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Recipients from 3rd TSG Cycle

Below is the list of the fourteen recipients from this cycle of the seed grants, including those funded under the Original TSG, Health & Welfare (CTSI) TSG and Diversity TSG tracks.

Spring 2012 Recipients:

There is a separate column to draw attention to those projects that were selected for the Health & Welfare (CTSI) and/or Diversity tracks.

Collaborators(Departmenantt)  Title of Project  Diversity  CTSI  Summary of Project 

Aaron A. Burke
(Cotsen Institute of Archaeology)

Felix Höflmaye
(Deutsche Archaeologische Institut - Orient Department)

Brita Lorentzen 
(Cornell University - Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)

Joshua Feinberg (University of Minnesota - Earth Sciences)

Radiocarbon Chronology and the Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean


Recent developments in radiocarbon analysis now permit for the derivation of precise dates for Late Bronze Age contexts in the eastern Mediterranean, which up until recent years were not possible owing to a number of factors. Consequently, for several decades archaeologists and scholars did not systematically collect samples from archaeological contexts dating to this period, assuming that they could not be analyzed. Subsequent developments in radiocarbon analysis, notably calibrations using other dating techniques, such as dendrochronology, for the first time permit a reassessment of the chronology of the eastern Mediterranean, in a fashion undertaken for earlier and even later periods. The proposed collaboration seeks to employ specialists from a range of disciplines to analyze samples from the southern Levant (Israel, Jordan, and southern Syria) and their contexts in order to work toward a more accurate dating of those contexts and, consequently, the refinement of the central chronology for this region, notably Egyptian chronology during the New Kingdom.

Li Cai

Christopher Layne

Margaret L. Stuber

Ivo Dinov

Noelle Griffin

Richard Mayer
(UCSB – Psychology)

Interactive Data Visualization Tools for Evidence-Based Decision Making: Training Health Practitioners in Essential Assessment Skills


Significant initiatives are underway nationwide to provide competency-based training in evidence-based practice (EBP) to mental health practitioners. Competence in EBP in mental health requires the integration both "clinical proficiency" skills and "data proficiency" skills in assessment, which must be reflected by the training curriculum. Currently there is, however, a lack of progress in developing and evaluating training methods for building data proficiency. In this proposed research, the SAMHSA-funded National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), headquartered at UCLA within the David Geffen School of Medicine, is collaborating with the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST), located within the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, to spearhead the development and pilot-testing of two computer-based data proficiency training modules for mental health practitioners participating in the current NCTSN learning collaborative. The aim of these innovative instructional modules is to build traumainformed assessment skills in mental health practitioners. The development and evaluation of the modules will draw heavily on principles of multimedia instructional design that is at the intersection of cognitive psychology, learning science, and computer technology. Piloting the modules will assist the NCTSN learning collaborative to increase assessment-related competencies among nine NCTSN sites across the country. This proposed project is the first in a series of collaborative projects being planned between NCTSN and CRESST to pursue major external funding to extend this work by developing additional training modules, new evaluation methods, and capacities to disseminate the R&D results and the curriculum on a national scale.

Jernej Copic

Gerard Wong
(Bioengineering + Chemistry and Biochemistry)

A microeconomic approach to understanding and controlling antibiotic-resistant infections from bacterial communities



Diane Favro
(Architecture and Urban Design)

Ertugrul Taciroglu 
(Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Anthony Caldwell
(Architecture and Urban Design)

Reverse Engineering History: Structural Analysis of The Lighthouse at Alexandria


The impossibly high Lighthouse at Alexandria (280- 247 BCE) was one of the seven wonders of the classical world. Destroyed by earthquakes in the 14th century CE, it became a symbol of engineering bravura, and mystery. How did the ancients erect a masonry structure towering over 120 meters in height? How was it designed? Unfortunately, evidence is scant and existing descriptions conflicting. None of the numerous reconstructions of the Lighthouse has closely considered how engineering impacted the design and functionality of this great structure. Working together, an architectural historian, engineer, and architect will create a computer model of the Lighthouse that can be tested using validated simulation tools to evaluate wind resistance, statics, seismic strength, and other factors. Such a physics based approach will enrich the understanding of this important historical building and underscore the value of humanistic and scientific research integration.

Daniel Fessler

Marco Iacoboni
(Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences)

Colin Holbrook

Keise Izuma
(Cal. Institute of Technology – Neuroscience)

Reducing Group Prejudice with Neuromodulation



Matthew Fisher

Tamar Boyadjian 
(Young Research Library)

Ani Nahapetia
(Computer Science)

Comparative Text Classification and the Literary Geography of Otherness, 1100 - 1500


This project sets out to explore the processes by which literary texts registered the growth of the inter-connected cultural worlds of medieval Europe and the medieval Middle East by using software-based classification analysis, innovative visualization methods, and carefully curated corpora of already digitized medieval texts.

Todd Franke
(Social Welfare)

Deborah Estrin 
(Computer Science and Electrical Engineering)

Bonnie Zima 
(Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences)

Optimizing Early Stimulant Medication Treatment Using Real-time Hyperactivity Ratings from a Portable 3-D Motion Sensor: A Small Feasibility Pilot


This project seeks to adapt the Fitbit, a small clip-on 3-D motion sensor that quantifies fitness activity level, to optimize early stimulant medication treatment for children receiving care for Attention/Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in publicly-funded mental health clinics. Specifically, to the team will customize the open-source application for the Fitbit to gather real-time data from the 3-D motion sensor to provide objective, aggregated ratings of a child's hyperactivity during time intervals that are clinically relevant to stimulant medication titration decisions (i.e., morning instruction in the classroom, afternoon "homework time," bedtime when worsening of insomnia may indicate a medication side effect). The existing application is promising for use by parents and clinicians because it quantifies physical activity in easy to understand terms, such as the number of steps taken, calories burned, and distance traveled. Using an open source platform, aggregated data from the Fitbit will be graphically displayed on a secured web dashboard that will be accessible by the clinician via a password protected link. With this technology, we envision that the clinician will be able to review the child's hyperactivity level on a line graph at specific intervals or aggregated across multiple days.  If feasible, further development of this intervention has the potential to improve stimulant medication treatment in a variety of ways.

Sandra Graham

Jaana Juvonen 

Meredith Phillips 
(Public Policy)

Transition to High School in Los Angeles: Opportunities and Risks

x x

The team will capitalize on an existing longitudinal data set that has followed these youth over the three years of middle school, gathering rich data on their psychosocial adjustment in middle schools that vary in racial/ethnic diversity. With a strong focus on academic achievement, the new project will examine course taking patterns in 9th grade in the wake of new graduation requirements, the timing of academic milestones (e.g., passing Algebra I, which is a gatekeeper to other required math courses), the role of cross-ethnic friends as peer social capital who facilitate the flow of important educational information across ethnic boundaries, and the extent to which racialized academic tracking might limit the mixing opportunities of students (and peer social capital) even in ethnically diverse high schools. The study will  provide new insights into the challenges that ethnic minority adolescents face as they negotiate the high school transition during this time of dramatic changes in graduation requirements. The team expects that the results can have useful implications for developing practices and policies that promote academic engagement and college readiness for all students.

Michael Heim
(Slavic Languages and Cultures, Comparative Literature)

Ka-Kit Hui 
(UCLA Center for East West Medicine)

Sonya Pritzker 
(UCLA Center for East West Medicine)

Best Practices in the Translation of Integrative East-West Medicine


This project establishes a set of linguistically, culturally, and clinically sensitive guidelines for the translation of material from Chinese to English and English to Chinese in the field of integrative East-West medicine. The work will serve as a key preliminary step in the longer-term development of an international group of bilingual scholar-clinicians who can participate, through translation, in the responsible integration of modern Western medicine with traditional Chinese medicine in clinical practice, education, and research.

Barbara Lawrence
(Management and Organizations)

Mark Stephen Handcock

Lifting the Fog: Networks of Career Opportunity for Minorities


This project studies how social capital and networks effect minority careers in a large organization using a novel statistical reconstruction approach.

Francis A. Longstaff
(Anderson Graduate School of Management)

Leo Meyer 
(Physics and Astronomy)

Andrea M. Ghez 
(Physics and Astronomy )

R. Michael Rich 
(Physics and Astronomy)

Identifying different dynamical regimes of the accretion flow around the Galactic supermassive Black Hole



Ellen Pearlstein
(Information Studies)

Miguel García-Garibay(Chemistry and Biochemistry)

Kevin J. McGraw 
(Arizona State University - Life Sciences)

Melissa Hughs 
(Chemistry and Biochemistry)

Identification and measurement of chemical and microstructural changes in bird feathers as early markers of light induced degradation


Specialists in museum conservation collaborate with photochemists and bird biologists to advance methods for the preservation of undyed feathers in museum displays. Feathers are found in collections of tribal arts from the Americas, Africa, and the Pacific; contemporary art; European and American century fashion; and taxidermy and ornithology research specimens. Museum standards for display lighting for feathers are the subject of recent study by the project P.I., however all evidence thus far has been based on visual changes with chemical changes inferred. This study will evaluate whether a variety of chemical and microstructural analytical techniques can successfully be used to measure degradation in white unpigmented feathers and in brilliant red carotenoid pigmented feathers. Feathers will be exposed to three different spectral distributions of light at different time increments, with photochemical and microstructural analysis undertaken to identify the first instances of degradation. Results will be used to calibrate the expected appearance of exposed and unexposed feathers when viewed with the commonly available non-destructive museum examination method of UV induced visible fluorescence (black light). The outcomes will allow museum stewards to assess degradative changes in feathers and correlate these to light exposure, leading to improved preservation strategies.




Collaborators (Department)  Title of Project-Renewals  Diversity  CTSI  Summary of Project 

Giorgio Buccellati
(Near Eastern languages and Cultures)

Pasquale Scandizzo
(Universita' Tor Vergata, Roma 2 – Economics)

The Modern Face of an Ancient City. Sustainable economic development of Mesopotanian archaelogical site - Phase 2

    This project renews the commitment to the development of a large Eco-archaeological Park on the site of ancient Urkesh, a Mesopotamian city (4000-1300 B.C.), in eastern Syria. In the renewal phase, the team will gather stakeholders for a series of workshops and publish a volume on the findings, establish a website as a public communications tool, and begin a pilot project at the center site of Mozan, which will be the first of 22 sites within the park. Each site within the 54km park will serve as a mini-museum for one aspect of ancient life, such as ceramics or textiles. Villagers will market modern counterparts of similar products to visitors of the Park. By integrating the economic approach to management of ancient sites, the Park will be the first large-scale interdisciplinary research project in the region involving complementary relations between conservation, archaeology, tourism, agriculture, economics and local service.

Gabriel Greenberg

Rory Kelly
(Film Television and Digital Media)

Sam Cumming (Philosophy)

The Semantics of Film Narrative: Emotional Structure


We propose to apply the theory of "discourse semantics" from computational linguistics to analysis of emotional structure in film narrative. Drawing insights from film studies, linguistics, and philosophy, we hope to illuminate the cognitive science underlying emotional expression in film, as well as the nature of narrative generally.