UCI Undergraduate Journal: Volume I, 1998

A Letter from the Advisors

In a significant and sometimes critical commentary on the American research university, the recent report by the Boyer Commission approvingly quotes John Dewey: “Learning is based on discovery guided by mentoring, rather than on the transmission of information.”

We share Dewey’s view and the powerfully argued position of the Boyer Commission regarding the central value of inquiry-based learning in the education of undergraduates. Given the shape of knowledge and work as we enter the 21st century, it is essential that our students have skills and intellectual initiative that go beyond what is typically nurtured in conventional classroom learning. We believe that involvement with leading-edge research helps students to gain experience in the continuous and self-directed learning that will be core qualities of those individuals most successful in knowledge creation, diffusion and utilization.

The rapid rise of the University of California, Irvine to the select group of world-class research universities is attributable, inter alia, to our top-quality faculty, facilities, and environment of knowledge creation. Our undergraduates have long been integral participants in the research that is the hallmark of UCI’s distinction. Faculty-mentored research, in which students themselves develop and complete projects, is one of the most significant modes of such participation. At UCI’s annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, more than 200 undergraduates present their work in a professional conference setting. In addition, many of UCI’s schools and departments have their own arenas for the presentation of students’ research and creative activities.

We have established The UCI Undergraduate Research Journal to provide another medium through which the best of undergraduate research can be showcased and shared with a broader audience. We hope that you will find the research in this Journal to be engaging, and that this sampler of our undergraduates’ research will offer some insights regarding the variety of work being undertaken by UCI students. Should you wish to explore our activities more extensively, one place to begin is at the Website for our Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (http://www.urop.uci.edu).

The Journal owes its existence to many people, but some merit special recognition. First, we acknowledge the undergraduate authors and their faculty mentors. Their collaborations and relationships led directly to the completion of the research included in this Journal. Secondly, we thank the UROP Student Editorial Board who not only created the guidelines for this inaugural volume, but also were central in the review, editorial, and design processes through which the Journal was produced. This Journal is very much a student-based product. Third, we are grateful to the UROP Faculty Advisory Board, whose distinguished members provided final evaluation of the papers selected for publication. And fourth, we acknowledge the hundreds of UCI students and faculty who collaborate each year in undergraduate research projects. It is from this extensive and diverse array of research activities that we offer a small sample in this Journal issue. We welcome your comments on this initial volume of The UCI Undergraduate Research Journal.

James N. Danziger
Dean, Division of Undergraduate Education 
Said M. Shokair
Director, UROP
A Letter from the UROP Student Editorial Board

Journal Advisors

James N. Danziger
Dean, Division of Undergraduate Education
Said M. Shokair
Director, UROP

UROP Faculty Advisory Board

Professor Roxane Cohen Silver
Professor Mary Corey
Professor Robert Doedens
Professor Gail Hart
Professor Donald Hoffman
Professor John LaRue
Professor George Lueker
Professor Richard Robertson
Professor Georg Striedter


UROP Student Editorial Board

Jennifer LaFemina, Chief Editor
Kirsten Showler, Associate Chief Editor
Daniel Aldana
Mathew Dos Santos
Dave Han
Jennifer Juhn
Zhanna Pinkus
David Snyder
Matt Traum
Byron Van Nest

UROP Student Production Staff

Saquib Rashid, Hard Copy Layout
Henry Yan, Web Layout and Front Cover Design


~Letter from the UROP Student Editorial Board~

Research is an integral part of undergraduate education, particularly at the University of California, Irvine, an institution that not only invests in and prizes undergraduate education, but also maintains its prestige as a leading research university in the world. We, the UROP Student Journal Editorial Board, took the opportunity to launch this inaugural volume in order to showcase some of the high-caliber work and research endeavors completed by our fellow undergraduates. More importantly, though, we wanted to highlight the successful relationships that have been cultivated between students and faculty that were made possible through faculty-mentored research endeavors.

After being given the opportunity to create what is going to be a new tradition here at UC Irvine, the Student Board–a group of 10 undergraduates from all disciplines at the University–were not only able to recognize the student and faculty contributions to research, but also to facilitate their recognition through a unique medium. Months of research, dynamic communication, and passionate exchange resulted in the Journal that you are about to read. We have spent excessive time not only in a detailed editing process–to perfect both the presentation of grammar and figures–but also, in an intricate design process, to make the Journal professional, yet personal. We feel we have achieved this goal, for not only do you, the audience, get a sample of high-caliber research, but you receive it through a medium that clearly showcases the students’ efforts and the faculty’s support.

We are proud of the Journal not only because we have successfully achieved our broad goals, but also because we have done so through a medium of which we are proud–proud because of the Journal’s uniqueness, proud because all undergraduates now have another means through which to transmit their work, and proud because the Journal will be a tradition of which this world-class research institution can be proud.

On behalf of the Board,

Jennifer LaFemina
Chief Editor

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