Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Nick Yunqi Zhang

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Representing the world in abstraction, numbers are central to humans as they are constantly informing our judgments and decisions. Every day, we use numbers to symbol quantities, index objects, and apply all sorts of calculations to solve problems. The existing literature has long established the ability to mentally represent approximate numerosity as a core knowledge, an intuition that is supported by the Approximate Number System (Xu & Spelke, 2000). While past studies have identified some key behavioral and neural signatures of number processing (Odic & Starr, 2018), its neurocognitive development […]

Youyou Xu

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Human decision processes often succumb to overconfidence: feeling excessively certain.This study aims to bridge psychology and computer science, and uncover the factors that drive overconfidence in both humans and machines. I identify a cohesive set of quantitative heuristics that impact confidence judgments in both humans and machines while also distinguishing factors that apply exclusively to either of them. If successful, the study’s findings might yield insights that help to better calibrate human confidence and improve uncertainty quantification for ensemble and neural network models in computer vision and image processing.

Claire Sawyer

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Why do communities use traditional medicine? My research will investigate whether high rates of Traditional Medicine (TM) in Oceania, specifically Fiji, are due to lack of trust in modern healthcare or lack of education. Colonial and imperial histories have long contributed to hesitancy to receive healthcare, which I hypothesize catalyzes communities to shift to traditional healthcare as a reactionary measure. The study includes field research in Suva, Fiji, a postcolonial nation, where I’ll survey patients at a variety of STI Clinics and analyze their responses in order to provide a […]

Mario Varo

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Deportation is a significant concern in areas of the United States with sizable amounts of low-income immigrant communities, such as the San Francisco Bay Area. Masses of detained migrants do not have access to legal representation, which previous studies have linked to lower removal rates. In an effort to address this issue, pro bono legal representation plays a vital role for low-income migrants by providing them with free or reduced-cost legal assistance. While there is substantial literature on Pro Bono initiatives in other metropolitan areas, this research seeks to assess […]

River Richart

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As the most available and popular form of entertainment, music plays a key role in society. Long has it acted as a forum for political discourse, but little is known about how its content may facilitate political belief change. This project seeks to understand this connection further by asking: How effectively do listeners of a political song receive its political message? Are listeners persuaded by the song’s message? What are some of the conditions that make a song successful to these ends? I will develop and employ an online survey […]

Catherine Ruiter

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This research seeks to discover the economic impact of the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in news publishing. I will attend the International News Media Association (INMA) World Congress of News Media to listen to primary sources from Google, the New York Times, and other key firms, discuss their plans for implementing AI advances in their business models. I will then attend Google I/O, which is Google’s developer conference where the firm releases its new technological advances and potential applications. I will then engage in a cross-referential qualitative analysis […]

Kristie Moore

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In 2010, brutal violence broke out in Southern Kyrgyzstan between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks. Preceded by decades of mistrust and conflict, this incident is one of the many manifestations of exclusionary nationality policies, discrimination, and interethnic tensions in the region that continue to plague the region today. Through interviews with young people and peacebuilding organizations in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan–specifically in the cities of Bishkek, Osh, and Tashkent, my research seeks to understand perspectives on multiculturalism, diversity, and interethnic relations. It will specifically consider how young people make sense of government […]

Charles Long

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The United States faces challenges in its criminal justice system, with high rates of incarceration and recidivism. Volunteer programs targeting incarcerated populations offer potential avenues for rehabilitation and recidivism reduction. UC Berkeley’s Teach in Program exemplifies this approach, wherein UC Berkeley students assist San Quentin State Prison students in obtaining their G.E.D. While research supports the positive effects of volunteer work and interaction with marginalized populations on empathy development, limited studies have specifically examined the impact of volunteering in prisons. With religious outreach dominating the space of prison volunteerism, a […]

Jasmine Lopez

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This project aims to enhance emotion perception training for individuals with Autistic traits by developing a guided-gaze assistance program using eye-tracking data from the best 10% of participants in the Inferential Emotion Tracking (IET) task (Chen & Whitney, 2019). The IET task requires observers to infer emotions from contextual cues alone, which has proved to reveal deficits in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (Ortega, Chen, & Whitney, 2022). Existing Autism interventions for emotion perception often focus solely on facial expressions, neglecting the complexity of real-life social interactions. By distinguishing […]

Chloe Ma

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The term “model minority” became increasingly relevant as the number of Asian Americans rapidly grew in prestigious higher education institutions like UC Berkeley; Many people associate model minority stereotypes – hard working, STEM oriented, intelligent – with Asian American students, and this phenomenon further reinforces this bias. Many scholars are dedicated to demystify and separate the model minority stereotypes with Asian American communities by demonstrating the diversity within the community and rejecting its hegemonic appearance, and one of the approaches is to examine their experiences in higher education institutions. As […]