Launch! A celebration of the UCSC student experience

Thank you for attending Launch! A celebration of the UCSC student experience. The event, with its strolling dinner and student interactions, followed by a keynote and reception, was something new for us—its previous incarnation was Scholarship Benefit Dinner.

We hope you found the evening both entertaining and educational, and that you had meaningful interactions with the exceptional student presenters.


SUPPORT OUR STUDENT PROJECTS

  • Stomach sleuthing

    Student: Sindy Ramirez | College: Oakes '15

    Studying the mechanics of a bacterium that causes stomach issues such as ulcers, cancer, and gastritis.

    Identifying the characteristics of TLPD, a soluble protein crucial to Helicobacter Pylori. H. Pylori is a bacterium that causes stomach issues such as ulcers, cancer, and gastritis.

    For more information or questions contact:
    Khaatim J. Boyd | Email | 831-459-1527

    ❱ Support Oakes College

  • Simulating gas evolution in globular clusters

    Student: Melinda Soares-Furtado | College: College 9 fall '14

    Using simulations to explore the gas dynamics in massive clusters of stars to determine why they have less gas and dust than predicted.

    Computational simulations are invaluable laboratories in the field of astrophysics, allowing scientists to probe the underlying mechanisms that give rise to a robust variety of observations. My research relies on such simulations to explore the gas dynamics in massive clusters of stars in an effort to determine why observations reveal far less gas and dust within these environments than predicted. What exactly is sweeping away all that material from these clusters of stars?

    http://cargo.ucsc.edu/msoares/Home.html

    For more information or questions contact:
    Khaatim J. Boyd | Email | 831-459-1527

    ❱ Support Astronomy & Astrophysics

  • Observational astronomy using polarimetry

    Student: Larissa Nofi | College: Crown '13

    Observing astronomical targets with a polarimeter, which detects the polarization of light and informs us of how the light is scattered.

    I am working within the Astronomy and Astrophysics department observing astronomical targets at Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton (outside San Jose), using both the -meter and 3-meter telescopes. We observe with a polarimeter, which detects the polarization of light and informs us of how the light is scattered. We can determine properties of the objects based on this polarization of light. We study a wide range of targets including remnants of dead stars (including a supernova, a black hole, and a white dwarf), planets in our Solar System and beyond (extrasolar planets), and stars with disks of material around them (a Be star and eclipsing binary star systems). The main project I am working on at this time is attempting to determine the mass of the black hole, Cygnus X-1, from the polarization of the light reflecting off the disk of material around the black hole.

    For more information or questions contact:
    Khaatim J. Boyd | Email | 831-459-1527

    ❱ Support Astronomy & Astrophysics

  • Protecting marine resources

    Student: Sara Cannon | College: College 10 '14

    Helping communities from the Ulithi Atoll, a remote atoll in Micronesia, find ways to protect their marine resources.

    I am part of Professor Giacomo Bernardi's team working to collect environmental data, meet with local communities, and create educational materials and science curriculum in the Ulithi Atoll and Yap State of the Federated States of Micronesia.

    For more information or questions contact:
    Rebecca J. Zeilon | Email | 831-459-4240

    ❱ Support Physical & Biological Sciences

  • Seagrasses: providing ecosystem services

    Student: Angela Quiros | College: Graduate '14

    Investigating optimal environments for seagrass, which protects shorelines, filters coastal waters, and supports diverse ecological communities.

    In order to curb the damage done to marine ecosystems by growing coastal populations in developing countries, I will investigate optimal terrestrial and marine environments for seagrass - which acts to protect shorelines, filter coastal waters, and support diverse ecological communities. The establishment of protected areas for seagrass near large population centers could improve overall ecosystem health and conserve biodiversity.

    For more information or questions contact:
    Rebecca J. Zeilon | Email | 831-459-4240

    ❱ Support Physical & Biological Sciences

  • Modeling early events in cortical development

    Student: Andrea Reyes-Ortiz | College: College Eight '14

    Generating induced pluripotent stem cells from great apes to understand early brain development in both humans and primates.

    Pluripotent stem cells allow us to model early developmental events for human and non-human primate tissues that are generally inaccessible for experimental manipulation. To generate induced pluripotent stem cells from great apes, we are reprogramming fibroblast cells isolated from animals at the San Diego zoo and obtained from their Frozen Zoo collection by introducing proteins previously shown to reprogram human fibroblast cells. Comparing cortical neuron development between human and ape cells will allow us to identify the molecular basis of conserved and human-specific features of this process.

    For more information or questions contact:
    Branwyn Stewart Wagman | Email | 831-459-3077

    ❱ Support College Eight

  • Synthesis and Comparison of two tripodal ligands bearing nitrogen and fulfur donors and their condition with low valent metal

    Student: Jose Martinez | College: Oakes '14

    Researching controlled carbon monoxide delivery for therapeutic use.

    Following the discovery that carbon monoxide (CO) actually has many beneficial properties in low doses and is produced naturally in the body, our research group intends to synthesize and analyze two photoactive CO-releasing molecules as potential methods of controlled CO delivery for therapeutic use.

    For more information or questions contact:
    Rebecca J. Zeilon | Email | 831-459-4240

    ❱ Support Physical & Biological Sciences

  • The Gail Project

    Students: Madeline Thompson (Porter '14), Trevor Stober (Kresge '14), Daniel Cook (Cowell '15), Helen Porter (Kresge '14)

    A collaborative, international public history project exploring the founding years of the American military occupation of Okinawa.

    The Gail Project is a collaborative, international public history project exploring the founding years of the American military occupation of Okinawa. The project is inspired by a collection of photographs taken in Okinawa in 1952 by an American Army Captain and dentist named Charles Eugene Gail. The photographs show a deeply human side of the postwar Okinawan experience, as well as offering viewers a glimpse into a landscape that has since been radically changed by the expansion of the US military bases on Okinawa. Our project seeks to raise awareness and open a trans-Pacific dialogue about the postwar US military presence on Okinawa by creating an exhibition of the photographs accompanied by the students' research.

    For more information or questions contact:
    Khaatim J. Boyd | Email | 831-459-1527

    ❱ Support Humanities Undergraduate

  • Person-animacy constraints in Chamorro –TABLE 5

    Student: Scarlett Clothier Goldschmidt | College: Porter '14 (undergrad); master's '15

    Researching an aspect of the syntax of Chamorro, an endangered Austronesian language.

    My project is titled "Person-Animacy Constraints in Chamorro: A Translation Approach."

    My research is concerned with an aspect of the syntax of Chamorro, an endangered Austronesian language. Essentially, I am looking at sentences like the following:

    "He likes you"

    In Chamorro, it is claimed that this sentence would have to be translated as:

    "You are liked by him"

    This is because of what is known as person-animacy hierarchy effects--because 2nd person > 3rd person, "you" wants to be in subject position.

    The problem is that these effects are subtle and difficult to elicit in field studies. Thus, I am investigating this with corpus research. My corpus is the text of the Chamorro New Testament because (a) it's well-organized and easy to find things in and (b) it was translated by a native speaker.

    I wrote a program to locate certain constructions in the English New Testament, annotated them for features, and looked at the frequency that Chamorro translations would violate the person-animacy hierarchy. Out of 40 tokens, none were translated in a violating way, making it seem that this property is not just claimed, but is indeed a grammatical constraint.

    Why is this interesting? My advisors are working on an NSF project looking at psycholinguistic issues in Chamorro. Understudied languages like Chamorro can give us insights into the principles of human language because they have properties not represented in the current body of psycholinguistic research.

    For more information or questions contact:
    Khaatim J. Boyd | Email | 831-459-1527

    ❱ Support Porter College

  • Library students: yellow vest outreach

    Students: Monica Calsbeek, Trio Harris | College: Porter '16

    Sporting eye-catching slug-yellow vests and equipped with mobile devices, the University Library's enthusiastic crew of dedicated roving information student assistants deliver library and campus info.

    The University Library's enthusiastic crew of dedicated Roving Information student assistants deliver point-of-need assistance with:

    1. Basic research strategies
    2. Understanding call numbers
    3. Finding material in the stacks
    4. Using the library catalog to find books and journals
    5. Using the library website
    6. Using UC-eLinks
    7. Navigating the library buildings
    8. Booking group study rooms
    9. Finding general campus information

    For more information or questions contact:
    Ethan A. Henderson | Email | 831-459-5870

    ❱ Support UCSC Library

  • Editor in chief of Scientific Slug

    Student: Nick Lounsbury | Cowell '14

    Scientific Slug magazine is developed and produced by undergraduate students interested in sharing their love of science with the broader UCSC community.

    Staff includes students from Engineering, Physical and Biological Sciences, Social Sciences, and Art. They are advised by Rob Irion, Director of the Science Communication program

    For more information or questions contact:
    Rebecca J. Zeilon | Email | 831-459-4240

    ❱ Support Physical & Biological Sciences

  • Stormwater runoff and capture for groundwater recharge

    Student: Ryan Harmon | College Eight '14

    An analysis of the surface hydrologic properties and conditions in Pajaro Valley using geographic information system to assess the potential for managed aquifer recharge.

    Staff includes students from Engineering, Physical and Biological Sciences, Social Sciences, and Art. They are advised by Rob Irion, Director of the Science Communication program.

    For more information or questions contact:
    Rebecca J. Zeilon | Email | 831-459-4240

    ❱ Support Physical & Biological Sciences

  • Wildfires and contaminants

    Student: Kingsley Odigie | Graduate '14

    Investigating the impacts of wildfires on the release and transport of contaminants in the environment.

    This research investigated the impacts of wildfires on the release and transport of contaminants in the environment. The results demonstrated that high levels of contaminants (e.g., lead) are released in more labile forms by wildfires.

    ❱ Support Graduate Division

  • Eugenics in the classroom

    Student: David Palter | Graduate '14

    Studying eugenic psychometric tests administered by Stanford University to students of Chinese and Japanese ancestry in California public schools in the 1920s.

    At the peak of California's anti-Asian immigrant movement in the 1920s, psychologists at Stanford University administered thousands of eugenic psychometric tests--tests of memory, of "general intelligence," of personality traits, even of "aesthetic appreciation" and musical ability--to students of Chinese and Japanese ancestry in California public schools. My dissertation looks at the ways that these psychologists, as well as nativist organizations, immigrants and their supporters employed psychometric testing to augment their social status and further their political objectives.In broad terms, my dissertation is about strange bedfellows, and about the power of science to legitimate ideology. The first chapter, for instance, looks at Stanford psychologist Lewis Terman's largest single study of Japanese-American children (1921-1924). When I followed the money, I found that Terman's chief sponsor was in fact a Japanese immigrant advocacy organization, the Japanese Association of America (JAA). Though Terman was a noted white supremacist, and a board member of the Eugenics Committee of the U.S.A., an organization committed to immigrant exclusion, the Japanese Association of America provided $10,000 to fund Terman's project in full, and campaigned for the support of the parents whose children were to be tested. Why did the JAA work with Terman? Both parties accepted what I call in the dissertation the race paradigm--the idea that the world’s population could be defined and hierarchically ordered by race--and adhered to the then widely-held notion that psychological testing promised a true measurement of the intelligence and behavioral characteristics of a racially defined group. Throughout the dissertation, I focus on relationships like the one between Terman and the JAA in order to complicate our understanding of the way eugenics actually functioned in the U.S. before World War II, and to help us remember that eugenic technologies were once so pervasive that they compelled the investment of those they were designed to marginalize.

    ❱ Support Graduate Division

  • Infant Development Lab

    Student: Maddy Spencer

    Performing studies exploring how infants learn and when they reach different stages of development, as well as the role of technology in the lives of young children.

    For more information or questions contact:
    Jennifer Graham | Email | 831-459-3689

    ❱ Support Social Sciences

  • Cowell Lime Works Archaeological Internship

    Students: Jacquie Prescott-Frazier (Merrill '14), Stephen Hennek (Cowell ’14)

    Giving students the opportunity to apply skills they have learned in the classroom to a real archaeological dig. The Cowell Lime Works Archaeological Internship gives students the opportunity to apply skills they have learned and in the process, learn about Santa Cruz's rich history.

    Archaeology Internship

    For more information or questions contact:
    Jennifer Graham | Email | 831-459-3689

    ❱ Support Cowell Lime Works

  • Center for Integrated Spatial Research (CISR)

    Student: Aaron Cole | Porter '14

    Geographic information system development, analysis, and project management, and cartographic design for graduate students, faculty, and external agencies.

    Student: Parker Welch| College Eight - 2012

    Building a GIS database for the UCSC campus and redesigning UCSC campus map. Updated GIS database for Santa Clara County Fire Department. Designed a campus sustainability map for the UCSC Sustainability Office.

    For more information or questions contact:
    Jennifer Graham | Email | 831-459-3689

    ❱ Support GIS/ISC Lab in Social Sciences

  • Cicatrices: A collective body of trauma

    Student: Dominic Romano | Porter '15

    Research on work by Lebanese artists and their representations of war-related trauma.

    My work on this project consists of a written thesis and self-produced experimental documentary informed by my research on narrative, documentary, video, and installation work by Lebanese artists and their representations of war-related trauma. In closely examining individual artists and the collective visual culture they contribute to, I engage with traumatic experiences in their many incarnations, and consider my own otherness (distance) in the process.

    For more information or questions contact:
    Katie Robinson | Email | 831-459-2439

    ❱ Support Arts Excellence Fund

  • Transfluent Orchestra

    Student: Nathan Ober

    A sound installation composed of traditional Hindu and Buddhist instruments mechanized to perform with or without human interaction.

    The Transfluent Orchestra is a sound installation composed of traditional Hindu and Buddhist instruments mechanized to perform with or without human interaction. It has been exhibited as an independent sound piece that can play on its own, and is also used for live performance.

    For more information or questions contact:
    Katie Robinson | Email | 831-459-2439

    » Support Arts Excellence Fund

  • Coffee

    Student: Deirdra "Squinky" Kiai

    "A Misunderstanding" is an interactive theatre performance exploring geek culture, the blurring relationships between artists and fans, and gender expectations.

    "A Misunderstanding” is an intentionally-awkward, computer-assisted interactive theatre performance touching on themes of contemporary geek culture, the blurring relationships between artists and fans, and the difficulty some have in living up to gender expectations. It concerns two internet acquaintances, named Artemis and Zeff, who meet in person for the first time during a fan convention, and find that their expectations regarding the other person do not necessarily align with reality.

    For more information or questions contact:
    Katie Robinson | Email | 831-459-2439

    ❱ Support Arts Excellence Fund

  • Silent film in early Santa Cruz County

    Student: Seth Crumrine | Merrill '14

    A website exploring the more than 80 films made in Santa Cruz and the surrounding mountain towns before 1926.

    My project is a website detailing the history of silent film in early Santa Cruz County. Over 80 films were made in Santa Cruz and the surrounding mountain towns before 1926, and my website explores some of the significant people and places involved in this amazing time in our community history. This website was designed to engage both UCSC students and SC locals in navigating this lost history.

    For more information or questions contact:
    Katie Robinson | Email | 831-459-2439

    ❱ Support Arts Excellence Fund

  • Field research in Cambodia

    Student: Colin Mendez | Cowell '14

    Looped slideshow of images taken in Cambodia with accompany discussion of my research on king Jayavarman VII, the trip, and opportunities UCSC provided to accomplish the field research.

    For more information or questions contact:
    Katie Robinson | Email | 831-459-2439

    ❱ Support Cowell College

  • A full-scale diorama of the Pacific Ocean

    Student: Richard Vallejos | College Nine '14

    An interactive sculptural installation that puts the visitor at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean by modeling the topography of the seafloor, at full-scale, 25 square feet at a time.

    For more information or questions contact:
    Katie Robinson | Email | 831-459-2439

    ❱ Support Arts Excellence Fund

  • BubbleCoup

    Students: Brian Vallelunga (Merrill ’17), Ronnie Wilcox (Stevenson ‘17), Jashan Dhillon (Stevenson ’15)

    With BubbleCoup, businesses will be able to advertise themselves, connect with their consumers, and also promote deals. This system allows for an approach to consumerism that has never been done before: with a dedicated networking platform for businesses.

    For more information or questions contact:
    Tim Bensch | Email | 408-712-5901

    ❱ Support Jack Baskin School of Engineering