Office of Research

2013 Undergraduate Research Symposium Program

Posters & presentations for Friday, May 10, 2013

Presentations

1:00pm - Nathan Duncan, Computing and Software Systems (BS) 

Collecting Software Project Information

Software development teams often operate under tight deadlines. They must reach decisions on which features to include in the next project release and which products are ready for release. Information must often be obtained from various sources, including source code written in different languages and documentation stored in different formats. This paper explores a technique, FACTS PT, which automatically extracts, traces, aggregates, and visualizes change entries and other relevant software metrics. According to the results of our case study, with an undisclosed organization, the project information provided by the FACTS PT is helpful to both Project Managers and developers.



1:15pm - Joey Crotty, Community Psychology; Aarshin Karande, Media & Communication Studies; Andrzej Montano, Laura Sheridan, Justina Wu, Community Psychology

Why Consciousness?

Consciousness is a multidisciplinary inquiry into the nature, dynamics, and functions of the mind.  It introduces students to new paradigms of consciousness informed by depth psychology, neuroscience, quantum physics, and contemplative practices, and ask them to consider the impact of this inquiry on their personal and professional lives.  To date, several hundred students at UWB and UWS have taken  course about consciousness with the majority reporting powerful and transformative effects.  We explore the breadth of their experiences in an effort to understand more fully the impact of studying consciousness on undergraduates’ intellectual and psychological growth.
 


1:30pm - Lynn Hovey, Environmental Studies (BA)                            

Citizen Science: A Call for Epistemic Justice?

Are prople involved with community based air monitoring, or "citizen science," ethically demanding the need to be acknowledged as having credible knowledge which Miranda Fricker refers to as "epistemic justice?"
 


1:45pm - Jianshen Xu, Business Administration

How teams handle task disruptions

Teams have become the basic building blocks of organizations.  Moreover, teams are often responsible for much of an organization's performance because of the products and services they provide.  However, the work performed by teams to create the products or conduct services occurs in a dynamic environment that is rife with uncertainty.  As such, teams can be disrupted by small interruptions to severe crises that impact the way teams carry out their work.  To understand the types of disruptions teams face and how teams handle disruptions, we examine processes and outcomes of teams in healthcare.  Healthcare teams are responsible for treatment and improvement of human life and must overcome all manner of disruptions.  Herein, the research background about the study of disruptions and progress of data collection and analysis to date is presented.



2:00pm - Bradley Stafford, Computing & Software Systems & Simone de Rochefort, Culture, Literature and the Arts

“Creating a student-run website and publishing machine”

The Center for Serious Play recently launched The Next, a student-driven digital media blog. The website was designed, built, and is now being run mostly by students. It serves as a student-moderated publishing platform that engages with issues of technology, social justice, media analysis, and more. We will present the journey of The Next from idea to thriving website, and how student engagement was fostered both in development and post-launch. This presentation will explain the design processes that the students went through in designing the website; from the initial research into user types and layouts, brand development, as well as the eventual implementation of the site itself. Finally it will demonstrate the use of the website in the UWB community and how students can use the site to engage in a discourse about digital media and technology in an interdisciplinary context. Overall we hope to showcase how student involvement and passion can drive projects in the undergraduate environment, as well as touch on how best to engage student interest.
 


2:15pm - Godwin Hong, Jenia Ostrovskaya, Biology

Light stimulus on regenerating photoreceptors

Planarians are flatworms with the ability to regenerate and exhibit negative phototaxis, a tendency to turn away from light. Amputation of the head inhibits both light detection and negative phototaxis until axons from the photoreceptors properly connect to the cephalic ganglion. Planarians can recruit stem cells to the severed body part through complex signaling and regrow fully functional photoreceptors within seven days. In mammals, activity-dependent regeneration of axonal connections from eyes to the brain is necessary during early stages of development. Our study asks if light stimulus is required for planarians to establish proper photoreceptor connection to the brain. Results suggest light stimulus is NOT required for connecting photoreceptors to the cephalic ganglion and regaining their functionality. Future studies on mechanosensory and chemosensory would enhance understanding of the processes during regeneration of the brain.
 


3:30pm - Kasih Tatum, Biology                                                         

Measuring shifting student perceptions of biology from novice to expert

The first exposure to college biology is sometimes focused on content at the expense of introducing scientific practices and the real world connection to biology.  A new hybrid introductory biology class was created that utilized four learning environments: face-to-face (F2F) classroom instruction, small breakout sessions lead by peer facilitators, a classroom blog, and new laboratory exercises.  This talk will report out on analysis of pre/post testing comparing results of the Experimental Design Ability Test (EDAT) that was given in this revised course as well as in a previous iteration of this class in a traditional format. Further studies are planned to tease apart the contributions of the various learning environments to the gains in student perceptions toward biology.
 


3:45pm - Adriana Arghira, Biology; Shane Kathireson, Biology

Blocking Ca2+ Signaling in Planarian Regeneration

Regeneration, the redevelopment of lost limbs and organs, is a complex process based on several molecular pathways and interactions of specific signals within cells.  Freshwater planaria, Dugesia Tigrina, are one of the finest model organisms for manipulating signals of this process during regeneration due to their broad central nervous system (CNS) network and marvelous composition of stem cells.  In this study, calcium (Ca2+) signals were manipulated throughout the CNS using Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), a drug known for its ability to prevent Ca2+ signaling by sequestering Ca2+ molecules.  Analysis of planarian trunk fragments exposed to EDTA and regenerated in spring water showed a convincing correlation between the inhibition of Ca2+ signaling with double-headed regeneration.  Further speculation suggests that there is high importance of calcium signaling for normal regeneration of a head and tail region (differentiation) within planaria.
 


4:00pm - Christopher DuBois, pre-major                            

Social Movements and Arab Revolts: Understanding State-Society Dynamics”

The present research discusses various typologies of social movements as put forth by social movement theorists, revolution theorists and sociologists alike.  It attempts to extract the essential elements of the causes for social movement uprisings from a multitude of theoretical backgrounds and reveals through the literature that there is not an agreed upon supposition.  Rather, the determinants for a social movement involve a more complex process than one theory is able to provide.  With an emphasis on Relative Deprivation theories of social movements, this project will form a tentative hypothesis pertaining to the eruption of social movements.
 


4:15pm - Alyssa Morgan, Society, Ethics & Human Behavior

Violence Against Women Act:  Passion & Purpose

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was developed through grassroots efforts, beginning in the late 1980s, as a legislative effort to protect and eradicate violence against women.  Through VAWA, the U.S. Congress funds $659 million over five years via grant programs administered primarily through the U.S. Dept of Justice.  As of 2012, the bill was expanded to include new protections for Native American women, undocumented female migrant workers and LGBTQ victims and survivors, as well as focus on more significant prevention efforts.  Many who oppose the bill have argued that it promotes divorce while being anti-marriage and should not include the under-supported populations mentioned.  Additionally, critics argue that domestic violence issues are better dealt with on a local level while federal funding is essentially being wasted.


4:30pm - Meghan Hawkins, Community Psychology

Limited English proficiency patients in the U.S. healthcare system

Most medical centers offer services in one language: English.  Regulations to offer services in more than one language are frequently unenforced.  Why, if the United States has no official language, are Spanish speakers struggling to receive adequate health care simply because they cannot understand their doctors?  Despite hospital efforts to accommodate individuals with limited English proficiency, a dramatic rise of immigrants seeking health care exceeds the capabilities of the US healthcare system.  Inadequate health care for patients with limited English proficiency is a social injustice and discrimination in medical treatment.  One solution is for the US government to establish a national standard and enforce accommodations to aid patients with limited English proficiency.


4:45pm - Abigail Carey & Fernando Arnez, Computing & Software Systems

"Learning Computer Science Through Game Creation"

In many colleges, introductory Java classes are taught by lectures coupled with monotonous homework assignments that have a heavy emphasis on applying what you learned, but a negligible emphasis for fun.  Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Game Themed CS1/2 project aspires to instead teach these rudimentary concepts through games that encourage creativity and application of what the student has learned in class.  For example, in introductory programming classes, students learn about conditional statements such as "if-then-else" by printing out words which can be dry and boring.  Many students want to program video games, and those words on the screen look far from the next Halo.  From our experience testing the games from the Game Themed CS1/2 project, we have relearned the introductory Java basics by creating fun games that are both entertaining to program and fun to play.  Our responsibilities on this team include testing Java tutorials for difficulty and clarity by actually completing them ourselves, providing feedback to the team so that the tutorials can be adjusted to be more informative, concise, and fun for students, and helping out with game design.  If implemented correctly.  This new way of teaching could not only be fun for the students, but also encouraging to those who have been put off by how difficult uniform programming can be.  We believe this could be the future of teaching computer science to beginners.

Posters

Session #1

Dana Doran, Interdiscplinary Arts (BA)
"Surrealism in Mexico and the Art of Frieda Kahlo, Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington"

Surrealism in Mexico and the Art of Frida Kahlo, Remedios Varo and Leonora Harrington explores the origins, tenets and practices of the Surrealism movement in the interwar years in Paris. The pending occupation of Paris by Hitler’s forces caused the Surrealists to flee Europe. This paper traces how Mexican culture influenced Surrealism, how Varo and Harrington came to become working artists in Mexico and how they were influenced by the art of Frida Kahlo.

Ezelise Brunette, Biology & Anthony Zylstra, Environmental Studies
"Effects of English Holly (ilex aquilfolium)"

Non native English holly (Ilex aquifolium) is designated a noxious weed by King County in Washington State, and not much is known about the effects that it has on native vegetation species in Pacific Northwest forests. We analyzed the effects of holly in St. Edwards State Park in Kenmore, Washington by estimating the percentage of native vegetation under the canopy of large holly trees compared to three meters away from canopy (native vegetation survey), as well as growing seeds in soil one meter away from the trunk of holly and one meter away from the canopy of holly to study allelopathic effects of holly. Our results suggest that holly should be considered an invasive species because it did not establish in previously bare areas, and it is in fact playing a role in reducing the numbers of native vegetation around larger holly trees.

 

Wendy Fujinaga, Community Psychology
"First in our Families"

UWB faculty, staff, and librarians who were first in their families to attend college will be participating in a 3 day digital storytelling production workshop. Their stories of being “first” will be publicly presented to the UWB community. Following production the stories will be analyzed for common themes of the experiences of being “first”. Participants will be interviewed to learn how participation · affected understanding of one’s own understanding educational biography · change understanding of needs of first-generation students on campus, and · affect one’s sense of their potential role in creating a supportive campus for these students.

 

Xin Gao, Other
"From World War Two to 1999: American Women's Image"

This research involves discussion on how American women’s images in coffee advertisements were changed from “working wife” to housewife to independent woman between World War Two (1942-1945), post-wartime (1950-1969) and the last three decades of the 20th century. The purpose of the research is to find reasons that caused women’s images to change over time. The research draws a conclusion that these changes of women’s images directly related to changes of their socials status which were influenced by social factors such as government’s policies and the feminist movement. The research can be the foundation of future study on the interplay between advertisements and society.

 

Rena Kawasaki, Community Psychology
"What can you tell from a Kanji Character?"

The year 1946 is a significant point of divergence for Japanese history. Immediately following the end of World War II, many Western policies were implemented and Japan underwent a chaotic era of transformation. One of the major changes was the language transformation policy which simplified and reduced the number of commonly used Kanji characters and changed the pronunciation of the phonetic Kana characters. This resulted in limiting expressions and altering or eliminating the slight nuance of the Japanese language. The transition between the use of old Kanji and the new, and the changes of verbal expressions associated with it, are prominent in the 1946 issues of the Hokubei Hochi, a Japanese American immigrant newspaper in the Seattle area. From the experience of translating articles and advertisements of the Hokubei Hochi newspaper in the Nikkei Newspaper Digital Archive Project, this paper will elucidate how language, both native and foreign, plays a role in the ways people (1) acculturate or adapt to the host culture, and/or (2) enculturate or maintain ties to their heritage culture. Japanese American immigrants, who faced the dilemma of being placed between two politically opposing countries, and Japanese people under the influence of dominant Western culture, furthermore complicate the notion of acculturation and enculturation. By deconstructing and comparing the old and new Kanji, and analyzing verbal expressions, I attempt to demonstrate the tension between the intricacy of Japanese language and the acculturation and enculturation processes in the Japanese American community and in the Japanese society.


Amy Vondette,
Environmental Studies
"Spatial Modeling of English Holly Invasion in St. Edwards Park"

English holly (Ilex aquifolium) is an increasingly prominent invader of Pacific Northwest forests but little is known about the spatial pattern of invasion at a local level. With the aid of a geographic information system (GIS) we aim at modeling the spatial distribution of this plant species in Saint Edward Park. One factor that could explain the distribution of this plant species is its relationship with the presence of other vegetation types. Thus, we will map the different vegetation types found in the study area with a resolution consistent enough with local level analysis and to use it as a base map. We will identify native and invasive species in the study area. We will also validate this information with in-situ data. With these data and other spatial layers we will spatially model the dispersion of English holly.

 

Session #2

Ezelise Brunette, Biology & Anthony Zylstra, Environmental Studies
"Effects of English Holly (ilex aquilfolium)"

Simone de Rochefort, Culture, Literature and the Arts & Bradley Stafford, Computing & Software Systems
“Creating a student-run website and publishing machine”

The Center for Serious Play recently launched The Next, a student-driven digital media blog. The website was designed, built, and is now being run mostly by students. It serves as a student-moderated publishing platform that engages with issues of technology, social justice, media analysis, and more. We will present the journey of The Next from idea to thriving website, and how student engagement was fostered both in development and post-launch. This presentation will explain the design processes that the students went through in designing the website; from the initial research into user types and layouts, brand development, as well as the eventual implementation of the site itself. Finally it will demonstrate the use of the website in the UWB community and how students can use the site to engage in a discourse about digital media and technology in an interdisciplinary context. Overall we hope to showcase how student involvement and passion can drive projects in the undergraduate environment, as well as touch on how best to engage student interest.

Nils Frankauer, Global Studies
"Psinas Vazias: The Material Realities of European Union Subsidies and Austerity Measures in Portugal's Southwest"

“Piscinas Vazias: The Material Realities of European Union Subsidies in Portugal’s Southwest” is the preliminary research to an ethnographic study of the transformation of place and culture along Portugal’s southwest coast, a region characterized by agriculture, tourism and fishery. This paper explores the human consequences – positive and negative – of long-term infrastructural subsidies and recent austerity measures by the European Union (E.U.). More specifically, this study examines the extent to which an influx of capital, and eventual lack thereof, has restructured the socio-cultural topography of entire communities, and thus the everyday material realities of thousands of Algarvios. Consequently, it seeks to explain why the people in this region have been disproportionally dependent on, and affected by, E.U.-aid. Although geographically limited to the coastal region between the city of Sagres in the south and the municipal district of Odeceixe in the north, the final ethnographic research aims to situate the conditions of individual communities in the larger contemporary context of European integration. Drawing its academic foci and theories from the fields of socio-cultural anthropology, political science and European studies, this paper ultimately argues that the produced material realities have transformative and lasting impacts – visible and invisible - on the internal structures and identities of these coastal communities.

KJ Hiramoto, Media & Communication Studies
"Japanese American communities after World War II"

This research investigated the social sciences behind the Japanese American communities during the post-World War II era. It explains how two recurring themes of marriage and religion and their prominent role in the community were seen in the Japanese American press during the post World War II era. Throughout the research process, I worked for the Hokubei Hochi Foundation as the bilingual intern and in return, was given access to the digital archives of the Seattle-based Japanese American newspaper publication The North American Post. I ultimately used this resource to help me conduct an archival style of research, as I recorded and analyzed certain keywords, headlines, and written content from the 1946 issues of The North American Post which helped me find evidences behind the recurring themes of marriage and religion. Ultimately, the findings from the primary documents and the literary sources bring contribution to the research field of social sciences, as this research brings implications to the idea that the Japanese American communities endured a major cultural shift following the events that occurred during World War II.

_______________________________________________________

Undetermined session

Jessica Manfredi, Global Studies
"Feminist Activism and Research in the Americas"

Feminist activism can flourish across time, space, and mediums. Yet one aspect is almost always a constant: the risk-taking nature of such work.  Professor Julie Shayne sheds light into this topic in her newest book, Taking Risks: Feminist Activism and Research in the Americas. This edited collection of essays narrates the stories and scholarly research of feminist activist-scholars in Latin America and the diaspora. My research within this framework focuses on finding the main underlying themes and drawing connections between the essays in each of the book's sections. I am currently reading the entire manuscript while taking meticulous notes, and I will then craft a small introduction for each of the three sections. The final product will be introductions emphasizing the overarching themes in each of the section's chapters, which will be showcased at the conference to synthesize the entire book.

 

Kar Yan Mok, Environmental Science
"Temporal Variability of Nitrate Concentrations"

The goal of this project is to generate a new methodology using the Satlantic SUNA nitrate sensor for accessing the release of nitrate from soils. We have collected soil cores around the UWB wetland and simulated rain events by running deionized water through the cores in the lab. We capture three samples of both the runoff and percolated water running out the bottom of each core for testing nitrate concentrations. The samples are frozen after filtration for later analysis of ammonia, phosphate and nitrate-nitrate concentrations. By classifying the texture of the soil, we have found that infiltration rates vary with porosity. Initial preliminary data shows that nitrate concentrations diminish as percolation and runoff continue. Meanwhile, experimental design problems are being troubleshot to generate a new methodology that we can employ to answer additional questions and apply to different sites. Research will continue through summer while more soil cores will be collected and higher resolution data of the short term temporal variability in the release of nitrate and other nutrients from soils will be generated.

 

Nazanin Shobeiri, Biology
"Transforming STEM education: Inquiry, Innovation"

After completing introductory biology, student attitudes about biology often shift toward more novice-like perceptions rather than toward expert-like thinking (Semsar et al., 2011). To address this problem, a hybrid introductory biology class was created that utilized four learning environments: face-to-face classroom instruction, small breakout sessions lead by peer facilitators that occurred during class time, a classroom blog, and laboratory exercises. A new emphasis on experimental design was stressed. In addition, students were encouraged to connect biology with their daily lives through the use of blog assignments. Novice-to-expert-like perceptions about biology as assessed using the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey for Biology (CLASS-Bio) increased in student-matched percent-favorable score (percent agreement with experts). Specifically, categories of enjoyment and problem solving showed significant gains (> 2 SEM). Further studies are underway to tease apart the contributions of the various learning environments to the gains in student perceptions toward biology.|

 

Marc Vrana, Biology
"Rare Advantage"

We are exploring the peculiarities of coevolution, in which two species interact in a way that causes one to affect the fitness of the other. In ideal coevolution, the affected species will change in such a way that the first species is reciprocally affected, and so on. Previously, two microbes – Desulfovibrio vulgaris and Methanococcus maripaludis – were cultured in an environment that required the two species to work together. In this environment, sulfate is absent. One of the steps to D. vulgaris’ metabolism involves sulfate reduction. When M. maripaludis is in co-culture with D. vulgaris, it removes the necessity for sulfate. After 1000 generations, we expected D. vulgaris to survive without sulfate because of syntrophy. What was unexpected was that many strains of D. vulgaris experienced mutations that removed their ability to reduce sulfate, while some retained sulfate reduction. To understand why sulfate-reducing genotypes persisted, we are testing whether sulfate reducing genotypes have a fitness advantage when rare. A rare advantage is when a gene is selected against until it becomes uncommon in the community. Then, because of some fitness advantage for maintaining the gene in the population, it is selected for at a low level. My experiment is a series of competitions utilizing various ratios of D. vulgaris – some with sulfate reduction and some without. I will grow these strains in co-culture, then measure the ratio of reducers to mutants at several times to determine if sulfate reducers persist in a population at a specific level, or if they are outcompeted.

 

Meghan Hawkins, Community Psychology
"Limited English Proficient Patients in US Healthcare"

Most medical centers offer services in one language: English.  Regulations to offer services in more than one language are frequently unenforced.  Why, if the United States has no official language, are Spanish speakers struggling to receive adequate health care simply because they cannot understand their doctors?  Despite hospital efforts to accommodate individuals with limited English proficiency, a dramatic rise of immigrants seeking health care exceeds the capabilities of the US healthcare system.  Inadequate health care for patients with limited English proficiency is a social injustice and discrimination in medical treatment.  One solution is for the US government to establish a national standard and enforce accommodations to aid patients with limited English proficiency.
 

Godwin Hong, Jenia Ostrovskaya, Biology
"Light stimulus on regenerating photoreceptors"

Planarians are flatworms with the ability to regenerate and exhibit negative phototaxis, a tendency to turn away from light. Amputation of the head inhibits both light detection and negative phototaxis until axons from the photoreceptors properly connect to the cephalic ganglion. Planarians can recruit stem cells to the severed body part through complex signaling and regrow fully functional photoreceptors within seven days. In mammals, activity-dependent regeneration of axonal connections from eyes to the brain is necessary during early stages of development. Our study asks if light stimulus is required for planarians to establish proper photoreceptor connection to the brain. Results suggest light stimulus is NOT required for connecting photoreceptors to the cephalic ganglion and regaining their functionality. Future studies on mechanosensory and chemosensory would enhance understanding of the processes during regeneration of the brain.
 

Justina Wu, Joel Crotty, Aarshin Karande, Andrzej Montano, Laura Sheridan
"Why Consciousness?"

Consciousness is a multidisciplinary inquiry into the nature, dynamics, and functions of the mind.  It introduces students to new paradigms of consciousness informed by depth psychology, neuroscience, quantum physics, and contemplative practices, and ask them to consider the impact of this inquiry on their personal and professional lives.  To date, several hundred students at UWB and UWS have taken  course about consciousness with the majority reporting powerful and transformative effects.  We explore the breadth of their experiences in an effort to understand more fully the impact of studying consciousness on undergraduates’ intellectual and psychological growth.
 

Hussein Ali, Electrical Engineering
"Comparative Studies of Beamforming Techniques"

In this research, we intend to study the performance of various beamforming techniques and compare them. Beamforming for an array of microphones can be used to enhance signal quality, track signal source movement, and extract information about the source, such as position and number of sources.

 

Vince Dihn, Biology
"What is going on in BIO 220 lecture?"

Bio220 at UW Bothell, the third quarter of the introductory biology sequence, has been able to shift student attitudes toward expert-like thinking regarding biology and problem solving. This is rare and has not been documented in the literature. The norm is for students to slip back toward novice-like thinking after experiencing large introductory classes. Our initial analyses seem to uncover at least two salient practices that we report here: 1) the instructor creates a two-way dialog between teacher and student and 2) the instructor modulates the pitch of his voice to signify important take home messages and keep the attention of the class. Future work will begin to analyze if these practices do indeed influence the attitudes of the class and help students develop more expert-like ways of thinking even in a large introductory class.

 

Sean Forde, Media & Communications Studies
"Immigrant Journalists"

I am transcribing interviews about journalists that are not included in the American Journalist Study.

 

Alan Hoerst, Biology
"Adaptation to Osmotic Stress by Desulfivibrio vulgaris"

Syntrophies are interactions in which one species consumes the toxic byproducts of another. They play an essential role in the anaerobic breakdown of organic compounds. In the syntrophic interaction studied here, Desulfivibrio provides hydrogen as a toxic byproduct that a methanogen consumes. The evolved lines of D. vulgaris show mutations that may be adaptations to increased concentrations of ions in the environment. The functionality of these mutations is not yet clear, but they may improve the accumulation of osmoprotectants or prevent the transport of harmful ions into the cell.

 

 

 

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