EXPLORE Sites & Mentors

EXPLORE Mentors and Sites

Summer 2017 EXPLORE sites and mentors will be added as they are confirmed. Please check the EXPLORE page regularly for the most updated list s or sign up for our email list to stay up to date on our future EXPLORE program offerings!

Summer 2017 Sites and Mentors

 

ARTS EDUCATION & CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY
Organization: Kadenze (Valencia, CA)
Career Field(s): Arts,  Education, Media/Entertainment
Program Dates: July 8 – July 28, 2017 (3 weeks)
Program Fee: $975.00

Two students will have an opportunity to work with Harmony Jiroudek, Director of Academic Customer Relations, and Scott Groller, Director of Production & Photography at Kadenze. Kadenze is an education technology company that has partnered with several art institutions to provide access to the highest quality online interactive courses and an engaged network of schools, instructors, and students. Kadenze fills a void in the massive open online course (MOOC) education world, as there are no arts-­focused platforms that can deliver a specialized art experience or assessments tailored for artists and art students. Students will assist in the production of Kadenze courses by performing such tasks as course scheduling, course research and development, and course management. Students will also have a unique chance to help with a shoot at their Studio. By the end of the program, students will have the ability to collaborate and problem solve with large and small teams, gain experience scheduling, organizing, and interacting with multiple disciplines, and have a better understanding of project management.

 

ARCHITECTURE
Organization: Southern California Institute of Architecture (Los Angeles, CA)
Career Field(s): Arts, Architecture
Program Dates: July 29 – August 11, 2017 (2 weeks)
Program Fee: $650.00

Fifteen students will have the opportunity to work directly with SCI-Arc faculty and graduate students in a two week immersive program which introduces design thinking and fabrication techniques. The program is coordinated by faculty and designer Mira Henry. Located at SCI-Arc, students have the opportunity to take advantage of some of the most advanced resources in the country, and experience the energy of this vital and creative institution. Through a unique series of innovative exercises, students will learn basic 3D modeling skills using Rhino and an introduction to graphical literacy using Photoshop and Illustrator. Emphasis is placed on the production of physical models constructed through a digital workflow, and the representation of these models for the students evolving portfolios. Students will also learn key design concepts, related vocabulary and communication skills through desk critiques, pinups and reviews.

 

BIOMATHEMATICS
Organization: UCLA (Los Angeles, CA)
Career Field(s): Science/Technology/Engineering, Health/Medicine
Program dates: July 8 – July 28, 2017 (3 weeks)
Program Fee: $975.00

Two students will have the opportunity to work with UCLA Professor, Dr. Van Savage, and his team of researchers in the Department of Biomathematics and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. The students will use mathematical approaches to understand the causes and consequences of the extraordinary diversity in form and function that exist in biological systems. This site involves independent research as well as data analysis to discover how organismal physiology influences biological structure and dynamics. By the end of the session, students will learn to use Angicart software to extract data from medical images, write code in Matlab to analyze data, and learn to translate key concepts in mathematical equations.

Prerequisites: Strong written and oral communication skills, experience in Microsoft Office, strong biology and physics skills, and interest in web design and database language. Applicants must be 15 years of age or older at the start of the program to be placed at this site.

 

COMPUTER SCIENCE
Organization: UCLA (Los Angeles, CA)
Career Field(s): Science/Technology/Engineering
Program dates: June 17 – July 28, 2017 (6 weeks)
Program Fee: $1,950.00

Two students will have an opportunity to work with UCLA adjunct professor and head of the Laboratory for Advanced Systems Research (LASR), Dr. Peter Reiher. THE LASR conducts important research in many areas related to networks, operating systems, and distributed system. Under Dr. Reiher’s guidance, students will not only gain a better understanding of computer and network security, but will also learn about advanced network attack and defense mechanisms.

Prerequisites: Programming experience, preferably in C or C++.

 

ETHNOMUSICOLOGY
Organization: Apsara Media for Intercultural Education (Valley Glen, CA)
Career Field(s): Arts, Education, Media/Entertainment, Science/Technology
Program dates: July 8 – July 28, 2017 (3 weeks)
Program Fee: $975.00

Two students will have an opportunity to work with UCLA Adjunct Professor, Dr. Amy Catlin-Jairazboy. Dr. Catlin-Jairazbhoy has a background in Classical and non-classical music of South and Southeast Asians and Asian-Americans, field methodology, Ethnographic Film in Ethnomusicology, music and the sacred, and applied and public sector Ethnomusicology. Currently, she conducts a Literacy Program for Sidi African-Indians in Gujarat, India. She maintains Apsara Media for Intercultural Education, her small publication and research company and studio in Valley Glen, California, where she works with her audio-visual and research archives. The student will have an opportunity to work with Dr. Catlin-Jairazbhoy at Aspara Media which contains field documentation materials created by her and Professor N.A. Jairazbhoy. The student will learn methods of metadata production concerning field recordings and information to prepare for archiving at UCLA and methods of editing original audiovisual materials in preparation for further research and publication.

Prerequisites: Interest in film and music. Technologically savvy and possess basic video editing skills. Organized and independent, self-starter.

 

EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY
Organization: UCLA (Los Angeles, CA)
Career Field(s): Science/Technology/Engineering, Health/Medicine
Program dates: July 8 – July 28, 2017 (3 weeks)
Program Fee: $975.00

Students will work with volunteer mentor, Dr. Pamela Yeh, in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA. Dr. Yeh is an evolutionary biologist who focuses on the evolution of drug resistance in bacteria. She is specifically interested in understanding how we can use drug combinations to slow down the evolution of increased antibiotic resistance and to decrease the likelihood of future evolution of resistance. By the end of the session, students will gain hands-on experience synthesizing and analyzing data from already-published research works and will collaborate with a team to examine questions focused on evolutionary medicine topics. Please note that work will not be done in the wet lab.

Prerequisites: Applicants must be 16 years of age or older at the start of the program to be placed at this site.

 

PEDIATRIC MEDICAL RESEARCH
Organization: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
Career Field(s): Health/Medicine, Science/Technology
Program dates: June 17 – July 28, 2017 (6 weeks)
Program Fee: $1,950

Two students will work in the laboratory of Dr. Henri Ford of Pediatric Surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Students will study the pathogenesis of necrotizing enterocolitis, a devastating intestinal disease in premature infants. The students will work with experts in intestinal physiology, molecular biology, and functional genomics. The focus of the research activity is to look at molecular pathways that predispose the intestinal barrier to destruction.

Prerequisites: Courses completed in biology and/or other sciences, interest in medicine, demonstrated leadership, and organization and time-management skills. Applicants must be 15 years of age or older at the start of the program to be placed at this site.

 

PRODUCT DESIGN 
Art Center College of Design
Career Field(s): Arts, Product Design
Program dates: June 17 – July 7, 2017 (3 weeks)
Program Fees: $975.00

Housewares, appliances, electronics, toys, soft goods, sporting goods, tools, furniture/lighting and other lifestyle products are just some of the items that product designers create. Under the direct guidance of Professor Stan Kong, students will have the opportunity to explore educational and career opportunities related to the product design profession. Beginning students learn fundamental design processes and techniques through hands-on projects.

Through daily workshops, beginning design students will be introduce to the industrial design fields, which include product, transportation, environmental, entertainment and interactive design. Students will also undertake design projects while gaining exposure to Art Center and college life.

Prerequisites: Basic skills in sketching, drawing, or alternative art forms, an interest in pursuing design, experience or knowledge of Keynote or PowerPoint, and a laptop computer for research and project presentations.

Past Mentors and Sites

 

ARCHITECTURE
University of Southern California

One to three students will have an opportunity to work with Associate Professor Gail Peter Borden, FAIA in the Department of Architecture at USC. Professor Borden’s research and practice focuses on the role of materiality and architecture in contemporary culture. Students will engage themselves with University level interns working in direct collaboration with Professor Borden and, in the process, become involved in the design and fabrication of work. There is an emphasis on making things so an inquisitive mind and interest in the topic is imperative.

 

ARTS EDUCATION
Kadenze

Students will have an opportunity to work with Harmony Jiroudek, Director of Academic Customer Relations, Producer, and Instructional Designer and Amanda Eno, Lead Production Manager at Kadenze. Kadenze is an education technology company that has partnered with CalArts to provide access to the highest quality online interactive courses and an engaged network of schools, instructors, and students. Kadenze fills a void in the massive open online course (MOOC) education world, as there are no arts-­focused platforms that can deliver a specialized art experience or assessments tailored for artists and art students. Students will assist in the production of Kadenze courses by performing such tasks as course scheduling, course research/development, and course management. Students will also have a unique chance to help with a shoot at their Studio. The students will assist in the production of interactive Kadenze courses, help review course materials and scripts, and participate in a film shoot at Kadenze’s studio. By the end of the externship, students will have the ability to collaborate and problem solve with large and small teams, gain experience with scheduling, organizing and interacting with multiple disciplines, and have a better understanding of project management.

 

ASTRONOMY
California Institute of Technology

One to three students will have opportunity to work with Dr. Lynne Hillenbrand in the Department of Astronomy at Caltech. Since 2001, Dr. Hillenbrand has taught astronomy and astrophysics at the undergraduate and graduate level, and has mentored 24 undergraduate students. She has been working in the area of star/planet formation and stellar astrophysics for nearly 20 years with observational and data analysis experience covering wavelengths from x-ray to millimeter, though focusing mostly on optical/near-infrared science. Under her direct guidance, students will be working with astronomical catalogs and databases, downloading information, and making plots to investigate the properties of variable stars, circumstellar disks, and correlations of these properties with the age of the star. By the end of the program, students will gain a deeper understanding of scientific research, participate in data organization and analysis, and have an increased appreciation for astronomy.

 

BIOCHEMISTRY
University of California, Los Angeles

The regeneration of epidermal cells throughout the body of vertebrates is studied by those in Dr. Alison Frand’s lab. Students joined Dr. Frand’s team to conduct experiments in Biological Chemistry and apply concepts of cell biology and cell production. Students had the opportunity to learn about the molting cycles of C. elegans and its coordinated tissue development and stem cell division during molting. The implications of Dr. Frand’s research affect more than 140 million people in the world.

 

BIOMATHEMATICS
University of California, Los Angeles

Two students will have the opportunity to work with UCLA Associate Professor, Dr. Van Savage, and his team of researchers in the Department of Biomathematics. The students will use mathematical approaches to understand the causes and consequences of the extraordinary diversity in form and function that exist in biological systems. This site involves independent research as well as data analysis to discover how organismal physiology influences biological structure and dynamics. By the end of the session, students will learn to use Angicart software to extract data from medical images, write code in Matlab to analyze data, and learn to translate key concepts in mathematical equations.

 

BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH & ENGINEERING
University of Southern California

This interdisciplinary opportunity to work for seven weeks with Dr. Ellis Meng and her team of engineers at the Biomedical Microsystems Laboratory at USC offered hands-on experience with experiment-based data collection and analysis. Dr. Meng was named Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry’s MedTech 40 under 40 in 2012 for her innovations in microtechnology and its application to medicine. The Biomedical Microsystems Laboratory focuses on developing novel micro- and nanotechnologies for biomedical applications. In particular, the group uses biocompatible materials and microelectromechanical systems technology to create devices that address significant but unmet medical needs. The lab currently specializes in tiny implantable devices for treating and monitoring diseases.

 

CLINICAL PHARMACY
University of Southern California

One student will have an opportunity to work at USC’s Center for Health Professions and School of Pharmacy. Under the guidance of Associate Professor Mel Baron, PharmD, MPA, the student will complete research on health literacy in the community as well as clinical pharmacy. The student will also assist in the creative development of educational novellas (comic books) which will help inform school aged children about various health issues. The goal of this project is for the student to gain an understanding of how to improve health education for patients from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

 

COMPUTER SCIENCE
University of California, Los Angeles

Two students will have an opportunity to work with UCLA adjunct professor and head of the Laboratory for Advanced Systems Research (LASR), Dr. Peter Reiher. THE LASR conducts important research in many areas related to networks, operating systems, and distributed system. Under Dr. Reiher’s guidance, students will not only gain a better understanding of computer and network security, but will also learn about advanced network attack and defense mechanisms.

 

DATA SCIENCE & MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT
University of Southern California’s Integrated Media Systems Center

Within USC’s Integrated Media Systems Center, students will have the exciting opportunity to learn, use, and develop various platforms in which Big Data is collected, interpreted, and communicated. The students will work closely with a team of computer science scholars and electrical engineers under the guidance of Dr. Cyrus Shahabi, Director of Integrated Media Systems Center, Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Director of USC’s Information Laboratory, and co-founder of Geosemble Technologies, to research data-driven solutions for real-world application. Dr. Shahabi and his brilliant team will lead our students as they explore geo-spatial metadata-security systems, social media through geocrowdsourcing video data, patterns of patient mobility-health, and/or transportation sensor data.

 

DEBRIS FLOW
California Institute of Technology

This is an opportunity to work with the Michael Lamb Surface Processes Group in geomorphology. Often unpredictable and dangerous, fast moving debris flow occurs after heavy rainfall or forest fires on steep terrains. Utilizing a large scale mechanical flume, students will apply their knowledge of physics and geology to analyze varying environments conducive for debris flow.

 

DEPENDENCY & DELINQUENCY LAW

Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court

Students had the opportunity to explore the legalities of dependency and delinquency law with Judge Michael Nash and Attorney Lilia Alvarez Romo along with their team of research attorneys. Judge Nash has been an unwavering advocate for children for over 10 years. He has created transparency within the world of adoptions through his judgeship since 1990. Within the Los Angeles Juvenile Courts, students created motions, evaluated depositions, observed in court, and learned the intricate procedures of juvenile law.

 

EARTH / SPACE SCIENCES
University of California, Los Angeles

Students had the opportunity to work with Dr. Aradhna Tripati, Professor of Earth/Space Sciences, at UCLA. Dr. Tripati’s research group uses the sedimentary record to address fundamental questions about the dynamics of climate change, both past and future. The chosen applicants worked on the development and application of novel geochemical tools to document and understand the evolution of temperature, ice volume, and pH. The research focused on applying innovative experimental approaches in order to use the geologic record as a rich laboratory for the study of climate processes. The primary tools used were the new ‘clumped isotope’ thermometer and the elemental composition of carbonates. The students also integrated geochemical measurements with field-based observations, sedimentologic and micropaleontologic data, and models.

 

ETHNOMUSICOLOGY
University of California, Los Angeles

One student had the opportunity to work with Dr. Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy and Aaron Bittel in the department of Ethnomusicology at UCLA. Dr. Catlin-Jairazbhoy has a background in Classical and non-classical music of South and Southeast Asians and Asian-Americans; field methodology; Ethnographic Film in Ethnomusicology; music and the sacred; and applied and public sector Ethnomusicology. The student worked in the Ethnomusicology Music Archive for three weeks. The archive houses more than 100,000 audiovisual recordings; a large collection of unique instruments from different parts of the world; a research laboratory with audiovisual, computing and electronic equipment that enables faculty and students to conduct psycho-acoustical research as well as edit and create audiovisual recordings; and a publications program that publishes an occasional journal and audiovisual materials on topics of importance in the field of music.

 

HOUSING POLICIES & VETERAN HOMELESSNESS

Inner City Law Center

Within a non-profit legal setting, students had the chance to learn about the inner workings of a law center dedicated to social justice. Under the guidance of Lisa Mead, Director of Pro-Bono at the Inner City Law Center and formerly USC Gould School of Law Dean of Students, the selected applicants joined a team of attorneys, paralegals, and law clerks to help realize equity within various housing environments for veterans and local Los Angeles communities. Success stories highlight the invaluable impact this non-profit has on disenfranchised communities. Students had the opportunity to attend seminars, observe civil and criminal court trials, and have direct insight to the legalities of social justice. Students helped the legal staff through analyzing research, reviewing court documents, and performing administrative tasks as needed.

 

INTERACTIVE LEARNING ABOUT THE UNIVERSE
California Institute of Technology

This is an astronomy popularization project for two students in the group led by Prof. S. G. Djorgovski at Caltech.

The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a sky browser developed by Microsoft Research. It allows a user to explore the sky at a variety of scales and wavelengths and to learn about interesting celestial objects. One nice feature of the WWT is that anyone can create “tours”—multi-media presentations that use it as a platform to showcase or explain particular kinds of astronomical objects, phenomena, etc. (for example, galaxies, supernova remnants, and so on). These tours can then be used as great educational and public outreach devices.

The goal of this project is to create a number of such tours that can be shared publicly. The presentation level should be about what a high school student would understand—think of it as explaining some astronomical bit to your friends—and it should be both fun to make and fun to watch.

 

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN
Art Center College of Design, Pasadena

The industrial design profession encompasses the fields of product, transportation, entertainment, concept and environmental design. Automobiles, sporting goods, electronics, toys and games, clothing, housewares, medical products, entertainment, technology and furniture are just some of the products that industrial designers create. During this three-week program, students participated in design projects and learned design methodologies including research, concept development, refinement and final design and presentation. Students were introduced to basic sketching and modeling techniques and attended presentations by professional designers.

 

INTEGRATED MEDIA SYSTEMS CENTER
University of Southern California

Two students will have an opportunity to work with Dr. Luciano Nocera, a Senior Research Associate and the Associate Director of the Integrated Media System Center (IMSC) at USC. IMSC is an informatics research center that focuses on data-driven solutions for real-world applications. Researchers are motivated by the need to address fundamental Data Science problems related to applications with major societal impact. Students will have the opportunity to participate in two research projects, one aimed at measuring human performance using a combination of wearables and Microsoft Kinect, and a second aimed at processing oil and gas streaming data to identify erroneous data and replace erroneous values with expected values inferred by modeling historical data.

 

MEDIA RELATIONS & SOCIAL MEDIA
USC Marshall School of Business

Under the guidance of Associate Dean Evie Lazzarino, a student gained an introductory view into the world of communications at the USC Marshall School of Business by assisting with research, writing news releases and other communications materials, and performing social media tasks, including monitoring Facebook and Twitter. In addition, the student performed competitive market research and developed and managed informational databases for future study. Duties also included administrative support as needed.

 

NEUROSCIENCE
University of California, Los Angeles

A student will have an opportunity to work with accomplished medicinal chemist and Associate Professor, Dr. Varghese John, Senior Staff Scientist, Patricia Spilman, and Lab Manager, Jesus Campagna at the Drug Discovery & Translational Laboratory in the Department of Neurology at UCLA. The laboratory is focused on discovery and development of drug candidates for neurodegenerative diseases primarily for Alzheimer’s disease. Students will gain more knowledge about Brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, learn about new drug discovery research being done in the lab to find cures, and get involved in some lab work.

 

NON-PROFIT LEADERSHIP
CoachArt

One student will have an opportunity to work with Program Director, Argelis Ortiz, at CoachArt. CoachArt is a non-profit organization which creates a transformative arts and athletics community for families impacted by childhood chronic illness. Under the direct guidance of Mr. Ortiz, the student will assist in identifying research-based volunteer program models and develop a potential volunteer model and recruitment plan for the organization. Additionally, the student will work with two amazing Program Coordinators, Emily and Erick, to gain exposure to the inner workings of a large non-profit event and plan the logistics and recruitment for CoachArt’s Annual All-Star Sports showcase. Finally, the student will participate in community outreach and funding efforts to learn more about non-profit development and the importance of community involvement in building a successful non-profit.

 

PEDIATRIC MEDICAL RESEARCH
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Students will work in the laboratory of Dr. Henri Ford of Pediatric Surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Students will study the pathogenesis of necrotizing enterocolitis, a devastating intestinal disease in premature infants. The students will work with experts in intestinal physiology, molecular biology, and functional genomics. The focus of the research activity is to look at molecular pathways that predispose the intestinal barrier to destruction.

 

SHOCK WAVE FOCUSING
University of Southern California

During this seven-week program, students worked with Dr. Eliasson and her research team to study shock focusing with applications to sport science. In a laboratory experiment, a projectile from a gas gun impacts onto a sample that contains a water-filled cavity. A shock wave is generated in the water and will transmit to the surrounding solid structure. The goal of this research is to understand how shock wave propagation in water-filled cavities influence the dynamic response of a surrounding structure. The experiments involve high-speed photography and post-processing of material samples. Students assisted in the shock experiments and worked on post-processing high-speed photographs as well as the impacted structure.

 

The EXPLORE Program is not sponsored or endorsed by California Institute of Technology; University of California, Los Angeles; Art College of Design; or University of Southern California.

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