Kelly Warner

Summer RA, Columbia University
  • Columbia University
  • People
  • United States of America

I am a/an:

Undergraduate Scholar

Area of Expertise

Social Sciences

Research Topic

Behavioural Studies Psychology

Laidlaw Cohort Year

2022

University

Columbia University

I am from:

United States of America

I speak:

English

My hobbies/interests are:

Hiking/walking Martial Arts Podcasts Tennis Travelling

I am open to participating in mentoring/buddy programmes

Yes

Influencer Of

Topics

Rooms participated in:

Columbia University

Recent Comments

Jun 24, 2022
Replying to Neha Mani
  • 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?

I froze my protein on a grid last Friday, so I will be using the Glacios microscope to see if my particles are good—if they are, I'll use the Titan Krios electron microsccope but if not, I'll modify my protocol to optimize my prep. I've learned that the detergent digitonin/GDN has been used more recently to solubilize/purify membrane proteins for structural elucidation. I have been using DDM-CHS for my purification, so if this screening doesn't look optimal, I may try to use a different detergent! This small idea has the potential to optimize the purification drastically and lead to better data collection on the microscope if needed. My project has changed since my proposal because I had originally proposed to work on Wnt/WLS but sadly, a lot of that work would have required the HPLC which has been having issues in the lab as of late. Since my work on PORCN has been promising recently, my mentor advised me to focus on trying to get a structure for the enzyme (and hopefully of the complex with Wnt). 

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

This week, I have volunteered for and attended the Center on Membrane Protein Production and Analysis (COMPPÅ) Symposium led in part by my lab's Principal Investigator. I've been attending conferences all throughout the day and I've learned about different purification and imaging techniques: in particular, I learned about a cross-linking assay to tell if a protein is dimeric or not which I'd want to try out for my protein. 

Hi Neha! Your research sounds really interesting and it sounds like you have a clear idea of your next steps. The COMPPA Symposium sounds really interesting as well! My lab also offers additional opportunities for research assistants to attend conferences and hear from researchers in a similar research area. I find these opportunities incredibly helpful in directing my own research and providing an alternative perspective that may inspire me to view my research differently, which it sounds like has happened for you as well with this conference! 

Jun 24, 2022
  • 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?

Oddly enough, the study I am working on within the Social and Moral Cognition Lab has had issues with the inference of automated bots on data collection. The study relies primarily upon interviews with children for data collection. However, there have been several occasions when "children" will be signed up for an interview via zoom and no one will show up to the zoom because it was a bot that signed up. While the rest of the research assistants and I laugh about the absurdity of bots interfering with a study on children's moral cognition, it also causes us to use our time inefficiently and hinders data collection. As a result, we have started to adopt some additional steps in our pre-interview procedure that will decrease the likelihood of bot-interference, such as direct emails back and forth between the child's parent and researcher prior to the interview.  

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

The lab that I am working with gets its data primarily from interviews, so I haven't had to rely on any archival resources or libraries. If I am ever interested in any of the other studies in the lab I am working with, then usually I consult the other research assistants that work with that study or my lab manager for additional information. My lab also brings in different researchers across the nation that have conducted similar research to present their findings, so if I ever have an interest in any other aspect of the field of psychology or morality, then I am also able to confer with those other researchers. 

Jun 16, 2022
Replying to Akshay Manglik
  • 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.

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!

Jun 16, 2022
  • 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.

Jun 10, 2022
Replying to Fatima Ahmad
  • 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?

The ethical issues I am grappling with in my research mainly concern the breadth of knowledge out there on the Partition and my limited time. I am having to question the "analysis" and "conclusions" that I come to after doing readings since I need to be certain that I am not mis-reading or construing what the academic paper is actually saying. My focus is on the literature of Manto specifically, however, in order to contextualize and analyze these stories, I need to have a good historical understanding of the Partition first. Since this is technically our second week doing research, I have had to shift some of my goals and schedules to accommodate for this additional reading since it is so important to my project as a whole. Furthermore, although I do understand that the purpose of research is to discover something new, give a unique take, uncover something that has been missed, it feels wrong (as in I feel I do not hold the authority to state some of the things I write). However, after speaking to my graduate mentor, this is simply the world of research and a feeling that remains, but one which should not hold you back!

  • 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?

I actually began to realize that my initial research question may have been too vague- after all, I'm looking at a body of literature and seeing what I can extract from it regarding the Partition as a whole. The lack of specificity resulted in me feeling that my research was all over the place and that I was holding on to threads that always cut short. I needed a focus point, and I guess this "general" research has allowed me to begin thinking of a few ideas. One detail that I have started to explore more in depth includes the representation of women. Manto gives a lot of agency to women in his stories and I find this intriguing, considering the cultural and societal norms of a newly formed Pakistan in 1947. This take was inspired by a journal article I read which compared the role of women in the literature of three short-story writers at the time, one of them being Manto. 

Hey Fatima! I completely understand what you are talking about in terms of feelings that your research question is too vague. In a previous research project, I also struggled with that. But it sounds like you found a focus point through exploring the representation of women. I also find the representation of women a really interesting topic and look forward to hearing more about your research in the future!

Jun 10, 2022
  • 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?

In my research, I've noticed a couple of concerns in terms of the diversity of participants. My research works with predominantly children ages 4-9 and is intended to be generalizable to all children. However, I have noticed that recruitment for participants is localized primarily to Brooklyn and Manhattan. While children from other boroughs in New York or even the rest of the world (since these interviews can be conducted virtually) are able to participate, efforts made on behalf of the study to recruit participants are focused on the Brooklyn Children's Museum and public parks around Columbia campus. This could be an issue considering the demographics and socioeconomic status differences among the NYC boroughs and worldwide.

  • 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?

Since I am working with a preexisting lab, we periodically have researchers from other universities that have similar research come in and present their findings. Just recently, we had a researcher from Hope College present his findings on perceptions and socialization of those that identify as religious v. non-religious. This presentation enabled me to consider the implications of initial moral perceptions of morality and intention of children and how religion potentially plays into those perceptions. However, since I am working with a preexisting project, this has not changed my project. However, it has piqued my interest so I may focus on it more in the future!

Jun 02, 2022
Replying to Fatima Ahmad

I have been spending quite a bit of time thinking about majors these past few weeks. I’m interested in Middle Eastern+South Asian Studies (MESAAS), but also Political Science, and although a double major is feasible, it is not recommended by many MESAAS professors. They advise that Political Science and MESAAS inherently work against one another in the way the two disciplines are taught and explored. Thus, I began the process of weighing one against the other, picking one rather than the other. However, after speaking with an alumnus and with some students in our cohort regarding their own projects, I am able to better understand that it is what you take and apply from each field rather than making every aspect of the two fields work together. There are many projects exploring the intersections of law and science, media and heritage, literature and history, and although we can find similarities among each of these fields, it is “untraditional” to study them alongside one another. The interdisciplinary nature of this program makes these “untraditional” paths a reality and also a possibility for my future. It is from my peers that I was able to learn that (very generally speaking) you truly shape your own academic journey. 

This week was kind of a struggle because it just seemed like there was so much time and so little structure. However, as I went through the week I ended up setting goals and how to meet them. When I met with the mentor I was speaking of above, he asked me the very important question of what I will be contributing to this field of study, that is uniquely mine, and I now need to spend more time reflecting on that. What I had thought of before is not substantial enough, but I am glad to have been asked this at the very start rather than towards the end. Instead of working with a strict structure and themes, where I look for certain things, I am now reading the literature with a more open mind to find this “unique” take. Some initial ideas are looking at the role of women during the partition of 1947 in conjunction to how they are presented within Manto’s literature.

Hey Fatima! I completely understand how you feel about having two academic focuses, where you feel as if you need to choose one or the other. I would agree that this program has altered my perspective and allowed me to think that I can use one discipline to better understand another. I think your academic areas of focus- MESAAS and Political Science- are really interesting and look forward to seeing how you will use them to gain a better understanding of both! 

Jun 02, 2022

1.  I found the interdisciplinary nature of this program incredibly helpful in approaching my research, especially considering that my own project cuts across several disciplines. I think this was especially noticeable upon being assigned my personal mentors. For example, my personal librarian specializess in STEM disciplines, while my graduate student's focus is in communications and social sciences. I found this incredibly useful because it allows me to approach my research from a variety of perspectives and gain a more nuanced understanding of my research topic. 

2. The predominant challenge I anticipate in getting started is where to start with my research. Since my faculty mentor is on vacation this week, her instructions were to review study materials and explore the study's online resources and databases. My mentor said she would be available for any questions that we may have, however, I am/was hesitant to reach out with questions because she is on vacation. Dealing with this was/has been a challenge, in trying to maintain communication and move forward with my research, while respecting my mentor's personal time away from work.