Calit2@UCI Summer Undergrad Research Fellows Announced

By Anna Lynn Spitzer

Irvine, CA, May 30, 2006  -- Seventeen UC Irvine undergraduate students are preparing to leap into SURF-IT projects this summer.

They’ll immerse themselves in hands-on research projects in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Information Technology (SURF-IT) program, cosponsored by Calit2@UCI and the UCI Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).

The 17 were chosen from a field of 30 applicants for the multidisciplinary summer program. Each will work full-time under the personal guidance of a faculty mentor, gaining first-hand experience and training in a variety of information technology-related fields.

In addition, the students, who will earn $4000 stipends, will attend regular seminars highlighting the ongoing projects. The seminars will offer them the opportunity to enhance their knowledge about telecommunications, and IT systems and applications.  

The SURF-IT students will also participate in joint activities with students in IM-SURE – Integrated Micro/Nano Summer Undergraduate Research Experience – another UCI summer program, funded by the National Science Foundation.

At the end of the 10-week program, the students will present their research findings at a poster session held in conjunction with a closing reception.

SURF-IT, now in its second year, was designed to help undergraduates develop the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve success in graduate school or IT-related careers.

The selected students represent a wide range of majors and minors, including information and computer sciences, chemistry, Asian American studies, biomedical engineering, neurobiology, digital arts, and film and media studies. “Calit2 conducts research in multiple areas focused on the scientific, technological, social and artistic components of information technology,” says Calit2’s Stu Ross, SURF-IT research coordinator.  “So we’re pleased with the breadth of study these students are bringing to the program.”

SURF-IT Administrative Coordinator Said Shokair, UROP director, concurs. “SURF-IT is a unique, multidisciplinary program that allows students in all fields to see first-hand the way various disciplines can relate to information technology applications. We’re gratified that such a broad cross-section of students is interested in the program.”

Shokair is also pleased with the extent of the program’s faculty participation. “It’s very rewarding to see faculty providing hands-on mentoring for their future colleagues,” he says.

This year’s students (and majors), faculty mentors and research projects include:

    • Duy-Quoc Lai (information and computer science), and Falko Kuester (assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science) – wide-area high-definition video streaming for tiled displays;
    • Christopher Levins (chemistry), and Zhibin Guan (professor of chemistry) – biomemetic modular design for advanced biomaterials;
    • Tyler Moore (Asian American studies) and Jonathan M. Hall (assistant professor of comparative literature and media) –   politics and aesthetics of new media in East Asia ;
    • Roger Shih (biomedical engineering/ICS) and Abraham Lee (professor of biomedical engineering) –simulation and optimization of biological cell-sensing using interdigitated electrodes;
    • J. Rick Ramstetter (computer science and engineering/mechanical engineering) and Stephen Jenks (assistant professor of EECS) – high-performance cooperative data distribution;
    • Chris Trezzo (ICS) and Chen Li (assistant professor of ICS) – information integration in medical databases;
    • Christopher Larson (ICS) and Aditi Majumder (assistant professor of computer science-systems) –   reconstruction of spatially varying color response of a tiled display;
    • Jooyoung Park (ICS) and Sharad Mehrotra (professor of computer science-systems) –   privacy-preserving media spaces;
    • Marissa Holmbeck (biological sciences) and Kristen Monroe (professor of political science) –   the relationship between computer games and empathetic involvement in fostering moral treatment of others;
    • Sean Li (electrical engineering) and Padhraic Smyth (professor of computer science-computing) – automatic inference of anomalous events from traffic;
    • Christina Wong (biomedical engineering) and Tatsuya Suda (professor of computer science-systems) –   molecular communication;
    • Bryant Hornick (informatics) and Andrew Correa (ICS), and Bill Tomlinson (assistant professor of informatics) –   EcoRaft project;
    • Gabriela Marcu (informatics/film and media studies), and André van der Hoek (associate professor of informatics)  –   visualizing parallel workspace activities on a next-generation, massively-tiled display system;
    • Abhishek Amit (computer science) and Nalini Venkatasubramanian (associate professor of computer science-systems) – spatial reference extraction and interpretation system; and
    • Colin Mann (physics), and Philip Collins (assistant professor of physics and astronomy) – electronic circuits with single-molecule components; and
    • Jeremy Roth (chemical engineering and materials science), and Albert Yee (professor chemistry and engineering) - development of hybrid atomic force microscope tips with focused ion beam.
  • The program runs June 26 -Sept. 1, 2006.