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19th Annual Undergraduate Symposium for
Scholarly & Creative Work

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Keynote Speaker: Peter Mancall

2017 Symposium Program

2017 Awards Banquet Program

2017 Undergraduate Symposium Prize Winners

$1000 First Prizes and $500 Second Prizes were awarded in each category


15 submissions

Honorable Mention
Brenda Chen, Sze Yu (Awu) Chen, Erika Gomi, Andrew Okenfuss, Sagar Ramesh, Yimin Zhang
Faculty Sponsor: Michael Patterson, Animation and Digital Arts, School of Cinematic Arts
2nd Prize
Adrianne Ramsey
GIRLS Magazine
Faculty Sponsor: Noura Wedell, Roski School of Art and Design
1st Prize
Devon Manney
Faculty Sponsor: Sheila Sofian, Animation and Digital Arts, School of Cinematic Arts


13 submissions

Honorable Mention
Alleluia Tyus
A Petrographic Analysis of Late Bronze Age Alalakh pottery culture
Faculty Sponsor: Lynn Swartz Dodd, Archaeology, Dornsife College
Honorable Mention
Heather Duncan
Faculty Sponsor: Susan Segal, English, Dornsife College
2nd Prize
Felicitas (Felicia) Reyes
Community-based Efforts: Addressing the Needs of Undocumented Youth involved in the Juvenile Justice System
Faculty Sponsor: George Sanchez, American Studies and Ethnicity, Dornsife College
1st Prize
Morgan Mamon
Ibn Khaldūn in Translation: An Examination of Jīl in Franz Rosenthal’s Muqaddimah
Faculty Sponsor: Ramzi Rouighi, Middle East Studies and History, Dornsife College
Interdisciplinary Award
Jacob Broussard
Examining Change in Traditional Navajo Music
Faculty Sponsor: Scott Spencer, Thornton School of Music

Life Sciences I

26 submissions

Honorable Mention
Shyam Hassan
Cycloheximide Resistance, Mechanisms, and Genetics in C. elegans
Faculty Sponsor: Sean Curran and Hans Dalton, Davis School of Gerontology
Honorable Mention
Daniel Kim, David Sutter
Extended Synaptotagmin is a presynaptic ER Ca2+ sensor that promotes neurotransmission and synaptic growth in Drosophila
Faculty Sponsors: Dion Dickman and Koto Kikuma, Neurobiology, Dornsife College
2nd Prize
Richard Johnson
Developmental Exposure to particulate air pollutants reduces cell proliferation in the hippocampus and impairs hippocampal dependent memory
Faculty Sponsors: Caleb Finch, Todd Morgan, and Nicholas Woodward, Davis School of Gerontology; Scott Kanoski,
Dornsife College; Costas Sioutas, Viterbi School of Engineering
1st Prize
Ashley Labarre
A Study of the Pattern of Jawbone Regeneration in the Adult Zebrafish Upper and Lower Jawbone
Faculty Sponsors: Gage Crump and Dion Giovannone, Keck School of Medicine
Interdisciplinary Award
Sean Lim
Diversity of Self-Organizing Migration Patterns Across and Within Species of Swimming Bacteria
Faculty Sponsors: James Boedicker and Osman Kahraman, Physics & Astronomy, Dornsife College

Life Sciences II

28 submissions

Honorable Mention
Carina Seah
In vivo AAV gene targeting of the C9ORF72 repeat expansion in ALS
Faculty Sponsors: Justin Ichida and Kim Staats, Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Keck School of Medicine
Honorable Mention
Brian Chin, Aditya Dutta Gupta, Christopher Halbur
Identification of microRNAs within HIV integration Sites in the Human Genome
Faculty Sponsors: Bryan Holland, Molecular and Computational Biology, Dorsife College; Suraiya Rasheed, Pathology, Keck School of Medicine
2nd Prize
Rahul Masson
Characterizing Circulating Tumor Cells in ERBB2 Mutant HER2 Non-Amplified Metastatic Breast Cancer
Faculty Sponsors: James Hicks, Peter Kuhn, and Stephanie Shishido, Biological Sciences, Dornsife College
1st Prize
Sang Wun (Erick) Jung
Discovering the First Immune System Encoded in the Human Mitochondrial Genome: The Antimicrobial Effects of a Mitochondrial-Derived Peptide on Bacteria
Faculty Sponsor: Changhan Lee, Davis School of Gerontology
Interdisciplinary Award
Tsam Kiu (Ewina) Pun
A Biocompatible Impedance-based Microbubble Pressure Transducer to Treat Hydrocephalus
Faculty Sponsors: Ellis Meng, Eugene Yoon, and Lawrence Yu, Biomedical Engineering, Viterbi

Physical Sciences, Mathematics & Engineering

37 submissions

Honorable Mention
Eric Deng
Personalized Socially Assistive Robots for Children with Autism
Faculty Sponsor: Maja Matarić, Viterbi School of Engineering
2nd Prize
Sébastien Arnold
Accelerating AI: A Practical Algorithm for Quadratic Convergence of Large-Scale Deep Learning
Faculty Sponsor: Chunming Wang, Mathematics, Dornsife College
1st Prize
Christian Lau
Printed Carbon Nanotube Transistors for Large-Area and Flexible Electronic
Faculty Sponsor: Chongwu Zhou, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science, Electrophysics, Viterbi
Interdisciplinary Award
Nimisha Patil
Comparison of Basic Beatboxing Articulations using Real-Time Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Faculty Sponsors: Shrikanth Narayanan, Viterbi School of Engineering; Gifford Blaylock, Linguistics, Dornsife College

Social Sciences I

13 submissions

Honorable Mention Madison (Maddi) Eckert
Frats, Srats and Trojans: drawing the line between drunk sex and sexual assault
Faculty Sponsor: Jefferey Sellers, Political Science, Dornsife College
2nd Prize Jordan Elist
The Rise of Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship in Mexico
Faculty Sponsor: Pamela Starr, International Relations, Dornsife College
1st Prize Philippa Tucker
Evaluation of the KIDS AIDE Bicycle Intervention in Northern Peru
Faculty Sponsor: Jo Ann Farver, Psychology, Dornsife College
Interdisciplinary Prize Award Sonia Chavez-Meza, Andrea Diaz, Braulio Hoyos, Diana Jimenez, Griffin Kantz, Melissa Martinez, Tomás Mier, Jasmin Nunez, Brianna Thorpe, Vanessa Vucinic
Urban Development Assessment of Mexico City
Faculty Sponsors: Donald Spivack, Price School of Public Policy; William Vela, El Centro Chicano, Student Affairs

Social Sciences II

30 submissions

Honorable Mention Elizabeth Hutton
A New Model of Statistical Learning: Trajectories Through Perceptual Similarity Space
Faculty Sponsors: Felix (Hao) Wang and Jason Zevin, Psychology, Dornsife College
Honorable Mention Kaitlin Hardin
Getting a Head Start: Using A Mobile Application to Monitor Sports Concussions
Faculty Sponsor: Richard John, Psychology, Dornsife College
2nd Prize Hannah Nordberg
Anxiety, Physiological Arousal, and Executive Functioning in Younger Adults
Faculty Sponsors: Kelly Durbin, Psychology, Dornsife College; Mara Mather, Davis School of Gerontology; Allison Ponzio, Davis School of Gerontology
1st Prize Esther Jahng
Transitioning to Motherhood: Role of Mode of Delivery and Stressful Birth Experience on Mother-Infant Bonding
Faculty Sponsors: Hannah Lyden and Darby Saxbe, Psychology, Dornsife College
Interdisciplinary Award Nisha Kale
The role of visuospatial ability and musical training on piano sight-reading abilities in expert and amateur pianists
Faculty Sponsor: Assal Habibi, Psychology, Dornsife College

Digital Media

Honorable Mention
Emile Indik
Dora Research Analytics
Faculty Sponsor: Peter Beerel, Viterbi School of Engineering
2nd Prize
Kathy Liu
Bringing Paper to Life in the “1969” Virtual Reality Film
Faculty Sponsor: Candace Reckinger, School of Cinematic Arts
1st Prize
Noreen Chrysilla
Seizure Monitor
Faculty Sponsors: Nora Ayanian, Viterbi School of Engineering; George Tolomiczenko, Keck School
of Medicine & Viterbi School of Engineering

USC Schwarzenegger Institute

2nd Prize Samantha McVety
A Synergetic Solution To Small-Scale Water Challenges
Faculty Sponsor: Amy Childress, Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Viterbi
1st Prize Lynn Le
Education Through Gaming and Game Development
Faculty Sponsors: Scott Easley and Matt Whiting, Viterbi School of Engineering