September 30, 2020

Introductory Remarks

Bill Hoynes, Dean of the Faculty
Brian Daly, URSI Director

Students’ Oral Presentations on Summer Research

Algorithms for Temporal Networks
Sudais Moorad ’21 and Professor Luke Hunsberger

Gonadotropin Hormones May Increase Frequency of Spawning in the Sea Anemone Nematostella vectensis
Chloe Chinnadurai ’22 and Sedona Ryan ’22 and Professor Jodi Schwarz

Miniscope Pipeline: Analyzing Brain-Imaging and Behavioral Data
Eden Forbes ’21, Abigail Jenkins ’22, Hero Liu ’22, Ivy Chen ’21 and Professors Hadley Bergstrom, Josh de Leeuw, Lori Newman and Bojana Zupan

Keynote Address

Testing Quantum Theory with the Cosmos
David Kaiser, Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and Professor of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Poster Session A

Odd-numbered posters and poster 24.

Poster Session B
Even-numbered posters and poster 29.

Poster Presentations

Authors will be available to discuss their research during the poster session. The posters are arranged by discipline. Unless otherwise indicated, participants are students, faculty, or staff at Vassar College.


  1. Megan Reyes ’21, Caroline Klureza ’22 and Professor Zachary Cofran
    Simulating Hip Growth in Early Humans


  1. Chloe Chinnadurai ‘22 and Sedona Ryan ’22 and Professor Jodi Schwarz
    Gonadotropin Hormones May Increase Frequency of Spawning in the Sea Anemone Nematostella vectensis

  2. Lucy Funes ’23 and Professor Colin Echeverría Aitken
    Dissecting the Contribution of the eif3 Subunits to Component Events During Translation Initiation

  3. Shanya Galbokke Hewage ’23 and Professor Colin Echeverría Aitken
    Investigating the Effects of eIF3 Mutations on Start Codon Recognition

  4. Emily Longo ’21, Minjun Choung ’21 and Professor Funmilola Ayeni
    Analysis of Bacterial DNA Sequences in Genomics and Metagenomics


  1. Gabrielle Costner ’21, Brandon Lam ’23 and Professor Brooke M. Otten
    Density Functional Theory Study of Methyl Iodide and Its Oxidative Addition to Trinuclear Gold(I) Complexes

  2. Owen Fauth ’23 and Professor Leah Bendavid
    Effect of Mn-Doping and Strain on Electronic and Magnetic Properties of MoSe₂

  3. Sonia Santos ’21 Linnea Martin ’21 and Professors Sarjit Kaur and Edith Stout
    Chemical Characterization of Amber from Arkansas

  4. Melanie Susman ’21 and Professor Christopher Smart
    Characterization and Antioxidant Analysis of Honey Bee Propolis

  5. Christopher T. Triggs ’21 and Professor Christopher Smart
    Synthesis and Functionalization of Endohedral Metallofullerenes

Cognitive Science

  1. Margaret Bigler ’22, Polyphony Bruna ’22, and Professor Jan Andrews
    Probing the Methodology and Interpretation of Learned Categorical Perception Research

  2. Michael Jaklitsch ’21, Lingxiu Zhang ’21, Jason Han ’23, and Professor Ken Livingston
    Evolutionary Robotics: The Role of Gene Duplication and Modularity in the Emergence of Evolvability

  3. Spencer Lee ’22, Ling Qi ’22 and Professor Josh de Leeuw
    Using Online Games to Study Human Cognition

  4. Connor McShaffrey ’21 and Professor John Long
    Modeling the Ventilatory Behavior of the Embryos of Little Skates, Leucoraja erinacea

Computer Science

  1. Merrick Chang ’21, Furrukh Asif ’22, Sudais Moorad ’21 and Professor Luke Hunsberger
    Algorithms for Temporal Networks

  2. Chloe Gjoka ’23, Olga Redko ’21 and Professor Jonathan Gordon
    Computational Analysis of Spatial and Temporal Variation in Literary Sentiment

  3. Nick Weiner ’22, Jemma Brooker ’23, Ryan Hornby ’21 and Professor Jason Waterman
    Aegis: A Smartphone Data Privacy Solution

Mathematics and Statistics

  1. Mia DeStefano ’22, Wyatt Milgrim ’23, Ceci Villaseñor ’22, Emily Wadholm ’23 and Professor Adam Lowrance
    Research in Knot Theory: Khovanov Homology and 4-genus of Almost Alternating Knots


  1. Saumya Arya ’23 and Professor Cindy Schwarz
    Video Based Graphical Analysis Problems: A supplement or replacement for lab experience in introductory mechanics

  2. Emma Manzella ’21 and Professor Brian Daly
    Using Matlab Simulations to Study Heat Flow in Thin Films

  3. Celia Morral ’22, Phyo Pyi Kyaw ’22 and Professor Brian Daly
    Transition Metal Dichalcogenides as Strain Sensors in Pump-Probe Experiments

  4. Adam Moses ’21, Hannah Stickler, Wellesley ’22 and Professor Colette Salyk
    Detecting Hidden Planets in the Process of Formation

  5. Jacob Stuligross ’22 and Prof. Juan Merlo-Ramirez
    Circuit Model for Plasmonic Interactions: A Correction to Achieve the Quantum Tunneling

  6. Luke Thatcher ’22 and Professor Brian Daly
    Simulated Picosecond-laser-generated Surface Acoustic Waves in Nanostructures

Psychological Science

  1. Benjamin Goya ’21 and Professor Lori Newman
    Attention Correlates with Glutamate Recycling in Astrocytes: Using Reaction Times and Accuracy from the Sustained Attention Task to Measure Vigilance in Attending and Non-Attending Rats

  2. Sanaya Shikari ’21 and Professor Bojana Zupan
    3D Reconstructions of Neurons: Testing Structural Plasticity of CA3 Hippocampal Pyramidal Neurons in Response to Postnatal Maternal Exercise

  3. Annie Xu ’22, Mohtad F. Allawala ’23 and Professors Sue Trumbetta, Adam Brown and Maria Höhn
    SeApp: A Feasibility Study of a Self-Efficacy EMI in the Context of COVID-19

Psychological Science and Cognitive Science

  1. Ivy Chen ’21, Eden Forbes ’21, Abigail Jenkins ’22, Hero Liu ’22, Prof. Hadley Bergstrom, Prof. Josh de Leeuw, Prof. Lori Newman, and Prof. Bojana Zupan
    Miniscope Pipeline: The Construction and Implementation of Open-Source Resources to Derive Neural Signal and Behavior from High-Dimensional Video Data

  2. Ivy Chen ’21, Eden Forbes ’21, Abigail Jenkins ’22, Hero Liu ’22, Prof. Hadley Bergstrom, Prof. Josh de Leeuw, Prof. Lori Newman, and Prof. Bojana Zupan
    In vivo Calcium Imaging the Infralimbic Cortex During Aversive Learning and Extinction