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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The UCLA Library Prize for Undergraduate Research recognizes and honors excellence in undergraduate research at UCLA.

The inspiration for the UCLA Library Prize for Undergraduate Research came from Ruth Simon, lover of books and libraries.

Simon earned her BA in English at UCLA and served as UCLA's campus counsel for many years until her retirement in 2003. Her many memories of her college years include countless hours spent in the undergraduate library, studying for classes and exams or enjoying classic works of English literature.

Guided by her passion for reading and research and wishing to share her love of libraries, Simon established the Ruth Simon Library Prize for Undergraduate Research, the first endowment of its kind at UCLA, to inspire and reward UCLA undergraduates for outstanding library research now and for generations yet to come.

For more information about the Library Prize, including submission guidelines, please visit

Cover page of Bringing Early Modern England to Life

Bringing Early Modern England to Life


The early modern period in England (c. 1500-1800) is often best remembered for dramatic developments that transformed the political, religious and economic life of the country. Henry VIII’s rejection of the papacy in the 1530s severed the English church and its worshippers from the wider Catholic community. In 1649, the execution of Charles I at the end of the Civil War marked the beginning of a transformation in the relationship between king and people. That relationship continued to evolve and in 1689, it was recast in the Bill of Rights, which subordinated the Crown to the people. The economy thrived through much of the period and by the eighteenth century England was both a leader in European and in the overseas colonies for which so many nations vied. This exhibit seeks to explore the lives of ordinary people who lived through these dramatic events. While such developments were important, they did not always gure in the everyday lives of those who were not members of the political nation. For them, concerns about their work, families, education and spiritual lives loomed larger than the activities and debates taking place at Westminster. The objects here reveal the concerns, desires and fears of some of the English people during the early modern era and how they sought to manage them--not always successfully.

Cover page of Dams, Development and the Future of Sino-Indian Hydro- Politics

Dams, Development and the Future of Sino-Indian Hydro- Politics


China and India's miraculous economic growth has undoubtedly improved the livelihoods of millions of people, but it has also increased demand for already scarce water resources in the region. The hydro-political relationship between the two countries is particularly interesting due to China’s hold of the Tibetan Plateau which houses the heads of most major rivers in the region. China’s general unwillingness to cooperate with their downstream neighbors has become cause for concern, especially for India’s growing economy and population. This study analyzes the quantitative economic and resource consumption changes of China and India since 1980 to demonstrate the sharp changes linked to export-oriented economic development. These data are supported by a holistic analysis of key domestic policy changes as well as current domestic water-related issues in order to fully grasp the current circumstances and hypothesize the potential for escalation to conflict. Using Feron’s rationalist framework, I analyze the key sources of conflict as credibility problems, incomplete information and the indivisible nature of water. These three issues work cyclically and feed into one another, any solution for the issue would have to acknowledge all three elements. This study suggests that domestic water efficiency improvements such as increased water-recycling and smarter irrigation infrastructure coupled with bilateral solutions like joint hydraulic projects on the Brahmaputra and codified data sharing agreements can foment cooperation between the nations. This thesis ultimately establishes a link between the globalization-led development in the region and India and China’s changing hydraulic needs in order to determine the actions necessary to avoid international conflict and ensure long-term water and energy security for both states.

Cover page of You Gotta Fight For Your Right

You Gotta Fight For Your Right


You Gotta Fight For Your Right is a digital story map examining the sites of political protests in the greater Georgia area between 1954 and 1974. We chose to map the sites of prevalent political unrest during this time period in order to examine the causes and historical impacts of political protests in relation to their historically significant locations.

Cover page of The Far-Reaching Influence of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

The Far-Reaching Influence of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra


The Far-Reaching Influence of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is a visual, online research project that explores some of the various venues at which the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performed since its inception. The project begins with the formation of the orchestra as the Atlanta Youth Symphony and follows its growth under two different conductors, Henry Sopkin followed by Robert Shaw. The project then details the histories of 12 separate concert sites for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, including the sites used as the orchestra’s homes in Atlanta. Further, the project includes various primary resources that aid in providing a clear and concise history of each concert site. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s influence both nationally, and internationally, is supported by the prestigious venues at which they performed, such as the Konzerthaus Berlin on a European tour, the Kennedy Center at president-elect Jimmy Carter’s inauguration concert, the world-renowned Carnegie Hall, or at home in the Atlanta Memorial Arts Center.

Cover page of “Numerical determination of Chern numbers and critical exponents for Anderson localization in tight-binding and related models”

“Numerical determination of Chern numbers and critical exponents for Anderson localization in tight-binding and related models”


Computational modules were developed to numerically determine electronic band structures, berry curvatures, Chern numbers, localization lengths, and critical exponents for tight- binding and related models. These modules were applied to a variety tight-binding and related models including the Hofstadter Model, Anderson Model, and the Chalker- Coddington model. When analytic solutions were available, numeric energy bands agreed with analytic solutions to within machine precision. In addition Chern numbers for well known models were reproduced, and localization lengths and critical exponents agreed with values in the literature.