Faculty + Staff

Nine research projects are awarded Transdisciplinary Seed Grants

Supporting collaboration among faculty from different departments


Nine multidisciplinary research projects that are being launched by UCLA faculty from different departments across the campus have recently been awarded Transdisciplinary Seed Grants by the UCLA Office of Vice Chancellor for Research. Winning projects were selected by a review committee.

These grants were first awarded in 2011 to foster new transdisciplinary research and scholarship between faculty members from different disciplines. Two priorities for the fiscal year 2017 competition were north campus-led research projects and projects involving big data and related tools and capabilities.

“Many of the projects involve big data, and five of the projects are led by PIs (principal investigators) from north campus departments,” said Ann Karagozian, interim vice chancellor for research, in an announcement of the winners. “A number of these funded projects received co-sponsorship from several different campus units, for which we are very grateful.”

The winning projects and principal and co-principal investigators are:

  • Los Angeles as a Lab for Environmental Culture and Science: A Public Media Collaboration: principal investigator Allison Carruth (English) with co-principal investigator Kristy Guevara-Flanagan (film, TV and digital media);
  • How Stories Live: Using Big Data to Understand the Diversity Dynamics of Folktales: Jacob Foster (social sciences) with Timothy Tangherlini (Scandinavian section, Germanic languages and literatures/ Asian languages and cultures);
  • Reducing Homelessness in LA using Big Data and Predictive Modeling: Mark Handcock (statistics) with Till von Wachter (economics);
  • Querying and Constructing the SSWL database: Tools for Linguistic Theory: Hilda Koopman (linguistics) with Yizhou Sun (computer science);
  • Searching for Repeating Foreshocks by Data-mining Massive Continuous Seismic Waveforms: Lingsen Meng (Earth, planetary, and space sciences)
  • Visual Big Data: Using Images to Understand Protests: Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld  (public policy) with Jungseock Joo (communication studies);
  • Harvesting Data for a Regional Seismic Risk and Sustainability Assessment Tool for California's Bridge Stock: Ertugrul Taciroglu (civil and environmental engineering) with J.R. DeShazo (urban planning); 
  • Leveraging Highly Granular Data in Sampling and Analysis of Political Surveys: Lynn Vavreck (political science) with Erin Hartman (statistics); 
  • Real-time Precision Mapping in Understanding Metropolitan Los Angeles Transportation Networks: Chee Wei Wong (electrical engineering) with Rui Wang (urban planning).

You can find a detailed summary of each project at this website

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