Israeli Water Policies and their Effects on West Bank Palestinians

Water is crucial to human existence and critical to social and economic development. What happens when this vital resource becomes enmeshed in a violent geo-political struggle? Israel has occupied the West Bank for thirty-seven years, maintaining control over West Bank water resources. Israel’s water infrastructure and technology are far more advanced than that of the Palestinians, which would seemingly benefit the latter. However the Palestinians and many in the international community argue otherwise. They argue that these policies are restrictive and prohibit Palestinian socio-economic development. Carrie’s project will take her to the West Bank this summer, where she will conduct archival research as well as interview Palestinian water administrators and users and Israeli water authorities. She seeks to examine the costs and benefits associated with Israeli water policies and analyze their effects on socio-economic development within the West Bank.

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Humanities

The Existential/Canonical Alternation in Brazilian Portuguese: A Perspective from Optimality Theory

There are strong indications that the factors influencing the alternation between existential (“There’s a book on the table”) and canonical (“A book is on the table”) constructions might be the same cross-linguistically; for example, existentials across languages exhibit the definiteness effect: indefinite Noun Phrases are preferred in pivot (post-verbal) position. Mikkelsen (2002) proposes that the effect is a consequence of constraints governing the subject position. Since the definiteness effect can be overridden, she suggests an analysis within the Optimality Theory framework to model constraint interaction relative to a hierarchy of constraints. As part of a joint Stanford-Berkeley group research project working on several languages, Alex’s project will focus on Brazilian Portuguese in order to establish the distribution of subject and pivot NPs based on analysis of naturally-occurring data, and to propose the ranking of constraints that could explain such a distribution.

...Read More about Alex Omar Bratkievich
Humanities

Effect of First Generation Immigrants Time Horizons on the Human Capital Acquisitions of Second Generation Immigrants

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.

...Read More about Monica Deza
Social Science

The Commodification of Place: Tourism in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Tourism, as Jamaicas largest and fastest growing industry, is vital to the countrys growth and development. Montego Bay, the second largest city in Jamaica, is the tourist capital of the island. The juxtaposition of a large local and tourist population in Montego Bay has created a unique form of physical and material segregation. Mary’s research project will explore how this space and, along with it, the tourist experience, is produced through the forces of marketing by the tourist industry, the physical segregation from the rest of the city and the ways in which Jamaica and its culture are reproduced in this area. Specifically, through interviews and observation, Mary will explore the ways in which the tourist experience, featuring the promise of freedom, is paradoxically created through the tightly engineered and controlled manipulation of the physical and cultural landscape.

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Social Science

Re-Identifying Big Butts and Hypersexuality: An Analysis of Choreographer Jawoloe Willa Jo Zollar's Batty Moves

Currently in modern dance there are few successful black female choreographers and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founder of the dance company Urban Bush Women, is one of them. In Zollar’s piece, Batty Moves, she combines theater and concert dance styles to create a work that invokes socio-political commentary on the stereotype that black women should have big butts, signifying hypersexuality. Cherie Hill’s project will include a content analysis of Batty Moves that will culminate into a choreographic production. In the analysis Cherie will be looking at how Zollar utilizes formal dance techniques to subvert and redefine stereotypes, how race and gender are represented, and how the piece sits within its socio-cultural context. For Cherie’s creative project, she will interview female Cal students on their thoughts of the black female body and its identity, and explore using movement as a medium for self-identification.

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Humanities

The Crane and Dragon: The Fusion of Vietnamese Mythologies and Culture in Art Forms

Chau will be creating an art project that will encompass traditional Vietnamese culture through the mediums of drawing, sculpture, embroidery, and traditional American quilt-making. She will investigate the differences between Vietnamese and Chinese art and culture, while further examining Vietnamese mythologies to determine their true histories. Chau’s art project will include a 3 X 3 circular embroidery of the ancient Vietnamese drum as well as four 7X5 quilts that will illustrate Vietnamese history and culture using American stitching techniques and using as many different fabrics as possible. The foundation of Chau’s art project is a Vietnamese folk tale that describes the traditional Vietnamese drum as the first and only artifact that can positively show the Vietnamese are not Chinese. Indeed, Chau has chosen embroideries and quilt-making to show the distinct history and uniqueness of Vietnamese culture and heritage.

...Read More about Chau Thuy Huynh
Humanities

An American Funeral: Christianity, Capitalism and 'Passing Away'

Kirstin proposes to ethnographically record and explore the significance, negotiation, evolution, and intertwining of folklore, ethics and business practices in North American funeral homes, aiming in particular to understand the evolution of grief counseling, business interactions, etiquette, and rites of passage or rituals, such as embalming. While scholars and journalists have published many studies and exposs about funeral homes “manipulating” funeral folklore to take advantage of the grieving, few have explored what Americans as agents and actors have had to do with the stasis, evolution, and significance of their own funeral folklore. They too play a part. This project will record and consider the current folklore, how it came to be, and what it symbolizes to different groups of American folk.

...Read More about Kirstin Anne Jackson
Humanities

Framing Proposition 71: Understanding The Debate Over Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

This past November, California passed Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, which allocates 3 billion dollars over the next ten years to human embryonic stem (hES) cell research. How did the majority of Californians decide to vote for this initiative? Before the election, groups for and against the measure tried to sway Californians opinions through advertising and influencing media coverage of this initiative. In his research David will investigate why and how these groups framed their positions in the way they did to present this initiative to the public. David will examine these groups websites as well as newspaper articles from August to November 2004, and interview some of the activists involved in this debate. The outcome of this research will be an extension of his senior honors thesis in sociology.

...Read More about David Jiménez
Social Science

The Biology of Compassion: Locating Goodness in the Heart

Compassion, i.e. empathetic concern for another with the desire to further their wellbeing, is one of the noblest concepts known to man, but our scientific knowledge on the topic is surprisingly limited. Approaching compassion from an evolutionary viewpoint, Ilmo’s project will examine the biological underpinnings of compassion and centers upon a physiological measurement of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA; an indication of the impact of parasympathetic nervous system activation in the vagus nerve on the heart). The goal of the project is to assess whether RSA is a reliable biological marker of compassion, and examine its relationship to perceived individual personality traits. To achieve this, existing data (including physiological measures and videos) will be analyzed and new experimental data will be collected with human subjects. The project is part of Ilmo’s senior honors thesis in Psychology.

...Read More about Ilmo Konstantin Kotaja
Social Science

Chemical Design, Synthesis, and Clinical Exploitation of Promising Ligands Having High Affinity for the TRP-M8 Receptor of Prostate Cancer Cells

Amanda will investigate a novel method of diagnosing, staging, monitoring, and treating prostate cancer. The specific phases of her investigation include optimizing the design and synthesis of N-radiofluoro or N-radioiodo-aryl-cycloalkylcarboxamides, which have high affinity for the TRP (transient receptor potential)-M8 receptor found in prostate cancer cells; and testing the affinity of the designed ligand for the TRP-M8 receptor in vitro and ultimately in vivo. One of the promising medical applications is the visualization of ligand-TRP-M8-receptor complex with PET or SPECT for diagnosis, staging, and monitoring prostate diseases. In contrast, current diagnostic methods are either inconclusive or painful. The ultimate goal is radiotherapy, a less invasive but more effective alternative to radical prostatectomy and brachytherapy. The process of optimizing the design and synthesis of the ligands and the medical exploitation of them will constitute Amanda’s senior honors thesis in MCB.

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Sciences

Unpacking the Paradox of In-group Derogation Via Dialecticism, Power, and Affect

How do you reconcile the phenomenon of self-directed racism by certain minority/oppressed groups towards their own members with the universal trend of ethnocentrism? Given past documentation of such ingroup derogation, questions remain: if ingroup derogation indeed exists among minorities and leads to negative affect towards other group members, then it will exert pressing social implications; on the other hand, if it is entirely the cognitive product of dialecticism, the predominantly Eastern belief system that embraces contradiction/opposing sides of each issue, then it would be a desirable process, rather than a collective self hatred. Thus this study will seek to test the occurrence of ingroup derogation and examine whether such a pattern can be traced to dialectical thinking; furthermore, it will examine whether such negative cognitions of ones ingroup translate into undesirable affect towards the same ingroup members.

...Read More about Christine Ma
Social Science

Hidden in Plain View: Cannabis Clubs, Visibility, and Power in the Urban Landscapes of the Bay Area and Amsterdam

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.

...Read More about Joen Madonna
Social Science

Carburetors for the 21st Century: Flow and Temperature Sensor Integration with Enhanced Mixing

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.

...Read More about Christopher David McCoy
Sciences

Latina Caregivers' Perceptions of the Impact They Have on Their Employers' Families, and Changes in Their Perspectives on the 'American Family'

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.

...Read More about Susana Evelyn Moreno
Humanities

Modes of Production and Tactics of Resistance: a Study of the Philippine Left in the 1990s

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.

...Read More about Joseph Paul Scalice
Social Science

Fictional Nonfiction: Examining Postmodernist Parody and Subjectivity in Mass Culture

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.

...Read More about Tyler Shores
Humanities

Gardening for Native Bees in the San Francisco Bay Area and Beyond

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.

...Read More about Mona Urbina
Social Science

Mapping the World's Genome: Global Protein Demographics

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.

...Read More about Christopher Jay van Belle
Sciences

South African Foreign Direct Investment in Mozambique

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.

...Read More about Saul Wainwright
Social Science

The Diabetes Micro-Clinic Project: Community Awareness and Ownership in the Developing World

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.

...Read More about Daniel Elias Zoughbie
Humanities