Tyler Shores

Tyler’s project will examine postmodern parody as a model of discourse, and will seek to account for parodys ubiquity in a specifically mass cultural context. Although parody is of course nothing new, there is something particularly of philosophical interest about postmodernist parody. By introducing the notion of subjectivity into the discussion, the focus will emphasize the more individual implications of postmodernist parodys effects, whereas much previous literature on the subject has tended to focus upon its ideological and political implications. The instances of parody which will be investigated will range from episodes of the long-running animated television series The Simpsons, while drawing upon the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Foucault, and Federico Fellini, among others. The Simpsons is also the subject of a book Tyler has begun work on, to which this project will contribute.

Joseph Paul Scalice

Joseph’s interest in the Philippines is the product of over 16 years of residency in Manila. Joseph will investigate the origin and ramifications of recent debates within the Philippine left over modes of production. Over the past 15 years, the left in the Philippines has fragmented into two broad camps: those that claim that the Philippine mode of production is semi-feudal, and those that claim it is capitalist. Joseph will conduct research in the Southeast Asian library at Cornell, read archived tracts, fliers, and circulars published by the various groups of the Philippine left, and in Manila, conduct interviews with the leaders of these groups. Joseph will focus particularly on the life and unpublished writings of a recently assassinated Trotskyite labor leader in the hopes of using his work as a lens for understanding the debates within the Philippine left.

Susana Evelyn Moreno

Latina domestic workers have come to form a pivotal role in the United States service sector, yet very little is known about their social, political and economic impact on society. Susana’s research seeks to find out how some Bay Area Latina domestic workers perceive their employment and their relations with their employers. Differences between these women’s cultures and that of their employers on issues such as parenting and family values will be identified and explored. The research will also investigate what actions these women take to cope with these differences. In addition, Susana’s research will also seek to find out how these women’s experiences have shaped their overall perceptions of the “American” family: what stereotypes and assumptions are created through their interactions? By providing a glimpse of these women’s experiences, Susana hopes to allow their voices to be heard.

Christopher David McCoy

Small-scale power generation (10-100W) for electronic devices is currently supplied by batteries. Unfortunately, specific energy [Whr/kg] and power [W/kg] are limited by battery technology. The U.C. Berkeley liquid hydrocarbon fueled, rotary engine power system provides a greener more efficient and higher powered solution. In this work, MEMS-based (Microelectromechanical Systems) carburetion system with integrated air flow and temperature sensing is developed for more efficient engine operation. Chris will use Solidworks, a 3-D modeling program for carburetor design, while Femlab, CFDRC, and ANSYS will be used to predict device behavior and optimize the designed components. Conical venturis, piezoresistive flow sensors, fuel microchannel networks and wheatstone bridge circuitry are the primary design components. The culmination of Chris’ research will result in a semiconductor fabrication process flow for innovative carburetor design.

Joen Madonna

Understanding landscapes as a representation of our culture is a part of the human experience. Although often unaware consciously of the way our buildings and streets shape our attitudes and opinions, the things seen and unseen have a profound effect on our perspective of the world around us. We think of public space as normalized and legal, yet the storefront medicinal cannabis clubs challenge our ideas of what is visible or invisible. These spaces, hidden in plain view, represent our political and social conflicts over power and permission in urban landscapes. Joen will investigate what this developing landscape represents to our collective culture, proposing that the ambiguous legality of marijuana use and distribution in the Bay Area is represented in the physical environment and location of cannabis clubs, and will compare this landscape to Amsterdams established and legal cannabis coffeehouses.

Daniel Elias Zoughbie

During a recent stay in the West Bank, Daniel identified a staggering diabetes problem with serious gaps in treatment delivery and diabetes education. Consequently, he intends to establish and document approximately twenty micro-clinics composed of small groups of Palestinian diabetics meeting in designated houses or businesses for the purpose of diabetes education, screening, treatment, and monitoring. The main innovation is that each micro-clinic will share the prohibitive cost of maintaining a glucose monitoring device — an instrument readily available in the U.S. but rarely used in underdeveloped areas. This will provide a first line of defense against the lethal complications of diabetes through shared access to frequent testing. Also using lectures, workshops, and group activities, the diabetes micro-clinics will be vehicles of empowerment, utilizing community support and creating public ownership so that the affected population can move toward improving health care.

Saul Wainwright

Since 1994 there has been an explosion of South African corporate investment into the rest of Africa. It is a unique brand of investment because it does not fit the traditional extractive type of investment seen in Africa. Instead, much of this investment is in the form of grocery stores, shopping malls, cell phones and banking. Saul will be exploring the motivations for these investments into what are typically high risk and unstable economies. One of the essential questions is why are the South African companies leading the charge? Saul will be researching the links between private capital and the governments rhetoric of African Renaissance in an effort to understand the relationship between government rhetoric and business investment decisions. He will be in South Africa and Mozambique for most of the summer, meeting and interviewing business members and government officials.

Christopher Jay van Belle

As a part of Steven Brenner’s lab, Chris will be analyzing a large set of novel sequences extracted from oceanic and other environmental microbes. Using computational methods such as Hidden Markov Model searches, he will compare novel environmental peptides to currently known peptides that are available in public databases like Ensembl, TIGR, and nr. Chris will help identify protein domains that are over- or under-represented in the ocean relative to the public datasets, as well as identify domains that may have crossed kingdom barriers. He will also investigate how these new data change our perception of protein space by, for example, illuminating biases that exist in currently available sequence datasets.

Mona Urbina

Mona’s proficiency as an environmental horticulturist and her interest in urban ecosystems led her to the Frankie lab, where she has been preparing pilot bee-gardens. Over time, urban sprawl has fragmented habitats necessary for the survival of California native bees and their natural host plants. Mona aims to document the most bee-attracting native plants to promote urban gardens that will provide new habitats and resources for native bees. She will survey bee-flower relationships at Mount Wanda at the John Muir National Monument (where exotic grasses are crowding out pollinator dependent plant species), and in ornamental native-plant urban bee-gardens, planted in the adjacent city of Martinez, CA, using standardized bee monitoring techniques. The product of her independent study research will be shared in workshops for the public, including agriculturalists, urban gardeners, and schools, for constructing effective and attractive native bee gardens.

Monica Deza

Previous research in the Economic field has found that immigrants’ social, economic, educational and family decisions differ depending on whether they come permanently or temporarily, with important effects on earnings and income. Other work has demonstrated the effects of immigrant parents’ education and income on their children’s future outcomes. However, there is a notable gap between these two literatures: Previous studies have largely ignored the impacts of immigrants’ return migration plans on their children’s future earnings and human capital. My objective with this research is to combine these two existing literatures in a project that analyzes the effect of first generation immigrants’ (parents) time horizons on the human capital acquisition decisions of second generation immigrants (children). I plan to extend previous research and explain how time horizons of parents at the time of migration will affect their children’s future income.