UCI Undergraduate Journal: Volume X, 2007

A Letter from the Advisors

With the publication of the tenth volume of The UCI Undergraduate Research Journal, it is appropriate to reflect on the Journal’s history. When Volume I of the Journal was published in 1998, it was very unusual for undergraduate researchers to have their work published in any form. Now, a number of universities throughout the country have begun publishing undergraduate journals of their own. We are honored to have been a resource for launching undergraduate research journals nationwide.

There have been many reasons for the Journal’s success. One has been the strength of the papers that have been published. Each year, many outstanding papers have been submitted, and the selection process is a difficult one. However, we continue to select only those few papers that are truly extraordinary. Out of the 592 papers that have been submitted over the last ten years, a total of 92 have been published. Sixty-seven papers were submitted this year, and we feel that the six published here are excellent examples of the quality of undergraduate research at UCI.

Many people have contributed to the ongoing success of the Journal. We are grateful to the many students who have served on the Journal’s Student Editorial Board. These talented undergraduate researchers have devoted many hours to reading and evaluating the submitted papers. Their commitment continues after the final papers have been selected, exhaustively editing and proofreading each with a final goal of zero errors. Seeing these students’ passionate dedication to the Journal and its continuing excellence has been a high point of the Journal process over the years.

We also owe much gratitude to the current and past members of the UROP Faculty Advisory Board. Their distinguished expertise has been vital in ensuring that the research projects documented in the Journal continue to meet our high standards. Above all, we thank and honor the many students who have developed a passion for research and have shared that passion with us through their submissions. We also acknowledge the tremendous contributions of the mentors who have guided them.

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), the organization responsible for publishing the Journal, is dedicated to fostering a culture of research at UCI. Founded in 1995, UROP has supported thousands of undergraduates, providing unique opportunities for them to engage in research and creative projects, and inspiring in them a passion for discovery and inquiry-based learning.

As we move into the next ten years, a number of challenges lie ahead. We will continue to promote interdisciplinary research, demonstrating examples of successful collaboration between fields. We will expect an increase in the number and quality of the submissions, and will especially encourage submissions from schools and departments that have been underrepresented in the past. As the variety of publishing possibilities increases, we will consider expanding into new media, such as the Web, multimedia, and interactive works.

Whatever directions future Journals may take, our highest priority will continue to be to present the very best work of UCI’s undergraduate researchers and to inspire readers to ask new questions, seek new answers, and dedicate themselves to a spirit of research.

Sharon V. Salinger
Dean, Division of Undergraduate Education 
Said M. Shokair
Director, UROP
A Letter from the UROP Student Editorial Board

Journal Advisors

Sharon V. Salinger
Dean, Division of Undergraduate Education

Said M. Shokair
Director, UROP

UROP Faculty Advisory Board

Professor Wendy A. Goldberg
Professor Donald D. Hoffman
Professor John C. LaRue
Professor Richard H. Lathrop
Professor Hartmut Luecke
Professor Jane O. Newman
Professor James S. Nowick
Professor James W. Penrod
Professor Richard T. Robertson
Professor Martin Schwab

UROP Student Editorial Board

Kimberly Balazs
Helen Chen
Marissa Holmbeck
Brett Reid
Amir Shbeeb
Camille Wolpe
Jennifer Yanni

UROP Journal Assistants

Megan Nowell Kaufman, Publications & Web Assistant
Jerry McMillan, Journal & Symposium Student Advisor
Henry Yan, Computer Programmer and Analyst

~ Letter from the UROP Student Editorial Board ~

The intellectual evolution of young, emerging academics is a process that the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) strives to nourish. The task of pursuing an interest in research—whether it is monitoring the effects of stem cells on spinal injury or searching the pages of Palestinian-Israeli history for humanistic intertwinement—is daunting without the guidance and support of a mentor and the stamina of a determined mind. To the students at the University of California, Irvine who endeavor to go beyond the classroom to enrich their education, The UCI Undergraduate Research Journal dedicates a forum through which their work may be honored and recognized. The UROP Student Editorial Board is proud to be able to participate in the publication of a journal that is prophetic in the sense that it demonstrates the intellectual possibilities of young students, and that it bears the earliest work of fledgling scientists, literary academics, historians, and social scientists. In this year’s Journal, the Board presents the independent research of a diverse group of highly motivated and ambitious students who will one day be able to look back upon their undergraduate experience as a prelude to years of passion and excellence.