X Sun

Thin-shell concrete structures are material-efficient and low-mass building systems with the ability to cover large spans and building envelopes. The geometry of shells and their corresponding gridshells plays a vital role in many performance factors such as their structural stability, constructability, costs and environmental impact. Therefore, exploring different design alternatives in the early stages of the construction workflow can have a significant impact on the overall performance of these building systems. Motivated by these challenges, the goal of this research is to evaluate the environmental impact, cost efficiency, and constructability (torsion and bending) of gridshell structures to enhance their overall performance. In this project, I will work on how to formulate the cost, bending, and torsion analysis modules by generating a parametric 3D module with respect to cost analysis and bending measurements. Afterwards, these developed modules will be integrated into an already developed larger project which accounts for the structural […]

Kara Smale

This dance history project is focused on identifying materials in the archive that record the contributions and major stage works of Santha Bhaskar, a prolific Singaporean-Indian dance choreographer whose career has spanned six decades between the 1960s and the present day. The primary resources for this project are the Singapore National Archives, Singapore National Library and the Singapore National Heritage Board, all of which have archives available for online access. In this project, I will collate and organize materials – newspaper reports, press clippings and photos related to Bhaskar’s contributions to Singapore’s cultural history, her dance experiments, dance institutions, and foreign diplomatic tours. Through this project, I will acquire the ability to 1) navigate online archives, 2) discern the value of materials encountered thus and 3) gain the technical proficiency in reading archival records along or against master-narratives of culture and nationhood. My mentor will provide guidance in developing a […]

Sydney Liang

With recent cases of violence against the Asian-American community in mind, it is now more relevant than ever to examine Asian-American history, and efforts that have been made for greater rights and representation. This summer, I will be working with my mentor researching materials that characterize the Asian-American Movement of the 1960’s. The research will be focused around the 2010 novel I Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita, and specifically her exploration of the historical parallel between Japanese-American Internment and Native-American incarceration on Tule Lake. I will conduct archival research with the Bancroft Library, looking at collections relating to the legal defense for the Tule Lake internees, the International Hotel Eviction, and the Third World Liberation Front with the objective of finding intersections between the aims of the Asian-American Movement and American-Indian sovereignty. I will also use this opportunity to research minority allyship between the Black Panther Party and the Red […]

Samantha Kwan

TJRs are commonplace in the U.S. with over one million first-time knee and hip implant surgeries performed per year. Approximately 12% of those TJRs will require revision surgery, and a leading cause of revision surgeries is fatigue-induced wear of the plastic UH TJR component. This research aims to determine how various microstructural and chemical properties of clinically relevant formulations of UH effect initiation and propagation of cracks. Understanding structure/property/processing relationships in clinical formulations of UH can further inform designs to better suit patient needs, ultimately resulting in better patient outcomes. I will perform experiments to determine the effect of radiation dose on fatigue properties in a specific clinical formulation of UH called GUR 1020. Specifically, I will learn to prepare UH samples for mechanical property testing, operate optical and scanning electron microscopes to observe crack growth and fracture surfaces, and perform standard mechanical property tests on a load frame.

Zoe Carwin

Can preschoolers learn from metaphors? While many studies have shown that adults use metaphors to guide their thinking and reasoning, the question of whether young children can do the same remains unexplored. We use metaphors in our everyday lives (e.g. “Tourists flooded the popular beach town over break” or “A second wave of the virus is expected to hit after the holidays due to travel”), and they help us reason about abstract concepts (e.g. “I was surprised when she attacked my claim but I regrouped and defended my idea with even stronger evidence”). Over the course of this summer, my mentor Rebecca and I will collect data from young preschool-age children to investigate their understanding and use of metaphorical language. Though previous metaphor research has primarily focused on adult subjects, we hope to extend this research to younger ages, and discover whether preschoolers can also use metaphors to learn.

Audrey J McClish

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, this SURF-SMART 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, my graduate mentor and I will be constructing an original dataset tracking congressional activity from 1789 to 1947 using data from legislative journal indices. Afterwards, I will analyze this data by visualizing it as a stacked area chart that can make visible 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 […]

Jesus Duarte

The consonant /d/ in English and Spanish differs in its place of articulation: English has alveolar [d] while Spanish has dental [d̪]. Previous research has reported that Spanish-English bilinguals are able to produce both constrictions, resembling two monolinguals. Thus, this research will focus on two main questions: a) How do Spanish-English bilinguals acquire this distinction? and b) how late can they acquire this distinction? We will collect data through a series of tasks in which Spanish-English bilingual subjects will discriminate between manipulated /d/ stimuli, allowing us to identify which acoustic cues they are more sensitive to. Furthermore, by comparing different ages of acquisition of a second language, we will analyze which age groups are most sensitive to this acoustic distinction and when sensitivity starts to decrease. This research will also allow us to better understand how age affects language acquisition, and if there is an age limit after which subjects […]

Jovian Kan

Mountain snow is a virtual reservoir that stores water during the winter and releases it when it is most needed at the beginning of the agricultural growing season. Snowpack water storage, measured as snow water equivalent (SWE), is therefore important to track and predict. Most numerical models that try to predict snow use maps of forests from previous years, but major disturbances, such those caused by fire, make these older versions unreliable for the future. This project aims to improve our ability to observe and predict SWE in areas where there has recently been a major wildfire. This summer I will work with high-resolution maps of trees and snow created from Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) cameras on specialized aircraft to research on questions around Lidar snow depth observations and density modeling. Specifically, I will try to explore the spreading patterns of fire on the snow cover and how this […]

Genevieve Akponye

We will use wild-caught European starlings to explore where melatonin may be produced in the bird brain (outside of the pineal gland) by detection of enzymes involved in its synthesis. Generally, organisms strategically allocate energy among physiological processes, and these processes are highly sensitive to the environment. Species that reproduce seasonally utilize environmental cues to coordinate physiology at the proper time. These cues are translated into signals through neuroendocrine signals, leading to the production of melatonin in the pineal gland; however, the pineal gland has never been found to regulate reproduction in any seasonally reproducing bird species. How, and where, melatonin may be exerting a physiological effect on the reproductive physiology and timing of birds is wholly unknown but we hypothesize that the hypothalamus – a major part of the HPG axis – may produce it de novo.

Jianhua Lim

The human body experiences various mechanical loads which cells respond to correspondingly to maintain homeostasis. However, drastic stimuli changes might lead to various diseases and degeneration. To enable regenerative medical strategies, we must first understand the connection between cell and organ mechanics. With this motivation, my mentor is developing a deformable microfluidic chip that can apply these mechanical loads to a single layer of cells. Currently, the chip is tailored for loads in the annulus fibrosus of the spine, but other systems with similar loading could be considered. The current design is limited to testing one tissue sample and one stretching condition per cycle. We will create a new design that improves the chip’s ability to produce data by testing multiple stretching conditions and samples simultaneously. Specifically, I will employ finite element modeling and create a genetic algorithm to manipulate and optimize the chip design to match physiologically relevant, experimental […]