Sixty seven CSU undergraduate students had the opportunity to work on research projects with faculty mentors during Summer 2013. Fifty three proposals were received from five colleges with requests totaling $413,242. With the generous support of the Provost's office, 35 proposals were funded across 15 departments for a total of $249,820.
The Poster Session took place on September 5, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Atrium of the Student Center.
Teisha Mullins, Surendra N. Tewari, and Joanne M. Belovich
Titanium is a viable material for prosthetic implants due to its biocompatible surface which facilitates cell adhesion. In this study, titanium discs are used as a substrate for mesenchymal stem cells which have been genetically altered with Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). Due to the reflective properties of the titanium discs, standard light microscopy could not be used for cell growth analysis. Thus, a fluorescent microscope and camera were used to record periodic images of live cell growth. Trial images were analyzed for a variety of properties including cell proliferation, growth, migration, area, and perimeter. Images were analyzed by using ImageJ, an image processing and analysis program created by the National Institute of Health. The cells in the images were either automatically analyzed using built-in functions or they were traced manually and then analyzed. This study focuses on the comparison of these two methods in regards to measuring the area and perimeter of the cells.
Adena Muskin and Stephen Cory
Our goal was to develop an application that would enable students to use the Map Walk to “walk” through the history of the Mongol conquests and Mongol empires during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. As students follow the development of the Mongol empires, they will be able to access additional background information on thirty sites that were critical to the establishment and growth of these empires. In order to achieve this goal, Adena read several books on the history of the Mongols and selected thirty sites from Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East to include in the History blog. She conducted background research on all thirty of these sites and wrote short entries of three or four paragraphs for each site, providing historical and contemporary information on the site as well as stories from the Mongol era. She posted these blogs along with pictures of the sites and then created and placed QR codes on the maps corresponding to each site. On the day of the Map Walk, students will be able to use their smart phones to access the blogs and follow the development of the Mongol empires.
Examination of the Environmental Health of an Impacted Watershed using Freshwater Mussels as an Indicator Organism
Paul Orefice, Bob Krebs Ph.D., and Matthew T. Begley
Environmental health of Northeast Ohio watersheds have been at the forefront of local conservation efforts since June 22, 1969, when the Cuyahoga River caught fire due to surface pollution. Numerous studies reflected the declining aquatic diversity, and one of the hardest hit groups appeared to be Ohio’s freshwater mussels. Mussels are a diverse group of aquatic invertebrates that not only are an important part of an aquatic ecosystem, but they are excellent indicators of good water quality. Additionally, mussels rely on clean water for reproduction, as larvae can be more sensitive than adults. Mussel species also vary in their tolerance to pollution, suggesting that community composition can be informative of stream condition. This experiment seeks to use the differences in pollution tolerance between two freshwater mussel species; Lampsilis siliquoidea and Strophitus undulatus, to examine success of regional efforts to restore the impaired Eagle Creek area. Eagle Creek not only provides habitat for numerous species, but also flows into water bodies that provide drinking water for local communities. Both species were collected from multiple sites along the Eagle Creek tributary, crossing areas of varied land use. Analysis of these data should indicate whether or not current conservation efforts are seemingly effective, or if stronger measures need to be enacted to repair the environmental health. Although the number of specimens found indicate positive change, the decline in diversity in the middle portions of the watershed indicate some cause for concern.
Risa F. Orlosky, Kathryn G. Van Gunten, Megan Cerbin, and Albert F. Smith
Reading MIXed caSE ITEms is harder than reading UPPERCASE or lowercase items, but whether the type of case transition in mixed-case items affects performance is unknown. We investigated whether the type of case transition (e.g. PLAnt vs. plaNT) impacts lexical decision performance—deciding whether a letter string is a word. Abstract letter identification models propose that due to perceptual learning, we should process uppercase-to-lowercase items better than lowercase-to-uppercase ones. Eleven students participated in a lexical decision experiment consisting of twelve 32-trial blocks. In six blocks, the type of case change was constant (all uppercase-to-lowercase or all lowercase-to-uppercase); in the other six blocks, type of case change varied over trials. Within each block, item length was constant, and word frequency varied. On each trial, a letter string was presented on a computer screen, and the participant was to respond whether the string was a word or a nonword by pressing buttons as quickly as possible. In overall analyses (of correct responses to words and nonwords), there were significant effects of lexicality and item length, but no significant effect of format. In correct responses to words, there was a significant effect of word frequency, but no significant effect of format.
The Influence of Land-Cover/Land-Use on the Quality of Inland Lakes Located in Cuyahoga County, Ohio
Justin Ostry and Julie Wolin Ph.D.
The purpose of this research was to determine the extent of the effects of land-use/land cover on water quality, ecological integrity, and hydrology present within surrounding water bodies. The methods used to determine land-use/land cover types include physical habitat assessment of the riparian zone and banks, human influence characterizations, and satellite imagery and historical map analysis. The expected results to this investigation are that overall lake quality partially depends on the size and condition of the land-use/land cover types surrounding the water body. Highly vegetated buffer zones are expected to produce favorable water quality conditions. Non-vegetated buffer zones consisting of impervious, barren, and grass surfaces are expected to serve as poor buffer zones and contribute to high amounts of nutrient input and erosion. These formulated results can be compared with similar studies conducted by the National Lake Assessment to aid planners in maintenance and restoration of urban water bodies.
Investigating Gendered Health, Reproduction, and Biosociality Among Senegalese Men: a Methodological Comparison
Richard T. Powis III and Barbara G. Hoffman Ph.D.
The study of health, identity, and agency within the field of Medical Anthropology has a solid history stretching back at least half a century to Goffman’s 1963 work on stigma (Whyte 2009). Reproductive anthropology claims to investigate the behavior, conceptualizations, and values of particular communities with respect to sex and reproduction, but in fact, the focus has been almost exclusively on the women of these communities. This pilot study focused instead on the male residents of Dakar, Senegal, which occupies an intersection of French, Wolof, and Islamic cultures with their distinct ontologies, epistemologies, and moral philosophies. This project tested methods for investigating how Senegalese men conceptualize reproductive health and decision-making in correlation with socioeconomic status, caste status, religious beliefs, marital status, and education. Two classic anthropological research methods were utilized: participant-observation and semi-structured interviews. This poster offers visual comparison of the results of the application of these two methods on questions of the ideological contextualization of the body, the role of and attitudes toward reproductive technologies, types of treatment-seeking behavior, and attitudes about children, parenting, and childbirth.
Kara Rader and Kimberly Neuendorf Ph.D.
An exhaustive review of the literature about audio-visual translation finds that a number of studies have looked at problems facing translators, including translating spoken word to written word and translating cultural references. We tested differences in audience responses to two versions (subtitled and dubbed) of the same film. The dependent variables investigated were enjoyment, presence, and comprehension. Two groups of participants were shown the first thirty minutes of the film Life is Beautiful; one group was shown the subtitled version and the other was shown the dubbed version. Based on previous research (e.g., Wissmath et al., 2009), the results are predicted to show no difference in comprehension between subtitled and dubbed versions, but it is predicted that the participants’ presence, and thus their enjoyment, will be lower while watching the dubbed version of the film. Results show that there are no significant relationships between the version of the film and the audience’s presence, enjoyment, or comprehension. However, mediating variables such as intercultural exposure and gender were shown to have significant influence. A future study will use eye tracking technology to look at differences in visual attention paid to details within the film during the subtitled film and the dubbed film.
Kara Rader, Rafeeq I. Roberts, Matt Egizii, and Jeffery Allen
The prevailing wisdom in the film and video production industries is that audio information outweighs visual information when it comes to spectator responses, but there are few empirical studies to support this claim. In previous research, four critical characteristics of sound have been identified: (1) Music, (2) visual/sound contradictions (defined as sound that is inconsistent with audience expectations based on visual information), (3) multi-channel sound, and (4) sound quality. Building on our previous research into music and film, we have found that many researchers have looked into the question of how music affects emotions (Eschrich et al., 2008; Have, 2008; Konecni, 2008; etc.), but few have investigated how music affects spectators’ perception of a film. Research into the effects of the other characteristics is almost non-existent and does not include any empirical studies. We propose four experiments to investigate the four different characteristics and how they affect spectators (e.g., their presence responses, affective measures, enjoyment). We have produced a short film, “Chase Her,” that will be manipulated in various ways (including adding music representative of different genres and recording realistic sounds and “contradictory” sounds in our new Foley studio) to test the four characteristics’ effects on audiences.
Stephen A. Reeves, Shreya Adhikari, Joshua Cmar, and Jorge E. Gatica Ph.D.
The efficient use of material sent into space is a concern for all missions. Catalytic reactions can be used to convert polymer (plastic) waste into combustion products. These gases can be compressed or vented to vacuum which reduces or eliminates storage space needs for the trash. In addition, secondary reactions can further convert products to methane which can be used as a fuel source, and hydrogen which is a common rocket propellant. Using a Gas Chromatography machine, the composition of affluent gas following experimental catalytic reactions can be measured. This composition allows the calculation of how much waste was gasified. Repeat experimental reactions under different conditions provide data for the dependency on temperature and reaction length. This study aims to find the most suitable reaction parameters for efficient gasification when the process is scaled up. It also aims to modify the reaction from a batch process to a continuous process.
Nick Ruffing, Lulu Terrill, and Ye Zhu
As the smartphone/tablet industry continues to grow, so does the concern of possible malicious attacks and privacy. Statistics show that there are over 1.08 billion smartphone/tablet users in the world today and 91.4 million of them are in USA. Currently Android devices have the largest market shares. Other major competitors are Apple’s iPhone/iPad, Windows phones/tablets, and Blackberry smartphones. In this project, we plan to identify the possible security and privacy attacks to the smartphones/tablets. The obvious benefit of this study is to raise awareness among smartphone/tablet users of the potential threats that they are exposed by accessing web applications especially through apps installed in their platforms. We will further develop general defensive mechanisms and countermeasures to specific attacks in this project.
Nancy Seck and Jacqueline Jenkins Ph.D. , PEng.
A driving simulation experiment was conducted to test the effectiveness and relative efficiencies of two practice scenarios. In Scenario 1, participants followed the posted speed limits, which ranged from 30 to 65 mph, and made 50 lane changes. In Scenario 2, participants drove at 50 mph, increased their speed as they were comfortable to do so, and made 20 lane changes. Each scenario used pylons to indicate the desired travel lanes and lane changes. The lateral position at the pylons and the travel times between pylons were used to define functions for cost and cumulative cost per lane change. These functions were tested for whether they fit a power curve, indicating whether the participants learned, were still learning, or were not learning to interact with the simulator. Both scenarios were shown to be effective in providing participants practice. Scenario 1 was shown to be more efficient, as indicated by lower variances after 10 lane changes and an increase in the range of observed travel speeds. Therefore, directing participants to travel given speeds improves their learning to interact with the driving simulator.
Controlling the Size and Shape of Polypeptide Colloidal Particles: Characterization by Light Scattering
Hannah E. Shuman, Grace Gaeckle, Nolan B. Holland Ph.D., and Kiril A. Streletzky Ph.D.
Temperature-dependent polymer surfactants have been developed by connecting three elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) chains to a charged protein domain (foldon), forming a three-armed star polymer. At low temperatures, the polymer is soluble, while at higher temperatures, the ELP phase separates into a hydrophilic head group and hydrophobic tails, forming micelles. These particles have potential applications in drug delivery, as they are both small and biocompatible. The behavior of mixtures of the three-armed star ELP (E20-Foldon) and H-40 linear ELP chains was analyzed under different salt and protein concentrations, as well as with various foldon to linear ratio combinations using Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) and Depolarized Dynamic Light Scattering (DDLS). Pure E20-Foldon solutions with the same protein and salt concentrations were also analyzed and compared to their respective mixtures. It was expected that under certain conditions, the pure E20-Foldon would form spherical micelles, and that by adding the linear ELP, those micelles would increase in size and the conditions under which they formed would change. It was determined that the pure E20 did indeed form largely spherical micelles with an apparent size of about 10nm in solutions with salt concentration between 15mM and 100mM and protein concentration between 10μM and 100μM. It was also determined that low salt (up to 25mM) mixtures of E20-Foldon and H-40 linear ELPs yielded large colloidal particles with an apparent radius of 200-500nm and properties of non-spherical particles above the transition.
Philip Simon, Brandon Sommers, Ann Reinthal, and Nigamanth Sridhar
The Exercise Tutor (ET) is a system that uses a Kinect camera motion sensor in conjunction with a number of wearable inertial sensors to monitor home exercise performance. Its purpose is to decrease healthcare costs while concurrently improving clinical outcomes. A clinician programs this system with the particular exercise(s) that a client is to perform, along with several critical parameters for its correct and safe completion. The client then takes the system home and exercises using the ET, which keeps track of the regularity and quantity as well as quality of exercise performance for the clinician. The system also provides real-time feedback to the client while performing the exercise to ensure correct and safe execution. This summer we completed initial ET feasibility testing and planned the next phase of pilot clinical studies. Initial feasibility testing included task analysis for prototype exercises (identifying joints of interest, velocities, critical angles, etc.), identifying relevant parameters for front end programming, determining error tolerance levels for the exercises, and identifying home usability features (screen size, control features, and avatar characteristics). Finally, two initial clinical trials were planned to assess the ET’s effectiveness as a feedback modality during exercise as well as its in-home usability.
Vitaliy Sinyuk, Sam Yokoyama, Kelsey Bujdos, and Wenbing Zhao
In this project, students have attempted to implement a computer-vision based translation system for American Sign Language (ASL). A set of ASL signs, including “Hello”, “How are you”, “Good”, “Thank you”, “Yes”, “What”, “Blue”, “Noise”, and “Tall”, were recorded via a computer program using the Kinect sensor. The Hidden Markov Model (HMM) was used as the machine learning classifier to recognize ASL signs. The HMM classifier was implemented in C# and trained using the recorded data. Unfortunately, the experimental results were disappointing. The accuracy of ASL sign recognition is not acceptable. We conclude that alternative template-based method might be more suitable for the ASL sign recognition. Nevertheless, the project provided a good learning experience for students, and the recorded ASL signs will be valuable for future research.
Brendan Skrtic and Aaron Severson Ph.D.
To establish a method for conditional disruption of protein function in Caenorhabditis elegans, we are implementing system in which a degron tag is added to a protein of interest. Under certain conditions the tagged protein is recognized by a ubiquitin ligase that catalyzes polyubiquitination of the tag and degradation of the protein. Degron tags are commonly used in yeast and cultured cells. However, the standard degrons cannot be used in C. elegans because the restrictive conditions are lethal to worms. Recently, an Auxin Inducible Degron (AID) has been shown to rapidly reduce protein levels in budding yeast, fission yeast, and cells derived from mice, hamsters, chickens, and humans. AID works by tagging the target protein with a polypeptide from plants. In the presence of the hormone auxin, the polypeptide tag is bound by the plant protein TIR1. TIR1 in turn recruits several of the cell’s own components of the ubiquitin ligase complex, resulting in polyubiquitination and degradation of the tagged protein. Importantly, proteins tagged with the AID degron function normally until exposed to auxin, and degradation of AID-tagged proteins occurs in conditions compatible with growth of C. elegans strains.
Fan Wu, Adaobi Davidson, and Bibo Li Ph.D.
Telomeres are specialized protein-DNA complexes located at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. They act as caps on the ends of chromosomes to preserve DNA from degradation and rearrangements and are therefore essential for genome stability. Trypanosoma brucei, a protozoan parasite that causes sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in cattle, evades the host immune responses by regularly switching its surface antigen, Variant Surface Glycoproteins (VSG). VSGs are expressed exclusively from regions adjacent to telomeres. Hence, understanding the VSG regulation by the telomere complex would help in developing means to eliminate this parasite. Our recent studies indicate that TbRAP1 is a protein associated with the telomere complex and is important for VSG silencing and VSG switching. In order to better understand the underlying mechanisms of TbRAP1-mediated VSG regulation, we attempted to identify proteins that interact with TbRAP1. By using TbRAP1 as bait, we identified a number of TbRAP1-interacting candidates in a yeast-2-hybrid screen. We have now subcloned these candidates into yeast expression vectors and tested their interactions with TbRAP1 directly by the liquid yeast 2-hybrid assay using Ortho-Nitrophenyl-β-galactoside (ONPG) as the substrate of the reporter gene product -glactosidase.
Female Labor Force Participation and Economic Development in Developing Countries: Case Study of Turkey
Salih Yasun and Aycan Koksal
In this research project, we explore the factors that influence women's labor force participation(WLFP) in developing regions through a case study of Turkey. Several researchers claim that WLFP exhibits a U-shape during the process of economic development. U-shaped hypothesis proposed that WLFP decreases in the early stages of industrialization, and increases again once women acquire skills and education needed to find jobs in non-agricultural sectors. Through regression analysis we found that U-shaped pattern exists for Turkey's different regions. This also proved that there are large differences in economic development of regions in Turkey. Our study indicated that lack of investment, and opportunity cost of working for women are hindering both economic development and WLFP. We recommend policy makers to attach women employment incentives to stimulus packages, invest on tourism, bring child care subsidies, and complete the roads for connecting Anatolian regions to domestic and foreign markets. We also found that in Metropolitan regions, there is a labor market matching problem where high school graduate women gradually quit labor force. To solve the matching problem, we recommend policy makers to extend vocational and technical high school programs in Metropolitan regions and attract more females to these programs.