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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 2018 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:  Modeling the Architecture of a Simple Neural Circuit for Identifying Odors
Disciplines:  Neuroscience, Computation and Neural Systems
Mentor:  Elizabeth Hong, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, (BBE),, Phone: x1304
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
Background:  Higher-order olfactory neurons generate highly selective responses by pooling combinations of olfactory coding channels tuned to specific chemical features. However, the rules governing how these combinations are determined are poorly understood. We study this problem in a simple olfactory circuit in the fruit fly brain. Understanding the rules governing the architecture of this circuit can lead to insights into how higher-order selective responses are generated in the brain.
Description:  Recently, the connectivity of the olfactory input into these higher-order neurons has been fully determined by large-scale EM reconstruction for one fly brain. The goal of this project is to use the reconstructed skeletons of these olfactory inputs to model higher-order olfactory responses, for instance, to understand what stimulus features are commonly co-sampled.
Student Requirements:  Bi/CNS 150, CS1
This project is a good opportunity for a student with background in math or computer science who is interested in learning more about neuroscience or biology. The student should expect to, and be excited about, thinking independently about science. Must have good problem solving skills and enjoy a challenge.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       Amgen Scholars    Non-Caltech students only  
       SURF    Caltech students only 

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

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