from the Advisors~
As we have certainly witnessed during this past year, the world is
growing more complex despite advances in technology and the valuable contributions of
modern scholars. As a result, we are searching for new ways of recognizing, addressing and
resolving the problems of our world, and obviously our youth is where we turn to first. By
engaging their minds to think outside of course work and requirements, we can cultivate a
generation that will be even more capable of developing innovative solutions for both
entrenched and newfound problems.
At the University of California, Irvine (UCI) we hope to achieve this goal by encouraging
our undergraduates to find their passion and develop that enthusiasm by participating in a
faculty-mentored research or creative project. The Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Program (UROP) at UCI seeks to provide todays students with opportunities that might
lead them to develop their talent and guide them to the expertise needed to become
tomorrows leaders, thinkers and scholars.
Over the past six years, The UCI Undergraduate Research Journal has published exceptional
research papers by some of UCIs most outstanding students. Since 1998, we have had
the privilege of reading and reviewing the results of hundreds of remarkable undergraduate
research and creative projects, and each year the selection process becomes more difficult
as the quality of the submissions continues to rise. Nevertheless, we carefully select
those few papers that we believe represent UCIs undergraduates at their very best.
Although we have chosen to present only six papers this year, some 34 percent of students
enroll in an independent research course, and thousands more carry out research projects
or take other classes with research-related components.
A journal of this size and scope could not have been produced without the assistance of
many participants. We commend the undergraduate authors and their faculty mentors for
their commitment to the excellence of their projects. We thank the UROP Student Editorial
Board, whose comments and efforts were essential in the evaluation, editorial and
production processes. We express sincere gratitude to the UROP Faculty Advisory Board,
whose distinguished members provided final evaluations of the papers selected for
publication. Finally, we acknowledge the hundreds of students and faculty who participate
in research each year, whether associated with UROP or not, and thank them for the wide
array of exciting and innovate scholarship they provide the UCI community. The Journal
will continue to be a valuable part of how UCIs undergraduate research community
demonstrates UCIs excellence on a national level.
UROP is committed to supporting and facilitating faculty-mentored undergraduate research
projects and creative activities. Launched in 1995, UROPs programs now include
advising and assisting students in pursuing on- and off-campus research opportunities,
funding undergraduate research projects through Calls for Proposals in the Fall and Spring
Quarters of each academic year, and sponsoring the annual UCI Undergraduate Research
Symposium, in addition to the Journal. In the summer of 2001, UROP launched the Summer
Undergraduate Research Program (SURP), through which close to 270 students have already
conducted research projects. As the scope of undergraduate research continues to grow, a
corps of young inquisitive, boldly imaginative, and idealistic scholars is emerging--and
we present just a few of them here. We welcome your comments on Volume VI of The UCI
Undergraduate Research Journal.