Dissertations: December 20, 2021

December 20, 2021



  • Pisapia, Jasmine. Poison and healing in southern Italy: Aesthetics, environmental crisis, Taranto. Sponsor: Rosalind Morris.

Applied Physics

  • Battey, Alexander. Stability and control of multiple resistive wall modes. Sponsor: Gerald Navratil.

Art History and Archaeology

  • Ercan, Ayşe. The Mangana Quarter in Byzantine Constantinople (843–1453 C.E.): Re-interpreting an architectural complex in Sarayburnu/ Istanbul through archaeology. Sponsor: Holger Klein.
  • Wang, Alexis. Intermedial effects, sanctified surfaces: Embedded devotional objects in Italian medieval mural decoration. Sponsor: Holger Klein.


  • Babul, Aliya-Nur. Uncovering shocking mysteries buried in the ejecta of classical novae and magnetars. Sponsor: Jennifer Sokoloski.
  • Melso, Nicole. Mapping ultra-low surface brightness H-alpha emission around nearby galaxies. Sponsor: David Schiminovich.

Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Studies

  • Chramiec, Alan. Inter-organ: A novel multi-tissue system for preclinical drug evaluation and recapitulation of metastasis. Sponsor: Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic.
  • Dellorusso, Paul. Autophagy and hematopoietic stem cell potential during aging. Sponsor: Emmanuelle Passegué.
  • Metz, Jordan. Systems-level approaches to understanding protein synthesis. Sponsor: Peter Sims.
  • Poon, Maya. Tissue-wide dynamics of human anti-viral immunity. Sponsor: Donna Farber.
  • Resnick, Samuel. Multiplexed high throughput screening identifies broadly-active rescucers of proteotoxicity. Sponsor: Alejandro Chavez.
  • von Krusenstiern, Alfred. Lipids on fire: Identifying and targeting subcellular membranes that drive ferroptosis. Sponsor: Brent Stockwell.
  • Yi, Julie. Characterization of pathogenic BicD2 mutations in vitro and in vivo. Sponsor: Richard Vallee.


  • Dubnik, Sarah. Studies of RNA folding dynamics with single-molecule carbon nanotube field-effect transistors. Sponsor: Colin Nuckolls.
  • Hochuli, Taylor. Expansion of superatom reactivity and fusion using carbene-ligated clusters. Sponsor: Colin Nuckolls.
  • Sun, Zhiyu. Probing allosteric coupling in membrane protein KcsA and protein dynamics study with moderate and fast magic angle spinning solid-state NMR. Sponsor: Ann McDermott.

Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

  • Artz, Timothy. Modeling lifetime performance of ceramic matrix composites with reduced order homogenization multiscale methods. Sponsor: Jacob Fish.

Earth and Environmental Engineering

  • Jeong-Potter, Chae Woon. Dual function materials (DFM) for combined CO2 capture and catalytic conversion: Point source and direct air capture. Sponsor: Robert Farrauto.

Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology

  • Shah, Shailee. Socioecological drivers of complex social structure in an avian cooperative breeder. Sponsor: Dustin Rubenstein.
  • VanAcker, Meredith. The ecological drivers of urban tick-born disease emergence. Sponsor: Maria Diuk-Wasser.


  • Xu, Xiao. Disasters, beliefs, and the behavior of investors and the financial markets. Sponsors: Harrison Hong and Stephen Zeldes.

Electrical Engineering

  • Kim, Dongkwun. Energy-efficient integrated power management architectures for emerging needs of IoT devices to data centers. Sponsor: Mingoo Seok.
  • McGinn, Christine. Thin film piezoelectric elements for active devices. Sponsor: Ioannis Kymissis.
  • Nagulu, Aravind. Surpassing fundamental limits through time varying electromagnetics. Sponsor: Harish Krishnaswamy.

Mechanical Engineering

  • Mici, Joni. Layered assembly: Parallel electrostatic grippers for multi-material additive manufacturing. Sponsor: Hod Lipson.

Neurobiology and Behavior

  • Boyle, Lara. Social familiarity and recollection in the CA2 region of the hippocampus. Sponsor: Steven Siegelbaum.
  • Morgan, Ashlea. Serotonin signaling in the mPFC regulates cognitive & emotional behaviors. Sponsor: Mark Ansorge.
  • Peña, Francisco. The representation of food-cues in the amygdala during cue-induced eating. Sponsor: C. Daniel Salzman.
  • Warren, Richard. Cortical and cerebellar contributions to complex motor behavior in mice. Sponsor: Nathaniel Sawtell.


  • Hovsepian, Vaneh. The influence of structural capabilities on hospitalizations among older adults with dementia. Sponsor: Lusine Poghosyan.

Operations Research

  • Wang, Wenjun. Permissioned blockchain adoption in supply chains. Sponsors: Garud Iyengar and Jay Sethuraman.

Pharmacology and Molecular Signaling

  • Lowes, Daniel. Ventral tegmental area GABA neurons mediate stress-induced blunted reward-seeking. Sponsor: Alexander Harris.
  • Owji, Aaron. Structural studies on bestrophin anion channels by cryogenic electron microscopy. Sponsor: Wayne Hendrickson.


  • Jacoby, Nir. The role of emotion in social cognition. Sponsor: Kevin Ochsner.
  • Silston, Brian. Motivational influences on environmental and information exploration, cognition, memory and behavior. Sponsor: Kevin Ochsner.

Social Work

  • McCullagh, Charlotte. "I'm not fragile like the new-age kids," aging positively and reducing risk among older adults with HIV/AIDS; a qualitative and quantitative exploration. Sponsor: Nabila El-Bassel.

TC / Counseling Psychology

  • Motulsky, Wei. The queers are here: LGBTQ+ young adults' experiences in wilderness therapy. Sponsor: Melanie Brewster.
  • Nishioka, Silvia. Effects of teachers and school factors on implementation outcomes of social and emotional interventions. Sponsor: Cindy Huang.

Urban Planning

  • Xu, Wenfei. Cycles of (Dis)-Investment: Federal intervention and the legacies of uneven development. Sponsor: Lance Freeman.


Applied Mathematics

  • Dinenis, Philip. Optimization of protective measures against coastal flooding.
  • Xu, Zirui. Global minimizers of ternary Ohta-Kawasaki free energy.

Art History and Archaeology

  • Oh, Sehyun. The land surveyors from the outside: Documentation of immigrants in an American northwest environment by Kyō Koike and Iwao Matsushita, c. 1920-1940.
  • Ramachandran, Kalyani. Phanigiri and the art of the Buddhist-Hindu Deccan (1st - 4th century CE).
  • Seo, Yeongik. From a branch to a school: Kano Sanraku (1559-1635) and visual aesthetics in the early modern Kyoto.

Computer Science

  • Chakraborty, Saikat. Learning to edit source code.
  • DeChant, Chad. Is hindsight 20/20? Using natural language summarization of past actions and metacognition to understand, control, and improve robotic agents' behavior.
  • Gero, Katy. A design space for computational writing assistants.
  • Lee, Fei-Tzin. Using semantic graphs in summarization and generation.
  • Petridis, Savvas. Designing exploratory search systems to stimulate our memory and reduce cognitive load.
  • She, Dongdong. Efficient fuzzing with machine learning.

East Asian Languages and Cultures

  • Gong, Guoying. Du Fu: Poetry, network, and the imagination of the empire.

Germanic Languages

  • Mattner, Cosima. 20th century trans-Atlantic literary theory / intellectual history.
  • Tsaushu, Noa. Early Soviet-Yiddish literature and visual art.


  • Solis, Gabriel. Of maquilas and miracles: Taiwan, the U.S.-Mexico border and the making of the global factory.


  • DiNardo, Laura. Dante, philosopher of language: Language in context in the Divina Commedia.

Mechanical Engineering

  • Aksit, Aykut. Microneedles for the inner bar.
  • Fang, Shuyang. The mechanical environment of pregnancy: Characterizing the mechanical property evolution of primate reproductive tissues.
  • Lisenko, Nikita. Experimental and theoretical study of interface curvature effects during phase transitions in condensed and confined systems.
  • Luna, Tatiana. Robotic strategies to characterize and promote postural responses in standing and sit-to-stand.
  • Stramel, Danielle. Design, control, and validation of a mobile tethered pelvic assist device (mTPAD).

Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies

  • Blackthorne-O'Barr, Erik. Persian letters: The politics of language in the late Ottoman Empire and Qajar Iran.

Political Science

  • Novoa, Gustavo. Three essays on redistricting: A dissertation proposal.
  • Stethem, Isaac. Jewish non-territorial politics: Historical insights for contemporary contestations of space, territory and environment.


  • Durkin, Celia. Shared and subjective experience of abstract art.


  • Martini, Connor. The evidence of things not seen: Presence, wonder, and danger in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.