iCubed

2011 - 2012 Fellows

NSF

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No.0963146. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

UCF

Giselle Andrea Borrero

Giselle Andrea Borrero

Giselle Andrea Borrero graduated with a bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Central Florida in August 2011, and is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering which she will complete in spring 2012. She graduated from Orange Park High School, in Orange Park, Florida. She joined the Machine Learning Lab in the summer of 2009, under the supervision of Dr. Michael Georgiopoulos. Her area of research lies in machine learning in the subfield of evolutionary computation. Besides research, she enjoys working out and shopping in her free time.

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Christopher Frye

Christopher Frye

Christopher Frye is an undergraduate senior studying Physics and Mathematics at UCF. He attended Lake Mary High School in Lake Mary, Florida. He performs research in Theoretical Physics with Dr. Costas Efthimiou. A portion of their research involves answering novel questions in physics. The solutions to these problems provide the physics community with an enhanced understanding of familiar ideas. They also have written a pedagogical monograph on spherical harmonics in n-dimensional Euclidean spaces to provide undergraduates and researchers in physics and mathematics with a collection of important related theorems and their detailed proofs. Christopher contributes to the STEAM program by having in-depth discussions with art students about concepts in modern theoretical physics. He corrects many misconceptions about relativity and quantum mechanics, allowing the art students to create paintings based on clear understanding of physical laws and their implications. When Christopher is not studying, he enjoys reading, exercising, and playing strategy games such as chess and Go.

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Kelly Diamond

Kelly Diamond

Kelly Diamond is a junior majoring in Biology. She graduated from Winter Springs High School in Winter Springs, FL. Her area of research is in Phylogenetics and her mentor is Dr. Chris Parkinson. She believes that working as an undergraduate researcher has provided her with a broad lab skill set for her future studies. This experience has also helped her make connections that will be beneficial in the future for her education and career. Kelly's involvement in ICubed has helped her explain her research in terms that any audience can understand, whether they have a science background or not. She also believes that the major benefit of getting involved with the STEAM experiences is the expansions of perspective that she has gained through working with students from different areas of study. Previously the majority of her research experience involved only undergraduate and graduate students studying biology, but being involved in the ICubed project has allowed her to work with students from other STEAM majors. Outreach activity? During her free time, Kelly enjoys anything that involves being outdoors and traveling to see as many new places as possible.

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Brittany Broder

Brittany Broder

Brittany Broder is a junior majoring in Mathematics with a Physics and Engineering track. She is also obtaining a minor in Studio Art. Her research focuses on the unification of the Kachanov-Rabotnov and Theta-Projection creep models, under the guidance of Dr. Ali Gordon. She is also working on a tangent-chord-line approximation of the Kachanov-Rabotnov creep model for a more efficient way to generate the creep curve. She works in the Mechanics of Materials Research Group, MOMRG, with Dr. Gordon. She has already presented her research at the Showcase of Undergraduate Research, and is currently working on formatting her research into a thesis in the Honor's in the Major Program. Brittany's future goals are to become a Disney Imagineer to fuse her passion with Mathematics and Engineering with her love of art.

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David Perlaza

David Perlaza

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Santiago Guisasola

Santiago Guisasola

Santiago Guisasola is a senior, majoring in Mathematics. He graduated from Cypress Bay High School, Weston, Florida. His area of Research is Applied Mathematics and he is currently working with Dr. Alexander Tovbis. One-on-one meetings with his research mentor are extremely valuable. He has learned how to explore mathematical problems and how to push himself to find solutions. Research can be daunting as an undergraduate, but with the guidance of his mentor and the support from ICubed, he has found research to be approachable and enriching. As an ICubed Fellow, he participated in the STEM Expo last semester where, along with other ICubed Fellows, he presented information regarding his field to middle and high school students. He valued this experience because it gave him an opportunity to inspire younger students to pursue Mathematics and Science. He remembers being in their shoes and feeling intimidated by the sciences so he understands that it is good to have someone let you know that it is not as bad as you might think. In his free time, he enjoys making music, live music, traveling, photography, camping, hiking, and going to the beach.

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Monica Thomas

Monica Thomas

Monica I. Thomas is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Sciences. She attended the School for Advanced Studies in Miami, Florida. Her research interest primarily involves the study of bacteria. She does research under the mentorship of Dr. Sean Moore working on evolving ClpX, a protease naturally found in E.coli. Being an ICubed Fellow has provided her with the opportunity to focus more on her research. It aided in constructing a feasible project that could be accomplished as an undergraduate. With the project in hand she now had a direction from which to work on. The ICubed stipend has also helped in being able to allocate more time doing research instead of working outside of school. The STEAM experience has made clear to her the disconnect between the hard and soft sciences. It is an innovative project, of which she is very excited to participate in, that will try to bridge these two sciences. While most might not comprehend what she studies and does research on, the opportunity to teach non-biological audiences helps her understand her project better and helps her spread some of the knowledge she has gained. Her undergraduate life is composed mainly of her academics, research and teaching. Apart from this, she enjoys going to the movie theater, and going out to eat. She has grown a passion for dancing salsa, merengue and bachata, but sometimes she just enjoys staying home and watching TV with her siblings.

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Jie Liang

Jie Liang

Jie Liang is currently a senior majoring in Mathematics. She attended high school in China, but obtained her GED while living in Rockledge, Florida. Her area of research involves approximation theory. Her mentor, Dr. Xin Li, has motivated her in conducting high-quality research and disseminating her knowledge to others. Jie believes that her research experience with ICubed fulfills her intellectual curiosity and provides an environment for her to collaborate with leading experts in her field. Her research experiences and interactions with her mentors have shaped her desire to obtain a Ph.D. in Mathematics after she graduates from UCF. Jie's participation in ICubed has greatly fostered her development as a researcher. Her consistent interactions with faculty, students and researchers from various disciplines have helped her develop efficient communication skills and cross-cultural competence. Jie has participated in the Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF) as a Mathematics Developer. This outreach activity has provided her invaluable experience to impact the future of our nation. She improved her conception in the study of Mathematics and its applications to various field, her skills in creative and empirical mathematical model construction and her understanding of the current grade 3-12 education system. Working as a Mathematics Developer enhanced her desire to interact with a diverse range of students. Jie's hobbies include watching Chinese shows to renew her understanding of Chinese morality and learn the new Chinese culture.

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Ivan Trivino

Ivan Trivino

Ivan Trivino is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He is in the fourth year of his undergraduate career after graduating in 2008 from Freedom High School in Orlando, Florida. His area of research is in Computational Fluid Dynamics under the supervision of Dr. Marcel Ilie. As an ICubed fellow, Ivan has been able to dedicate time to research projects as well as participate in different STEM outreach activities. Being part of the ICubed program has also allowed Ivan to reinforce his curriculum and build a stronger relationship with his STEM professor. Ivan has also taken part in STEAM activities which have proven to be valuable experiences at adding diversity and innovative points of view to his research. One of the most valuable outreach activities Ivan was a part of this past year was the Engineering Forum at Cypress Creek High School. As a former student of that high school, Ivan was given the opportunity to educate high school and middle school students on the importance of STEM careers. On his free time Ivan enjoys playing soccer, reading and traveling.

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Mario Pita

Mario Pita

Mario Pita is in his fourth year at UCF as a Molecular Biology and Microbiology major and a member of the Burnett Honors College. He attended Bishop Moore High School in Winter Park, Florida. Eager to participate in science ever since he was little, Mario began conducting undergraduate research just a few months into his first semester at UCF as a freshman. Mario has now worked in the same Neuroscience lab under Dr. Kiminobu Sugaya for over 3 years, preforming experiments and collecting data for a project to regenerate brain tissue using stem cells in hope of developing a therapy for Parkinson's Disease. Mario applied for a competitive summer internship at the National Institutes of Health when he was a sophomore and was awarded a position in the Laboratory of Neurosciences to work with the most cited neuroscientist in the world and leading expert on Alzheimer's Disease, Dr. Mark Mattson. Mario's work led to a co-authored publication in an internationally recognized high-impact journal called the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Mario returned to Dr. Mattson's lab for a second in time the summer of 2011; his work is currently being submitted for two more papers. Mario aspires to obtain an MD and perform extensive neuroscience research in his future career. ICubed has positively impacted his ability to perform research and strengthened his ties to the community. With the financial support from the program, he can treat his research as a part-time job. This way, he can work in a job specific to his career interests while he attends classes. In addition, ICubed has supported and motivated him to reach out to the greater community and share the knowledge he has gained in his research. He recently rallied together neuroscientists in the Central Florida area to form a local chapter of an international organization for neuroscientists called The Society for Neuroscience. ICubed has also facilitated his involvement in the STEAM Program which has been an incredibly rewarding experience. The nature of his research, being in the neuroscience field, is very closely related to the aesthetic experience and creation of art. Together with his professor, he was able to explain to art students the neuroscience of art and the science behind how they interpret and create artistic images. In addition, they were able to show the artistic beauty found naturally in the human brain tissue for possible use as an inspiration. His STEAM experience is ongoing and he is excited for how his research can inspire and teach students of different disciplines.

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Matthew Suttinger

Matthew Suttinger

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Brad Stemm

Brad Stemm

Bradley Stemm is a senior in Physics with a focus on Astronomy. He graduated from Southeast High School in Bradenton, Florida. His research involves Planetary Science in which he works closely with Dr. Joshua Colwell. Working with his STEM professor has given him an opportunity to work in the field, conducting real-world research. He has been able to apply what he has learned in physics in a way that is not taught in the classroom environment. Brad believes that working with non-science students is a good experience as a way to think in non-scientific ways regarding science concepts. In the fall of 2011, Brad participated in the Illustration STEAM event. Bradís hobbies include reading, playing video games, catching up on TV shows such as Fringe, Mad Men and Game of Thrones.

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Antonio Ordonez

Antonio Ordonez

Antonio Ordonez is a senior majoring in Physics. He graduated from Naples High School in Naples, FL. His research area is in Planetary Sciences with Dr. Joshua Colwell, his mentor. His research with Dr. Colwell involves probing collisions between particles in microgravity environments. This information will help people gain a better understanding of how planetesimals formed in the early solar system and how objects accrete in space. This research experience has given him a strong sense of what it means to perform scientific research and what aspects of research interest him. He has not yet had a chance to participate in any STEAM experiences with ICubed, due to schedule conflicts. But he does anticipate the experiences will help him in facilitating STEM knowledge to person's without extensive training in these fields. He views this skill as essential for facilitating cooperation among different areas of society. His free time is generally spent working on music with friends. He has currently been working on putting together a project with a high school friend, in which they both play the guitar and sing, while another friend plays the drums. He also enjoys reading and writing, especially science fiction, and playing video games.

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Kunal Nayee

Kunal Nayee

Kunal Nayee is a senior studying Environmental Engineering. He graduated from Lake Mary High School in Lake Mary, FL. His area of research is focused on the effects of nano materials on landfill leachate and his research mentors include both Stephanie Bolyard, a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Engineering at UCF and Dr. Debra Reinhart. Kunal believes that ICubed has allowed him to continue researching the important topic of nano materials in the environment. The experience is also important to him and his field of study because it is an area that is not well known, thus he believes we are all learning this material together. Kunalís STEM graduate mentor has taught him great amounts of knowledge in regards to analytical chemistry and lab techniques in the short time he has been working on this research, which he could not have learned in any classroom setting. Along with research experiences, ICubed has also given Kunal an opportunity to volunteer for education outreach events. The educational activities allowed Kunal to talk to people about his passion for engineering and the environment. He has volunteered for the Florida Water Festival where he helped children and adults sample water from the nearby lake for pH, dissolved oxygen and turbidity. That experience was important for him because as he spoke to people, he could see the childrenís interest in the water they may one day drink. In his free time, Kunal likes to watch movies, read books and spend time with friends and family.

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Victoria Kreinbrink

Victoria Kreinbrink

Victoria Kreinbrink is a junior in Biology and Economics. She graduated from Fort Myers High School, Fort Myers, Florida. Her research area is in Genetics with her mentor, Dr. Von Kalm. She is learning the skills required to work in a lab. She is conducting research that will hopefully help with the discovery of how the polyamine transport system in Drosophila works. She has been able to share her research with students from other disciplines and see their visual take on it. She attended a sculpture class for several weeks and described her research to the students. They, in turn, interpreted it into sculptures. It was incredibly interesting to see what they had gotten out of her research and how they had converted it to art. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the guitar and learning French.

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Scott Matthews

Scott Matthews

Scott Matthews is a senior Chemistry major with a minor in Mathematics. His hometown is Port Charlotte, Florida and he graduated from Port Charlotte High School. He works under Dr. Lei Zhai at the NanoScience Technology Center researching the chemistry of graphene based composites. This research has increased his understanding of fundamental concepts in chemistry. Mainly he has a much better understanding of laboratory techniques and electrochemistry. Not only has this opportunity been beneficial in terms of book smarts, but he also has learned more about the process of conducting research. Other valuable aspects of the ICubed program are the outreach activities. These events have improved his communication skills with non-scientist and scientist alike. His favorite activity was working with an intermediate illustration course to develop promotional posters inspired by his professor's research. This experience allowed him to learn more about the techniques and methods of the illustrators while communicating scientific concepts. When he was not busy with scholastic duties, he often was watching hockey and recently he has developed a love for obstacle courses. He has completed an 11.5 mile course called Tough Mudder in Tampa and will continue training and participating in mud runs for the foreseeable future.

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Alexander Fagenson

Alexander Fagenson

Alexander Fagenson is in his fourth year of Molecular Biology and Microbiology major. He graduated high school from The Benjamin School in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida in 2008. For over two years, He has been performing cancer research in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Muller. Working in basic science research has given him the opportunity to delve into the biomedical sciences beyond the classroom. He enjoys the constant battle that is research, and working with his mentor and colleagues to progress through their project. What draws him to research most is that research never ends, and when one question is answered, five more arise. Becoming an ICubed fellow has granted him the opportunity to focus on his research even more. The support from the stipend allows him to spend more time in the lab, and makes him feel as though he's an integral part of his research team. Last spring, he took part in the State of STEAM event where he articulated his research to local high school students and the community. The event was unique in the sense that he was able to discuss his research with individuals from outside his discipline. The students were engaged and interested in his research, and it was nice to be able to give back to the community and inspire young students. Aside from academics, he has a keen interest in sports and music. He's been playing the drums for over eight years and looks to continue his musical pursuit throughout his life. Some of his favorite sports to play include lacrosse, hockey and snowboarding.

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