Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Katherine Latimer

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Hi! My name is Katie and I’m majoring in Physics and Chemistry here at Cal. I am really excited about my research this summer because it combines those two subjects, which I love, as well as some math and computer science, which are also fun. My work falls under the scope of the Materials Project, a collaboration at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that runs quantum mechanical simulations of many different materials on remote supercomputers and publishes the resulting data online and free to the public. By calculating just a few […]

Nora Harhen

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In everyday life, seldom are the choices weve made reinforced by objective reward like food or water. Rather, we tend to set goals for ourselves, and actions leading to those goals are what are reinforced, even in the absence of reward. Theoretical work has suggested that treating goal achievement as a pseudo-reward is an effective means to learn complex behavior, which may require going through many intermediary, value-neutral sub-goals before leading to reward. There has been indirect evidence for pseudo-rewards when reaching subgoals in EEG and fMRI, but as of […]

Yena Lee

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The past two years have been a time of painful awakening for Korea as the country witnessed a deeply polemic gender war previously unprecedented in Korean society. Within K-pop fandom, a series of fan-initiated hashtags such as #WeWantBTSFeedback has started publicizing and demanding feedback for issues of misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia in K-pop industry, specifically in the star text of different idols and idol groups. In this research, I will explore how the recent feminism revival in Korea has fostered a discourse on identity politics within K-pop fandom by examining […]

Patricia Hernandez

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The percentage of Latinas in higher education has increased over the last 20 years. Yet, this population is often viewed as a homogenous group, obscuring the diversity of experiences Latinas face. In particular, experiences like those of young Latina mothers are often ignored or absent. By erasing their experiences, we miss an opportunity to learn about the unique ways that they challenge cultural gendered norms on motherhood and the ways that they navigate normative spaces within the university. My research project examines the central question: how do Latina mothers navigate […]

Alexandra Dubinin

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Respiratory infections in infancy are known to increase the risk of developing asthma in later life. One possible explanation is that viral infections during vulnerable periods of development alter immune cell establishment leading to lifelong changes favoring asthma. My research involves tracking the developmental pattern of a particular immune cell, ILC2, with the hope of identifying targets to mitigate viral-induced asthma predisposition. I will use fluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry to define when the critical developmental window occurs and what cells and molecules are involved.

Kevin Milyavskiy

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This study explores the form and purpose of a political apology. It includes analyses of French presidential speeches regarding crimes the French state committed throughout its history both domestically and internationally, and how the presidents speak of them. The speech former French president Franois Hollande gave during his visit to Algeria in 2012 is one of the case studies. Hollandes visit received international attention because many anticipated that he would, on behalf of France, finally apologize to Algeria for 132 years of colonial rule and the 1954 Algerian War of […]

Peyton Provenzano

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The prevalence of mental health crises among individuals in the United States is steadily increasing, but state-funded resources are declining. The police are the only 24/hr emergency responders in most areas, which means that police are obligated to respond to mental health crisis situations. The US Department of Justice estimates that people with mental health disabilities are four times as likely to be killed in interactions with law enforcement compared to the general population. Seeking to minimize negative interactions with the carceral state, community-based organizations have begun to implement alternative […]

Claudia Tischler

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Motor preparation can be probed using both electroencephalography (EEG) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), a noninvasive brain stimulation technique which evokes a response called the motor-evoked potential (MEP) from the targeted muscle. However, recording MEPs is problematicthe MEP is highly variable from trial to trial, and the sources of fluctuations in MEP amplitude are debated. Some of this variability, as well as the temporal dynamics of the MEP, may be explained by neural oscillations, endogenous fluctuations in brain activity. During the preparatory period, both the MEP amplitude and beta power […]

Kiana Schmitt

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The Native Hawaiian word “hapa” has undergone an extraordinary rhetorical and linguistic evolution. From signifying half-foreigner” (colloquially, foreigner meaning “white, due to influx of white Europeans and Americans forcibly entering Hawaii since the late 18th century), to “part Hawaiian, part white,” then part Hawaiian,” to half-Asian or Pacific Islander (API) and half-White,” to simply “half-Asian or Pacific Islander (API).” While some see its current usage as a rhetorical site of API community building and empowerment, others feel that non-Native Hawaiian people do not have a right to use it. It […]

Quinn Spencer

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Entomopthera muscae is a fungus that infects flies that can induce behavioral changes and subsequently cause morbidity Drosophila melanogaster. However, the mechanism behind this drastic modification is still largely unknown. My research aims to find a way to modify and flourescently tag a gene in the fungus using CRISPR/Cas9, which may allow us to better understand mechanisms of infection and subsequent behavioral modifications in the host organisms. By doing so, we will be able to track how the fungus can travel through and modify the function of the nervous system […]