Getting research experience as an undergraduate student doesn’t have to mean working in a laboratory. Instead of days spent transferring fluids from one tube to another, math major Tracy Camacho explored matroids, complex mathematical objects with many different uses.
This summer, 12 students from around the U.S. traveled to UC Davis for a very different view of physics from typical coursework. The undergraduates worked on research projects side-by-side with faculty and graduate students in the Department of Physics at the UC Davis College of Letters and Science.
Students from any major on campus can engage in undergraduate research in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science. As a senior, Cole Williams pursued his interests in genetics with a project in the lab of Brenna Henn, associate professor of anthropology. Williams, a genetics and genomics major in the College of Biological Sciences, designed an algorithm capable of handling diverse population and complex family genealogies in human genomic datasets.
Psychology and biological sciences senior Wenzhe Li rotated through two labs at UC Davis before finding her research passion: cytoplasmic dynein, a motor protein used for intracellular transport. Li conducts research in the lab of Richard McKenney, an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. She was awarded the Ronald and Lydia Baskin Research Award, given to a graduating senior for excellence in research in the biological sciences.
Jonathan Helm got his first taste of psychology research during his second year as a UC Davis undergraduate. After earning three UC Davis psychology degrees, Helm is now an assistant professor of quantitative psychology at San Diego State University. He recently collaborated with one of his former UC Davis professors on a study that found growing up in impoverished urban neighborhoods more than doubles your chances of developing a psychosis-spectrum disorder by middle adulthood. We asked him some questions about his journey from student to faculty researcher:
River flooding continues to be the deadliest and most costly natural disaster threatening the U.S. and the world. Research by Nicholas Pinter, the Roy J. Shlemon Professor of Applied Geosciences, and Huck Rees, undergraduate geology major, could help
Alexandra Greb, a UC Davis senior in pharmaceutical chemistry from Danville, California, is a co-author on a new study exploring how hallucinogenic drugs affect the structure and function of neurons. The research could lead to new treatments for depression, anxiety and related disorders.