Creating Confessional Narration

Caetlin will explore the evolution of narration in Confessional poetry in the United States during the 1950s-1960s, concentrating on such poets as Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath and Robert Lowell. Through extensive readings in poetry, criticism, and literary and psychoanalytic theory, as well as archival research on the poets mentioned above, Caetlin plans to analyze and relate two of the key influences on Confessional narration, Modernism (the preceding poetic tradition) and psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis, she hypothesizes, gave direction to the Confessionalists resistance to Modernist impersonality and thus helped make new poetic subjects and ways of speaking possible. The comparison of these two opposing influences and the effects they had on Confessional poetry will compose Caetlins Comparative Literature Senior Honors Thesis.

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Humanities

Examining Subcellular Localization of Cell Cycle Components to Determine a Better Breast Cancer Treatment

Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) is a natural compound found in Brassica vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage; this compound has been shown to arrest the growth of breast cancer cells in a mechanism that seems to involve several critical cell cycle proteins. Gloria’s Molecular & Cell Biology Senior Honors Thesis project will investigate the changes in subcellular localization of these proteins. This data will help characterize the mechanism of I3C-induced breast cancer cell growth arrest and will be useful in evaluating the mechanisms and therapeutic promise of certain I3C derivatives. In addition, Gloria’s project will help determine the potential therapeutic value of a combinatorial breast cancer treatment using I3C along with tamoxifen, the current breast cancer treatment of choice. This combinatorial treatment shows great promise, since I3C and tamoxifen together have been found to arrest breast cancer cell growth more effectively than either treatment alone.

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Sciences

Silicon Valley's New Vietnamese Entrepreneurs

Through a combination of literature review, data analysis, and interviews, Tam’s Senior Honors Thesis for her Political Economy of Industrial Societies major will examine the role that Vietnamese-American high tech entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are playing in developing the New Economy in Vietnam. Tam will conduct a series of face to face interviews with Vietnamese CEOs, engineers, business and community leaders in Silicon Valley to determine why Vietnamese-American entrepreneurs are networking and making direct investments in Vietnam, and whether these investments are helping or hindering Vietnam’s attempts to develop its technology and industry. Tam’s research project, which emerges out of her academic interest and her own Vietnamese cultural background, will help policy makers understand the emerging role of highly skilled immigrants as facilitators of trade in an increasingly globalized economy.

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Social Science

Transcending Language: Carme Riera and Post-Franco Catalan Literature

Casey will examine the situation of Catalan women writers in the first generation following the death of Franco through close literary analysis of author Carme Riera’s body of work and further study of her cultural reception in Spain as a feminist author using a minority language. The completed analysis will constitute her Senior Honors Thesis in the Comparative Literature major. Since little of Riera’s work has been translated into English, Casey will also translate several of her short stories to offer a sampling of Riera’s views and method to non-Catalan scholars. This summer, Casey will travel to Mallorca to study the Balearic dialect of Catalan that Riera uses in her work, and will conduct archival research on Riera in Barcelona at the Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya.

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Humanities

Giving the Veiled a Voice: A Test of the Efficacy of International Law

Mariyam plans to investigate whether international law helps people with disabilities in developing countries, through a case study of inclusive education (Education for All) in India. Over the last two decades, disability activists have succeeded in instituting explicit or codified international obligations, norms, standards, and binding rules about disability, through international organizations like the United Nations. Their presumption is that international law can be a tool for the translation of grandiose principles into realized services that actually better the human condition, even among the poorest and most downtrodden individuals in the developing world. In order to investigate to what extent this presumption has been borne out, Mariyam will conduct field research in India on the education of children with disabilities and will interview key individuals involved in the disability rights movement, within such organizations as the World Bank and the United Nations. Mariyam will present her findings as her Senior […]

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Social Science

Quantification of Short TE Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging (MRSI) from Patients with Brain Tumors

Benjamin plans to implement an algorithm for quantitative analysis of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging (MRSI) that will improve the specificity of the calculated levels of cellular metabolites such as choline, creatine, N-acetylaspartate and myo-inositol. This information is critical for predicting tumor type and grade, tailoring treatment protocols to individual patients, and distinguishing between treatment effects and recurrent tumors. The current method of estimating metabolite concentration is not sufficient when using acquisition parameters that give complicated spectra. A least squares method, developed by Provencher et. al., is more accurate. Benjamin will apply the Provencher method for quantification of spectra obtained from novel parameters, such as short echo time and high field strength, and extend the method for use in multi-voxel MRSI from single-voxel MRSI. The results, which will be presented as his Bioengineering Senior Honors Thesis, will have important results for the therapeutic treatment of brain tumors.

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Sciences

L'Enfer en Soie

Sylvan will compose a symphonic poem in two movements, titled “L’Enfer en Soie” (Hell in Silk), based on “L’Hautontimoroumnos” (The Self-Tormenter)–a poem from the 1857 collection Les Fleurs du Mal, by Charles Baudelaire. The dualism that is present in the poem becomes, in this piece, an exploration of the pain of psychological torment, and the relief that may also come with one’s own tormenting behavior. This alliance of pain and pleasure is realized in a musical texture combining unusual orchestral sonorities and music with vocal-like qualities. University Orchestra Director, David Milnes, will conduct this symphonic poem, Sylvan’s Senior Honors Thesis in Music, for its first public performance at Hertz Hall, in conjunction with the Haas Scholars Spring Conference in April 2002.

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Humanities

The Revolution Will Not be in the Movies: Hip-Hop Film and Politics

Amarina will travel this summer to New York City, the cultural birthplace of hip-hop, to investigate this contemporary musical and cultural phenomenon, focusing on the films and videos made about the genre. Her stay will involve an intensive schedule of research, interviews and live events, as well as video documentation, which will form the preliminary visual and theoretical groundwork for her final creative endeavor. The purpose of her immersion in hip-hop culture is an inquiry into the ways in which hip-hop functions as a mode of resistance. During the 2001-2002 academic school year, Amarina will focus her efforts on the hip-hop satellite cities of the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Her project will culminate in a video that expresses a complex definition of hip-hop as a cultural and political movement.

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Humanities

The Holy Gita: The Role of the West in India's Adoption of the Bhagavad Gita as a Holy Text

A double major in Religious Studies and South Asian Studies, Erika will be researching the influence of British colonial discourse and Oriental scholarship on the adoption of the Bhagavad Gita, a Sanskrit Hindu text of the third and fourth centuries CE, as the “Hindu Bible” during the early twentieth century. She will spend the summer in India attending an advanced Sanskrit program in preparation for her analysis of major translations and interpretations of the Gita by Western scholars produced between 1890 and 1950. Her research will focus on the major role of the Gita in the social and political movements of the early twentieth century, the influence of Western translations and interpretations of the Gita on Indian political and social leaders of this period, and the ways in which this cross cultural exchange contributed to the characterization of the Gita’s holy status in Western terms. Erika will present her findings […]

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Humanities

Do Impersonal Voting Formats Change the 'Character' of American Elections?

Joseph will investigate the hypothesis, asserted by Richard M. Valelly in The American Prospect, that remote voting formats contribute to civic disengagement. For his Senior Honors Thesis in Political Science, he will interview thirty middle class Americans on their experiences with traditional and remote voting formats. The proliferation of remote voting use, along with recent concerns over America’s civic health, make the issue worth considering. Secondary research will be used to develop scholarly explanations as to how the physical mechanics of voting (the way we cast a vote) impacts our understanding of citizenship (what it means to be a citizen). The completed work will be shared with participants in the Internet voting debate and other interested scholars.

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Social Science

Voices of Authority and Divergence: Authorship in the Anglo-Saxon Period and in the Later Middle Ages

Bringing together and expanding his research on Anglo-Saxon and later medieval literature, Toby will investigate the “author function” as it appears (and often disappears) in these two periods. The starting point for his study will be a broad dissimilarity: in one period (the later middle ages), the idea of authorship is constantly obsessed over and manipulated; in the other (the Anglo-Saxon), authors remain nameless, and the identification of the narrative subject is often avoided outright. The main focus of the study, however, will be examples that do not fit into this general pattern: texts in which these two periods correspond in their use of the author function, and in their presentation of the subjective “I.” A double major in Comparative Literature and Italian Studies, Toby will travel to England and Italy to conduct original archival research. The resulting study, concerning both the words of the selected texts and their material […]

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Humanities

Intracellular Studies of the Thalamo Cortical Circuit

Philosophers and scientists alike have puzzled over the question of how we experience the visual world. A double major in Molecular & Cell Biology and Philosophy, John will take up this question from a scientific perspective for his Senior Honors Thesis in MCB. Focusing on the transmission of information between the thalamus and the cortex, he will use the electrophysiological methods of extracellular stimulation and whole-cell recording, in order to study synaptic transmission from the lateral geniculate nucleus to the input layer of the primary visual cortex in an in vitro rat preparation. Using these methods, John will be able to investigate many of the important mechanisms thought to determine our visual perceptions. The goals of his research are to rigorously analyze the interactions between those areas of the brain necessary for visual perception, and ultimately, to propose a mathematical model that describes those interactions.

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Sciences

Ancient Egyptian Mummy Portraits: Looking into the Faces of the Past and Present

Current Bio: Haley is an artist and land conservationist who lives in Marin County. She completed a residency at the Whitney Museum in New York City, and then completed a PhD in Visual Culture and Education. She has exhibited her art in Europe and in the US, especially New York City and the Bay Area. In her land conservation work, Mellin conserves independently with a team of advisors. Mellin currently conserves one large-scale location per year into a new park. Focus is on tropical forests for carbon reasons, pristine wilderness and for biodiversity. Haas Scholars Project: An Art Practice major, Haley will paint a series of portraits using the techniques and materials found in the Fayum mummy portraits of Ancient Egypt. These portraits, created during the first and second centuries CE for burial ritual purposes, are heralded for their technical and emotive mastery. Haley will conduct fieldwork in New York, […]

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Humanities

Beloved: Toni Morrison's Rhetoric of Libation

Carlos’s interdisciplinary project, “Beloved: Toni Morrison’s Rhetoric of Libation,” has two aims. First, it will explore how Toni Morrison uses allegory and the West African concept of nommo to reconstruct historical representations of trauma, as well as practices of communal, cultural and self possession, in her acclaimed 1987 novel Beloved. Secondly, it will propose a literary theory that employs (but is not limited to) West African cosmologies in determining the implications of Beloved for African American communities. Following Barbara Christian’s observation that Beloved is a prayer, Carlos will argue that by threading allegory and nommo, two seemingly divergent epistemological systems, Morrison’s Beloved produces a cultural rhetoric of libation. As his Rhetoric Senior Honors Thesis, this project’s ultimate goal is to provide literary theorists with a model that centralizes “Third World” cosmologies and epistemologies.

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Humanities

Digital Government: The Next American Revolution?

Daniell’s research in the burgeoning field of eGovernment will examine the structure, implementation, and deployment issues of the use of the Internet as a tool for governance in the United States. For his Senior Honors Thesis in Political Science, he will travel to Washington D.C. and Sacramento to conduct case studies of the eGovernment plans of the State of California, US Treasury Department, and a plan created for the federal government by the Council for Excellence in Government. Daniell will determine if a combination of elements of these efforts could interwork with additional inter-system interfaces, to provide a system of digital governance accessible to all. He will also evaluate the pervasiveness of such services and the quality of access to disadvantaged classes, which will either bridge or increase the split of societal groups across the Digital Divide.

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Social Science

In Fear of Difference: Dissent and Anti-Individualism in the former Yugoslavia

A double major in Political Science and Psychology, Tiasha will be studying how Yugoslavia’s political transition out of communism has affected the region’s stance toward individualism, seeking to determine whether the move toward liberal democracy has produced a genuine effort towards increasing freedom of expression. She will be testing her hypothesis that anti-individualism is a potent political tradition in this region by doing a comparative study of the treatment of dissidents by three different regimes that have held power here over the past half century: nationalists during the rule of Tito (1950-1980); black-listed journalists in the newly independent Croatia (1990-2000); and Radio B-92 and student groups such as Otpor (Resistance) in Milosevic’s Serbia (1990-2000). Her research, conducted in part through fieldwork in Croatia and Serbia, will culminate in a Senior Honors Thesis in Political Science.

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Social Science

A Fundamental Study of Selective Catalysis in Heterogeneous Materials

A Chemical Engineering & Material Science double major, Nicholas plans to investigate the significance of catalyst structure on a system exhibiting shape-selectivity. In the past, it has proven difficult to synthetically manipulate one catalyst feature without simultaneously altering other features. As a result, the relative importance of various structural features on catalyst selectivity remains generally unknown. By using a novel synthetic method called molecular imprinting, Nicholas hopes to achieve independent manipulation of the catalyst’s structural features, thereby allowing elucidation of the mechanism of catalyst selectivity. Mechanistic information can in turn be used to optimize catalyst design, resulting in significant economic and environmental benefits in the industrial sector.

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Sciences

Role of Neutrophils and Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes in Cell-mediated Immunity to Listeria monocytogenes

Aida’s Senior Honors Thesis in Molecular & Cell Biology will focus on investigating the mechanisms behind the murine immune response to Listeria monocytogenes. L. monocytogenes is a ubiquitous intracellular human and animal pathogen that can spread from cell to cell via actin-based motility. Previous studies have shown that VASP-binding deficient strains of L. monocytogenes exhibit slow motility and virulence attenuation compared to wild type strains, especially in the liver during secondary murine listeriosis. She hopes to gain a better understanding of the reasons behind this tissue difference and to determine why VASP-binding deficient strains of L. monocytogenes display more pronounced virulence attenuation during secondary versus primary murine listeriosis. The results of her research, which could have important implications for the development of therapeutics against intracellular pathogens, will be presented at the American Society for Microbiology national meeting in Spring 2002.

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Sciences

'You Aren't the First and You Won't be the Last': Unmarried Motherhood in Contemporary Rural Ireland

My research examines the changes in the prevalence of unmarried mothers in Ireland nearly a 20% between 1988 and 1999, the church and community response towards these women, and alternative interpretations of the lifestyles and demographics of single mothers. In recent years the response towards single parents has moved from one of social exclusion, condemnation towards one of outward acceptance and coping, a shift clearly influenced by the increasing prevalence of unmarried mothers and on account of moral condemnation of the alternatives of social exclusion of the mother and her child, adoption and abortion. Members of the clergy and other religious cite similar reasons for their own acceptance of single parents and for the Churchs changing attitude towards those who might have previously fallen outside the pale. I have chosen to focus on limited number of case studies and allowing for voices to be given to a few of the […]

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Humanities

Exploring the Role of Polysialic Acid in Tumor Metastasis

A double major in Molecular & Cell Biology and History, John intends to investigate the function of polysialic acid (PSA) on the cellular membranes of cancer cells. Polysialic acid is a relatively long, negatively charged sugar polymer composed only of sialic acid monomers. While the role of polysialic acid in neural and fetal cells has been well studied, information regarding its role in tumor cells has not. John hypothesizes that the long molecule disrupts the cell-cell interactions that prevent uncontrolled cell division, allowing tumor cells to rapidly multiply and expand. By utilizing the techniques of organic chemistry and molecular biology, John hopes to elucidate the function and importance of polysialic acid in tumors. Collaborating with researchers at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, he hopes to show that the presence of polysialic acid helps cause cancer. If successful, further research on the inhibition of polysialic acid biosynthesis could lead to future cancer therapy.

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Sciences