The Ecology of Carboniferous Peat Swamps"

During the Carboniferous period, roughly 310 million years ago, humid, swampy forests covered the global tropics. These forests, which are the source of today’s coal deposits, harbored a great diversity of strange and unusual plants. The Phillips Coal Ball Collection is a dataset that tallies plant remains preserved in limestone nodules in coal, offering an unprecedented look into the diversity of these forest communities. I will be helping to digitize this dataset and run paleoecological analyses, comparing plant communities between different coals to uncover a cohesive picture of floral change across space and time.

...Read More about Henry Thomas

Dysregulated affect in functional magnetic resonance imaging for clinical neuroscience"

While functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a powerful tool for clinical neuroscience research, the fMRI scanner is an unnatural and stressful environment that may amplify dysregulated mood or affect; for example, discomfort can result in movement and unwanted motion artifacts in the brain images. This summer, I will be delving into scan data processing techniques and investigating how the scan subject’s underlying experience of feeling, emotion or mood can impact the scan results. I hope this project can inform us of methods for better preparing subjects for fMRI scans in order to acquire more precise brain imaging data in clinical neuroscience and perhaps in fMRI research more broadly.

...Read More about Hsin-Yeh Tsai

Outlier Nation - American "Exceptionalism" in Comparison to the Rest of the World"

This summer, I will be working to support Professor Karabel’s research for his in-progress book on American “exceptionalism” and how America stands out from other countries, whether for better or for worse. To this end, I will be researching and sharing with Professor Karabel my findings on American economics, welfare, race issues, politics, and other key social issues. I have already done substantial research on the Clinton and Trump administrations in regard to American exceptionalism, and I will be continuing similar research alongside undertaking more data-driven tasks and administrative work to support Professor Karabel.

...Read More about Jeffrie Wang

Biogenesis of Heart Rhythm"

The sinoatrial node is a small cluster of myocytes that is located at the junction of the upper wall of the right atrium and the superior vena cava. These cells have specialized pacemaker properties that can spontaneously generate electrical impulses for the contraction of the heart. Using mouse models to study changes in the development and function of these cells through genetic, molecular and electrophysiological analysis, our lab aims to learn more about what differentiates pacemaker cells of the sinoatrial node from other myocytes and their potential roles in the causes of arrhythmias. This summer, I will be working with genetic analysis of different genotypic profiles of mice, surgical implantation of transmitters and analysis of EKGs, variabilities of heart rates and arrhythmias. Additionally, I will be using these methods to learn more about the genotypic, functional and physiological differences of heart rhythm that are induced by pregnancy in mice.

...Read More about Amanda Win Soe

Settler Colonialism and American Political Development: A Congressional Analysis"

What are the legacies of settler colonialism on American political development? Scholars understand settler colonialism as a “structure, not an event,” yet little attention has been devoted to understanding how settler colonialism has impacted the formation of the American state. To this end, our summer project seeks to answer the question: How much legislative activity has been devoted to territory governance in the United States and how has this changed over time? To investigate this question, we will be constructing an original dataset tracking congressional activity from 1789 to 1947 using data from legislative journal indices with the intention of visualizing the changing proportion of legislative topics – such as westward expansion, public lands management, and “Indian removal”– over time. This analysis will provide the baseline, descriptive information needed to characterize the extent to which early governmental activities in the United States can be said to be settler-colonial.

...Read More about Alexis Wood

Functional Study of a Novel Plant Nuclear Membrane Protein"

The nuclear envelope, a hallmark of eukaryotic cells, harbors many proteins whose functions in plants remain poorly understood. One of the newly discovered nuclear envelope transmembrane proteins, PNET1, is shown to display a strong association with another protein that is known to play an essential role in effector-triggered immunity activation. To investigate how PNET1 may be implicated in the immune response activation mechanism and cell proliferation, I will continue to assist my mentors this summer in genotyping mutants of interest and performing follow-up assays targeting the potential interactions between PNET1 and pertinent proteins.

...Read More about Peiqiao Xie

Graph Neural Network-based Top Quark Reconstruction"

The Large Hadron Collider collects a large amount of data through collisions between photons, which produce and decay into various particles such as top quarks. Top quarks are the elementary particle with the most mass and could help in the search for new physics. Due to their mass, they decay quickly and are not detected directly. Instead, top quarks can be reconstructed using other observable information with machine learning. Graph neural networks (GNN) are useful for top quark reconstruction because of its ability to represent particles and their relationships as graphs. I will continue to develop GNNs, understand its performance, and explore the flexibility it provides in the representation of data.

...Read More about Allison Xu

Full Civil Legal Representation for Low-Income Domestic Violence Survivors"

This summer I will be working closely with Dr. Anne Bloom on drafting a white paper which addresses the crucial need for free civil legal representation for low-income domestic violence survivors. Domestic violence is alarmingly pervasive and plagues families across all socioeconomic levels, but low-income families experience both higher rates of DV as well as a wider range of DV-related legal problems. The stunning lack of free legal counsel and representation for survivors in divorce and custody proceedings exacerbates the grave power imbalance between abusers and survivors in and out of court, impeding survivors’ chance at independence and rehabilitation. Drawing from empirical data from both psychological and legal research, we will explore various ways in which meaningful, long-term civil legal representation can pull DV survivors out–and keep them out–of the vicious (and sometimes fatal) cycle of power and control.

...Read More about Zhihui Ye