Field Journal, 2022 Scholars, Week 4

  • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.
  • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

Please answer BOTH of these questions by creating a post of your own! Remember that you also should read your colleagues’ posts and write a response to at least one of their posts.

In responding to another student’s post, find a student’s post that you find interesting. Scroll down to the bottom of the entry and hit “Leave a comment”. Leave your reply in the box provided.

Remember: you should post your own responses and respond to another student's post by the end of the week. 

Comments

Go to the profile of Ashwin Marathe
17 days ago
  • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

My oral history project will continue through the summer as I begin interviewing individuals. At the end, the audio files and transcripts will be archived by the South Asian American Digital Archive. I have spent the past month researching the background of the protest to understand the key stakeholders, locating individuals to interview, preparing release forms/consent forms, contacting archives to see if they would store my material, and now beginning the interview process. I may write a paper after I conduct the interviews, but that is largely dependent on what I find through the oral history. I am now specifically focusing on Sikh individuals in the United States and their reactions to the protests in India (how they organized demonstrations in the United States in solidarity). I expect it to be quite a bit of work—I will have to conduct 10-12 interviews and transcribe them, and write summaries of each. 

  • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

My research has gone from focusing on the broader Farmers Protest in India -> how did individuals resist the government? -> what about in the U.S.? -> Sikh/Punjabi culture's relationship to farming -> Sikh resistance to the Indian government in the U.S.. This research is important because it will reveal how the South Asian diaspora remains or does not remain connected to India. Since a lot of second and third generation Sikhs grew up in the U.S., their connection to Sikh culture may have withered. However, the recent protest has reinvigorated a passion for Sikh culture/farming, and has connected many individuals back to their culture that they were growing distant from. I hope to understand what that process looks like and how cultural identity can change/grow stronger or weaker over time. I think it will help answer questions like: will people remain engaged with their culture now that the protest has happened? How do individuals balance growing up in America with family back home? I am interested in this because I, too, grew up in the U.S. and have had to balance being Indian and American. I speak Marathi at home, attend religious festivals in college/at home, and am deeply tied to Indian classical music. But, I am still not as connected to my Indian heritage since I did not grow up in India like my parents did. So, I relate

Go to the profile of Ashwin Marathe
17 days ago

here's the rest since it cut off (oops): 

So, I relate to state that many of these Sikh individuals are in and want to know more about their relationship to their culture. 

Go to the profile of Sylvi Stein
17 days ago

I love to hear about how your idea of your project has evolved. My project has also narrowed down in scale, which I think is necessary in any research - you have to concentrate on a smaller section of information in order to make any claim. No bold or sweeping claim could be backed up without tons and tons of notes and research behind it, the kind that would take international collaboration. I am always interested in the idea that theories can never be proved, only supported. It's strange to consider how our entire understanding of modern science is built on theories...

Go to the profile of Sylvi Stein
17 days ago
  • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

My research will hopefully culminate in a research paper and/or archive of interviews that have to do with my topic. I believe that a paper will be the most successful culmination of my research because I am interested in investigating a very specific topic: the replacement of one particular monument, and the ways in which community response is indicative of the interaction between the public and contemporary art. I think a paper will be able to address the topic succinctly and thoroughly.

  • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

Monuments are enormously important in our current culture, and the debate surrounding them has unquestionably been brought to the forefront of our national attention in these past couple of years. As an art historian, my life's work will be to puzzle out the mysteries of the art world in order to understand how life and art are intertwined. I think that there has been a radical break with contemporary art and the public sphere in the past couple decades. Since Jackson Pollock, the art world has made a definitive and obvious move into intellectualism. Actually, I would say that since Picasso, art has slowly been morphed into something that you either "get" or just think is dumb. I think this barrier has prevented a lot of people from engaging with a concept that is, generally, just about expression and communication. I want to know why, exactly, the community chose the more traditional monument over a contemporary art giant, because I think it will unlock a path to our understanding of the consequences that come from the intellectualization of art.

Go to the profile of Akshay Manglik
17 days ago

I really agree with your description of the divide between the public and the art world -- I feel like I used to not "get" art or the motivations behind it (especially contemporary art), and only started to get into it after taking a course on art history and exploring on my own. Excited to see how you end up situating your project within this context!

Go to the profile of Dave Banerjee
17 days ago

Can you explain by what you mean that the art world has moved to intellectualism? To me, it seems that the art world has moved away from aestheticism into "something" that's harder to categorize. Is this "something" intellectualism? I'm not sure.

Go to the profile of Sylvi Stein
16 days ago

You bring up a good point - I called it "intellectualism," but I mean to say that art has become more about academic training. Art made today references famous art movements, both those hundreds of years in the past and those made quite recently. An example of this can be seen at the Whitney Biennial; one artist's work is a stack of medical documents (part of Emily Barker's Kitchen: https://hyperallergic.com/537093/built-to-scale-emily-barker-at-murmurs-los-angeles/). This art piece is interesting on its own, for all it depicts about ableist systems, but I found it an interesting callback to Felix Gonzales-Torres' Paper Stacks (https://www.felixgonzalez-torresfoundation.org/works/c/paper-stacks), a comparison that gave the Barker piece new meaning in my eyes. I never would have known to make this comparison without the aid of an art history class I took here at Columbia, so I suppose that is what I mean by "intellectualism" -- the art world has become more and more self-referential.

Go to the profile of Peter McMaster
17 days ago
  • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

The expectation of my research group is to produce a publication highlighting our discoveries, or perhaps our failures. We are looking for x-ray signatures in a number of places in the sky, corresponding to multiple different gravitational wave events, so regardless of whether we find anything significant it would be useful for the scientific community at large to have data available on these regions of the sky, if only to highlight the fact that nothing has been detected and therefore attention should be diverted elsewhere. The project is nowhere near completion, so I anticipate spending time on it for the rest of the summer.

  • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

The research I am doing is significant in that the problem I am hoping to address has become an entire subfield of astronomy, with numerous group attempting to solve the same problem. The lack of known counterparts to gravitational waves is the biggest flaw of gravitational wave astronomy and seriously hinders our ability to understand many astrophysical events and processes, from inflation to the mechanics of binary black hole mergers events. Therefore, the issue of gravitational wave counterparts is one of the current obstacles to scientific progress in astrophysics, and solving it could open the door to a new understanding of the physics and cosmology. 

Go to the profile of Neha Mani
17 days ago

This research is really important and I like the way you summarized how the lack of information in the field is a source of obstacles in progressing research in astrophysics. I'm looking forward to seeing how your research progresses and the paper that will follow! 

Go to the profile of Akshay Manglik
17 days ago
  • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

I hope to write a paper summarizing the results of my research (e.g., what conclusions I can draw about the similarities of memory representations formed by the method of loci across people during item retrieval). I think I'll continue to work on this after the six weeks are up, but I might incorporate more elements (e.g., semantic/language analysis, in addition to fMRI analysis) to my project. The conclusions of my research might also be part of a larger conclusion for the study that the lab is conducting using the data that is being collected.

  • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

My research would help us understand more about how we form memories (e.g., what parts of the brain are involved) and how that is tied to learning. Techniques like the mind palace are not usually studied seriously because they're seen as gimmicks (i.e., not how most people will memorize things), and, while that is true, the lab hypothesizes that everyday forms of memory, like episodic memory, are involved in the technique. Analyzing this niche technique would then actually shed light on very commonly used types of memory.

Go to the profile of Charlotte Hoskins
17 days ago

I'm really excited to see the results of your research! I had lots of friends in high school that would use the mind palace technique, and it did really help them form memories and associations in preparations for our exams. I can't quite understand how these types of techniques would be overlooked in an academic setting given how important they are for academics, so I'm glad that your research is covering this! 

Go to the profile of Kelly Warner
17 days ago

Hi Akshay! I really love reading about your research, I find it incredibly interesting! Something that caught my eye was your mentioning of incorporating elements such as semantic/language analysis. Fall semester, I took a psycholinguistics class that I really enjoyed called "Language, Brain, and the Mind" with William Foley. Your mentioning of semantic/language analysis reminded me of this class and of the difference between symbol and meaning in terms of brain localization and memorization. I think that incorporating this into your research could definitely add more nuance to it!

Go to the profile of Charlotte Hoskins
17 days ago
  • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

My current goal is to write a paper about how the books/poems I have read tell us about imperialism in the United States and Australia as settler colonialism. I may potentially produce an annotated bibliography over the course of the summer, but I have a lot of sources so we shall see how that goes! I'm hoping to finish this research project by the end of summer. Given the complexity of my project, I think a paper is the best way to publish my findings. 

  • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

I think my research matters because it is something that is not really discussed based on my experiences with Australian and American education systems. From the former Australian Prime Minister claiming that slavery never existed in Australia (when it actually did), to people believing that Australia was 'not as bad' as the United States, there is a massive educational gap when it comes to how both the United States and Australia perpetuated British settler colonialism into the 20th century. I think my project will help facilitate a wider discourse about how Australia and the United States shared practices of justifying expansionism for economic reasons through the use of race and white supremacy. Education around injustices perpetuated by white settlers is the first step to holding societies accountable for their damaging past actions. 

Hi Charlotte! 

I've really enjoyed hearing about your research over the last few days and weeks, and I can't wait to see how it turns out. I think the immediacy of your research is very evident and incredibly pressing—as someone who's also researching ways in which imperialism impacts native systems of living (albeit from a different angle), I think the denialism in some of the public figures you mention and the widespread idea that some settler colonial countries are 'nicer' than others need to be dispelled, and I think your research takes a necessary step in that direction.

Given the amount of reading you've been doing, I'm sure even an annotated bibliography would be quite thorough (and very interesting)!

Go to the profile of Fatima Ahmad
16 days ago

Hey Charlotte, that sounds like a pretty good goal! I feel like I'm in the same boat as you in terms of what I want to accomplish through my research (a paper), but am leaning towards an annotated bibliography for now. I think considering the depth of the work and readings you have done (and are still doing) I'm sure you'll be able to accomplish whatever goal you set your mind to :) Good luck!!!

Go to the profile of Neha Mani
17 days ago
  • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

My research exists as part of a larger, ongoing study into characterizing one of the most fundamental pathways in cellular biology: the Wnt pathway. I’ve been working in this lab for quite some time (since September) so I hope to continue working on characterizing this pathway structurally and through molecular dynamics in the coming years. I expect my research to yield some insights into how to best purify the enzyme PORCN in order to freeze it on a grid for structural elucidation. Throughout the summer, I hope to make progress toward my goal of freezing my protein on a grid to collect microscopy data. 

  • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

My goal of making progress towards elucidating the structure of PORCN is significant because, in order to design cancer therapeutics, it is crucial that we know the architecture of the proteins that these drugs are meant to target—otherwise, the drugs aren’t properly docked into the binding sites and thus are less efficacious. I’m really interested in this research question because in making progress in basic biochemistry, there are immense implications in medicine and pharmacology.  

Go to the profile of Neha Mani
17 days ago

and also! I hope to write a paper on my research.

Go to the profile of Noah J Bergam
17 days ago

It is impressive to think of how useful this kind of research is in creating medical treatments. As a researcher, my mind tends to drift to more useless questions, such as...what does it mean to understand the structure of a molecule? I suppose physically it comes down to creating some kind of static, three-dimensional picture of it, with an understood scale, but how accurate can a static representation be? We have to contend with electron clouds, which probably change in nontrivial ways when the molecule comes in contact with a changed electric field. And do the bonds always keep the same shape under these kinds of interactions? These are kind of just musings but I imagine they have at least some significance on what it means to "elucidate the structure" of PORCN.

Go to the profile of Noah J Bergam
17 days ago

    Q1: I hope to write a paper, revise it for a couple of weeks after the program, and submit it to conferences or journals by the end of the summer. I haven't thought much about making an annotated bibliography as a deliverable, but I guess I already kind of have one in the works, and it could be a nice kind of blog post to go alongside the paper. If I don't "finish" my project in terms of running all the experiments I currently plan on running, I will definitely continue to work on it after this program. To be more specific, there are two sets of experiments I am working on:

    - Using automated stance detection to track the political undertones of Supreme Court justices' statements during oral arguments.

    - Testing the utility of my SCOTUS stance detection dataset as a pre-training task for other legal AI tasks like judgment prediction or similar case matching. 

    Q2: I think my research matters on both a social and a technical level. The Supreme Court's relationship with public opinion and the political undertones of its legal performance present fundamental questions and incessant tensions in American democracy. I think understanding those tensions makes us more active citizens. It gives us critical power. Furthermore, I think my project presents certain technical insights on the utility of "legal stance detection," which, as far as I know, is not a recognized legal AI task.

    Go to the profile of Yoni Kurtz
    17 days ago

    I'd be really interested to see what your paper ends up looking like! I feel like Computer Science papers can often be very hard to read for those without intimate knowledge of the particular field, so I wonder how you will balance the technical side of your research with the important applications for American democracy that you underline here.

    Go to the profile of Yoni Kurtz
    17 days ago
    • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

    I'm not totally sure what my final medium for my project will be, but I hope to be able to write a research paper that includes a telling of the story of race and youth baseball, broken down by different eras and watershed moments. Since this is a historical project that is mainly timeline-focused, I have thought a little about a digital media project, but I'm unsure if that will be able to capture the full scope of the research that I have done so far/plan to continue doing. 

    • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

    My research matters because it represents an untold perspective on an integral feature of everyday American life. Little League and youth baseball have been historically put on a platform as an essentially American establishment, and in light of that, youth baseball has struggled with social issues from Jim Crow to the War on Drugs to income inequality. In looking at the history of race and youth baseball, we can see American society and American childhood reflected back at us with the same concerning contours of other aspects of race history in America.

    Go to the profile of Peter McMaster
    12 days ago

    I grew up playing baseball, so I would love to see how youth baseball has both been shaped by and contributed to historical events and trends in America. It seems like baseball is no longer "America's favorite pastime" in the way that it was in the 20th century and prior, so maybe these historical aspects that you're looking into provide an explanation for this? 

    Go to the profile of Dave Banerjee
    17 days ago
    • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

    I hope to ultimately write a paper and publish it in a journal. I will be presenting my work in a poster presentation at the research symposium in the fall. I plan on continuing my research throughout the year and into next summer. Most of the work I've done so far in the lab has been learning how to use the various instruments, so I haven't actually done much direct contribution to the project I was assigned to. Now that I am trained on most the instruments in the lab, I can make greater contributions.

    • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

    In the lab, I am building microelectronic devices that are significantly smaller than the current technology. If we are able to develop feasible methods to fabricate these microelectronic devices, we can create technology that is smaller than ever imagined before.

    Go to the profile of Asher Baron
    16 days ago

    I think it's great that you'll be continuing your research throughout the year and then into next summer! It's so easy to feel that we haven't had much direct contribution to our projects, especially when we're put on a much larger faculty project, so I'm sure that expanding the time frame over which you're working will feel very fulfilling. That way, all the time that you're spending learning how to us the lab instruments will pay off! 

    Go to the profile of Harrison Gerson
    17 days ago

    For the immediate future with my research, I am proposing a new interactive Green Map of NYC that expands what people see as ecotourism in an urban environment. I am also thinking about doing a project similar to a literature review, when I will compare different locations of ecotourism and perhaps the people or marketing aspects of them. I am thinking about using Singapore (a model city), Costa Rica (a model traditional location), Puerto Rico (an intermediary for tourists of the United States, since the territory is “national” but also very tropical), and NYC. I might compare them in an academic review or public review to influence the decisions of ecotourists. I might consider applying my research abroad next year in another ecotourist location.

    My research matters because it provides a critical lens toward what sustainable tourism looks like. My question on how we view urban ecotourism allows tourists to lower their environmental impact with an urban, perhaps more local trip. I'm interested in the question because it allows us to critically view recreation and develop tourism that can improve the environment (perhaps with restorative tourism) rather than harm it.

    Go to the profile of Rosie Zhou
    16 days ago

    Hi Harrison, your interactive Green Map sounds so cool! It sounds like a great way to present your research. I look forward to learning about your project, especially its social and economic considerations regarding gentrification. 

    Go to the profile of Kelly Warner
    17 days ago
    • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

    Since my research is working with a preexisting lab, the study I am currently working on contributes to the findings of the Social and Moral Cognition lab as a whole. Additionally, since the study I am currently working on is the third version of that study, it also contributes to the progression of the individual study. I hope to continue working with the Social and Moral Cognition lab throughout the rest of the year and potentially next summer. Even though the current study I am working on is on track to end at the conclusion of the summer, I hope to continue working with the Social and Moral Cognition lab throughout the rest of the year and potentially next summer on other studies in the lab. However, I look forward to learning about more second summer opportunities and am keeping an open mind!

    • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

    While I think that the importance of anything is relatively subjective, I find significance in my research because it sheds light on to what extent is morality a result of our environment and to what extent is it intrinsic. Also, from a developmental standpoint, it reveals when children start developing a moral system, and in that system what is important? Is intention important? Or action? The exploration of the origin and nature of our morals serves to provide insight into human behavior, which I find incredibly interesting as a potential Human Rights and Psychology major.

    Go to the profile of Harrison Gerson
    16 days ago

    Thank you for sharing, Kelly! I find it really interesting to think about how many questions your research brings up. It sounds like an endless field, which leads so much opportunity open! The connections with Human Rights and Psychology seem evident, and I hope you will be able to apply the skills to your major.

    While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

    I'm sure I'm not at all alone in feeling that the month has flown by. That being said, it has become increasingly apparent to me that I will be unable to finish my project by six weeks, something I was completely prepared to contend with: I had always envisioned my project as falling within a two-summer scope, and the amount of preparatory research (understanding the economic, historical, sociopolitical, and anthropological bases of the community I'm studying) I need to undertake before I engage in the fieldwork of the second summer, I think my focus for this phase of my research is to come up with a well-annotated bibliography (which I'm already working on, thanks to Zotero) and a good understanding of the major theories, literature, and gaps in the field I'm trying to approach. With all of that, I'll be able to yield my own theoretical framework for the Symposium, and as long as I can achieve a solid footing for my field research I will consider this a summer well spent. 

    Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

    We are becoming increasingly concerned with indigenous justice: land acknowledgments and widespread awareness are becoming more and more the norm. However, though they are essential for recognition, there is very little these measures actually do in terms of restitution. Understanding indigenous land management and governance is the first step toward creating policies that don't just try to "manage" indigenous people from a paternalistic point of view and that harm the environment in the process, but rather come up with policies that respect those who inhabit and have inhabited a place, that respond to their needs and knowledge, and that are motivated by care for the land rather than profit.

    Go to the profile of Julia Goralsky
    16 days ago

    Yes, you are definitely not alone in that feeling! I think your annotated bibliography sounds like a great way to explore the preexisting theoretical frameworks, especially in the sense of understanding the gaps in current policy research. I have been struggling to orient my research within the broader scope of current studies, so I think focusing on a greater organization and interaction of my sources like you will do for the bibliography may be something that could help me in my research as well!

     

    Go to the profile of Andreas
    15 days ago

    I am also taking the approach of making an annotated bibliography. So far, separating out the annotated bibliography into several sections by topic (with overlap of course) has been really useful. I also this that the annotated bibliography is a good way to narrow down those sources that are most pertinent to your project, and then there can always be a list of other secondary sources that are auxillary. Zotero for me has been a great way to jumpstart this classification process by making several folders and subfolders as I'm sure you are all doing. 

    Go to the profile of Julia Goralsky
    16 days ago
    • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

    I do have the eventual goal of creating a paper to present the project I have been completing this summer. Yet, the timeline of this mode of presentation will depend on the results my experiments produce within the next 2 weeks. While at the conclusion of the program, I will likely have enough data to begin to construct a general outline, I will likely need to continue my execution of trials into the fall semester. My independent project is also a part of a larger scientific study, and while my own portion of the project is more independent, the work I am ultimately completing will be utilized by the lab to determine the course of future experiments/projects.

    • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

    I am investigating the mechanism of interaction between Wee1 and PKMYT1 inhibitors and ALT positive cancer cells. This involves determining which cell types are more susceptible to the effects of these therapeutics, imaging the process of cell destruction that results from these treatments, and understanding the efficacy of specific drug concentrations. This research can ultimately contribute to the body of knowledge supporting current clinical trials for both Wee1 and PKMYT1 inhibitors, as well as suggest a combination of treatments that could be used in the future. Furthermore, observing the broader effects of drug treatment can help us understand more about the mechanism of the ALT pathway in cancers, which in turn can lead to the development of specific cellular targets and more successful treatments for those suffering from these cancers. My interest in this research thus largely stems from its ability to make a direct, positive impact on those who are diagnosed with cancers that often become resistant to drug treatment. 

    Go to the profile of Harrison Gerson
    16 days ago

    Wow,  Julia! The research you are doing in the lab sounds really exciting! Have you had the opportunity to share your progress and connect with other academics in the field from other universities? I'm sure they would love to hear and provide their thoughts! Perhaps, there are some conferences which you could attend which relate to your research!

    Go to the profile of Julia Goralsky
    9 days ago

    I haven't yet, but I will definitely look for the opportunity as I develop my results!

    Go to the profile of Asher Baron
    16 days ago
    • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

    I think that I will be writing some sort of comparative study between the two organizations that my professor has had me research. This will likely take the form of a short paper or article that I'll (hopefully) submit to be published somewhere. This will allow me to fully engage with each of the pieces of writing for the organizations individually, and then see how they sit more broadly when placed in conversation with one another. I was assigned to organizations randomly, and it ended up that both of them are based in Baltimore. By writing a comparative study, I hope to see what has been most and least effective among harm reduction organizing in Baltimore.

    Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

    My faculty mentor's project is set up such that I am on a team of five researchers who are each assigned to write entries that will all eventually be posted on an Omeka website. This website will have an intended audience of people already working in the harm reduction field, who so far have no singular place to see the gathered work of all harm reduction organizations. So my research will contribute to educating those already in the field, so they can have a better historical context for their work and ideally serve their populations more effectively. I am interested in this project because harm reduction touches so many interesting topics -- the carceral state, prison abolition, drug policy, sex work, gender and criminalization, HIV/AIDS, and more. By writing these entries for the eventual website, I am learning more about each of these connections within harm reduction. 

    Go to the profile of Wena Teng
    15 days ago

    Asher, it's great to hear that you will be contributing to an existing database that would be used to continue the work in the field of harm reduction. One of the main challenges I have right now is deciding how novel or substantial my research would be in my field -- especially since it is a very niche research question. Your response made me realize that even if I don't reach a trailblazing conclusion, it will still provide some insightful historical context and ligation knowledge. 

    Go to the profile of Rosie Zhou
    16 days ago
    • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

    My most immediate expectation for my research is to provide a series of write-ups to an organization called WE ACT for Environmental Justice on actions the federal government can take to combat climate change, with a particular focus on efforts that could benefit environmental justice communities. The topic areas are: (1) Department of Energy (DOE) efforts to accelerate determinations on new building codes; (2)
    Requiring all new federal and federally-funded buildings to be all electric; (3) Adopting regulations and programs to reduce black carbon emissions; (4) Requiring all heavy duty vehicles purchased by federal government, or with federal financial assistance, to be low-emissions, and electric if possible. While I've been working on these write-ups, I've delved deeper into learning more about environmental justice generally, particularly how environmental justice initiatives like Biden's new "justice40" can be effectively implemented. I hope to write a blog post for the Sabin Center's blog by the end of the summer. My research this first summer has been really enlightening and meaningful to me, and I will definitely build upon it in my future work with environmental policy and law. 

    • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

    The question of how to effectively implement policies seeking to provide environmental benefits to low income communities and communities of color is an important one to ask given America's history of environmental racism. Historically, due to structural racism and neglect from agencies like the EPA, low income communities and communities of color have had their complaints dismissed, been neglected during natural disasters, and suffered the most from toxic pollution and the effects of climate change. In recent years, there has been greater acknowledgement from governing bodies of the need for correcting wrongdoings and providing environmental benefits for all, and the word "environmental justice" has become somewhat of a buzz word. But what does ensuring environmental justice actually mean? Biden's new justice40 initiative promises to deliver at least 40 percent of the overall benefits from Federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities, yet race is not factored into the definition of "disadvantaged." As Robert Bullard, founder of the environmental justice movement, says, "When you look at the most powerful predictor of where the most industrial pollution is, race is the most potent predictor. Not income, not property values, but race. If you’re leaving race out, how are you going to fix this?” I'm interested in the question of how to navigate legal structures and frameworks to ensure that communities of color are actually receiving the benefits from the justice40 initiative, and not being excluded like they have historically. 

    Go to the profile of Fatima Ahmad
    16 days ago
    • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

    I think the ultimate goal of my current research is to write a paper, perhaps a magazine article. Currently, I'm working on something similar to an annotated bibliography, where I'm doing a bunch of different readings and taking notes on them/analyzing. As such, this is definitely the first phase of my research. I hadn't anticipated how long it would take me to read texts in Urdu, and how long it would take to come down to a more narrow focus of study. I think the rest of my summer will definitely be spent synthesizing this research into a more cohesive and understandable piece of writing. I'll be happy having read as much literature as I can by the end of Laidlaw, and have compiled a good list of sources/notes. I came into Laidlaw with this belief that I would have a paper written, but as I spoke to my advisor and mentor, this isn't a very realistic approach to the study I am conducting, especially because so much time goes into first having a good basis/understanding of your topic and then finally getting around to specifying. 

    • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

    My research matters because it makes Manto's literature more accessible. What I mean by this is that there are many English translations on Manto's work. There are also works which analyze and explain Manto's stories, like Toba Tek Singh and Thanda Gosht. However, when it comes to criticism on Manto, this is mainly found in Urdu writing, and much of the text has not been translated nor discussed. I want to make Manto accessible by making all perspectives on him accessible in academia that is so heavily reliant on the English language. Furthermore, I think criticism is important because Manto is seen as a literary icon of his time period, and to some extent, he is. His stories hit you, especially those on the Partition. However, Manto was largely influenced by other writers during this time period, and I want to re-imagine Manto in this larger context.

    Go to the profile of Elianna Lee
    15 days ago

    hi Fatima! I definitely agree- i came into this program thinking six weeks would be enough for a thorough research project, and now as I am actually doing research, I've realized it's much more complex. I also really enjoy your aim to make Manto more accessible! 

    Go to the profile of Jonathan Truong
    13 days ago

    Hi Fatima! I'm excited to see the evolution of your research since the first week. I think your re-orientation towards secondary scholarship and criticism surrounding Manto will be fruitful, especially in the historical context of Partition literature. 

    Go to the profile of Wena Teng
    15 days ago
    • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

    - Curating an online exhibit that would include a few interviews for oral history, photographs of contemporary Chinese feminists' protest performances, Xue Shao Hui's (and other Ming-Qing writers') work, and possibly my own writing. I am not sure whether to contact an archive to house the exhibition or create my own website. If I decide on the latter, I would also be able to intersect my interests in Computer Science to present my work. Hopefully, next summer or during the school year, I can focus on the comparative aspect of my research by focusing on American public opinion/dissent.

    • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

       Researching how the US and China's public dissent differs -- based on historical movements and public policy -- from a unique position as a Chinese American allows me to contribute to the discourse on the US-China relationship. Much of current scholarship views the relationship through a binary, without considering the nuances of both countries' politics and history. I hope to use my positionality to add new insights to the discourse, starting with the knowledge that women during Imperial China (like Xue Shao Hui) built intellectual and emotional communities of intervention through their own specific perceptions of the arts. Then, seeing how these historical movements reflect much of contemporary China’s activism would provide foundational resources to engage the global community: allowing a redefinition of public dissent, especially through using art, performance, and bodies as instruments of protest. 

    Go to the profile of Denise Taveras
    15 days ago

    Hey Wena, I think creating an online exhibit is a really cool way to share your research. It's honestly kind of hard to think of ways of presenting information beyond a paper or poster that's accessible and I think your idea will definitely be a great way to engage with your research. 

    Go to the profile of Elianna Lee
    15 days ago

    While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

    Though writing a research paper is a more conventional way to present my research information, I would really love to have a multimedia project which reflects the interdisciplinary nature of my research question. My project is a part of a larger project by my faculty advisor since Professor Paredez plans on using my research for a chapter in a book about the "American diva", but I have many different ideas for further research throughout the summer. I expect to create a zine or a multimedia poster as a culmination of my work, and I expect that to be a good amount of work as I want my final project to be thorough.


    Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

    My research matters because as we are constantly taking in information, whether it's through television, music, or advertisements, our own perceptions are influenced greatly by our surroundings. I think it is important to analyze the cultural moments that we have grown up with, and how consumerism continues to reflect the interest of profit rather than the consumer.

    Go to the profile of Denise Taveras
    15 days ago
    • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

    I came into the program knowing the work I will be doing is only the beginning of the project that my faculty mentor is working on. It also is in a field of research that is developing and ultimately (unfortunately) ongoing. When I share what I've learned, it will not be the conclusion of my involvement with this type of work. If anything I will probably be continuing with this project long after this summer, whether it be formally with my faculty mentor or informally. As for more concrete direction I have with my research, I will definitely be looking for more creative ways to present what I've learned. I have been compiling playlists and reflections so I can share some of the more personal reflections that have come out of this research. 

    • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

    People are being killed. Their humanity and the significance of their life is questioned. This project is not only a call to action in its acknowledgement of how policing is harmful and doesn't help the people that it claims to help, it is also a way to remember the lives of those who have been seen as anything but a living and loving person. They live on through the music, connections, and communities that have been a part of their life and that is what my project is about.

    Go to the profile of Andreas
    15 days ago
    • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

    As I currently envision it, my project will have a written component (research paper) and also potentially include some sort of digital humanities element. During the process of translating and textually analyzing a 15th century botanical compendium from Vietnam, the ideas I've had about what this latter component could look like have started to crystallize. I can imagine creating an interactive version of the document, where users can click on or interact with different plants names to see a picture of the plant, its numerous names, and their graphic components. This could also work on the level of larger sections. In the section on 穀類 "cereals," for example, the user could compare how the text categorizes various varieties of rice with respect to Linnaean taxonomy. In addition to my Zotero library, I am working on several annotated bibliographies separated by topic—history of trade in Southeast Asia, development and history of Chữ Nôm, etc. This allows me to identify the main points of contention and consensus in a given scholarly terrain, and adjust my reading accordingly to fill in any gaps in understanding. The next step for me is to write a literature review that synthesizes key secondary sources from each given topic and place them in the context of my research question. 

    Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

    My project seeks to understand how vernacular names of plants in premodern Vietnamese botanical compendiums reflect an unique understanding of how those plants are used in a uniquely Vietnamese context, especially vis-a-vis the Chinese medical tradition. This research is important for several reasons: understanding how names reflect the use of plants is important to understanding how Vietnamese medicine constitutes itself as a unique entity despite being influenced heavily by China both before and after its independence. This unique and locally situated understanding of plants and their uses can be found in both the individual names of plants and their graphic components (aiding to the formal linguistic study of graphic loans in Chữ Nôm) and in the taxonomic relationships to one another. Additionally, the idea of "bioprospecting" that I've mentioned in earlier posts—the search for potential sources of medicine in the natural environment—has a long history in China and Vietnam that intertwines in interesting and understudied ways with larger patterns of Sino-Vietnamese linguistic contact. The mediation of contemporary bioprospecting in law and the protection of indigenous intellectual property rights would benefit from this research. 

    Go to the profile of Jonathan Truong
    14 days ago

      While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

      After a conversation the first week with my mentor, it became clear to me that my intentions for the project had been overly ambitious. Although I'd entered the program with the goal of producing a completed draft of a research paper by the end of the six weeks, I find myself now—entering the fifth week—still working through preliminary research. My immediate expectations are now (necessarily) modified; by the end of the six weeks, I intend to have completed a sizable annotated bibliography, a more rigorous understanding of existing theories/literature/scholarship, and a revised research question which addresses a scholarly gap in the field. Over the second half of summer, I intend to work on a paper investigating this question, which may be continued under an independent study in the English department. My faculty mentor and I are also thinking of organizing an academic conference on Web 2.0 Literature and Literary Criticism.  

      Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

      Twitterfiction, and e-Literature more broadly, complicate fundamental understandings of narrative and narratology. Preliminary research on Jennifer Egan's Twitter story "Black Box" has already revealed unresolved tensions and gaps in narrative theory—namely, as I've investigated this summer, those pertaining to temporality, aspectuality, and modality in literary narrative. As scholars like Uri Margolin argue, "new" narrative forms (like those at play in Twitterfiction) cannot be viewed simply as deviations from standard narrative; instead, a more broad, integrated framework is required. Perhaps these revised models of narrative will yield new understandings of narrative itself. 

      Go to the profile of Elizabeth Carpenter
      13 days ago

      I am writing a project brief and creating data visuals for the rest of. my team to use during different reports and powerpoint presentations. I will not be doing further research once the 6 weeks are over but I will be meeting with the team afterwards to present my findings and hopefully meeting with the ACERS partners including the University of Ghana and Ghana Health Services. My work will be used in their larger work.

      My work is significant because I am elucidating the adaptive strategies that health centers use to deal with supply chain issues for essential medicines. This will allow our implementation strategies to be adjusted and also give us the ability to make informed recommendations for GHS.

      Go to the profile of Aryan Ghotra
      12 days ago
      • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one-month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

      My project will continue throughout the academic year and into the next summer most likely. I hope to at least finish a few more experiments to be able to develop a robust prediction of the interactions of certain proteins. My research will ultimately be a part of a larger study investigating the role of Cue5p in LD-induced microautophagy. I expect to make an autophagy assay and run a western to analyze the extent to which Ire1p or Hac1p are needed for microautophagy. I also hope to finish quantifying the images I took over the summer and conduct a statistical analysis of the data.

      • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

      My research is important because understanding microautophagy in model organisms like yeast can help us understand how microautophagy functions in mammals. Autophagy is important to study as it is the process by which cells degrade misfolded proteins, organelles, and other parts of the cell. Oftentimes, autophagy pathways can be exploited and targeted to degrade certain types of malignant cells like cancer cells. 

      Go to the profile of Peyton Barsel
      10 days ago
      • While all Laidlaw Scholars will be presenting their research at the Columbia Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall, what are the more immediate expectations that you have for your research? Are you writing a paper? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? Do you hope to produce an annotated bibliography that you reflect on down the line? Is your research now the first phase of a project you’ll continue to work on throughout the year, and/or next summer? Now that we are nearing the one-month mark of the program, please write about your expectations for your research.

      I plan to write a progress report-styled paper in an effort to keep up with my work in the future. Because the databases for my work are so massive, consolidating them has been the most particularly challenging portion of wrapping up my research. Initially, I'd hoped to provide policy memos but I think at the stage my research is at, it would be irresponsible to create policy memos without the background knowledge needed to understand how we as a nation arrived here on the political spectrum. 

      • Why does your research matter? Explain the significance of the question you are investigating, and why you are interested in it.

      To begin with, I'd like to state that I think all academic research matters, regardless of field. Mine in particular I think is important because it sheds light on a topic that all are familiar with but also in the dark about. The culture war is thrown around so often that what is actually is becomes diluted and I hope this work does at least something to combat that issue.