Students Rev Up for Summer Research

By Anna Lynn Spitzer

SURF-IT students begin 2009 fellowships
Fifth annual SURF-IT undergrads begin research.

Irvine, Calif., June 24, 2009 -- For the fifth consecutive summer, a select group of UCI undergraduates is forgoing sun, surf and travel in favor of labs and learning. The eight, who were chosen to participate in SURF-IT, the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Information Technology, got their feet wet this week at the SURF-IT annual orientation session.

Sponsored by the UCI division of Calit2 and the university’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, SURF-IT gives undergraduates the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with faculty mentors on individual multidisciplinary research projects for 10 weeks, improving their skills and research techniques in state-of-the-art facilities.

At Monday’s orientation, the eight students met each other and Calit2 staff, and learned from Calit2 research director and SURF-IT co-director Stuart Ross what the summer would entail. Ross presented an overview of the institute and program requirements, as well as tips for success, before leading them on a tour of the Calit2 Building.

Left: Ross learns a little about Sunhee Baik; Right: Jakkree Janchoi and Bryce Kubo take it all in.

The students, most of whom spent last summer traveling and/or taking summer school classes, will work full-time with their mentors. Each will present his/her research findings at a poster session and closing reception at the end of the summer. Faculty participants – in addition to their mentoring duties – will present a series of seminars during the summer that provide the students with enhanced knowledge about telecommunications, and information technology systems and applications.

This year’s projects run the research gamut: creating video games that enhance social skills; designing information systems for managing personal health information; characterizing flow in microfluidic compact disc platforms for clinical diagnostics; employing software-defined radio for audio transmission over wireless ad-hoc networks and more.

HIPerWall captures students' attention.

The 2009 SURF-IT students, projects and faculty mentors include:

Sunhee Baik
Major: Informatics, Minor: Management
Project:  Enhancing Social Skills through Video Game Encounters
Mentor:  Liane Brouillette, Department of Education

Jakkree Janchoi
Major: Computer Sciences
Project:  Web-Enabled Home Health Monitoring
Mentor:  Mark Bachman, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Bryce Kubo
Major:  Biomedical Engineering
Project:  Flow Characterization in a Microfluidic Compact Disc (CD) Platform for Clinical Diagnostics
Mentor:  Marc Madou, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Isaac Mahgrefteh
Major:  Computer Science
Project:  SATViewer - Visualizing a Large Number of Captured Sensor Streams on a Limited Display
Mentor:  Sharad Mehrotra, Department of Computer Science

Taylor M. Mar
Major:  Undeclared
Project:  Video Games and Learning
Mentor:  Mark Warschauer, Department of Education

James Milewski
Major:  Informatics
Project:  Designing and Evaluating an Information System for Personal Health Information Management
Mentor:  Yunan Chen, Department of Informatics

Alex P. Taubman
Major:  Information and Computer Science
Project:  Video Games and Learning
Mentor:  Mark Warschauer, Department of Education

Jason A. Tran
Major:  Electrical Engineering
Project:  A Software Defined Radio Implementation for Audio and Voice Transmission over Wireless Ad-hoc Networks
Mentor:  Hamid Jafarkhani, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science