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Undergraduate Research Fellowship - Resources - Berkeley Center for New Media
Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Next deadline - March 3, 2023

The Berkeley Center for New Media is pleased to announce five undergraduate research fellowships are open for application for summer/fall 2023! Selected students will have the opportunity to work closely with new media graduate students on dissertation-level research. Each fellowship comes with a stipend of $1,000.

If you are interested in multiple projects, please submit separate applications for each project.

Applications are now open. Applications are due on March 3. Apply here.

Projects for Undergraduate Research Assistance Summer/Fall 2023

Trans Theatrical Voices in Japan

This project works on the preservation of trans theatrical voices in the early 20th century in Japan, including the preservation of literal voices on audio. There is a collection of materials that the national diet library houses online that will be of particular interest.

An undergraduate researcher would primarily be working on metadata entry. Specifically, they would be listening to these audio sources and marking when femme voices speak, for how long, and other information. They would also ideally include performer names, play names, and roles (when known and to the best of their ability).

Mapping Pacific Islander Filmmakers

This project collects data about and mapping films/filmmakers who center Pacific Islander stories. Data collected will include film titles, film locations, information about cast and crew, date published, project budgets, source(s) of funding, and where the film is available for viewing. Data will be location-based and plotted across a map of the Pacific. Pacific Islanders are vastly underrepresented here at UC Berkeley and in American media as a whole, so my hope is to make it easier to dive into the rich, if lesser-known world of Pacific Islander film for people of all ethnicities, but particularly in support of Pacific Islander storytellers and audiences. This map will also ideally be a helpful tool for Pacific Islander storytelling grant-makers like Pacific Islanders in Communication, Nia Tero, and the Pasifika Entertainment Advancement Komiti; these organizations can use this map to ensure that storytellers from under-represented islands are given priority when applying for funding. Any data-based discoveries about historical absences of funding for Pacific Islanders can also be used in federal and/or international grant applications by filmmakers and other cultural organizations attempting to even the playing field.

Undergraduate assistance will include collecting and cleaning data. Priority will be given to students affiliated with the Pacific Islander Initiative.

Architecture Database

This study proposes constructing a domain-knowledge-curated architecture database, equipped with a calculated similarity matrix to unveil the interconnection between projects. The curated database is designed for architects and architectural students to search for relevant architectural precedents. We first collect projects with essential information about an architecture project, including structured data, such as architect, location, program, and scale, and unstructured data, such as photos, drawings, and, if possible, recorded video experience. We clip the text and image data together to train a deep-learning model. The metadata sets can then be clustered and represented in a reduced dimension with unsupervised learning algorithms such as spectral clustering. After dimension reduction, when querying for a specific type or style of a building, one can explore relevant architectural projects sampled from their neighborhood from the latent space.

Undergraduate students with basic data analysis experience (for example, those who took DATA100) can help with the exploratory data analysis phase, including the critical process of performing initial investigations on data so as to discover patterns, to spot anomalies, test hypotheses, and check assumptions with the help of summary statistics and graphical representations. Students with 3D modeling experience can assist in building interior 3D models for virtual reality experiments.

Identifying Misinformation

The dissemination of AI-generated visuals has become a powerful weapon in spreading misinformation, yet the policies guiding its deployment are yet to be securely established, reported, and executed. This research aims to take a closer look into how users identify misinformation, their thoughts and perceptions towards AI-generated content, and which stakeholders are responsible for the truthful dissemination of information. The research questions posed act with the main objective of addressing the forward-looking cybersecurity policies that must be created to ensure safe, secure, and trustworthy online environments for today’s adolescents. This research will focus on the policies we can design to mitigate the impacts of mis/disinformation created by AI-generated synthetic media by taking a cross-stakeholder approach to understand its current and future implications on society, media, journalism, and technology.

Undergraduate researchers who are interested in assisting on this research project must be willing to invest time to understand the current research landscape in the field of human-computer interaction, digital communication, and user experience. The student will mainly play a role in data analysis processes. Data collected (qualitative research interviews and results from situational mapping research task) will be analyzed using qualitative interview coding, affinity mapping, and thematic analysis. Successful participation in the data collection process will involve critical analysis of data gathered, ability to detailedly analyze past research works in the field, and communicate findings in clear and concise manner.

Sonic Representations

This is a sound art project about walking at night using sonic representations of street lights. The project combines field recordings of walks on the UC Berkeley main campus with a spatialized sonification of the street lights and other nighttime illumination encountered during those walks. Nighttime lighting is one of the many elements of urban infrastructure that influences the paths we take while walking. It is connected to safety, both in real, practical terms, and in our imaginations—in our collective, contested understandings of what happens in the dark.

Depending on their background, an undergraduate researcher might assist in various ways:

  • Parsing the data to go between location databases and Sound Particles;
  • Incorporate location-based augmented reality;
  • Recruiting participants to record their walks, designing debrief questions, and analyzing their responses.

Previous Undergraduate Research Fellows and Projects

2023 funded candidates and projects here!

2022 funded candidates and projects here and here!

2021 funded candidates and projects here!

2020 funded candidates and projects here!

2019 funded candidates and projects here!

2018 funded candidates and projects here!

2017 funded candidates and projects here!