Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal

Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal CUSJ publishes original research by Columbia undergraduates in its peer/faculty reviewed journal and hosts an annual symposium for tri-state area students.

The Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal is a peer-reviewed, professional-level, open-access academic publication that is committed to publishing manuscripts of the highest scholarship resulting from significant scientific research or outstanding scientific analysis. Each paper published in the CUSJ undergoes a double-blind peer review process facilitated by the Journal's Editorial Review Board and a faculty review by a member of the Faculty Advisory Board. Publication in the CUSJ is highly competitive. CUSJ also hosts an annual spring Undergraduate Research Symposium. Students from any college are invited to submit abstracts for consideration to present a poster and/or give an oral presentation at the Symposium. Through the Symposium, the Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal aims to establish a forum for the display of outstanding undergraduate research to be viewed by faculty and students of pre-eminent Northeastern region research institutions. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear about current research from distinguished Columbia faculty members. The CUSJ has two primary goals. First, the CUSJ aims to publish works of the highest scholarship authored primarily by undergraduates. Second, the CUSJ aims to educate students about the academic publication process, both from the inside as a member of the CUSJ staff and from the outside as a submitter to a scientific journal with academic standards that are as rigorous as any professional-level scientific publication. Please note that the deadline for submissions to our 2013-2014 issue has past, but please stay tuned for more information about submitting to our 2014-2015 issue this fall!

Meet Brendon Choy, one of our editors from Queens, NY!What are your research interests?"Just like an engineer needs to l...
04/22/2019

Meet Brendon Choy, one of our editors from Queens, NY!

What are your research interests?
"Just like an engineer needs to look at the parts of a machine to learn how it works, a structural biologist tries to find the structure of proteins to figure out how they function in processes ranging from DNA replication and repair to viral interactions. I’m interested in structural biology because it provides the basic pictures and puzzle pieces to learn about unknown biological mechanisms and ultimately create solutions to associated problems through, for example, optimizing the drug design process. Also, the finished results - colorful 3D renditions of protein structures - are works of art in and of themselves."

Join us tonight for The In Silico Revolution: Computational Biology Panel! It’ll start at 7pm in Math 203— hope to s...
04/18/2019

Join us tonight for The In Silico Revolution: Computational Biology Panel! It’ll start at 7pm in Math 203— hope to see you there!

Meet Deena Shefter, one of our editors from Ridgewood, NJ! What are your research interests?"Cellular & molecular biolog...
04/08/2019

Meet Deena Shefter, one of our editors from Ridgewood, NJ!

What are your research interests?
"Cellular & molecular biology, neuroscience, computer science, and especially the combination of these disciplines. I have completed a computational biology project regarding the crosstalk between multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis and am now working in a lab which optimizes immunolabeling techniques in the brains of mice with Alzheimers."

Meet Noah Krever, one of our editors from Columbus, New Jersey!What are your research interests?"Nothing excites me more...
03/27/2019

Meet Noah Krever, one of our editors from Columbus, New Jersey!

What are your research interests?
"Nothing excites me more than research being done on the frontiers of modern physics. Personally, my favorite topics are astrophysics and cosmology dealing with black holes, time dilation, stellar physics, gravitational waves and lensing, dark matter and dark energy, along with quantum physics like superstring theory, particle physics, supersymmetry, and quantum entanglement. I believe that we are on the cusp of so many revolutionary breakthroughs in physics that could propel humanity into an exciting future. It is truly a wonderful time to be a physicist- the only problem is figuring out what to tackle first!"

Meet Anastasia, the Managing Editor of CJSJ! What are your research interests?"I'm really excited about the patterns tha...
03/11/2019

Meet Anastasia, the Managing Editor of CJSJ!

What are your research interests?
"I'm really excited about the patterns that we can find in brain imaging data. My current research project at the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience lies at the intersection of statistical methodology and computational neuroscience. As new techniques such as calcium imaging have produced datasets of unprecedented size and precision, researchers are creating new techniques, such as signal processing and dimensionality reduction, to understand fundamental neuroscience problems. One component of my work involves fitting maximum entropy distributions to model the population structure of neural data and testing its properties."

Meet Elin Hu (CC'22), one of our new editors from Manhasset, New York! What are your research interests?"I am interested...
03/01/2019

Meet Elin Hu (CC'22), one of our new editors from Manhasset, New York!

What are your research interests?
"I am interested in neuroscience, specifically sleep and how it affects our everyday life. I am also interested in Parkinson’s disease research. I find it really fascinating how, not only in the case of sleep and Parkinson’s disease, different areas of neuroscience research are intertwined and can affect each other."

Check out our latest blog post by our Managing Editor, Christina Monnen! (warning, you may encounter 🐯s!)
02/25/2019
Redefining Subspecies to Aid in Tiger Conservation – Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal

Check out our latest blog post by our Managing Editor,
Christina Monnen! (warning, you may encounter 🐯s!)

Redefining Subspecies to Aid in Tiger Conservation Christina Monnen [Interested in submitting? Check out the following link: https://goo.gl/forms/1rxIpnxWhTrWY3Dr2] Panthera tigris is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with only 3,200-3,600 left in the...

Meet Maria, one of our editors from Jacksonville, Alabama!Why are you passionate about CUSJ?"I love working with other s...
02/22/2019

Meet Maria, one of our editors from Jacksonville, Alabama!

Why are you passionate about CUSJ?
"I love working with other science students to improve the scientific community on campus. We get to increase awareness of amazing scientific discoveries through our events and publications. I also find the process of reading and editing the research of other undergraduates really interesting."

Meet Alex Ying (SEAS'22), one of our new editors from Cincinnati, Ohio!What "hot topic" in science excites you most and ...
02/17/2019

Meet Alex Ying (SEAS'22), one of our new editors from Cincinnati, Ohio!

What "hot topic" in science excites you most and why?
"Right now tissue engineering excites me because of how many far reaching impacts it offers. Not only can lab grown foods reduce the environmental impact of the meat industry, but engineered tissues can also improve medical research, like allowing for more accurate pharmaceutical testing. While I don't know if I'll be involved with tissue research on campus, I'll definitely be looking forward to seeing how the field develops."

Meet Kate Johnson (CC'22), one of our new editors from St. Helena, California!What are your research interests?"My resea...
02/11/2019

Meet Kate Johnson (CC'22), one of our new editors from St. Helena, California!

What are your research interests?
"My research interests lie in the medical sciences. For the past couple of years, I have volunteered at a surgical bioengineering laboratory where we looked at the application of placental mesenchymal stromal cells to treat spina bifida in the fetal lamb model. I am also interested in gastroenterology research, and more specifically, projects related to the pancreas and liver."

Help improve CUSJ for the Spring semester! We want to know how to help our community of scientists on campus through a s...
01/17/2019

Help improve CUSJ for the Spring semester! We want to know how to help our community of scientists on campus through a short survey: http://bit.ly/cusj_survey2019

Whether if you attended our events last semester or if you are interested in joining our community, all of your feedback will be highly appreciated.

12/08/2018

Come by Lerner Satow between 2-6 today for a place to study with treats and coffee from Hungarian Pastry Shop!

Check out Columbia for Carbon Neutrality for their great efforts to get Columbia to commit to being carbon neutral by 20...
12/06/2018
Columbia for Carbon Neutrality

Check out Columbia for Carbon Neutrality for their great efforts to get Columbia to commit to being carbon neutral by 2030!

We are a group of students urging Columbia University to commit to carbon neutrality by 2030 in its upcoming 2020 Sustainability Plan.

Meet Erik Cera (CC'21), one of our new editors! What "hot topic" in science excites you most and why?"I'm absolutely obs...
12/05/2018

Meet Erik Cera (CC'21), one of our new editors!

What "hot topic" in science excites you most and why?
"I'm absolutely obsessed with Apple, and this year's keynote came with the reveal of the A12 Bionic Chip. It's 15% faster and uses up to 40% less power: along with making the next generation of iPhones greater, it opens door for a greater array of uses within the technical world and possibly the medical fields. Being only 7mm this chip is extremely versatile, and I can't wait to see how Apple tests its limits!"

"Being a good scientist not only means coming to terms with the fact that we are ultimately people first, with imperfect...
12/03/2018
The Real Problem with Confounding Variables – Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal

"Being a good scientist not only means coming to terms with the fact that we are ultimately people first, with imperfect lives, aspirations, and history, but also actively incorporating these experiences into how we do science."

Check out our very own Maya Talukdar's blog post on the brand new CUSJ Blog page!

If you are interested in submitting, please visit the following link:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/17PHarqgR83gk9-AZVovCagi9BU3utVaws4Nir95aPS0/edit

The Real Problem with Confounding Variables Maya Talukdar If you think back to when you first learned about the scientific method, you probably remember a thing or two about confounding variables, which often lead to accidental association of two very different things. In fact, most scientists, even...

Meet Micah Gay (CC'20), our President! Why are you passionate about CUSJ?"Doing research and being at Columbia has taugh...
12/03/2018

Meet Micah Gay (CC'20), our President!

Why are you passionate about CUSJ?
"Doing research and being at Columbia has taught me how crucial it is as a researcher to be part of the scientific community around you. By highlighting phenomenal research done by students in our journals, building communities on campus through our general body and mentorship programs, and hosting events that enrich students' experiences by helping them get involved in research, my goal is for CUSJ to be a practical resource to help students to become members of the scientific research community. Being able to explore the sciences beyond what you encounter in your classes allows you to tap into whole new levels of curiosity and excitement about what science can offer, and I hope that our work can help other students discover their own passion for research."

Check out Kenneth's piece published in STAT about high school summer research opportunities!
11/13/2018
STAT

Check out Kenneth's piece published in STAT about high school summer research opportunities!

Opinion: To create a generation of scientists that is diverse in every sense, all high school students who prefer the lab bench to the beach should able to take advantage of summer research opportunities.

10/19/2018
We were so pleased with the turnout for the event yesterday! Many thanks to Dr. Sam Sternberg, Dr. Kyle Mandli, Dr. Hugh...
10/06/2018

We were so pleased with the turnout for the event yesterday! Many thanks to Dr. Sam Sternberg, Dr. Kyle Mandli, Dr. Hugh Ducklow, Dr. Gerard Parkin, and everyone who showed up to learn about pursuing research opportunities on campus. Stay tuned for future talks/workshops/panels/events!

09/16/2018

Come to our General Interest Meeting today at 3pm in Schapiro Lounge to learn more about CUSJ and how to join!

09/07/2018

Stop by our table at the Activities Fair from 12-4 on Low Plaza to learn about CUSJ and all of our new initiatives this year!

We hope everyone is having a great science-filled summer! Make sure to check out and donate to this exciting project. Th...
06/29/2018
The Animated Mind of Oliver Sacks

We hope everyone is having a great science-filled summer!

Make sure to check out and donate to this exciting project.

The Animated Mind of Oliver Sacks chronicles the life of one of the most compassionate scientific minds of our time. Oliver Sacks, M.D. an internationally renowned neurologist who pioneered the idea of compassionate care, joined Columbia University as a “Columbia Artist” and professor of clinical neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. The Animated Mind of Oliver Sacks is a feature length documentary film based on 10 years of exclusive conversations between Oliver Sacks & filmmaker Dempsey Rice.

A feature documentary about renowned author/neurologist Oliver Sacks, MD, one of the most compassionate scientific minds of our time.

Some of our current members at our picnic!
05/02/2018

Some of our current members at our picnic!

Congratulations to the student researchers who presented at our annual Science Research Symposium on Sunday in Lerner 55...
05/01/2018

Congratulations to the student researchers who presented at our annual Science Research Symposium on Sunday in Lerner 555! We are proud to announce two particularly compelling presenters:

Wendy Fernandez (The City College of New York) : “Enhancing Voice Localization by Shaping Audio Features Using Filters and Time-Delay Estimation”

Nicole Eskow (Yale University) :
“Structure-Function Analysis of MKL1 in Megakaryopoiesis”

Haley So, SEAS'20, is majoring in Electrical Engineering. She is one of our associate editors."For me, scientific resear...
04/23/2018

Haley So, SEAS'20, is majoring in Electrical Engineering. She is one of our associate editors.

"For me, scientific research is using my imagination and pushing my knowledge to its limits to discover something new to help enhance the world. It's empowering and wondrous, and the possibilities are endless. And being able to always be learning is what I love."

Maria Trifas, CC'21, is one of our editors. She plans on majoring in Biochemistry."I conducted research in a stem cell l...
04/16/2018

Maria Trifas, CC'21, is one of our editors. She plans on majoring in Biochemistry.

"I conducted research in a stem cell laboratory at Vanderbilt over the summer, and I enjoyed both research in the lab and reading the journal articles related to my project. I joined CUSJ to help others have their own works published, as well as to improve my own writing and editing skills."

One of our events directors is Micah Gay, CC'20, who is majoring in Mathematics. "I've always been captivated by the abi...
04/09/2018

One of our events directors is Micah Gay, CC'20, who is majoring in Mathematics.

"I've always been captivated by the ability of mathematics to describe natural phenomena. As someone who studies abstract mathematics, being able to communicate effectively really tests your knowledge of the subject and pushes you to think about the ideas from a different perspective. With CUSJ, my goal is to help other students see how wonderful and collaborative the scientific community is by making research more accessible to everyone."

04/04/2018
Alex Maddon, CC'21, is one of our editors. He plans on majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior."I have always been surroun...
04/02/2018

Alex Maddon, CC'21, is one of our editors. He plans on majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior.

"I have always been surrounded by science; my parents were both researchers at one point during their professional lives. Through road trip conversations about how the body works, to dinner table debates centered around the cosmos, I gradually developed a deep passion for science. I am especially fascinated by the biology behind the brain's complex functions. Now, as a first-year, I dedicate the majority of my time to science clubs, classes, and research! "

Here's our 2017-2018 CUSJ eBoard!
03/26/2018

Here's our 2017-2018 CUSJ eBoard!

Maya Talukdar, CC'20, is double majoring in Computer Science (Intelligent Systems track) and Biology. She is our social ...
03/26/2018

Maya Talukdar, CC'20, is double majoring in Computer Science (Intelligent Systems track) and Biology. She is our social chair.

"I think that there's a perception that scientific research is overly dry and logical, but in my experience, research is actually a very creative endeavor: it requires constant generation of new ideas, flexibility, and a willingness to take risks that may not pay off. Especially in bioinformatics, you are frequently not only generating your own questions, but designing your own tools to solve them, which is inventive in and of itself. Being in CUSJ has helped me not only reach this view of research, but meet an amazing group of students who not only are great scientists but great people."

Ethan Chen, CC'21, is one of our editors. He plans on majoring in Biology."James Maxwell, a famous physicist, once said,...
03/05/2018

Ethan Chen, CC'21, is one of our editors. He plans on majoring in Biology.

"James Maxwell, a famous physicist, once said, “Thoroughly conscious ignorance is the prelude to every real advance in science.” Realizing our own ignorance is a key to making new findings. For me, scientific research is exciting because it seeks to extend the limits of our knowledge. The field of mechanobiology, understanding how mechanical forces influence cell behavior, particularly interests me. It is an interdisciplinary field combining biology, chemistry, physics, and material science. While science can often seem confounding to one alone, joining CUSJ has given me a group of peers to discuss and share my excitement for scientific discovery."

Anastasia Dmitrienko, CC'21, is one of our editors. She plans on majoring in Statistics & Computer Science."When I becam...
02/26/2018

Anastasia Dmitrienko, CC'21, is one of our editors. She plans on majoring in Statistics & Computer Science.

"When I became involved in biostatistics research in high school, I had the chance to read and review various research papers regarding clinical trials and medical treatments. This inspired me to continue immersing myself in research here at Columbia and join CUSJ."

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