2019 Summer Weekly Seminars Series
The Summer Weekly Seminars Series is hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Research. These seminars provide an opportunity for CPP faculty, students, and academic/industry guest speakers to share their research with our community of researchers.
The seminars are hosted in collaboration with the College of Agriculture, College of Engineering, College of Science, McNair Scholars Program, NSF REU Big Data Security & Privacy. The Faculty Coordinator for the seminar series is Dr. Cord Brundage, Assistant Professor with the Department of Animal & Veterinary Sciences at CPP.
Every Wednesday from 12 to 1pm from May 29 through July 31, 2019
Location: College of Business Administration (Bldg 163), Room 1005.
On July 24th, the weekly seminar will be held in Bldg 163, Room 1015 for one week only.
After the Summer Weekly Seminars Series conclude, please join us the following Thursday, August 8, 2019 for the 5 th Annual Creative Activities & Research Symposium !
This page will be updated regularly with information on upcoming speakers.
May 29, 2019
Dr. Michael B. Harris
Assistant Professor of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience
Director, Long Beach Center for Integrative and Translational Physiology
California State University Long Beach
A Strategy to Evaluate Periodic Phenomena: Assessing Pharyngeal Pumping Variability in the Nematode C. elegans
In C. elegans, the feeding behavior of pharyngeal pumping occurs spontaneously in proportion to metabolism and in response to stimuli. Age- and health-related changes in tissue morphology and function correlate with declines in the frequency of pumping. As such, pumping frequency is an established index of C. elegans “health”, and pumping changes illustrate and quantify functional decline. Timing of pharyngeal pumping is controlled by pharyngeal motor neurons (MC and M3). Each pump cycle corresponds to the propagation of a single pharyngeal muscle action potential, initiated by MC and transmitted across a single neuromuscular junction. We currently model this system with MC acting as a rhythmic oscillator, synaptically linked to the pharyngeal muscle. Pumping can change by influences on the pace and/or regularity of the oscillator, and by changes in pharyngeal muscle response to neuronal inputs. Traditionally, pumping is reported as an occurrence frequency, quantified by counting pump event occurring over an observation period. However this quantification has limit resolution; may be confounded by variation in pumping between subjects; and fails to distinguish potentially distinct mechanisms influencing pace and regularity of the MC neuron, or the fidelity of the neuromuscular junction. We have developed an analysis strategy and algorithm (WormBeat) that normalizes variation between subjects, enhances resolution of subtle treatment effects, distinguish neuromuscular fidelity from MC neuron pace, and separates random pace variation from directed modulation of the MC neuron. This presentation describes the theory and practice of the algorithm, its validation using simulated events with known variability, and its application to electrophysiological recordings of pharyngeal pumping in vivo. The strategy for extracting information from the variability of periodic phenomena provides new insight in our experimental system, and likely has broader application.
Work reported in this publication was supported by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute and National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers 1R15HL126105, 1SC2GM112570, UL1GM118979, TL4GM118980, and RL5GM118978. The work is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official view of the National Institutes of Health or any other funding body.
June 5, 2019
Dr. Xuesong (Sonya) Zhang
Assistant Professor, Computer Information Systems
Cal Poly Pomona
Recommending Online Consumer Reviews using Machine Learning
Online consumer reviews are becoming a key part of choosing a local business, with more consumers than ever turning to the Internet for help with everyday decisions. These reviews can help increase the visibility of the businesses, as well as provide invaluable business development insights for the owners. However, the vast amount of reviews can make it difficult to extract intelligence that helps facilitate consumer and business decision making. Previous studies have suggested that online customer reviews can be categorized into multi-factors such as service, price, food quality, menu diversity, atmosphere, etc. for restaurant reviews; or location, cleanliness, room quality, facilities, etc. for hotel reviews. We developed a content-filtering recommender system that automatically classifies individual reviews as well as analyzes its sentiment, using machine learning on datasets from Yelp Data Challenge.
June 12, 2019
Dr. Maryam Shafahi
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Cal Poly Pomona
How can we improve our troubled water-energy-food nexus?
This is a talk on research projects that promote sustainability in daily practices. It includes aquaponics, an environmentally friendly food production system that integrates fish and plants. Aquaponics is a closed-loop system with little nitrogen discharge to the environment utilizing fish waste to fertilize plants. This multidisciplinary subject is capable of involving students from diverse backgrounds such as Engineering, Agriculture, Science, Art and Business.
June 19, 2019
Dr. Anna Soper
Assistant Professor, Plant Sciences Department
Cal Poly Pomona
Student Research and Outreach to enhance public understanding of the Asian Citrus Psyllid
The Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP), a vector of the deadly citrus disease Huanglongbing (HLB), has devastated the citrus industry in Florida and Texas. HLB is the most destructive disease of citrus in the world as it can kill a citrus tree within three to five years, and there is no known cure. ACP has been found in numerous locations in California, but is most prevalent in the southern citrus-growing part of the state. To date, the actual disease, HLB has now been found in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties. The parasitic wasp, Tamarixia radiata is currently utilized to biologically control ACP populations. Raising public awareness was also identified as an important strategy to control the spread of the psyllid. In the winter and spring quarters from 2014 to 2018 a total of ninety-one undergraduate and graduate students undertook research and outreach projects to examine methodologies to increase the production of Tamarixia radiata and to better inform the public on ways to prevent the spread of the psyllid. The results of their research were presented at an annual symposium in June from 2014-2018. Additionally, students attended over fifteen events annually to outreach to the public the economic threat that this insect poses. Two outcomes were achieved through this project 1) undergraduate students were trained in research methodologies that increased their post-graduation career opportunities and 2) an estimated 50,000-100,000 people were educated on the Asian Citrus Psyllid and the threat it poses to California.
June 26, 2019
Creative Activities and Research Symposium (CARS) Information Session
Learn more about the application process and preparing for your presentation.
July 3, 2019
Dr. Jessica Perez
Assistant Professor, Engineering Technology Department
Cal Poly Pomona
Understanding the Intersections: The Experience of Women in Undergraduate Engineering Programs in Public Universities
The 23 campuses of the California State University system (CSU) form the largest university system in the United States, educating over 480,000 students each year. The graduation Initiative of 2015 set a goal of raising the six-year graduation rate to 54% for all students. While the CSU met its overall goal of graduation, it exacerbated the gap in achievement for under-represented groups. In 2018, approximately one-third of the students enrolled in the CSU are first generation degree seeking. The gap in academic achievement for this group is 13% compared to their counterparts. This lack of achievement is compounded when considering women in engineering fields, who earned only 16.8% of engineering degrees system-wide in 2016. The purpose of this study is to examine the intersection of first-generation degree-seeking status, gender, transfer status, the public university and the discipline of engineering. The data of the study was gathered from interviews with 22 women in various stages of their engineering education- half after degree completion and half after two-thirds of coursework was completed- and discourse analysis in various sections of engineering gatekeeper courses (Statics, Dynamics, and Strength of Materials). This three-staged approach to the research gave a quasi-longitudinal picture of the experience of the women and focused on those women who have persisted in engineering to obtain a bachelor’s degree. The data collected helped to answer the question: How do women experience undergraduate engineering programs at public universities? How does the intersection of gender and first-generation college status, or transfer status impact the experience?
This qualitative research study used a lens of Feminist Poststructuralism and Dual Identity to analyze the data and the literature. When the smaller groups within the study were analyzed the intersection of identities pointed to unique experiences within the larger group of women.
July 10, 2019
Dr. José M. Aguilar-Hernandez
Assistant Professor, Ethnic and Womens Studies Department
Cal Poly Pomona
"Chicana/o Studies Now!": Student Activism at UCLA & California’s Racial Climate in the 1990s
This presentation focuses on a student-led social movement that demanded Chicana/o Studies at the UCLA campus between 1990-1993. Using archival documents and over 70 oral histories, Aguilar-Hernández will discuss the strategies that students used including vigils, letter campaigns, a sit-in, and a hunger strike. Aguilar-Hernández will analyze the significance of this social movement during the 1990s in California, a decade of tense racial climate for immigrants and People of Color. The presentation offers historical lessons from UCLA and the 1990s for current racial justice efforts in higher education.
July 17, 2019
Dr. Gregory Barding
Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry Department
Cal Poly Pomona
Exploring Biological Systems with Analytical Chemistry
Metabolomics is a broad field of research that provides downstream information of biological function, including gene regulation and protein expression, at the metabolite level. Analytical chemistry is especially suited to developing methods and techniques for the quantification of the metabolic pathways of interest. Ensuring the methodology is robust, repeatable, and accurate are key considerations for a metabolomics or metabolite profiling experiment and to enable researchers a clear understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlining cellular response to environment. My research is focused on two general areas. First is the development and applications of analytical methods for the quantification of metabolites. Currently, our lab is collaborating with Dr. Lin from Biological Sciences to determine the amount of biofuel produced by bacteria commonly found in fecal samples. Interestingly, a comprehensive analytical method for the simultaneous quantification of metabolites important for biofuel production does not exist. We are developing an NMR-based method to screen bacteria samples to determine suitability for biofuel production while simultaneously quantifying the important metabolites. The second research area is focused on developing various methods for identifying, quantifying, and isolating secondary metabolites. This involves developing analytical techniques to isolate and identify a complex sugar common to most plants that can also prevent powdery mildew disease infection. Access to such a metabolite would provide a natural, plant-based therapeutic to mediate powdery mildew disease which is a common and debilitating infection in common household gardens. Together, these two areas of research allow us to explore the underlying biological mechanisms associated with stress and develop novel analytical techniques that are broadly applicable to other organisms.
July 24, 2019
Dr. Erin Duffy
Assistant Policy Researcher
Pardee RAND Graduate School
Surprise Medical Bills: When the hospital is in your insurance network, but -- Surprise! -- the doctor is not
Health care facilities, physicians, and other professionals providing care within facilities negotiate separately with health plans and do not always establish in-network payment arrangements with the same insurers. Thus, patients treated at in-network facilities can involuntarily receive services from out-of-network professionals. In these scenarios, the out-of-network professional can bill their full charges, and the health plan pays an allowed amount. If the professional is not paid-in-full by the health plan, they may send the patient a “surprise bill” for the remaining balance. Surprise out-of-network bills are widely viewed as unfair to patients who diligently seek care at facilities within their insurer’s network and face unexpected bills from out-of-network physicians they did not choose. As of July 2019, fewer than half of states protect patients from surprise out-of-network medical bills, and there are no federal policies enacted to protect patients. However, there are several federal proposals being developed in the U.S. Congress this summer.
My research seeks to quantify the prevalence and magnitude of surprise billing, understand the market dynamics that drive the phenomenon, and contribute to policy development and evaluation. In this presentation, I will explain why surprise medical billing occurs, what research methods health services researchers and health economists use to study it, and what policy approaches are being considered by the U.S. Congress to address it.