Research & Journals


** Updated: August 2013


Sit Down and Write!


Natural Sciences


Science Café


WIP: Work in progress lunch

Work in Progress (WIP) is a lunchtime series to promote cross talk and discussion among graduate and undergraduate students, staff, faculty, and post-doctoral fellows.  This series is a forum for presentation of work progress, although it sometimes includes paper and grant design-outlines, professional development, instrumentation discussions, and NIH webinars.  For more information contact or


Social Sciences, Humanities & Arts

Discussion group: psychoanalysis and critical theory

All grad students with an interest in reading difficult theoretical material in psychoanalysis, critical theory, social change, and other critiques of modern life are welcome to join the faculty interest group within the Merritt Writing Program on those topics.

  • At least a week before a meeting or at the end of the previous mtg. someone suggests an article or chapter of a book to read that would challenge us. If all agree, the suggester will scan the material into a PDF and send it to all members in time for us to read it.
  • Don't think you need to be an expert; we're not--just be eager to follow intellectual currents before they pass us by.
  • You don't have to attend every mtg. but we do expect a commitment to attending regularly.

If interested, email me at, so that I can alert you to the reading(s) for the upcoming mtg.


ESEE (also for Natural Sciences students)

ESEE (Environmental Systems, Ecology, & Evolution) is a discussion
group designed to bridge the gap between graduate students and
postdocs in the schools of Natural Science and Engineering. The group
provides a chance to meet and socialize with your colleagues and talk
informally about important issues related to ecology, evolution, and
academic life. We typically meet one evening a month.

Please contact for more information.


Quantitative, Analytic, and Computational Consulting

Our goals are to increase both the overall productivity of researchers and the overall quality of research being conducted at UC Merced by serving as a local source of knowledge and experience.

  • If your simulation is too slow, we can help.
    • Matlab, Python, and R: best practices and code optimization
    • C/C++/Fortran experience and library knowledge
    • Parallelization of code
    • Experience with GPU programming
  • If your data set resists analysis, we can help.
    • Shell scripts to parse and format data files
    • SAS, Stata, and R expertise
    • Theoretical and practical statistics knowledge to be applied to novel analyses
  • If you have a mathematical idea but lack the language to express it, we can help.
    • Our members include students from the applied mathematics group and other quantitative disciplines

If it sounds like we can be of service to your research project, learn more about us:


What is QACC?

QACC stands for Quantitative, Analytic, and Computational Consulting ("Quack"). Being a major research university, a lot of the research that is conducted on campus involves computational simulation, mathematical modeling, and statistical analysis. However, while our training rarely extends to more than one of these areas, we're often expected to be experts in all 3. QACC is our solution to this problem -- a resource freely available to the local research community to leverage existing knowledge and expertise to multiply research output.

Who is QACC?

QACC is a group of graduate students and staff from multiple research groups on campus who are willing to volunteer time to help facilitate your research. We are interested in seeing quantitative ideas and challenges from other disciplines and viewpoints and recognize that collaboration is the best way to achieve this.

What will this cost me?

Other than a suggested coffee donation when you meet your consultant(s), nothing. We do not impose any sort of attribution requirement when we offer help, suggestions, or improvements. This is also because we will not actually write your code or solve your problem for you -- we are a resource, nothing more. However, your consultant(s) might naturally become interested in further collaboration. If so, you might want to discuss the possibility of acknowledgments and/or coauthorships depending on the extent of any future, collaborative work.

What isn't QACC?

We are not a homework resource. We are intentionally limiting our services to UC-specific, sponsored research efforts. (Though we may be willing to accept paid contracts from outside companies in the future.)

We will not do your work for you. If you request the services of QACC, you will be expected to have already studied and worked on the problem for a non-trivial amount of time; that is, we shouldn't be your first attempt. You'll be expected to be able to explain the difficulties you have encountered and what steps you have attempted to work around them.

How do I request help from QACC?

Simply send an email to (it must be from your UC Merced-supplied email account, not a personal email address). In the body provide a brief description of your problem, including any necessary background. The message will be forwarded to QACC volunteers with an appropriate skillset, after which an initial meeting will be scheduled. Please keep in mind that as volunteers, our response time and consultations will vary with our own availability.

How can I join QACC?

If you enjoy inter-disciplinary problems and have useful quantitative skills, we would value your participation! Please send an email to with some basic information (research group, year, skillset) and we'll add you to the internal listserv.