Faculty Research Assistance Program (FRAP) Directory

The FRAP Directory allows students to identify UCSB faculty who are looking for undergraduate students to participate in their research projects or creative activities. Please use the links below to find opportunities by discipline. Students, if your desired discipline is not listed, please contact the Undergraduate Research Initiatives office at 805-893-3090 or urca@ltsc.ucsb.edu for assistance. Faculty, if you would like to post your research or creative activity opportunity, please complete the online submission form.

Political Science

Amit Ahuja

Location:
3722 Ellison Hall
805-893-1427

Research Project

The project explores the effects of skin color in politics.

Undergraduate Contribution

The researcher is expected to perform a systematic search of reporting on skin color-related discussions across a set of news publications as well as search and identify corruption-related scholarly publications along assigned parameters. The student will update data-sets being built for the project. Timely submission of work and punctuality are a must for this position. The student will meet with the principal investigator once a week.

Requirements

Political Science/ Sociology/ History Majors. An interest in South Asia preferred but not mandatory. This course will count as a CP course and the student will be assigned a grade at the end of the quarter. The work requirements in this course are equivalent of a 4 credit hour course. The interested student should submit a cover letter detailing their expression of interest in the project and also a copy of their C.V. that contains their most current GPA.

Location:
3722 Ellison Hall
805-893-1427

Research Project

The project explores the differences in the experience of corruption across different economic strata in South Asia.

Undergraduate Contribution

The researcher is expected to perform a systematic search of reporting of corruption across a set of news publications as well as search and identify corruption-related scholarly publications along assigned parameters. Timely submission of work and punctuality are a must for this position. The student will meet with the principal investigator once a week.

Requirements

Political Science/ Sociology/ History Majors. An interest in South Asia is preferred but not mandatory. The work requirements in this course are equivalent of a 4 credit hour course. The interested student should submit a cover letter detailing their expression of interest in the project and also a copy of their C.V. The documents should contain the student's most current GPA.

Environmental Studies

Peter Alagona

Location:
Bren 4013

Research Project

Scientists and conservationists have long viewed cities as the antithesis of nature, and as destroyers of wildlife habitat. Over the past two decades, however, wild animals have appeared in American cities and in cities throughout the highly developed world in numbers not seen for generations. Urban ecosystems are some of the most dynamic and interesting spaces for understanding ecological change in the Anthropocene, but our understanding of these systems remains in its infancy. We know remarkably little about how wild animals travel, breed, consume resources, establish territory, and use the built environment in urban spaces. We know even less about how such animals interact with humans, or what people think about them. This project aims to produce the first major book to explore the history of wildlife in American cities designed to reach a broad audience.

Undergraduate Contribution

FRAP undergraduate assistants will assist in the creation of a bibliography and database of source materials on the history of wildlife in American cities. 

Requirements

Successful applicants must have excellent reading comprehension and writing skills.

Education

Diana Arya

Location:
Education 3151
x 2185

Research Project

The Problem-based Initiatives for Powerful Engagement and Learning In Naval Engineering and Science (PIPELINES) program aims to create engineering and science design experiences that engage undergraduate students to Navy Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers and personnel. This program is an opportunity for veterans, underrepresented community college (CC) and university undergraduate students who major in STEM-related subjects and wish to pursue a civil career in the Navy, to participate in an 8-week immersive experience, where teams of students compete in finding the most innovative and effective design solutions to real-world Naval engineering and science design projects. We are currently in the first iteration of this program and are engaged in research and analysis of all collected data.

Undergraduate Contribution

We are currently searching for students who can support data organization of program materials and transcription. Students will have opportunities to engage in preliminary analysis and interpretation.

Requirements

Second to fourth year standing. 3.0 GPA or higher. Interested in educational research, STEM learning in higher ed contexts, or video transcription/analysis.

Mechanical Engineering

Paul Atzberger

Location:
South Hall 6712
893-3239

Research Project

Mathematical modeling and computational simulation of problems arising in fluid mechanics, soft materials, and biophysics. See the research website for more details at http://www.atzberger.org/

Undergraduate Contribution

Mathematical modeling and computational simulation work in collaboration with research members. Development of models, implementation of numerical methods, and performance of simulation studies. Present results in workshops and group meetings.

Requirements

Some experience with programming would be helpful, but not strictly required. Overall, a strong motivation and enthusiasm to use mathematical approaches to tackle problems arising in the sciences and engineering.

Mathematics

Paul Atzberger

Location:
South Hall 6712
893-3239

Research Project

Mathematical modeling and computational simulation of problems arising in fluid mechanics, soft materials, and biophysics. See the research website for more details at http://www.atzberger.org/

Undergraduate Contribution

Mathematical modeling and computational simulation work in collaboration with research members. Development of models, implementation of numerical methods, and performance of simulation studies. Present results in workshops and group meetings.

Requirements

Some experience with programming would be helpful, but not strictly required. Overall, a strong motivation and enthusiasm to use mathematical approaches to tackle problems arising in the sciences and engineering.

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Donald Aue

Location:
Chem 2134
805-967-6385

Research Project

We have projects that utilize computational chemistry to calculate reaction energies and other properties for organic, organometallic and bioorganic molecules. Reaction mechanisms, including novel bifurcation reaction pathways, are also studied. The computational methods utilized are based upon quantum mechanical calculations at various levels of approximation, from DFT(density functional theory) up to the most accurate CCSD and CCSD-F12 methods.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduates have been fully involved in independent projects that utilize local Unix computers and supercomputers centers. Students learn to use the Unix/Linux operating system commands and the Gaussian and Molpro quantum calculation programs, together with the Molden and Gaussview 3-D input and output analysis software. Excel spreadsheets are used to analyze the numerical data produced.

Requirements

A general familiarity with computers and Word and Excel is desirable. Special programming skills are not required, though script writing is useful. Freshman and Organic chemistry classes are useful.

History

Anthony Barbieri-Low

Location:
HSSB 4225

Research Project

Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality for Archaeology
In a new computer lab, I am experimenting with new virtual reality (HTC Vive) and mixed reality (Microsoft Hololens) technologies for visualizing archaeological sites and artifacts.
Using 3D scanners and photogrammetry software, I have been creating virtual walkthroughs of archaeological sites and fashioning virtual museum galleries.

Undergraduate Contribution

Programming in Unity
Testing simulations in Vive and Hololens
3D modeling in Maya or 3DS Max
Platform testing on desktop, web, and mobile

Requirements

Unity 3D experience
Maya or 3DS Max modeling experience preferred
Location:
HSSB 4225

Research Project

I am currently working on a study of the Qin Dynasty of China and its famous First Emperor. I am looking at this period from multiple perspectives, including archaeology, history, and current popular culture.

Undergraduate Contribution

I would like assistance with bibliographic work, including entering information into bibliographic databases (EndNote), copying articles, and maybe some article summarization.

Requirements

Use of computer applications like Word and EndNote most helpful. Additional foreign languages such as German or French a plus.

Feminist Studies

Edwina Barvosa

Location:
SH 1704
X5714

Research Project

Constructing Deliberative Democracy is an ongoing research project testing the hypothesis that some controversial issues are being democratized in America through contradictory elements of popular culture. These widely circulating elements give people the opportunity to informally debate and deliberate on controversial subjects. Through informal deliberations a public may sometimes reach a new majority opinion on a hot button issue. Such shifting opinions connect in complex ways to new legal and structural changes as the courts and electoral democracy reflect new public perspectives. Our current case study is on shifts in public opinion regarding LGBTQ civil rights between 1989 and 2014.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate researchers will perform targeted internet searches to locate examples of popular culture elements relevant to LGBTQ civil rights and changing public opinion between 1989 and 2014. Searches are clearly defined to key issues, key outlets (i.e. films, TV, blogs, mass market books, newspapers) and key time frames (a given year, a specific time after a key event). This research is thus a "guided scavenger hunt" through pop culture in which materials are collected, filed, and labeled for further analysis of the rate and effects of American pop culture on changing public opinion in American democracy.

Requirements

Requirements are: 1) personal access to a computer and the internet; 2) facility with MS Word including how to cut and paste from the web; 3) attention to detail; 4) ability to follow directions. It is also a helpful to be willing to learn Zotero or other digital filing or bibliographical database system.

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