2016-2017 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 Guzman is a senior Mechanical Engineering major at California State University, Fullerton, and has been a member of LSAMP for three years. Adrian is currently participating in research in Dr. Salvador Mayoral’s Wind Tunnel Lab as an LSAMP Research Scholar. The Wind Tunnel Lab is also the location of the Senior Titan Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Team. He has been involved in this lab for 6 months. The project consists of designing and fabricating a two-dimensional traverse system consisting of three stepper motors and a microcontroller. The microcontroller will allow manual control of the stepper motors to direct the traverse head, which will be used to measure the varying pressure. We hope to obtain pressure distribution data across the test section of the wind tunnel. This traverse system will be installed inside the test section of the wind tunnel for acoustical studies. The funding provided by LSAMP as an academic year scholar for Adrian’s research will assist in obtaining necessary equipment. His academic goals include obtaining a Master’s Degree in Computer Science. Adrian will be applying to graduate school for the 2017 academic year.
Alyssa Garcia is a senior Physics major at California State University, Fullerton and was involved in LSAMP during her freshman year and had returned two years ago 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, analyzing their resulting gravitational waves, and comparing these waveforms with other numerical relativity groups. 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 publishing a paper (Class. Quantum Grav. 33, 244002 (2016)), and eventually injecting numerical waves into LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) data in order to test if she can get the signal back out again, as she received funding from LSAMP, because it has allowed her to work less outside of school and focus more on the research. Alyssa has currently been accepted into five PhD programs and is very excited about continuing to do interesting and groundbreaking research.
Dulce Cortez is a senior at the California State University, Fullerton and is finishing her major in Earth Science and minor in Spanish. She is a first time LSAMP research scholar this fall semester. This semester she is also finishing her last undergraduate thesis unit for her B.A., in which her research is based in Upper Newport bay. Her goal is to determine sedimentation rates on mudflats on a short-term time scale using short-lived radioisotopes. She hopes to assess environmental sustainability in the bay as it relates to climate change and sea level rise, an increasing rate since the late 18th or 19th century. She will present her research at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting 2016 in San Francisco. After graduating she plans to attend graduate school for a master’s degree in geology and she hopes to continue researching sea-level rise in coastal environments.
Eduardo Chavez is a senior Geology major at California State University, Fullerton. This is his second semester as an LSAMP Research Scholar. Eduardo is currently conducting research with Dr. Valbone Memeti and has been involved with this research project for over a year. Eduardo’s current research involves determining the source of sediments using Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy and analytical geochemistry. This research is of importance to Eduardo because it gives insight into the complex methodologies surrounding source studies, and through LSAMP has be presented his research at the AAPG Pacific Section/Rocky Mountain Joint Regional Meeting 2016. Eduardo’s future goals are to obtain his Ph.D. in Geology and work as an exploration geologist. Eduardo hopes to apply to graduate school for the 2017 academic year.
Isaac Magallanes is a senior Geology major at California State University, Fullerton and has been involved in LSAMP for 3 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, the Western Association of Vertebrate Paleontology (WAVP) Meeting 2015 in Turlock, CA, and the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) Annual Meeting 2015 in Dallas, TX. He has also presented his research at the Geologic Society of America Annual Meeting 2016 in Denver, CA and the SVP Annual Meeting 2016 in Salt Lake City, UT. 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 has applied to both PhD and Masters Programs throughout the US for the 2017/2018 school year.
Jesus Perez is a senior Mechanical Engineering major at California State University, Fullerton and is participating in LSAMP for the first time this year. He is currently participating in research with Dr. James, as an LSAMP Research Scholar, and is among the first generation of student to conduct research with him. Jesus’ project involves designing and manufacturing a LBM (Laser Beam Machine) in order to perform and analyze the efficiency of LBM Machining on glasses and ceramics and composites. The research is of importance to Jesus because LBM Machining is one possible manufacturing method for glasses and ceramics and composites, in many industries, primarily focusing on the aerospace industry. Jesus’ research has progressed by expanding testing to different materials, as he has received funding from LSAMP as an academic year scholar, which will allow him to test on various specimen. His career goals include obtaining a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering, and he hopes to continue his research to reveal important information in regards to materials and their mechanical properties, which will lead to improvements in understanding of fracture mechanics. Jesus hopes to attend graduate school after 3 years of experience in the workforce.
Juan Rocha is a junior Mechanical Engineering major at California State University, Fullerton and this is the second semester that he will be involved with LSAMP. He has completed over one year so far as an Undergraduate Research Assistant in Dr. Joshua Smith’s optics lab. Juan’s project consists of quantifying and characterizing scattered light from aLIGO (Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) optics using the CSUF Imaging Scatterometer. A new project is currently under construction, which will investigate if micro-crystals form in the coating during the high temperatures of the annealing process. This experiment will attempt to answer if new techniques for the creation of these optics is necessary. Scattered light causes noise that is one of the limitations of the sensitivity aLIGO to gravitational waves. Understanding the levels at which light scatters off the optical coatings will help improve LIGO’s ability to observe merging black holes and other astrophysical phenomena. To further improve the sensitivity of future interferometers, Juan and other members of the optics lab at CSUF, in collaboration with the LSC (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), are now looking at newly developed optical technologies, such as crystalline coatings. These optics offer other beneficial properties for aLIGO such as thermal noise reduction, low absorption, high reflectance, and low transmissivity, and it is important to ensure that they have low scatter. Juan has presented his research at LSC meetings and the past year’s SACNAS meeting. Juan’s career goals include obtaining a Master’s and a Ph.D. in Engineering. He hopes to apply for graduate school in 2018.
Katerin Aleman Heredia
Katerin Aleman Heredia recently transferred from Santiago Canyon College to commence her first Fall semester in California State University, Fullerton as a junior student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree for Electrical Engineering. This past summer Katerin was part of the Research Summer Experience program where she got to work in a Physics’ lab under the direction and guidance of Dr. Joshua Smith. Katerin’s research project focused on improving the functionality of an algorithm that tries to understand the origins of different noise sources that conflict with the capturing of signals from gravitational waves. After taking part of this research project, Katerin is considering to minor in Physics and she is also continuing to work in Dr. Smith’s lab to further make modifications to the project started over the summer. Katerin hopes to strengthen her programing skills and add more modifications to the existing code so that it can be ready for optimal use when LIGO (gravitational wave interferometer) starts running again later this year. Katerin is excited to explore and learn from the field of research furthermore as a new LSAMP research scholar during this academic year. Katerin aspires to obtain a MBA with the goal of managing her own business in the future and a Ph.D. in an emphasis related to electrical engineering and more specifically the side of communications and signal processing.
Rosa Murrieta is a senior Geology major at California State University, Fullerton and has been involved as an LSAMP Scholar for two semesters. She is currently continuing her research for her undergraduate thesis in Dr. Diane Clemens-Knott's laboratory experimenting with the samples to employ detrital zircon provenance analysis, and comprehend paleogeography and terrain linkages or differences. This is important to Rosa, for she is able to continue learning about conducting research and developing her professional growth within a lab setting. Her career goals include pursuing a M.S. in Geology to continue learning about environmental science research. Rosa plans to attend graduate school in Fall 2018.
Shooka Shahbazi is a junior Geology major at California State University, Fullerton, and this is her second semester in the LSAMP program. She has been involved in Dr. Parham’s Paleontology lab for three semesters, and is currently participating in research as an LSAMP Research Scholar. Shooka’s current research consists of the analysis and description of a new species of fossil walrus from Oregon that is about five million years old. Shooka’s research is significant because it will help us understand the evolutionary history of modern day walruses. With LSAMP funding, Shooka is able to focus on continuing her education and research rather than pursuing unrelated, outside employment. Her career goals are to obtain her Ph.D in Paleontology and join a museum where she can continue her research on earth’s prehistoric organisms. Shooka hopes to graduate in Spring 2018.
Vanessa Acevedo is a senior Applied Mathematics major at California State University, Fullerton. She just recently got involved in LSAMP when her mentor professor emailed her the great opportunity. Vanessa has been participating in research with Dr. Laura Smith over summer 2016 and continued her research as a LSAMP Research Scholar. Her research focuses on crime data in modeling sexual victimization through an agent-based approach. This model involves math and technology to simulate hot spots of where sexual victimization occurs. Her research goal is to compare the agent-based model to real world data anticipating that the math models can predict when sexual victimization will occur according to victim behavior. Vanessa hopes to graduate fall 2018 and find a career in the Los Angeles police department as a mathematician.
Waymon Ho is a senior Computer Science major at California State University, Fullerton and has been involved with LSAMP for 2 years. He is currently participating in Dr. Yun Tian’s Cloud & Distributed Computing Research Lab, and has been involved with this lab for over 3 years. Waymon’s current project involves optimizing popularity-aware spatial keyword queries while implementing it within Apache Hadoop. Waymon’s has made significant strides due to LSAMP’s funding by providing lab resources and opportunities to meet peers within his field at conference proceedings and events, where has had a total of 3 paper and 2 poster acceptances in the past. Waymon hopes to finish the project by the end of Spring 2017. Waymon hopes to improve upon his research to make a significant impact in his field, and plans to pursue a Master’s and Ph.D in Computer Science. Waymon hopes to apply to pursue full-time employment while enrolling in graduate school after his graduation.