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Bailey College of Science and Mathematics

Enhancing lives through learning, discovery and innovation

Undergraduate Research Magazine

Website Update

Undergraduate Research Magazine - 2023

CSM Undergraduate Research Magazine 2023 masthead

From the Dean

Dean Wendt, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics

I am thrilled to announce the publication of the first Cal Poly College of Science and Mathematics Undergraduate
Research magazine. 

This inaugural edition highlights outstanding scholarly contributions by students, faculty and staff in departments across the college, and it demonstrates that our students today have unprecedented opportunities to engage in one of the most powerful forms of Learn by Doing — the scholarship of discovery. 

Undergraduate research coupled with top-notch classroom and laboratory instruction distinguishes Cal Poly and our
college as one of the nation’s premier institutions for undergraduate education. 

In this issue, you will learn about research conducted by undergraduates focused on breast cancer subtype diagnostic modeling, public perception of vaping, mathematical game
theory, offshore wind energy infrastructure and seasonal changes in oceanography of the Central Coast.

The institutional growth of our college has been substantial, and I have witnessed that progress firsthand. I arrived at Cal Poly as a first-generation transfer student in 1989 and quickly grew captivated by the amazing science and mathematics faculty who engaged me in the highest quality classroom and laboratory settings. Through their care and intention, I discovered that I was a scientist.                         

While a few faculty had active research programs when I was a student, most had dedicated their professional careers to teaching. That dedication rightly built the reputation of this university, and it changed my life.

As an undergraduate, I worked to find a research opportunity in marine biology at Diablo Canyon Power Plant, where they studied how to control biofouling (the accumulation of plants and animals on human made structures) of the facility’s once-through cooling system. The experience was valuable and formative and served as an important springboard to gaining admission to several respected doctoral programs.

 I can proudly say that research opportunities at the undergraduate level in our college are now the norm, not the exception — truly a mark of excellence that we set for ourselves and met with hard-earned results.

The investments of our faculty to curate research opportunities and seek competitive grants, the decades of dedication of Dean Emeritus Philip Bailey, and the vision of donors William and Linda Frost to support undergraduate research have enabled us to develop unparalleled capacity for undergraduates and faculty to collaborate in an activity that produces deep learning, solves important problems facing society and extends our Learn by Doing curriculum to explore the limits of knowledge.

In generating new knowledge, our students develop predictions about nature and society, and form robust collaborations with peers. They are faced with and solve unanticipated challenges. They build community and contribute new discoveries that create meaningful knowledge to support basic science, various industries, government agencies throughout California and the world.

We take pride in providing research opportunities for students because we are a community dedicated to their success. The growth in research in the College of Science and Mathematics has happened precisely because we understand how impactful it is on the learning and growth of our students — and our world is better for it. 


Dean E. Wendt

Dean, College of Science & Mathematics

CSM Student Research Conference poster display2023 Student Research Conference
Learn more about the college's annual conference showcasing student research, faculty talks and alumni mentor sessions.


Frost Center renderingThe Limitless Future
 of Learn by Doing
A proud look at the college as one of the nation's premier undergraduate research institutions and how the program benefits students, faculty and Learn by Doing.

Health and Medicine

person with smokeVaping Study: Outbreaks, Perceptions and Policies
Cal Poly researchers collected survey data about e-cigarette beliefs before and after disease outbreaks.

Reading Cues and Feeding Babies With Behavioral Coding
An interdisciplinary research team’s analysis of infant cues may lead to healthier babies.

Sustainability and Blue Economy

Cal Poly students at Cal Poly PierOceans of Data: Time Series Study Provides Key Analysis
Researchers integrate carbon chemistry and marine microbiology in their work focused on environmental conditions within Central Coast ecosystems.

Findings for the Future of Deepwater Wind Energy
First-person report from a former Cal Poly undergraduate researcher who is currently a scientist with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Exploration and Innovation

Vector graph illustrationCharacterizing Singular Graphs with Games
First-person report from a mathematics student and faculty group whose research was inspired by the ShapleySnow theorem.

Fighting Cancer With Computation
First-person report from a former Cal Poly undergraduate researcher who is currently a scientist with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Education and Society

Children with Cal Poly student outdoor science educationNature's Classroom: Helping Schools Get Kids Outside to Learn
Cal Poly researchers develop culturally responsive K-8 science education curriculum.

Other Elements

Frost Center atrium and Discere Faciendo wallCSM Spaces
Research happens in a variety of spaces — not only in labs — as shown in this photo gallery.

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.

Cool Tool
Spotlighting equipment, instruments and technology impacting research.

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