2019 Summer Weekly Seminars Series

Summer RSCA at CPP

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 i n 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 29th through July 31st, 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 8th, 2019  for the 5th Annual Creative Activities & Research Symposium !

This page will be updated regularly with information on upcoming speakers.



May 29th, 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

Click here for Presenter's Abstract


A Strategy to Evaluate Periodic Phenomena: Assessing Pharyngeal Pumping Variability in the Nematode C. elegans

Dr. Michael Harris

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.

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June 5th, 2019

Dr. Xuesong (Sonya) Zhang

Assistant Professor, Computer Information Systems

Cal Poly Pomona

Click here for Presenter's Abstract


Recommending Online Consumer Reviews using Machine Learning

Sonya Zhang

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.

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June 12th, 2019

Dr. Maryam Shafahi

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Cal Poly Pomona

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Sustainability Practices

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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.

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June 19th, 2019

Dr. Anna Soper

Assistant Professor, Plant Sciences Department

Cal Poly Pomona

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Student Research and Outreach to enhance public understanding of the Asian Citrus Psyllid

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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.

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June 26th, 2019

Creative Activities and Research Symposium (CARS) Information Session

Learn more about the application process and preparing for your presentation.

Click here for More information


Student Researcher Panel

CARS Information Session

Student Researcher Panel on the application process and how to prepare for the upcoming Creative Activities and Research Symposium (CARS) on August 8, 2019.


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July 3rd, 2019

Dr. Jessica Perez

Assistant Professor, Engineering Technology Department

Cal Poly Pomona

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July 10th, 2019

Dr. José M. Aguilar-Hernandez

Assistant Professor, Ethnic and Womens Studies Department

Cal Poly Pomona

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July 17th, 2019

Dr. Gregory Barding

Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry Department

Cal Poly Pomona

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July 24th, 2019

Dr. Erin Duffy

Assistant Policy Researcher

Paree RAND Graduate School

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July 31st, 2019

NSF Big Data Showcase Computer Science Department

Cal Poly Pomona

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NSF Big Data Showcase Computer Science Department

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