Laleh Boroujerdi-Rad

1. What is your specific area of research (include the name of your faculty and/or laboratory)?

I research in the Memory and Decision making lab (MAD Lab) under the mentorship of Dr.'s Mark Steyvers and Scott Brown. My research has focused on decision making in changing environments, using a simple recognition memory paradigm to test decision making in hard and easy environments. My primary interest is cognitive modeling-using mathematical models to represent human cognition. I am currently developing a paradigm to study the effect of general knowledge on episodic memory.

2. When and how did you first get involved in research?

I transferred to UCI as a junior, and immediately made an appointment with the UROP office. The counselors helped me develop a list of faculty who matched my interests. I further researched the work of several professors, and found Drs. Steyvers and Brown to be the best match for my interests. After exchanging e-mails with Dr. Brown and attending a lab meeting, I joined the MAD Lab in the fall of 2004.

3. How has research enhanced your education?

Research has brought my field of study to life for me. Research has not only demonstrated the practical applications of my academic work, but inspired me to pursue research as a career. In short, it has been the most exciting and rewarding part of my education.

4. What has been your favorite experience with research (include any interesting stories or specific events)?

Every day that I do research is a favorite experience, from the passion of my mentors, to the interactions in the weekly lab meetings. But two particular experience stand out: receiving a SURP Fellowship, and having the opportunity to conduct 10 weeks of research this past summer; and attending my first scientific conference, the Psychonomics Society Conference in Toronto Canada, at which I presented a poster of my research findings.

5. What are your future plans and how has being involved in research helped to prepare you to meet your goals?

As a direct result of my research experience I have been accepted into multiple graduate programs in cognitive psychology. My most immediate goal is to select a program and obtain a Ph.D. My long term goal is a career in academia, researching and teaching human memory and cognition.

6. What advice would you give to a student interested in pursuing a faculty-mentored undergraduate research project or creative activity?

If you have not done so already, make an appointment with a counselor at the UROP office. The advice and encouragement I received from the UROP office was instrumental in getting me started in research. My ongoing involvement in the UROP office has not only been beneficial to my research experience, but has enhanced my overall experience at UCI.

Past Researchers of the Month
Dec. '06 Megan Trotter
Nov. '06 Allison Zemek
Oct. '06 Jeremy Roth
Sept. '06 Crystal Wang
Aug. '06 Michael Thompson
Jul. '06 Kimberly Balazs
Jun. '06 Joseph Boufadel
May '06 Vicky Zhou
Apr. '06 Jessica Morreale
Mar. '06 Talinn Toorian
Feb. '06 Vivek Mehta
Jan. '06 Pernille Hemmer
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