Advanced Authentic Research

Projects (2016-17)

Henry M. Gunn and Palo Alto High School AAR student researcher have submitted the research questions they are investigating for the academic year of 2016-17, which are listed below. Student projects are guided by external mentors and internal AAR mentor teacher who are on site; The content of the project is guided by mentors who are experts in the field while the process-based research curriculum is facilitated by the AAR mentor teachers. 

Business

How can Apple’s 2001 iPod marketing strategies be used to advertise products of silicon valley’s newest tech companies?

The goal of this project is to determine whether the previous marketing strategies of successful products can be applied to current products. In 2007, the original iPhone was released and it seized markets shares from companies that dominated the smartphone market. The project will entail surveying people of different demographics about the competitiveness of Apple's original iPhone marketing... Read More

Business

How can companies strategically and tactically set the most optimized pricing structure for consumer products for both online stores and offline retail channels?

Pricing hugely influences a company’s profit. In fact, a 1% price decrease can results in 10-15% decrease in operating profit. The 4Ps (pricing, product, place, promotion) ultimately dictates a product life expectancy, brand image, competitive strength and market share. This research project is to establish a financial model, conduct market competitive research, research on price elasticity to... Read More

Business

How can we market new goods and products to most effectively target Palo Alto High School students?

This study aims to determine the best and most effective way to target high schoolers from Palo Alto High School in order to market a new social media application. High school students are a very enticing audience for new social media applications as their influence carries far to friends, family, and often, pop culture. Thus, finding a reliable way to market products to high schoolers enables... Read More

Business

How did the Federal Reserve affect the U.S. economy during the Great Depression and 2008 recession?

This research aims to examine financial policy decisions made during the Great Depression and 2008 recession, two of the largest financial crises in America’s history. While there have been numerous investigations regarding these crises, the goal of this research is to go beyond why the crash happened and analyze the mechanics of the monetary policies the Federal Reserve implemented in order... Read More

Business

How do sales/ marketing representatives use R&D investments to help market their products?

This research project entails surveying financial institutions around the Bay Area to investigate where they are currently placing their investments. Through this qualitative research, the survey will likely be a mix of short answer and multiple choice questions. The results analyzed from this survey will be used to develop an investment strategy for a company called Digital Insight. This... Read More

Business

How do semiconductor companies influence the economy?

This research project is an analysis of tech manufacturer companies in the Silicon Valley and how they impact the California economy which is about $2.5 trillion USD. This project will focus on how much revenue these companies make and how many people they employ because both of these are two major components of our economy.

Business

How has the increased use of technology affect company's branding styles?

This project will study the factors influencing success and failure in the branding of companies, corporate and small. Two case studies will be conducted on a selected company that has succeeded in good branding endeavors and a company that has failed. In addition, effective re-branding will be investigated.

Business

How have marketing strategies of large corporations differed in developing countries versus in first world countries in the scope of the past two decades?

In the 21st century, “superpower” countries have the ability to advance exponentially while developing countries, without the proper resources to fully modernize, may only progress marginally. As a result of this difference in the rate of progress, the method in which revolutionary ideas or products are marketed to consumers is affected. This study aims to determine which aspects of a country’... Read More

Business

In addition to the price to earnings ratios dominant effect on a stock’s price, does a company’s balance sheet information, namely, cash flow, have a further effect?

This research project will be investigating the relationship between a company's cash flow from operations and its future earnings in order to determine whether the market under appreciates the CFO variable. There will be two parts to this investigation.

1. In setting the stock price of a company, does the market consider CFO an incrementally "value-relevant" piece of information,... Read More

Business

What are the factors behind the rising prescription drug prices in America?

This research project is aimed at identifying the major factors behind the rising prescription drug prices in America. The data for this project will be pulled from case studies articles on relevant FDA regulations, real life examples of inflation of drugs, and the affect it has on populations in America. Once sufficient data is collected, a comprehensive report of these findings will be... Read More

Business

What are the results of NAFTA for the U.S. and other participating countries in terms of GDP from small businesses, and what could this mean for high-capital industry in Palo Alto if the TPP goes into effect?

This research project is a historical analysis of examining data from the past few decades which will be used to compare the effectiveness of NAFTA and CUSFTA. More specifically, international trade deals on steel will be compared to the current American views on international trade deals.

Business

How can a transportation market optimize ways to dispatch drivers to passengers while maximizing efficiency and revenue?

With large companies like Uber and Lyft that rely on taxi dispatch optimization, it is very important to find the optimal way to dispatch drivers to passengers while maximizing efficiency and revenue. This research project will entail conducting analysis to write a simple and cost-effective computer algorithms to put into a simulation by measuring which ones make the most revenue.

Business

What is a feasible financial plan for the Palo Alto Airport's next three Airport Days?

This research project is aimed at creating a promotional video and an educational short film for the Palo Alto Airport to post on their website for a showcase for Airport Day while reaching out to schools with an interesting approach. To curate the most appropriate material, an online survey will be conducted through a controlled demographic regarding what aspects in advertisements and... Read More

Business

What is the feasibility of starting a housing venture in college residents in Portland? Connect these findings to why college housing opportunities aren't as prevalent in the Silicon Valley.

This project is investigating the feasibility of buying a house and renting it to college students in residential areas surrounding colleges and universities. Some college students report having a hard time finding housing near their campuses. One goal of the research project is to investigate housing trends and alternatives. Additionally, this project is analyzing housing data in areas near... Read More

Business

What is the most effective way to cross-sell Google Cloud Platform to Google Apps customers (and vice versa) to increase customer loyalty and engagement?

The ability to cross-sell products allows a company to increase customer engagement and loyalty, ensuring the sustainability of a company and the success of its products. Through careful competitive analysis, Google Cloud will be able to make more informed decisions regarding cross-sales methods and implementation. Research is done in two parts: analyzing competing companies and surveying... Read More

Business

What is the most efficient way to dispatch taxis to optimize time and maximize revenue?

With large companies like Uber and Lyft relying on taxi dispatch optimization, it has become important to find the most optimal way to dispatch drivers to passengers, while maximizing efficiency and revenue. The research will commence with writing simple and cost-effect computer algorithms that will be put into a simulation to find which ones would make the most revenue. Whereas previous... Read More

Business

What is the potential of machine learning in analyzing financial data to make better risk-informed decisions?

The research focuses on collecting and analyzing data sets on corporate and consumer finance from existing data sets to provide pretext for the impact of artificial intelligence. The subcategory of AI in this research is machine learning, and applies to various parts of the financial services industry for both consumers and businesses.

Business

What marketing strategies are most effective in recruiting AAR students with diverse interests?

This research will focus on inclusive marketing and the strategies that make it a successful technique. Using the information gained from a literature review, this project will involve analyzing and applying the practices of inclusive marketing to attract student to non-STEM research projects in AAR.

Social Science

What policies are most effective in managing smartphone use by high school students while retaining the beneficial aspects of smartphones? What are strategies that students employ regarding smartphones in an academic learning environment that are most effective?

With cellphones playing an increasing role in the lives of students, their presence is inevitably felt in the classroom setting. Most research has pointed to the negative effects of cell phones in classrooms, claiming that GPA and test scores have improved, and even that the “achievement gap” is closed, when cellphones are banned in class. However, cell phones also have potential to augment a... Read More

Social Science

Analyzing Perception of Satisfaction of Artwork

This project is focused on interpreting an artist's relationship to their work. A diverse collection of artists will be surveyed to collect the details of their feeling towards their art pieces throughout the stages until completion.

Social Science

Does relativity affect voter preferences in primary and local elections?

This research project tests whether Asymmetrical Dominance affects candidate choices. It is common in Behavioral Economics and Psychology to study how things influence behavior, however, in political science it is less common. One goal of this research is to identify whether this principal can make a difference in elections.

Social Science

Examining variables that measure seismic safety in Palo Alto High School's buildings.

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, a location of high seismic potential, this research project will investigate the potential seismic hazard of school buildings is important for the safety of students and staff. Using a handbook that guides the evaluation (screening) process of buildings to estimate their potential seismic hazard, this research project can check if any Palo Alto High School... Read More

Social Science

How can Palo Alto Senior High school work to address gap in diversity within laned and unlaned classes?

This research project looks at ways that courses and teaching staff affect class diversity between honors and regular courses. The goal is to find ways to encourage students that are traditionally underrepresented to enroll in H/AP classes. After collecting data from master schedules, AP results, and enrollment trends, interviews will be conducted involving the faculty and students to combine... Read More

Social Science

How can statistics be used to better understand injuries to baseball athletes?

The purpose of this research will be to analyze statistics regarding baseball-related injuries and apply the data to the epidemic of shoulder and elbow injuries to athletes. A list of factors that contribute to the problem that is spreading throughout the country will be compiled through individual interviews and team surveys. Previously conducted research will be cited as sources to aid in... Read More

Social Science

How can we find a way to incorporate physical therapy into the clubfoot treatment, which can be understood by any language and without internet access, for kids in developing countries in the most effective way?

This project is investigating how to successfully implement an effective physical therapy program, specifically implement one into the end miraclefeet treatment. A key consideration of this project is to develop an implementation plan that is easily accessible across different languages, cultures, socioeconomic status, etc.

Social Science

How do different teaching styles affect student engagement in middle school math classes?

Achievement in math is one of the most salient predictors of future success for school-age students, but students who lack access to academic support and resources such as tutoring services are often left behind. In the past, educators like Stanford Mathematics Education professor Jo Boaler have implemented blended learning structures in school curriculum with significant success but have... Read More

Social Science

How do the effects of subliminal perception impact gender-neutral advertisements?

This project will study the effects that subliminal cues or subtle signals have in decision making regarding gender-neutral advertisements. The study will entail modifying advertisements slightly to target either men or women with keywords and images commonly associated with both genders. The examination of data (based on a survey), will provide evidence as to whether these cues have impacted... Read More

Social Science

How do the growth mindsets of Palo Alto High School students correlate with their susceptibility to gender stereotype threat?

A student's growth mindset and their susceptibility to gender stereotype threat both have a strong influence over the student's academic achievements. This research project will survey a random sample of Palo Alto High School students, analyzing their level of growth mindset and the amount to which they identify with stereotypes that correspond with their reported gender. The purpose of this... Read More

Social Science

How does has the innovation of the personal computer (a.k.a. creative destruction, market-creating innovation) affected industries in the past and present? What can we predict from other, more current, effects based on this knowledge?

The aim of this research is to demonstrate both how disruptive innovations affect industries as well as how they have affected people’s daily lives. To collect data, two methods will be used. The first method is a statistical analysis of the regression and correlation between the profit margins of the companies that innovated in a destructive way and that of companies that failed to capitalize... Read More

Social Science

How does language used by retailers affect adolescent consumers?

How does medium affect message? Short stories and novels are two distinctly different forms of literature — one is just a few thousand words long and focuses on a crucial decision or moment in a character's life; novels details the development of multiple characters over a longer period of time, usually in 100,000 words. This research project intends to identify the plot frameworks of both... Read More

Social Science

How does post-secondary education affect PAUSD graduates?

The study investigates how different college tier levels Palo Alto Unified School District alumni attended influenced their overall life trajectories. The data gathered through surveying high school graduates from 2004-2014 on variables including, colleges attended, gap year, majors selected, number of jobs held as well as their income level will be analyzed.

Social Science

How does prior knowledge of chemicals in pesticides affect consumer attitudes towards organic versus nonorganic food?

This research project aims to collect Palo Altans' views on organic and inorganic foods, and their consumer habits in terms of purchasing these foods. Data will be collected through an initial survey, and after conducting experiments to determine the chemical compositions and presence on a variety of organic and inorganic foods, another survey will be distributed and Palo Altans' views will be... Read More

Social Science

How does providing full day kindergarten correlate with the achievement gap?

This research project will explore the effects of full-day kindergarten on child development and achievement. Part of this research is analyzing various perspectives from literature, teachers, parents, administrators and surrounding districts.

Social Science

How does the amount of sleep affect mood and performance of high school students?

Through conducting an observational study, this project looks at how the amount of sleep a teenager receives affects their mood. This study will use a sample size of roughly fifteen students ages 14-18 from the Palo Alto Unified School District community; questions will ask them to record their amount of sleep followed by a daily mood survey. The moods that will be analyzed include... Read More

Social Science

How does the diversity of a classroom affect the mindset of students? How do the mindsets of HUR students compare to others?

This project investigates the impact ethnic diversity has on the mindsets of the students in a classroom setting. It will be a unique take on the interconnections between diversity and student mindsets with its specified take on ethnic diversity impacting mindset in the Palo Alto learning setting.

Social Science

How does the financial aid application affect higher education enrollment among students from low socioeconomic backgrounds?

This research project involves looking at the obstacles that families/individuals find in the financial aid application process. Some research has indicated that many people get confused, don't have proper information, or simply find out about their options for aid too late. This research project focuses on this issue at Palo Alto by developing materials and courses that students can take for... Read More

Social Science

How does writing capabilities compare between students with English Only background and students from non-English Only Background (English Learner, non-English speaking parents)?

The gap between the writing capabilities of native English speakers and English language learners is a serious problem. This research project will implement an online service that will help ELL students with their writing. The program will be free by way of volunteers ranging from high school, parents, and teachers. After reviewing the common core standards and the JLS writing handbook,... Read More

Social Science

How effective is personalized mentorship through technology?

The growing concern of climate change is evident in the increased carbon dioxide levels, the rising global temperature, the melting of Earth’s ice sheets, the rising sea level, ocean acidification, an increase in the number of extreme weather occurrences, and more. Using R and MatLab, this project will impose the various approaches the U.S. and other countries have taken to combat climate... Read More

Social Science

How is the globalization of social media and the rising prevalence of connectivity affecting the state of poverty in developing countries?

This research project seeks to, first, grasp the pervasiveness and consequences of rapidly globalizing social media within modern political institutions and global economies, then perform side-by-side comparisons of the effectiveness of various poverty-alleviation efforts prompted by the social media boom. The goal is to gain better understanding of the roots of poverty, then to explore the... Read More

Social Science

What affect does demographics have on phone choice?

This research project will focus on conducting research to determine which nuances and aspects of smartphones people like or dislike. This research may determine variables for multiple age ranges: 14-18 years old, 18-40 years old, and perhaps a 40+ years old range. Next, the project will gather data and information through survey based observational research. The project's overall goal is that... Read More

Social Science

What affect meditation have on perceptions of pain?

This research project questions the effect of mindfulness meditation and how it can help to reduce pain. The goal is to compare the level of pain the people rate before and after they do meditation to figure out if mindfulness meditation can help reduce the level of pain people feel/think they have felt. After asking students to stretch for 10-15 seconds, they will be asked to rate their pain... Read More

Social Science

What are effective measure PAUSD community members can take to reduce teen stress in PAUSD?

This research project will focus on gathering and analyzing data about the Wernicke's area in the superior temporal gyrus. This data will then be used to explore the differences in twins, specifically the difference when one twin has Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Social Science

What are the differences between the various types of abuse (i.e. physical, emotional, sexual, etc) and what kinds of impact can child abuse have on people later in their life?

This research project is a literature review focusing on child emotional abuse by parents. It focuses on emotional abuse because it is often underrepresented in mainstream media and perceived as less harmful, when in fact many survivors of abuse have said that emotional abuse was the most long-lasting and harmful kind of abuse they'd experienced. Additionally, this project is an effort to draw... Read More

Social Science

What are the educational outcomes of students in East Palo Alto and what variables affect these outcomes?

This project discusses the achievement gap between Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, specifically focusing on what the effects and outcomes are of children of lower-income families in underserved schools. Data from Project Rally (report cards) will be used to analyzed the effects of after-school programs on the achievement gap.

Social Science

What are the effects of discrimination and stereotype threat on growth mindset among minority students?

Stereotype threat is a prevalent issue in educational and work environments, where it may influence historically underrepresented minorities to underperform and hinder their ability to succeed to their true potential. This research project will address issues of stereotype threat by carrying out interventions. These are theoretical strategies to alleviate stereotype threat. Interventions will... Read More

Social Science

What are the effects of total school spending per student on educational outcomes in California? How can the allocation of school funding provide equitable access to education?

The goal of this project is to statistically test how the allocation of resources to the public education system in California affects educational outcomes. Using this information, a funding model that best solves the social justice issue of the “achievement gap”, or inequality in educational outcomes, will be suggested. This project will address the lack of research about the impact that per... Read More

Social Science

What are the frequency trends of marijuana substance abuse among teenagers in California?

This research project aims to assess cannabis misuse effectively by creating a survey that will be administered to Palo Alto high school students. The results will be used to compare Palo Alto high schools to the national high school trends. This will better equip entities to combat substance abuse through a clear gauge of the numbers.

Social Science

What are the most effective ways of closing the achievement gap?

This project will examine the overall effects of the achievement gap and investigate the efficient ways to diminish the gap. The impact stereotype threat has on different ethnicities as well as the role socioeconomic status contribute to the achievement gap will also be explored.

Social Science

What are the social and cognitive effects of using a dumbphone among adolescents?

Research has emerged about the disadvantages of smartphones, specifically how cellphone use in the early stages of childhood lead to harmful consequences in the future. For example, it has been explored that smartphones are harmful in leading to kids believing that their lives are less adequate and perfect than that of their peers because of social media, and that the social aspect of teens is... Read More

Social Science

What are the social-emotional effects of laning at Palo Alto High School?

This research project looks at the growing disparity between students enrolled in the ‘advanced’ and ‘lower’ lanes of each core subject, specifically math and english. The goal is to determine the types of stigmas that are created through laning, and if any demographic is particularly affected. After surveying a range of students from each grade level, we hope to be able to identify core... Read More

Social Science

What factors have historically affected the homicide rate in the United States, the rise of homicides in 2015?

Homicide in the United States has been trending downwards since at least 1990. 2014 had the lowest homicide rate in 51 years. However 2015 has had an increase in homicide rate by 10.8%. Why did this happen? This research project will attempt to answer that question by analyzing historical data and creating a model to determine what factors affect the homicide rate.

Social Science

What measures can students take to effectively alleviate academic pressure and stress? How effective is the therapy-duo model in reducing academic pressure and stress?

The topic of academic aid and support is extraordinarily prevalent in our community, as the issue of academic stress is a deeply rooted one in Palo Alto. This project is focused on combating these issues of academic stress. The product being investigated is an “Uber-style” on-demand tutoring service. It will work to efficiently match students with peer tutors whenever needed, offering a... Read More

Social Science

What variables affect a book's popularity, specifically frequency of words?

Readers and publishers are understandably fascinated with trying to figure out what makes certain novels popular and thus, more likely to be read and sold. This project is meant to figure out if there’s a correlation between the popularity of a book and the number of independently occurring words in it via examining the number of words that occur only once in “classics” which have been read... Read More

Social Science

What variables affect Bay Area students' in underserved communities access to college standardized testing materials?

While underprivileged students face an array of challenges ranging from paying the fee to submit a college application, to being able to pay for college itself, one of the first steps in the college admission process is taking college entrance exams. The SAT or ACT are generally accepted by all schools so either test is a viable option for students to take. Many students who do not have... Read More

Social Science

What variables affect East Palo Alto residents' access to healthy food?

The lack of cost-efficient healthy food options is an issue that affects the entire community of East Palo Alto. Low income communities such as East Palo Alto tend to be targeted by fast food companies through children and their schools. This may stem from many residents who have challenges in terms of accessing healthy food for reasons that range from the cost to the proximity.

Social Science

What variables affect low-income peoples' access to healthcare in California?

Although everyone has the right to access healthcare and steps have been made to make it easier to obtain for all citizens, millions of people still lack insurance. Health insurance is an extremely important thing to have, and could make it possible for people to get care when they need it without putting the financial burden onto themself or their families if the only option they have is to... Read More

Social Science

What variables affect students' educational aspirations and confidence?

Many students, even in the Bay Area, are struggling with school because they are not being given a proper education. The most important element to success is that a student is confident in his or her abilities so that they can form aspirations for the future, and it’s vital that students are in an environment where they can have that confidence in their academics. Programs such as the Tinsley... Read More

Social Science

What variables affect the Palo Alto community's response to homelessness?

This research project will examine the resources the city of Palo Alto allocates to the homeless and combat homelessness. In addition to examining the city's resources, the development and implementation of portable housing and feasibility will also be investigated.

Social Science

What variables affect video game popularity?

This research project anticipates surveying people (from ages 13-25) regarding how they personally think shooter video games has affected them in the past. An experiment will be conducted with 10 or more test subjects, where there will be psych evaluations before and after playing shooter video games for 3 hours (tentatively). Previous research and collected data will then be reviewed to... Read More

Social Science

What variables affect women living in poverty in California from accessing reproductive health care? What would be the most effective ways to mitigate these variables to ensure equality in access to reproductive health care?

This research project delves into the causes of the lack of access to reproductive health care in California. The goal is to determine the most effective ways to dissolve the barriers to ensure universal access. The preliminary stages involved conducting research regarding these barriers (poverty, race, socioeconomic status, disability, location). Conducting interviews with employees at... Read More

Social Science

What variables contribute to an entrepreneur's success? How can adolescents develop successful entrepreneurial characteristics?

Many high school students have passions they excel at and aspire to turn these passions into an entrepreneurial venture. However, some lack the understanding of how to go about this process. This research aims to discover the critical characteristics for a teenage entrepreneur to be successful and to determine what it is that makes teenage entrepreneurs able to attain the great things they... Read More

Social Science

What variables regarding team cohesion are related to the overall satisfaction of soccer players in the Bay Area?

This research project compares the satisfaction and team cohesion of girls high school and club soccer teams in the Bay Area. With the satisfaction of players and cohesiveness of teams playing a big role in overall success, it is important to research the factors and practices that can potentially affect many youth soccer teams. The goal is to first use a survey to discover certain variables... Read More

STEM

What strategies can Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) use to effectively reduce the amount of waste created and increase the efficiency in which waste is sorted (into recycling, compost, and landfill bins) on elementary, middle school, and high school campuses? Furthermore, what are the fiscal effects of reducing and sorting waste on PAUSD campuses?

This research project’s ultimate goal is to create a formal plan containing suggestions as to how the PAUSD can reduce the amount of energy consumption, both natural gas and electricity, at PALY. In order to do so, the project will include four types of data collection: surveys, interviews, energy monitoring at PALY, and analysis of external and retrieved data. Through this data collection,on... Read More

STEM

How can a decision tree help guide patients through consideration for the different walking devices available to them?

The goal this project is to create a decision tree that helps patients see the different factors to consider for the different walking devices available to them. The end product will hopefully give patients a better idea of the pros and cons of each walking device, such as cost, location, compatibility, etc. By researching the different aspects of each walking device on online journals and... Read More

STEM

Analyzing the optogenetically stimulated neurons in the Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis (BNST) region of mice through behavioral testing and cell analysis

This research aims to simulate the stimulation of an areas of the brain so that it can be used as a template for other experiments. Building upon previous studies that focused on how the reward centers of the brain are affected by stimuli from other regions of the brain, the study research will involve analyzing the optogenetically stimulated neurons in the BNST (Bed Nucleus of the Stria... Read More

STEM

Can women living with HIV successfully carry a HIV negative baby to term? What variables affect the outcome?

The goal of this research project is to study the development of medications that help women who are infected with HIV to be able to have healthy non-HIV infected babies. We plan to use statistics and first-hand accounts to deepen our understanding of perinatal transmission and its prevention.

STEM

Design of Visual Recognition Software to Analyze Deep Brain Stimulation Video.

Using the libraries OpenCV and FFmpeg, visual recognition software is being designed to analyze neurosurgery video in an automated fashion. An algorithm is designed to split up neurosurgery video according to certain visual cues. Metadata is modified to identify the video clips that are designated to be saved and the ones that are designated to be deleted.

STEM

Given partial observations of a natural image, can a network be trained that can accurately predict the missing portion to a realistic standard?

This research project will attempt to use mathematical methods as well as convolutional neural networks to predict the content of an image given context surrounding it. Applications include image editing as well as a real-time sensor, allowing the image to have a predicted fill rather than simply a black box. There is also significant research that implies that accomplishing this task may... Read More

STEM

How can a program be written to develop a percentage value for a stop loss on any security that minimizes loss (or maximizes profit), based on analysis of that security’s historical price?

This research project is an analysis of tech manufacturer companies in the Silicon Valley and how they impact the California economy which is about $2.5 trillion USD. This project will focus on how much revenue these companies make and how many people they employ because both of these are two major components of our economy.

STEM

How can all polygons that can arise as tile shapes in Voronoi grid deletion tilings be characterize?

This research project utilizes Mathematica to predict the possible combinations of Voronoi deletion tiles. The goal is to understand which patterns emerge and why. The anticipated results will demonstrate a correlation between impossible shapes and number of tiles deleted.

STEM

How can artificial intelligence affect user engagement in video games?

The first stage of this research project involved accessing a software called MarI/O which is like a mario clone. The next part of this project is observing an AI mario attempt to play some levels and collected data from that. Through collecting and analyzing more data this project is trying to figure out ways to make the agent learn better.

STEM

How can computer technology be used to accurately assess walking balance disorders?

Approximately 8 million adults are diagnosed with some type of walking balance disorder. Majority of the testing is done by using subjective assessments in a physician’s office. The goal of this project is to take the subjectivity out of these tests to make the process more efficient and increase the accuracy of the results by using computer technology to improve patient care. The computerized... Read More

STEM

How can implementing t-shades and other renewable sources of energy affect Palo Alto Airport's sustainability?

This research project is in collaboration with the Palo Alto airport to develop a plan to make the airport sustainable. The airport is at a point where they would like to make improvements, and they want to implement sustainability into their new plan. One aspect of sustainability is renewable sources of energy. This project will focus on planning and implementing solar power into the airport... Read More

STEM

How can machine learning be used to analyze a website’s design by using data about human preferences based on age and/or gender? How can it provide insight on the website entrance's appeal to its target audiences?

This research project has two main components. The first component is a research study that collects data on people's website design preferences. The second component is constructing a machine learning program that uses that data to analyze and review a website. The main goal of this project is to create a product that people can use to see what is wrong with their websites, so that they can... Read More

STEM

How can machine learning be used to teach a computer to create art?

This project is focused on utilizing machine learning to develop a computer program to create art. The first stage of this project is to create a program that randomly creates a piece of art. That piece of art will be critiqued by many advanced art students. Using the principles from machine the computer will take the comments given by the artists and change its art piece to satisfy the... Read More

STEM

How can natural language understanding techniques be applied to mimic human responses in spam email conversations?

This research project focuses on mitigating the problem of spam email attacks by exploiting the spammer network's human resources. The goal is to create a context-aware language-based computer program that understands and is able to respond to human natural language. More specifically, the program will utilize neural network and other machine learning techniques to extract nonlinear patterns... Read More

STEM

How can one construct a hydraulophone (instrument) that displays a visual representation of the sound it produces?

This project will investigate the effects of an interactive public art installment on the Paly community. One goal of the project is to find statistically significant evidence of interaction with this art to affect morale in its community. These effects will be gauged by disseminating surveys within Paly and interviewing people who interacted with the project. The surveys and interviews will... Read More

STEM

How can scratch holograms be made more efficiently?

Scratch holograms scatter light in order to formed raise images. As noted by their name, scratch holograms are made by creating abrasions on the surface of a dark colored flat surface. These abrasions are a series of arcs. This project will focus on making these series of arcs using a laser cutter set on its engraving setting. The engraved surface will be used to make a mold. Then, dark... Read More

STEM

How can simulations be used to determine and minimize the causes and effects of wireless interference?

The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of various approaches in mitigating the effects of wireless interference using simulation data. Specifically, the research will focus on how real-time analysis of interference caused by barriers can be used to mitigate, or entirely eliminate, the error generated by those objects. This will be done by attempting to predict the manner... Read More

STEM

How can stem cell therapy be used to help stroke patients recover?

This research project is centered around comparing three types of stroke treatment to determine which treatment is most effective, or if there is a combination of treatments that best help people recover from a stroke. Currently, two main treatments are used for people that have suffered from a stroke and lost motor control: physical therapy and chemical drugs. However, more recently stem-... Read More

STEM

How can user mouse movement patterns be used to improve A/B testing?

This project will be studying mouse patterns such as mouse coordinates, and their use of left and right clicks on social media sites such as Facebook and Reddit. This study will target the demographic of high school students and websites they commonly use, which will direct this study in a more specific way. Data will be collected through a chrome extension and then loaded onto a Java program... Read More

STEM

How does a patient's emotions affect their cancer development?

The purpose of this research is to find out the effect that mental health support has on cancer patients. There are many mental health support methods which aids cancer patients, however, some believes that it provides a strong support for cancer patients to rely on, while some claims that mental health support has no effect on cancer patients. This project will be investigating this subject... Read More

STEM

How does embedding various metals in 6 by 6 sheets of boron nitride affect its properties?

This computational chemistry project analyzes simulation of various atomic systems based on graphene bonded with various metals. The simulation determines various spintronic properties of the system, such as the band structure and electron density. Density functional theory is then applied to draw conclusions about how these forms of graphene would be usable for data storage in computers.

STEM

How does inserting different transitional metal atoms into a 6 by 6 cell of silicene affect its catalytic properties?

Monolayer 2D materials such as graphene, silicene, and boron-nitride are known to have interesting electronic properties. Currently, researchers are intrigued with the possibility of combining these 2D materials with transition metals to form new functionalized materials. The present studies have dealt with the incorporation of these metals on the surface to increase the functionality of 2D... Read More

STEM

How does Kalman filter and a replacement of the PID control loop affect a robot’s ability to aim and shoot?

In this research project there will be a replacement of a robot's PID control loop with a new customized control loop which uses a Kalman filter to estimate the shooter's (a rotating turntable with a flywheel mounted on it) location relative to the target. After having the robot shoot at the ball while recording the number of shots and the number of shots missed, the new customized control... Read More

STEM

How does the accuracy of deep learning compare to the accuracy of human quality control checks in digital screen manufacturing?

This research aims to improve or replace existing quality control systems that utilize algorithms and/or human checks. A machine trained with about 5000 data samples will be used to compare the accuracy and speed versus a human. Similar research has contributed to recognizing and classifying objects in a picture rather than defects found in a product.

STEM

How does the amount of sleep affect an adolescent athlete's performance?

This project is focused on exploring the effects of sleep deprivation on emotional states and athletic performance of student athletes (basketball and swimming) ranging from the ages of 14 to 18 from both Palo Alto High Schools. The amount of sleep the subjects obtain for two weeks along with their free throw percentages/ lap times, or POMS test results will be recorded.The goal is to discover... Read More

STEM

How does the change in elevation of coastal mountains caused by introduced species like eucalyptus contribute to the increasingly dry seasons in the Bay Area?

The goal of this research project will be to identify any causal relationships between invasive species and the longstanding water shortage. The research will be conducted by analyzing past and present weather data and the biology of these species in conjunction with observational data different sites in the Bay Area. The goal is to see if water usage, introduced elevation, and other... Read More

STEM

How does the method of CRISPR cas 9 work to construct a tool to study the mechanisms of mutated NF2 gene in neurofibromatosis type 2?

This research project analyzes the CRISPR-Cas9 technique in finding effective cures for single mutated genes such as NF2. After collecting RNA samples one project goal is to build a tool that can be used to easily fix mutated genes using CRISPR technology in order to identify an effective way to cure those with diseases related to gene mutations.

STEM

How does the protein Ptch in the Hh pathway bond with cholesterol?

This project studies a segment of the Hedgehog pathway, a signaling pathway in vertebrates that regulates tissue patterning and development, and has been found to be closely linked with many varieties of cancer. Ptch is an important receptor protein within Hedgehog that activates the pathway in cells. By creating mutagenic Ptch (mutated versions of the protein) and running them through various... Read More

STEM

How has autism research developed in recent years?

This research project will focus gathering and analyzing data about the Wernicke's area in the superior temporal gyrus. This data will then be used to explore the differences in twins, specifically the difference when one twin has Autism Spectrum Disorder.

STEM

How has the rise of pharmaceutical companies affected the progress on cancer drug development?

The purpose of this project is to fully understand the growth of the cancer industry and compare the progress of cancer research with the growth of the cancer and pharmaceutical industry. This project will find descriptive stats about these fields and track the effectiveness of cancer therapeutics and the economic progress of these industries. Whether or not the progress is correlated, and... Read More

STEM

How prevalent is liver cancer in the Asian community compared to other ethnicities and why?

Currently, research indicates there are many projected SNP’s that are related to depression. However, much of the information can only be accessed if DNA is analyzed, for example by a company like 23andMe. This research project will investigate the variables involved in consumer DNA testing for any signs of depression without having to use professional services.

STEM

How would inserting transition metals into 2 dimensional materials such as graphene, silicene and boron nitride affect its catalytic properties?

Monolayer 2D materials such as graphene, silicene, and boron-nitride are known to have interesting electronic properties. Currently, researchers are intrigued with the possibility of combining these 2D materials with transition metals to form new functionalized materials. The present studies have dealt with the incorporation of these metals on the surface to increase the functionality of 2D... Read More

STEM

Is there a correlation between the rate at which a pulsar loses rotational energy and the non-thermal radiation and bulk kinetic energy of expansion of its supernova remnant?

Pulsars have been at the center of astronomical research since their discovery in 1967. This project examines the correlation between the rate at which a pulsar loses rotational energy and the non-thermal radiation and bulk kinetic energy of expansion of its supernova remnant. It has been shown, using the Crab pulsar-nebula system, that the rate of decrease of energy has a strong correlation... Read More

STEM

Quantify the amount of carbon capture needed to restore ocean pH levels to pre-industrial levels.

This research project will investigate how the changing climate is affecting the organisms that live in the Baylands. Existing data on its climate and organisms spanning over the past 40 years will be analyzed and graphed to determine the impact of these factors.

STEM

Using R to analyze data from 500 patients with lung squamous cell cancer, which proteins have high expressions that correlate with low survival rates?

This research project will utilize R to find evidence in data that overexpression of a protein induces progression of lung squamous cell cancer. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) has a dataset of 500 patients through which can correlate survival rate with protein expression. Since high protein expression can involve copy number variations (amplifications/deletions), mutations, and methylation,... Read More

STEM

Using the science of Neuroplasticity, how long will it take to train the non-dominant hand to write as fast as the dominant hand dependent on age?

This research project will investigate if there is a difference in the time period it takes a young person and an older person to learn the same newly acquired skill. The aim being to understand if during the learning process, do new neuron pathways develop or do the old pathways transform.

STEM

What algorithms power self-driving vehicles’ fully autonomous driving systems?

This research project explores all the different types of algorithms fully autonomous, unmanned vehicles use and compare and contrast aspects of each algorithm in order to determine which algorithms are more efficient. Gaining a clearer understanding of all the algorithms used can allow us to detect current flaws within the algorithms faster and improve the algorithms. Over the course of this... Read More

STEM

What are effective solutions for air particle pollution in underdeveloped countries?

This project will focus on creating something cheap and simple that can help with pollution in third world countries.The research conducted in this project will investigate incorporating the technology that already exists and create something cheap and simple. Ultimately, this research project will result in an attempt to create something and then test out the product to see how it performs.... Read More

STEM

What are some of the effects of Natural products and substances, such as Panax ginseng, on tau pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease patients?

Our project involves experiments to see if Panax Ginseng has a correlation to tau proteins in Alzheimer's Disease patients. Alzheimer’s is a disease affecting more than 3 million people in the United States. While we know it's a neurodegenerative disease, the root cause is still debated. Out of the three most prominent hypotheses, the Tau Hypothesis has recently become more salient in regards... Read More

STEM

What are the biochemical changes in patients with Parkinson’s disease?

This research project, conducted in the form of a case study, utilizes questionnaires answered by a patient that are based off other Parkinson's disease rating scales, such as the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). The questions used in the study will be related to the patient's behavior/mood, daily life, and motor abilities. This data will be analyzed to determine trends in the... Read More

STEM

What are the correlations between different types of solar panels (monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film) and the amount of energy output?

This research project looks into the different types of solar panels, such as monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film, and the amount of energy output by looking at past data. The Palo Alto Airport wants to install solar panels to help with heating and powering other materials. This research will look into the calculations of solar angles and temperatures in Palo Alto year long and how... Read More

STEM

What are the daily effects of familial hypercholesterolemia and other inherited heart diseases on patients?

This study will assess the concerns of individuals with Familial Hypercholesterolemia both qualitatively and quantitatively. For the former, structured interviews will be conducted for individuals with FH. For the latter, analyses of data taken from a national patient registry of FH called CASCADE FH will be performed. This research will demonstrate what the patients are experiencing and what... Read More

STEM

What are the most significant environmental factors and genetic influences that increase the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease?

AD is the 6th leading cause of death; over 5.3 million americans currently have this disease. This research project will use a literature review to determine the most prominent predisposing factors.

STEM

What are the pros and cons of stem cells and gene therapy when used to cure blindness?

This research project aims to provide a platform for people who are interested in stem cells to cure blindness. The platform will include different treatments, success stories, and risks to the operations. The studies will be pertaining to common eye diseases such as glaucoma. The platform will be unbiased and will only provide information.

STEM

What effect does the cell proliferation rate have its mass?

This experiment will test the consistency of the law with tumor cells as an example. Since most experiments have used the biological processes of three-dimensional organisms as examples to verify the accuracy of the universal scaling law, it is relatively unknown whether any factor of the law will be altered when testing substances of other dimensions. The data discovered will be sufficient... Read More

STEM

What is microPREP, and what are its potential uses?

Using a new laser technology called microPREP, this research project investigate optimizing the process by which laboratory samples are prepared. The project will use many silicone samples to alter parameters in the system and see how this affects the sample. Using Imaging technology at available at the project mentor's company will be used to examine in detail the quality of each of these... Read More

STEM

What is the effect of increasing deforestation on re-emerging diseases, specifically leptospirosis?

With the emergence of zoonotic diseases as a result of increased contact with vectors located in previously forested areas, anthropogenic landscape changes are becoming a larger part of epidemiology as the focus shifts from the epidemics themselves to what causes these epidemics. The goal of this research is to compare two recent and notable epidemics: Zika Virus and Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever,... Read More

STEM

What is the effect of using actergy as a metric on developing muscle training and sports performance?

This project will utilize integral kinematics to revolutionize fitness regiments, athletic training, and sports routines. All too often, people train instantaneous output such as power and acceleration in athletics, while there is a lack of emphasis on muscle control and endurance. Therefore, the aim of this project is to use two pioneering fitness metrics to develop a training system for... Read More

STEM

What is the maximum plastic consumption of the average mealworm?

This project builds on prior knowledge that the mealworm’s gut bacteria can biodegrade plastic. The goal is to determine the most feasible plastic for future degradation efforts. Mealworm trials will be fed PET, PVC and PUR. Using multiple types of statistics, a conclusion will be drawn about mealworm survival and plastic mass consumed.

STEM

What kind of peptide chain inhibitor can be created to suppress the FOXP3 transcription factor and impair the development of regulatory T cells?

FOXP3, a protein that takes part in the development of regulatory T cells, is vital for the immune system in recognizing foreign from self cells. However, cancer as well as some autoimmune diseases take advantage of this to hide carcinogenic cells. Consequently, the aim of this research project is to work towards developing improvements for existing inhibitors for FOXP3.

STEM

What novel stem cell and prostate cancer biomarkers located on the cell surface can researchers and clinicians use as therapeutic targets?

This study focuses on discovering novel stem cell and prostate cancer biomarkers located on the cell surface that researchers and clinicians can use as therapeutic targets. To achieve this, gene expression data from mouse microarray and human RNA-Seq sources were analyzed. Results from the data analysis were sorted to identify upregulated genes that may be associated with prostate cancer.

STEM

What ways can we reuse water so that it’s safe to drink?

This research project utilize previous applications promoted locally and globally. The goal is to reuse greywater, which allows an increase productivity of sustainable backyard ecosystems, while saving water. Greywater is wastewater generated from a household's shower, bathtub, bathroom sink, and washing machine. Freshwater is becoming scarce due to the CA drought and is becoming more... Read More

Humanities

How does systemic racism persist in America's prison system?

This research project will demonstrate how the American criminal justice system can be seen as a form of systematic racism. Researching previous publications and current events, this project will raise awareness of the ongoing injustices targeting minorities in America.

Humanities

Analyzing strategies used to tell an engaging story to a modern demographic?

"According to a professor, the one word defining contemporary Eastern Europe is MOBILITY. I will be looking at how this mobility has affected the political and social development of a region that has been under the control of Russia for so long. I will also look at the political tensions around the globalization of Eastern Europe. I will approach answering this question by reading current... Read More

Humanities

Comparing the quality of Chinese and English translations of Japanese text through studying two notable pieces of Japanese literature and their translations.

This research project aims to identify and analyze the different or similar problems involved in translating literary Japanese text to Chinese and English. To do so, two notable pieces of Japanese literature – Izu no Odoriko (The Dancing Girl of Izu) by Yasunari Kawabata and Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami – are selected as the subjects of the research. Specific passages from both books will... Read More

Humanities

How do the nonviolent movement leaders Aung San Suu Kyi and Martin Luther King intersect?

This research project will be investigating the connections between nonviolent protest leaders Aung San Suu Kyi and Martin Luther King. The project will find similarities between the leaders and their protests, using a variety of specific questions. This project differs from other research done, in that it compares nonviolent protests to each other, in comparison to nonviolent and violent... Read More

Humanities

How has the involvement of Asian-Americans in the film industry evolved?

This research project investigates whether the presence of Asian-Americans on screen is evolving: whether the presence is increasing, or the roles are becoming more significant. As seen in older movies, Asian-American actors often played stereotypical roles or were portrayed in a negative light. By conducting extensive interviews, reading books and articles, and observing modern day movies and... Read More

Humanities

How have frozen conflicts in Eastern Europe be developed in the past 10 years? Are these frozen conflicts permanent in nature, or can they be resolved?

One of the words defining contemporary Eastern Europe is "mobility". This research project aims at studying how this mobility has affected the political and social development of a region that has been under the control of Russia for so long. In addition, the political tensions around the globalization of Eastern Europe will be studied. Some of the resources used in this study will include... Read More

Humanities

What are teen pregnancy risk factors?

This research project will investigate how the lack of sexual education and other factors correlate to teen pregnancy. Data will be collected by conducting interviews with teen parents and counselors, reviewing the current sex education curriculum, and health publications in an effort to heighten awareness of the various risk factors contributing to this public health concern.

Humanities

What variables affect literacy development among K-3 students?

Research shows that low-income students have historically been at a disadvantage for developing literacy skills in elementary school, which can have a negative impact on their future academic and career success. It can be inferred that the more students read, the more developed their literacy skills become. This study examines whether sending books home with second grade students in a... Read More

Humanities

Which tactics and ideologies of al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood work to achieve their respective goals, and which are counterproductive?

This research project is an analysis of the effectiveness of the two largest terrorist networks in the world. It will be finding the ultimate goal of each organization and how it chooses to pursue that goal. The effectiveness will be measured by looking at what tactics are used to obtain the goal and how effective or ineffective are those at achieving the groups' goals.