Young Scholar’s Program 2019

YSP Alumni

2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019

Participating Labs

LabYSP StudentsTitleAbstract
Faculty: Dr. Mansoor Amiji

Mentors: Lara Milane and Alexandria Kury
Lauren Murphy
Edward Pham
Nanoformulations in Cancer and InflammationMitochondria are the centers for energy supply and intrinsic apoptosis. Cancer is very much a mitochondrial disease as cancer cells are cells that are resistant to cell death. This project will explore the manipulation of mitochondrial networks in cancer as a therapeutic approach to disease treatment.
Faculty: Dr. Erin Cram

Mentor: Perla Castenda
Omar Noamany
Jenny Zeng
How Cells in Tubes Work Together to Contract and RelaxWe use the worm C. elegans to study how cells in biological tubes work together to regulate contraction. We study the reproductive system, but this work is relevant to how tubes of all sorts move stuff through them at the right time, in the right direction and with the right velocity. Students will discover new genes that regulate coordinated tube contraction in a tube called the 'spermatheca'. The project will involve knocking down genes of interest with a technique called RNA interference (RNAi), molecular cloning, and fluorescence microscopy.
Faculty: Dr. Eno Ebong

Mentors: Ian Harding and Ronodeep Mitra
Avi Mahal
Anna Pavlova
How Do Endothelial Cells Respond to Tissue Stiffness in Health vs. Disease?The planned experiments are intended to contribute to the development of synthetic surfaces (hydrogels) that mimic the real-life mechanical properties of healthy or diseased blood vessel walls. To accomplish this, YSP students will be introduced to hydrogel synthesis, mechanical testing, cell culturing, immunofluorescent cytochemistry, and biological microscopy. After students have adequately learned to perform the techniques themselves, they will take the lead to synthesize hydrogels of different properties and observe how endothelial cells (which line blood vessel walls) adhere, proliferation, survive, and express important features while on the hydrogels. Students will use advance biological microscopy techniques to image the hydrogel-cell units. Image processing software will be used for data collection and analysis.
Faculty: Dr. Samuel Felton

Mentor: Liu Chang
Gabriela Paz-Soldan
Luke Schlatter
Rapid Transformation of Origami DevicesOrigami devices have the capability of switching between multiple shapes and behaviors, but actuating this transformation in physical devices can be difficult. We have developed a model to predict how origami will branch between multiple possible configurations from the flat state. In this project, we will use this model to build and test an array of origami-inspired antennas that physically reconfigure to alter their electromagnetic properties.
Faculty: Dr. Abigail Koppes

Mentors: Adam Bindas and Jon Soucy
Samson Cantor
Tina Tailor
Laser Assembled Microfluidics for HealthcareThis project will focus on the design and testing of microfluidics created using makerspace technology (3D printing, laser cutting) for biomedical applications, such as 'organs-on-a-chip.' These platforms will help us study biology in a more relevant and complex system than currently available in standard in vitro 2D conditions. For example, students may study how microfluidics are fabricated and their limitations, as well as test cells (such as neurons) response to various culture conditions such as different types of metabolites from diet.
Faculty: Dr. Jose Martinez-Lorenzo

Mentor: Weite Zhang
Hannah Huang
Cole Young
Application of Radar Techniques for Human Body Imaging at Security CheckpointsOur radar system consists of a set of Compressive Reflector Antennas (CRAs) and a multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) feeding arrays. The CRAs are distorted parabolic antennas that can be made of either metallic or metamaterial units. The purpose of their use is to achieve much higher sensing capacity than that of conventional MIMO imaging systems, reducing the number of measurements required, and accelerating the imaging process. This radar system would have a variety of applications in security screening checkpoints at train stations, airports, concerts, sporting events, government buildings, and many other public and private facilities to predict potential threats, such as such as explosives related threats and other contraband or illicit substances and goods.
Faculty: Dr. Marvin Onabajo

Mentors: Mahmoud Ibrahim and Jha Gaurav
David Abrahamyan
Jay Park
Digitally-Controlled Analog Filter Prototype for Wireless Communication ApplicationsAnalog circuits play an important role in devices for the wireless transmission and reception of information. They have to be designed with high performance and reliability. However, the quality of analog circuits depends strongly on variations of electronic component parameters and manufacturing processes. A general research approach aimed at improving analog circuits in the presence of random variations involves the measurement of key performance parameters in combination with automatic tuning for optimum performance through the aid of circuits in the same system. To allow the tuning of analog circuits with digital control, programmable elements have to be incorporated into the analog circuits. This approach will be investigated in this research project by prototyping a digitally controllable filter circuit that extracts the desired information in a wireless receiver while suppressing undesired interference signals.
Faculty: Dr. Sarah Ostadabbas

Mentors: Shuangjun Liu and Amirreza Farnoosh
Sophia Franklin
Caleb Lee
Making 3D Avatar Using Full Body 3D ScanningIn this summer project, the 3D simulation process (including the data collection, rigging, game-engine programming) of the student' own personalized 3D scan in a virtual environment (i.e. avatars) is incorporated. In the PI's lab, to get the human 3D model, we have recently employed a Kinect depth sensor to perform 3D scanning of the human body using off-the-shelf components and free software. In case the scanned raw model has defects such as holes, over complicated details, or non-manifold geometries, we have explored the use of Meshlab, an open-source software for pre-processing including simplification, filling holes, and also non-manifold geometries removal. To make the model poseable, additional information about limb positions and joint constraints must be added.
Faculty: Dr. Robert Platt

Mentor: Colin Kohler
James "Tully" Lines
Zachary Tam
Robotic Mobility Scooter Manipulation SkillsWe recently combined a robotic arm with a mobility scooter and designed various pieces of software to assist disabled people with the activities of daily living (ADLs). Currently this functionality is restricted to: (1) picking up objects and giving them to the operator and (2) picking up objects and placing them at some desired location. While this functionality allows users to execute a number of ADLs, additional functionality is needed in order to perform more complex tasks. The goal of this project is to build on top of the existing system to develop a series of actions/motions which will aid users while performing these tasks.
Faculty: Dr. Aatmesh Shrivastava

Mentors: Nikita Mirchandani and Ziyue Xu
Rohan Abichandani
Hannah Nguyen
Developing MATLAB Based Machine-learning Feature Extraction Engine for Seizure Classification Using EEG SignalElectroencephalography (EEG) is used for the diagnosis of several neurological disorders such as epilepsy, sleep disorders, encephalopathies, coma, among others. EEG is particularly useful for the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. Epilepsy causes recurrent seizures which, apart from causing significant discomfort and poor quality of life for patients, can also lead to dangers of accidents, fall, and even death. An accurate treatment of epilepsy involves tracking and profiling of seizures to administer the correct medication. A marked difference in EEG signal pattern is observed during and before the onset of seizure. In this project, a machine learning model for classification of EEG signal will be carried out. Students will develop Matlab based linear classifier system to characterize EEG signals into seizure and non-seizure categories.
Faculty: Hao Sun

Mentor: Lele Luan and Alex Ianetta
Cameron PentlandDetecting Motion of a Structure Using Video CamerasOccasionally, structures that appear to be in perfect condition spontaneously collapse. This is often due to small vibrations that are imperceptible to humans. Because of this, detecting microscopic motions in buildings and structures would be a development that would improve building safety. However, using motion detectors is extremely expensive. The alternative which we have been researching is using cameras to detect and magnify the motion. Motion magnification allows us to see imperceptible vibrations in a building. By using a camera to record videos of these structures we can then utilize Phase Based Video Motion Processing to extract vibrations in the structure that cannot be seen normally.
Faculty: Dr. Lu Wang

Mentors: Luyang Huang and Marshall White
Emily Lo
Alyssa Shelburne
Natural Language Processing for Understanding Media Bias and Fake News This project aims to explore and design natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to solve novel text understanding problems. Specifically, we will work on developing information extraction systems and its usage on media bias and fake news analysis. For example, important entities and events and story structure will be extracted automatically from news articles. Then media bias from outlets with different ideology and stance will be studied based on word usage and semantic and narrative structure. The developed tools will also be used for understanding fake news language.

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