Research Projects by Subject

Note:
Each research project will involve background reading for the interns provided by their mentors.
Each research project will involve a final presentation by the interns.

Interns are expected to work collaboratively on the same project and/or data set.
This may preclude rising seniors from submitting papers based on such projects to the Regeneron Science Talent Search competition

Applied Artificial Intelligence

Code Research Project Descriptions
AAI-01 (CSE) Title: Game Simulation Engine for Evolutionary Game Theory Research
Primary Mentor: Golam Md. Muktadir
Faculty advisor: Prof. Luca de Alfaro
Location: Remote/online
Number of Interns: 3Project description:
The mentor’s research group is developing a complete game simulation engine for research purposes in the area of Evolutionary Game Theory. In an example scenario, there will be a grid world with different kinds of animals and resources. The engine will simulate evolution of the environment over time and try to find if it can reach a sustainable state. This project is developed in Python and TensorFlow. There are also some AI animals who are weak but can learn to survive!

Tasks:
The SIP interns’ primary tasks will be to learn Python and add to research ideas. Their secondary tasks will include designing and implement a few animals and running simulations. Designing a good animal is difficult because, if the animal is too strong, the world may collapse, and if it is too weak, it may go extinct! This is also the fun part.

Required skills for interns prior to acceptance: Computer programming
Skills interns will acquire/hone: Computer programming; game theory; machine learning

This research project will allow for remote participation by interns.

Program Week Number: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Mentor’s availability: ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON

 

AAI-02 (EPS) Title: Machine Learning and Mineral Identification on Mars
Primary Mentor: Genesis Berlanga
Faculty advisor: Prof. Quentin Williams
Location: Remote/online
Number of Interns: 3Project description:
NASA’s Mars rovers take thousands of images and spectra every day. Analyzing this information is a massive task that takes months of work, but with the help of computers, scientists can shorten the time it takes to arrive at exciting results. In order to train a computer to be a geological assistant, the SIP interns will program a computer to automatically identify rocks and minerals found on the surface of the Moon and Mars. The interns will help build neural networks modeled after the circuitry of brain neurons to train the computer to accomplish this task using rocks we find on Earth. This research project will inform future research for Mars rovers like Curiosity or the upcoming Perseverance, by finding ways to simplify rock and mineral identification while roving the surface of another planet.

Tasks:
The SIP interns’ tasks will include: (1) identifying spectra and images of rocks and minerals relevant to the Moon and Mars; (2) programming in Python, MATLAB, or R; and (3) building a neural network that automatically identifies minerals. Computer programming experience is encouraged but not necessary. The mentor will provide training.

Required skills for interns prior to acceptance: None
Skills interns will acquire/hone: Computer programming; statistical data analysis

Special age requirement: Interns must be 16 years old by June 22, 2020.

This research project will allow for remote participation by interns.

Program Week Number: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Mentor’s availability: ON ON ON ON ON ON ON ON

 

Anthropology

Code Research Project Descriptions
ANT-01 Title: Technology and Oral Story Collection of Indian Immigrants in the USA
Primary Mentor: Dr. Annapurna Pandey
Secondary Mentor: Kati Greaney
Location: Remote/online
Number of Interns: 4Project description:
These days, one often hears that we human beings are primarily story tellers. We tell stories about ourselves as well as about others. What these stories tell us is the rich experience human beings have acquired in their life. The world in which we live today is largely created by technology. The mentor and SIP interns will use various tools provided by technology in their digital story telling research. This project will encourage SIP interns to collect stories about the immigrant experience in the United States. For the last three decades the mentor has been working on the Indian diaspora in the Greater Bay Area, California. The mentor has made two films, “Homeland in the Heart” and “Life Giving Ceremony of Jagannath” documenting the involvement of Odia people (people from the state of Odisha) in building a community and developing a sense of belonging to the United States. The mentor would like to broaden the scope of this research by incorporating the experiences of other Indian immigrants.

Tasks:
This project will give an opportunity to the SIP interns to collect oral history material about the experiences of immigrant parents, grandparents, and their American-born children. The material will include streaming audio and written transcripts accessible online in digital formats. The mentor and SIP interns will use various available technology tools. The mentor’s aim in this project is to collect interviews of Indian immigrants in the USA. The SIP interns will interview various members of the Indian community and collect their experiences in this country compared to their experience in their homeland that they have left behind. These interviews are a unique source of contemporary history through the experiences of the immigrants. Past studies have shown that this kind of research has revealing consequences for both the researchers as well as the subjects of their research.

Astronomy & Astrophysics

Code Research Project Descriptions
AST-01 Title: What Happens Around Supermassive Black Holes
Primary Mentor: Dr. Martin Gaskell
Location: Remote/online
Number of Interns: 3Project description:
Astronomers now believe that every large galaxy contains a supermassive black hole in its center. Because of the tremendous energy released as the black hole grows by swallowing gas, these black holes can be readily detected as so-called “active galactic nuclei” (AGNs) back to very early times in the Universe. The details of how supermassive black holes form and grow and how this is related to the formation of normal galaxies is one of the central mysteries of contemporary astrophysics. The mentor’s research group is analyzing spectra and spectral variability to try to understand how AGNs produce the intense radiation seen, what the structure of material around the black hole is like, and how supermassive black holes grow.

Tasks:
SIP intern involvement in the project will consist of analyzing multi-wavelength spectral observations of relatively nearby actively accreting supermassive black holes to try to understand the emissions and how the black holes grow. This work will involve compiling data sets, applying corrections, making statistical estimates of parameters, and comparing the results with theoretical models of processes going on around black holes.

Required skills for interns prior to acceptance: None
Skills interns will acquire/hone: Computer programming; statistical data analysis

URL: http://campusdirectory.ucsc.edu/cd_detail?uid=mgaskell

This research project will allow for remote participation by interns.

Program Week Number: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Mentor’s availabi