative, design, and gameplay, Kyle will be taking an historical approach at analyzing how melodrama’s varying forms of integration in video games have changed over time and why this is important to how games are played. Through reading video game literature, interviewing game theorists and developers, and […]

Jessica Merizan

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Through archaeological analysis of a dump in Northern California used by the wealthy, Anglo-American ranch family of Joe Coney and related households in the 1940s-60s, Jessica will investigate how patterns of consumerism, as shown by artifacts, negotiate with class, gender, and race, along with regional consumer styles. She plans to spend her summer researching curated documentary records, archival data, and museum collections, as well as working with a site informant who lived on the ranch and is now, interestingly, an archaeologist. Jessica believes that through an analysis of the Coney’s […]

Jay Martin

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Cognitive science aims to understand how people represent the structure of the world around them. Faces are thought to be windows to some of these representations, namely emotions, which are related to facial expressions biologically and culturally. Labeling expressions is a seemingly effortless task for people, but explaining the subtleties is much more complicated. Jay’s study will help develop a method to systematically explore the scope of different categories of affect, and to explore the correlation between subtle facial movements and the perception of emotion. With sophisticated facial animation software […]

Mingen (Jason) Liu

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In his project, Jason intends to examine the possibility of site-targeting or HR in the PSY gene of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii a unicellular alga and a model organism for studying photosynthesis. He will generate mutant populations through transformations with a plasmid containing a defective copy of the PSY gene and will then screen for successful gene-disruption by selecting for a white phenotype and antibiotic resistance. Further experiments will examine the locus of recombination, enabling design of new plasmids to target mutagenesis of other genes for an efficient and cost-effective method of […]

Joseph J. Lim

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Current Bio: Since graduation, Joseph completed his PhD at MIT and postdoc at Stanford. He started a tenure-track faculty career at the University of Southern California, and is leading the Cognitive Learning for Vision and Robotics (CLVR) lab. He works on teaching robots to learn and solve complex physical tasks, such as furniture assembly. Haas Scholars Project: Object recognition is a major unsolved problem in Computer Vision. The main goal is for computers to detect and to recognize objects in the given images and videos. In this project, contours will […]

Samantha Liang

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In order for synthetic biology to overcome the limitations of using only naturally-derived biological activities, tools for developing and identifying engineered genetic components with desired biochemical, enzymatic, or regulatory properties are greatly needed. Samantha is building a genetic threshold-gated memory selection circuit incorporating positive/negative selections and an irreversible Cre recombinase excision circuit in the E.coli genome. With this device, bacteria will exist in one of two mutually exclusive antibiotic-resistant states depending on whether or not they exhibit a desired activity, and Cre recombinase expression will serve as the switch between […]

James Jung Lee

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The field of quantum mechanics has produced many technological breakthroughs including the MRI scanner and Scanning Tunneling Microscope. However, probing the dynamics of particles such as electrons, which are best described by quantum mechanics, on a reasonable time scale has been a long term challenge. James Lee’s project aims to manipulate and measure the spin of electrons on a microsecond timescale. This will be accomplished through the Single Bohr Magneton Detector (SBD) project, under development in the Quantum Nano Lab at UC Berkeley. The SBD is a superconducting device that […]

Allen Kwong

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Although protein translocations across cellular membranes are vitally significant, the biophysical mechanisms underlying such processes remain obscure. Nevertheless, methods exist for studying translocation processes. In particular, anthrax toxins movement across cellular membranes provides a model for studying general translocation mechanisms. Allen’s specific interest lies in elucidating the steric effects that particularly bulky, hydrophobic amino acid side-chains have on anthrax toxins translocation. By investigating translocation rates of anthrax toxin, Allen hopes to provide a deeper understanding of the toxins mechanism for cell entry. In addition, this study may provide implications for […]

Evarosa Holt-Rusmore

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Throughout the Sierra Leone conflict, many girls and young women are abducted and sexually abused. The result of the abuse and suffering is often pregnancy. Especially after the end of civil war in 2002, young mothers who return to their communities confront social stigmatization. This has had marginalizing effects for both mothers and their children. Eva Holt-Rusmore’s research will address the effects of community stigmatization on the children of young mothers. Ethnographic observation of these children’s lives through participation in a Freetown school, as well as informal interviews with individuals […]