"Examining How Cultural Values, Intergenerational Acculturation, and Parenting Values
in the Latinx Community Influence the Risk of Alcohol Abuse in Adolescents"
Mentor: Brandy Pina-Watson, Psychology
"Dietary Branched-chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) and their Link to Alzheimer's Disease"
Mentor: Andrew Shin, Nutritional Sciences
"Affect and Protective Factors Amongst African American Juvenile Females"
Mentor: Adam Schmidt, Psychology
“Analyzing DNase1L3 to Examine Its Structure and Ability to Regulate Inflammation
I'm Systemic Lupus Erythematous”
Mentor: Peter Keyel, Biological Sciences
Eric Nelson, Jr.
"Mood-Congruent Memory Bias"
Mentor: Molly Ireland, Psychology
"Optimizing the speed of robots with Heuristic Genetic Algorithms"
Mentor: Burak Aksak, Mechanical Engineering
Class of 2020
"Innovation in Educational Startups"
Mentor: Luiz Martinez, Business, Trinity University
This research analyzes how individuals can effectively jumpstart their career and
land employment without the need of a traditional college degree as precursor to the
job market. To answer this question, we studied college alternative programs, their
claims and participants who participated in the program. In today's traditional college
scheme, there are two major problems students face. The first, is the amount of rising
college debt and percentage of those with debt. Second, students' feeling unprepared
in skills to enter the job market. This includes landing a successful job in the market,
their respective major leading to a good job, and their performance in the workplace.
Our results are in progress, and in the phase of determining which methods are best
for collecting and visually showing the data.
"Validity of Body Volume Estimates from Infrared 3-dimensional Scanning and Dual-energy
X-ray Absorptiometry as Compared to Air Displacement Plethysmography"
Mentor: Grant Tinsley, Kinesiology
Traditional methods of estimating body volume (BV) such as hydrostatic weighing and
air-displacement plethysmography (ADP) could theoretically be replaced using BV estimates
obtained by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) or infrared 3-dimensional (3D)
scanning devices. Multiple 3D scanning technologies have recently become popularized
and while these technologies currently predict body composition based primarily on
circumference estimates, the BV estimates obtained could be used to predict body composition
if the BV estimates are validated. The purpose of this analysis was to examine the
validity of BV estimates obtained from DXA-derived formulas and multiple types of
3D scanners as compared to ADP.
"Investigating the Physiological Responses in Arabidopsis FKF1 mutant"
Mentor: Venugopal Mendu, Plant and Soil Sciences
This research explores the complex phenomena of cellulose biosynthesis. We are working
with a specific blue light receptor mutant (fkf1) which showed enhanced cellulose
and chlorophyll contents compared to wild type plants. It is hypothesized the mutants
have higher photosynthetic efficiency due to enhanced chlorophyll content. Controlled
environment plant growth chambers are being constructed to measure CO2 gas exchange.
Differences in gas exchange will allow for measurements of photosynthetic and respiration
rates. This research will increase the understanding of how the FKF1 protein is modulating
physiological responses in order to co-ordinate development with delayed flowering
time and increased cellulose content.
"Identifying cells types capable of providing protection against the development of
Mentor: Peter Keyel, Biological Sciences
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a debilitating autoimmune disease which affects
upwards of 1.5 million Americans by prompting an inflammation response in healthy
tissues and organs. Currently, there are no specific treatment options available.
The inactivation of the Dnase1L3 gene is known to promote pediatric onset lupus by
allowing the accumulation of autoantibodies which signal an inflammation response
against the host. A population of mice with a conditional knockout mutation in their
macrophage cells will be monitored for signs of increased autoantibodies. Our goal
is to assess the role of macrophages in providing protection against the symptoms
associated with SLE.
"First-Generation College Students: Evaluating Family Support as a Protective Factor
for Academics and Depression"
Mentor: Brandy Pina-Watson, Psychology
The purpose of my research is to analyze the relationship between depression, family
support, and academic in the lives of first-generation college students (FGCS). I
want to find a way to help FGCS prepare and navigate through college effectively.
Also, I will analyze the familial protective factor to determine if family support
protects academics and depression for FGCS. The participants who meet the criteria
of FGCS and age 18-25 will complete an online survey on Qualtrics that include multiple
questionnaires that take approximately 45 minutes. Compensation will include either
1 SONA credit for PSY 1300 or a $5 gift card.
"Mechanisms for Onset Instabilities in Highly Viscoelastic Flows at Moderate Mach
An examination of the upstream and downstream instabilities that occur for highly
confined and bounded viscoelastic flows around a cylinder is presented. An elasticity
number-Mach number (El-Ma) phase space is used to demonstrate that the onset of downstream
instabilities at Ma=1; these instabilities are instigated by the disturbance of the
base flow by traveling elastic waves. After the onset of the downstream instability,
an upstream instability eventually occurs for Macrit ~10; however, this number is
affected by both channel geometry and fluid properties. The upstream instability is
instigated by perturbations of the flow field caused by the downstream instability
and does not occur until a critical perturbation size at a given velocity is exceeded.
The effects of these flow regimes on flow resistance are characterized by examining
excess pressure drop; a significant increase in flow resistance is observed at the
onset of the upstream instability.
"Robustification of the Student's t-test statistic for comparing two means"
Mentor: Min Wang, Math & Statistics
In this presentation, we propose two robustified analogues of the pooled-variance
t-statistic based on independent (unpaired) samples for testing the equality of two
population means without assuming the homogeneity of their variances. The test statistics
are derived based on a combined use of the sample median and the median absolute deviation
estimators, and the Hodges Lehmann and Shamos estimators, respectively. Thus, they
are quite robust under a certain level of data contamination that often occurs during
practical applications. The finite sample performances of the proposed test statistics
are illustrated using an extensive simulation study and a real-data application.
"Sustainability in the retail sector: The application of Blockchain as an alternative
Mentor: Samina Khan, Design
The fashion industry is one of the world's largest consumer industries, with rising
concerns over environmental and social conditions. Advances in technology, particularly
Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain, can provide the apparel industry with revolutionary
changes. The need for consistent ecolabelling sources could be realized industry-wide
by utilizing Blockchain technology, and could serve to validate a company's sustainability
claim by introducing transparency to a retailer's supply chain. This study aims to
investigate potential consumer interaction with Blockchain data supporting sustainability
initiatives, which can validate growth in the application of Blockchain data and lead
to a shift in consumer culture.
"Quality Assessment of Plant Transpiration Water for Recirculating Greywater Hydroponic
Mentor: Andrew Jackson, Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering
Hybrid life support systems can provide sustainable water and air, while simultaneously
providing a portion of the habitation food. To minimize potable water consumption,
biologically treated greywater could be used for plant growth. Outrageous romaine
seedlings were grown in bins over a 4-week growth period. Half of the seedlings were
fed with a distilled water adjacent to an identical set fed with greywater. We evaluated
plant HC by collecting plant condensate, tracking pH levels, TDS, and biofilm formation.
Our findings suggest that a biologically stabilized greywater hydroponic solution
can be successfully used as water replacement in hybrid life support systems.
Nelly Rubio Rayas
"The Characterization of the Dietary habits of Alligator mississippiensis from the
Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana"
Mentor: Lou Densmore, Biological Sciences
This study aims to characterize Alligator mississippiensis, food habits in the Rockefeller
Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana. analyzing dietary variation will allow researchers to
understand how food habits relate to different life stages of this crocodilian species.
128 alligator stomachs were collected to later be assessed and categorized into organismal
classes. We hypothesize that there will be greater overlap between similar sized alligators
that will narrow as size differs. The goal is to obtain an updated reservoir on the
dietary habits that alligators in this region possess thus allowing us to observe
their impact on the environment.
"The Influence of Social Media Platforms on Funding for the Beauty Industry"
Mentor: Alejandra Marin, Industrial Engineering
Although the origination of YouTube was based as a video sharing platform for amateur
content it quickly became a key factor in the success of beauty companies. YouTube
contains over 1.5 million beauty-related videos since 2015. Success factors such as
originality, brand image, and viewer engagement all affect a cosmetic company; traditional
or indie. Existing databases from CrunchBase have been compiled and will be analyzed,
primarily focusing on the funding received and founders of these companies. The purpose
of this research proposal is to find the fundamental criteria investors use to base
their preference on which beauty ventures to fund.
"Academic and Professional Contexts around Contemporary Digital Media"
Film and media programs can be categorized according to their emphases in critical
studies and production. The research for this project will explore these distinctions
by examining several aspects from media production on the local level to media literacy
and understanding of digital media. The concepts focused upon are meant to provide
a clearer understanding of the significance of contemporary cinema studies and digital
media in the context of graduate level programs as well as potential professional
pursuits. Furthermore, the study aims to examine certain methodologies and implement
some of the techniques into practice through filmmaking.