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Bailey College of Science and Mathematics

Enhancing lives through learning, discovery and innovation

Website Update

Undergraduate Research Magazine - 2024

Bailey CollegeUndergraduate Research Magazine 2024 masthead



From the Dean

Dean Wendt, dean of the Bailey College of Science and Mathematics

In the second edition of our annual Undergraduate Research magazine, we are pleased to spotlight important research and Learn by Doing achievements from each of the university centers housed within the Philip and Christina Bailey College of Science and Mathematics. Our centers are interdisciplinary, bringing together faculty from across the college and university to tackle important problems facing government, industry and community. Our centers help the Bailey College realize its full potential as a steward of our local community and California.

These esteemed academic units of specialized research and learning are: the Center for Applications in Biotechnology (CAB); the Center for Coastal Marine Sciences (CCMS); the Center for Health Research (CHR); the Center for Engineering, Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME); and the Kenneth N. Edwards Western Coatings Technology Center (WCTC). In addition to our centers, we also have the newly formed Initiative for Climate Leadership and Resilience (ICLR).

Also, I’m thrilled to announce that for the first time in our college’s publication history, we are including bilingual content in English and Spanish. An article featured in both languages, written by Cal Poly alumnus Hector Reyes, focuses on the Nuestra Ciencia (Our Science) program through which university faculty and students, including Hector, have provided microbiology instruction and mentorship to K-6 students in English and Spanish. This ongoing, invaluable educational outreach encourages the next generation of scientists. And by telling this story in bilingual form, we broaden our readership and advance diversity, equity and inclusion.

In addition, you'll read about impactful work such as chemical testing with applications for medical diagnostics and environmental sampling, a network to help those who lack healthcare, exploration of effective ways to keep buildings from absorbing too much heat, and an analysis of ocean conditions amid climate change.

As you explore these topics with us, you will discover that students and faculty in these programs collaborate side by side on research and scholarship of broad impact, often with reach and partnerships outside of Cal Poly’s campus. Our research teams gain valuable insights through multidisciplinary academic investigation, establishing relationships with outside agencies, nonprofits, top universities and companies. And most importantly, by solving important problems, our students are engaged in one of the most powerful modes of Learn by Doing.

Through undergraduate research, students develop vital skill sets that prepare them to be leaders and changemakers. Experience in labs and in the field are foundational and provide a platform for intellectual curiosity, problem-solving, innovation and discovery. The principles of the scientific method and scholarly inquiry (study design, observations, measurements, data analysis, and updating one’s understanding based on results) remain fundamental in academic pursuits, and they also serve our students who have career trajectories outside of science, mathematics and education.

The process of acquiring knowledge through investigation helps to shape our understanding of each other and the world, contributing to the greater good. We take great pride in our stewardship of place — designing initiatives, building relationships and leveraging funds and strengths in ways that ensure the vibrancy and sustainability of the local San Luis Obispo community, California and beyond.

It takes a community of STEM advocates to provide the first-rate educational experiences that launch our students on their personal and professional journeys, while further enhancing the Bailey College’s reputation as one of the nation’s premier institutions for undergraduate research.

As you read this Undergraduate Research issue, it’s my hope that you’ll gain insight into our exceptional academic and scientific community. Many of you honor and support this community and Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing mission, and that dedication and generosity is greatly appreciated and integral as we move toward an increasingly interconnected, complex and technical future.


Dean E. Wendt

Dean, BAILEY College of Science & Mathematics

BCSM logo and magazine iconOur Centers
The Bailey College is home to esteemed interdisciplinary research centers tackling important problems facing government, industry and community.

Yosemite National ParkBCSM Spaces
Research happens in a variety of spaces — not only in labs — as shown in this photo gallery.

Climate and Sustainability

Earth image with math formulas in backgroundAnswering Climate Questions
Math researchers use paleoclimate records for computer-based modeling to better understand unprecedented conditions and predict future trends in temperatures and weather patterns.

Cal Poly ocean physics researchers with equipmentMarine Heatwaves and Cold Spells
Physics researchers use unique datasets to understand extreme and potentially harmful ocean events in California's coastal waters.

Hot buildingCool Walls and Green Buildings
A chemistry and biochemistry team are developing new types of eco-friendly “cool walls” for green building coatings through polymer research and industry partnerships.

Education and Society

Cal Poly Nuestra Ciencia researchers with elentary student

Cal Poly Bailey College English and Spanish InsigniaOur Science.
Nuestra Ciencia.

An interdisciplinary research team addresses microbiology misconceptions including misinformation about vaccines and herd immunity while advocating STEM to Spanish-speaking youth in underrepresented communities.
Read this article in Spanish.
Lea este artículo en español.

Health and Medicine

Cal Poly biotech student and faculty researchersMore with Less for Point-of-Care Testing
Cal Poly biotech researchers work to create more reliable and accessible diagnostic devices.

Mi Gente, Nuestra Salud researchersAddressing Health Inequities for Underserved Communities
Mi Gente, Nuestra Salud — or My People, Our Health — is an outreach program seeking to connect disenfranchised community members to better healthcare services and resources.

Other Elements

E. coli
Research Briefs
A quick look at the who, what, why, what's next and the wow of research by our students and faculty.

Pub and Rec
Notes on publications by and recognitions of researchers in the college.

Genesis Glover using mass spectrometerFunded and Focused
Bailey College undergraduates are making excellent use of research funding. Learn more about some of these student researchers and their meaningful work.

Gopher snakeCool Tool: High-Tech Spying on Rattlesnakes
Spotlighting equipment, instruments and technology impacting research in the Bailey College.

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Undergraduate Research Magazine 2024

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