Research

Understanding Great Mental Health Hospitals

Ashworth Hospital sign
Ariela Safira, '17

The precise goal of this Senior Synthesis project was to research and study the world’s best mental health institutions in order to later redesign suicide prevention methods in the United States. Ariela has been deeply passionate about suicide prevention and mental health since her freshman year at Stanford. After working independently and in the d. school on this passion, she learned that she needed to better understand extremely successful mental health initiatives before she could redesign rehabs, mental wards, or education systems herself.

Rules of Love

What are three rules that you would have for yourself in love? Screenshot from THINK project,
Avani Singh, '18

Over the course of the class, we studied various perspectives on the 'rules of love'. For my final presentation, I decided to make a short video. In this, I asked 17-21 year olds from 10 different countries: "What are three rules that you would have for yourself in love?" When I looked closely at these videos, the results were interesting. Answers varied across genders and cultures. There were differences and similarities.

The Science of MythBusters: Piezo Poppers

Three students work together on a project
Class Project

In a hands-on experimental component of The Science of MythBusters, students work in teams to build and launch custom-modified alcohol-powered film canisters, called piezo poppers. Applying their skills in experimental design and statistical analysis, the students modify their launcher, canister, and fuel to maximize the launch distance of their canisters, culminating in a class-wide contest at the end of the quarter.

The Science of MythBusters, Thinking Matters 101

Converted peanut butter jar, from The Science of MythBusters class, THINK: 1.
Class Project

As part of THINK1: The Science of MythBusters, students built small piezoelectric devices (“piezo poppers”) in which a small spark ignites an alcohol-based fuel inside a film canister, launching the film canister into the air. After building a custom-modified launcher, students used their piezo poppers to see how variables like launch angle and fuel type affected the distance the canister traveled, applying statistical tools learned in class. Students then worked in teams to modify relevant variables and optimize their launch distances.

The Era of Political Fandom

Overhead view of Tea Party Rally in Nevada
Sam Cady, '15

A fascination with the grotesque. I suppose that’s what drew me to spend a quarter researching the modern American political system. My PWR 2 course, Superfans and Scholars: The Rhetoric of Fan Culture, began by introducing students to the academic study of fandom; we were then challenged to employ this knowledge of fan cultures as a lens through which to understand our research topic. Ever the ambitious student, I settled upon what I considered to be an eminently manageable task: use fan studies to explain and suggest solutions to the gridlock paralyzing Washington. Ha.

Design and Construction of a Miniature Electrowetting Motor

Electrowetting Motor
Andrey Sushko, '16

Conventional motors use electromagnetism to exert torque – a design that works very well for large systems, but becomes increasingly inefficient as the motors become smaller. The goal of this project was to develop a new motor design that may greatly outperform conventional motors at smaller scales. After considerable background testing, the principle of electrowetting was applied to create a motor in which a rotor floating in water was turned by tiny deformations of the water’s surface.

Cognitive Tools of Social Networking Across Cultures

Images of emoticons.
Group Project

Technologies of Civilization: Writing, Numbers, and Money (ClassGen 22N) an IntroSem taught by Professor Reviel Netz  to freshmen in the autumn, investigates the global “role of cognition in shaping history and the role of history in shaping cognition,” with special emphasis on the ancient technologies of writing, numbers, and money.

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