Field Journal, 2023 Scholars, Week 4

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  • 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. 

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Go to the profile of Cady Chen
about 1 year ago

1. My research is just one part of a much larger project investigating the crosstalk between neurons, microglia, and tumor cells at the tumor margin. I have spent the majority of my time thus far studying how sensory stimulation changes the expression of specific receptors in microglia and tumor cell replication, but there remain numerous unanswered questions—for example, does microglial activation promote or suppress tumor growth? What are the specific signaling pathways involved? As such, the scope of this project transcends my time & tasks in the lab. Nevertheless, I hope that the data I collect and analyze will help the lab start to answer these questions and inspire new questions for further investigation. Although I am not sure if I will have generated enough data/findings to write an entire paper, I do hope to formally communicate the results of my project in some manner, be it through attending a conference or writing a smaller paper or something else altogether.

2. By focusing on the interactions between neurons, microglia, and tumor cells, my research seeks to understand the role of the immune system in tumor development. I’m particularly interested in this question due to its clinical implications, for it may help researchers develop new drug targets (i.e. if microglia activation due to a specific receptor encourages tumor proliferation, researchers can develop a drug to block that receptor). Moreover, a greater understanding of what environmental/physical factors (i.e. sensory stimulation) may encourage tumor development will be incredibly important for developing best practices to prevent aggressive tumor growth in patients.

Go to the profile of Kira Ratan
about 1 year ago

The scope of your research project is indeed quite substantial, but I think it is pretty amazing that researchers like yourself and your colleagues are able to contribute to work that could have a lasting impact on the lives and longevity of an entire group of people, whether or not it actually happens during your time in the lab. The work you are doing is a necessary piece to the larger puzzle that most of our research projects fit into where we are hopeful that the work we do and how we learn from that work opens doors to begin answering more of these kinds of questions. Thanks, Cady!

Go to the profile of Kira Ratan
about 1 year ago

1. I am currently assisting my professor/faculty mentor on a book project that is in the beginning stages of research. I am helping to compile archives, documents, and materials from databases as a starting point for conducting ethnographic research and analyzing primary sources as a part of crafting the narrative. My professor, with a grant from the Academy of Motion Pictures, has access to several exclusive archival research libraries that are allowing me to dive into niche topics and develop a better understanding of how to organize findings and make sense of it all. 

2. My research topic is a part of a larger conversation of the history of marginalized communities in different spaces of socialization. Getting to uncover stories of influential figures who were never given a platform to reach a larger audience is incredibly rewarding but also important to the field of research as a whole, where amplifying unheard voices is an ethical consideration we must all make. 

Go to the profile of Dongfang Linda Qu
about 1 year ago

I think the ethical consideration of your project is quite powerful, as I also strive to uplift unheard voices through researching alternative interpretations and representations of mainstream consciousness. Thanks to people like you, the conversation of marginalized histories is never smothered out, taking up spaace in a world where many conversations necessarily happens in cacophany. Thank you Kira :)

Go to the profile of Dongfang Linda Qu
about 1 year ago

1. I hope to at least produce an annotated bibliography by the end of these months, a paper of some sorts by the end of summer if at all possible. I'd like to continue my project into the year and write up something more substantial by next summer, in hopes of being able to deliver what I've learned through research to more people. Quite frankly, I've learned a lot more about myself than my topic of research so far; in other words, this research experience has given me a taste of the research life and a chance at self-evaluation. Going forward, I'll be approaching research with more grounded resolution among other aspects of mind, and I'm grateful for the time that Laidlaw has given me to reflect.

2. By investigating the astrological mantic arts in medieval Europe and Middle Period China, I examine how monarchs and emperors uses future divination to affirm their right to rule, framing my reading with postmodernist frameworks such as semiology. I think it's important to recognize the ambiguity of written materials of the past in genre – in the case of ancient China, a document could simultaneously carry attributes of "history" and "literature" and even "philosophy“. These documents are all narratives with intentions, products of close readings of the natural and political phenomenons of their times, the course of events carefully tailored in order to build a claim to power. We could never fully reconstruct the skies of Northern Hemisphere nights in 1400s, but we could piece together parts of the truth by cross-referencing records from different civilizations that observed the same nights and deduce what phenomenons each party has elevated or put down. This way, we can reconstruct parts of the original starscape that the ancients interpreted and interpret their interpretations with a modern interdisciplinary outlook, probing at their anxieties through the way they saw the stars. I hope that if anything, my research would remind you that "literature" and/or "literary text" doesn't have to limit itself to black prints lined, bounded, collected in white sheets, and that interdisciplinary studie is perhaps not a novel idea after all but a recent revival of a past tradition. 

Go to the profile of Cady Chen
about 1 year ago

Hi Linda, I am fascinated by the broader purpose you've put forth for your project! It reminds me of the conversations my LitHum class had about what we consider "masterpieces of Western literature" and encourages me to remain open-minded about what literature looks like, comprises, and does. I also really appreciate how your work challenges the Western bias that has shaped traditional attempts at reconstructing our scientific past by highlighting ancient Chinese interpretations of the heavens and cannot wait to read your (potential) paper!

Go to the profile of Karen Zhang
about 1 year ago

I find your research absolutely fascinating, Linda, especially how you're using postmodernist frameworks to examine the past (I didn't know what semiology was before but do now) and taking the information we currently have to piece together the past and original starscape. I can't wait to see your results! 

Go to the profile of Karen Zhang
about 1 year ago

1. For my research, I am still currently conducting fieldwork, especially because ethnography is generally conducted over a long period of time. Because of this, my immediate expectations are to continue taking observational notes, talking to community members, and reading more articles about history pedagogy and PBATs. I am currently writing an annotated bibliography with the readings that I’ve been doing to supplement my understanding of PBATs and how social studies and history are taught in schools. This will provide more background and context that will supplement what I’ve been observing during my fieldwork research.

2. Especially given the little amount of literature out there about PBATs and especially, the use of different kinds of assessments and educational equity for immigrant students, I hope that the contribution and research I conduct can add to this field of increasing equity in education for immigrant students. Specifically, I am interested in the way history PBATs affect immigrant students’ understanding of US history, as the students add a critical cultural significance to the classroom with the perspectives and experiences that they bring in. Additionally, given the current political climate and discourses over what should and shouldn’t be included in history education, I am also interested in the way history education has evolved throughout the years in the United States.

Go to the profile of Rolihlahla Nyirenda
about 1 year ago

I am interested to hear more about your research Karen! I think it is very time sensitive considering all the discourse in media about what ought to be taught in schools. I wonder if public opinion and discourse tied to your research could possibly influence your results in anyway and if there are ways your team in navigating that (I’ve never done field work so I’m not sure of the protocol)

Go to the profile of Sively de los Santos
about 1 year ago

Hi Karen, it sounds like you're experiencing the highs and lows of being one of the first people to formally research this information for the purpose of publishing/distributing the information. Because your research is reliant on communicating with others which also implies accommodating their schedules etc I think it would be a great idea/addition to maybe continue this research into the academic year or past the Laidlaw timeline. Whatever you do, I hope it goes well!

Go to the profile of Rolihlahla Nyirenda
about 1 year ago

1. My research excited me mostly because it is very topical and is part of the larger conversation of the future of advocacy, criminal reform, discrimination and recidivism. As a human rights major this is a subject I hope explore more in my academic exploration. I hope to write a thesis for my major and this research might inspire that venture.

2. My research matters because the world is slowly transitioning into openly having conversations about structures that perpetuate injustices. I believe intersectionality and it’s role in the legal system is emblematic of the larger issues that exist in most social, political and economic spaces and the nuance it will take to overcome them. I would like to contribute to the larger movement of acknowledging discrimination in its multiple facets.

Go to the profile of Rojeh Dayan
about 1 year ago

Roli, I think that the fact that your research is part of the larger conversation is especially compelling. Moreover, you mention that you would like to explore your subject to a greater extent throughout your academic journey which is something that I hope to do with my topic as well. I think that this program is a great opportunity to not only engage in important research about something that interests us but also a place where we learn the next steps we would like to take in academia.

Go to the profile of Rojeh Dayan
about 1 year ago

1. I hope to produce and theorize my findings from my research in some form of a write up, whether that be in the form of a paper or not. This research topic has various aspects that can be analyzed, and so I hope to continue to research this topic throughout my academic journey, possibly by taking classes or by conducting independent research later on.

2. By researching Jewish Iranian-American assimilation and the formation of a dual identity, we can come to better understand assimilation, and thus this research is crucial for fostering inclusive and cohesive communities. It can also provide a glimpse into the psychological and social processes involved in developing an identity. Additionally, this may provide insight into the experiences of other cultural groups facing similar challenges, having important implications in the areas of cultural integration and identity formation across communities. Lastly, understanding the factors that influence assimilation can allow for better policy development and can guide initiatives more advantageously. All this compels me, especially because I come from this community and therefore I would love to learn more about it and contribute to it.

Go to the profile of Sarah Bryden
about 1 year ago

I appreciate your comment about the formation of a dual identity, because I've noticed a similar theme in my own project, although it is not a product of assimilation as much as colonization. It would be so cool to learn about how those processes are intertwined, and how they affect identity formation similarly/differently. I can't wait to hear about your results!

Go to the profile of Aleena Garrison
about 1 year ago

I don’t have any immediate expectations of my research, but I know that my research will be a part of a book. The research gives my faculty member context to add to new and old chapters of her forthcoming book. It also serves as a reference guide for when she ultimately begins to promote the book, so she is more informed about the kinds of things to say about the continued relevance of divas past and present. I am excited that I’ve been able to be a part of the writing process of my faculty member because she lays out exactly how my research will help her.


I can’t believe it’s already been a month. I feel like I’ve gotten a lot done, but also not nearly as much as I thought I would’ve completed. I’m really enjoying my research though. My faculty member lets me continue researching things that I find interesting that are still relevant to her project, even if I was only supposed to work on the research for a week. I really appreciate that my perspective matters even though I am helping with someone else’s project. My research matters because it is about a topic often overlooked in academia. I’ve experienced this first-hand as a lot of my research comes from modern media instead of traditional books and article archives. My research is a part of my faculty member’s larger project of writing a book about her life in relation to divas. It is both personal and informative, I feel that she really captures the spirit of the divas she writes about in relation to an aspect of her life as a woman of color. This will open up a space in academia for something that some wouldn’t consider “scholarly”, but my faculty member aims to show that it is and that it rightfully deserves a spot in academia. The overarching questions that I am researching this summer are about the impact of divas on girlhood and the legacies they leave after their prime. I find this super interesting because I get to learn more about divas and their lives as well as see what they think of their own legacies because some are still alive today.

Go to the profile of Krishan
about 1 year ago

I think the divide between archives and valuing contemporary experiences/modern media is you talk about really important, because I agree that there definitely is a bias in academia that sees analyzing books/archives as more rigorous. I hope studying modern/nontraditional forms of media will be more accepted by academia as time goes on. 

Go to the profile of Daniela Palacios
about 1 year ago

Aleena, it is awesome that your faculty mentor lays out the structure of how your research fits into her book. I find it so interesting that you are looking into modern media because that is also a valid research method and I am glad you enjoying the research process too.

Go to the profile of Nina Kornfeld
about 1 year ago

My most immediate goal for my research is to write a methods paper on the best way to create and collect data for 3 dimensional models of flowers on the population level. I also hope to continue my research throughout the rest of the summer and the upcoming school year if I can, utilizing the methods I have explored during this program in order to analyze the evolution of these flowers. My end goal is to be able to construct models of what the common ancestors of the flower species that I scanned looked like, which I think  brings me to the second question that is asked. I find this project especially interesting because the idea that I can create models of species that no longer exist is something that I never would have thought as possible- it almost feels like time travel. But perhaps more broadly, my project is important because it can serve as an example as to how flowers, and more generally plants, can be studied in the future. Being able to collect enough models to study plants at the population level means that scientists can better explore the complex relationships and interactions between species, and therefore better understand and protect different ecosystems, a critical step in taking action to protect the natural world.

Go to the profile of Kashish Kumar
about 1 year ago

I enjoyed reading your discussion post about your research goals and interests. You have a very clear and ambitious plan for your project, and I admire your enthusiasm for creating and collecting data for 3D models of flowers. I also agree that your project is important for advancing the field of plant science and conservation!

Go to the profile of Krishan
about 1 year ago

1. My expectations for my research are, at least for this month in the first phase of the project, i want an annotated bibliography of my secondary sources on the topic that I can draw on for the future. I also do want to write a short bit about the primary sources and artwork I am working with, and put them in conversation with my secondary sources, not with the goal of creating a full, complete research paper, but just to synthesize my ideas a bit  and connect the dots of what I've been thinking about.

2. I think my work matters in terms of how I'm looking at an area of music research that's understudied, as music research often focuses on a very specific type of music and very specific type of composer that is "qualified" enough to be considered suitable for research. Going outside that, involving music creators that don't quite fit the "standard" bill, that are marginalized due to gender or national origin, is important.

Go to the profile of Manan Vij
about 1 year ago

I really liked your point about going beyond the traditional, "standard" notions of who is considered as a sophisticated or "qualified" musician, and how one impact of your research is to create real change in people's perception of music in order to tackle quite difficult issues around marginalized communities, with respect to gender and national origin. I agree that addressing these issues is very important, and I think the way in which you are tackling them, through the lens of music, is very interesting. 

Go to the profile of Sarah Bryden
about 1 year ago

1. By the end of the six weeks, I plan to have an annotated bibliography and a well-organized document with all the translated lyrics. I plan to write a paper in the future, because I think doing so would help me organize my thinking, and would also let me share my work more efficiently with people. It also feels like the more I learn about my topic, the more questions I have, so I would definitely love to continue working on my project throughout the year. For example, interviews with rap artists and rap fans would be incredibly helpful. Also, there are so many interesting elements of the music that I'm intentionally de-prioritizing right now in order to focus on the lyrics, such as the accompanying music videos. Looking more closely at these elements is a bit outside the scope of a six-week project, but would definitely be rewarding in the future. 

2. My research topic connects to several broader sociopolitical issues, most clearly a global trend of Indigenous hip hop, which is happening all across the Americas, as well as in Asia, Australia, and even some European countries. Often, this music is a highly political mode of self-expression tied to issues of language preservation/revitalization, sovereignty and land back movements, systemic injustices and violence, and the cultivation of pride in Indigenous identity. Maya and Quechua hip hop both serve as examples of grassroots efforts to handle these issues, and so are important to consider as we move towards a more equitable/just future. 

Go to the profile of Benjamin Oren Goldman
about 1 year ago

I really agree with you that this summer is really only the beginning of a more in-depth project, and although now it's somewhat sad to have to de-prioritize certain parts of our projects, we'll definitely have time to work on them later. It's amazing how deeply your project is tied to cultural and social movements, so I bet it could have a big impact.

Go to the profile of Joseph Karaganis
about 1 year ago

I connect with the feeling of uncertainty that you kind of point to when describing the future of your project--when research seems like it could be an ongoing (or even indefinite) process, it's hard to say when it's time to stop the generative research process and to begin compiling a final product (those two things will often overlap significantly). It can also be really hard to determine what that product should look like, how it should be organized, etc... I really like the way you are thinking through these things, and I think a translation document is a really interesting way of organizing your work (which, by the way, sounds super cool).

Go to the profile of Sively de los Santos
about 1 year ago

1. Right now my research is focusing on writing a paper about the intersection between a public health policy and criminal proceedings. This paper will then be made public on my faculty researcher's website as part of his wider effort to create a page educating people about issues surrounding public health. 

2. My research matters because in essence it is part of a legal reflection establishing which policies were effective in the goal of harm reduction. Hopefully, this information can be used to better inform future public health policies to come. 

Go to the profile of Kashish Kumar
about 1 year ago

1. My current goal is to compose a paper by the beginning of next semester so currently I keep track of all my progress through detailed notes. I am still working to further my primary research questions. What are the molecular mechanisms that underpin clinical evidence of more severe SARS-CoV-2  infection status when a patient has diabetes, and how may dysregulation as a result of SARS-CoV-2 infection instigate the development of diabetes? My aim is to complete a cluster elastic net regression model to identify gene signature predictive of SARS-CoV-2 infection status informed by cell composition and differentially expressed genes. Additionally, I am working on a comparative transcriptomic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 across stages and type 1 and type 2 diabetes. With a clear step-wise pathway I hope to be better equipped to tackle challenges. 

2. Patients with diabetes and COVID-19 are at a heightened risk of developing severe complications, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, multi-organ failure, and death. This increased susceptibility may be attributed to the underlying inflammation associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and other comorbidities typically seen in patients. Patients with hyperglycemia exhibit elevated expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the cellular receptor for viral entry, which further facilitates viral infection. The pre-existing chronic inflammation, augmented inflammatory response, and increased viral load in diabetic patients contribute to a systemic immune response known as the "cytokine storm," which is strongly associated with the severity of COVID-19. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 infection can also induce dysregulation of metabolic factors and trigger the onset of diabetes. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the bidirectional relationship between SARS-CoV-2 infection and diabetes are not fully understood. 

Go to the profile of Nina Kornfeld
about 1 year ago

Wow, your research sounds amazing and especially relevant, given the fact that we are just emerging from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and now must deal with all the long term implications the virus has on our bodies. I hope I can read your paper once you finish writing it!

Go to the profile of Manan Vij
about 1 year ago

1. Currently, my most immediate expectations for my research are to be able to put together a robust, comprehensive analysis of various single-cell and single-nuclei processing techniques and their effects on the biology that can be uncovered after applying the various techniques. This would help to benchmark the dataset for future use in other research projects. 

2. The research done in this project will be useful from a more logistical standpoint, as the benchmarking will help uncover optimal ways to analyze single-nucleus data. This is helpful because single-nucleus samples are easier to store, relative to traditional single-cell samples, so understanding the "nature" of this data source can beneficial in allowing researchers to utilize this data source more effectively. 

Go to the profile of Benjamin Oren Goldman
about 1 year ago

1. My research this summer is part of a larger project that will likely continue through my second and third years of college. It will likely culminate in a paper. However, this paper will probably not be ready for at least a year or two, as I am only beginning to produce novel results. This summer, I have mainly worked with my mentor to build a foundation of how to apply some of the tools that astrophysicists use when studying turbulence. I've gained a mathematical understanding of how energy flows in fluids, and a practical experience in the use of simulations to perform experiments. I expect to continue to use these throughout the study while continuing to learn the mechanics of what I'm studying.

2. My research matters because it will aid us in the detection and observation of largely unknown phenomena. Part of my project involves understanding the evolution of neutron stars' magnetic fields after they collide. These magnetic fields are expected to drive gamma-ray emissions, which are observable. Therefore, by producing quantitative predictions of how their magnetic fields work, we can eventually determine what radiation signatures to observe and produce hints on how to interpret them.

Go to the profile of Ariel Yu
about 1 year ago

Hi Ben, I feel the same that our research this summer will be the foundation of a forthcoming, larger project, and I do believe in the significance of this stage of research. Very excited to see the final product!

Go to the profile of Kayla Pham
about 1 year ago

Thanks for your response, Ben. Your research sounds fascinating! Fluid mechanics have always interested me and I look forward to hearing more about your research someday. I also appreciated your discussion of your timeline. One thing that I took awhile to realize, and still am grappling with, is how long research takes - years on end or even decades for some people. Results take time so I appreciated your responses! 

Go to the profile of Ariel Yu
about 1 year ago

1. My research will be in the form of memos. I'm currently working on two projects: the landscape analysis of narrative change organizations, and the history of a prison where solitary confinement was started. After archival research and synthesis, I expect to produce my research in two 2-3 paged memo analyses.

2. My research constitutes a small part of two larger projects. It will hopefully explain where the Square One initiative in the Justice Lab can fill in the gap in the current criminal legal reform activism, and will provide some historical contexts for an ongoing book project. I'm interested in such questions because I hope to contribute to the existing work of the Justice Lab as well as the current activism on criminal justice.

Go to the profile of Erica Lee
about 1 year ago

Hi Ariel, I definitely relate to your perspective on research filling the gaps in existing scholarship. Literature review is also a big part of my research, and scanning through these differences can feel tedious and unproductive, but knowing that there will be a tangible result definitely helps to motivate me, 

Go to the profile of Daniela Palacios
about 1 year ago

1. My immediate expectations that I have more of my research are that I will be able to provide background information and the relevance of the idea of “emerging adults” as created by the Columbia Justice Lab. I also want to provide examples of the lack of educational access to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals and the nuances in providing prison education. I hope to have a compilation of interview questions that can be used to further understand the experience of emerging adults in prison postsecondary education programs.

2. My research matters because emerging adults are still not a heavily research age group within the incarcerated population. It is important to recognize how incarcerated individuals have long been denied access to education and specifically higher education. Focusing on the college and prison partnerships and the value of education in connection to recidivism and sense of identity is a way to work towards criminal justice reform.

Go to the profile of Aleena Garrison
about 1 year ago

Daniela, your work is so interesting! I definitely would have thought that the age group you're researching would already have a lot of data, so it's surprising that they are so often overlooked, especially within the context of policing and incarceration. 

Go to the profile of Kelly Aika Yoshimura
about 1 year ago

Filling in the gaps in incarceration data is so incredibly important and I appreciate the work you're doing in order to supply the information necessary for supporting young adults and ultimately transforming the criminal justice system through education. 

Go to the profile of Joseph Karaganis
about 1 year ago

(Sorry for the late post! I put this on my to-do list, but I must have accidentally marked it complete because I lost track of it)

1. This is something that I've thought a lot about--since the bulk of my day-to-day research work involves interviews (and mostly preparing for them with background research), it's been difficult for me to plan out exactly how I want to present my final product. I'm thinking of writing a short paper in addition to the poster board, with an annotated bibliography that compiles all of the existing research that is relevant to my topic (LLM adoption in newsrooms). I haven't really thought about integrating my work into an academic environment that goes beyond Laidlaw, because my interview-based approach would require validation through the IRB for it to be published or released in an academic context (which would be virtually impossible at this point). However, I have thought about my project's implications on a more personal level--I see my work as having really pushed my interests further and helped me understand what the landscape is of this particular issue (one which I'm really fascinated by). The research I've done over the past month will definitely help fuel the work/research that I pursue next summer--my perspective on the topic is clearer and my questions are more focused.

2. My main questions surround the adoption of Large Language Model-powered chatbots (e.g. ChatGPT) by newsrooms and news media companies. I've mostly been looking at the way journalists conceptualize this integration process--and the norms, ethical considerations, and policy responses that have emerged. I think the topic is interesting because, while obviously timely (there's been a lot of buzz in news media about AI adoption, and a few companies have had widely publicized experiments with generative AI), it also ties into much larger questions about the way institutional norms and practices can be destabilized by the advent of new information technologies. On a practical level, the applications of my research seem pretty clear to me: a better understanding of this very odd moment in time (we are in the wild west of AI norm-creation) could help chart a clearer path forward.

Go to the profile of Grace Kaste
almost 1 year ago

This adoption of AI as conceptualized by journalists is definitely an aspect of AI that I haven't thought much about - since we really are on the frontier of this kind of tech, I'm realizing that norms and standards are being created organically and in a way that feels so unregulated. I'm definitely excited to see your research in terms of where the standard is being set, and to hear your take about where it might go from here. When you talk about the larger question of how institutional norms have been destabilized by new info technologies, I'd love to hear examples of past technologies that played this kind of role. I'm less familiar with this topic but I think this angle of historical trends is a fascinating one in terms of getting some perspective. 

Go to the profile of Lucia Victoria Enriquez
12 months ago

Hi Joseph! I love your application of your research project to your personal life and understanding, which I believe is a very valid form of using research (especially conducted by you)! I believe that all of these avenues to produce your future work can prove to be fruitful, and would add a lot to the conversation about AI and journalism intertwining both presently and in the future. I am also sure that you have received a lot of varied answers regarding your inquiries about AI integration in journalism that I look forward to learning from. 

Go to the profile of Janessa L. Vargas
about 1 year ago

1. I am beginning to write a paper, starting with connecting different works within the body of scholarship that I am currently reading through. My faculty mentor has been instrumental in helping me conceptualize what this paper will look like and what I can do moving forward, whether that is presenting at conferences or submitting to journals.

2. As for the second question, it's one that's always on my mind. I think in the greater sense, my research matters because it will be relevant and useful in the near future. Due to the fact that I'm researching legislation that is currently being enacted or introduced into state legislatures, making sure that I'm paying attention to the news has been an interesting part of my research and one that I'm not sure is so common in all areas of academia. But it's been exciting!

Go to the profile of Erica Lee
about 1 year ago

The format of my research has been a discussion topic for me and the rest of the undergrad scholars on the research team. For me personally, I left the format question until now because I felt that I needed to understand what I wanted to say before I could know who I wanted to hear it and how I could express it. As it stands, much of my research is about the relationships between evaluators and students in PBATs. At this point, I hope that my notes can help Professor Miranda’s larger body of research, and I’m considering writing a smaller report on my specific topic. A few members of the research team have agreed that we are willing to work in the weeks following Laidlaw, and I’m sure that we will sort out our exact plans in the coming weeks! 

My research matters because it will provide the basis for more qualitative and quantitative research into PBATs as alternative forms of exit tests. I know that there is little research done on these tests, as my mentor is one of the main scholars in the field. I think that PBATs are especially interesting because of the responsibility and work they put on the schools that administer them. While there is a great benefit, there is also a great deal of work necessary to run this system because the rules are not standardized and the tracks are individualized for each student. I think that writing more about the allowances and constraints of PBATs will pave the way for policy change. 

Go to the profile of Kayla Pham
about 1 year ago

1) My research is apart of an investigation into transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). It is a continuation from the previous semester but now testing a different material - one with potential to be able to transport electrons farther and faster than many other materials. It is the stepping stone to be being able to extract electrons for modern day technologies. Overall, the research I am conducting will be apart of a larger manuscript that is being written.

2) The investigation of the transport and extraction of polaritons (particles that are half-matter and half-light)   holds promise to improve energy efficiency for countless applications as the flow of energy is central to life and technology. Emerging materials like transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) are known to be excellent semiconductors with photovoltaic and photocatalyst applications. They additionally provide the ideal platform to explore the impact of exciton-polaritons. Practical applications of optimizing energy energy flow include extracting more energy (and faster) from solar cells, storing more energy in batteries, and much more. The potential and unlimited applicability of my research question is what interests me the most. 

Go to the profile of Kelly Aika Yoshimura
about 1 year 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 is a part of a greater analysis of race as a social construct, especially as it pertains to racial identity formation on college campuses. I would like to expand my research into my second summer with Laidlaw with the objective to study the same subject in London and observe how race as a social construct acts differently in two different countries. I expect different identities to form, as well as an emphasis on certain ethnicities over others as the demographics of each country are very different. I do expect the general themes of belonging and internal perception of race/ethnicity to continue to be a common theme in my research.

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

My research matters since college campuses are becoming more and more diverse and the desire for people to join a community that reflects their shared identity becomes more of a priority for students. There is so much nuance in a student's decision to join a club that reflects their identity and providing the research for clubs and organizations to better promote inclusivity within their spaces is very important, and is ultimately my end goal with the project. 

Go to the profile of Grace Kaste
almost 1 year ago
  • I think the biggest hurdle, and potential next step, for my research is to create a more technologically advanced economic model. This past month has actually inspired me to learn to do this better, so this coming year I'm planning to take a GIS or econ modelling class to make my data more robust. For now, though, I'm writing a paper on the more simple model I've created, which I hope to present in the fall. 
  • I think this is actually something I've been struggling with -- my research topic seems tiny and niche, but has huge implications, and I want to get better at conveying this to people who aren't familiar with it. Essentially, I'm dealing with cap-and-trade programs, which are policies that states may adopt (beginning with California in 2008 and now with New York in 2023) to put a price on carbon emissions and gradually restrict how much may be emitted in that state. This is going to be our method for completely eliminating carbon emissions, so it's so crucial that we get this right. My project specifically is showing that California has essentially messed up their cap-and-trade program such that the price of carbon emissions is too low and entities in the state have been and will continue to be allowed to pollute too much. California is setting the precedent for other states like New York in terms of cap-and-trade program design, so I really want to be able to illustrate what CA got wrong and how NY can do it better. 
Go to the profile of Lucia Victoria Enriquez
12 months ago

I am very grateful to be expanding my knowledge so vastly both in computer software which has given me more technical knowledge, and even more so with concepts of physics that I never thought I would have the privilege of understanding. My ultimate goal and that of Professor Paerels is for me to be a part of a research paper that can come to a conclusion regarding the ability to locate black holes in the sky through means of halos. I am also hoping to come up with a culminating log of all the gravitational wave events that I have analyzed through my time with the professor which I can present as a solo project of my own. However, I have valued the collaboration with our team even more than my individual work, and hope that I can see that research paper come to fruition as we plan to continue work after the Laidlaw summer session as well. 

My research matters because it tackles a discovery that would be new in the field of astrophysics and would also bring a tangible way of distinguishing black hole events from a slew of other events in the universe. This would make the study of their occurrences potentially easier in the future and say something about their strength and the impact of the merger as well! The question of alternative methods to detect black holes interests me because it highlights the importance of such small photon particles in a universe so large, making me believe more and more that the smallest things can bring great importance. I also believe that it interests me because it will prove that applications of computer science and software can impact the astrophysics field in such a valuable way and help us make discoveries that wouldn't otherwise be possible. It brings me motivation to continue in the field and learn more every day.