Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Kaiji Gong

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To judge whether an economic bubble would lead to a financial crash and to estimate the critical time of a crash are significant in financial areas. The Log-Periodic Power Law (LPPL) is an equation that describes how bubbles evolve and grow. By fitting the equation into a financial time series, it is possible to predict the event of a crash. The equation proves to be effective in predicting several financial crises, such as the one in 2008. My research will focus on extending the model to predict market behaviors after […]

Maria Pizzano

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Butterflies are known for the remarkable patterns and colors of their wings. There are precisely arranged rows of microscopic single-cell scales across the wing surface. The color of scales can result from either the biosynthesis of pigments within the scale, or from structural coloration (sometimes both). Structural colors, such as iridescence, are of particular interest because they originate from the interaction of light with complex nanostructures that are found within or at the surface of each scale. A remarkable example of iridescence is seen on the wings of the Gulf […]

Elaina Marshalek

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With a rapidly increasing amount of tropical forest threatened by logging and land conversion, there is growing concern about retaining species diversity, and in turn, ecosystem sustainability. My research uses methods from the Operations Research field to incorporate ecological considerations for strategic planning in multi-use tropical forest landscapes. While past research has primarily focused on identifying sites for placing permanent reserves, my research develops optimization tools to create algorithms that apply principles of ecological sensitivity to both reserve patterns and harvest scheduling at once.I am utilizing recent advances in numerical […]

Nare Janvelyan

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Metalloporphyrins are found in various different organisms ranging from humans to plants. Metalloporphyrins consist of a porphyrin macrocycle with a coordinated metal atom at their center. They are part of many biological systems such as chlorophyll, vitamin B12, cytochrome P-450, and hemoglobin. Synthetic metalloporphyrins are used as commercial dyes and catalysts in the design of solar cells, molecular electronics, and supramolecular building blocks. The metalloporphyrins interaction with light plays a critical role in many systems therefore it is important to characterize the molecules interactions with light. The goal of my […]

Dayna Stimson

My research focuses on the growing recognition that the scientific study of consciousness is lacking in one crucial element: a rigorous methodology for examining the first-person, qualitative aspects of conscious states. While neuroimaging and computational cognition have greatly enhanced our knowledge of brain function, we are no closer to bridging the explanatory gap. That is, how does neuronal activity create the deeply complex, subjective, and personal world that each of us experiences? Though conventional scientific study does not currently recognize introspection as a valid method of inquiry, I will examine […]

Angel Jung

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Increasing crop yields has always been a global issue. One of the largest studies of domestic hunger, Hunger in American 2010, reported, hunger is increasing at an alarming rate in the United States (Feeding America). My research this summer focuses on identifying a bHLH gene, ms32, which promotes fertility in maize (corn), the most widely grown grain crop. As the anther – the male reproductive organ in plants – matures during early development, five distinct layers are formed and required for meiosis to function properly. One of the five layers, […]

Rose Gephart

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The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor War has become central to the Cambodian economy through the utilization of international tourism in the past few decades. My SURF project looks at local tour guides in Siem Reap, Cambodia and their discursive relationship to international tourists. I will address three issues: how does tour guide folklore relate to the cultural heritage of Angkor Wat, how state intervention and licensing creates a spectrum of official versus unofficial tour guides, and thirdly how the narrativization of Angkor Wat is dependent on the exchange […]

Neha Chandra

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The innate immune response is the cells first line of defense against viral infection. One of its functions is the production of cytokines, such as interferons (IFN), which are needed to recruit immune cells to the site of infection. In order to create an efficient immune response, IFN production is controlled by highly regulated signal transduction pathways. The E3 ubiqutin ligase protein, TRIM21, has been shown to down-regulate IFN production pathways by targeting the IFN regulatory factor, IRF7, for degradation. However, the factors and mechanism leading to the affinity of […]

Isaac Kreisman

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Because I am an out-of-state student, the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship allows me to stay near UC Berkeley and its resources. Without the distractions of academic coursework during the summer, I have the freedom and time to delve into theory and materials from a multitude of disciplines. I am excited to work with my mentors and my SURF cohorts. I am grateful both for the opportunity to conduct an independent research project and for the supportive environment of the SURF community.

Joshua Penalba

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The Eastern Arc Mountains of Africa have been identified as an area of high bird diversity and endemism. The forests on these mountains underwent a contraction creating sky islands. Diversity of the forest habitat suggests that the Eastern Arc Mountains served as a refuge during the Pliocene climate cycling. Current molecular technology has allowed for discovery of cryptic taxa between the sky islands. Insights in the genetic structure of populations lead to further understanding of the driving forces of evolution for endemic taxa. There is a high likelihood that similar […]