SURF-IT Research Projects

The SURF-IT program is committed to offering students challenging and unique research opportunities that explore the diverse, multidisciplinary nature of telecommunications and information technology, and ultimately focus on furthering the development of the Internet. Students will be fully immersed in the research laboratory, collaborating with their faculty mentors and teams, and using state-of-the-art equipment. These projects will fully engage the student and provide the opportunity to see how telecommunication and information technology developments are applied in real life to produce significant and tangible final results.

Calit2 faculty, students and research professionals with leading California technology companies conduct research in “living laboratories” focused on the scientific, technological, and social components related to information technologies.

2010 SURF-IT Research Projects

The following faculty-mentored research projects are available during the 2010 SURF-IT Program. They are divided into their own unique areas of research. Select a link for an overview of the project, associated faculty mentors, project prerequisites, and related publications.

Undergraduate Research Projects Mentored by Calit2 Faculty

    1) Analysis of Residential Energy Consumption Patterns 

    2) Cell Mechanic Bioinformatics Platforms 

    3) Cloud Computing – Communication Mechanisms 

    4) Electronic Medical Records Usages in the Emergency Room 

    5) Embedded Sensor Systems for Dance and Health 

    6) Estimation of Energy Savings in Residential Setting by Use of Smart Appliances 

    7) Green Tracker: A Tool for Estimating the Energy Consumption of Software 

    8) Implementation and Testing of A Cooperative Communication Protocol on a Software-Defined Radio Platform 

    9) KarunaTree: An Interactive Virtual World for Cultivating Environmental Literacy 

    10) Learning in Online Virtual Worlds: Webkinz World and Club Penguin 

    11) MaYaNET: A Not-for-Profit Social Media Project 

    12) Microstructural Design of Thermal Shock Resistant Oxygen Sensors 

    13) The Self-Organization, Sustenance, and Coordination of Fansubbing Teams through IT 




 Project #1:  Analysis of Residential Energy Consumption Patterns
Faculty Mentor:  Professor David KirkbyPhysics & Astronomy

Description:  Project Description
The uci@home project is designing a residential energy monitoring and feedback system to assist homeowners in reducing their energy consumption with a corresponding reduction in environmental impact.
The system consists of multiple devices distributed throughout a home and feeding data wirelessly to a central hub. Residents receive immediate simple audio and visual feedback from each device and can also access more detailed analysis of aggregated historical data via a web server running on the hub. Devices collect data on pass-through electric power consumption, ambient temperature, and the quality and quantity of light at each device location.

Student’s Involvement and Expected Outcomes
The student will assist with data collection and develop algorithms to analyze and display data. Some expected outcomes from this work are to:
- automatically recognize the signatures of specific behaviors such as turning on/off a light or type of appliance,
- disentangle the superimposed effects of multiple devices plugged into a single power strip, and
- explore the benefits of correlating power consumption with temperature and lighting data.

Prerequisites: Students should be proficient in at least one of the following programming languages: C, C++, python, ruby, java. Experience with sql, javascript and rails would be helpful but is not necessary.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Students who want more information should contact Professor Kirkby.: dkirkby@uci.edu
   Designing for Behavior Change -- presented at the Planning Workshop for a new California Plug-Load Energy Efficiency Center.: http://positron.ps.uci.edu/~dkirkby/home/docs/KirkbyPlugLoad.pdf



 Project #2:  Cell Mechanic Bioinformatics Platforms
Faculty Mentor:  Professor William C. TangBiomedical Engineering

Description:  Project Description
Cell mechanic bioinformatics involve quantifying cellular mechanical behaviors as a way to extract physiologically-relevant information about how cells go through normal physiological changes or become infected or even cancerous. It could provide powerful insights with strong clinical implications when the information is harvested and correctly interpreted. This project aims at developing the microfluidic platforms that allow this information extraction through mechanical interaction with the cells under test. This is part of a biomedical engineering research effort to investigate cell biomechanics and the related clinical uses.

Student’s Involvement and Expected Outcomes
Depending on the skills and knowledge of the student, the specific project tasks can be tailored to involve any or all of design, modeling, simulation, fabrication, and testing of a novel microfluidic platforms and the use of the platforms in cell mechanics experiments. At the minimum, the expected outcomes are (1) understand the fundamentals of cell mechanics and the clinical and physiological relevance; (2) contribute to one, some, or all of the following areas: (a) modeling and theoretical analyses of mechanical interactions between cells and engineered platform, (b) design and fabrication of the fluidic platform; (c) characterize and optimize the fluidic platform for a selected cell type; and (d) use of the platform to collect scientific data for the chosen cell type.

Recommended Readings & Publications
Wang, Y.-L. and Discher, D. E., eds., Cell Mechanics, Volume 83 (Methods in Cell Biology)


Prerequisites: The minimum requirements are knowledge in cell biology, basic cell mechanics like cytoskeletons, and interests in micro devices and fluidic platforms. Other required skills will depend on the specific assigned tasks, such cell culturing experience, skills in using AutoCAD, computer modeling like COMSOL, or device fabrication.



 Project #3:  Cloud Computing – Communication Mechanisms
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Jean-Luc GaudiotElectrical Engineering & Computer Science

Description:  Project Description
Cloud computing is a relatively new computing paradigm which allows the virtual sharing of computing resources and yet enables the system management details to remain abstracted from the end users. In other words, the end users no longer need knowledge and expertise in managing a large amount of computing resources, but can instead obtain these services from any number of providers. In our vision, the cloud computing paradigm represents an exciting development of the computing industry with much promise but conversely, many challenges yet to be solved. One of the major challenges is the high communication latency either within a compute node or between compute nodes. Within a node, the host processor often communicates with the accelerators. If the latency is too high, then accelerating the computation itself may be pointless since the communication costs will dominate the overall computation. On the other hand, to abstract the underlying hardware infrastructure from the end users, each user operation may involve extensive inter‐node communication without the user being aware of it. To address the communication latency problem, we plan to study three different synchronization and communication mechanisms to minimize the intra‐node and inter‐node communication costs:
• Streaming: We focus this technique on intra‐node communication. We can design a DMA engine (using burst mode) to directly connect the accelerators and the host CPU. According to our experience, after an initial setup latency, we can sustain a high data bandwidth (16 GB/s for PCI‐express) between any two connecting hardware components so as to match their processing throughput.
• Compression: This method can be applied to both intra‐node and inter‐node communication. The basic idea is to reduce the amount of data to communicate by performing compression. Our experience shows that a simple run‐length compression scheme can achieve as high as 75% data size reduction.
• Value Prediction: This method can be applied to both intra‐node and inter‐node communication. In our previous work, we have shown that in many‐core designs, data values contain a very high degree of redundancy and value prediction techniques have the potential in reducing communication overheads. With value prediction, the consumer thread can continue with execution using a predicted value instead of waiting for the value to be produced. If the prediction is successful, a significant performance gain can be generated. To test the intra‐node communication mechanisms, we will construct an initial test platform consisting of a host processor, three GPGPUs, and an FPGA chip.

The goal of the project will be to test and evaluate the performance of these three synchronization mechanisms.

Recommended Readings & Publications
During the course of the work, some of the following references (as well as others) will be used.
[1] M. Armbrust, A. Fox, R. Griffith, A. Joseph, R. Katz, A. Konwinski, G. Lee, D. Patterson, A. Rabkin, I. Stoica, and M. Zaharia, “Above the clouds: A Berkeley view of cloud computing,” Technical Report No. UCB/EECS‐2009‐28, 2009.
[2] “Apache Harmony‐open source Java platform,” http://harmony.apache.org/.
[3] “The Common Language Runtime,” http://msdn.microsoft.com/en‐us/library/8bs2ecf4(VS.71).aspx
[4] “VMware,” http://www.vmware.com/
[5] “The XEN hypervisor,” http://xen.org/
[6] “The Windows Virtual PC,” http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual‐pc/
[7] “The Sun Java Development Kit,” http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp
[8] “The IBM Java Development Kit,” http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/java/jdk/linux/download.html

Prerequisites: The student should have good computer programming skills and should have taken basic computer architecture classes. At least junior standing is expected.



 Project #4:  Electronic Medical Records Usages in the Emergency Room
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Yunan ChenInformatics

Description:  Project Description:
According to the recent Healthcare IT Reform plan set forth by the US government, the majority of US hospitals will soon switch to EMR systems, in 5-10 years. By definition, EMR is an information system that creates, gathers, manages and stores digital versions of patients’ paper charts within one healthcare organization system. Recent studies show that EMR has great impact on clinical documentation and communications. The goal of this research is to study the EMR usage patterns in an Emergency

Specifically, the student will:
· Observe and analyze existing documentation-related activities in a local hospital emergency room, along with the related artifacts and workflows.
· Interview key stakeholders in the ED regarding their concerns about EMR and keep careful records of the interviews.
· Assist the faculty mentor in the interpretation and analysis of the results.

Student’s involvement and expected outcomes
The student will be taught how to conduct field observation and will be provided with an observation instruction. The student will meet with the faculty every week to discuss his/her progress. The student is expected to spend over 100 hours on field observation during the 10 weeks summer internship and also work with faculty to analyze the data. The student will be required to write a 10-page report by the end of the summer. It is also expected that the student will continue working on data analysis after the SURF-IT program and publish the results with the faculty mentor.

Recommended Readings & Publications:

Campbell, E.M., Sittig, D.F., Ash, J.S., Guappone, K.P., Dykstra, R.H. Types of unintended consequences related to computerized provider order entry. J Am Med Inform Assoc. (2006), 13: 547-556

Fitzpatrick. G. Integrated Care and the Working Record. Health Informatics Journal. (2004), 10: 291-302.

Heath, C. and Luff, P. 1996. Documents and Professional Practice: ‘bad’ organizational reasons for ‘good’ clinical records. Proc. CSCW 1996. (1996), 354-363.

Zhou, X. Ackerman, M.S., Zheng, K. I just don't know why it's gone: maintaining informal information use inpatient care. Proc. CHI 2009. (2009), 2061-20

Prerequisites: A student who has experience with qualitative fieldwork and/or medical settings is preferred. Although this project as a whole has been approved in human-subjects review, the student must pass basic training in human-subjects issues and procedures (several hours) in order to be part of the research team. Therefore the student will be responsible to contact the faculty mentor as soon as he/she is selected to get the necessary training before the project starts. Because of the nature of the work, the student will also be required to take a TB test and flu shot before starting the field study.



 Project #5:  Embedded Sensor Systems for Dance and Health
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Mark BachmanElectrical Engineering & Computer Science

Description:  Project Description
Our group develops applications that use embedded sensors (wired and wireless) for monitoring human activity, especially in applications such as performance dance or health and wellness. We will explore the use of small body worn sensors, embedded sensors, or remote non-contact sensors for monitoring human activity, and develop novel ways to use these for performance or health applications. There are several applications of interest to us in which a student summer project could be helpful.

Student Involvement and Expected Outcomes
The student will gain experience in using hardware and software for using sensors to monitor and assist human activity and will also gain experience working as part of a research team.

Prerequisites: This project requires that the student have a good sense of physical hardware (sensors, circuits) as well as basic programming skills. The student does not have to have mature skills in hardware and electronics, but should have basic understanding of electronics and physical principles, and be able to learn quickly. The student should be a "hands-on" personality who likes to build things as we will develop and demonstrate working applications. In addition, the student should be capable of doing basic programming at the level of C, and some web programming in Javascript or Actionscript. The student should specify her/his areas of interest in using sensors for improving health, enhancing performance, or overcoming disability.



 Project #6:  Estimation of Energy Savings in Residential Setting by Use of Smart Appliances
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Shivendu ShivenduPaul Merage School of Business

Description:  Project description:

The average energy expenditure per US household has increased from $1,670 per year to $2,120 per year from 1990 to 2008 as per the Specialists in Business Information (SBI) estimates (Market Research Report on Energy-Efficient Home Renovations Market). This is a growing concern and in 2008, states such as California and New York spent over $200 million per year on energy efficiency programs as per the US Environmental Protection Agency. For the state of California, with 12.1 million households and 2.75 members per household the energy consumption was 0.81 quadrillion BTU and 67.1 million BTU per household and the total expenditure was $16.89 billion, which is more than any other state in the US as per Energy Information Administration (EIA - US Department of Energy 2005) data.

While at one end growing demand for energy is leading to significant environmental concerns, a substantial amount of energy is being wasted because of behavioral patterns of users leading to wide spread variations in energy management by households. For example, energy is wasted by inefficient handling of appliances and electronic devices. Leaving appliances and electric devices switched on or plugged in when they are not in use leads to significant wastage. An EIA report mentions that in California, 2.4 million households have lights turned on more than 12 hours a day and out of these only 1.5 million lighting units are energy-efficient. Also, 5.9 million households have battery operated appliances out of which 1.3 million are plugged in all the time. Since these appliances are not smart they do not automatically switch off if left on for a certain duration of time in passive mode.

This project aims to estimate the potential savings in energy use in the household sector if the smart appliances and electronic devices are used. In order to estimate the savings, this project will first conduct a household survey to capture the usage patterns for appliances and then estimate potential savings through use of smart appliances.

Student involvement and expected outcomes
We can estimate energy savings due to effective use of smart devices in residential setting by conducting a survey on the UCI campus. The devices for which data will be collected will include but are not limited to Personal Computers, Laptops, cell phone chargers, televisions, DVD/VCRs and game consoles The responsibilities of the student researcher will include:
- Conducting a literature survey
- Creating a survey questionnaire
- Conducting survey, collecting and analyzing data

Recommended readings and publications
1."California's Appliance Efficiency Program." California Web. 23 Feb. 2010. .

2."EIA - Household Buildings Industries & Vehicles Energy Data Analysis & Survey Information" Energy Information Administration - EIA - Official Energy Statistics from the U.S. Government. N.p., n.d. .

3. SBI Energy (2009). Energy-Efficient Home Renovations Market.

4. "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2010. .

Prerequisites: Exposure to market research with good MS Office skills (Excel, Word and Powerpoint) is required. A student with an engineering major and management minor will be preferred, though students with passion for market research with any major are welcome to apply.



 Project #7:  Green Tracker: A Tool for Estimating the Energy Consumption of Software
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Bill TomlinsonInformatics

Description:  Project Description
The energy consumption of computers has become an important environmental issue. Green Tracker is a tool currently under development that estimates the energy consumption of software in order to help concerned users make informed decisions about the software they use. Ultimately the information gathered from this tool will be used to raise awareness and help make the energy consumption of software a more central concern among software developers.

In order to estimate the energy consumption of any deployed software application, Green Tracker will collect information about the computer’s CPU. The results of the CPU tracking (the average CPU data and a chart of the data created using Google Charts) will be presented to the user. Beyond just affecting software users’ behavior, we hope that pointing out the inefficiencies of software systems will encourage IT companies to re-evaluate their products and work to reduce the environmental impact of them. By understanding which software systems are the most energy efficient, we can also work towards understanding what makes one system more sustainable than another. This leads to the new research field of sustainable software engineering, which aims to establish software engineering techniques that reduce the environmental impacts of software. By using sustainable software engineering practices, companies may be able to reduce the environmental footprint of the software they produce.

Student’s Involvement and Expected Outcomes
Students will contribute directly to the technical and creative implementation of Green Tracker. All of these activities will be centered around a key research focus on understanding which software systems are the most energy efficient.

Green Tracker is currently implemented for Mac OS X but our goal is to deploy Green Tracker to various types of computers with different software configurations. Our primary goal is to create a working implementation of Green Tracker application for the Windows operating system, which will involve a significant amount of programming (most likely using C#). This implementation will involve creating a program to launch the software systems to be tested, recording the CPU usage of that application, and displaying this information to the user. Another goal is to improve the current Mac version of Green Tracker to create a more user-friendly interface for running Green Tracker (using any or all of the following: Apple’s Interface Builder, Cocoa, AppleScript, Java). We also plan to create an installer which will allow other Mac users to download Green Tracker. Students will also work on establishing methods for encouraging interested users to download the code and run it on their machines. Finally, students will use the results from user testing to determine which software systems are consistently the most efficient across different configurations. By working on these goals over the course of the summer, students will obtain first-hand experience with implementing software systems on different operating system platforms, quantitatively measuring the power consumption of software systems, and creating awareness about the potential environmental hazards associated with software.

With: Nadine Amsel, graduate student

Recommended Readings and Publications
[1] Amsel, N. and Tomlinson, B. Green Tracker: A Tool for Estimating the Energy Consumption of Software. In CHI '10 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Atlanta, Georgia, USA, April 10–15, 2010). CHI '10. ACM, New York, NY. (To appear.)
[2] Ellis, C.S. The Case for Higher-Level Power Management. Proc. of the Seventh Workshop on Hot Topics in Operating Systems, IEEE Computer Society (1999), 162.
[3] Jain, R. and Wullert II, J. Challenges: environmental design for pervasive computing systems. Proc. of the 8th annual international conference on Mobile computing and networking, ACM (2002), 263-270.
[4] U.S. PC Energy Report 2007, sponsored by 1E. Climate Savers Computing, 2007. http://www.climatesaverscomputing.org/docs/Energy_Report_US.pdf.

Prerequisites: We are looking for one or two students to work with us this summer. Relevant skills include object-oriented programming skills, as well as familiarity with any of the following languages: Java, bash shell scripting, Apple Scripts, Windows .NET (C#). The ideal applicants would blend the technical skills mentioned above with creative ideas and suggestions for different methods of implementing Green Tracker.



 Project #8:  Implementation and Testing of A Cooperative Communication Protocol on a Software-Defined Radio Platform
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Hamid JafarkhaniElectrical Engineering & Computer Science

Description:  The objective of this project is to extend an existing cooperative communication protocol on a software-defined radio (SDR) platform and verify performance via experimental tests on radios. Cooperative communication is an emerging physical layer technique that relies on cooperation among network nodes and can significantly improve the performance of wireless networks. An SDR system is a radio communication system in which the components typically implemented in hardware are instead implemented in software.
Our lab has been developing a cooperative communication protocol spanning over the physical layer and data link layer of an SDR platform. One goal in the next phase is to further extend current cooperative communication protocol (e.g., extend from decode-and-forward to amplify-and-forward) and also verify the protocol performance via experiments running on SDRs. In this SURF-IT project, the student will be involved in extending our current cooperative communication protocol, writing code in C/C++ language, and running experimental tests on SDRs to evaluate network performance.

Student’s Involvement and Expected Outcomes
The activities include programming in C/C++ and experimental tests on radios. Sample expected outcome includes C/C++ code for extending the current cooperative communication protocol and experimental results tested on radios. Through this involvement, the student will improve his/her C/C++ programming skills, get hands-on experience in communications protocol design and signal processing algorithm development in real wireless systems, and make an understanding of wireless communications - from theory to implementation and from software to hardware.

Recommended Readings & Publications
Andreas Goldsmith, Wireless Communications. Cambridge University Press: U.K., 2005

Prerequisites: Students with prior coursework on digital communications and/or signal processing and knowledge of C/C++ programming are preferred.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Information about GNU radio : http://gnuradio.org



 Project #9:  KarunaTree: An Interactive Virtual World for Cultivating Environmental Literacy
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Bill TomlinsonInformatics

Description:  Project Description
It’s said that we borrow the Earth from our children; unfortunately today’s youth are inheriting a planet that we haven’t treated gently. KarunaTree is an online virtual world designed to help children understand and respond to the serious environmental challenges that face our planet. Our goal is to synthesize the immersive qualities of multiplayer computer games and written storytelling into a captivating new entertainment experience, one that will motivate children to develop and spread meaningful environmental literacy.

To attain this vision we are building a system that uses the Google Earth API to present a “geovisualized” web narrative. Children will interact with the narrative as a kind of interactive storybook (similar to Myst or Machinarium), learning about environmental issues as they explore the virtual world and build their characters’ abilities. We are also developing applications for mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad that will allow children to continuing interacting with the story via actions undertaken in the real world. This highly interdisciplinary effort draws on fields including computer game design and programming, web application development, education and the learning sciences, creative writing, film, and the visual arts. By putting these pieces together in an exciting new way, we hope to pioneer a new genre of digital media that will provide a powerful catalyst for children’s learning and creativity.

Student’s Involvement and Expected Outcomes
Students will contribute directly to the technical and/or artistic implementation of KarunaTree, as well as to user testing and system refinement; all of these activities will be organized by a core research focus on how KarunaTree can maximize player participation and environmental learning.

Implementation work will include a significant amount of programming (Rails, Javascript, Objective C), and/or digital media production (Painter, Soundtrack Pro, Final Cut) depending on student experience. Students will evaluate the educational and entertainment efficacy of their work through user testing with elementary- and middle-school-aged children in our lab, online, and potentially at children’s summer camps and programs. Finally, students will use the results from this user testing to conceptualize and implement improvements to the system. By working on these tasks over the course of the summer students will acquire significant first-hand experience with data-driven game development: using measurable learning and engagement outcomes to construct an exciting new digital learning platform.

With: Derek Lyons, Assistant Project Scientist

Prerequisites: We are looking for one or two students to work with us this summer. Interested students should have a background in object-oriented programming and/or digital art. Programmers should have prior experience developing in Rails or Javascript (familiarity with Objective C would also be very helpful). Digital artists with a background in traditional art, illustration, video production, and sound design are encouraged to apply. Our ideal applicant would blend these technical and artistic skills with strong creativity, and a passion for building amazing interactive experiences for kids.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Tomlinson, B., Baumer, E., Yau, L. Y., Black, R. (2008). A Participatory Simulation for Informal Education in Restoration Ecology, E-Learning and Digital Media, 5(3), 238-255. : http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/elea.2008.5.3.238
   Papert, S. (1980). Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas. New York: Basic Books, Inc. pp. 19-37 (Chapter 1).
: http://books.google.com/books?id=HhIEAgUfGHwC



 Project #10:  Learning in Online Virtual Worlds: Webkinz World and Club Penguin
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Rebecca W. BlackEducation

Description:  Description
This project proposes a systematic inquiry into the affordances and constraints of online virtual worlds for children’s learning. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of shared virtual environments (SVEs) intended for early childhood populations; however, at present, we know very little about the educational and developmental impact of such spaces. The proposed project will entail a detailed content and discourse analysis of two popular SVEs, Webkinz World and Club Penguin. Analysis will focus on how these spaces may provide children with both designed and unintended opportunities for learning and social development, and the role of Information Technologies in this process.

Student’s Involvement and Expected Outcomes
The student will be involved in all aspects of the research project. S/he will assist in developing a qualitative protocol to focus attention on key features of the sites, as well as collecting, analyzing, and coding data, and contributing to a scholarly publication by the end of summer. The student will develop skills in conducting online research and in scholarly writing.

Recommended Readings and Publications
Marsh, J. (2008). Out-of-school play in online virtual worlds and the implications for literacy learning.
http://www.4shared.com/file/55947753/e54bdf7d/JackieMarsh.html?cau2=401w

Steinkuehler, C. A. (2007). Massively multiplayer online gaming as a constellation of literacy practices. E-Learning, 4(3), 297-318. http://website.education.wisc.edu/steinkuehler/papers/Steinkuehler_edtech.pdf

Kafai, Y. B., & Giang, M. T. (2007). Virtual playgrounds: Children's multi-user virtual environments for playing and learning with science. In T. Willoughby & E. Wood (Eds.), Children's learning in a digital world (pp. 196-217). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing.

Prerequisites: The student should be familiar with web-based video games and/or virtual worlds, and be a proficient writer. Familiarity with or interest in educational theory a plus.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   You and your virtual pet.: www.webkinzworld.com
   Another virtual world for kids.: www.clubpenguin.com



 Project #11:  MaYaNET: A Not-for-Profit Social Media Project
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Shivendu ShivenduPaul Merage School of Business

Description:  Project Description
MaYaNET project is aimed at providing a social networking platform that does not commercially exploit content generated by users in any way. Various online social networks have to a great extent helped satisfy human need for having friends and affiliations without spending too much time and resources. Websites like Facebook, Orkut etc. have provided a platform for social interaction and have become extremely popular. One of the major factors contributing to the success of these websites, apart from their utility is that they are apparently free of cost to user. However, on a closer examination the services that these websites offer are not totally free and can prove to be extremely costly to some users. These websites thrive on user generated data, and they claim full ownership of this data. The users are willing provide all this personal data to these websites because they don’t have any alternative to reach out to their networks. The users lose their right to data as soon as they publish their information and their content on these websites because they have accepted the privacy policies that give ownership to the websites and can also be changed anytime, without notification. This is equivalent to sharing one’s personal communications with a third party and giving it full rights to use it or abuse it. The data can easily be sabotaged and used for various purposes without the knowledge of the users. Today, these websites are using the data that belongs to the users to generate advertisement revenue, without giving anything back to the users and without getting their consent.

A solution would be a social network with a transparent privacy policy, which promises that user data will not be compromised for either commercial or non-commercial purposes, and that this policy would never be changed. The privacy policy should be decided through a democratic process. This would give users an option to connect with their social network fearlessly and with full ownership of their data. The MaYaNET project aims to develop its privacy policies democratically and provide full control to its users on their data and information and evolve as a user managed and owned social network .

Student's Involvement and Expected Outcomes
While working on this project, the student will design and develop several modules of MaYaNET and gain hands-on experience of implementing a social media solution. The student will also get an opportunity to contribute with his/her creativity and innovation to achieve the goals of the project. Working on Project MaYaNET will offer an opportunity not only to understand the technical architecture of social networking websites, but also to learn about the impact of social media on society.

Prerequisites: The student should have the basic understanding of website development and familiarity with technologies like HTML, XML, PHP, CSS Drupal and MySQL/SQL Server. Experience with social media websites will be preferred.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   MaYaNET site: www.MaYaNET.org
   The Electronic Privacy Information Center: http://epic.org/privacy/socialnet
   A website content management system: http://drupal.org/getting-started/before
   A list of several social networking sites: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites



 Project #12:  Microstructural Design of Thermal Shock Resistant Oxygen Sensors
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Martha L. MecartneyChemical Engineering & Materials Science

Description:  Faculty Mentor: Martha Mecartney, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science

Project Description
Current technology for oxygen sensors used for determining the correct fuel to air ratio is based on ceramic materials that require a slow ramp rate to temperature. Allowing a quicker ramp to temperature and thus a faster response time would reduce wasted fuel and NOX emissions. Research in the Mecartney group has developed new approaches to designing ceramic materials that may be heated quickly to temperature without thermal shock. This summer project will involve a student in computational modeling of different microstructural designs for the ceramic oxygen sensor material using OOF (object-oriented finite element analysis) software from NIST and a comparison these computational results with experimental data.

Student’s Involvement and Expected Outcomes
The student will learn how to apply the OOF software to the material systems of interest and conduct virtual experiments. The student will evaluate new material systems and new microstructural designs and suggest which systems should be selected for further experimental study. The student may also be involved in experimental approaches to verify thermal shock resistance. The student will gain research experience in this C++ advanced materials software and an understanding of oxygen sensor technology.

Recommended Readings and Publications
1. From the NIST website regarding OOF - http://www.ctcms.nist.gov/~langer/oof/

2. Damage evolution during microcracking of brittle solids
Author(s): Zimmermann A, Carter WC, Fuller ER
Source: ACTA MATERIALIA Volume: 49 Issue: 1 Pages: 127-137 Published: JAN 8 2001

3. Microstructure-based modelling and experimental investigation of crack propagation in glass-alumina functionally graded materials
Author(s): Cannillo V, Manfredini T, Montorsi M, et al.
Source: JOURNAL OF THE EUROPEAN CERAMIC SOCIETY Volume: 26 Issue: 15 Pages: 3067-3073 Published: 2006

4. Strength and Thermal Shock Properties of Scandia-Doped Zirconia for Thin Electrolyte Sheet of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell
Author(s): Honda S, Kimata K, Hashimoto S, et al.
Source: MATERIALS TRANSACTIONS Volume: 50 Issue: 7 Special Issue: Sp. Iss. SI Pages: 1742-1746 Published: JUL 2009

5. THERMAL-SHOCK BEHAVIOR OF CERAMICS AND CERAMIC COMPOSITES
Author(s): WANG H, SINGH RN
Source: INTERNATIONAL MATERIALS REVIEWS Volume: 39 Issue: 6 Pages: 228-244 Published: 1994

Prerequisites: The student must have completed E54, Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering, with a grade of B or better and should have a 3.0 GPA minimum. Experience in C++ is an asset, but not required.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   From the NIST web site.: http://www.ctcms.nist.gov/~langer/oof/



 Project #13:  The Self-Organization, Sustenance, and Coordination of Fansubbing Teams through IT
Faculty Mentor:  Professor Gloria MarkInformatics

Description:  Project Description
The goal of this project is to understand how information technology (IT) can help globally distributed teams improve their coordination practices. Over the last two decades, the field of CSCW (Computer-Supported Cooperative Work) has been concerned with studying how distributed teams can be successful. For example, one longitudinal study revealed four factors that lead to success of distributed teams: if they develop common ground, are loosely coupled in work, are prepared to collaborate, and are willing to adopt collaborative technologies (Olson and Olson, 2002). However, despite the long history of studying distributed teams, few successes have been documented and the literature is filled with cases of failure.

One unique type of distributed team in this current age of social media is the fansubbing team. Fansubbing teams are organized around translating television shows and films into different languages using subtitles. These translated versions are then widely distributed globally. Similar to open-source developers, fansubbers work voluntarily, in a highly participatory culture. What is remarkable about these teams, from a CSCW perspective, is that they are distributed (members usually have never met each other), well-coordinated, self-organized, often multi-cultural, efficient (some teams can produce and distribute translated films within 24 hours), and members report being tightly bonded (tentative conclusions based on pilot interviews of 20 fan subbing members). The means through which they communicate and coordinate is all accomplished using IT.

This project will examine the human-computer interaction (HCI) aspects of fansubbing teams with the intent to uncover how these teams are able to self-organize, sustain themselves, and coordinate across global distances using IT. The results can be used to help design more effective distributed teams with improved IT support. The results of this study will have important implications for technology designers, as well as researchers in organizational theory, human-computer interaction, computer-supported cooperative work, and intercultural communication.

Student’s Involvement and Expected Outcomes
The student will be involved in all phases of the project. The student will participate in developing the interview protocol, will conduct interviews, will help design a diary study, will collect logged and archived Internet data, will help analyze the data, and will help in writing the research reports. Data analysis will consist of both qualitative analysis (e.g. coding techniques) as well as quantitative analysis. Professor Mark will supervise the student and will teach these research skills to the student.

At the end of the project, it is expected that the student will be proficient in interview design and interviewing. The student will learn techniques for data extraction and data analysis and should have improved his/her writing skills.

Recommended Readings & Publications
The following are recommended readings for students to learn more about this topic:

1) Hinds, P. and Kiesler, S. (2002). Distributed Work. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
2) Jarvenpaa, S., & Leidner, D. (1998). Communication and Trust in Global Virtual Teams. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 3(4).
3) Mark, G. (2002). Conventions and commitments in distributed CSCW groups. Computer Supported Cooperative Work: The Journal of Collaborative Computing. 11 (3-4), pp 349-387.
4) Nardi, B., Whittaker, S., & Bradner, E. (2000). Interaction and Outeraction: Instant Messaging in Action. Proceedings of CSCW’00, 79-88.
5) Olson, G. M., & Olson, J. S. (2000). Distance Matters. Human-Computer Interaction, 15(2/3), 139-178.
6) Powell, A., Piccoli, G., Ives, B. (2004). Virtual teams: a review of current literature and directions for future research. ACM SIGMIS Database, 35 (1), 6-36.
7) Rush, A. (2009). Otaku Creations: The Participatory Culture of Fansubbing. Kinephanos Journal, ISSN 1916-985X
8) Sproull, L., & Kiesler, S. (1991). Connections: New Ways of Working in the Networked Organization. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.

Prerequisites: Students should be in good standing at UCI. Having coursework in a social science field or in human-computer interaction (HCI) is desirable. Students should be able to work in an interdisciplinary environment, as this project involves research that covers fields of CSCW, HCI, social science (e.g. group dynamics), and organizational theory. Having knowledge of a second language (e.g. Japanese or Chinese) would also be desirable though it is not necessary.