2015-2016 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.
Adrian Avila-Alvarez is senior Physics major and a Mathematics minor at California State University, Fullerton. Adrian is a dedicated Chicano who has been with LSAMP for the past two years. He has a strong involvement with research on campus under the supervision of Dr. Joshua Smith. Together they study the scattering nature of light on optics used for gravitational-wave detectors. Gravitational waves (GWs) are ripples in the fabric of space that carry information about the system that produced them (mostly destructive events like the collision of two black holes). This phenomenon was theorized by Albert Einstein and LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) is the effort to detect them. Scattered light reduces LIGO’s sensitivity to detect GWs; therefore, it is imperative that scattered light is understood and kept at a minimal. On that note, Adrian has characterized various optics for the past two years in the lab and hopes to graduate with at least one paper under his name concerning scattered light. Adrian wishes to continue studying at the University of Arizona for a PhD in Optics.
Yuliana Carrillo is a sophomore Civil Engineering major at California State University, Fullerton and this will be her first year as an LSAMP scholar. She is currently participating in Dr.Tiwari’s Civil Engineering lab as a LSAMP Research Scholar, her research began summer 2015. Besides being a LSAMP scholar she is also part of the University Honors Program. Yuliana’s project involves working with partially saturated clay slopes with the impact of a rainfall simulator. This research is important to Yuliana because she is able to get hands on experience in the field she is interested in, Geotechnical Engineering. Through her research she hopes to provide more information on how to reduce the damage of landslides to infrastructure and increase human safety. She will be presenting her research next year in Arizona at the Geotechnical and structural engineering congress. Her career goals include obtaining a Master’s in Geotechnical or Petroleum Engineering. Yuliana hopes to apply to graduate school after obtaining her Bachelors of Science from the college of Engineering.
Devon 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 has been involved with the LSAMP program and a number of its scholars for over a year now. Among other projects, Devon has been actively involved in statistical research with application to seismology under Dr. Kevin Nichols since Spring of 2013. This research involves improving current epidemic type aftershock-sequence models through a method of model independent stochastic de-clustering. The improved model could be a valuable tool for policymakers preparing for earthquake activity, and Devon is currently preparing for publication of the associated paper. His career goals include obtaining a Master’s and Ph.D. in Computational Science, and he hopes to continue doing research to make valid contributions to the scientific community.
Alyssa Garcia is a Senior Physics major at California State University, Fullerton and was involved in LSAMP during her freshman year and has returned last 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. In addition to this, she has been working on a new project to find out how accurate the approximant waveforms used are. 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 more thoroughly analyzing the gravitational waveforms as well as learning to use new codes used within the collaboration, 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.
Adrian Guzman is a senior Mechanical Engineering major at California State University, Fullerton, and has been a member of LSAMP for two years. Adrian is currently participating on 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 Degree in Computer Science. He hopes to continue his research and promote renewable energy development. Adrian will be applying to graduate school for the 2017 academic year.
Stacy Guzman is a junior Biochemistry major at California State University, Fullerton and was accepted as an LSAMP scholar during the Fall 2015 semester. She has conducted research in Dr. de Lijser’s drug discovery laboratory since the summer of 2015. Her research focuses on designing and synthesizing small organic molecules to modulate the Wnt signaling pathway, which can act to maintain stem cells as well as cancer cells. Several proteins participate in a multiprotein “destruction complex” that targets the proto-oncogene beta-catenin for ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. An important area of investigation is to analyze how these compounds target and reduce beta-catenin levels, which influence cell proliferation. Stacy’s career goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in regenerative medicine or biomedical engineering.
Waymon Ho is a junior Computer Science undergraduate at California State University, Fullerton and has been involved with LSAMP since the beginning of Fall 2014 as a LSAMP Research Scholar. Waymon Ho is currently participating in two research labs under Dr. Yun Tian; one focusing on the implementation of secure block placement policies for heterogeneous distributed computing systems and another focusing on popularity-aware spatial keyword queries, which were both started in Fall 2015. Waymon Ho had previously presented his work last year at the Academy of Science's Sixth International Conference for Data Science, which was held at Stanford University on August 18-20, 2015. Waymon’s past research topics include topics in cloud computing and mobile cloud computing. This research has helped Waymon experience and learn first-hand the broad topics relating to data mining, big data, and distributed computing. 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.
Adrian Iniguez is a senior Mechanical Engineer at California State University, Fullerton and has been involved in LSAMP for 3 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 senior studying Electrical Engineering at California State University, Fullerton. He has been a part of the LSAMP team for two years working with Dr. Garrett Struckhoff 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 working in industry for a few years and obtaining a Master’s degree in engineering. 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 2 years. 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 3 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. He will also be presenting his research at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) Annual Meeting in Dallas, TX. 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.
Erick Venegas is a senior Mathematics major at California State University, Fullerton and this will be his second semester involved with LSAMP. He is currently participating in research under the supervision of Dr. Behseta as an LSAMP Research Scholar. Erick’s research allows him to apply modern statistical approaches in order to seek out relationships between variables on educational data provided by Transforming Academic and Cultural Identidad through Biliteracy (TACIB). Participating in research and working with TACIB allows him to have a more tangible experience by connecting the study of Statistics to the real world. Erick will graduate in the Spring of 2016 and is planning to apply to the Statistics Master’s program at California State University, Fullerton.