'You Aren't the First and You Won't be the Last': Unmarried Motherhood in Contemporary Rural Ireland

China Star : Anthropology

Mentor: Professor Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Anthropology

My research examines the changes in the prevalence of unmarried mothers in Ireland nearly a 20% between 1988 and 1999, the church and community response towards these women, and alternative interpretations of the lifestyles and demographics of single mothers. In recent years the response towards single parents has moved from one of social exclusion, condemnation towards one of outward acceptance and coping, a shift clearly influenced by the increasing prevalence of unmarried mothers and on account of moral condemnation of the alternatives of social exclusion of the mother and her child, adoption and abortion. Members of the clergy and other religious cite similar reasons for their own acceptance of single parents and for the Church’s changing attitude towards those who might have previously fallen outside the pale. I have chosen to focus on limited number of case studies and allowing for voices to be given to a few of the people who make up the statistics in an area which has received little attention in other research on the subject. Perhaps in light of this approach the women I worked with differ from those described in previous qualitative studies. The issues surrounding single parenthood in Ireland also lead to broader questions concerning the meanings of marriage, religion, sexuality and family in a rapidly changing society.

Exploring the Role of Polysialic Acid in Tumor Metastasis

John Weedin : Molecular and Cell Biology/History

Mentor: Professor Carolyn Bertozzi, Chemistry & MCB

A double major in Molecular & Cell Biology and History, John intends to investigate the function of polysialic acid (PSA) on the cellular membranes of cancer cells. Polysialic acid is a relatively long, negatively charged sugar polymer composed only of sialic acid monomers. While the role of polysialic acid in neural and fetal cells has been well studied, information regarding its role in tumor cells has not. John hypothesizes that the long molecule disrupts the cell-cell interactions that prevent uncontrolled cell division, allowing tumor cells to rapidly multiply and expand. By utilizing the techniques of organic chemistry and molecular biology, John hopes to elucidate the function and importance of polysialic acid in tumors. Collaborating with researchers at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, he hopes to show that the presence of polysialic acid helps cause cancer. If successful, further research on the inhibition of polysialic acid biosynthesis could lead to future cancer therapy.

Does the Cerebellum Contribute to the Synchronization of Information Processing: An Experimental Investigation of Current Theories on Schizophrenia

Paul Aparicio : Psychology

Mentor: Professor Richard Ivry, Psychology

Recent research has proposed that schizophrenia can best be understood as a problem in the way the brain synchronizes information and has located this deficit in abnormal cerebellar functioning. In order to increase our understanding of the unique relationship between cerebellar dysfunction and schizophrenia, Paul intends to test the hypothesis that the cerebellum is essential for the coordination of attention and temporal representation. Paul will conduct an experiment with neurological patients who exhibit focal lesions restricted to the cerebellum, in order to ascertain the extent to which the cerebellum contributes to the synchrony of mental processing. The completed project will be presented as his Senior Honor's Thesis in Psychology. 

The Consumption of Aloeswood and the Incense Culture of Japan

Krisa Fredrickson : Individual Major

Mentor: Professor Nelson Graburn, Anthropology

Krisa will travel this summer to Japan and Laos in order to explore the complex relationship between aesthetic and environmental practices through a case study of aloeswood, a highly valued ingredient in many Japanese incenses that is harvested in Southeast Asia. She plans to produce an ethnography of the incense culture of Japan and to explore the environmental impact of harvesting practices by the Lao suppliers of the raw material used by traditional incense arts practitioners. Krisa's research will serve as her Honors Thesis for her self-designed Individual Major in Ethnobotany, the study of cultural uses of plants. She also plans to document her research in audio-visual form in order to educate the broadest possible audience of artists, scientists and religious groups and to promote more ecologically sound production and consumption practices.

Rock Art in the Matopos: Interpretation, Impact and Identity

Rachel Faye Giraudo : Anthropology

Mentor: Professor Margaret Conkey, Anthropology

This summer, Rachel will travel to Matobo National Park in Zimbabwe to conduct a community-based study of rock art sites, dating from approximately 9,000 years ago when San hunter-gatherers painted images on rock shelters. Her goal is to develop a collaborative interpretation of the sites, through empirical research and qualitative interviews with local inhabitants, including Shona, Ndebele and white Zimbabweans. With the official endorsement and support of the museum that administers the sites, she will be well positioned to deepen our understanding of the effects of tourism and archaeological study on identity formation and nationalism in modern Zimbabwe. Her research will culminate in her Senior Anthropology Honors Thesis and in a multimedia module that will make her research more broadly accessible.

The World Seen Without a Self: The Epistemology of Unoccupied Perspectives in To the Lighthouse

Zachary David Gordon : English/Philosophy

Mentor: Professor Ann Banfield, English

Located at the nexus of linguistics, philosophy and literary studies, Zach's Senior Honors Thesis in English will examine Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, specifically to illuminate the relationship between the theory of knowledge inherent in the novel's syntax and the epistemological issues the novel thematizes. In order to understand Woolf's syntactic use of "unoccupied perspectives" in the "Time Passes" section of the novel, Zach will be making use of a relatively unexploited linguistic approach to looking at philosophical issues in Woolf's fiction. His project will not only deepen our understanding of epistemological concerns in To the Lighthouse, it will also demonstrate more broadly how linguistical methods can be productively incorporated into literary scholarship.

New Monopolist For the New Economy: The Case of Microsoft

Morgan Greene : Political Economy of Industrial Societies

Mentor: Professor Robert Berring, Boalt School of Law

Morgan's project will seek to address the timely question of whether the current body of antitrust law is adequate to ensure consumer welfare in the new technology-driven economy. Through extensive historical research, he will study how courts have interpreted the original antitrust statute through the decades focusing on representative cases. He will explore continuities and trends in the areas of judicial interpretation, economic theory and technological change that may help illuminate the current historical moment. He will then undertake a case study of the Microsoft antitrust trial, through intensive study of the trial record and interviews with key players in the high tech industry and the justice system. The resulting research paper will offer new insight into the prospects for successful regulation of the new economy.

Ethnographic Investigation into the Factors Contributing to Variation of Academic Achievement Among Hmong Students in a Central Valley High School

Leena Her : Anthropology/Psychology

Mentor: Professor Dan Perlstein, Education

The purpose of Leena's study is to identify factors which contribute to variation in the academic achievement of the Hmong, a relatively recent community of Asian American immigrants to California who first arrived in the mid-1970s as refugees from the Vietnam War. She will undertake a comparative ethnographic study of academically successful, college-bound Hmong students and students who are not academically successful at a high school in the Central Valley, where a large Hmong community has settled. Leena will be testing her hypothesis that, as descendants of refugees, Hmong share characteristics with other involuntary minorities such as African Americans and Latinos rather than voluntary minorities such as Chinese, Japanese and Koreans who are typically associated with the model minority stereotype of Asian Americans. She will submit her research as her Senior Honors Thesis in Anthropology and will share it with educators and community leaders in order to promote more effective educational policy for Southeast Asian immigrant communities.

Reactive Expressions: Deviance, Control & Erotic Desire in New York City, 1825-1875

Katherine Hijar : History

Mentor: Professor David Henkin, History

Katherine will travel to New York this summer to conduct archival research on visual and textual representations of women in the mid-nineteenth century. By examining images of sexual women and women in New York City's public spaces, she intends to extend our understanding of nineteenth century anxieties about urban crime, urban sexuality and ideals of moral conduct and bodily control. Utilizing a wide variety of archival sources, including illustrations of New York life found in engravings, ephemera and popular literature, as well as textual sources from the period, Katherine's Senior Honors Thesis in History promises to contribute to the intersecting fields of urban history, cultural history and gender studies.

Effects of C5 Protein on Interactions between RNase P Ribozyme and a Model mRNA Substrate

Umair Khan : Molecular and Cell Biology

Mentor: Professor Fenyong Liu, Public Health

For his Senior Honors Thesis in Molecular & Cell Biology, Umair will investigate the effects of a protein co-factor on the interactions between RNase P ribozyme and a model mRNA substrate. His research will deepen our understanding of how the protein co-factor affects the sequence-specific ribozyme's structure and activity as it cleaves an mRNA encoding thymidine kinase of herpes simplex virus 1. By revealing how the ribozyme interacts with the viral mRNA, Umair will provide insight into the engineering of sequence-specific ribozymes as antiviral therapeutic agents, with important applications for the treatment of infectious viral diseases.

Altering the Specificity of IDH by Directed Evolution

John Jin Kim : Molecular and Cell Biology

Mentor: Professor Daniel E. Koshland, Jr., MCB

John plans to alter the specificity of a well-characterized enzyme (IDH) from its natural substrate to a close relative (IPM) by using a process called directed evolution via random mutagenesis. Challenging a holy grail in biochemistry, John will attempt to change the specificity of the enzyme without losing its catalytic power. Although past attempts at rational protein design have produced only limited success, random mutagenesis is a promising new technique in which evolution that normally takes millions of years is compacted into a few months. John's research will lead to a better understanding of the features that are important in enzyme/substrate interactions and will enable future researchers to better engineer proteins that will have direct socially beneficial applications.

Biochemical Control of Fruit Ripening and Senescence

Sae Hee Ko : Chemistry

Mentor: Professor Jack Kirsch, MCB

Ethylene acts as a unique gaseous plant hormone that is essential for fruit ripening; it is also associated with a variety of aging processes in plants, known as senescence. Sae Hee intends to investigate how the key enzyme (ACC synthase) in the biosynthesis of ethylene functions in order to find an effective inhibitor of this enzyme, thereby providing a means for biochemical control of the fruit ripening and plant aging process. The resulting research will be presented as her Senior Honors Thesis in Chemistry and will have direct applications for the agricultural industry.

Enzyme Activation in Organic Solvents: Surfactant - Assisted Solubilization

Michael Yuehhsun Lee : Chemical Engineering

Mentor: Professor Douglas Clark, Chemical Engineering

Michael will investigate the catalytic activity of enzymes solubilized in organic solvents using a technique called surfactant-assisted hydrophobic ion pairing. By furthering our understanding of the factors that effect enzyme function in non-aqueous media, Michael's research will enable him to design a system whereby enzyme activity in such media is optimized. The results with have important practical applications in this novel branch of biotechnology. Michael plans to present his research at the National Meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers next year. 

Wearable Virtual Keyboard: Acceleration Sensing Glove

John Perng : Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Mentor: Professor Kristofer Pister, EECS

An Electrical Engineering and Computer Science major, John's research interests are in the rapidly exploding area of wearable computing, a rubric that includes palm pilots, pagers and cell phones. His goal is to design and improve a virtual keyboard for a personal electronic device called the Acceleration Sensing Glove. John has already designed a crude prototype of the glove, featured in Science News and Wired Magazine, that can be used as a mouse in a Microsoft Windows environment and can translate at least 64 different hand gestures into symbols. He plans to make the glove even more user-friendly by designing and integrating a MEMS accelerometer coupled with wireless data transmission and an analog-to-digital converter in an approximately 1/4 square-centimeter package, resulting in a fully functional virtual keyboard with 36 alpha-numerical keys. John proposes to test the glove's usability and effectiveness with human users, as well as to present his research at the 4th Annual International Symposium on Wearable Computing.

‘Their War’: The Perspectives of the South Vietnamese Military in American Literature and in Their Own Words

Hoai Nguyen (Julie) Pham : History

Mentor: Professor Peter Zinoman, History

For her Senior Honors Thesis in History, Julie proposes to investigate an under-researched aspect of the Vietnam War: the perspective of former members of the lower and middle echelons of the South Vietnamese military. She proposes first to examine the written record of the war, including print media, scholarly works, fiction and memoirs, to examine how American writers have portrayed the South Vietnamese military. She will then compare these depictions against self-representations culled from qualitative interviews conducted with former South Vietnamese military members in San Jose, home to the second largest Vietnamese American community, and in Seattle, where she has already completed a pilot study. Julie's research will introduce an overlooked viewpoint into a heavily researched field, as well as help us to understand what this significant omission reveals about our historical understanding of the Vietnam War.

Heroes or Traitors: The Twisted History of a French Newspaper in the German Occupation and After

Paul Sager : History

Mentor: Professor Susanna Barrows, History

La Petite Gironde, based in Bordeaux, France, was one of that country's top regional newspapers from the 1860s to World War II. When the Germans occupied the country in 1940, all of France's media fell under their control. Newspapers were the most visible expression of French collaboration with Nazi power.  La Petite Gironde was no exception. At the moment of Liberation, in 1944, De Gaulle's new regime was supposed to have rid the country of these symbols of infamy and replaced them with newspapers emerging from the Resistance.  La Petite Gironde escaped its untimely end by changing its name and maneuvering through a succession of legal and political obstacles that ought to have stopped it. Today, as Sud Ouest, this daily paper continues as the most important media power in southwestern France, and proudly recalls its origins in the resistance. Yet its claims to resistance have been largely proven unfounded in the related 1999 conviction in Bordeaux of Maurice Papon for crimes against humanity. Based on a large number of documents collected from both public and private archives in Bordeaux in the summer of 2001, I will write two theses in Fall 2000 and Spring 2001 that unravel this vexed subject.  

The Social Stratification of Language: A Comparative Analysis of American Indian English Among the Wintun and Kumeyaay

Ariana-Bree Stamper-Gimbar : Linguistics/Native American Studies Major

Mentor: Professor Richard Rhodes, Linguistics

A double major in Linguistics and Native American Studies, Bree will study the social stratification of American Indian English, a single dialect of English that is shared by Native Americans of very different backgrounds across the United States and Canada. Indian English shows parallels to Ebonics, but has been poorly researched by comparison. Bree proposes to investigate the sociolinguistic variation of American Indian English among Wintun and Kumeyaay tribal members within the tribally owned casinos of Cache Creek, Sycuan and Viejas in California, in order to investigate how speech communities are impacted by Indian gaming. The resulting research will be presented as her Senior Honors Thesis in Linguistics.

Consensual Executions: Death Row Inmates Who ‘Volunteer’ to Die

Monica Swanson : Social Welfare/Political Science

Mentor: Professor Franklin Zimring, Boalt Law School

Monica will study the little understood phenomenon of "death row volunteers," inmates who give up the appeal process and "volunteer" to be executed. Seventy such "volunteers" have been executed since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. In order to test existing theories about this group and to propose her own, Monica will use a mixed research design, beginning with statistical analysis and supplementing it with case studies and qualitative interviews with defense attorneys and other researchers. She will travel to New York to meet with staff members at "Death Row USA," which keep the most comprehensive data sets on volunteers in the country, as well as with leading death penalty experts at the Columbia Law School. The resulting research will be presented as her Senior Honors Thesis in Social Welfare. 

No One Belongs Here More Than You: Creating an Image of Israel for Tourists and Pilgrims

Marc Wolf : History

Mentor: Professor Nelson Graburn, Anthropology

Marc's interdisciplinary interest in the phenomenon of Israeli tourism in the millennial year is informed by religious studies, marketing, and the anthropology of tourism, as well as his history major. He will undertake a comparative analysis of how Israel uses its Ministry of Tourism to create a range of images in order to market itself to Jewish, Christian, and Muslim pilgrims, as well as secular tourists as an "official destination of the millennium." Marc plans to travel to Israel this summer to interview officials in the Ministry of Tourism and to compile and analyze data from Ministry of Tourism documents. By exploring some of the paradoxes created by Israel's need to protect its identity as a Jewish state and , simultaneously, to attract international dollars and good will through tourism, he will make a significant contribution to the burgeoning field of tourism research. 

The Politics of Repression and the Arts of Subversion: Contemporary Theater in Iran

Leila Yavari : Political Science

Mentor: Professor D. Paul Thomas, Political Science

Leila will travel to Iran this summer to research Iranian theater, in order to assess the extent to which live theatrical performances offer a location for the subversion of censorship laws--and with what repercussions. She will be investigating censorship guidelines, analyzing scripts, observing performances, attending theater classes at the University of Azad, and interviewing students, directors, actors and playwrights. Leila's project is a particularly timely one, because of the new movement toward political reform in Iran and the resulting opening of academic exchange opportunities with the United States. Her research, which she will present as her Senior Honors Thesis in Political Science, will provide new insight into the political significance of theater in a post-Revolutionary society.

Negotiating Female Film Fandom, 1910-1940

Shirley Ye : History

Mentor: Professor David Henkin, History

Shirley will investigate how early female movie fans interacted with film celebrities between the years 1910 and 1940, the formative years of film practice in Hollywood. Traveling to New York and Los Angeles this summer, Shirley will examine early fan letters, publications and other artifacts housed at archives, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Although feminist scholars have given much attention to the theoretical aspects of female spectatorship, fan interaction with celebrity culture has too often been overlooked. At the intersection of film studies, gender studies and popular culture, Shirley's research has the dual potential to contribute to our historical understanding of early spectatorship and to our present-day participation in mass culture. The resulting interdisciplinary study will be presented as her Senior Honor's Thesis in History. 

Direct Measurement of Time Reversal Symmetry Violation in a P-wave Superconductor

Thomas Yuzvinsky : Physics/Math

Mentor: Professor J.C. Seamus Davis, Physics

Which way does time flow? Could time really be flowing backwards, and our perception of time passing forward be purely a matter of perspective? Physical phenomena that are asymmetric under time reversal have shown that time must flow forwards, and the discovery of such phenomena in different environments opens the door for new experiments and a better understanding of the nature of the universe. By directly observing the intrinsic angular momentum of a high-quality sample of strontium ruthenate crystals, Tom intends to demonstrate time reversal symmetry breaking (T-violation) in a macroscopic quantum system, confirming the existence of an as-of-yet undiscovered but theoretically predicted p-wave superconductor. Such a direct observation will allow for many new experiments, including the quantum mechanical interference of two macroscopic systems that violate time reversal symmetry. The resulting research will be presented as his Senior Honors Thesis in Physics. 

The Role of Cellular MicroRNAs in CMV Infection: Identification of MicroRNA Targets and Downstream Effects Using SILAC and Mass Spectrometry

Marissa Herrman : Molecular and Cell Biology

Mentor: Fenyong Liu, Public Health

Since their discovery in 1993, microRNAs (miRNAs) have become an area of active research and are currently believed to rival transcriptional regulation as a means of controlling messenger RNA levels and ultimately protein production within a cell. In response to viral infection, the cellular miRNA profile shifts to regulate specific protein levels and combat infection. Cellular miRNA mir-7 has been shown to be significantly upregulated following infection with Cytomegalovirus, a beta-herpes virus present in up to 80% of the population. However the messenger RNA target and effects on protein levels have yet to be elucidated. In her research, Marissa will use mass spectrometry to monitor protein level changes after overexpression of miR-7 to identify potential messenger RNA targets and downstream molecular pathway effects and their role in Cytomegalovirus infection.

A 'Supreme Goddess' in the Making: The Evolution of Tara in Indian Buddhist Sculpture, ca. 5-8th centuries CE

Hillary Langberg : History of Art / South and Southeast Asian Studies

Mentor: Joanna Williams, History of Art

Hillary's research will take her to the states of Maharashtra and Orissa in central India, to the ancient Buddhist sites of Kanheri, Ellora, Aurangabad, and Ratnagiri, among others, where the earliest relief sculptures of Tara remain in situ. In tracking the early evolution Tara's form, Hillary's project will examine how the goddess is increasingly incorporated into Buddhist practice in the 5th-8th centuries CE. As Tara eventually becomes the most significant female figure in Buddhism with the rise of the Vajrayana (Tantric) school, Hillary's study asks, can these works of relief sculpture - as visual texts - tell us as much as the written word about developing Vajrayana ritual technology? An examination into the origin and early evolution of Tara in Buddhist art, she hopes, will contribute to a better understanding of how and when Tantric Buddhism developed in India (and what it looked like).

Re-telling Retail: The Intersection of High-Tech Products and Low-Wage Service Work

Annie Lin : Sociology / Public Policy

Mentor: Michael Burawoy, Sociology

Past research on the service sector indicates that workers often suffer from negative psychological consequences when forced by their managers to be friendly. Workers, workers' rights advocates, businesspeople, and scholars alike have therefore searched for ways to set up the work environment such that workers will be friendly even without management coercion. Taking this search effort into an under-researched sector, Annie will join electronics retail teams this summer to examine how companies' encouragement of relationship-building between employees and customers affects employees' likelihood of providing "voluntary" friendliness. Annie will sell electronic gadgets and give tutorials of computers while conducting ethnographic research and in-depth interviews.

Hidden but Not Forgotten: The Potential of Raising the Life-Chances of Environmental Refugee Women through Grassroots Non-Governmental Organizations

Nathan Menard : Sociology

Mentor: Thomas Gold, Sociology

Lying hidden between the better discussed consequences of environmental degradation and destruction of the 21st century is an equal pressing issue that is receiving little attention: environmental refugee women. Grassroots Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have recently begun making concerted efforts to address issues of environmental refugee women, yet little research has been done to assess their effectiveness. Nathen's research will address this gap in knowledge by engaging with NGOs in China, India, and Nicaragua. Nathen will spend time in the field observing the NGO and their projects and also conducting in-depth interviews with NGO personnel and NGO project participants. He hopes that the findings of this research provide policy makers, donors, and environmental NGOs and their participants with the knowledge necessary to address these issues more effectively.

The Ottoman Empire's Religious and Political Relationship with Afghanistan during the Early 20th Century

Hakeem Naim : Middle Eastern Studies

Mentor: Hamid Algar, Near Eastern Studies

It is well known that the Ottoman Empire had deep influence in the Middle East and South East Europe for many centuries. However, the Ottoman impact on Afghanistan, especially in the late 19th and early 20th century, is less commonly acknowledged despite its relevance to our understanding of contemporary problems in the region. To fill this void, Hakeem will study the relationship between the Ottoman Empire and Afghanistan, in which Islam was used as a political tool. Hakeem will conduct research in both Turkey and Afghanistan in order to examine documents, letters, and declassified information from various archives and libraries. His study will culminate in an analysis of the historical, cultural, political and religious concepts within the understanding of the Ottoman and Afghans in the early 20th century.

Courting Rhetoric: The Poetics of Erotic Logos at the Platonic Origins of Philosophy

Valerie Nguyen : Philosophy / Rhetoric

Mentor: Daniel Boyarin, Rhetoric and Near Eastern Studies

Through an attempt to gain a sense of the significance of Plato's extensive discussions concerning the nature of language, this study undertakes to understand how the dialectical representation of rhetoric and the regulation of sophistic epistemologies specifically play into securing the institutionalization of philosophy. Foregrounding the particular role of the sophist Gorgias, both as a recurrent figure in the Platonic dialogues and as a thinker in his own right, in establishing the disciplinary identity of philosophy, Valerie will set out to show how understanding Gorgias' Encomium of Helen as the paradeigma of sophistic speech grants us the means of critically engaging the metaphorics of desire and sexual subjugation that Plato himself brings into play in legislating the conditions for the realization of the philosopher and the legitimization of philosophy as the authentic 'logos', among other forms of discourse.

By reading the epistemic entailments of rhetoric's discursive abduction through the political entailments of Helen's sexual abduction and subsequent condemnation within Homeric myth, and drawing from the insights of Andrea Nightingale, Mikhail Bakhtin, Martin Heidegger and Pierre Bourdieu, among others, Valerie will venture a new way of understanding the Platonic corpus, wherein philosophy is a kind of seduction; Helen, a violence on the level of language; and the Encomium, a work of tremendous significance, though overwhelmingly dismissed as "mere play" and sophistry in the tellingly pejorative sense.

Nanowire Solar Cells

Ali Rathore : Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Mentor: Ali Javey, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

The resurgent interest in renewable energy within recent years has confirmed that solar energy conversion will be key to the global energy economy. However, the vast majority of modern commercial photovoltaic technology is based on expensive single crystalline silicon and does not provide a practical solution for a sustainable energy infrastructure. Modern research in thin film and nanostructure photovoltaics has been motivated by the requirement of low cost and robust fabrication techniques. Ali will be employing novel fabrication procedures to grow high density arrays of vertical nanowires in order produce cheap and durable solar cells. The objective is to exploit recent advances in applied physics, chemistry, and material science to produce inexpensive yet efficient photovoltaics with potential to stimulate further progress towards the goal of a clean, renewable energy source.

Fostering Pro-social Behavior: Emotional, Non-verbal, Vocal Cues and the Vagus Nerve

Gregg Sparkman : Psychology/Anthropology

Mentor: Dacher Keltner, Psychology

While navigating the world, we must discover if either we need to prioritize ourselves first, as others will, so that we may succeed, or if people will be there for us so that we may likewise be able to support others. Gregg's project will explore this decisive process by focusing on whether pro-social vocal bursts, like a compassionate 'aww,' will lead individuals to behave more pro-socially in socio-economic games. The study asks if emotional, non-word cues observed in the general social environment will cause similar cooperative (or competitive) behaviors and a physiological change accompanying this disposition. The impact of something smaller than a word on socio-economic behavior could illuminate the significance and spectrum of conveyed emotions, contributing to and bridging the growing literature on pro-social emotions, physiology, and behavior.

Dispersal Behavior of the Bed Bug Cimex lectularus to Control-Related Exposures

James Suchy : Public Health

Mentor: Vernard Lewis, Environmental Science, Policy,and Management

Within the past decade, bed bugs have made a startling reemergence in major cities throughout the developed world. Some attribute this epidemic to increasing international travel and trade, evolved pesticide resistance among bed bugs, and the banning of highly lethal chemicals, such as DDT. Nevertheless, these current conditions necessitate the creation of new, environmentally friendlier, pest-control strategies. The dispersal ecology of bed bugs is poorly understood. Studying their response to various forms of stimulation would reveal information about their behavior that could be utilized in controlling infestations. James will monitor the behavior response of bed bugs to three forms of environmental stimulation: aggregation pheromone, human perspiration, and heat. To further assess real-world application, James will work with laboratory and wild bed bug strains in both a lab and household environment.

Social Perceptions and Attitudes about the Revitalization of Cauchois, a Dialect Spoken in Seine-Maritime (Haute-Normandie, France)

Marie Thuillier : Linguistics

Mentor: Gary Holland, Linguistics

In July 2008, the French government finally listed Cauchois, the Norman dialect spoken in Seine Maritime, as an official language of France. Until then, the very existence of a Norman language, and hence of Cauchois had been denied. Similarly, many speakers of the dialect have often and inaccurately defined the language as either "dead" or as a non-standard version of French. In recent years, however, diverse social groups have actively reclaimed and promoted Cauchois. Marie's research will investigate the discourses and strategies used by different groups to either reject or support the recognition and preservation of Cauchois. It will further investigate the attitudes of Cauchois users from different socioeconomic backgrounds. The latter are from the Jumièges Loop, a small Cauchois-speaking area in the Northern part of the Seine Valley.

Finding the Lost Generation: Material Culture, Women, and UC Berkeley in the 1920s

Anthony Vasquez : Anthropology

Mentor: Laurie Wilkie, Anthropology

During the summer Anthony will be excavating an archaeological site near the UC Berkeley campus that was designated as female student housing from the 1920s to mid 1940s. Using both material culture collected during excavation and archival documents, Anthony will do a comparative study between the lives of male and female UC Berkeley students of the time period. Sites associated with Zeta Psi, the first fraternity in California, have already been excavated, providing Anthony a wealth of information on all-male living situations. Finding archaeological data on all-female situations is not as easy. Anthony hopes the excavation will unearth clues as to how female Cal students were maneuvering through a patriarchal society at a time when gender roles were in flux.

Does Social Status Impact Mental Health?

Vanessa Voss : Integrative Biology

Mentor: Darlene Francis, Psychology

The goal of this project is to expand our understanding of the role social status plays in the etiology of depression. In humans, there is a strong inverse relationship between social status and depression. Those at the top of their social hierarchy experience less depression compared to those at the bottom. Our laboratory has developed a basic animal model which will allow us to explore the causal relationships between social status and depression. Vanessa will be tracking rats before, during and after hierarchy formation to determine which comes first, the social rank or the depression profiles. Her work will culminate in a psychology senior honors thesis and significantly advance our understanding of the complex nature of social status and mental health.

Can Kangaroo Rats Reason? An Inquiry into the Ecology of Logical Inference

Melissa M. Adams :

Mentor: Professor Lucy Jacobs, Psychology

Through a series of carefully designed experiments with Kangaroo Rats (Dipotomys mirriami), Melissa's Cognitive Science Senior Honors Thesis will test her hypothesis that these rodents' capacity to perform "transitive inference" tasks constitutes true reasoning and relies on the same neural structures as less abstract forms of reasoning. A long history of philosophical thought views human reason as unique in and apart from nature. In contrast, evolutionary theory suggests that our reasoning abilities are based on the requirements of the natural environment in which they evolved and, furthermore, that there should be a continuity between our capacities and those of other animals. By increasing our understanding of the neural basis of logic in Kangaroo Rats, Melissa's project will contribute to illuminating our broader understanding of the nature of cognition.

Pages