Fellowship Winners

URAP students who have worked with the same URAP mentor for at least two semesters are eligible to be nominated for the URAP summer stipend to continue their work for five weeks over the summer. Calls for nominations go out to mentors each spring.

NeuroGPU: GPU Accelerated Neuronal Modeling"

The project involved convex optimization and GPU programming to speed up neuronal simulations. Essentially, given the description of a neuron and/or a neuronal network, the project aims to translate this high level description into something that can be run on a GPU. GPU-bound simulations are on the order of 1000’s of times faster than CPU-bound simulations. This summer, I worked on porting these simulations to Python, where they can be more easily accessed by programmers and streamlining the efficiency of the modeling program.

...Read More about Nikhil Athreya


Prof. Shapiro is an experimental particle physicist and a leader of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory affiliated collider experiment known as: ATLAS collaboration at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC). One of the most important pieces of the ATLAS research program is to search for new phenomena and interactions never before observed at the most basic level of nature. One class of theory that predicts such interactions is “Supersymmetry.” Samuel is working on the search for Supersymmetry in a special class of models where some of the Supersymmetric particles can propagate a measurable distance before decaying.

...Read More about Samuel Bright-Thonney

French-American Women Project"

In this research project, we examined how French women were constructed in American media and how American women were constructed in French media in the post-World War II era, specifically from 1944 to 1965. Our methodology entailed close-readings of different American and French historical newspapers, magazine articles, books, and other media texts, including photographs, films, television programming, and advertisements. In particular, we analyzed how French and American women were treated in various topical areas: food and diet, fashion and beauty, and celebrity life. This research project contributes to an interdisciplinary and gendered understanding of U.S.-French relations. The project also shows how women have been used as symbols of the nation between the U.S. and France.

...Read More about Rani Davina Chan

The Role of Attention in Motor Adaptation"

I work in the CognAc lab, which focuses on how people select, plan, and perform movements. My goal this summer is to explore how attention affects the way subjects implicitly (unconsciously) adapt when their motor movements are perturbed. I want to determine the relationship between explicit focus and implicit learning. By studying how people learn motor movements, we hope to further understand neurological disorders and improve rehabilitation methods for patients.

...Read More about Kristy Dang

Degenerative Retinal Disease Research"

This summer I am working with Cecile Fortuny in the Flannery lab to better understand retinal disease. This summer project is a continuation of the work we have been doing throughout the year to understand how degenerative retinal diseases function and try and model the diseases in mice so that future research and treatment can be conducted. We are also working on designing ways for the treatment of these diseases to be possible and more effective.

...Read More about Carolyn Dunlap

Impulsive Reactions to Emotions, Cognition, and Biological Markers"

This study employs a number of important methodological features: experimental manipulation of stress, measurement of arousal using psychophysiological parameters, neurocognitive assessment of response inhibition, and behavioral indicators of whether response inhibition deficits translate to real world behavior. Much of the data collection has been completed over the past few semesters, and over the summer the main goal was to organize, clean, and analyze this data. We are hoping this research will fill major gaps in the literature by assessing the extent to which deficits in cognitive control resulting from heightened arousal is a mechanism driving the poor behavioral constraint associated with emotion-relevant impulsivity.

...Read More about Stephanie Gam

Radiobiology Synergy Analysis (Statistics project)"

I spent and will spend most of the time finalizing our paper, which will be published soon. I am mainly responsible for doing most of the coding and execution on the statistics part of the project. I have currently done ODE solving, parameter estimation, monte carlo simulations with 95% Confidence Intervals, modeling, and computer simulations.

...Read More about Dae Woong Ham

The Molecular Basis of Floral Patterns"

My research project involves looking at what genes lead to certain petal spot patterns in the common monkeyflower. I also look at how these spots may give a plant an advantage when it comes to getting pollinated and passing on their genes. My time is largely divided between molecular work in the lab and more hands-on work in the greenhouse, where I cross plants, collect seeds, and track plant growth and germination.

...Read More about Grace Johnson

The "Super Peer" and its Effect on African-American Children"

I am currently assisting Professor Herd with conducting research on the influence of mass media –also known as “the super peer”– on alcohol consumption amongst African-American adolescents. We are specifically looking at popular movies from the Teen Media Study, which was conducted in 2001and 2002. Apart from this, I am also beginning a literature review, that looks at the film structure of the coming of age story when it is targeted towards a black audience.

...Read More about Dominque Keith-Maher

Quantifying the relationship between stereopsis and motor control in a prehension task"

The aim of this study is to quantify the relationship between stereopsis (the ability to see depth) and the ability to precisely grasp an object. We will 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. It is our hope that the study will illuminate our understanding of how stereopsis benefits manual tasks and provide a basis for therapies that improve binocular function and depth perception.

...Read More about Alyson Kishi

Controlling Myopia"

I will work mostly on two projects, linked by the common theme of controlling myopia (the focus of the Wildsoet Lab). One of my projects will involve guinea pigs as an animal model for myopia and will explore the influence of dosing on the effectiveness of atropine eye drops for slowing or preventing the development of myopia. The second project will involve human subjects and a study of anterior ocular changes induced by a specialized contact lens for myopia control.

...Read More about Niathi Kona


There are a couple of topics I am responsible for, including pollution economy, current U.S. healthcare system, China’s Belt and Road policy, etc. They are all very engaging and requires in-depth reading and research, which I learnt a lot from. I was not only analyzing the status quo, but was also responsible for proposing a hypothetical solution or version myself.

...Read More about Yichu Li

Motivators and Barriers to Social Interaction in People with Schizophrenia"

My current research project examines how people with schizophrenia experience their social world. More specifically, it analyzes the different motivators and barriers to social interaction in people with schizophrenia and controls with the purpose of providing a deeper understanding of social functioning among people with this condition. Data on the Clinical Assessment Interview for Negative Symptoms (CAINS) was used to assess motivation and pleasure related to family relationships, romantic relationships, and friendships, past week pleasurable social activities, and expected next week pleasurable social activities.

...Read More about Renata M. Botello

Spleen Development in TLx1 and NKx2.5 deficient human cell lines"

TLx1 and Nkx2.5 are transcription factors that are essential regulators of early spleen development. In order to better understand how conditions such as incomplete congenital asplenia, and other aberrations of the spleen develop, better understanding the effects of these transcription factors on development is necessary. In order to do so I am generating spleen cell lines from both human fetuses and mouse embryos that are deficient in Tlx1 and Nkx2.5 by conducting genome editing through the CRISPR-cas9 platform. Upon achieving this I will be able to understand specifically how these transcription factors function and their relationship to congenital disease.

...Read More about Amir-Ala Mahmoud

Dengue Virus NS1 protein"

This summer, I will be working on investigating the structure and molecular determinants of the Dengue Virus NS1 protein. Dengue Virus affects hundreds of millions of patients annually and can lead to symptoms such as hemorrhagic fever or shock syndrome. My work will be building on our findings in lab from the past year regarding key amino acid sites on NS1’s role in compromising endothelial permeability and I am hoping to create new mutant proteins to help further our investigation.

...Read More about Carmel Malvar

Geo-analysis of Research Papers"

We are trying to analyze the geographical properties of research papers from 1970s to now. The papers we choose to analyze are primarily about conducting researches on regions & lands. Therefore, through analyzing the geographical properties of authors, conference address, researching scope, etc., we would like to find a relation between where the paper is written and where the paper is discussing about. For example, whether a paper written by a Berkeley Professor has more/less probability to discuss Berkeley region or Greater Bay Area region.

...Read More about Richard Meng

Research in the Trace Gas Biogeochemistry Laboratory"

I have been working on a few projects “Net ecosystem fluxes of methyl halides from Rush Ranch, a salt marsh ecosystem in the San Joaquin Delta”, “Halide extractions from Oxford Tract” and I’m about to start another project that is running GS-MS with a different carrying gas, which could possibly improve gas chromatography results. With the first two projects I did a lot of halide extractions and they are done at this moment and ready for the last SAM measurements, that will give us the valuable data for both projects. For the Rush Ranch project we recently collected new samples in the field and going to finish measurements on GS-MS gas chromatography next week.

...Read More about Anya Mikheicheva

Shane Adaptive Optics Survey of Stellar Binary Systems"

The projects aims at searching for stellar binary systems with extremely uneven members. The surveys the team conducts use state-of-the-art high contrast imaging devices. To the large collection of images for each target advanced analysis tools are applied to achieve the highest possible contrast to find the faint companions. JJ continues to be involved in the in the data analysis and post-processing of the data. This includes developing code to process the raw data to final, science-grade images of each target, testing the approach and optimizing it. The team is currently working on a peer-reviewed publication; JJ will be a co-author.

...Read More about Jner Tzern (JJ) Oon

Predicting disease phenotypes based on genotype data"

Phenylketonuria is an inherited metabolic disorder that affects 1 in 10000 newborns every year. Left undiagnosed and untreated, phenylketonuria can cause severe neurological impairment. My project uses machine learning methods on genotypic data to predict the phenotypic impact of genetic mutations. These predictions can supplement current methods used to screen newborns for phenylketonuria.

...Read More about Roshni Patel

Educational Experiences of Return Migrants to Yucatan"

The research project focuses on migrants that return to Yucatan, Mexico. Specifically, it looks at their experiences in schools and with their families once they begin living in their hometowns. Through these experiences, the research will help us understand return migration in Mexico and transnational migration in the United States.

...Read More about Maricruz Pool-Chan