Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

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, […]

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 […]

Emily Booker

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Ancient Cyprus has generally been shadowed by its neighbors Egypt, Greece, and Mesopotamia, yet the small island, is an ideal entrpot. In the Late Bronze Age (1550-1050 BCE), the influence of internationalism can be seen in the appearance of cylinder seals on Cyprus. This summer I am researching the interesting mix of locally and internationally produced cylinder seals and what they can tell scholars about Cypriot society. This study investigates the seals’ use on Cyprus, like what new roles they played and which Cypriot needs they fulfilled. I will study […]

Josephine Juanamarga

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In my research, I aim to explore the mechanisms behind why Asians experience more difficulty in disclosing personal problems and approaching others for help in various situations (especially emotionally) than when compared to Westerners. Do different styles of communication (indirect vs. direct) or differences in the implicit sense of power status (high vs. low) moderate this interaction? Might Asians show preference seeking certain people to whom they disclose their problems or seek help from? I hope that this research could help shed light on the acculturation process and success of […]

Jared Nathanson

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All land plants undergo an alternation of generations. This alternation occurs between a haploid gametophyte and a diploid sporophyte. In the early-diverging lineages of land plants, such as liverworts, hornworts, and mosses, the haploid gametophyte is dominant in the life cycle. However, in later-diverging lineages, such as gymnosperms and angiosperms, the diploid sporophyte is dominant while the haploid gametophyte is transient. It is possible that this evolution of sporophyte dominance may have been caused by a delay in Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2)-triggered meiosis in the sporophyte generation. PRC2 functions […]

Marissa Teitelman

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Certain histories have been ignored that are incredibly important to understanding self-identity. The Dutch West India Companys (WIC) history epitomized trans-Atlantic diaspora, creating unique cultures all over the world and intensifying identity transformations. I will examine the extent of the Dutch role in producing identity transformation and cultural diaspora along the 17th century WIC slave route from Amsterdam, to Ghana, to Curaao, and finally to New Amsterdam. I will draw on publications from experts in the field such as Paul Gilroy, Kwesi Yankah, and Linda Heywood. Looking at tales, traditions, […]