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CONTACT: Bruce Smith
Public Information Officer
(310) 434-4209
DATE: April 2, 2004


It’s unusual for community college students to have their research projects published in scientific publications, but four SMC students have done just that.

The students, who served summer internships at The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, had their research projects published in the Journal of Undergraduate Research of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.

Deepak Malhotra, who worked with Dr. William Stringfellow of the Lab’s Earth Sciences Division and Center for Environmental Biotechnology, conducted research on the biodegradation of MTBE, a toxic gasoline additive used to promote combustion efficiency and reduce carbon monoxide emissions from automobiles.

Silja Haapanen did research analysis and study preparation of the low-energy background in the particle detector in the Lab’s Nuclear Science Division. Her mentor was Dr. Kevin Lesko.

Gustavo Gonzalez did his research project in the Nuclear Science Division focusing on the 88-inch Cyclotron, home to the world’s most powerful gamma ray detector. He centered his research on modeling the external beamline optics into the Gammasphere.

Ruzan Shahinian’s project was to create a user-friendly input format for the computer program COMIS, which calculates airflow and pollutant transport in buildings. Her mentor was Phillip N. Price.

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