UCI Undergraduate Journal: Volume XXI, 2018

A Letter from the Advisor

Faculty-mentored research has become a highlight of many students’ undergraduate education at UC Irvine. Students, regardless of their major or field of study, have found that pursuing a research or creative project gives them the opportunity to explore their interests in more depth, apply real-life experience to their classroom learning, and greatly enhance their possibilities for future academic and career success.

First published in 1998, the UCI Undergraduate Research Journal highlights the extraordinary work that is being done by undergraduates in every discipline at UC Irvine. This year’s offerings were selected after a rigorous evaluation process considering papers on the merits of their research design, significance of their results, importance of their conclusions, and quality of their writing. The standards for publication are high; of the papers submitted this year, only five were chosen for publication.

Many people are deserving of our thanks for their work in making this year’s Journal possible. The distinguished members of the UROP Faculty Advisory Board used their expertise and judgment to aid in the final selection process. Our undergraduate editorial assistant was provided exceptional insight and discernment throughout the entire Journal process. We recognize the efforts of all the undergraduate researchers—whether they submitted their papers or not—for the energy and passion they have brought to their work. Finally, we offer our heartiest thanks to the faculty mentors who have dedicated themselves to ensuring their students’ success; through their efforts, today’s students will be prepared to pursue their own academic and professional excellence.

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), responsible for publishing the Journal, is dedicated to supporting the research community at UCI. Founded in 1995, UROP has supported thousands of undergraduates, providing unique opportunities for them to engage in research and creative projects, helping them develop an appreciation of the scope and complexity of the research process. In addition to the Journal, UROP advises and assists students in pursuing on-and off-campus opportunities. UROP provides recognition and funding for undergraduate research projects through two annual Calls for Proposals. Several UROP-sponsored programs offer students the opportunity to conduct research over the summer and provide funding for their time and efforts. We invited students to broaden their research interests in a team environment through the Multidisciplinary Design Program. UROP has developed relationships with a number of international universities, making it possible for select students to experience UC Irvine’s research culture. Finally, the annual UCI Undergraduate Research Symposium provides an opportunity for students to present their research accomplishments.

The papers presented here provide a glimpse into the tremendous work being done by undergraduates throughout the UC Irvine community. We celebrate all of these students’ achievements and look forward to their many successes to come.

Said M. Shokair
Director, UROP