Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Kristopher Gibson

Profile image of Kristopher Gibson

In his diary after the initial 1848 gold strike, the Scottish artist and writer J.D. Borthwick described the terribly violent bull & bear fights drawing crowds of as many as six thousand. Soon after, those fights would be banned, paving the way for new ventures like the Empire Casino in San Francisco. Finally, Jackson Lears describes the abolition of the casinos, only to be replaced by more ‘civilized’ and contemporary speculative ventures. My research question asks what factors fostered the emergence of such a seeming anomalous California gambling culture between […]

Geoffrey Iwata

Profile image of Geoffrey Iwata

Laser light has been proven to be an effective and elegant method of probing sensitive physical systems, providing many seminal, precision methods in experimental physics. These experiments must prove free of systematic errors and be minimally perturbative to the phenomena to be examined. Along these lines, I am researching the properties of zero-birefringent acrylic polymers in a range of temperatures from room temperature down to a couple Kelvin. In exhibiting this unique property of zero-birefringence, these materials do not affect the polarization of light passing through them, even when under […]

Mark Phuong

Profile image of Mark Phuong

Species Distribution Models (SDMs) provide one of the only methods for projecting the future distribution of species and are increasingly used to prioritize conservation efforts. SDMs correlate species’ occurrence points with climatic variables (e.g., temperature and precipitation) to produce a distributional map of the climatic limits of a species. Genetic studies of geographic variation within species, or phylogeography, often uncover cryptic lineages that have remained evolutionarily isolated for thousands to millions of years. My research assesses how identifying cryptic diversity within species affects the predictions of SDMs. Faced with climate […]

Rose Guthrie

Profile image of Rose Guthrie

Through the course of my summer research, I will be looking at an assemblage of archaeological materials from pre-European contact commoner household sites in the southeastern region of the island of Maui, Hawaii. This assemblage includes materials such as lithics (stone tools), charred plant remains, and faunal remains. These materials will hopefully illuminate the oft-untold story of the commoner in ancient Hawaiian society, who was largely responsible for the surplus agricultural production that fed the development of an elaborate and extravagant statehood up until the moment of Cooks arrival in […]

Benjamin Karin

Profile image of Benjamin Karin

I am studying song variation and population subdivision in two named subspecies of Sage Sparrow (Amphispiza belli) in California. California Coast Range populations (A. b. belli) are physically much darker in color and have more contrasting patterns than Central Valley and Mojave Desert populations (A. b. canescens). Though all the A. b. canescens populations look exactly the same, previous genetic studies have shown Central Valley A. b. canescens populations to be closer genetically to Coast Range A. b. belli than to the Mojave Desert population of A. b. canescens (Cicero […]

Trisha Remetir

Profile image of Trisha Remetir

After September 11, American author Don Delillo announced: “Many things are over. The narrative ends in the rubble, and it is left to us to create the counter-narrative.” Although a multitude of literary, psychoanalytic and political discourse has speculated on how, years after the fact, we now tell the “story” of 9/11, a cohesive picture of this counter-narrative remains unclear. By using Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (a novel whose fragmented speakers struggle to reconcile their pre- and post-9/11 traumatic experiences) as a springboard for my research, […]

Justin Hauver

Profile image of Justin Hauver

Friedrich Nietzsche spent much of his philosophy denying Being and replacing our conception of it with a notion of becoming. In sharp contrast Martin Heidegger produced a work titled Being and Time and saw the illumination of Being as the central task of philosophy. This tension is reproduced in the way each philosopher deals with the creation of art, yet there is a peculiar way in which the aesthetic philosophies of Nietzsche and Heidegger interact and seem to complement each other. My research is concerned with the connection between these […]

Io Kleiser

Profile image of Io Kleiser

Several newly discovered supernovae, or stellar explosions, are unusually faint and fast-evolving and defy our usual classification schemes. Their light curves (brightness over time) in particular show how quickly they rise to maximum brightness and then decline. They are also unlike any previously known supernovaeand unlike each otherin their electromagnetic spectra. Several attempts have been made to identify the properties of these supernovae and their progenitor stars based on their spectra and light curves, such as the energy of the explosion, the amount of mass ejected, and the elemental composition; […]

Jared Rosen

Profile image of Jared Rosen

The H, K ATPase is a P-type ATPase proton pump that is highly expressed in the gastric parietal cell. This enzymatic proton pump is responsible for creating the highly acidic environment in the lumen of the stomach. The protein is comprised of a larger catalytic “alpha” subunit that creates the high proton gradient and a smaller “beta” subunit. The goal of my research project is to gain a deeper insight into how it is that the H,K ATPase protects itself from digestion by the very acid that it produces to […]

Ariel Hsian-Au Hsiung

Profile image of Ariel Hsian-Au Hsiung

My project is a study of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China. I have chosen the Sichuan crisis to examine because the Chinese state’s fast and transparent reaction to the earthquake was both surprising and contrary to traditional expectations. My research seeks to answer this fundamental question: has participating in the Sichuan relief efforts changed state-society and society-citizen interactions in China? The wider implication of my project is whether a higher level of participant culture post-Sichuan is an indicator for an emerging civil society in China. I shall approach my […]