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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2019 can be found here.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be
U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

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Project:  Encoding of natural odors in the brain
Disciplines:  Neuroscience, Computation and Neural Systems
Mentor:  Elizabeth Hong, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, (BBE),, Phone: 626-395-1304
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
Background:  Olfactory research has been dominated by the use of defined monomolecular odorants which offer excellent stimulus control. However, by and large, nervous systems have evolved to process the complex mixtures of odorants that occur in the natural world. The goals of this project are to understand the statistical structure of natural odors behaviorally significant to the fruit fly, and to test the hypothesis that the encoding of odors in the fly olfactory system makes use of these natural stimulus statistics.
Description:  Development of the specific project depends on the intellectual interests and background of the student. The range of projects include 1) gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy chemical analysis of natural odors and statistical mapping of natural odor space; 2) computational modeling of transformations of odor representations in higher order olfactory neurons; 3) extracellular electrophysiology to map peripheral codes to panels of natural odor components
Student Requirements:  Ch1, Bi150 suggested. Proficiency in Matlab or Python preferred. Strong intellectual curiosity, and the ability to be self-motivated and work independently are absolutely required. Strong preference will be given to students who commit to research units during the academic year.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    Caltech students only 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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