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This award, which recognizes females planning on pursuing advanced studies in chemistry, computer science and physics, funds up to 10 weeks of a directed research project with a faculty mentor. The award covers a student stipend and an allowance for equipment and supplies. The purpose of the program is to encourage more women to participate in meaningful science research opportunities as early as possible in their academic careers.

2015 Recipients

Alex Betrus ’18
Mentor: Assistant Professor of Chemistry Max Majireck
Development of Transannular Hydroamination Strategies for the Synthesis of Pyrrolizidines and Related Nitrogen Heterocycles

Alex Betrus ’18 will continue research established by a previous Clare Booth Luce Scholar (Esther Cleary) on developing a general synthetic approach toward a class of neurologically active compounds containing pyrrolizidine ring systems.  Besides investigating synthetic methodology, Betrus will test the biological activity of each of her products to understand what molecular features correlate with neuroactivity. This data will provide insights into the synthesis of new analogues with improved biological activity.


Vi Pham ’18
Mentor: Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dan Griffith

Pham will develop an efficient synthetic approach to compounds inspired by a family of biologically-active alkaloids. This approach is highlighted by the deployment of novel cycloaddition reactions that could rapidly create molecular complexity from simple starting materials. Should this approach prove successful, a library of structural analogues would be prepared and evaluated for their biological activity.

Katherine Fuzesi ’17 and Emily Sears ’17
Mentor: Professor of Computer Science Mark Bailey

Katherine Fuzesi ’17 and Emily Sears ’17 will focus on developing a web-based integrated development environment for the Python language. The environment will enable students to develop Python-based web apps without technological restrictions. The project will include a syntax-sensitive editor, integrated analysis tools to help students write high-quality code and find programming errors, and simplified graphical environment for building engaging applications. The project requires a working knowledge of JavaScript, Python, Ajax and CGI programming, and a strong background in mathematics.


Linnea Sahlberg ’17
Mentor: Stuart Hirshfield, the Stephen Harper Kirner Professor of Computer Science
Development of a Python-Based Machine Learning Experimentation Suite

Linnea Sahlberg ’17 will create a Python program to take data from any of the fNIRS devices, and to extract features and run machine learning, basic statistics, and do basic graph generation, on the data. This will allow us to perform cross-device comparisons.


Isabella Schoning ’16
Mentor: Associate Professor of Physics Brian Collett

Isabella Schoning ’16 will be working on re-instrumenting the Ebert spectrometer, continuing the work of Will Robbins. This will involve becoming familiar with the instrument and replacing the computer that controls the stepper motor system. She will create a new user interface and should increase the resolution of the instrument by a factor between 4 and 10. This will give us an instrument that can measure the spectral splitting between Hydrogen and Deuterium to reasonable precision and can be used for studies of molecular emission spectra which provide direct insight in the quantum mechanical harmonic oscillator.

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