Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges
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Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges Northeast Regional Undergraduate Research Conference Host campus: Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Participating campuses: Eastern Connecticut State University Keene State College Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Ramapo College of New Jersey State University of New York, College at Geneseo University of Maine at Farmington
25-26 October 2013
Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges Fall 2013 Regional Undergraduate Research Conference Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Friday, October 25, 2013 3 P.M. 4 P.M.
Arrive at Holiday Inn in North Adams Check In, Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation, atrium Building located on Blackinton Street Poster Session, Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation, atrium Welcome, Mary K. Grant, President of MCLA Art Exhibit, Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation, classroom 124 Faculty Dinner in Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation, 2nd Floor Student Dinner in Campus Center, Centennial Room (meal passes provided) Comedian, Church Street Center, Eleanor Furst Roberts Auditorium
7 P.M. 8 P.M.
Saturday, October 26, 2013 8:30 A.M. 9:30 A.M.
10:45 A.M. 11:15 A.M.
12:30 P.M. 1:30 P.M.
. 3 P.M. 3:15 P.M.
Continental Breakfast, Murdock Hall, Sammer Dennis Room (218) Concurrent Paper Sessions, Murdock Hall Natural Sciences, Room 201 Social Sciences Group 1, Room 203 Social Sciences Group 2, Room 216 Performance, Church Street Center, Eleanor Furst Roberts Auditorium Break Concurrent Paper Sessions, Murdock Hall Social Sciences Group 1, Room 201 Social Sciences Group 2, Room 203 Humanities, Room 213 Humanities and Social Science, Room 216 Lunch, Amsler Campus Center, gymnasium Concurrent Paper Sessions, Murdock Hall Social Sciences and Natural Science Group 1, Room 201 Social Sciences and Natural Science Group 2, Room 203 Humanities and Social Science, Room 216 Performance, Church Street Center, Eleanor Furst Roberts Auditorium Conclusion, Murdock 218 To-Go Snack Bags will be provided Depart MCLA
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Feigenbaum Center Atrium
1. Animations from Still Images Michael Pilosov Faculty mentor: Douglas Baldwin SUNY Geneseo The animated GIF image format is pervasive throughout the Internet community. However, to the best of my knowledge, no one has created animated GIFs solely from a single still image. I believe this is because current technology requires tedious manual alteration of successive frames to create such animations. I investigated whether it is possible to automate this manual process with digital image transformations by working at the interdisciplinary intersection of mathematics, computer science, and art. I developed a mathematical framework wherein I defined “animations” as sequences of still images, and “transformations” as composable functions that work on such sequences. To implement these concepts, I built a library of MATLAB functions that simplify and streamline the entire creative process by requiring only the input of a few parameters. Examples include manipulation of contrast, intensity, and colors of pixels, as well as warps of contours, positions, and size of select regions. The transformations allow for easy animation of regions of interest, giving some semblance of life to still images by turning them into animated GIFS. I will showcase some of the potential of this work when artistic layering of effects is performed. Michael Pilosov is a senior mathematics major from Queens, NY. He plans to pursue graduate study in applied mathematics and hopes to consult with tech startups. 2. Reimagining the “Dogtrot” House through Extensions and Juxtaposition Roger Wilkie, Katlin O’Neil, Michael Albrecht Faculty mentors: Bartlomiej Sapeta Keene State College The Zachary House originally located in Ramseur, North Carolina is a famous structure designed in 1999 by Stephen Atkinson. The House was destroyed in 2005 during the Katrina storm, but in no way connected to the natural disaster. Architecture students were challenged to study this minimalistic and efficient design to create individual additions that extrapolate from the original structure, without undermining the initial concept of the carefully designed dogtrot house. This poster session with supporting site, building models, and drawings illustrates how a variety of addition concepts to an iconic building can be conceived in a presence of specific site orientation, program and performance requirements, and work in harmony not only with the original house but also with each other. This presentation explores ways in which an expansion of the existing structure can be achieved based on a designed/construction “language” embedded in the original building. All three additions attach visually to the house through creative engagement and formal explorations without substantially altering the existing structure. They also pay particular attention to building materials, finishes, paths of circulation, occupational space needed by the client as well as environmental conditions. Our mixtures of options explore spatial relationships of the existing structure in formal and informal ways, extending the axial intersections present in the design or creating juxtapositions and contrasts.
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Roger Wilkie is currently an Architecture major at Keene State College with plans of working in an architecture firm post-graduation. Before coming to Keene State, he resided in Little Compton, RI and attended Portsmouth High School. Kaitlin O’Neil is from Plymouth, Massachusetts. She is an Architecture major. After graduating, she hopes to work in a residential architecture firm where she can continue to strengthen her skills and further her career in the Architecture profession. Michael Albrecht is from a small town in New York called Middle Granville. He is currently an Architecture major at Keene State College with post-graduation plans of finding an internship/job in Boston. 3. Student Perceptions, Performance and Motivation in the Core Curriculum Michael McCormick, Bentley Munsell, Kelli Furney Faculty mentor: Rebekah Benjamin Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Research suggests the general educational goals of post-secondary core curricula are important to business, civic, and academic leaders. Unfortunately, the same research also suggests that students fail to place the same degree of importance on those aspects of their education. Understanding students' motivational approach is important to supporting valued outcomes. Many disparate factors can affect student motivation. A broad outlook on motivation could provide those invested in post-secondary education a base from which to enhance the core curriculum. The present study used a modified version of the Attitudes toward Learning General Education (ATL-GE) scale to assess students across five Goal Achievement Orientations at a small public liberal arts college in the Northeast United States. Results show that freshmen were most concerned with avoiding the appearance of incompetence relative to their peers while seniors sought to minimize their academic effort. Female participants were more concerned with appearing incompetent either in relation to the task or their peers than male participants. Male participants were more concerned with minimizing academic effort than female participants. Additionally, traditionally aged students (>25 years) were more concerned with avoiding the appearance of incompetence in relation to their peers than non-traditional students. Bentley Munsell is a senior with a double major in Biology and Psychology from Grand Blanc, Michigan. He plans on pursuing a graduate degree in Physician Assistant studies with the hope of specializing in Endocrinology. Kelli Furney is a junior majoring in Psychology from Camden, NY. After graduation she hopes to pursue graduate studies in Criminal Psychology. Michael McCormick is a Psychology major and a native of Berkshire County, MA. He plans to pursue graduate work in Educational Psychology.
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4. Systems Analysis for Improvement at the Sales Department at Hayward Turnstiles David Klein Faculty Mentor: Don Petkov Eastern Connecticut State University The goal of this research was to analyze the Hayward Turnstiles (HT) and in particular the sales process of their turnstiles, starting from initial customer contact to when a salesman makes a sale. This small Milford, CT company is a leading manufacturer of high quality turnstiles, ADA gates, crowd-control barriers, and admissions software. The project utilizes a design science research approach based on Steven Alter’s Work System Method for analyzing organizations and technology in a systemic way. Focusing on a real local business, this work also illustrates the service component in the Systems Analysis and Design course at Eastern. The primary problems in the work system that were identified by this method were data redundancy, inefficiency, inflexible software and excessive work that could be automated. Sales reps had to manually enter the customer’s specifications for a quote into a database, and then into QuickBooks as well. There was no link between these two systems and consequently data accuracy depended on the users’ manual updating information correctly. There was no central database of customer information that could adapt to the sales team’s needs as new products were rolled out, or when other information changed. Based on this analysis, several recommendations for improvement were generated which included among other things a way to link the two systems. Another problem linked to the inflexibility of the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software was its ability to sort customers and products. New possible solutions for customer relationship management were identified that can easily integrate all of Hayward Turnstiles current software and databases. David Klein is a junior at ECSU with a major in Business Information Systems. He was on the campus Cross Country Running team for 2 years and is a member of the AITP (Association of Information Technology Professionals) student club. He was on the Dean’s List in the 2012-2013 academic year. 5. Can Behavioral Economics Help Consumers Save? Ted Straub Faculty Mentor: Dimitrios Pachis Eastern Connecticut State University Mainstream economics, as the social science which studies how societies allocate scarce resources to the production of goods and services, how they acquire wealth and how individuals make choices, has employed the stylistic paradigm of the rational economic agent in most models of economic analysis. This paper combines traditional economic approaches with new insights from the field of behavioral economics to explore how consumers can make better spending and saving choices, including retirement savings. Marketers have used behavioral economics for decades. They have studied human nature and have widely exploited the common mistakes consumers make during the purchasing process. Common tactics used by marketers exploit human biases such as hyperbolic discounting, the endowment effect, choice overload, and product placement to encourage consumers to spend their money. This paper suggests that it is possible, yet extremely difficult, to use knowledge from behavioral economics to turn some of
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the marketers’ tricks around and use them to help consumers save. Policy makers can adopt simple and effective tools such as default options for saving to help individuals make better spending and saving choices. The marketers’ tactics can be reversed to help consumers save, but that would require a dramatic shift in the way public policy makers perceive and react to certain business practices. Behavioral economics suggests that individuals acting alone in the market place have limited capacity to counter the multiplicity of approaches marketers employ to exploit human biases in spending choices. Ted Straub graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University in May 2013 with a degree in economics and will be pursuing a career in the fields of business and economics 6. A Geographic Analysis of Coral Reef Conservation at Local and Global Scales: A mixed-methods approach in the Turks and Caicos Michael Desjardins Faculty mentors: Karen Cangialosi and Chris Brehme Keene State College Coral reef ecosystems are in a state of decline and many could become extinct in the years to come. The application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) will aid in the understanding of coral reef health and management in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). The application of GIS to a coral reef environment will support the creation of a spatial database containing substrate and biological data collected by Keene State faculty and students. These data can then be manipulated to show their distributions as well as changes over time within the study area. Interviews will be conducted with stakeholders to understand how their management strategies mitigate negative impacts to the coral reef environment. Examination of relevant literature on coral reef health and management worldwide will further aid in understanding the status of TCI’s reefs. The three methods of GIS analysis, interviews, and comparative studies will be joined together to suggest reasons why some reefs are in better condition than others. This research will shed light on the importance of coral reef conservation through research and proper management strategies, and how to mitigate the socioeconomic conflicts that often arise. Michael Desjardins is a senior Geography major specializing in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He is applying to graduate programs with the intent of studying Marine Sciences. 7. Geospatial and Physical Assessment of Glacial Deposits in Connecticut to Better Site Ground-Source Heat Pumps Christopher (Cody) Lorentson Faculty mentor: Stephen A. Nathan Eastern Connecticut State University Geothermal energy is a renewable energy that has yet to be tapped to anywhere near its potential. Geothermal system overdesign can lead to excessive installation costs, while under design leads to a system that cannot meet heating and cooling demands. Poor system design can be partially attributed to a poor understanding of the physical properties of the glacial sediments comprising the subsurface. Physical characteristics of glacial sediments influence heat transfer and in turn
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dictate how efficiently ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs) perform. By knowing the physical properties of these glacial deposits, GSHPs can be installed at lower costs and operate with greater efficiency. Some sediment types conduct heat energy better than others and this difference represents a savings opportunity for GSHP installers and consumers alike. Glacial sediments from 120 Connecticut locations were analyzed for their thermal and physical properties to generate correlations between these and other variables. Statistical correlations are used to generate resource maps in GIS that include land use, land cover, and slope to illustrate which sediment types best assist heat transfer in GSHPs. In conclusion, these maps will be of value to consumers and installers of geothermal systems by helping to determine ideal locations for GSHPs. Christopher (Cody) Lorentson is a senior Environmental Earth Science major from East Haddam, Connecticut. Post-graduation, Cody plans to attend graduate school for sustainable energy technology and policy. 8. Massive OB Binary Star Characterization in the Cygnus OB2 Association James Chapman Faculty mentor: Adrienne Wootters Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts From May to August of 2013 I surveyed a region of space known as the Cygnus OB2 association. This is a region of space approximately 4,700 light years from Earth. This region contains a large amount of young O and B type stars that are very luminous. Of the 10 stars that I studied I will be presenting 3; MT448, MT187, and MT299. Each star has data taken from several years as well as this summer. The main data I will be presenting are their eccentricities and their periods. For example, MT448 has the most eccentric orbit (e=.056) with velocities ranging from -53Km/sec to 20Km/sec, MT299 has a less eccentric orbit (e=-.253) with velocities ranging from -29Km/sec to -3Km/sec, and MT187 has the least eccentric orbit (e=.812) with velocities ranging from -11Km/sec to 1Km/sec. MT448 has a period of 3.2 days, MT187 has a period of 2.2 days, and MT299 has a period of 37.1 days. Along with the raw data I will be presenting velocity curves and power spectrum analysis of each star. James Chapman is a Physics and Mathematics major from Dudley, Massachusetts. He plans to study either experimental or theoretical astrophysics at the graduate level. 9. Red-Backed Salamander Population Dynamics Macy Fredricksen Faculty mentor: Elena Traister Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Red-Backed Salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) are a very common species in the northeastern region of the United States. They are extremely territorial, and studies have shown that salamanders of the adult class defend bigger territories of higher quality. The juveniles may gain access into these territories during dry, stressful times. However, during moist conditions it has been found that juveniles retreat to smaller nearby cover objects. This leads me to question what the habitat trends and population dynamics between Red-Backed Salamanders of different age classification and possibly of different gender are. In the previous year, I participated in a project
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where coverboards were placed in three transects evenly spaced throughout the approximate 70 acres of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) Forest that lies adjacent to the Athletic Complex. For this experiment, I plan on collecting and comparing age class, gender, and weight data from red-backed salamanders both under coverboards and found under five random smaller cover objects between each coverboard in the forest. This project is significant as it will show if coverboard studies have been collecting data on a biased trend. It will also shed light on the structure of the red-backed salamander population and habitat preferences. Macy Fredericksen is a junior Environmental Studies major from Ballston Spa, NY. She plans to pursue environmental research and to work in the field of zoology. 10. Divergence and Genetic Diversity of Species in Sphagnum (peat mosses) Kara Graham and Alyssa Solimine Faculty mentor: Eric Karlin Ramapo College of New Jersey The genus Sphagnum (peat mosses) is one of the largest and most diverse in bryophytes. Sphagnum is also the most economically and ecologically important group of bryophytes. This ongoing project is focused on the analysis of genetic variation within and between the six subgenera of Sphagnum. This poster presents data on the genetic divergence detected within and between the three species placed in sub-genus Squarrosa, one of the smallest subgenera in Sphagnum. Sequences from two loci were obtained for the three species (S. squarrosum, S. teres and S. tundrae) from GenBank: ITS (nuclear DNA) and trnL (plastid DNA). The sequences were analyzed using Geneious (sequence alignment and preliminary phylogenetic analysis) and Dnadist (calculation of genetic distance). Intra-specific variation was detected in S. squarrosum at both loci; it was lacking in S. teres and S. tundrae. Inter-specific genetic distance showed S. teres and S. tundrae to be closely related and indicated that they had either diverged in the recent past or that they were conspecific. In contrast, there was a large genetic distance between S. squarrosum and the two latter species. At the inter-specific level, genetic distance was higher among ITS sequences than it was among trnL sequences. This suggests that substitution rates in the plastid genome may be lower than substitution rates in the nuclear genome. Coalescence analyses are underway to calculate the time to the most recent common ancestor for these three species. Alyssa Solimine is from Somerset, New Jersey and is in her junior year studying Environmental Science. She was always interested in ecology growing up, and is looking to continue to work with plant ecology. Kara Graham is from Waldwick, New Jersey and is in her junior year studying Biology. She has a love of plants and animals and is excited to have a focus in biology and environmental science. 11. Mapping modified cytosines in Trypanosoma brucei tRNA using sodium 9isulfate sequencing Sarah E. Ackerman, Leanne M. Chen, Alexandra H. Mandarano, and Kevin Militello Faculty Mentor: Kevin Militello SUNY Geneseo
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In protozoan parasites, little is known about RNA base methylation beyond methylation of the mRNA cap. If present, RNA methylation could influence gene expression. We set out to determine if T. brucei procyclic form tRNAs contain modified cytosines (e.g. 5-methylcytosine). Four T. brucei tRNAs were selected based on the presence of methylation in higher eukaryotes; tRNAAsp(GUC), tRNAGly(GCC), tRNAVal(AAC), and tRNATyr(GUA). A 10isulfate sequencing strategy was used to query the methylation status of these tRNAs. All T. brucei tRNAs analyzed contain at least one modified cytosine residue, and the typical range is 1-4 modified cytosines per molecule. All tRNAs examined have at least one the number of modified cytosines is different in different tRNAs. Of the three tRNAs that have a cytosine at position 38 in the anticodon loop, only tRNAGly(GCC) has a modified cytosine at this position and the levels of methylation are less than 50%. This suggests that C38 methylation is present in T. brucei, but may not be as common or abundant as in higher organisms such as Drosophila and humans. An analysis of tRNATyr(GUA), which is spliced as part of its normal maturation pathway, indicates that both unspliced and spliced molecules contain a modified Our data indicate that T. brucei tRNAs contain modified cytosine residues, yet the position and number of modified cytosines in a particular region is different for different tRNA molecules. Sarah Ackerman is a senior Biochemistry major from Stony Brook, New York. She plans to pursue a PhD in Biochemistry or Genetics. 12. Identifying Cells Capable of Neurogenesis in the Olfactory Epithelium Manan Bhatt Faculty mentor: Barbara Murdoch Eastern Connecticut State University The olfactory epithelium (OE) inside the nervous system has the ability to continually regenerate neurons throughout development and into adult life. In the OE, immature cells such as stem cells and progenitors proliferate and mature to form neurons that replace neurons lost through cell death. This process is termed neurogenesis. Unfortunately the inner workings of neurogenesis remain unknown. This is due in part to a lack of markers that can identify progenitors responsible for neurogenesis. This challenge is common throughout all of stem cell biology and is not restricted to only the nervous system. Our goals were to identify candidate progenitors responsible for neurogenesis, as well as to study their contribution to the olfactory epithelium during development. Through a literature review of other tissues housing stem cells, Pax 6 and Pax 7, proteins that regulate gene expression, were chosen as candidate markers for olfactory progenitors. We performed fluorescent immunohistochemistry and confocal laser scanning microscopy to determine if either Pax 6 or Pax 7 were expressed in the developing chicken OE. Our results showed Pax 6-expressing cells in the OE, in regions where progenitors are known to reside. Pax 6 positive cells were also located near immature neurons, but didn’t express neuronal proteins. Pax 7, unlike Pax 6, was not expressed inside the OE, but instead in the underlying tissue. Future experiments will determine the regional changes in expression of Pax 6 and Pax 7 during development and the types of cells expressing Pax 6 and Pax 7. Manan Bhatt is a biology major from Norwich, Connecticut. He plans to obtain a MD/PhD and perform research into regenerative medicine.
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13. Integrated Engineering Physics Laboratory Assessment Amanda Skuriat Faculty mentors: Daniela Buna, Caroline Brisson Ramapo College of New Jersey The goal of this research project is to develop a set of Physics Education Research tools to help assess the student learning outcomes in an Engineering Physics laboratory program. The data collected highlights the significant progress of skills and knowledge made through the introduction of innovative laboratory equipment and teaching/testing methods. However, evaluative feedback provided by the students on their work was overly optimistic in comparison to the feedback of their professors. Several reasons for this disconnect have been investigated and the findings are reported. It is imperative to further analyze what aspects can be improved upon in the curriculum as well as how to improve students’ self-evaluation skills. In addition, it is essential to investigate ways to propagate increased interest in undergraduate research. Amanda Skuriat is a senior Engineering Physics major from Linden, NJ. She intends to teach high school Physics while completing a Master’s degree. 14. The Chemical Characterization of Japanese knotweed and of Micronutrients Found in Chicken Eggs James Ulcickas Faculty mentors: James Kraly, Denise Junge Keene State College In the past decade the nutritional content of chicken eggs has been increasingly important to consumers. Recent studies indicate dietary antioxidants may influence the chemical properties of chicken eggs. Japanese knotweed contains relatively high levels of the antioxidant resveratrol. Preliminary studies at Keene State College indicate increased levels of the essential omega-3 fatty acids can be achieved by supplementing laying hens’ diets with the herbaceous perennial Japanese knotweed. Before confirmational testing whether such supplementation alters the chemical content of hen eggs, methods are required to quantify resveratrol and its glucoside polydatin in Japanese knotweed. A methodology for extraction and quantification of resveratrol and polydatin from Japanese knotweed has been developed using capillary electrophoresis and gas chromatography. Quantitative results will be presented that assess the efficiency of the soxhlet extraction and sample preparation methods. The methodology was applied to analyze Japanese Knotweed harvested in the summer of 2013 at Stonewall Farms in Keene, New Hampshire. James Ulcickas is a Chemistry major and Biology minor at Keene State College.
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ART EXHIBITION Feigenbaum Center Room 124
Christina Browning Eastern Connecticut State University Faculty Mentor: June Bisantz Sentimental Journey (poster for annual hospital gala) 19.5”x13” Digital Image Christina Browning, Visual Arts major at Eastern Connecticut State University with a concentration in Digital Art & Design has distinguished herself in pre-professional work including logo and poster design for local organizations and events. She plans to return to the New York City area and pursue a career in design. Sean Duggan Eastern Connecticut State University Faculty Mentor: June Bisantz Sentimental Journey (poster for annual hospital gala) 19.5”x13” Digital Image Sean Duggan, Visual Arts major at Eastern Connecticut State University with a concentration in Digital Art & Design has excelled in all aspects of design including exhibition installation design and preprofessional design projects for local institutions. He plans to relocate in New York City and pursue a career in design.
Georgia Costigan Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Faculty Mentor: Melanie Mowinski Imaginary Oceans Georgia Costigan is a senior studying art and education from Pawling, New York. After she graduates, she hopes to become an early childhood educator. Lauren Fedorchak Ramapo College of New Jersey Faculty Mentor: Yolanda del Amo Untitled A, 2013 Untitled B, 2013 Pinhole camera inkjet prints Lauren Fedorchak is a senior Visual Arts major with a concentration in Photography from Fair Lawn, NJ. Lauren will expand upon her photographic endeavors by continuing her pinhole camera explorations, assisting established artists, and attending graduate school.
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ORAL PRESENTATION SESSION 1 9:30 to 10:45 am NATURAL SCIENCES
Validation of the Economics and Energy Savings for Advanced Commercial Rooftop Unit Control Strategies Nicholas Denegre Faculty mentors: Danny Taasevigen (PNNL), Catherine A. Carlson (ECSU) Eastern Connecticut State University Research this summer was supported through the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI). The project was conducted with the Advanced Buildings Control Team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, WA, and focused on optimizing the heating and cooling of commercial buildings across the country. Through heating and cooling, rooftop units (RTUs) consume a very large amount of energy in commercial buildings annually. Therefore, the project focused on validating control strategies that can utilize free cooling (also known as economizing) and the large potential that it may have to save energy. Through the use of an air-side diagnostic software tool, along with analysis of rooftop unit data from 63 RTUs, the objective was to identify and validate the economizer operations when the advanced controller was operating. The three primary faults that the tool identified were: supplying too much outdoor air, not supplying enough outdoor air, and economizing when there is no call for cooling. Upon identifying faults, temperature relationship charts were generated to further investigate the economizer controls on each unit. In order to quantify the results per unit, high level tables showing the Outdoor Air Fraction when the damper was commanded to its minimum and maximum position were further generated. Across the portfolio of RTUs in the field, however, the data and results indicate that a majority of these units were economizing properly and not experiencing such faults when the controller was on. Nick Denegre is a senior environmental earth science major with a concentration in Sustainable Energy from Essex, Connecticut. He plans to pursue a career in renewable energy and further his graduate education in a related field. The Characterization of Anterior Gradient Protein 2 (Agr2) In Its Function In Fin Regeneration in Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Christa Bonney Faculty Mentor: Jean Doty University of Maine at Farmington Anterior Gradient Protein 2 (Agr2) is a PDI that functions in the ER in protein folding. It has been implicated in epithelial cancers and is highly conserved in vertebrate species. In salamanders nAG is essential to the process of nerve-dependent regeneration. It isn’t known if Agr2 serves a similar function in zebrafish. We proposed a regulatory relationship between sensory neurons, Agr2, and adhesion molecules and proteins. Specifically that ZO-1 is
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downregulated and laminin is upregulated, promoting cell migration, as primarily regulated by SNs and Agr2. Through IHC analysis we found: ZO-1 expression was similar throughout between wt and agr2 morphants, but much lower in SN-deficient larvae. Laminin expression was higher in agr2 and ngn-1 morphants compared to WT, and upregulated in wt at 6hpa. Evidence suggests it is most likely that nerves control tight junction formation (ZO-1 expression) during axon regeneration, and ZO-1 upregulation during the regenerative outgrowth phase is likely independent of Agr2. Considering both the role of Agr2 and laminins in regeneration, we see that Agr2 and sensory neurons may synergistically act to control laminin expression. This supports earlier findings, that reduction of Agr2 enhances fin regeneration, possibly through increased cell migration and improved axonal regeneration. Christa Bonney is a junior Biology major from Rangeley, Maine. After graduating from UMF she plans to pursue a MD/PhD to work in the Biomedical research field in limb and organ regeneration. The Peculiar Predicament of Persisting Polemonium Females Andrew Martin Faculty mentor: Emily Mooney Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Gynodioecity is prolific within some angiosperm populations. These coexisting individuals within the same population will either be females that can't produce pollen, or hermaphrodites which can. Our study attempted to peer into the reasoning behind female persistence in Polemonium foliosissimum, a perennial wildflower native to the Rocky Mountains USA. Through examining resource limitation effects on hermaphrodites and pollinator visitation rates to manipulated hermaphrodites, no significant interactions between sexes and treatments were found. What was found however, was a correlation between floral display number per stalk and pollinator visitation suggesting that perhaps pollinators are indifferent between females and hermaphrodites. Andy Martin is a senior Biology major from Glendale, Massachusetts. He plans to pursue a doctoral program to study infectious diseases, and eventually become a liberal arts college professor. Poof: A Matrix becomes an Ellipse Jacob Pasanen Faculty Mentors: Patrick Rault, Gary Towsley SUNY Geneseo If you’ve ever taken a linear algebra course, you’ve seen matrices, and many of them. A square matrix has a property called a “numerical range,” which can be illustrated by a 2-dimensional shape in the complex plane. These shapes can be extremely different based on the entries of the original matrix. Under certain conditions, the shape produced is an ellipse, where the two foci are the eigenvalues of the matrix. An n-ellipse is defined to be the set of points such that the sum of the distance from n foci is constant. I’ll list the four possible shapes of the numerical range of a 3-by-3 matrix and the situations in which they arise. One of the shapes that the numerical range can take is a poorly understood “ovular shape,” which looks strikingly similar to the 3-
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ellipse. I will discuss the possible relationship between the “ovular shape” and the 3-ellipse. This talk will be accessible to those who are comfortable with matrices, and no knowledge of calculus will be used. Jake Pasanen is a senior mathematics major from Troy, NY. He plans to pursue graduate study in mathematics.
SOCIAL SCIENCES Group 1
The Influence of Ethnicity on Evaluations of College Students' Future Success and Behavior Jasmine Portales Faculty Mentor: Karol Maybury University of Maine at Farmington Previous research has focused on the effects ethnicity has on self-perceptions. Stereotypes have shown to affect academic performance and campus experience. Both negative and positive stereotypes have shown to additionally affect self-esteem in the classroom which can potentially create more pressure for minority students. This study aimed to examine the effects ethnicity (Latino) has on perceptions of college students’ academic success and behavior. There were two conditions under which individuals were examined. Participants received a short scenario depicting a male about to enter college. The male was either Caucasian or Latino in the story. Participants completed a questionnaire based on what they had read. Participants rated Jose (M=2.13, SD=1.01) as more likely to join a gang than Ryan (M=1.53, SD=.624); with a t-test confirming a significant difference: t(38)=-2.31, p.