Zoe Zong

Sexual Assault (SA) is a highly prevalent form of trauma – around 43.6% of women and 24.8% of men in the US will experience some form of SA in their lifetime. The physical and mental health consequences experienced by SA survivors place a tremendous burden on society, as SA is correlated with greatly increased risk for psychopathology, especially Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). However, little has been uncovered about the day-to-day PTSD development immediately following SA. How do PTSD symptoms interact with each other over time? How is this dynamic interplay related to long-term PTSD outcomes, and does this vary by person? The present study proposes to shed light on these questions using an idiographic network approach, aiming to best model the within-person relationships between symptoms and behaviors in a sample of SA survivors within one month of SA. This study will clarify patterns of association between PTSD symptoms on a […]

Heidi Yang

Adaptive radiations are rapid bursts of diversification of a single ancestor that give rise to many ecologically different species. While the ecological and evolutionary aspects have been extensively studied, little is known about the genomic mechanisms that produce such high genetic and phenotypic diversity. Transposable elements (TEs), DNA sequences that can change their position within a genome, are one potential genomic component, since they can quickly produce a wide variety of mutations when active. McClintock (1984) first proposed that TE activity may increase in response to “challenges to the genome.” Since adaptive radiations frequently occur when a species colonizes a new area, novel environmental and ecological conditions may trigger the deregulation of the genome and activate TEs. Using the adaptive radiation of Tetragnatha spiders, which display various stages of adaptive radiation across several Hawaiian islands, this project will utilize transcriptome data and genomic sequencing methods to test the expectation that […]

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 […]

Jonathan Kuo

Current U.S. state laws permit vaccine mandate exemptions based on medical contraindications, religious beliefs, or personal beliefs. In recent years, outbreaks of measles attributed to subpar vaccination rates have caused the personal belief exemption to come under close scrutiny from lawmakers, medical officials, and the public. Current scholarly literature, however, lacks a clear history of the personal belief exemption, in part because that history varies by state. In this project, I will visualize and narrate the story of the personal belief exemption in American history. Through an interactive essay grounded in original historical research, I will explore how the exemption’s changing language, geographical spread, uneven application, and legal context reflect and inform America’s ever-shifting notions of conscience, liberty, and morality. In doing so, I aim to create a resource about the history of the personal belief exemption accessible to members of the public, policymakers, and public health experts, that I […]

Julia Nicholson

Groundwater is essential to ecosystems in Sierra Nevada meadows. Flora and fauna depend on groundwater cycles for a reliable source of water. Climate change is expected to disrupt groundwater supply, so understanding precisely how groundwater responds to temperature change, and how groundwater affects surrounding flora is an integral part of protecting meadow ecosystems in the face of climate change. This summer, I will develop a mathematical model to analyze time series of meadow groundwater, in order to study the relationship between groundwater and the ecosystems it fuels. I will study what local factors influence how groundwater levels respond to temperature, and how vegetation responds to varying groundwater. I have the support of a graduate student, Jen Natalie, who collected this groundwater and greenness data, as well as Professor Albert Ruhi, who taught me all I know about time series analysis. As a mathematics major who is passionate about climate change, […]

Phee Marcial

In the past few decades, discussion of gender-fluidity in poetry has become more prevalent, but it is often limited to contemporary literature and the realm of modern queer theory. My research investigates poetic portrayals of gender-fluidity in the work of the ancient Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catullus. I am focusing in particular on the original poetry of Catullus alongside Romantic, Victorian and contemporary translations/adaptations in English in order to track how these portrayals have changed over time. The approach is grounded by the conception of poetry in translation as valuable in its own right and by the parallel conception that artistic performance of gender is its own sort of ‘translation’. This project also discusses and explores the portrayal and sociolinguistic creation of gender in Catullus’ poetry in the context of poem form and content. With this work I hope to present a novel perspective on these poems that provides insight […]

Isaac Engelberg

My project explores the pedagogy of urban scale models as they are disseminated from scholarly fieldwork. As my central ‘text’ I will use Detroit’s Greenfield Village — the nation’s first living history museum, created by the automobile baron Henry Ford — and trace the user experience of the park, exploring the discourse of good design it sought to construct. Greenfield Village is an essential document of the early 20th-century ‘field study,’ a method of sociological investigation which held that by systematically carving up and analyzing the city, one could reform it. In this way, field trips to Greenfield Village by students and tourists alike became a practical application of the field study, where everyday individuals could inhabit the role of the planner-on-high. Such renderings of cities began to pop up across the country — from Philadelphia to New York — all of which can be traced back to this academic […]

Jae Won “Jake” Sim

Past research shows an alarming phenomenon in which Asian-American young adults are suffering uniquely high suicide rates and risk of deadly mental health complications. In disaggregating that data more specifically with Korean Americans (KA), evidence suggests that there may be even more risk due to cultural, societal, and political issues in both Korea and in the US, past and present. In my research, I look into the question of what leads to such high suicide rates in KA young men. Specifically, I will utilize in depth interviews with 20 participants in convenience and snowball sampling to examine the role of intergenerational trauma and cultural (re)connection in mental health complications among 1.5 and 2nd generation KA young adult males and how connecting to culture, roots and heritage can provide a path to care. I hope to deepen culturally specific understanding of KA young male mental health to aid in coping with […]

Sahar Zarafshan

The 26S proteasome is the last stop of the main protein degradation pathway in our cells, and it allows us to keep our bodies healthy by degrading old or non-functional proteins. The motor of the proteasome is responsible for engaging, unraveling and pulling the targeted protein into the core, where it is degraded. The pore loops, six in total, are located on the motor and are the parts of the proteasome that physically interact with the targeted protein. These six pore loops pull the protein to the core like hands pulling a rope downward, switching position like hands would from top to bottom of the protein “rope” by using ATP. When a protein substrate tail is initially engaged by these pore loops, the arrangement of the entire proteasome complex shifts to begin degradation of the targeted protein. My research will explore the effect of pore loop mutations on the shift […]

Olivia Nouriani

The notion of a “Great Replacement” and the Eurabia thesis are two Islamophobic conspiracy theories with similar roots and trajectories. They both articulate the fear that, with the support of European elites, Muslims are demographically replacing Europeans, threatening to extinguish “Western culture” and replace it with a global Islamic civilization. Circulation of these theories has accelerated since 2015, alongside a rise in white supremacist violence. The theories themselves are linked to Zionist political thought, but they build on long-standing antisemitic tropes, and have occasionally been taken up in service of antisemitism, especially in the United States. I will investigate the transit and resonances of these theories in Israel/Palestine and Turkey — two Middle Eastern contexts which are often imagined to exist along “civilizational fault lines” between the Muslim and Western worlds. My project explores how the Muslim- and Jewish-majority states situated along these purported “fault lines” respond to or latch […]