Angel Rose Latt

Undergraduate Researcher, Columbia University
  • Columbia University
  • People
  • United States of America

About Angel Rose Latt

Hi there! My name is Angel (she/her/hers), and I'm first-year and a native New York City resident studying Neuroscience and Behavior. I'm passionate about all things STEM and medicine, and I hope to learn more through research over the next few years. When I'm not in the lab or having my nose stuck in a book, you can find me listening to music, volunteering, exploring the city, and baking too much!

I am a/an:

Undergraduate Scholar

Area of Expertise

Biomedical Sciences Health Mathematics Medicine Science

Research Topic

Neuroscience Psychology

Laidlaw Cohort Year

2021

University

Columbia University

I am from:

United States of America

I speak:

Burmese English

My hobbies/interests are:

Cooking/Baking Hiking/walking Music Reading Volunteering

I am open to participating in mentoring/buddy programmes

Yes

Influencer Of

Topics

Rooms participated in:

Columbia University

Recent Comments

Jun 03, 2021
Replying to Nicole Wolff
  • What new ideas, challenges, or other issues have you encountered with regard to your project (this might include data collection, information that contradicts your assumptions or the assertions of others, materials that have enriched your understanding of the topic or led you to change your project, etc.)? How have these ideas or challenges shaped the bigger picture of your research? Has the scope or focus of your topic changed since you began this project? If so, how?

During the first few weeks, the biggest issue I grappled with was regarding how 'novel' my research truly was. Last summer, my advisor started out the project with a few older students, and they examined data from the Swift telescope from several gravitational wave signals and found no halos. When I joined the lab during the school year, we examined data from a different telescope. This summer, I am focusing on Swift data from one gravitational wave signal. It took awhile for me to learn how to search the archive of X-Ray data and to write code in Python for generating sky coordinates and regions of intersection. Initially, I worried that I was repeating the work done last summer and wouldn't get any new results. I decided narrow the scope of my project to more comprehensively search the credible region for a specific gravitational wave event, instead of searching one average coordinate for multiple gravitational wave signals. I also realized that, in the past year since they started the project, new images have been taken by the telescope that have not yet been inspected. 

At the start, I planned to use a technique for data analysis to detect circles in images, but was running into trouble executing the code. Then, my advisor suggested a new technique that he had read about but never used to detect other persistent shapes and gaps in images, which is much more promising and comprehensive than searching for only circles. I've shifted my focus onto this new technique, and plan to continue working on it this summer. 

  • What research resources have proven particularly useful to you as you continue your research?

I've been able to write all my code by reading documentation online and searching up error messages. The biggest resources, though, have been my mentor and the students in my lab. I've learned to ask coding and data questions to one of the upperclassmen in my lab who ran into many similar issues last summer, and to ask my mentor all astrophysics/astronomy-related questions.  

I was also having trouble writing my code in Python to analyze the data from my pilot study, but like you, I was actually finally able to decipher my way through coding with online resources and the help of one of the post-docs in my lab. I think the concern you raise about the novelty of the research we are conducting is a fair concern that I have also had. It's more about taking what we already know and trying to see what else there is left to discover, even if that means doing seemingly non-novel work that comes with research.  

Jun 03, 2021
  • What new ideas, challenges, or other issues have you encountered with regard to your project (this might include data collection, information that contradicts your assumptions or the assertions of others, materials that have enriched your understanding of the topic or led you to change your project, etc.)? How have these ideas or challenges shaped the bigger picture of your research? Has the scope or focus of your topic changed since you began this project? If so, how?

Some new challenges that I am encountering recently is thinking of ways to generalize the method of loci technique in a more practical nature. As we wrapped up analyzing the last bits of data from the ongoing pilot study, I am now hoping to add one final study of my own that will be conducted soon in hopes of seeing how well the method of loci can be in learning more useful information. There have been studies in the past that were conducted on medical students who learned the MoL which have been proven to be successful in learning information and retaining it better for future examination. We would like to see this done with our own pilot subjects. I am currently tasked with coming up with ideas for what would be reasonable to ask our pilot subjects that will truly exhibit the full extent of the capabilities of MoL in more practical nature rather than using it to memorize arbitrary word lists. 

As I entered the Laidlaw program, I came in with expectations that I would be analyzing fMRI data for memory experts. However, it appears that that will be done later this year instead. Therefore, my focus of the topic shifted more towards analyzing the data from the pilot study that has been ongoing for the past month.

  • What research resources have proven particularly useful to you as you continue your research?

My mentor and post-doc have been my main resources so far, as they have helped me focus my goals for each week and answer all of my questions regarding the project and the topic in general. I'm also surprised to find out that the internet has helped me a lot with working my way around with bugs in my code or learning different ways to create visualization of the data.

May 27, 2021
Replying to Evan Li
  • I believe my research of detecting fallacious arguments is part of a larger project in the NLP community that aims to teach machines reasoning capabilities through language, which can be applied for good in many settings (e.g. chatbots and automatic monitoring of online forums). 
  • I think my research matters in two ways. First, manual human monitoring of online text content is unrealistic given the vast nature of the internet. AI-assisted monitoring of forums opens many possibilities for improving online discourse. Second, I am working on methods to train NLP models in low data settings, which key to sustainable and practical machine learning. 

The potential outcomes and implications of your research sounds phenomenal and it is definitely attractive in this modern era! I'm curious to see how the training is going so far on the NLP models since it definitely appears like a challenging task, but I'm sure you know how to conquer it.  Best of luck on your ongoing research! 

May 27, 2021

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 you hope to get published? Will your research be part of a larger scientific study? 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 research I am working on focuses more on creating pipeline data analysis tools for the method of loci studies using data from current studies and hopefully for future studies to come. It is a part of the larger memory experts research that has been ongoing in the lab. My goal is to conduct my own study where the method of loci is used on more practical material to illustrate the potential it holds for academia and education. I would like to see how the memory palace can be woven into our daily lives, particularly for students.  

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

As mentioned briefly above, the method of loci changes the way we approach education and memory. As seen with national memory competitors and participants in the pilot study who are learning the method of loci, our memory is pliable and adaptable, but also incredibly personal. By researching more about the method of loci, we can collect more evidence and information on its reliability and validity, its usefulness in a classroom setting, and implications it could have on the educational system. 

May 20, 2021
Replying to Hassan Javed
  • What are some of the ethical issues that you are grappling with in your research? What are some of the ways in which you are responding to these questions?

One of the ethical issues in my research surrounds the issue of displacing workers and creating unemployment. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, although disastrous for Pakistan's economy because of high interest rates and ownership seizure, does provide jobs. There are many positions open through the Gwadar Port, highways, power plants, and the other infrastructure the initiative has created through out the country. And, to reduce the detriment CPEC brings to Pakistan's economy, my research will center around restricting Chinese involvement through ownership transfers and domestic infrastructure investments. Although, because Pakistan's infrastructural prowess is not at the same level as China's, we can expect some scale of downsizing - which may bring unemployment, temporary economic stagnation, and other issues.

  • As you continue your research, have you considered alternative viewpoints in your investigation? If so, how have these alternative viewpoints enriched or changed your project?

Influenced by the ethical issue of creating economic stagnation by nationalizing foreign infrastructure projects, I have recently began considering an alternative viewpoint in my investigation. Under this lens, instead of gaining ownership of these projects, Pakistan can benefit from CPEC by campaigning for more favorable loan agreements. These can ensure that at a micro-level, at the very least, job security is not threatened due to a consistent presence of a revenue source - China. 

Hi Hassan,

The sensitive nature of the economic situation and initiatives between China and Pakistan seem inherently difficult due to their ethical consequences for both parties as a result of economic stagnation that you pointed out. I am interested to see how potential resolutions will be able to reconcile these issues at hand and continue to play out in the future. In addition to your research on economic resolutions, diving a bit more into social consequences of threat to personhood and livelihood as a result of these economic decisions and landmarks could call forth more perspectives and implications from a more sociological, anthropological, and political standpoint. 

May 20, 2021

What are some of the ethical issues that you are grappling with in your research? What are some of the ways in which you are responding to these questions?

As I learn more about the topic of memory through a psychological and neurological lens with a possible end goal to test the method of loci (MoL) technique for more practical usages, there is the possibility that this technique could change the way we approach learning, for better or worse. MoL can change our engrained understanding of memorization, which is purely memorizing things and perhaps forgetting about it after we have been tested on memorization. Through MoL, standards for how we learn may change in our modern-day education or examination procedures. In a society already saturated with disparities that come with privilege and wealth, tapping into this new method of learning has the possibility of, like many things, becoming privatized and profited.  Although there is still much to learn about the MoL technique itself, it has the potential to break ground in areas of education and learning. Through better understanding and research on this technique, we can ensure that everyone has equal access to new information on this technique and how to utilize the MoL wherever people may find fit. 

As you continue your research, have you considered alternative viewpoints in your investigation? If so, how have these alternative viewpoints enriched or changed your project?

Looking over recent data from our study with control subjects who are learning the MoL for the first time and using it to remember a set of words, it is interesting to see how the MoL can be implemented in those with degenerative memory. I am curious to see if using this technique for basic but important personal information can help those with Alzheimers or dementia before the onset of their memory loss symptoms or in more common cases of natural memory loss as a result of aging. 

May 13, 2021
Replying to Dennis Zhang

Last week the trainings and discussions we had cut across the disciplines. How does the interdisciplinary nature of this program, the fact that students are focusing on such a diverse range of projects, help you think about your project and/or your academic interests more broadly?

My research this summer (on how diversity is conceptualized and operationalized in precision medicine) is sociological and largely based in qualitative methodologies. However, my interests more broadly lie in medicine and healthcare as a whole. As I'll be spending the second half of my summer in a biological wet lab, where our research methods will be entirely quantitative, I really found the interdisciplinary nature of the Laidlaw program to be enriching. Having exposure to a diverse set of approaches to "knowledge" generation helps open my mind to the possible ways that I can explore questions that interest me in the inherently interdisciplinary world of healthcare.

As you begin your individual research projects this week, do you anticipate any challenges in getting started? If so, what are they?

My current challenge is getting accustomed to my overall workflow. Since I'm a member of a research team that spans across universities, I have roles that span from my own individual "discrete" research project to interview cleaning for the other projects going on (within our larger study). Being able to prioritize and better manage my time will be invaluable. Luckily, through time and sheer repetition, I'm definitely getting more efficient and effective.

Hi Dennis~

I can definitely relate to how having a diverse set of skills and being open to approaching things through an interdisciplinary perspective will make us become better leaders and thinkers in our community and our field. Reading your post also made me realize that we are going through extremely similar experiences! I am also working in a wet-lab for the second half of summer after doing mostly data-analysis and conducting remote studies for Summer A, so it will be an interesting shift and hopefully enriching one like you said. I have also been adjusting to productively manage my time in terms of my workload and research, since I have always been more of a deadline-oriented person. Excited to hear more and best of luck with your research!

May 13, 2021
    • Last week the trainings and discussions we had cut across the disciplines. How does the interdisciplinary nature of this program, the fact that students are focusing on such a diverse range of projects, help you think about your project and/or your academic interests more broadly?

    I have always found interdisciplinary projects and implications to be more resounding and practical when looking at the big picture. Stepping outside of the bubble that is your realm of interest and expertise not only brings more nuance to your research, but it also creates room for more research and food for thought. In my own research, I am currently working with psychological ideas and concepts of memory through a data analysis approach, learning Python in order to create data visualization tools and accelerate the process of analyzing incoming test subject data by multifold. Before this summer, I had never seen the two natures of computer science and psychology/neuroscience together from a firsthand perspective, so it has definitely been an exhilarating learning experience so far. 

    • As you begin your individual research projects this week, do you anticipate any challenges in getting started? If so, what are they?

    One of the biggest challenges I have faced so far is the steep learning curve that comes with Python. I have never done any coding or programming ever, so it is all extremely new and foreign to me. I am fortunate to have a great mentor along the way who I can go to for any coding questions or concerns as well as a ton of resources that he has provided and that I have learned about through the workshops from last week. Additionally, the extremely flexible nature of my schedule has also been a challenge as I started my research this week. I have been blocking out chunks of time each day to sit down and work on some data analysis or practice some more coding, which, on the positive side, has also led me to explore new places on campus to work.