MDP Research Projects

Participants | Research Projects

The MDP is committed to offering students novel and creative design opportunities exploring the diverse, multidisciplinary fields of energy, environment, healthcare, and culture. Student design teams will be fully immersed in the research laboratory, collaborating with their faculty co-mentors, and using state-of-the-art equipment. These projects will fully engage the students and provide them the opportunity to see how multidisciplinary collaboration can lead to innovative results.

The following faculty-mentored design projects are available during the 2012 MDP. Select a link for an overview of the project, associated faculty co-mentors, project prerequisites, and related publications.

MDP Design Projects

    1) 3-D Microfabrication Techniques for Vascularized Tissue Constructs via Angiogenesis and Vasculogenesis 

    2) A Global Satellite-Based Drought Monitoring System 

    3) Art and Technology for Interactive Collaborative Performance 

    4) Assessing Occupants' Risk of Injury in Existing Buildings during Seismic Excitation 

    5) D.I.Y. Workshops in Design, Art and Technology 

    6) Design Thinking and Creativity 

    7) Design, Culture and Sustainability 

    8) Developing a Software Environment to Teach Media Programming 

    9) Development of Platforms Using Dielectrophoresis and Microfluidics to Isolate Stem Cells 

    10) eDance: An Interactive Media Kiosk for Physical Rehabilitation, Fitness and Dance Education 

    11) Health and Healing among Women in the African Diaspora: Exploring the Connections between Ghana and the United States 

    12) Inside the Mind: Educational Mobile Game 

    13) Investigating Obstacles to Water Recycling and Re-Use 

    14) Microbial Desalination Fuel Cell Research 

    15) Multimedia Feedback System for Stress and Pain Reduction 

    16) Opioid Receptors Modulate Cardiac Spinal Afferents and Excitatory Cardiovascular Reflex Responses to Cardiac ATP Stimulation through a P2 Receptor Mechanism 

    17) Pixel VGA: Development of an Architectural-Scale Display System to Repurpose Electronic Waste 

    18) Prevalence of Suicidal Patients Who Visit the Emergency Department with Non-Psychiatric Chief Complaints Using a Novel Computerized Screening & Intervention Platform: Pilot Study Research Plan 

    19) Programmable High Throughput Cell Based Assays for Immunological Diseases 

    20) Students Teaching Students: RN Clinical Skills Videos 

    21) Surface Functionalization of the Carbon Nanoelectrodes for Micro Biofuel Cell 

    22) Testing Physical Mechanisms of Aerosal Drug Delivery 

    23) The Chemistry of Fireworks Mobile Device Application 

    24) Therabot: A Remote Controllable Robot Avatar Designed for Bedridden Kids 

    25) Traditions and Transitions: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Investigation of African American and Chicana/o-Latina/o Experiences 

    26) Understanding the Musculoskeletal Impact of Dance through Body-Worn Instrumentation 

 Project #1:  3-D Microfabrication Techniques for Vascularized Tissue Constructs via Angiogenesis and Vasculogenesis
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Christopher C. HughesMolecular Biology & Biochemistry

Professor Steven C. GeorgeBiomedical Engineering

Professor Abraham P. LeeBiomedical Engineering

Description:  This project aims at developing a 3-D microfluidic platform that can provide a three-dimensional biological and anatomically correct environment for growing a human microtissue with perfused human capillaries in vitro. In order to create a biomimetic environment for culturing a 3-D microtissue, two specific techniques will be developed in this project. The first aim is to develop a microfabrication process to create a 3-D and multilayered microfluidic platform. The second is to build an external system that can provide a biomimetic environment for long-term culturing of a microtissue on top of a microscope. The achievement of this project is based on the multidisciplinary integration of (1) microfabrication technique, (2) microfluidics, and (3) understanding of physiology of microcirculation and stromal/endothelial cells.

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes: Students who will participate in this project will be involved in the following tasks:

(1) Device fabrication: Develop and fine tune the microfabrication process of the microfluidic platform.

(2) System integration: Characterize the cell culture system built for culturing 3-D microtissue by using the microfabricated microfluidic platform.

(3) Physiology of microcirculation and stromal/endothelial cells: Work on literature search on the physiology of a living tissue and apply it to the design of the microfluidic platform, such as hydrodynamic condition of microcirculation system and behaviors of stromal cells and endothelial cells.

The expected outcome of this project is to build a 3-D microfluidic platform that can culture 3-D microtissue by using a culturing system on top of an inverted microscope that can continuously image the growth of capillary formation in the tissue. Students should develop a profound knowledge of the physiology of microcirculation in living tissue that can also apply to related engineering problems.

Prerequisites: The student should major in biomedical engineering. Experience with CAD software, such as AutoCAD or Adobe illustrator, is required for this project since routine design of microfluidic system is important in this project. Experience with hardware and software installation is a plus but not required to this project. Students will work to build the culture and imaging system. Experience with literature research is also a plus to this project.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   L.B. Wood, A. Das, R.D. Kamm, and H.H. Asada, "A Stochastic Broadcast Feedback Approach to Regulating Cell Population Morphology for Microfluidic angiogenesis Platforms," IEEE T. Bio-med. Eng., vol. 56, pp. 2299-2303, (2009).:
   S. Chung, R Sudo, P.J. Mack, C.-R Wan, V. Vickermanc and R.D. Kamm, "Cell migration into scaffolds under co-culture conditions in a microfluidic platform," Lab Chip, 9, pp. 269-275 (2009).:
   R. Sudo, S. Chung, I.K. Zervantonakis, V. Vickerman, Y. Toshimitsu, L.G. Griffith, and Roger D. Kamm, "Transport-mediated angiogenesis in 3D epithelial Coculture," The FASEB Journal, vol. 23, pp. 2155-2164 (2009).:
   M.J. Powers, K. Domansky, M.R. Kaazempur-Mofrad, A. Kalezi. A. Capitano, A. Upadhyaya, P. Kurzawski, K.E. Wack, D. B. Stolz, R. Kamm, and L. Griffith, "A microfabricated array bioreactor for perfused 3D liver culture," Biotechnol. Bioeng., vol. 78, pp. 257-269 (2002).:
   Y.-C. Toh, C. Zhang, J. Zhang, Y.M. Khong, S. Chang, V.D. Samper, D. van Noort, D.W. Hutmacherbgh and H. Yu, "A novel 3D mammalian cell perfusion-culture system in microfluidic channels," Lab Chip, vol. 7, pp. 302-309 (2007).:
   C. Zhang, Z. Zhao, N.A.A. Rahim, D. van Noort, and H. Yu, "Towards a human-on-chip: culturing multiple cell types on a chip with compartmentalized micro-environments," Lab Chip, vol. 9, pp. 3185-3192 (2009).:
   R.H. Adams and K. Alitalo, "Molecular regulation of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis," Nature, vol. 8, pp. 464-478 (2007).:
   C.M. Ghajar, X. Chen, J.W. Harris, V. Suresh, C.C.W. Hughes, N.L. Jeon, A.J. Putnam, and S.C. George, "The effect of matrix density on the regulation of 3-D capillary morphogenesis," Biophys. J., vol. 94, pp. 1930-1941 (2008).:
   M. Kamei, W.B. Saunders, K.J. Bayless, L. Dye, G.E. Davis and B.M. Weinstein, "Endothelial tubes assemble from intracellular vacuoles in vivo," Nature, vol. 442, pp. 453-456 (2006).:

 Project #2:  A Global Satellite-Based Drought Monitoring System
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Amir AghaKouchakCivil & Environmental Engineering

Professor David L. FeldmanPlanning, Policy, & Design

Description:  Drought is a common climatic extreme that often spreads across a large spatial scale and spans over a long period of time. The economic damage of droughts across the United States on average is estimated as $6-8 billion annually. This indicates the importance of reliable drought monitoring, prediction and analysis tools in sustainable water resources management. The objective of this project is to develop a near real-time satellite-based global drought monitoring system.

A satellite-based drought monitoring algorithm is developed at the Hydroclimate Research Lab ( Through this project, an online Drought Portal is to be designed to provide access to global drought data that has been, and continues to be, produced by UCI. The Drought Portal should offer: (a) real-time drought analysis tools; (b) data query by location, time, country, etc.; and (c) simple yet effective visualization and access-data tools. The Drought Portal has to be innovative, simple and user friendly so that people with limited technical expertise (e.g., authorities in developing countries) can understand and interpret drought data.

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes: This project can significantly improve the way drought information is communicated globally. Students will develop skills in Web design and development, computer programming, and Java scripting.

Prerequisites: All undergraduate students familiar with Web development and basics of computer programming are eligible.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Cal-Adapt, a product of the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program:
   HyDIS GWADI MapServer:

 Project #3:  Art and Technology for Interactive Collaborative Performance
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Mark BachmanElectrical Engineering & Computer Science

Professor Sheron WrayDance

Description:  The goal of this project is to explore and demonstrate the use of interactive technologies for performance art (music and dance). This project will use sensors, computers, and multimedia (sound, light, video) to bring enhanced performance capabilities to the performance artist and allow richer engagement by audience members by providing interactivity and participation in the performance. We hope that this approach will allow performance directors to design aesthetic experiences that connect performers and audience members and allow deeper human connection through social interaction via a performance medium.

This project will use sensor systems that are connected to computers which in turn control media elements such as sound, light, and video. Both performers and audience members may have access to the sensors. Two important design issues must be addressed: (1) what kinds of sensor/media systems need to be developed for this type of application, and (2) how can these technologies be integrated to produce a rich collaborative performance experience?

Students will participate to produce technology, software, media elements, music and choreography needed to produce a performance piece. At the end of the project, the team will demonstrate a performance that will be provided to UCI students, faculty, and the public (students are responsible for the production of the piece; actual performers may be different individuals). Students will learn the basics of sensor systems, media, and choreography. Students will work with several graduate students who have experience in these areas. Additionally the students will be engaging in collaborative research methods and cross disciplinary learning will ensue whereby they will ascertain an understanding of the creative design elements processes and disciplinary languages that involved in the respective disciplines.

Prerequisites: Students are invited to participate with backgrounds in performance art (dance, music, etc.), media arts (graphic design, media arts, etc.), and technology (electrical engineering, information technology, etc.). This project will require skills in electronics (sensors), computers, software, media design, music, dance, and performance design. Undergraduate students will skills or interest in these topics are encouraged to apply.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Introduction to Processing:
   Introduction to MIDI:
   Introduction to DMX:
   DMX handbook:
   DMX and MIDI:
   Introduction to OSC:
   Basics of making sensor systems DIY stuff:
   Basics of making sensor systems DIY stuff:
   Sparkfun sensors and electronics:

 Project #4:  Assessing Occupants' Risk of Injury in Existing Buildings during Seismic Excitation
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Farzin ZareianCivil & Environmental Engineering

Professor Lisa Grant LudwigProgram in Public Health

Description:  The goal of this activity is to develop an applied method to quantify injuries in a seismic event and estimate such quantity for typical buildings in Southern California. The first question to address is: How can we describe the type of injuries that can happen during a seismic event? The answer to this question can depend on many factors, such as type of building, occupancy, ground motion intensity, and many others that will be addressed by the research group. The answer to this question requires understanding/expertise in Structural Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Health Science. The answer will be a vector of parameters describing the type of injuries that can happen within a seismic event, and it is denoted as the injury-vector.

The second question to answer is: How can we estimate the injury-vector using available simulation tools? The answer to this question lies in the recent advancement in loss estimation, statistics, and structural engineering; however, a fresh look at the problem from a public health perspective can increase the accuracy of estimates of injuries in a seismic event.

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes: Students are required to attend classes such as: PubHlth 90 NaturalDisasters, and CEE 149 Introduction to Earthquake Engineering to become familiar with the basic concepts required to perform the proposed research. In addition, students need to have weekly group meetings directed by the co-mentors to complete the required steps for completion of the project. During these meetings students will discuss the assigned special readings, computer simulation, and other activities assigned to them. As a result of this involvement students will become the new breed of engineers and scientists who not only understand the earthquake problem, but also are trained with hands-on tools for estimating the rate of injury in a building in a seismic event.

Prerequisites: Students need to be in their senior year of study, in good academic standing, and willing to work hard. The research team requires students from Civil & Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Statistics, and Health Sciences.

 Project #5:  D.I.Y. Workshops in Design, Art and Technology
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Donald J. PattersonInformatics

Professor Peter O. KrappFilm & Media Studies

Dr. Garnet D. HertzInformatics

Description:  This project is aimed at organizing, hosting and documenting student workshops in hands-on electronics and crafts in the spirit of the contemporary Do-It-Yourself (D.I.Y.) movement. The goal of this initiative is to facilitate students in building physical projects, whether with microcontrollers, custom circuits or knitting with yarn. Our belief is that interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation happens when people produce prototypes in a social setting, and our workshops will focus on providing students with a series of fun, engaging and innovative workshops throughout the year.

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes: Students will be given the responsibility of maintaining the organization specified. As a result, students will offer other students a chance to participate and be involved in creative technical projects. Students will develop project/lab management and hobby electronics skills.

Prerequisites: UCI students in good standing who are interested in participating in workshops and have some knowledge of open source programming. Project management skills helpful.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   KQED report of the Maker Culture:
   Hackspace Design Patterns:
   Research studies conducted by Jarkko Moilanen on hackerspaces:
   The Design, Art, & Technology Hackerspace Manifesto:

 Project #6:  Design Thinking and Creativity
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Sanjoy MazumdarPlanning, Policy, & Design

Professor André van der HoekInformatics

Description:  How do designers think when they create? How do designers learn to create? How do design studios teach design? What are alternative ways to teach/learn design? Can IT and/or computer programs help study the process of design and, if so, what IT tools would enable better analysis? Can design ethnography yield more? This is the general direction of this project. We will decide on a small set of questions depending on interest.

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes: Students will be expected to attend weekly meetings, conduct archival and field research, develop ideas and and possibly technologies for recording the various approaches. Involvement can be in selected components or in all aspects of the research. Individual and group projects may be assigned. Possible outcomes include paper, projects involving design, physical and/or electronic modeling and media.

Prerequisites: High academic standing and interest in design, culture, and technology.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Schön, Donald A. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner, NY, Basic Books.:
   Schön, Donald A. (1988). Toward a marriage of artistry & applied science in the architectural design studio. Journal of Architectural Education, 41, 4-10.:
   Ledewitz, S. (1985). Models of design in studio teaching, Journal of Architectural Education, 38(2), 2-8.:
   Lackney, J. (1999). A history of the studio-based learning model. Retrieved April 20, 2010, from:
   Schön, Donald - other works.:

 Project #7:  Design, Culture and Sustainability
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Sanjoy MazumdarPlanning, Policy, & Design

Professor Alladi VenkateshPaul Merage School of Business

Description:  How have cultures dealt with the nexus of design and sustainability? How have particular design approaches fared with respect to energy consciousness, passive and active design features, use of local materials and recycling? This project will have several components: examination of cultural and vernacular approaches to energy efficient design, mapping of energy conscious strategies and how they fit the lifestyle, modeling of the effectiveness of designs from energy and cultural viewpoints.

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes: Students will be expected to attend weekly meetings, conduct archival and field research, develop ideas and and possibly technologies for recording the various approaches. Involvement can be in selected components or in all aspects of the research. Individual and group projects may be assigned. Possible outcomes include paper, projects involving design, physical and/or electronic modeling and media.

Prerequisites: High academic standing and interest in design, culture, and technology.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Our Home: Buildings of the land: Energy efficient design guidelines for Indian housing.:
   Energy Efficient Design in the Middle East: Approaches and Challenges:
   Emmanuel, M. Rohinton (2004) An urban approach to climate-sensitive design : strategies for the tropics. New York : Spon Press.:
   Rapoport, Amos (1969) House form and culture. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: PrenticeHall.:

 Project #8:  Developing a Software Environment to Teach Media Programming
Faculty Mentors:  
Dr. Daniel FrostInformatics

Professor Christopher DobrianMusic

Description:  This project, which falls in Calit2's Culture thrust area, is to design and implement a software tool, language, and/or development environment that can be used to manipulate media such as sounds, music, and images, through the use of which one can explore fundamental principles of media design and learn techniques of computer programming for media. The design should meet the following constraints: easy to install on a wide range of PCs and Macs; appropriate and easy-to-use for novice high-school age students; powerful enough to be useful for professionals, capable of creating and processing a variety of image and sound formats.

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes: Student activities will include researching similar software tools (see "Recommended Readings" for starting points), designing a new tool using techniques from software engineering, human-computer interface studies, and education, and implementing an operational prototype environment. Outcomes include both the prototype itself, which the mentors plan to use in educational workshops, and the undergraduates' increased skills in design, analysis, programming, and project management.

Prerequisites: We envision a team of students with complementary skills. Students should have some training in computer programming, education, music, OR digital arts.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Media Computation:
   The Scratch environment:
   The Max/MSP/Jitter programming languages:
   The Processing programming environment:
   The PureData programming environment:
   The Alice educational programming environment:

 Project #9:  Development of Platforms Using Dielectrophoresis and Microfluidics to Isolate Stem Cells
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Abraham P. LeeBiomedical Engineering

Professor Lisa FlanaganPathology

Description:  The goal of this project is to develop a label-free method for purifying stem cells prior to transplantation to improve the use of stem cells as therapies for human disease and injury. Generation of purified homogeneous populations of cells for transplantation will help define the precise contributions of specific cell types to repair and remove unwanted tumorigenic cells prior to transplantation.

We have found that dielectrophoresis (DEP) distinguishes neural stem cell types without the use of markers, which are necessary for most conventional cell separation techniques. We are currently developing microfluidic DEP devices to efficiently separate neural stem cell subpopulations based on their frequency responses to DEP. The aims of this project are to: (1) design and fabricate devices to generate cells sorted by DEP parameters, and (2) explore the biological differences among stem cells tied to specific lineages. This project combines the fields of engineering (DEP, microfluidics, fabrication, design principles), biology (neural stem cells, developmental biology) and health care (cell transplantation to treat disease and injury).

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes:

(1) Device design: Students will design high throughput, continuous microfluidic sorting devices. The design considerations include the inlets and the collection outlets while maintaining the flow/shear parameters of the single channel devices developed in our labs.

(2) Device fabrication and testing: Students will develop novel microfabrication processes to realize the high throughput devices. This includes mask layout and developing the bonding and surface treatment of the devices. It also includes the packaging and testing of the devices with cells in cell media and DEP electrolyte.

(3) Characterization of isolated cells: Students will test the phenotype of isolated cells by differentiation assays, analysis of cell membranes, and exploration of biological pathways that may contribute to the dielectric properties of specific neural stem cell populations.

Prerequisites: Students should be majoring in biomedical engineering or biology. Experience with cell culture is beneficial. Students majoring in computer science or a related discipline would also be considered to help automate various tasks of the project.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Flanagan, L.A., J. Lu, L. Wang, S.A. Marchenko, N. Jeon, A.P. Lee, E.S. Monuki. Unique dielectric properties distinguish stem cells and their differentiated progeny. Stem Cells 26(3): 656-665, 2008.:
   Wang, L., L.A. Flanagan, A.P. Lee. Side-wall vertical electrodes for lateral field microfluidic applications. J. Microelectromechanical Systems 16(2): 454-461, 2007.:
   Wang, L., L.A. Flanagan, N. Jeon, E.S. Monuki, A.P. Lee. Dielectrophoresis switching with vertical sidewall electrodes for microfluidic flow cytometry. Lab on a Chip 7(9): 1114-1120, 2007.:
   Wang, L., J. Lu, S.A. Marchenko, E.S. Monuki, L.A. Flanagan, A.P. Lee. Dual frequency dielectrophoresis with interdigitated sidewall electrodes for microfluidic flow-through separation of beads and cells. Electrophoresis 30(5): 782-791, 2009.:

 Project #10:  eDance: An Interactive Media Kiosk for Physical Rehabilitation, Fitness and Dance Education
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor John L. CrawfordDance

Professor David J. ReinkensmeyerMechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Professor Deva K. RamananComputer Science

Professor Lisa M. NaugleDance

Description:  This project will design and implement a portable eDance kiosk to support applications of interactive digital media for physical rehabilitation, fitness and education. The primary goal of the project is to create a computer-aided physical environment that provides an engaging and appropriately challenging user experience for whole body interaction. Building on current research in computer vision, motion tracking, rehabilitation medicine, media arts and dance education, a multidisciplinary student design team will employ a user-centered iterative prototyping methodology to research the topic areas, determine the feature set, produce the media content, and implement and test the eDance kiosk prototype.

The main software platform for this project will be the Active Space media performance system, which provides video-based motion tracking, real-time video and audio synthesis, high bandwidth networking, and multi-channel visuals and sound. As a key enabling technology in the Calit2 Culture and Healthcare application areas, Active Space is being used to create physical rehabilitation environments, interactive media installations and interdisciplinary dance and theatre performances. The system continually senses, measures and responds to the movement of participants, providing an array of tools with which to engage and "play the space" as an instrument.

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes: Activities will include:
- Reviewing essential background literature regarding current research in computer vision, motion tracking, rehabilitation medicine, media arts and dance education
- Researching features and limitations of existing game platforms and related products, including Wii Fit, Xbox Kinect, Eye Toy Kinetic, etc.
- Familiarization with Active Space interactive media system
- Producing an initial conceptual design document based on user-centered design principles
- Implementing the eDance kiosk using iterative prototyping methodology
- Designing and developing media content for the kiosk based on dance education principles
- Conducting user testing and demonstrating the prototype
- Producing an as-built design document

Expected outcomes and skills developed by the students will include:
- Background knowledge on computer vision, motion tracking, rehabilitation medicine, media arts and dance education
- Experience with the Active Space interactive media system
- Experience with user-centered conceptual design and testing
- Experience with iterative prototyping methodology and related documentation
- Experience with developing media content

Prerequisites: Students who have successfully completed coursework in one or more of the following areas will be given preference:

- Computer graphics
- Biomedical engineering
- Machine learning
- Software design and prototyping
- Visual arts
- Choreography
- Dance education

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   J. Crawford. "Active Space: Embodied Media in Performance." ACM SIGGRAPH 2005 Sketches. Los Angeles, CA: ACM, 2005.:
   D. Ramanan, D. A. Forsyth, A. Zisserman. "Tracking People by Learning their Appearance" IEEE Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (PAMI). Jan 2007.:
   D. Rowe. Reviewing Detections and Tracking Approaches, from "Towards Robust Multiple-Target Tracking in Unconstrained Human-Populated Environments." Ph.D. Thesis, Chapter 2, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain, 2008.:
   L. Zhao. Synthesis and acquisition of Laban Movement Analysis qualitative parameters for communicative gestures. PhD thesis, Computer and Information Science, Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 2001.:
   Video feature on John Crawford's Dance-IT interactive dance media kiosk.:

 Project #11:  Health and Healing among Women in the African Diaspora: Exploring the Connections between Ghana and the United States
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Jessica MillwardHistory

Description:  This project grows out of our work as founding members of the "Collaborative Conversations on the Continent," partnership between the University of Ghana, Legon and UC Irvine. During summer 2010, twenty-four UCI faculty, staff, and students embarked on a three-week cultural and educational exchange with students and faculty at the University of Ghana, Legon.

One of the most persistent threads emerging during "Collaborative Conversations," was a research cluster consisting of UCI African American faculty and students interested in the role of health and healing among women in the African Diaspora. Participants have continued this conversation upon returning to the United States. The disciplinary focus of this team spans the fields of African American Studies, Biology, Business, Dance, History, Political Science, and Public Health Policy. The collective endeavors of this group are yielding research on: (1) women and health during the Atlantic slave trade, (2) cultural continuums between Africa and America, (3) dance as healing, (4) black women's liberation theory, (5) digital mediums and expressive culture as a method for health dissemination, and (6) transnational AIDS/HIV prevention programs.

This particular project will draw on the six above mentioned themes and produce several outputs including a photography compilation and an on-line social networking site. Photographic documentation produced by the team will illuminate those aspects of culture and context that speak strongly and directly to the research goals as well as the team's overarching vision. The social networking site will focus on building relationships among women and other parties who share an interest in holistic approaches to African women's health and healing.

Ultimately, the strengths of this project lie in its ability to put theory into practice. The added emphasis on the mentoring of African descended women as they develop and deploy a research agenda that includes women from the continent of Africa furthers the notion of community healing. Moreover, by focusing on cultural retentions and health survival strategies that employ the energy produced by the human body, i.e. such as through dance and the dissemination of healing practices, this project has the potential to challenge how we understand the evolution health and healing among women from both individual and community perspectives.

Prerequisites: Students need to be in their senior year of study, in good academic standing, and willing to work hard.

 Project #12:  Inside the Mind: Educational Mobile Game
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor William M. TomlinsonInformatics

Professor Bradley S. HughesEcology & Evolutionary Biology

Professor Rebecca BlackEducation

Professor AnneMarie ConleyEducation

Ms. Cathy TranEducation

Description:  The team will tackle how to apply the principles of what makes video games fun and engaging to the design of learning tools. To do so, we will conceptualize and develop an educational mobile game through design meetings and iterative testing with potential users. The project will be themed around what goes on inside the mind. For example, which emotions do our minds connect with the same facial expressions across all cultures and why may those human universals exist? What makes something attractive and how is that evolutionarily adaptive? What cognitive misconceptions do children make about causality and how does that affect children's understanding of their impacts on the environment? How do our eyes trick our sense of smell and taste? The game will address the complexity of the mind and how it is influenced by evolution, culture, and past experience.

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes: Students will be involved in brainstorming sessions to hone in on specific topics (as suggested above or others) and to conceptualize the design. Readings, an analysis of competing products, and evaluations with potential users (both children and adults) will guide the design and re-design of the mobile game. Expected outcomes are experience with the educational game development process, user testing and other evaluation skills, a final report, and an educational game for the phone and/or tablet.

Prerequisites: We're looking for a team with complementary interests and skills in programming, art, design, gaming, science, education, psychology, cognitive science, and human-computer interaction. Innovative thinkers with real-world experience or relevant coursework are especially encouraged to apply.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   The Motivational Pull of Video Games:
   Mind: The Science, Art, and Experience of our Inner Lives:
   The Cute Factor:
   Research reveals that information from different senses interacts in the brain:
   Color Uncovered: The Exploratorium's First iPad App Takes Off:
   Attractive butterfly wing patterns that catch the female's eye:
   Attractive butterfly wing patterns that catch the female's eye:
   Understandings of Consequence:

 Project #13:  Investigating Obstacles to Water Recycling and Re-Use
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Stanley B. GrantChemical Engineering & Materials Science

Professor Jean-Daniel M. SaphoresCivil & Environmental Engineering

Description:  We will first rely on engineering cost estimates and standard engineering economics tools to explore at what price levels it would make economic sense to invest in piping for recycling/re-using wastewater for Irvine or another local city (based on data availability). One key to the success of water recycling and re-use is public acceptance. Our second step will therefore be to organize a survey (either at UCI or working in cooperation with a local water utility) to understand public perception of water recycling/reuse. To model public perception, we will rely on discrete choice models, such as simple logits or rank ordered models similar to those in Nixon et al. (2009) and Saphores et al. (2006, 2007).

Student Involvement: Students will gain an appreciation of multiple design constraints and opportunities--including technical, political, social and financial--that must be integrated in designs for next-generation water systems. Students may engage in outreach activities, including contacts with local government policy makers, regional water managers, public consumers, and K-12 students.

Prerequisites: The program requires that students be seniors or motivated juniors in a relevant major, and encourages first-generation college students and students from non-English speaking households.

 Project #14:  Microbial Desalination Fuel Cell Research
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Sunny JiangCivil & Environmental Engineering

Professor Yun WangMechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Description:  Desalination of seawater and brackish water is considered to be an important supplement to the dwindling drinking water supply. Seven seawater desalination plants will be constructed in California in the next couple years to meet Californians' drinking water demand. However, the current desalination technology is highly energy intensive. The recent development of microbial fuel cells has offered an interesting idea of converting wastewater into electricity by using the electron-transfer ability of bacteria. Bacteria produce electrons when they degrade organic matters in wastewater to grow. The electron-transfer from bacterial biofilm attached to anode through wire to cathode will produce electric current in the wire. Separation of the anode and cathode by anion and cation membranes and placing salt water between the two membranes will allow desalination of the salt water. A proof-of-concept desalination fuel cell was constructed and reported in China last year. This project will construct a microbial desalination fuel cell as the first step. For the second phase of the project, we will explore scale-up possibility of the fuel cells.

The project requires a multidisciplinary team. Environmental engineering background is needed to design and construct the fuel cell. Microbiology background is needed to establish the biofilm and monitor the physiology and growth rate. Electrical background is needed to construct the electrical circuit and measure current. Chemical engineering expertise is needed to understand electrodialysis for desalination. This project addresses the energy and environmental nexus.

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes: Three students in the school of engineering have expressed interest in this project. All students will be responsible for design, construction and testing of the system. The skills they will develop during the project include critical thinking ability, troubleshooting through literature research and discussion, hands-on construction of a device, microbiological and environmental engineering techniques and methodology. Students will be required to work as a team to prepare a UROP proposal to demonstrate their understanding of the project and to make a final presentation at the UCI Undergraduate Research Symposium. Students will also be encouraged to enter other design competitions to broaden their involvement in innovative research.

Prerequisites: Environmental biology, environmental engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering with GPA 3.0 or above, motivated towards the project.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Cao X. et al. A New Method for Water Desalination Using Microbial Desalination Cells. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2009, 43, 7148-7152:

 Project #15:  Multimedia Feedback System for Stress and Pain Reduction
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Mark BachmanElectrical Engineering & Computer Science

Professor Zeev KainAnesthesiology

Description:  This project will explore the use of mobile Web-based technologies, coupled with portable physiological sensing, for the delivery of multimedia intended to assist a patient in reaching a relaxed or meditative state in an everyday setting. Ultimately, this kind of technology can be used to help patients reduce stress or pain, especially during perioperative care.

One or more physiological monitors (e.g., pulse monitoring, skin conductivity) will be developed that are portable and can easily be worn by the patient. These will communicate their data to a Web server that will analyze the data, then provide information to a Web-enabled multimedia pad (e.g., iPad, Galaxy pad) held by the patient, which in turn will provide feedback to the patient in the form of visual and aural (multimedia) response.

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes:

1. Students will develop one or more portable physiological sensors and have them communicate with a computer; this will in turn serve data to a Web browser.

2. Students will develop Web-browser based multimedia applications that respond visually and with sound based on data received from a Web server.

3. Students will explore the effectiveness of physiological monitoring for quantifying pain or stress, and for multimedia feedback in reducing stress.

Prerequisites: Two to five students may participate in this project.

One or more students must have ability to develop multimedia (animations/video/sound) and do computer programming, preferably in Flash (Actionscript) or using Processing (similar to C language)

One or more students must have ability to build and debug basic electronics.

All students must have aptitude for building things.

Prefer students who have an aptitude for art, animation, and music.

Interested students should do appropriate Internet searches to understand how pain and stress can be monitored using physiological sensors, what sensors are already used for this purpose, and what technologies exist for providing assistive feedback in stress reduction or meditation. Students will be expected to start the project by reporting on these topics.

 Project #16:  Opioid Receptors Modulate Cardiac Spinal Afferents and Excitatory Cardiovascular Reflex Responses to Cardiac ATP Stimulation through a P2 Receptor Mechanism
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Liang-Wu FuMedicine

Dr. Jian-Guo ZhengChemical Engineering & Materials Science

Description:  To examine interactions between previously identified and new chemical mediators such as extracellular ATP, opioids and more mediators in activation of these cardiac afferents and the CNS reflex processing to expand our understanding pathophysiology of the sympathetic afferent activation and the associated reflexes.

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes: (1) To design and make a new electrode for recording the renal or other sympathetic nerve activity in vivo with the other parameters to test the hypothesis of this project. (2) To obtain knowledge and skills in measuring arterial blood pressure and nerve activity, which will help students to get a better understanding of the nature of our research project.

Prerequisites: The student should have a major in physics, chemistry, or engineering and understand basic materials and their properties, for example, polymer, metal and electrical resistance. He/she should be able to learn quickly and put the new knowledge into practice. He/she should also be interested in medicine, particularly in neuroscience and cardiovascular physiology. He/she should be able to work actively with other team members and achieve project goals.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Fu L-W and Longhurst JC. Regulation of Cardiac Afferent Excitability in Ischemia. In Sensory Nerves. Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, ed. Canning BJ, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. 194: 185-225, 2009.:
   Neuro-Cardiovascular regulation: from Molecules to Man. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 940: edited by M. Chapleau & F. Abboud, 2001.:

 Project #17:  Pixel VGA: Development of an Architectural-Scale Display System to Repurpose Electronic Waste
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Gillian R. HayesInformatics

Dr. Garnet D. HertzInformatics

Description:  This project strives to develop a platform for the reuse of discarded computer monitors to transform them into large video wall systems for use in artistic, architectural, and interactive environment applications. We aim to leverage recent advances in do-it-yourself (D.I.Y.) and open source electronics to help engineer custom video driver hardware for VGA screens that costs under $10 per monitor to manufacture, and research and develop artistic content and installations for over a hundred VGA monitors where each screen is a single, large pixel.

Prerequisites: - Experience in PIC microcontroller programming, Arduino, computer programming, custom circuits, video drivers, camera systems, or computer hardware development. This can include students in Electrical Engineering, EECS, Computer Science, or other fields.
- Interest in working with civic and community organizations that handle the recycling of electronic waste. This could include students in the Civic and Community Engagement Minor, Earth Systems Science, Public Policy, or students involved in environmental issues.
- Interest in computer display systems, novel display technologies, image or video processing, stage/lighting design, architecture, set/scenic design, electronic art, or public sculpture. This could include students in Computer Science, Arts, Theater, or other fields.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Related pictures and information:

 Project #18:  Prevalence of Suicidal Patients Who Visit the Emergency Department with Non-Psychiatric Chief Complaints Using a Novel Computerized Screening & Intervention Platform: Pilot Study Research Plan
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Bharath ChakravarthyEmergency Medicine

Professor Tim BrucknerProgram in Public Health

Description:  Suicide is the second leading cause of death for persons aged 25-34 years in the United States and more years of potential life are lost to suicide than to homicide. The Emergency Department (ED) treats a large number of patients, many of whom have underlying psychiatric diagnoses. It is especially critical in screening and identifying patients who may be depressed or suicidal because many mental health patients (43%) who die by suicide visit the ED at least once in the year prior to their death. Currently, mental health screening is extremely time-consuming and costly because it requires trained health personnel to conduct screenings. The use of a self-administered computerized screening tool is both novel and effective. Its utility in the ED is proven in the detection of alcohol addiction and domestic violence.

Computerized self-administered testing is currently in use in the ED, but its use in screening for depression and suicidality is not in practice. Combining the technology of computerized screening with ED patients who may have underlying depression or suicidal ideation is an innovative public health intervention. This initial step, marrying technology and public health, has the potential to develop into an efficient referral system such that a) depressed and suicidal patients are effectively identified in the ED and receive referral to a mental health provider, b) ultimately receive treatment through this provider, and finally c) patients are followed longitudinally to measure recidivism and resource utilization.

Our aim is to implement a computer based self-administered screening tool to analyze the prevalence of depression and suicidality among those patients who visit the ED with non-psychiatric chief complaints. The goal is to 1) refer high-risk patients for psychiatric treatment, 2) observe patients longitudinally to measure recidivism and healthcare resource utilization, and 3) see if there is a relationship between depression and suicide with other medical conditions such as chronic diseases and substance abuse.

Three unique disciplines will participate in this study: they are an emergency physician Dr. Bharath Chakravarthy, a psychologist Dr. Merritt Schreiber and a social ecologist Dr. Tim Bruckner. Specifically, Dr. Chakravarthy will supervise and implement the computerized screening and intervention in the ED, and refer for treatment those patients that are identified as high risk for depression and suicidality. Dr. Schreiber will oversee the treatment of these referral patients. Finally, Dr. Bruckner will follow patients longitudinally to observe changes over time, including recidivism and healthcare resource utilization.


Students will be responsible for attending weekly research meetings, literature searches, assisting in hypothesis creation, IRB submission, patient recruitment in the emergency department, overseeing data collection, problems serving for all of the above, learning about statistical analysis (not actually performing analysis), assisting in creating an abstract, potential poster presentation at a conference, assisting in manuscript creation, assisting in manuscript submission and in the review and resubmission.

Prerequisites: All students are welcome to apply. A specific interest in Injury Prevention, Psychiatric Emergencies, Social Ecology and Emergency Medicine are encouraged to apply.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. National Vital Statistics System.:
   Da Cruz D, Pearson A, Saini P, et al., Emergency department contact prior to suicide in mental health patients. Emergency Medicine Journal 2010.:
   Brown, Gregory K., A Review of Suicide Assessment Measures for Intervention Research with Adults and Older Adults. 2001:
   Houry D, Feldhaus K, Peery B, et al., A positive domestic violence screen predicts future domestic violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2004; 19(9):955-66.:
   D'Onofrio G, Degutis LC., Integrating Project ASSERT: a screening, intervention, and referral to treatment program for unhealthy alcohol and drug use into an urban emergency department. Academic Emergency Medicine 2010; 17(8):903-11.:
   Vaca FE, Winn D., The basics of alcohol screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment in the emergency department. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine 2007; 8(3):88-92.:
   Sokero TP, Melartin TK, Rytsälä HJ, Leskelä US, Lestelä-Mielonen PS, Isometsä ET., Suicidal ideation and attempts among psychiatric patients with major depressive disorder. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 2003; 64(9):1094-1100.:
   Healy DJ, Barry K, Blow F, Welsh D, Milner KK., Routine use of the Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation in a psychiatric emergency department. General Hospital Psychiatry 2006; 28(4):323-329.:

 Project #19:  Programmable High Throughput Cell Based Assays for Immunological Diseases
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Anshu AgrawalMedicine

Dr. John CollinsBiomedical Engineering

Description:  The aim of the project is to develop electrically activated droplets driven programmable high throughput platform for performing cell secretion based immunological assays routinely used for determining the efficacy of immunological drugs and vaccines in humans. They will be established for early detection markers for various immunological diseases. We will develop an integrated platform using multilayer printed circuit boards to transport reagents in droplets, process whole blood samples, perform cell cultures and monitor cell secretion using nanomagnetic particles enabled giant magnetoresistance sensors. Thus, technological fusion of digital microfluidics, nanomagnetic sensing, autoimmunological bioassay will come together in this integrated platform for studying immunological diseases. Dr. Collins has the expertise to develop micro/nano devices and electrical instrumentation for cell based assays.

Cytokine secretion by Antigen Presenting cells such as Dendritic cells and monocytes is altered in diseases either at the basal level without activation or after activation with various ligands (Toll like receptor, NOD etc.). This altered cytokine secretion also influences the nature of T helper cell responses by affecting their polarization. The imbalance in TH cell polarization leads to development of various diseases. For example, in autoimmune diseases such as lupus there is deficiency in the generation of T regulatory cells accompanied by an increase in TH1 cells. Dr Agrawal's laboratory has the expertise to perform such assays; however, these assays are labor-intensive, time consuming and require large quantities of blood. Here we propose to use an automated engineering platform to perform such assays.

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes:
Immunology: Students will learn to purify APCs and T cells from human blood and set up the assays. They will also learn to perform ELISAs or flow cytometry based cytokine detection assays.
Engineering: Students will design digital fluidic electrode array for PCB-based devices and learn electrical instrumentation and programming for switching and data acquisition.

Prerequisites: Biology and Biomedical Engineering majors preferred. Previous experience with CAD design and programming software is useful but not required.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   S. K. Cho, H. J. Moon, and C. J. Kim, "Creating, transporting, cutting, and merging liquid droplets by electrowetting-based actuation for digital microfluidic circuits," Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, vol. 12, pp. 70-80, Feb 2003.:
   H. Moon, A. R. Wheeler, R. L. Garrell, J. A. Loo, and C. J. Kim, "An integrated digital microfluidic chip for multiplexed proteomic sample preparation and analysis by MALDI-MS,"Lab on a chip, vol. 6, pp. 1213-1219, 2006.:
   P. Kunchala, H. Moon, Y. Nanayakkara, and D. W. Armstrong, "Ewod Based Liquid-Liquid Extraction and Separation," Proceedings of the Asme Summer Bioengineering Conference -2009, Pt a and B, pp. 845-846, 1348, 2009.:
   P. A. L. Wijethunga, Y. S. Nanayakkara, P. Kunchala, D. W. Armstrong, and H. Moon, "On-Chip Drop-to-Drop Liquid Microextraction Coupled with Real-Time Concentration MonitoringTechnique," Analytical Chemistry, vol. 83, pp. 1658-1664, Mar 1 2011.:
   Automated Multiplexed Multidensity Microfluidic Cell Growth Monitoring Based on Electrical Gain measurements. J. Collins, D. Lavigne, Y. Lin, D. Goodman, P. Irwan, A. P. Lee, IEEE EMBS Special Topics Conference on Microtechnologies in Medicine and Biology, Hawaii, May 12-15 2005.:
   Agrawal S, Gupta S and Agrawal A. Human dendritic cells activated via Dectin-1 are efficient at priming Th17, cytotoxic CD8 T and B cell responses. PLoS One 2010 Oct 18;5(10):e13418.:
   Agrawal S , Dillon S , Banerjee K, Letterio J , O-Ritcher K , Kasprowicz DJ, Keller K , Pare J,Van Dyke T, Ziegler S , Unutmaz D , Pulendran B. Yeast Zymosan, Ligand for TLR-2 and Dectin-1, induce regulatory antigen-presenting cells and Immunological tolerance. J. Clin.Invest. 2006 Apr 3;116(4):916-928.:
   Manicassamy S, Pulendran B (2009) Modulation of adaptive immunity with Toll-like receptors.Semin Immunol 21: 185-193.:
   Zhou L, Chong MM, Littman DR (2009) Plasticity of CD4+ T cell lineage differentiation. Immunity 30:646-655.:
   Iwasaki A, Medzhitov R (2010) Regulation of adaptive immunity by the innate immune system. Science 327:291-295.:

 Project #20:  Students Teaching Students: RN Clinical Skills Videos
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Maureen MoviusProgram in Nursing Science

Ms. Angeli LeggittProgram in Nursing Science

Description:  The Problem: There is a limited availability of educational videos related to RN clinical skills that speak with scientific vocabulary, that relate/cater to college students, and that place a skill within an evidence based practice context (in other words skills are taught separately and lack the practical indications and contraindications supported through clinical studies).

The Solution: Create 30+ fundamental and advanced RN clinical skills videos of high production value using equipment from the Program of Nursing Science at UCI and UCI Medical Center.

The Objective: Disseminate the videos to the Youtube cloud under the Nursing Science Student Association's account, to various high schools that have a pre-medical/pre-nursing pathway, and to nursing organization websites. Present the video skill set as a class present to the UCI nursing program.

The Vision: Increase the availability of entertaining, interesting, and insightful nursing skill videos; modernize nursing education; Extend the reputation of the UCI nursing program through the work of its students; pave the future of teaching for participating students in their careers; and provide opportunities for students to practice more skills and bug professors for help

Benefits: UCI nursing will have its own video clinical skill set, fostering unity between all nursing classes, perpetual Contribution to the educational community, and inspire future nurses

 Project #21:  Surface Functionalization of the Carbon Nanoelectrodes for Micro Biofuel Cell
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Marc J. MadouMechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Professor Reginald M. PennerChemistry

Dr. Lawrence KulinskyMechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Description:  The goal of this project is to create half-cell of micro biofuel cell that will employ functionalization of carbon nanoelectrodes with the enzyme Glucose Oxidase and a redox mediator (such as hydroquinone). The student group will perform chemical functionalization, surface characterization and electrochemical characterization to analyze electron transfer of the resulting half-cell. Students will perform and compare several functionalization and immobilization techniques and will optimize performance of the half cell of the micro biofuel cell. The micro biofuel cell is designed to be used as a power supply for the implantable biomedical microsystems such as biosensor platforms and drug delivery systems.

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes: Students will perform chemical surface modification, functionalization, surface characterization, electrochemistry, and modeling of the electron transfer kinetics (with the commercial PDE solvers).

Prerequisites: Students must have extensive chemical laboratory experience; biochemistry and surface characterization experience is preferred.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Adam Heller "Miniature Biofuel Cell", Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2004, 6, 209-216.:

 Project #22:  Testing Physical Mechanisms of Aerosal Drug Delivery
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Steven C. GeorgeBiomedical Engineering

Professor Michael DenninPhysics & Astronomy

Description:  The aim of the project is to develop methods of testing for the optimal particle size for delivery of drugs across the lung barrier. For an inhalation drug delivery strategy, the inhaled particles must be transported across both the surfactant and the cells which comprise the alveolar membrane (alveolar epithelial and vascular endothelial cells). Therefore, the project involves two distinct stages using model systems. The first stage focuses on the correct physical size for particles to cross the surfactant barrier at the air-water interface. This stage will take place in the Dennin lab, and students will learn how to use and study Langmuir monolayers. Once the relationship between particle size distribution and transport across the surfactant layer is known, we will pursue the measurement of transport of the particles across both alveolar epithelial cells (A549 cells) and vascular endothelial cells (cord blood-derived endothelial colony forming cells) which Professor George's lab has used extensively.

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes: Please elaborate on intended student activities, expected outcomes, and specific skills that the undergraduate will develop as a result of this involvement.

Students will work together on the project learning the procedures for making Langmuir monolayers. This includes the making and handling of surfactant solutions, cleaning procedures, and basic characterization tools. They will also learn basic skills with cell cultures. A main feature of the project will be the design of assays to determine if, and how many, particles cross either the Langmuir monolayer or cell barrier.

Prerequisites: The students should be at least at junior level and majoring in physics, chemistry, or biomedical engineering.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Tracking Giant Folds in a Monolayer, T. Boatwright, A. J. Levine, and M. Dennin, Langmuir 26, 12755 (2010). DOI: 10.1021/la1012439 (local preprint).:
   Fluorescence Microscopy Imaging of Giant Folding in a Catanionic Monolayer, Joseph D. Coppock, Kapilanjan Krishan, Michael Dennin and Brian G. Moore, Langmuir, 25, 5006 (2009). DOI: 10.1021/la803773y (local preprint).:

 Project #23:  The Chemistry of Fireworks Mobile Device Application
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Scott RychnovskyChemistry

Professor Nikil DuttComputer Science

Ms. Maureen ReillyChemistry

Mr. Alexander WagnerChemistry

Dr. Gu Min JeongComputer Science

Description:  The goal of this project is to create a mobile device application that provides a platform for a device user to learn about how fireworks are constructed with an emphasis on the relationship between the chemicals used in fireworks and their properties. The application would enable the user to design a firework by clicking on certain design options such as color, type of firework, and sound. The program would then provide detailed information about how that particular firework would be constructed, the chemicals required, and explanations about the chemical and physical properties involved.

The key to this application's being interesting and useful is to develop a user-friendly interface and to allow the device user to be creative with their firework design. Information regarding the chemical components involved in fireworks and the reactions that take place at different stages of the explosion will be a main component of the application. However, implementing visual images with the use of real firework videos or coded single particle graphics as well as audio components will also greatly contribute to the success of the application.

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes:

The culmination of this project will be the production of a mobile device application. The student(s) will be expected to lead in the design and creation of the application. They will receive assistance from chemists on relevant firework information and from computer scientists on coding mobile applications. This is a unique opportunity to receive guidance from experts in the field during the development of a mobile application.

Prerequisites: Students should have knowledge of the Java platform, at least one year of programming experience, a strong interest in mobile application development, and an interest in the applications of chemistry in the world.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Application development software:
   Chemistry of Fireworks Introductory Explanation:
   Chemistry of Fireworks Detailed Explanation: A Professional's Guide to Pyrotechnics: Understanding and Making Exploding Fireworks, Donner, J. Paladin Press, Boulder CO, 1997.:

 Project #24:  Therabot: A Remote Controllable Robot Avatar Designed for Bedridden Kids
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Simon PennyStudio Art

Professor Judith GregoryInformatics

Description:  Thereabot is a multifunctional embodied avatar by which bedridden kids can do errands, carry on conversations and even play games, i.e. with other kids via their therabots. Therabot will be controlled from the bed. In addition to remote control (probably via cell phone technology) the bots will support two-way audio and video, with a controllable camera (at least 180° on the horizontal axis), long-life batteries and a carry basket. The Therabot will offer a variety of modes of control that use body parts in ways that promote the well-being of patients and prevent the atrophy of muscles. For instance, a foot-controlled steering interface will provide physical therapy in the form of motor control and muscle exercise for the legs. It will also provide kids with a venue or mobile sociality in the hospital environment (and possibly beyond) through the use of GPS-enabled robots. In addition to carrying a live video facial image of the owner, these devices will permit all kinds of personalization, costuming, etc., providing a creative outlet for these kids.

Being confined to a bed can take a toll on the body and mind--soreness and difficulty getting out of bed or even standing up, as well as social isolation. This experience can be quite demoralizing. The patient often loses confidence and the will to participate in physical therapy. Our goal is to incorporate play, physical activity and active interaction into normally mundane and difficult road to recovery, and to bolster the patient's agency in his or her interactions with the world and the healing process herself.

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes:

Our goal is to research and design the project in Winter 2012, produce a working prototype and conduct preliminary tests in Spring 2012. In situ testing with hospital patients will occur in summer 2012, or earlier.

Prerequisites: We are looking to assemble a working team of students with experience in one or more of the following areas: engineering, computer science, biomedical engineering, medicine, nursing, and physical therapy.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Defining Socially Assistive Robotics. David Feil-Seifer and Maja J Matari ´ c. In proceedings of the 2005 IEEE 9th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics. June 28 - July 1, 2005, Chicago, IL, USA, 465-468.:
   Robots Help Kids to Improve Motor Skills:
   Riley Hospital to Launch Robotic Therapy for Kids:
   Robot Companions to Befriend Sick Kids at European Hospital:
   Rehab Robots Help Stroke Patients:

 Project #25:  Traditions and Transitions: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Investigation of African American and Chicana/o-Latina/o Experiences
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Bridget R. CooksArt History

Professor Ana E. RosasChicano/Latino Studies

Description:  Our multidisciplinary project will expose students to a range of interdisciplinary research methods to interrogate the generational traditions and transitions of African Americans and Chicana/o-Latina/os in the United States. Using journalism, literature, oral history, visual images, and other forms of documentation and representations of the African American and Chicana/o-Latina/o experience this project will train students to investigate underestimated catalytic interactions, locations, moments, and relationships that paved the way for generational traditions and transitions that define the activist platforms, coming of age, and survival of African Americans and Chicana/o-Latina/os. Through bi-weekly group meetings, research methodology workshops, and close supervision of student research, our project will prepare students to recognize and pursue the generative potential of interdisciplinary approaches to underexplored cultural, political, and social questions that span generations of African Americans and Chicana/os-Latina/os. Our sustained consideration of the utility and rigors of varying forms of archival and oral history research will enrich students' understanding of the diversity of approaches, actions, developments, issues, and sources framing the investigation of interests and relationships that divide and bind generations of African Americans and Chicana/o-Latina/os together, as well as their completion of their own interdisciplinary research projects.

The first part of our multidisciplinary project will be dedicated to discussing interdisciplinary research methodologies with students via bi-weekly meetings and/or research methodology workshops, as well as to determining which interdisciplinary research methods, questions, sources, and strategies will best advance their investigation of the generational traditions and transitions of African Americans and Chicana/o-Latina/os. The second part of our collaboration will allow us to advise students as they develop their research questions, identify their primary sources, conduct their own research, read secondary literature, and write and present their research. The third part of our collaboration will require students to prepare, present, and provide a multimedia presentation of the primary sources that inform their research to the University of California Irvine's (UCI) History Project, a UCI campus organization dedicated to enriching the teaching of History in K-12 classrooms. This presentation will allow students to share with this organization's K-12 teachers the utility of the primary sources that informs their research, so that teachers consider using these primary sources to craft and implement interdisciplinary approaches to their teaching of the traditions and transitions of generations of African American and Chicana/os in their classrooms. We anticipate that this organization's goal of bringing K-12 teachers, faculty, and students together to develop cutting-edge and generative models of teaching and learning are consistent with our project's expectations and goals. We are confident that by our project's end, students will be prepared to write and present their research findings with UCI's History Project, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes: Each student is expected to attend our bi-weekly project meetings and/or research methodology workshops; identify a research topic and develop research question(s) that encompasses the generational traditions and transitions of the African American and Chicana/o-Latina/o experience; identify, read, and reflect on the secondary literature on their research topic; conduct primary research; prepare and present a multi-media presentation of the primary sources that informs their research to share with UCI's History Project; and write and submit an eight-page paper of their research findings with careful attention to the revealing qualities of undertaking interdisciplinary research.

Prerequisites: Each student is expected to be at least a junior and interested in undertaking and presenting interdisciplinary research that investigates the generational traditions and transitions of African American and Chicana/o-Latina/o women and men across the United States. Students majoring and/or minoring in African American Studies and/or Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies are ideal candidates for this project.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Berger, John. Ways of Seeing (London: BBC, 1990).:
   Foley, Neil. Quest for Equality (Harvard University Press, 2010).:
   Lipsitz, George. Footsteps in the Dark (University of Minnesota Press, 2007).:
   Perales, Monica. Smeltertown: Remembering and Making of a Border Community (University of North Carolina Press, 2010).:
   Schmidt Camacho, Alicia. Migrant Imaginaries: Latina/o Cultural Politics across the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (New York University Press, 2008).:

 Project #26:  Understanding the Musculoskeletal Impact of Dance through Body-Worn Instrumentation
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Mark BachmanElectrical Engineering & Computer Science

Professor Jeffrey A. RussellDance

Description:  The goal of this project is to develop body-worn instrumentation that can lead to an understanding of how dancers impact their bodies during standard dance maneuvers, then use this instrumentation to perform preliminary studies on dancers.

Dance is a rigorous physical activity, and dancers experience extremely high musculoskeletal injury rates. Yet, the field of dance medicine and science is behind sports medicine in establishing a body of knowledge about how the physical demands of dance affect the musculoskeletal system. Information about this is needed to inform possible technique modifications, training refocusing, and equipment alterations.

This project will use body-worn sensor systems that are connected to body-worn data loggers or tethered to computers. The project may use "off-the-shelf" sensors, but students may also need to develop new sensors from scratch, since body-worn sensors are not readily available commercially.

Several design considerations will be addressed: (1) What data need to be collected and in what form? (2) How should one design experiments to collect these data? (3) How should instrumentation that can make these measurements be produced?

Students' Involvement and Expected Outcomes: Students will participate to understand the problem, design experiments, design instrumentation, perform experiments, reduce data, analyze data, and draw conclusions about role of instrumentation in assessing the demands placed on the body by dance. Students are expected to produce a completed study by the end of the project. Students will learn the basics of dance medicine, kinesiology, sensor systems, data collection and analysis, and scientific analysis. In addition to the faculty mentors, students will work with several graduate students who have experience in these areas.

Budget: $5000 will be required to purchase electronics, components, hardware, sensors. Some in kind support will be provided by the supervising faculty (computers, software, test equipment).

Prerequisites: Students are invited to participate with backgrounds, skills or interest in dance, dance medicine and science, sports medicine, kinesiology and technology (electrical engineering, information technology, etc.). This project will require skills in electronics (sensors), computers, software, and kinesiology. Undergraduate students with skills or interest in these topics are encouraged to apply.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Clippinger K. Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2007.:
   Howse AJG. Dance Technique and Injury Prevention. 3rd ed. London: A. & C. Black, 2000.:
   Russell JA. Musculoskeletal dance medicine and science. In: Magee DJ, Manske RC, Zachazewski JE, Quillen WS (eds.): Athletic and Sport Issues in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation. St. Louis: Elsevier Saunders, 2011, pp. 651-80.:
   Russell JA, McEwan IM, Koutedakis Y, Wyon MA. Clinical anatomy and biomechanics of the ankle in dance. Journal of Dance Medicine and Science. 2008;12(3):75-82.:
   Teitz CC, Harrington RM, Wiley H. Pressures on the foot in pointe shoes. Foot and Ankle. 1985;5(5):216-21.:
   Tuckman AS, Werner FW, Bayley JC. Analysis of the forefoot on pointe in the ballet dancer. Foot and Ankle. 1991;12(3):144-8.:
   Introduction to Processing:
   PIC Microcontrollers:
   Free references manuals for sensors:
   DIY stuff:
   DIY stuff:
   Parallax sensor products:
   Sparkfun sensors and electronics: