Honors Medalists

Firestone/Golden Medalists from the Symbolic Systems Honors Program

Stanford annually presents awards to recognize excellent honors research by Stanford undergraduates. The Firestone Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Research is given to the top theses in the sciences and engineering, and Robert M. Golden Medal is given to the top theses in the humanities and creative arts.

The most recent medal winner from the Symbolic Systems Honors Program is...

Photo of Bora Erden

Bora Erden
Symbolic Systems Program ('17)
Firestone Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Research, 2017

Honors Thesis: Choice-Predictive Activity in the Macaque Dorsal Premotor and Motor Cortices
Honors Advisor: Diogo Peixoto, Neurobiology
Second Reader: James McClelland, Psychology

Firestone Medal Citation:
Bora's thesis addresses multiple questions in systems neuroscience. For example, are decision-related neural signals in motor cortex confined to a single motor effector system, or are they generalized for other effectors as well? Bora's analysis provides evidence that decision-making takes place at an abstract level, becoming translated into specific motor commands at lower levels. His work also advances understanding of the topography of decision-related activity in motor cortex. Bora was determined to get the story right. His research is a genuine contribution to the field.

Previous Symbolic Systems Honors Program Medalists:
The table below lists honors theses in Symbolic Systems that have won university awards since 1995.

Year Student Honors Thesis Title Honors Advisor Second Reader Award
1995 Jon Lindsay "A Biological Basis for Being-in-the-World: Autopoesis and Heidegger's Phenomenology" Jean-Pierre Dupuy Terry Winograd Golden
1998 Jacob Wobbrock "The Law and Policy of Autonomous Software Agents" Carey Heckman Thomas A. Wasow Golden
1999 Amy Perfors "Slow and Steady Doesn't Win the Race: The Relation of Infant Information Processing Skills to Later Linguistic Performance" Anne Fernald Zenzi Griffin Firestone
2000 Joan Chiao "Do They All Look Alike?: An fMRI Study on Race and Face Perception" Jennifer Eberhardt John Gabrieli Firestone
2001 William Barkis "A New Insight into a Fundamental Neural Mechanism of Learning, Memory and Neuron Death: Understanding the Regulation of NMDA Receptor Expression" Ben Barres Erik Ullian Firestone
2002 Barry Wark "The Biology of Developing Complex Neural Network Architectures: Integration of Neural Activity by Astrocytes in Regulating Formation of Synapses in vitro" Ben Barres Erik Ullian & Stephen Smith Firestone
2003 Deena Skolnick "Interactions Between Mutual Exclusivity and Lexical Contrast in Word Learning" Ellen Markman Anne Fernald Firestone
2005 Gregory Wayne "Order and Word Order: How the Information Content of a Word in a Sentence Helps Explain a Linguistic Universal" David Beaver Thomas A. Wasow Firestone
2006 Michael Bernstein "Taskposé: A Dynamic Task-Based Window Management Aid" Jeff Shrager Terry Winograd Firestone
2007 Gabriel Recchia "STRATA: Search Tools for Richly Annotated and Time-Aligned Linguistic Data" Joan Bresnan Thomas A. Wasow Firestone
2008 David Hall "Tracking the Evolution of Science" Daniel Jurafsky Christopher Manning Firestone
2009 Anna Schapiro "A Connectionist Model of a Continuous Developmental Transition in the Balance Scale Task" James McClelland Anthony Wagner Firestone
2011 Justine Kao "A Computational Analysis of Poetic Craft in Contemporary Professional and Amateur Poetry" Daniel Jurafsky Christopher Potts Golden
2014 Makiko Fujimoto "Show Me the Features: Regular Viewing Patterns During Encoding and Recognition of Faces, Objects, and Places" Kalanit Grill-Spector Tirin Moore Firestone
2017 Bora Erden "Choice-Predictive Activity in the Macaque Dorsal Premotor and Motor Cortices" Diogo Peixoto James McClelland Firestone

 

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