Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Sophia Gaynes

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This summer, I will be working in the Ramesh Group to develop a new method of measuring the magnetoelectric switching in BiFeO3 (bismuth ferrite) at the nanoscale. BiFeO3 is a magnetoelectric multiferroic material meaning that it has coupled and stable electric and magnetic polarization without the presence of an external electric or magnetic field. This material was discovered in the Ramesh Group in 2003 and is still the subject of investigation in the lab. BiFeO3 has promise for use in the future of memory storage devices. One of the current […]

Angel Najera

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The internet essentially functions like a mailing system, with data packets sent across a network of devices. These devices act like the post offices and shipping warehouses from our regular mailing system. Until recently, modifying the way things ran for each device worked in a similar fashion to training a new worker. In our case, it took years for manufacturers to develop new hardware that did what the network managers wanted. This is where P4 comes in; it is now feasible to change the functionality of forwarding devices by directly […]

Haley Keglovits

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Learning is paramount to human success, but the complex processes that underlie it are poorly understood. While cognitive models adequately explain some learning mechanisms, much remains to be discovered about the interactions between different mechanisms. Reinforcement learning (RL) is a slow and robust process that relies on external rewards to guide behavior. Working memory (WM) is a system that can retain recently acquired information for short periods of time. While previous research has demonstrated that both systems contribute to learning, the two mechanisms have rarely been studied together. In this […]

Hannah Tak

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The lateral parabrachial nucleus (LPB) is a region in the mammalian brain that is involved in regulating diverse behaviors associated with pain and aversion as well as feeding behaviors. Many neurons in the LPB are glutamatergic and project to widespread brain areas including the amygdala, periaqueductal gray, ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra (SN). However, it is currently unknown whether subpopulations of LPB neurons, defined by their projection target, can be linked to specific behaviors. As an important step to gain knowledge of the functional heterogeneity of LPB cell […]

Vladimir Kremenetski

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Quantum computers promise tremendous gains in computational efficiency to a number of important areas in STEM. Among these, few are as promising as the ability of quantum computers to simulate atomic-scale (and thus quantum) systems. A specific topic of interest in this area is using the simulations to find the ground state energy of particularly cumbersome energy systems. However, many barriers still exist in the way of this theoretical benefit becoming a real advantage. One such barrier is the difficulty of designing the gate layout . The goal of the […]

Harriet Steele

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In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The Convention defines genocide a term coined by Rafael Lemkin in 1944 as intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such The United States Senate did not ratify the Convention until 1988. I will use archival research to consider the Senates postwar (1949-1955) ratification debates debates about the codification of group rights in international law in the context of consciousness regarding […]

Sheng-Yu Wang

Over this summer, I will be doing research on autonomous driving focusing on integrating and synchronizing data from laser radar sensor, which is also known as LIDAR, and multiple camera view. Autonomous driving has been a popular research subject recently, and it is really important to improve accuracy for the decision making by the algorithm. Since the output decision of the autonomous driving system is based on the information which sensors received from the environment, the accuracy of the decision making relies heavily on the integrity and the richness of […]

Edna Stewart

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In mammals, soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) serves as the primary receptor for the signaling gas nitric oxide (NO). Binding of NO activates the enzyme, which leads to various signaling pathways that regulate many physiological functions, including vasodilation and neurotransmission. Activators of sGC are currently used as therapeutic agents for cardiopulmonary and urogenital diseases. I will be investigating an sGC homolog called Cyg11 present in the alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Preliminary results indicate that carbon monoxide activates the algal homolog more compared to nitric oxide, a novel activity that warrants complete biochemical […]

Arohi Saxena

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Use-dependent learning is a motor learning process that is thought to arise from the repetition of a specific movement pattern. Use-dependent learning is thought to underlie the refinement of motor skills, such that well-practiced actions become more accurate and consistent (the practice makes perfect phenomenon); however, this learning process also comes at the cost of biasing subsequent actions to be more similar to practiced ones. It was initially assumed that pure repetition of a movement was the only necessary condition to drive use-dependent learning, however recent studies suggest that some […]

Alyson Kishi

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Precise and coordinated motor movement, such as prehension, is an essential skill for completing everyday tasks. The aim of this study is to quantify the relationship between stereopsis (the ability to see depth) and skilled prehension (the ability to precisely grasp an object). We present objects in a frontal view that minimizes other cues to their shape and ask participants to reach and pick up the objects while recording their hand movements. Because grasping an object relies on 3-dimensional object properties and relative disparity, we predict that individuals with anomalous […]