Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Pablo Paderes

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The rise of mass incarceration and punishment over the past 4 decades in the U.S. is largely understood as a black issue, while immigrant incarceration and punishment are largely understood as brown problems. These analytical borders segregate rich bodies of theory and analysis from each other. My research will use in-depth interviews of formerly incarcerated people and black and brown social justice movement leaders to create an integrated, bottom-up analysis serving to guide archival research of current statistics and recent trends in order to understand the mass incarceration and punishment […]

Connor William Brown

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Movement preparation and execution are central to our everyday experience, yet we do not yet understand how the complex motor computations required for these actions are performed. In an attempt to understand how movements are prepared, many models have been created–using brain activity to predict someones intended movement before it is executed–with limited efficacy. A recent breakthrough in primate research provides a potential framework for exploring these preparatory computations further, but due to technical and ethical constraints the development and evaluation of this model has been limited to research involving […]

Sierra Raby

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The U.S. food system is plagued by food insecurity, which disproportionately affects poor communities and communities of color. Urban agriculture can help remake food systems and mitigate food insecurity by providing opportunities to grow local, nutritious food. However, urban farms often struggle with pest management, and previous survey research on San Francisco Bay Area urban farms indicates that most farms experienced crop losses due to herbivorous insects. Developing low-input agroecological pest management practices for urban environments is vital and these strategies must consider the unique conditions of urban agroecosystems. As […]

Hannah Chi

Mitochondria often decline in function as a normal part of aging. However, mitochondrial dysfunction often has severe consequences and has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and infection. Understanding the ways in which mitochondria recover when exposed to proteotoxic environments is therefore a crucial element in constructing better novel treatments to mitochondrial related disease such as Parkinsons. The mitochondrial unfolded protein response has been identified as a key stress signaling pathway regulated by the ATFS-1 transcription factor in the Caenorhabditis elegans model organism system. However, relatively little is known about […]

Peter Birghoffer

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It is convenient to see the failure of the Comecon (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance), the economic union of Eastern Bloc countries, as a verdict on command economies. Central planning is commonly understood to have reduced the competitiveness of these countries to the point where they could no longer provide themselves with the resources required to maintain a viable economic portfolio. But the Comecons lack of success to keep up with the West cannot be ascribed to the shortcomings of central planning alone. In this project, I argue that a […]

Gregory Devine

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Musics ability to evoke and communicate emotion seems intuitive and universal, but the cognitive and psychological processes that underlie musics emotive inductance still remain largely a mystery. Investigating how people perceive and engage with music ultimately reveals the complexities of emotion regulation. In this study, I compose music that targets various emotions and have participants evaluate changes in their mood state upon listening. By targeting and inducing emotions such as happiness, sadness, or anger in a lab setting, I can assess how effectively music either augments or diminishes the experience […]

Camille Rubel

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The substitution of fluorine atoms for hydrogen atoms in drug candidates has been shown to improve the biostability of those molecules. However, few reported methods exist that fluorinate complex organic molecules with high selectivity. An alternate approach to the synthesis of fluorinated drug candidates is the addition of functional groups to compounds that contain fluorine. Thus, the functionalization of fluorinated compounds would enable the discovery of improved drug candidates. Recent research has described the catalytic silylation of aryl C-H bonds. Aryl silanes are bench-stable, and the silyl group can be […]

Mariel Nelson

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Shallow landslides are a primary method of sediment transport and a dominant hillslope erosion process in many steep, soil-mantled landscapes. However, testing models that predict shallow landslide size and location is challenging due to a lack of high resolution datasets that map where landslides occurred following major storms. In February 2017, an intense rainfall event caused more than 400 shallow landslides at a field research site near Williams, California. This project will use a comprehensive landslide dataset that I created from field surveys over the past year to statistically analyze […]

Jeremy Wayland

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The central engine of an active galaxy is a mysterious place. Simulations and physical theories have melded general relativity, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism to hypothesize the prescription of particle acceleration and jet accretion in active galactic nuclei (AGN). These complex environments surrounding the black hole may launch relativistic jets that radiate the greatest energy output of any known astrophysical source. Their influence on galaxy and star formation is undeniable, and yet these systems are not yet well understood. There remains a gap between theory and observation. My project attempts […]

Derek Wan

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Our eyes are never stable even when we attempt to maintain a steady gaze. The characteristics of microscopic eye motion during fixation have been proposed as diagnostic biomarkers for certain neurological and visual disorders. However, the use of scanning laser ophthalmoscopes (SLOs) in clinical and research settings is often limited to rough estimates of fixation stability, due to low frame rates inherent in videos. Such estimates preclude meaningful analyses and result in non-standardized methods to quantify eye motion across research laboratories and clinics. Furthermore, existing technology is not being utilized […]