Alan Jian

The goal of my work is to identify issues amongst both industry and student teams and recommend solutions that can help teams navigate interpersonal dynamics. So far, I’ve focused my efforts on assessing a team’s goal alignment by studying each member’s responses to the questions: Did your team have a shared goal for your work together? If so, what was it? By using word embeddings and similarity algorithms, we hope to create a program that, given a class or company’s responses to this question, automatically pinpoints teams that are struggling to find common ground, and suggests solutions accordingly.

Alysha Jamieson

My main focus at the UCSF Spine Center this summer is to examine the possible benefits of a C3 laminectomy in comparison to a laminoplasty with fusion. Since C2 contains an extra spinous process, it is believed that a laminectomy may be more beneficial than a laminoplasty with fusion because a laminectomy allows for range of motion. I will also collect radiographic measurements and administer neurological questionnaires to patients pre- and post-op for the ASR database. The results from the data collection and study will be useful when advising patients pre-operatively.

Ana Shaughnessy

In my project, I will attempt to determine if there is a genetic basis to differences in fin morphology in threespine stickleback fish. I will do so by collecting different morphometric data from the fins of fish from two different populations: marine and freshwater. The morphometric measurements will look at the structure of fin rays and their segments, that resemble the fingers on our hands. I will then attempt to determine if the two different populations have different phenotypes, and determine if these differences are due to genetic differences between the populations that affect genes like BMP6, which affect bone development and morphology.

Samantha McGinnis

This summer, I will continue my work on Althea McNish, an influential yet under-studied Trinidadian textile designer who lived and worked in Great Britain. After a year researching her and her work, I am now focusing on the broader contexts that surround her designs, including the Caribbean Artists Movement and the British Black Arts Movement. The article on McNish will appear in a special edition of the journal Art History next year that is concerned with questions of global influences on and interactions with British art. I will continue to create bibliographies, edit drafts, and source images for the upcoming publication.

Emily Gibson

DNA methylation is an epigenetic process wherein methyl groups are added to the nitrogenous bases of DNA molecules. DNA methylation is known to affect transcription and influence gene expression. For the past two semesters, I have been quantifying the global DNA methylation profiles of Northern elephant seals to see how they modulate their gene expression in response to stressors (such as frequent fasting periods and hypoxic conditions) in their environment. This summer, I will continue my research by investigating specific genes involved in the elephant seal stress response and determining how DNA methylation affects the expression of those genes through DNA sequencing.

Zoie Telkamp

The majority of young stars are surrounded by disks of gas and dust that will eventually serve as the foundation for planetary systems. These protoplanetary disks have been shown to possess a vast array of geometric properties and substructures that are most easily observed when the disks are inclined at an angle of at least 80 degrees, thus blocking the direct starlight. Using images of these “edge-on” disks taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, we can access key information about their structure, while gaining knowledge of how certain disk properties vary throughout the population. By quantitatively characterizing the shape of the disk, we gain information about its morphology and can draw comparisons between real and simulated disk images. This summer, we will be using machine learning to draw connections between the shape of the disks, which we can directly observe from images, and physical parameters such as mass that are […]

Ishani Ghosh

I will examine how the Korean government uses Hallyu, the export of Korean culture as a soft power to increase the world’s exposure to Korea. I will analyze how Hallyu attracts foreigners to be a part of the Korean entertainment industry, roles given to foreigners and their treatment within the industry including pay gap difference between them and their Korean counterparts. I am going to investigate to what extent these foreigners increase Korea’s exposure in their respective countries and how these foreigners are perceived in Korea versus their country of origin. At the end of my research I will determine if Hallyu is a successful soft power strategy that satisfies the Korean government’s aim for Korea to be recognized as an influential country in the world.

Pranav Nagarajan

In high-energy astrophysics, the next generation of gamma-ray space telescopes will be used to study gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, pulsars, black holes, dark matter, and more with unprecedented angular resolution and sensitivity. However, accurately tracking Compton-scattering events in the detectors of these telescopes is challenging since most detector systems are not fast enough to time each of the individual interactions. Over the past two semesters, my research has involved using deep learning techniques to try to improve upon classical event reconstruction techniques. In the summer, I will focus on implementing and training a graph neural network to identify the most probable particle tracks in detectors that will be used in future missions.

Elizabeth Ordeman

This project aims to determine whether or not bottom-up evolutionary forces such as the enhanced ability to feed on toxic plants are responsible for the evolution of toxin resistance in milkweed feeding butterflies. This hypothesis favoring bottom-up evolutionary forces is contrary to that favoring top-down evolutionary forces such as enhanced protection from predators through the sequestration of ingested toxins. To study this question, we are utilizing CRISPR-engineered Drosophila flies that contain three key amino acid substitutions in their sodium pump. These engineered mutations correspond to mutations found naturally in milkweed butterflies. We will use a suite of experiments to address this question, including sodium pump assays, HPLC analysis of toxins in the milkweed plants, and feeding experiments with diets containing milkweeds with differing levels of toxicity.

Maja Ahmann

This research project explores the social psychological underpinnings of the debate around inclusion policies and free speech. As college campuses nationwide have instituted policies designed to promote inclusion (e.g., safe spaces, trigger warnings, hate speech codes, and pronoun usage policies), furor and debate have ignited. While proponents argue that inclusion policies protect marginalized and underrepresented groups from exclusion and discrimination, opponents argue that these policies coddle students and violate the First Amendment. The primary questions we seek to ask and answer are: 1) What are the psychological correlates of opposition to inclusive policies and perceived free speech violation? 2) Is this opposition motivated? Do people with different perceptions of threat react differently to policies focusing on racial minorities as opposed to, say, political minorities? 3) Can opposition be mitigated and if so how? 4) Finally, what are the implications of backlash and mitigation of backlash for attitudes about the groups […]