From the Editor

Dear Readers,

2021 was a year of continued sacrifice and struggle through which we stayed resilient, and from that resilience grew excellence. I am excited to unveil the second edition of our collaboration between the Northwestern Undergraduate Research Journal (NURJ) and the Undergraduate Research and Arts Exposition (EXPO). The NURJ is proud to use our platform to showcase EXPO student research in a variety of engaging virtual formats. Additionally, the NURJ worked with the University Library to establish and register a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for each body of work, ensuring that they will be visible on academic search engines.

The EXPO collaboration was born out of a desire to provide student researchers with additional visibility due to the virtual format of EXPO in 2020, but we are pleased to be presenting it again for what we hope is the beginning of a Northwestern tradition. This year provided several challenges to the NURJ, most notably the passing of our inspiring adviser Professor Allen Taflove. We would like to thank Professor Taflove for everything he did to support the NURJ and encourage us to pursue lofty goals; additionally, we would like to thank President Morton Schapiro and Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education Miriam G. Sherin for their continued backing. Furthermore, we would like to especially thank Chris Diaz of the University Library for helping us through the process of organizing and cataloging.

We have always been proud of our platform for Northwestern students to share their written research, but I hope our recent foray into multimedia will allow for students in a greater variety of disciplines to highlight their research. We aim to increase visibility around subjects that may not receive as much attention and we hope this is an essential step in doing so. Please feel free to reach out to the NURJ at with questions or suggestions.

Happy reading!

Soumya Jhaveri
NURJ x EXPO Managing Editor
NURJ STEM Managing Editor

Suzie Bian
NURJ STEM Associate Managing Editor