22 September 2011
At the beginning of this school year, the Cognitive Science department is excited to be welcoming seven new first year graduate students! Learn more about each of them here on the CogSci blog!
Andy is originally from Jamul, CA and attended UCSD as an undergraduate where he received a B.S. in Cognitive Science w/ neuroscience specialization. He is working with Doug Nitz in order to investigate spatial navigation in the parietal cortex and properties of the basal forebrain cholinergic system in learning and attention. Also, he is rotating in the Reynolds lab in UCSD Neuro to learn about a technique called amperometry, which enables in vivo quantification of acetylcholine release in awake behaving animals. In his free time he likes to golf, skateboard, and explore San Diego.
Megan grew up in Grand Rapids, MI. Her undergrad degree is in electrical engineering and she worked as an engineer until deciding that brains are more interesting than circuit boards and switched gears to studying Cognitive Science. She is interested in studying right hemisphere involvement in processing figurative language. She enjoys reading, travel, theatre, and food.
Daniel Frost recently graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelors degree in psychology. Under the guidance of Kara Federmeier, Daniel successfully completed an honors thesis for which he designed and executed an event-related brain potential study examining the effects of emotional-valence on semantic access and memory for words. Daniel aims to strengthen his training in EEG/ERP and to further investigate cognitive and affective processes, as well as the interactions between these processes. Daniel is particularly interested in the involvement of emotion, both as a mood state and as a stimulus property, during language processing.
Conor is originally from Denver, Colorado, but he did his undergrad at USC studying neuroscience and Spanish. He’s really interested in how languages are learned, both originally as an infant as well as adding multiple languages later on. He’s also interested in how we experience music, and how it's related to (and distinct from) spoken language. Also, while he’s here, He'd like to translate sliding down a mountain to riding a wave.
Daniel grew up in Topanga, CA and got his undergraduate degree in Computational Cognitive Science at UCSD. After graduating he worked at the San Diego Supercomputer Center and Yahoo! before co-founding NOTCOT Inc. His research goals are to broadly explore techniques for improving the relationship between humans and computers.
Marybel’s research interests are in brain development in young children and associated language and cognitive ability as related to outcomes in early school-readiness skills. She is also interested in the interaction of genes and environment on development (for example, interaction of genes and low SES on language development and school-readiness skills). She comes from a diverse background, born to Mexican parents, she grew up in East Los Angeles. Fun fact, She attended Garfield HS, the school that the movie Stand and Deliver is based on (her Calculus teacher was one of the original students in the Jaime Escalante class!). She then completed her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley in Cognitve Science. Her primary focus was on early intervention methods for toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder. After graduating, she first worked at SAM Technology & The San Francisco Brain Research Institute. Finally, in a last minute decision, faith lead her to San Diego where she went on to work as a Staff Researcher with Professor Gedeon Deak at the UCSD Cognitive Development Lab on the MESA Project, examining the emergence of shared attention in an infant longitudinal study from 4 months of age up to 40 months. After a few years on the MESA project she has decided to switch gears and will now focus on neural and brain development in young children working with Terry Jernigan.
Richard completed an undergraduate degree in Physics and Philosophy before training to be a secondary Science teacher (specializing in Physics). While teaching, he completed a Masters in Philosophy (with a focus on Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science). Having moved to the US in September 2009, he worked with a small educational consultancy firm, training and supporting teachers in K-12 schools in New York and New Jersey in student centered instruction, problem based learning and the effective use of educational technology. This combination of academic and professional experience brought Richard to Cognitive Science at UCSD. His main research interests are around cognition that takes place during episodes of conceptual learning. This includes: how different kinds of representation and interactive perception/engagement can impact on the success of learning episodes; the impact of social interaction on learning; the impact of choice and emotion on engagement and outcomes in learning; and how learning is attenuated by individual differences at a wide range of levels of description.