Announcing Our Summer 2022 Undergraduate Research Fellows

24 Feb, 2022

Announcing Our Summer 2022 Undergraduate Research Fellows

Each year, the Berkeley Center for New Media pairs undergraduates with a graduate student mentor, offering them the chance to complete real, graduate-level research while at Cal. We are thrilled to announce this semester's Fellows.

Abigail Lomibao

Abigail Lomibao is part of the Extended Reality at Cal organization, serving as a team lead for the outreach team, and gaining experience in designing VR games through the VR Decal and the Brain Games project team. The Brain Gamtes team worked on developing a VR experience to help restore executive functioning in people who suffer from mild traumatic brain injury. As a cognitive science major and global poverty and practice minor, Abigail in uniquely well situated to contribute to such projects technically and by working with communities and people directly impacted by the research. Abigail also has experience in neuroscience research through an internship at the Psychiatric Neuroimaging Lab, where Abigail analyzed diffusion tensor imaging data on veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and the co-occurrence of both.

Abigail will be working with Haripriya Sathyanarayanan on Immersive Virtual Environments and Patient-Centered Design in the Pediatric Healthcare Built Environment. Innovating the pediatric space to improve the patient experience involves an understanding of multiple factors that influence the patient experience – including spatial and environmental design of the physical environment – to accommodate operational and user-specific needs, that in turn adapt to the affordances of the space. With the significant impact of built environment design on patient experience and health outcomes, more research is required in pediatric research through partnerships between children’s hospitals, healthcare planners and architects. This study examines the feasibility of innovative technology such as virtual reality as a tool for collaboration using a mixed-methods study design among a study population of hospitalized children admitted as inpatients at a Children’s Hospital. The mixed methods study explores perceptions of hospitalized children from the spatial and environmental design of the patient room in pediatric healthcare facilities. The study design includes methods such as surveys, art based methods, interviews, and an experimental design using virtual reality and biometrics on spatial and environmental design.

The research is ongoing and the focus in Spring 2022 will be on data analysis of surveys, interviews, and pilot study in VR. It will also include planning and setting up of the experimental study in VR based on the pilot study findings. Abigail will work on:

1. Data analysis of surveys and interviews conducted in Fall 2021: R for the statistical analysis of the surveys and MaxQDA for the qualitative data analysis from the interviews.
2. Data analysis of pilot experimental study in VR: The pilot study includes data in VR from eye tracking and fEMG (stress/emotion) and qualitative data from interviews conducted with the pediatric population. The pilot is planned for completion by the end of 2021 with preliminary findings targeted in early Spring 2022.
3. Setting up of the full-fledged experimental study in the healthcare setting.
4. The mixed methods research includes different research methods and analysis, and an innovative study on feasibility of a technology with the pediatric population for application in healthcare settings.

Jesse Clements

Jesse from Rhetoric will be working with Tory Jeffay from Film & Media together to examine the emergence of photography and film as tools of evidence within American policing and the law in the late-19th and early-20th centuries and ask how this use of the camera has shaped our imagination of photographic media’s broader epistemological claims into the digital era. Serving up troves of raw data rather than self-evident images, visual evidence took the first step towards transforming the world into nonvisual data better processed by machines than humans, laying the groundwork for the evidential logic of computation that underlies contemporary technologies such as body cameras and facial recognition algorithms. Recovering ephemeral and lost media objects through the traces they have left—in trial transcripts, camera lucida tracings, microphotographs of dusted fingerprints—I show how attention to these forgotten media forms can profoundly reshape a broader understanding of the role of visual media, particularly the ways it functions inconsistently as evidence along lines of sexual and racial difference.

Tory is researching the final chapter of the dissertation, which explores personal injury cases as the unlikely battleground where debates over film's legitimacy as evidence played out. Jesse would help with the following components of this research: identifying relevant cases by searching legal databases, reaching out to state libraries and archives that hold the original trial materials to secure copies, reading through trial transcripts, highlighting significant portions of these transcripts, and writing summaries, searching for contemporary press coverage of these trials in online newspaper databases and possibly microfilm.