2014-2015 Research Scholars
We are extremely proud of each of our LSAMP Research Scholars, and would like to share their success! LSAMP Research Scholars have distinguished themselves in many ways: through their academic achievements, research experiences, service to their campuses and communities, and through their compelling personal stories.
Ulysses Alvarez is majoring in Mathematics and is now on his final year in CSUF to obtain his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics. He has been in the LSAMP program for nearly a year and a half, which is a little less than the amount of time he has been working with Dr. Scott Annin with the problem of classifying which elements have kth roots in an algebraic structure know as the partially ordered injections of the symmetric inverse monoid, POI(n). During the process in better understanding this particular algebraic structure, Ulysses has learned to create a code to collect data using GAP, which is free software that makes computations with discrete mathematics. Dr. Annin and Ulysses have been able to come up with a few conjectures of how to classify certain elements that are characterized with certain structures that CANNOT have kth roots. However, much progress is to be made to create a statement that can be applied to all of the elements of POI(n). Ulysses Alvarez hopes to enroll in a Bridge to Doctorate Program in Fall 2015 to be able to further pursue his goal in obtaining a Doctorate Degree in Mathematics.
Michelle Barboza is a junior at California State University-Fullerton, majoring in Geological Sciences with a minor in Geography. This semester, Michelle continues research for her undergraduate thesis with Dr. James Parham his vertebrate paleontology lab associated with the John D. Cooper Center. The goal of her project is to describe and interpret 5-10 million year old mammal fossils from Orange County in order to better-define the age of certain rocks and the environment in which they were formed. Once she completes her undergraduate degree, Michelle intends to pursue graduate studies in paleontology, using her multidisciplinary background to gain a more holistic understanding of earth history. Michelle’s career goals include working in higher education and contributing to public science education. This is her second semester being a part of LSAMP.
Alejandro Camacho is a senior Mathematics major at California State University, Fullerton. Alejandro is in his second semester participating in the LSAMP program. He is currently participating in research with Dr. Laura Smith. Alejandro’s focuses on an agent-based model that simulates various patrolling strategies and their effects on crime. This research is important to Alejandro because it provides more profound appreciation for the material presented in class. Alejandro’s career goals include obtaining a Masters in Applied Mathematics and attaining a job in industry. He hopes to continue his research in order to reveal more important results, which could possibly impact society. Alejandro will be applying to CSUF, CSULB, and CSULA’s graduate program for the 2015-2016 academic year.
Joseph Chavoya is a mathematics major in the pure concentration, who is beginning his senior year at the California State University, Fullerton. The Fall 2014 semester will be his first semester being involved with LSAMP, and though he is new to the program, he hopes do meaningful research during his time involved. During the Fall 2014 semester, Joseph will be continuing research done in the prior semester with Dr. Christopher Lyons involving the Galois groups of certain degree four polynomials. Given that the research performed will be largely algebraic, Joseph’s research will largely be taking place at home, as well as in the whiteboards in the basement of McCarthy Hall at CSUF. Working jointly with Christopher Bang, Joseph hopes to accomplish meaningful results over the course of the semester. In doing so, Joseph will be gaining the much needed experience that he hopes to pursue in his desire to achieve a PhD.
Devon Cook is a full-time student with senior standing in both the College of Engineering & Computer Science as well as Natural Science & Mathematics at California State University, Fullerton. His undergraduate degree objective includes double majoring in Computer Science and Math, and he is a newly accepted LSAMP Research Scholar, though he has been involved with the program and a number of its scholars in some capacity for a year now. Among other projects, he has been actively involved in statistical research with application to seismology under Dr. Kevin Nichols since Spring of 2013. Devon’s research involves improving current epidemic type aftershock-sequence models through a method of model independent stochastic de-clustering. This research is of importance to him because the potentially improved model could prove to be a valuable tool for policymakers preparing for earthquake activity, and his research has progressed into obtaining more accurate results and quantifying the degree of impairment on the modeling algorithm. Devon's career goals include obtaining a Master’s and Ph.D. in Computational Science, and he hopes to continue his research to make valid contributions to the scientific community. Devon hopes to apply to graduate school for the 2016 academic year.
Mirna Dominguez is a senior Mathematics major at Cal State University, Fullerton and has been involved in LSAMP since Fall 2014. She is currently working on research under the supervision of her mentor, Dr. Sam Behseta. Her research allows her to apply statistical methods on educational data, data provided by Dr. Cherie Ichinose. The research she is conducting allows her to analyze mathematical self-related beliefs of high-school students and how these beliefs change among learning environments (in-class setting vs. online setting). This research is important for her because it allows her to learn and apply new statistical methods that prepares her for graduate school. She aspires to obtain a Master's Degree and Ph.D. in Statistics and hopes to continue conducting research. Mirna is planning to apply to the Master's program at Cal State University, Fullerton.
Lizzeth Flores is a Junior Geology major at California State University, Fullerton and is a new member to LSAMP. This is Lizzeths first semester working with Dr.Memeti as an LSAMP Research Scholar. Lizzeth is currently involved in two projects with Dr.Memeti. She is mapping and collecting samples to do chemical analysis in Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. In the summer of 2015 Lizzeth will be traveling with Dr.Memeti on a collaboration with USC and 4 other CSUF students to Argentina to map and collect samples for chemical analysis of the Anillaco area in eastern Foothills of the Andes, the Antofagasta area in the Andean Puna. This is important to Lizzeth because it will help understand the plutonic and volcanic magmatic processes. Funding from LSAMP will allow Lizzeth to focus on research and it will help pay for her fees to study abroad in the summer. Her career goals are to receive a Master’s in Geological Sciences. Lizzeth will apply to graduate school for the 2017 academic year.
Alyssa Garcia is a junior Physics major at California State University, Fullerton and was involved in LSAMP during her freshman year and has returned this semester working on a new project. She is currently working with Dr. Geoffrey Lovelace in the Gravitational Wave Physics and Astronomy Center (GWPAC) running simulations of binary black holes and hybridizing their gravitational waves. This research is of importance to Alyssa because she has always had a passion for astrophysics and cosmology, and being able to work in that field is like fulfilling a life long dream. Alyssa’s research has progressed into creating and studying the hybridized waveform of every simulation in the SXS collaboration’s simulation annex as she received funding from LSAMP, because it has allowed her to work less outside of school and focus more on the research. Her career goals include obtaining a Master’s and a PhD in physics and she hopes to continue doing interesting and groundbreaking research. Alyssa also hopes to apply to graduate school for the 2017 academic year.
Anthony Garcia is currently a senior Geology major at California State University, Fullerton and it is his first semester participating as an LSAMP Research Scholar, which he is excited about. Anthony is currently conducting research in Dr. Jeffrey Knott’s geology lab, which he has been involved with since Spring 2014. Anthony’s area of research is located in Death Valley, Ca, where he is researching Lake Manly, where he will attempt to constrain the age and extent of Lake Manly. Funding from LSAMP will allow Anthony to have the financial support to take multiple weekend trips to Death Valley, which will pay for expenses such as gas, food and lodging. Anthony believes that his research will be a small contribution to the scientific community, which is important to him. His academic goals include obtaining a Master’s and possibly a Ph.D in Geology. He aims to start graduate school in Fall 2015.
Naarai Garcia is a senior Applied Mathematics major at California State University, Fullerton and has been involved in LSAMP for 7 months. She is currently participating in research with Dr. Anael Verdugo as an LSAMP Research Scholar, and has been involved in this project for 9 months. Naarai’s research involves studying the iron metabolism network, which enables her to understand diseases of iron overload and iron deficiency. This research is of importance to Naarai because she has a deep concern for the regulation of iron concentration in the body. Naarai’s research has progressed into obtaining more accurate results as she has received funding from LSAMP as an academic year scholar, which has allowed her to prolong her research project and perfect her mathematical model. Her career goals include obtaining a Master’s and Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics, and she hopes to continue her research to reveal important results, which will lead to improvements in mathematical biology. Naarai hopes to apply to graduate school for the 2015 academic year.
Adrian Guzman is a junior Civil Engineering major at California State University, Fullerton and has been a member of LSAMP for one year. Adrian is currently participating in research in Dr. Garrett Struckhoff’s Environmental Engineering lab as an LSAMP Research Scholar. He has been involved in this lab for two years. Adrian’s project is about studying the effects of green roofs on the efficiency of solar panel technology. He believes it is fundamental to study environmental aspects that will increase energy efficiency and promotes sustainable energy. The funding provided by LSAMP as an academic year scholar for Adrian’s research has been imperative to obtain the necessary equipment and accurate results. His academic goals include obtaining a Master’s and PhD in Environmental Engineering. He hopes to continue his research and promote renewable energy development.
Waymon Ho is a junior Computer Science major at California State University, Fullerton and has been involved in LSAMP since the beginning of Fall 2014. Waymon is currently participating in Dr. Tian’s Cloud-Computing and Mobile Cloud-Computing lab as a LSAMP Research Scholar, and has been working on the project since June 2014. Waymon’s research addresses the current limitations of cloud-computing architectures and hopes to enhance the efficiency of cloud networks through performance and security. Waymon plans to introduce experimental open-source frameworks such as Hadoop and Spark to research into powerful cloud-computing alternatives. This research has helped Waymon experience and learn first-hand about the growing popularity and necessity of cloud-based infrastructures, and has allowed him to contribute to investigating advances in this field. Waymon’s research was barely initiated in June 2014 under the supervision of Dr. Tian, and he hopes to continue to finish his first study under her this semester thanks to the funding he has received through LSAMP. Waymon’s academic goals include obtaining a Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Computer Science, while focusing on research to make advances in his field.
Eric Hubbard is a senior Cell and Developmental Biology major at California State University, Fullerton and has been involved in LSAMP for 2 years. He is currently participating in research in Dr. Nilay Patel¹s Alzheimer¹s focused lab as an LSAMP Research Scholar, and has been performing research in this lab for 1 year. Eric¹s project involves studying the mechanism by which SR-8278, a REV-ERB nuclear receptor antagonist, is able to up regulate apoE expression in human astrocytoma cells. This research is of importance to Eric because he is deeply interested in cellular and neuronal diseases and hopes to get the chance to study them more throughout his career. Eric has put together a detailed hypothesis for the pathway that the SR-8278 drug is acting through, and he is currently performing experiments to test each link in this pathway. His career goals include obtaining a Master¹s and Ph.D. in the Biological sciences, and he ultimately hopes to continue his research and describe a novel way in which apoE is up regulated. Eric hopes to apply to graduate school for the 2016 academic year.
Adrian Iniguez is a junior Mechanical Engineer at California State University, Fullerton and has been involved in LSAMP for 2 years. He is currently participating in Dr.Wang's research lab examining the efficiencies and emissions in single cylinder diesel engines using alternative biodiesel fuels. His career goals include pursuing a Ph.D in Propulsion Engineering and developing next generation engines for space travel. Adrian plans to attend graduate school in Fall 2016.
Jeff Lopez is a rising junior studying Electrical Engineering at California State University, Fullerton. He has been a part of the LSAMP team for a year working with Dr. Garrett Struck in his Civil and Environmental Engineering lab, where he studies the affects of phytoremediation of environmentally hazardous chemicals. This research is important to Jeff because it has allowed him to creating a self-sustaining hydroponic system using microcontrollers, implementing what he has learned in the classroom and going beyond the scope of the experiments intended purpose. Coupled with the investigation of different plants and microbes, as well as the funding provided by the LSAMP organization, he has been able to evolve his project into something that spans across multiple disciplines. His career goals include obtaining a Ph.D. in engineering, working in industry for a few years, and then returning to academia to teach young engineers. Jeff will be graduating Spring 2016.
Isaac Magallanes is a senior Geology major at California State University, Fullerton and has been involved in LSAMP for 1 year. He is currently participating in research in Dr. Parham’s Paleontology lab as an LSAMP Research Scholar, and has been involved in this lab for 2 years. Isaac’s current research involves the description of a new species of fossil walrus from Orange County and it’s implications on the evolutionary history of walruses. This research is of importance to Isaac because he has been able to obtain a better understanding of walrus evolution, and through LSAMP funding he has been able to present his findings at the Secondary Adaptions to Life in Water (SecAd) Triennial Meeting 2014 in Washington, DC, and the Western Association of Vertebrate Paleontology (WAVP) Meeting 2015. At these conferences he was able to meet with potential graduate school advisors as well as network with other students within his field. His career goals are to obtain his Ph.D. in Paleontology and become a professor in order to continue his research to improve our understanding of earth’s history. Isaac hopes to apply to graduate school for the 2016 academic year.
Cynde Mercado is a senior Civil & Environmental Engineer major at California State University, Fullerton and was accepted to LSAMP this Spring 15 semester. She is currently participating in research in Dr. Struckhoff’s lab as an LSAMP Research Scholar, and has been involved in this lab for a year. Cynde’s last semester project involved retrofitting the area in front of McCarthy Hall with storm water modifications to prevent storm water from entering the stream. This research is of importance to Cynde because she is really interested in water contamination and drought issues. Cynde’s research has progressed and has received funding from LSAMP as an academic year scholar, which has allowed her to purchase advanced equipment. Her career goals include obtaining a Master’s or a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering with the hope of finding solutions to many of the water issue we are currently facing. Cynde will be graduating Spring 2016 and hopes to be enrolled in a graduate program once she graduates.
David Morales is a junior Geology major at California State University, Fullerton and is continuing his involvement with LSAMP as a Research Scholar in Dr. Parham’s Paleontology lab. David became acquainted with the lab the summer of 2014 and is eager to continue research on mancalline populations in the Orange County area during the Late Miocene epoch. He has identified a substantive collection of seabird fossils housed in the John D. Cooper Archaeological and Paleontological Center. David is excited to classify further unidentified seabird material and contribute to the wealth of Orange County’s fossil record. The funding awarded by LSAMP will enable David to afford tuition while spending the necessary lengths of time studying these fossils. He aims to obtain a Master’s and Ph.D. somewhere in the field of geology so that he may achieve his lifelong goal of professorship.
Erick Ortega is a senior mathematics major with a concentration in applied mathematics at California State University, Fullerton. He will be starting his first year with LSAMP in the fall of 2014, though he will be graduating by the end of fall. Currently, Erick is preparing to begin his research as an LSAMP Research Scholar with Dr. Angel Pineda. He will work with Dr. Pineda during his final semester on a project that will focus on optimizing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for tumor detection. The project will require experiments of tumor detection in medical images and modeling of the human visual system. The research that Erick will be conducting with Dr. Pineda is important to him because he will be applying his knowledge to potentially advance the medical field and help further increase the likeliness of detecting tumors. Thanks to the funding that Erick received from LSAMP as a Research Scholar, he will now have the necessary amount of time to dedicate to his research project. His career goals include obtaining his Master’s Degree in Applied Mathematics and working where he can use his particular skill set to make a difference. Erick will be applying to graduate school in the fall of 2015.
Adam Ramirez is junior Geological Science major at California State University, Fullerton. This is his first year of involvement in LSAMP. He is currently working in Dr. Jeffrey R. Knott’s 201 Geology Lab as an LSAMP Research Scholar. Adam’s project involves the examination and analysis of strata and fossils in Deep Springs Lake, California. This research is important to Adam because it focuses on the past fluvial environments in California, which relate to climate change and drought. Adam’s research has improved as he has received funding from LSAMP, allowing him to spend more time in the field and conduct more radiometric dating test. His future career goals include obtaining and Masters in Geology and to work with other scientist studying abroad. Adam plans apply for graduate school for the 2016 academic year.
Rudolph Saenz is a senior math major at California State University, Fullerton with a probability and statistics concentration. This is his first year, second semester, being involved in LSAMP. He is currently continuing research as an LSAMP Research Scholar with Dr. Pineda. He will work with Dr. Pineda during his senior year on a project optimizing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for tumor detection. The project has involved testing the effect of sampling patterns and regularization in MRIs. The project will also test the effectiveness of tumor detection using these methods.. This research is of importance and of interest to Rudolph because it involves using his passion for mathematics to make a difference in the medical field by improving the detection of tumors. Rudolph will be able to devote ample time to his research thanks to funding from LSAMP as an academic year scholar. His career goals include obtaining a master’s degree in statistics and possibly pursing a Ph.D. after which he plans to pursue a career in the actuarial field. Rudolph has applied to graduate school for the 2015-16 academic year.
Miguel Tellez is a junior Biochemistry major at California State University, Fullerton and has been involved in LSAMP since Fall 2014. He is currently participating in research in Dr. Linder’s Biochemistry Laboratory as an LSAMP Research Scholar, and has been involved in this lab since summer 2014. Miguel’s project involves identifying and characterizing small copper carriers (SCC) found in blood plasma of Wilson Disease model mice and in other conditions of copper toxicosis. This isolation is of importance to Miguel because the identity of the small copper carriers will be used to clarify the possible peptide’s origins and other purposes. Miguel’s optimization of using Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid to elicit SCC in normal mammals has shown the possibility that SCC is readily available in healthy mammals for excretion of excess copper. His funding from LSAMP has allowed him to focus on research and academics. His career goals include obtaining a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, and he hopes to continue his research involving mammalian processes. Miguel hopes to apply to graduate school for the 2017 academic year.
Rafael Teran is a senior in the Mechanical Engineering Program at California State University, Fullerton. This is his first year being involved in LSAMP. He is currently participating in research for Dr. Haowei Wang’s Mechanical Engineering Lab as an LSAMP Research Scholar. This is his first year being involved in this research program. Under the advisement of Dr. Haowei Wang, the research he is working on involves the experimental study of the effects of biodiesel on engine performance and emissions. He has been involved with this research since late summer of 2014 and plans to continue working on the research project until his group has completed the different biodiesel fuel analysis on engine performance. His career goals include obtaining a Master’s in Business Administration as he hopes to work as both an engineer and a businessman. Rafael hopes to apply to graduate school in California for the 2016 academic year.
Update coming soon!!
Erick Venegas is a senior Mathematics major at California State University, Fullerton and this is his first semester involved in LSAMP. He is currently participating in research under the supervision of Dr. Sam Behseta. His research allows him to apply modern statistical approaches in order to gauge the significance between variables on educational data provided by Dr. Cherie Ichinose. His research allows him to gain insight on whether online learning has an effect on mathematical self-related beliefs between males and females. Participating in research also allows him to achieve a deeper appreciation for the study of Statistics. He is going to graduate in the fall of 2016 and is planning to apply to the Statistics Mater’s program at Cal State University, Fullerton.