News Release| CSU Student Research Competition; Cal State L.A.

May 30, 2013

Top awards for research on supersonic rocket, adolescent meth exposure

Cal State L.A. students garner double first prizes at systemwide student research competition

Los Angeles, CA – Cal State L.A.’s psychology major Tony Ye—along with CSULA mechanical engineering team Azizkhan Pathan, Joseph David Wells and Benjamin Liu—recently took home first-place awards from the 27th Annual CSU Student Research Competition at Cal Poly Pomona.

Awards for research and creative scholarly activity were presented to 40 outstanding CSU undergraduate and graduate students. Participating at this event were approximately 200 students who had earned honors at their campuses.

Cal State L.A.’s participants at the statewide competition were selected at a recent campus symposium on research and creative activities. The symposium encourages all Cal State L.A. students—undergraduate and graduate in every discipline—to showcase their projects and provides opportunities to network with administrators, faculty and peers.

Tony Ye’s research—which won first place in the graduate division of the Behavioral and Social Sciences category—investigated the long-term effects of escalating, adolescent methamphetamine (mAMPH) exposure on cognitive flexibility as measured by reversal learning and the likelihood of later self-administration.

“Tony Ye represents the best and brightest of Cal State L.A.,” said Ye’s faculty mentor Alicia Izquierdo, professor of psychology at CSULA. “I’m very pleased that his tireless work in the lab has been recognized. He is soon to leave us to go to the University of Arizona’s Neuroscience Ph.D. program.”

Ye’s research presentation, entitled “Cognitive Inflexibility After Adolescent Methamphetamine Exposure,” showed that even modest exposure to mAMPH during late adolescent may induce general learning impairments in adulthood, and a heightened sensitivity to the long-term effects of mAMPH. His research also garnered one of two CSULA’s 2013 Phi Kappa Phi Travel Award. Ye is a Los Angeles resident.

With students from throughout the 23-campus CSU system, the competition covered 10 categories, each with undergraduate and graduate levels. Each student was given 10 minutes to present to a jury, which then had five minutes to ask questions.

The research by Pathan (Victorville resident), Wells (Baldwin Park resident) and Liu (Temple City resident)—which took first place in the undergraduate division of the Engineering and Computer Sciences category—was focused on the design, fabrication, launch, and recovery of a supersonic experimental sounding rocket with a target apogee of 25,000 feet above ground level.

The team’s presentation, entitled “Experimental Sounding Supersonic Rocket Design,” addressed their experiment that has been conducted to mitigate trajectory failures, prevent structural damage, and locate the system after impact using Iridium GPS. A test rocket was used to begin the validation of computational programs and to verify design specifications of the final rocket. The team’s advisers are Darrell Guillaume, professor of mechanical engineering at CSULA, and Charles Hoult, a retired aerospace engineer.

Pathan, Wells and Liu, along with six others in the team, have been exceptional all year,” said Ted Nye, instructor for the Senior Design class at CSULA. “They have combined the best of engineering using modeling and analytical predictions, then correlating these to test results to achieve optimum rocket performance.”

For a list of awardees:  

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