Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Rebecca Yue

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Salmonella enterica is a bacterium that causes major food borne disease in the world. It infects people by inducing the uptake of the bacteria by secreting proteins into cells in the host’s intestines. A crucial system of Salmonella enterica pathogenesis is the Type III Secretion System (T3SS) which transports bacterial proteins into host cells. Previous experiments indicate that the Disulfide Bond Formation (Dsb) System is needed for the Type III Secretion System. However, a direct interaction between the two systems is not currently known. Through molecular cloning and a bacterial […]

Robert Claus

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Over the last decade there has been increasing interest in how geckos can walk on vertical and even inverted surfaces. It has been found that they do so with tiny fibers on their feet which bend to adapt to and stick to surfaces. While the basic principles behind this have been studied and replicated on smooth surfaces with very simple fibers, geckos employ complicated fiber structures to adapt to more general surfaces. Due to the complicated nature of the real fibers, research on replicating them fully is progressing slowly. My […]

Erin Lam

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The Roman poet Horace, an enormous influence on Western thought and poetry, himself stands within a long tradition of Greek and Latin lyric. He innovates on the foundations his forebears have built, creating new and surprising poems. Many of Horaces Odes reveal a marked attention to the construction of setting. I categorize these settings into actual place, or a geographical location that could potentially exist, and poetic space, more imaginary or surreal constructions. These spaces are often linked to a religious ritual and involve a skillful manipulation of time and […]

Yung-En Perng

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My project examines an aspect of the robustness of the hexapodal design. Cockroaches are one of the fastest terrestrial animals for their size and mass, and have been shown to negotiate many different types of externally caused perturbances, such as uneven or slippery terrain. Previous research suggests that cockroaches use passive mechanical control, which is built into the physical properties of the locomotory system, to overcome uneven terrain (Sponberg and Full, 2008). But how about a perturbance brought about by altering the cockroach itselfleg loss? I seek to determine whether […]

Justin Uang

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Perception, or the ability to perceive the world, is one of the remaining missing components for allowing robots to enter our daily environments. However, its current state-of-the-art performance is far from accurate. This summer, I will explore several machine learning techniques for improving perception. For instance, I will use distance metric learning to improve upon the euclidean distance that is widely used for comparing data points. Preliminary results show that algorithms such as Large Margin Nearest Neighbor can greatly improve k-nearest-neighbor performance for SIFT features, improving perception performance. I also […]

Katherine Zepeda-Arreola

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The disparity in earnings between students with and without a college degree has been growing for the past twenty-five years, and has become pivotal in determining the future stability of the nations youth. Through this research project, I will explore the college predispositions of low-income students of color recently accepted in College Track, an after school college preparatory program in Oakland. By focusing on three elements of the program: the college-focused activities, the extracurricular/supplemental opportunities, and the staff, I aim to understand the motivations that lead rising 9th graders to […]

Nicole Greenfield

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Hawaiian riparian zones have a high incidence of invasive plants that threaten the biodiversity of native vegetation and stream habitats. Restoration efforts to replant native vegetation are underway; however, Hawaiis extensive history and abundance of invasive species make it challenging to find natural reference sites. Therefore, my project aims to explore ecological relationships between the riparian zone and stream habitats to help monitor the progress of an ongoing restoration. I will use Heeia Stream in Oahu as my study site, where I will compare stream habitat between invaded and restored […]

Anjelica Colliard

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France is home to a sophisticated comic book culture that considers the genre as valuable literature. Its integration into French society is indicative of its influence in contemporary popular culture. My research project explores the role that the printed image plays in narrating French autobiographical comic books, and how the overall visual aspect of graphic narrative interacts with more conventional types of literary self-representation. I will look at which elements of graphic narrative make the medium particularly suited to telling stories of the self by examining the various codes at […]

Michelle Leu

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In my research, I plan to investigate the role of vitamin A in obesity prevention. With obesity increasing at alarming rates in the United States in the past twenty years, it is imperative to gain a deeper understanding in the development of the condition. Obesity is influenced by many risk factors such as diet, lifestyle, and genetics. I will explore how vitamin A regulates adipose tissue, observing mice with the Rdh10 gene conditionally deleted in white adipose tissue, and comparing their weight gain to that of wild type control mice. […]

Julia Uyttewaal

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There are over 18,000 NGOs operating in Haiti, many of which provide overlapping services in the same regions without collaboration. Recent academic debates have pitted NGOs against the Haitian state, claiming that the multiplicity and fragmentation of NGOs prevents any sort of uniform policy from being implemented and thus further undercuts the legitimacy and accountability of the Haitian state (Etienne 1997). My research project will attempt to challenge this dualistic framework by conducting participant observation with the Cap-Haitien Health Network, an organization that coordinates the operations of over seventy health […]