Dear Readers,

Our mission at UMURJ is simple: to give undergraduate students the opportunity to publish their original research. In this issue, you will find a selection of novel articles and abstracts, each paving new modes of thinking in their respective fields. However, while the end-product you see now is refined and concise, the research and editing that goes into it is anything but.

Research is a messy, laborious process. The original ideas presented here are the results of months of trial and error, re-working solutions, and the authors’ expansive imaginations. After that, even more time is spent on revising and editing the articles. The effort and dedication that both of these stages demand can be draining but is necessary if we are to satisfy the goal of research – to arrive at an objective truth.

Most importantly, however, the process requires collaboration across fields and among authors, editors, and faculty alike. The interdisciplinary nature of research permeates the process through which we edit the journal and the structure of the journal itself. We continue our working relationships with a variety of programs across campus, including the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, the Michigan Library, and the Michigan Office of Research, to continue promoting undergraduate research here at Michigan. We bring together the enthusiasm of student editors and the knowledge of faculty reviewers in ensuring that each article is thoroughly edited. We publish across several academic fields because we believe that research from a variety of sources can provide unique insights into the problems we face.

Finally, over the past three years, we have had the privilege of serving the Undergraduate Research Journal, learning an incredible amount about both the research process and the editing process from people across campus who are extremely passionate about disseminating exciting work to thousands of readers. This past year as leaders of the journal has been challenging, but we could not be prouder of the end result. To our faculty mentors, thank you for giving us the support and guidance we needed to expand our presence on campus. To our incredible staff, we would not have had a journal without the time and dedication you have devoted over the past few months, and we leave UMURJ confident that you will continue to embrace and fulfill our mission statement. And finally, to you, the reader, thank you for choosing to support undergraduate research. It is due to the dissemination of knowledge to readers like you that research holds the significance and meaning that it does.


Abhi Bukkapatnam and Anna Kang

UMURJ Co-Editors-in-Chief