Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Mason Cummings

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The visual field of the human eye is not limited to external objects, but instead includes visible effects which arise from within the optical system itself, otherwise known as entoptics. One may be familiar with entoptics in the form of floaters or migraine auras, as well as the field of changing colors and shapes borne of gentle pressure applied to the back of shut eyelids. Through research on the human optical system, the basic morphological components of these visual phenomena have been classified into a set of primarily geometric forms. […]

Ann Deng

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In recent years, our view of the lysosome has changed from the cells recycle bin to a sophisticated metabolic signaling center. The lysosome is the site of recruitment and activation of the mammalian Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 (mTORC1), a master regulator of cell growth and metabolism. The surfaces of lysosomes harbor many different chemical sensors that communicate with mTORC1, but how these different stimuli are integrated and translated into mTORC1-regulating signals is still poorly understood. As there has been increasing evidence that the facilitation of protein scaffold formation by […]

Jessica Bonnar

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In eukaryotes, an essential growth regulator is a multi-subunit, plasma membrane(PM)-associated protein kinase, the Target of Rapamycin Complex 2 (or TORC2). Work using Saccharomyces cerevisiae has established that TORC2 is responsible for controlling processes that preserve PM homeostasis and that regulate actin polymerization. Studies have shown that the localization of TORC2 to the plasma membrane is essential for the complex’s function. However, little is understood about the processes that regulate the assembly, maintenance and activity of TORC2 itself. Avo3, a TORC2 subunit necessary for maintaining stability of the complex, contains […]

Hideyasu Kurose

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Tragically, fascism has re-appeared in many forms and permutations throughout modern history. Although Japan and Argentina represent only two nations which have suffered this political epidemic, through studying these nations perhaps deeper deductions can ultimately be drawn about a contemporary political phenomenon which Albert Camus rightfully labeled an epidemic. Accordingly, my research will focus upon the literature of Japan and Argentina with the aim of discovering key commonalities which suggest vulnerabilities to what Emilio Gentile categorized as a political religion. Socio-historical theorists ranging from Hannah Arendt to Robert O. Paxton […]

Percival Chen

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Gregor Mendels law of equal segregation states that the two copies of each chromosome are transmitted with equal probability to the offspring. However, there are also genes, termed meiotic drivers, that manipulate the genome to be transmitted at greater than 50% frequency. Meiotic drivers have been identified across taxa (including insects, plants, fungi, and mammals), and have profound genomic, evolutionary, and ecological consequences. Moreover, the development of synthetic drive systems is the focus of multiple research groups as a means to control pest and disease vectors, since the >50% transmission […]

Yu Ma

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Matrix multiplication is one of the most foundational mathematical operations. Understanding this operation is a sophisticated mathematical question, which has been the subject of extensive research over the years. There is huge incentive to improve the speed of matrix multiplication as well as understand the inherent bounds on its complexity. The rich theory of algebraic computational complexity aims to study the complexity of objects with an intrinsic mathematical structure. In particular, for each n, matrix multiplication of two nxn matrices can be expressed as a bilinear map, which corresponds to […]

Emma Paulina Bianco

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No area is perhaps more synonymous with conservatism than Orange County, California. This region fell victim to Cold War paranoia of imposing Soviet threats and possible communist subversion. From the end of World War II to the late 1960s, Orange County residents engaged in local battles to protect their most precious individuals from socialist leanings: children. In an effort to reinforce American superiority, citizen organizations, parents, and school boards waged textbook wars to censure particular materials they believed subscribed to Soviet leanings. However, my study seeks to understand the viability […]

Taylor Follett

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Upon first reading Ulysses by James Joyce, I developed a question: why does one of the most significant novels of the modernist canon, a literary movement associated with hyper-masculine authors, contain such a prominent focus on the feminine and end with a female narrator? Throughout Ulysses, Joyce investigates the trappings of normative gender, especially through Molly and Leopold Bloom. My research engages with this investigation and my original question, pursuing critical conversations surrounding Ulysses while also examining texts from queer theory and novelistic theory in order to interrogate the precise […]

Kiran Brar

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While the unbalanced sex-based division of labor has been explored in various parts of the developing world, it remains largely unstudied in Punjab (Northwest India). Punjab is a predominantly agricultural society with diverse family organizational forms, including joint and extended families. I will examine how the division of labor amongst heterosexual couples in Punjab, India is influenced by gender, religion, education, and area of residency. I will conduct 20 in-depth interviews in two cities and two to three rural villages, divided evenly into the following four groups: 1) rural and […]

Ivan Chernyshev

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The ALICE detector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN collides lead nuclei and observes the particles ejected from the collision to study quark-gluon plasma, a highly energetic state of matter that existed during the first microsecond after the Big Bang. ALICEs current systems have been successful in measuring a variety of aspects of quark-gluon plasma, but they are unable to produce the resolution and statistics necessary to observe every aspect of quark-gluon plasma or observe particles of all momenta. To reduce this limitation, the Large Hadron Collider will […]