SURF 2012

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This page is intended for students working on SURF projects in the Summer of 2011. Mainly for meet to keep track of everything that is going on.


Student Mini-group Co-mentor(s) Project Comments
Giordano, Giulia Biocircuits Elisa Biomolecular rate–regulator circuits
Jose, Alex Robotics Scott, Pavithra Formal verification of patching algorithms for SLAM tasks
Kar, Shaunak Biocircuits Jongmin Regulation of in-vitro transcriptional networks with target molecules: A modular approach 14 May start
Kheterpal, Ishan Biocircuits Dan Analysis and Construction of Novel Bistable Switches
Lundin, Patrik Biocircuits Jongmin Reverse engineering of cell function
Motta, Paulo Biocircuits Enoch Effects of circuit "layout" on circuit dynamics
Nilsson, Adam Robotics Andrea
Ripellino, Giulia Biocircuits Vanessa Predicting Evolution of Resistance in Bacterial Systems in the Presence of Macrolide Antibiotic
Rogersten, Robert NCS Mumu, Necmiye Aircraft Electric Power System Modeling
Spooner, Nick NCS Necmiye, Ufuk Evaluation and benchmarking for robot motion planning problems using TuLiP
Viswanadham, Vinay Biocircuits Dan Understanding Feedback and System-Level Activity in Toxin-Antitoxin Systems 4 June start
  • iGEM: Brown, Julia; Knister, Kathryn; Lin, Daisy; Pursifull, Edward; Qiu, Chenxi; Su, Ashley; Tsai, Debra

Meetings on 19-21 June

  • SURF orientation
  • 10:00 - Introductions. 114 Steele
  • 12:00 - SURF seminar
  • 1:30 - Caltech safety briefing (mandatory)
  • 2:30 - Keck lab safety briefing (mandatory for biocircuits students)
  • 10:00-12:00 - Biocircuits subgroup meeting, 110 Steele
  • 12:00 - Group meeting, 114 Steele
  • 4:00-6:00 - NCS/Robotics subgroup meeting, 110 Steele
  • Research!

Original project descriptions

This section contains a list of project areas where I will be supervising projects this year. (OBSOLETE:) It contains a list of project areas where I will be supervising projects this year along with information about how to apply for a SURF project in my group.

Applying for a SURF project

Because I get many students interested in doing SURFs in my group and because we have several projects available, we use the first few weeks in January to sort out who we will work with in writing proposals. We only submit one proposal per project area and so we often can't accommodate everyone who wants to work in my group over the summer.

If you are interested in doing a SURF in my group for summer 2012, here's what you need to do:

  1. A list of SURF project descriptions is given in the table below. Due to the number of SURF projects that we support, we are only able to support students who select from among these projects. Please make sure to read the project descriptions, required skills (if any) and skim a few of the listed references before contacting me about doing a SURF project.
  2. If you see some projects that you are interested in and have the right background to undertake, you should contact me via e-mail by 11 Jan (Wed) and provide the following information:
    • A list of up to three SURF projects from the table below that you are interested in working on
    • A one page resume listing relevant experience and coursework
    • If you are not a Caltech student, I will also need the following additional information:
      • An unofficial copy of your academic transcript
      • Names of two faculty members at your current institution that I can contact for a reference
  3. Starting on 12 January, I will go through all applications and work with my group to identify who is a possible fit for each project. We will then contact you and ask for you to meet (or talk with) possible co-mentors so that we can eventually work out who we will work with in writing up a proposal.
  4. We hope to make final decisions on projects by about 23 Jan, at which point we will start working with students on writing up proposals.
  5. All applications should go through the normal SURF application process, described at SURF applications are due on 22 Feb 2012.
  6. If you are selected for a SURF, please be aware of the following information
    • All SURF projects in my group will start on 19 Jun (Tue). If you can't start on that date, please make sure that you indicate this when you contact me
    • All SURF projects are for a minimum of 10 weeks, although I usually recommend that you try to stay for 12 weeks if possible (at no additional pay). It's hard to complete a project in just 10 weeks and spending a few extra weeks can greatly improve the project.
    • All SURF students in my group will be expected to devote full-time effort to their SURF project, so you cannot have a second job in addition to your SURF.

List of available projects

Title Grant/Project Co-Mentors Comments
Design and construction of novel synthetic biochemical switches ICB Dan Siegal-Gaskins
Understanding feedback in bacterial toxin–antitoxin systems ICB Dan Siegal-Gaskins
Formal verification of patching algorithms for SLAM tasks Boeing Scott Livingston, Pavithra Prabhakar
Aircraft electric power system modeling in SIMULINK/Stateflow Boeing Ufuk Topcu, Mumu Xu, Necmiye Ozay
Evaluation and benchmarking for robot motion planning problems using TuLiP Boeing Ufuk Topcu, Necmiye Ozay, Pavithra Prabhakar
International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition BE/Rosen Emzo de los Santos, Nate Glasser, Joe Meyerowitz Group project; 1 slot remaining (of 8)
Improved safety and reliability of robotic systems TBD Andrea Censi
Synthetic biology in a cell-free expression system MPP Jongmin Kim
Biomolecular rate-regulator circuits MPP Elisa Franco (UCR)
Effects of circuit "layout" on circuit dynamics ICB Enoch Yeung 2 projects available: experimental and computational