~A Letter from the Advisors~

In a mere 35 years, the University of California, Irvine, has grown into one of the nation's great research universities. With its leading programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, engineering, social sciences, and medicine, UCI faculty and students are making significant contributions to the canon of scholarly activity, which impacts both society in general and our daily lives.

Given the importance of this work as we look into a new century, it is essential that our students have skills and intellectual initiative that go beyond what is typically nurtured in conventional classroom learning. We believe that involvement with leading-edge research helps students to gain experience in the continuous and self-directed learning that will be core qualities of those individuals most successful in knowledge creation, diffusion, and utilization.

The rapid rise of UCI to the select group of world-class research universities is attributable, inter alia, to our top-quality faculty, facilities and environment of knowledge creation. And it all starts with our undergraduate students, who hold the promise of future scholarly achievement. Our undergraduates have long been integral participants in the research that is the hallmark of UCI's distinction. Faculty-mentored research, in which students themselves develop and complete projects, is one of the most significant modes of such participation. At UCI's annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, more than 250 undergraduates present their work in a professional conference setting. In addition, many of UCI's schools and departments have their own arenas for the presentation of students' research and creative activities.

We offer the second volume of The UCI Undergraduate Research Journal as another medium through which the best of undergraduate research can be showcased and shared with a broader audience. We hope that you will find the research in this Journal to be engaging and that this sampler of our undergraduates' research will offer new insights regarding the variety of work being undertaken by UCI students. Should you wish to explore our activities more extensively, one place to begin is at the Website for our Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (http://www.urop.uci.edu).

We heartily thank the many people who assisted with the publication of this volume of the Journal. We acknowledge the undergraduate authors and their faculty mentors, whose collaborations and relationships led directly to the completion of the research included in this Journal. We also thank the UROP Student Editorial Board who were central in the review, editorial, and design processes. We are grateful to the UROP Faculty Advisory Board, whose distinguished members provided final evaluation of the papers selected for publication. Finally, we acknowledge the hundreds of UCI students and faculty who collaborate each year in undergraduate research projects. It is from this extensive and diverse array of research activities that we offer a small sample in this Journal issue. We welcome your comments on Volume II of The UCI Undergraduate Research Journal.



Meredith Lee
Dean, Division of Undergraduate Education 
Said M. Shokair
Director, UROP


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