UCI Undergraduate Journal: Volume VII, 2004

A Letter from the Advisors

Knowledge gained in the classroom is a vital part of an undergraduate education, but there is much more to learn. For students who venture beyond the classroom into the world of research, there are exciting opportunities that can change the courses of their lives. At the University of California, Irvine (UCI) we are committed to helping undergraduate students move beyond the textbook and classroom into hands-on research experiences. The students whose papers are published in The UCI Undergraduate Research Journal spent time in archives, laboratories, and in the field gathering the data needed to answer their hypotheses. One student said that this research experience “made school come alive.” The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), the organization behind the Journal, seeks to provide UCI undergraduates with opportunities to develop their talents and gain the expertise they will need to become tomorrow’s leaders, thinkers and scholars.

Over the past seven years, The UCI Undergraduate Research Journal has published exceptional research papers by some of UCI’s most outstanding students. It has been, and continues to be, a valuable part of how UCI’s undergraduate research community demonstrates UCI’s excellence on a national level. Since 1998, we have had the privilege of reading and reviewing the results of hundreds of remarkable undergraduate research and creative projects, and each year the selection process becomes more difficult. Nevertheless, we carefully select those few papers that we believe represent UCI’s undergraduates at their very best. Although we have chosen to present only ten papers this year, more than 30 percent of students enroll in independent research courses, and thousands more carry out research projects or take other classes with research-related components.

Many people must work together to produce a journal of this size and scope. We commend the undergraduate authors and their faculty mentors for their commitment to the excellence of their projects. Our kudos go to the UROP Student Editorial Board, whose efforts were essential in evaluating, editing and producing the Journal. We express sincere gratitude to the UROP Faculty Advisory Board, whose distinguished members provided final evaluations of the papers selected for publication. Finally, we acknowledge the hundreds of students and faculty who participate in research each year, whether associated with UROP or not, and thank them for the wide array of exciting and innovative scholarship they bring to the UCI community.

UROP is committed to supporting and facilitating faculty-mentored undergraduate research projects and creative activities. Launched in 1995, UROP’s programs now include advising and assisting students in pursuing on- and off-campus research opportunities, funding undergraduate research projects through Calls for Proposals in the Fall and Spring Quarters of each academic year, and sponsoring the annual UCI Undergraduate Research Symposium, in addition to the Journal. In the summer of 2001, UROP launched the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP), through which close to 500 students have already conducted research projects. UROP continues to expand the opportunities it offers. The Inter-Disciplinary Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (ID-SURE), the Integrated Micro/Nano Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (IMSURE), and the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Information Technology (SURF-IT), all introduced in the summer of 2005, provide undergraduates even more chances to research, explore and grow. As the scope of undergraduate research continues to expand, a corps of young, inquisitive, boldly imaginative, and idealistic scholars is emerging–and we present just a few of them here.

Meredith Lee
Dean, Division of Undergraduate Education 
Said M. Shokair
Director, UROP
Dedication, With Gratitude

Chancellor Ralph J. Cicerone

Dean Meredith Lee 

This edition of The UCI Undergraduate Research Journal is dedicated to two outstanding individuals. Chancellor Ralph J. Cicerone and Dean Meredith Lee have actively supported faculty-mentored undergraduate research and creative activities at UCI for many years, helping to build UCI undergraduate education to the level of national recognition it holds today. During the Summer of 2005, both will be moving on to other endeavors. Chancellor Cicerone has been elected President of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the nation�s oldest and most prestigious scientific societies. Dean Lee will retire, although remaining active in exploring her academic interests. We will miss them both, and it is in memory of their past friendship and support, and with best wishes for their futures, that we dedicate Volume VII of The UCI Undergraduate Research Journal to C

A Letter from the UROP Student Editorial Board

Journal Advisors  

Meredith Lee
Dean, Division of Undergraduate Education

Said M. Shokair
Director, UROP

UROP Faculty Advisory Board

Professor Wendy Goldberg
Professor Donald Hoffman
Professor John LaRue
Professor Richard Lathrop
Professor Hartmut Luecke
Professor James Nowick
Professor James Penrod
Professor Richard Robertson
Professor Martin Schwab

UROP Student Editorial Board

Gregoria Barazandeh
Elizabeth Black
Jennifer Channual
Ahmed Ibrahim
Sana Khan
Matthew Korn
Mercedes LaVoy
Vivek Mehta
Jessica Morreale
Chao Li
Jana Remy
Martin Vega

UROP Journal Assistants

Megan Nowell Kaufman, Publications & Web Assistant
Henry Yan, Computer Resource Specialist
Jerry McMillan, Journal & Symposium Student Advisor

~Letter from the UROP Student Editorial Board 2003~

The application of knowledge is one of the most important aspects of learning. This principle is reflected in the high quality of the papers presented in this year’s UCI Undergraduate Research Journal. The selection of papers by the Editorial Board was both a demanding and rewarding process. As a team of students from a variety of disciplines we brought our expertise and passions to the table in discussing the merits of each submitted work. As selection was narrowed, we edited the articles for argument, style and cohesion. While working with our peers on the Editorial Board we each bettered our editing skills and increased our commitment to the importance of undergraduate research at UCI. We expect that you will enjoy the efforts of the student researchers and their faculty mentors in this volume. In addition, we hope that the Journal encourages further faculty-mentored undergraduate research, and affirms UCI’s strong commitment to undergraduate education.