Fall 2020 Virtual Poster Session
The University Honors Committee and the Honors Student Board welcome you to the Fall 2020 Honors project virtual poster session. This longstanding annual event, which has been adapted as an online gallery due to COVID-19, features the projects of 70 Honors students, including graduating seniors. Posters are organized by college, based on the student's major.
We are proud of the students who are presenting their work this semester. We are also grateful for the faculty and staff across campus who have worked closely with them to adapt and finalize their projects despite, for many, the loss of access to research facilities, equipment, and on-campus resources. Only through this collective effort have we been able to make this possible. Thank you!
Laurie Smith Law, Chair
University Honors Committee
Nourah Abusada - Animal Ecology
Education and Conservation of Rhinoceroses
Project Advisor(s): Jennifer Schieltz | Advisor(s): Amanda Chung
AbstractThe African rhinoceros has experienced one of the most rapid declines of large mammals seen in this world today. Black African rhinos plummeted by more than ninety-six percent from 1969 to 1999. The last northern male white rhino, Sudan, died in the year 2018. Now, with a small population of only two female northern white rhinos, scientists are looking for new ways to save the species from extinction. This is a complicated process due to the unique physiological makeup of the rhinoceros’ reproductive system. Specifically, black rhinoceroses within the ages of fifteen to nineteen years will experience a decrease in ovarian activity in females that have not given birth to offspring, also known as nulliparous females. This means that it is much more difficult for them to reproduce. In this work, research was done to show that reproductive management is an incredible tool when paired with education. The education on the conservation of rhinoceroses helps to spread awareness of the status of each rhinoceros subspecies, establish an emotional appeal in its audience and raise funds in support of the conservation of rhinoceroses.
Lauren Burrough - Food Science (AGLS)
Effect of High Voltage Atmospheric Cold Plasma on Inactivation of Listeria Monocytogenes on Queso Fresco Cheese
Project Advisor(s): Melha Mellata | Advisor(s): Terri Boylston
AbstractSoft cheese products are commonly implicated in listeriosis outbreaks, due to the ability of Listeria monocytogenes (LM) to grow at refrigeration temperatures and resist disinfection. Mitigation methods are available for LM; however, few avoid degradation in nutritional content and changes in flavor, color, or texture. This project aims to determine the effect of high voltage atmospheric cold plasma (HVACP) on inactivation of LM in Queso Fresco cheese. Three LM isolates from commercial cheese products were cultured in brain heart infusion broth, standardized, and spot inoculated on the surface of cheese samples. Samples were pillow packed and treated with double barrier discharge atmospheric cold plasma at 85kV for 3 minutes and incubated overnight. Treated and control samples were homogenized and serially diluted for enumeration on Brilliance™ Listeria agar. Plate counts revealed statistically significant reduction in all strains after treatment. Strains F2385, LALM-7, and LALM-8 were reduced by an average of 0.761, 0.996, and 1.15 log CFU/g, respectively. These results demonstrate the potential of HVACP in the inactivation of pathogenic LM strains isolated from commercial cheese environments. Further investigation is necessary to determine efficacy of treatment for larger sample sizes and clinical LM isolates.
Emma Flemming - Environmental Science (AGLS), International Studies
Water Rocks! Out of the Box
Project Advisor(s): Matt Helmers | Advisor(s): Richard Williams, Elizabeth Zimmerman
AbstractI created an online, interactive video series during April-May 2020 to teach kids (and adults) about science related topics at home. This included 10 videos with experiments, games, and lessons. The topics ranged from wetlands to agriculture to soil! They were posted weekly on Facebook and YouTube by Water Rocks!—a facet of ISU Extension dedicated to teaching conservation-based learning across Iowa. They have been viewed since then and offered to be used for at home and virtual learning in weekly newsletters sent by Water Rocks! to educators across Iowa.
Grace German - Animal Science
The Role of Cattle in Regenerative Agriculture
Project Advisor(s): Mark Rasmussen | Advisor(s): Kelsey Powell
AbstractEvery day a new wave of headlines on the news speak to the environmental impact of beef cattle and our need to reduce or even replace them in our food system. Beef cattle producers and animal agricultural supporters alike work to combat these headlines with the truths of carbon sequestration, methane, and the benefits of cattle in grassland environments. By sharing science through the stories of our farms and ranches, producers can change the narrative of cattle and their place on our planet. My project shares these stories.
Julia Harris - Animal Science, Chemistry
The Development of Cookies Containing Aronia Berry Juice
Project Advisor(s): Lester Wilson | Advisor(s): Aileen Keating, Terry Kruse
AbstractIn an increasingly health-conscious world, it is important to not only find healthy foods, but to find ways to incorporate them into our diets in an appealing way. Aronia berries, also known as chokeberries, are a “superfood” that has a rather bitter taste when consumed alone. This research project was designed to develop two cookie recipes, a sugar-based and a chocolate-based, that incorporate aronia berry concentrate in order to utilize this superfood and to encourage aronia berry consumption. Starting from two base cookie recipes, different amounts of aronia berry concentrate was added to the cookie dough. Taste tests were conducted for the various amounts of aronia concentrate added to the cookie dough to help encourage unbiased results. After much trial and error, the final two recipes were determined and then repeated multiple times to ensure similar results.
Megan Jones - Microbiology
Expanding the Microbial Color Palette by Mutagenesis of Coral Chromoproteins by Site-Directed Mutagenesis
Project Advisor(s): Gregory Phillips | Advisor(s): Joan Cunnick
AbstractCorals produce a wide variety of fluorescent and chromogenic proteins, including a large family of GFP-like chromoproteins. GFP-like chromoproteins are formed by 11 beta pleated sheets assembled into a barrel structure. An alpha helix containing the chromophore runs through the interior of the barrel. The purple GFP-like chromoprotein (AmilCP) is derived from the schleractinian coral, Acropora millepora and codon optimized for expression the bacterium Escherichia coli. Site-directed mutagenesis of amilCP demonstrates that amino acid 62 plays a significant role in chromophore structure and subsequent coloration. Targeted mutagenesis of additional regions of the interior alpha helix produced additional visually distinct color variations. By expressing the mutant chromoproteins on plasmids in K12 nonpathogenic E. coli, we were able to develop a microbial “paint palette” for use in microbiology teaching labs, with additional applications in research, art and design.
Erin Kay - Animal Science
Abnormal Presentation of Feline Congenital Hypothyroidism
Project Advisor(s): Jodi Smith, Matthew Ellinwood | Advisor(s): Jennifer Bundy
AbstractThe aim of this study was to identify the causative allelic change that resulted in the atypical form of congenital hypothyroidism noted within a feline research breeding colony used to study glaucoma. Retrospective analysis of archival records as well as whole genome sequencing (WGS) of specific members of the breeding colony were performed. A pedigree was constructed to determine the inheritance pattern of the disease. It has been determined that the inheritance is polygenic. Simply put, the disease is not informed by a single gene as is evidenced by the inheritance denoted in the pedigree. Instead, the disease is inherited via multiple genes working in conjunction with each other. This study pointed to the disease inheritance being partially x-linked as well as likely having qualities of permissiveness. The results of the study have been sent to Dr. Leslie Lyons, an associate professor at the University of Missouri, to be studied further.
K. Diane Maxwell - Animal Ecology, Forestry
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl - Unbeatable Role Model
Project Advisor(s): Carolyn Gonzalez | Advisor(s): John Burnett, Douglas Stokke
AbstractThis project is about how a pop culture figure can be used to present a positive role model in today’s society. Squirrel Girl is a comic book superhero who demonstrates that being a strong individual is less about physical strength and more about strength of character. Through the media form of comic books, she is a role model to readers of all ages. She demonstrates a positive self-image through her narration, most importantly her positive self-talk. Mainstream media often sends messages that undermine self-perception, especially tweens who are struggling with who they are becoming. Squirrel Girl is also drawn with an appropriate body shape for who she is (part girl, part squirrel) that is very relatable to the average person, especially females. Her body shape is compact and muscular like a gymnast, appropriate for the human athletic equivalent of a squirrel. However, today’s society more often values female shapes which are thin and curvy, which can lower self-esteem in individuals who aren’t shaped like what society considers ‘beautiful’. She also shows that girls (females) can do math by attending college and majoring in Computer Science, a STEM field that is underrepresented by females both nationally and here at ISU.
Paiton McDonald - Agricultural Biochemistry, International Agriculture
Effects of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Fermentation Product Supplementation on the Acute-Phase Response during Bovine Respiratory Disease in Neonatal Calves
Project Advisor(s): Jodi McGill | Advisor(s): Donald Beitz, Ebby Luvaga
AbstractBovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) is a multi-pathogenic interaction often resulting in lower respiratory tract infections in cattle. BRDC commonly presents as a primary viral infection, followed by a secondary bacterial infection, resulting in clinically severe disease that can be fatal in neonatal calves. There has been research on the calves’ immune response to the individual infections, but little has been done to study the immune response to a viral-bacterial co-infection. Supplementation with Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation products (SCFP) has shown to have positive effects on performance, health and immunity in cattle. A recent study demonstrated that supplementation of neonatal calves with the SCFP products, NutriTek and SmartCare, modulated the immune response in calves and improved the outcome of an experimental bovine respiratory syncytial viral (BRSV) infection (1). This study’s objective is to evaluate the effects of SCFPs on the acute phase response through quantitative gene expression for inflammatory cytokines: TNF-alpha, IL-1, and IL-6 from tissue using qPCR in a viral and bacterial co-infection in neonatal calves and correlate the findings with immune function and performance. Current results suggest that with a minimal increase in cytokine response, treated calves cleared the infection(s) with a better success rate following peak viral load. Mahmoud, A., Slate, J., Hong, S., Yoon, I., & McGill, J. L. (2020, August 11). Supplementing a Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product modulates innate immune function and ameliorates bovine respiratory syncytial virus infection in neonatal calves. Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://academic.oup.com/jas/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jas/skaa252/5891219.
Madison Porter - Biology (AGLS)
Effects of Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus on Pre-Weaned Calf Performance
Project Advisor(s): Jodi McGill | Advisor(s): Corinna Most
AbstractBovine respiratory disease (BRD) is a complex interaction of viral and bacterial infections that can lead to lowered performance especially in young calves. Early detection and treatment are key in treating BRD, however, early detection can be very difficult. Thoracic ultrasonography (TUS) can be easily performed calf-side to help aid in the detection of BRD. In the current study, thirteen calves were followed for a three weeks pre-infection, then infected with Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus (BRSV) and six days after infected with Pasteurella multocida and followed for an additional four days. Body weights were collected weekly and grain intake was measured daily. TUS was performed on days 0, 2, 4,6, 7, 8, and 10 after infection, and disease progression was scored on a scale of 0-4 with 0 indicating no disease present and 4 indicating severe disease. Ultrasound scores were then correlated with average daily gain (ADG) and feed conversion efficiency (FCE) pre- and post-infection. Results suggest a negative correlation between ADG and TUS score, and between FCE and TUS score suggesting that TUS could serve as a useful diagnostic tool in detecting calves that are likely to experience lowered performance.
Luke Sloterdyk - Global Resource Systems, Environmental Science (AGLS)
Impact Analysis of Global Pandemics on Household Food Insecurity: An Examination of the Intersection between Global Pandemics and Household/Communal Food Insecurity
Project Advisor(s): Emily Zimmerman | Advisor(s): Maggie Sprecher, Richard Williams
AbstractGlobal pandemics impact society in varied and complex ways, including household food security. A lack of accessible, available, and appropriate food can be exacerbated by disruptions in national and local food systems, changes in household socio-economic status, and a myriad of other factors caused by pandemics. This timely study aims to analyze and synthesize research on the impacts of global pandemics on communal and household food security. To do this, I conducted a systematic literature review of peer-reviewed papers that investigated the relationship between pandemics and food security. In my review of the literature, I identified 76 papers, and using those studies, I identified and quantified common themes related to food security challenges prior to a pandemic, the persistence of pre-existing health conditions prior to the pandemic, and changes in socio-economic status, health, and livelihoods during and following the pandemic to understand how global pandemics alter communal and household food security. Results suggest there is an inextricable link between global pandemics and either the beginning or continuation of increasing food insecurity in effected areas. This research provides an important and timely examination of secondary and tertiary impacts of global pandemic as they relate to food insecurity and may be used to inform future emergency preparation, local and national policy, as well as individual household resilience.
Kayla Wernsing - Environmental Science (AGLS), Geology
An Exploration of Des Moines River Geochemical Trends and Anthropogenic Drivers
Project Advisor(s): Grace Wilkinson | Advisor(s): Richard Williams, William Simpkins
AbstractThe concentration of ions in rivers are controlled by watershed inputs and internal cycling, which are affected by human activities and their interactions with large-scale drivers like climate. Unfortunately, multi-decadal studies on river solutes are rare. The Des Moines River, however, offers a unique opportunity to study long-term patterns, as it has been regularly monitored for decades. For this project, we focused on the variability of four solutes over time and at multiple monitoring sites: chloride, nitrate, phosphorus, and sulfate. We hypothesized that the geochemical trends in the river over the past 40 years have been driven primarily by anthropogenic inputs through agricultural intensification, wet deposition changes (sulfate), and urbanization (chloride), whose effects have all been heightened by global climate change. Using generalized additive models for annualized data, we found that urbanization in the Des Moines metro area is related to chloride dynamics, changes in fertilizer use and acres planted are related to nitrate and phosphorus dynamics, and wet deposition and agriculture are related to sulfur dynamics. All models included precipitation and temperature effects. We conclude that human activities in the Des Moines River watershed are being compounded by the rapid changing of climate in the last four decades.
Katelyn Zimmerman - Agricultural & Life Sciences Education
The Cyclone Aide Experience
Project Advisor(s): Nicole Nicholson, Mark Hainline | Advisor(s): Mark Hainline
AbstractCyclone Aides play an essential role in the transition of new students into the university. Cyclone Aides serve as university-wide ambassadors. Cyclone Aides work directly with New Student Programs (NSP) staff for training programs and the development of these programs. They are employed by NSP from January of the incoming year until January the following year and go through intensive training processes to cover crucial skills like public speaking, customer service, leadership, and knowledge of campus resources. Serving as a Cyclone Aide has made a significant impact on students’ lives and allows them to share their passion of the university with incoming students and their families. The goal of this project is to redesign the website with Iowa State University Office of Admissions that will cover all aspects of serving as a Cyclone Aide. It will include a range of topics including application information and the hiring process, specific responsibilities, frequently asked questions, history of the program, and Cyclone Aide testimonials. The end product of this project won’t come into fruition until spring 2021 as COVID-19 significantly altered the completion timeline.
Ross Ackerman - Finance
Music and Wine: Diversification with Investments of Passion
Project Advisor(s): Truong Duong | Advisor(s): Kelly Pistilli
AbstractInvestors buy “investments of passion” — like classic cars, stamp collections, and art — for personal interest ahead of any financial benefits. This research aims to study the convergence of the two by examining fine wine and music as alternative asset classes. Analysis of each asset includes a history of price performance over the sample period, the asset's correlation with equity markets, the allocation between the asset and the S&P 500 according to an efficient portfolio frontier, and a maximum Sharpe ratio analysis. While acknowledging caveats such as the storage cost of wine, a short sample period, and market illiquidity, this study shows alternative assets such as wine and music can improve investors’ portfolios and provide financial benefits beyond personal passion.
Abraham Fisher - Management Information Systems
Project Advisor(s): John Burnley | Advisor(s): Austin Haytko
AbstractMy project is a phone application focused on the realm of security. In this phone application, the goal is to allow the user to GPS lock their phone. By that I mean once they hit lock, if the phone is moved from that location an alarm will go off. This is the core goal of the application which allows for room to expand on features in the future. The app will be made using Android Studio, and the language used is Java. To better describe the minimum viable product here is an example: Say you are at a pool or beach and want to keep you phone with your stuff. You are close enough to hear it go off, but not close enough to completely monitor it. With this app you will be able to lock it and hear if anyone tries to take off with your phone.
Shaun Garrity - Management Information Systems
Soundpulse: Sound Inspired by Biometrics
Project Advisor(s): Christopher Hopkins | Advisor(s): Kelly Pistilli
AbstractThe human body is an entire system flowing with data. Identification and evaluation of quantitative variables from these data have the potential to redefine how music is produced in regard to the type of performance input provided and how this can influence characteristics of musical sound. This study aims to determine how different types of human input, both passive and active, can be utilized in the creation of MIDI music. The study combines passive input from the heart rate of an individual, which is highly limited in control unless presented with cardiovascular activity, with active inputs from the use of the hands and fingers, primarily mouse clicks and key presses. The technical implementation uses Arduino and an LED pulse sensor to provide pre-processed heart rate input into the Max 8 programming and graphical display environment, creating in effect an electronic instrument performed according to the active and passive input provided by the human performer. More than providing a musical performance, per se, the instrument has the intention of stimulating further experimentation and reflection on the capabilities of the human body to create sound through data and technology.
Hannah Gorton - Accounting, Finance
Satisfaction with Major Selection
Project Advisor(s): Sekar Raju | Advisor(s): Austin Haytko
AbstractThe goal of my research is to evaluate the overall levels of satisfaction with selected major among students within the Ivy College of Business and explore possible correlation with other factors such as progress toward graduation, previous major change, etc. Satisfaction with the decision of major selection plays a huge role in one’s educational experience. I am interested to learn about the overall levels of satisfaction within this institution, and I would think other students, faculty in the Ivy College of Business, and the university as a whole would find this information interesting also. Throughout this semester, I researched factors that may influence satisfaction with major selection, studied Ivy students via anonymous survey, and performed statistical analysis of the responses to that survey.
Logan Kohl - Accounting, Management
Disclosure of Ethical Breaches in Annual Financial Reports
Project Advisor(s): Michael Bootsma | Advisor(s): Kelly Pistilli
AbstractCorporate Social Responsibility is becoming ever-increasingly important in our society. This paper explores a company’s willingness to disclose information when it does not paint them in a positive light. Thirty companies’ annual reports were analyzed to explore how/if they disclosed a specific ethical breach. It was expected that many of these companies might either not disclose the ethical breach or that they may try to bury the breach in their annual report. My findings conclude companies appeared to disclose information in their annual report only when legally required.
Hernan Machado - Accounting, Finance
Case Study on Cenveo's Restructuring
Project Advisor(s): Tyler Jensen | Advisor(s): Kelly Pistilli
AbstractCenveo, a leading global provider of envelope, printing, and label products, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection on February 2, 2018. The firm faced secular digitalization sales pressure with a thin EBITDA margin and crippling liquidity concerns from 2015 to 2017. Given its burdensome capital structure, Cenveo’s liability management efforts were not able to protect it from market-closing credit downgrades and ultimately, the need to seek bankruptcy protection. The firm was initially optimistic about working rapidly through the negotiation process, as it secured a First Lien Noteholder Restructuring Support Agreement (RSA) prior to filing for bankruptcy. However, Brigade Capital Management (investor in the Second Lien Notes) and BOKF (trustee for the Second Lien Notes) made a series of allegations in court that delayed and complicated the process. Nevertheless, Cenveo decided to settle with both parties and move forward with voting on its “global agreement” Disclosure Statement (DS), which was ultimately approved by the voting classes. Classes 1-2 received full recovery, Class 3 recovered at 44.1%, Class 4 fully recovered, Class 5 recovered at 1.5%, Class 7 recovered at 100%, and all other classes did not receive any recovery.
Jeffery Pedersen - Entrepreneurship, Finance
Pivotal Factors Influencing Urban Growth in the US
Project Advisor(s): RS Nappinnai | Advisor(s): Kelly Pistilli
AbstractCities in the US are constantly changing. Evidently, different urban areas of the country develop and continue to expand for very different reasons. However, all urban areas have some similarities that causes them to outpace most regions of the United States in growth of population and real estate development. Studies conducted on this topic by real estate experts, city planners, and academic researchers point to three overarching principles for why cities grow. These three primary factors play a strong role in the development and expansion of metropolitan areas. These influences are microeconomics, macroeconomic, and infrastructure in nature. Microeconomic factors concern preferences of the individual residents that choose to move and live in cities for different personal benefits, amenities, and features that only a city can offer, providing an attractive alternative to any other place of living. Macroeconomic factors concern the general growth of the U.S. economy measured by its national GDP, growth in population, and monetary policies such as low interest rates to encourage commercial and residential development in cities. The final factor concerns proper development and restoration of infrastructure which allows inhabitants ease of access, transportation, and affordability of living.
Megan Ziemann - Marketing
Domestic Bliss: Making Change Through Advertising
Project Advisor(s): Jazzmine Brooks | Advisor(s): Austin Haytko
AbstractMarketing, or the action of promoting and selling a product or service through a framework that involves product, price, place, and promotion, has existed for thousands of years, from ancient peoples yelling out their wares in open-air markets to the Mad Men era of print and television advertisement, to today where digital media is above all. This paper explores the history and process of social marketing, a relatively new phenomenon in the business world that in some ways acts as an opposite to traditional marketing and advertising. First, the paper will highlight the history of the movement from its early stages in the 1970s to its heyday in the present. Next, the paper will present Nancy R. Lee’s ten step process of creating a social marketing campaign and explain how the accompanying poster and photo series followed Lee’s instruction in order to be a legitimate social marketing campaign. Last, the paper will discuss some of the implications of social marketing when it comes to ethics and accountability.
Drew Daly - Industrial Design
Creative Nonfiction: A Personal Essay Sequence
Project Advisor(s): Kenny Cook | Advisor(s): Jeremy Miller
AbstractI wrote 10-15 pages of creative nonfiction, which have become the start of a sequence of essays about my life. I focused in particular on the theme of "difference" and the "creation of identity through difference." I wanted to share my stories about growing up in a small town, being labeled "different," and what that does to a person's self-esteem and learning to enjoy being "different." I wanted to share my story and encourage others to embrace themselves and be able to live their lives to the absolute best of their capabilities, regardless of societal labels. In addition, this has served as a learning experience for writing in the genre of creative nonfiction, which I have little experience in, and learning further craft when it comes to the writing process regarding exploration, editing, and refinement.
Crystal DeWulf - Landscape Architecture, Environmental Studies
Pristine or Produced: Examining the Extent Mankind Has Transformed the Planet
Project Advisor(s): Michael Martin | Advisor(s): Malinda Cooper, Richard Williams
AbstractMost humans have emotional attachments to landscapes that they consider to be pristine, or untouched by man. These places are usually thought to be the worthiest of conservation efforts due to the fact that they are “untainted.” However, researchers are now realizing that such places rarely exist. Virtually every landscape on this planet has been altered in some shape or form by mankind. For example, the majority of the public would consider landscapes such as the Amazon and Congo rainforests to be pure wilderness. In reality, these locations and many others are largely overgrown gardens of past civilizations. By researching regions around the globe that are presumed to be pristine wilderness, I concluded that man has drastically transformed almost every landscape on this planet. I investigated topics such as native plant species, CO2 levels, agricultural practices and colonization to determine the level of alteration on each continent. I then chose three distinct and well-known landscapes to focus on, the Amazon Rainforest, Scottish Highlands and the African Savanna. Using my research, I created paintings of the current state of each landscape, as well as how each region would appear today if they had never been altered by humans.
Lena Menefee-Cook - Art & Design (Bachelor of Arts), Performing Arts
OF THE DEEP Shadow Puppetry Design
Project Advisor(s): Amanda Petefish-Schrag | Advisor(s): Marina Reasoner, Amanda Petefish-Schrag
AbstractOf the Deep, a new puppetry play by Amanda Petefish-Schrag, explores how a community responds to a whale carcass washing up on the shore of their coastal town. It was originally set to perform in April 2020 with ISU Theatre but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As shadow puppet designer, I researched shadow puppetry traditions and practices; the role of whales in art, literature, culture, and commerce; whale anatomy and movement; and environmental and human threats to whales. I then experimented with the use of discarded materials that might make up marine debris—focusing on issues of durability, flexibility, opacity, and color—to design shadow puppets for the play. Between March and October 2020, I helped facilitate the adaptation, design, and direction of the production into a thirty-minute film, Of the Deep: Meditations Upon the Death of a Blue Whale, comprised of new short shadow puppet scenes created by ISU community members, which premiered on October 23, 2020.
Amelia Sheckler - Industrial Design
Future of Furniture
Project Advisor(s): Christopher Martin | Advisor(s): Jeremy Miller
AbstractTrends come and go: in fashion, fine arts, and furniture, as well as many other aspects of everyday life. The chairs my ninety-seven-year-old grandfather picked out for his living room differ significantly from how my apartment is furnished today. I am interested in where furniture design will head in the future. In order to project what furniture will look like, I will be using the popular pieces from past movements. By trending what made certain pieces popular in the past, I will be able to get an idea of what kinds of historical context influenced designs. This embodies my major as an industrial designer; however, part of being a designer includes creating for the customer and their desires. I am therefore also interviewing a variety of people to get the personal feedback of what my future consumer will be interested in. This research will inform my design of a piece of furniture that will be seen in the homes of people in ten years.
Austin Angel - Chemical Engineering
Analysis on Iowa State Energy Generation and Usage. Is Iowa State Greenwashing?
Project Advisor(s): Brent Shanks | Advisor(s): Nicole Prentice
AbstractThe main power plant is a co-generation energy facility on Iowa State’s Campus. The power plant produces heat, electricity, and cooling water to fit the needs of university. This project seeks to understand the current energy system at Iowa State and the origin and efficiency of purchased energy supply. Additionally, the project will research what proportion of our energy is generated through each of the common energy sources (solar, wind, natural gas, and coal). This analysis will include a modeling of the carbon footprint of the power plant’s current operation. After analyzing energy input, the project will analyze energy output. An investigation of where our energy is used and the efficiency of our power consumption. A full energy balance on the system will give a better understanding of where our energy is going and what impact that energy usage has on our environment. Using this information, the project will then evaluate potential avenues for how Iowa State can become a greener institution. The carbon footprint of Iowa State University is directly determined by the commodities used to generate electricity and the behavior of the end users. The project will propose the areas of greatest opportunity for the University.
Carolyn Bernemann - Mechanical Engineering
Applying Similitude Modeling Methods to Tribological Applications
Project Advisor(s): Cris Schwartz | Advisor(s): Katelyn Schany
AbstractTribology is a field encompassing topics such as friction, wear, and lubrication. Because tribological principles often act on small scales, gathering accurate data can be difficult. The objective of this research was to scale up tests to measure wear on a macroscopic scale. Similitude is a method often used in scaling fluid dynamics problems where testing parameters are calculated from dimensionless values. By applying the Buckingham Pi Theorem to a simple wear test, seven dimensionless terms were determined. Intermolecular surface forces impact wear but do not adjust with the system size, so they were modeled by magnetic forces. Iron oxide powder was mixed with paraffin wax to create magnetic wax samples, and magnets of varying strengths were placed under a macroscopically textured counterface. Wear tests were conducted using a tribometer, holding constant the distance, velocity, plate roughness, materials, contact area, and applied load, while the magnetic force was varied between tests. The total wear amount was measured, and the results were then analyzed to determine a dimensionless relationship between surface forces and wear. Future research should include measuring how changing other parameters impact wear, which could allow for the implementation of similitude modeling in various tribology applications.
Evan Boss - Agricultural Engineering
Tulip Bulb Farming as Cover Crop Option in Iowa Row Crop Operation
Project Advisor(s): Chris Boessen | Advisor(s): Benjamin Mccarty
AbstractOver the last decade Iowa row crop operations have been faced with shrinking profit margins on traditional Iowa farming enterprises. This has caused farmers to change their business plans for the future whether their goal is to maintain the operation’s size or expand for the younger generations to join. There are three general strategies for obtaining these objectives: acquiring more land for existing enterprises, supplementing the business with non-farm income, or diversification through new farming enterprises. An increasingly popular avenue for diversification is to enter a specialty market such as organic production or non-traditional crops. This project aims to investigate the validity of entering the tulip bulb production market as a diversification opportunity for traditional row crop operations. First, the agronomic requirements for tulip bulb production were researched to establish the compatibility with typical Iowa agronomic resources. Then enterprise and partial budgets were developed for this new operation. The collective analysis of the agronomic requirements and budgets indicated both opportunity and challenges associated with entering this market. Given these considerations, the project concludes that while this provides unique potential, the limited scalability makes tulip bulb farming a non-viable option for widespread practice in Iowa row crop operations.
Ryan Cwik - Mechanical Engineering
The Effect of DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) Additive Manufacturing Laser Power and Laser Speed on Part Surface Finish
Project Advisor(s): Emmanuel Agba | Advisor(s): Aliza Mackenzie
AbstractThis research project intended to determine the effect of changing the laser power and laser speed on 17-4 stainless steel parts produced using direct metal laser sintering 3D metal printing technology. The surface roughness and hardness of multiple surfaces on test parts was examined. The surfaces analyzed included horizontal, vertical, and a slanted surface on which multiple combinations of laser power and speed were considered. Some of the changed settings resulted in the test part retaining approximately the same amount of energy per area of the produced part during sintering while others varied. The data appears to show a fairly benign effect of changing the aforementioned parameters although relationships and effects of changing these independent variables still do show some interaction. Increasing laser speed seems to lead to an increase in roughness on the horizontal, upper surface of the test part while increasing power seems to decrease the surface roughness. On other surfaces analyzed, there is not a significant effect. Hardness of both surfaces analyzed appears to increase as power increases and decrease as laser speed increases.
Matthew Dwyer – Computer Engineering
Exploration of Graphics Processing Unit Design and Low-Level Programmatic Functionality
Project Advisor(s): Henry John Duwe | Advisor(s): Vicky Thorland-Oster
AbstractAs computationally intensive problems and applications utilizing machine learning (ML) continue to grow in number and size, Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) have grown in importance to accelerate these calculations. Application-specific hardware has been developed to mitigate general-purpose processors' overheads (CPUs and early GPUs), even being integrated into consumer GPUs as additional accelerated matrix-matrix multiplication cores. In acknowledging this growth, the Computer Engineering course 482X: Hardware Design for Machine Learning was created. In this project, laboratory exercises were developed to allow students of 482X to get hands-on learning opportunities for developing hardware and software implementation of ML. One such exercise was the re-implementation of an open-source GPU hardware accelerator architecture based on the AMD Southern Islands Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) on the Xilinx Zedboard Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). On the development side, this project also involved setting up ML development environments utilizing the Tensorflow and TMV libraries for retraining landmark and toy ML models for use in exercises surrounding basic ML concepts (pooling, convolution, deep learning, backpropagation). Finally, links between the hardware and software lab implementations were studied to bridge students' understanding of how specialized ML hardware and software interact to solve complex problems.
Erik Francois - Construction Engineering
Yes We Catan! Teaching and Learning with Settlers of Catan (Seminar)
Project Advisor(s): Susan Yager | Advisor(s): Emily Bowers
Abstract"Yes We Catan! Teaching and Learning with Settlers of Catan" was a half-semester seminar course presented as part of the University’s Honors Program seminar series. The seminar utilizes the diverse themes from the board game, Settlers of Catan, as a springboard for interdisciplinary discussion. Each week, the two-hour seminar was split into a lecture and gameplay period. Guest speakers discussed the various topics, which included - statistics and dice probability, the economics Catan, psychology (competition, biases, and motivation), and geology/natural resources. In addition, the seminar featured a presentation from the Des Moines based event company, The Rook Room. In the final two weeks, students put their skills to the test, playing in a two-round tournament which crowned a class champion. Along with studying the academic topics the game presents, participants were introduced to several strategies for improved gameplay. These strategies included philosophy for initial settlement placement and situation decision making. Students were tasked with keeping ‘game journals’ of two games played outside of class. These journals encouraged experimenting with different strategies, and focusing on decision-making throughout the game.
Luis Granadillo - Materials Engineering
Integrating Soft Electronics with Rigid Components
Project Advisor(s): Michael Bartlett | Advisor(s): Holly Dunlay-Lott
AbstractSoft, elastically deformable materials can enable new generations of multifunctional matter for electronics, robotics, and reconfigurable structures. However, interfacing and operational challenges arise when integrating rigid parts into soft circuitry due to the compliance and elongation mismatch. The interconnects between the rigid components and soft circuitry in particular will suffer due to the difference in stretchability. Here we demonstrate a technique to create robust connections through a soft liquid metal-elastomer composite by selective activation to make electrically conductive pathways and integrate them with electronic components. A paste made from a mixture of liquid metal (gallium-indium alloy) and rigid metal particles is created to connect rigid components to soft circuity. A stenciling method is used to place a desired amount of the paste at predetermined locations. Conductive copper tape with is used to connect the soft circuit to an external power supply. The soft circuit is encapsulated using the same elastomer matrix as the composite to allow for stable chemical bonding. Finally, a prototype is developed to successfully demonstrate the stretchability of the soft circuit.
Katherine Gruman - Chemical Engineering
Music at the MET: A Case Study in Multi-Functional Acoustics
Project Advisor(s): Larry Curry, Miriam Zach | Advisor(s): Matthew Brown
AbstractThis project investigates the functional and logistic design of the Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall at ISU. Understanding design elements of structures that already exist is important to inform the design of future buildings. For a building as specialized and intricate as an auditorium, it is especially important to draw on existing examples to see what has worked well and what errors need to be avoided in the future. Discussing the strengths and shortcomings of the recital hall from the perspective of a performer and an employee has potential to showcase design elements that aren’t evident from an audience perspective. The primary task for this project was to create a 3D digital model of the hall and its backstage. This was done using AutoCAD software, using copies of the original design schematics as references. The results of the research come from a combination of understanding the hall’s layout from the model and understanding the hall’s functional capabilities from experience as a performer and as an employee. I will present on the observations I have made about the facility which arise from layout and structural elements of the design, and what they might mean for future facilities.
Sarah Hansen - Mechanical Engineering
Speckling Soft Materials Using an Airbrush Attachment for Digital Image Correlation Experiments
Project Advisor(s): Sarah Bentil | Advisor(s): Aliza Mackenzie
AbstractThe method used to produce speckle patterns, on soft biological tissue and soft material surfaces, is crucial to the success of three-dimensional (3D) Digital Image Correlation (DIC) experiments. DIC is a non-contact optical technique for obtaining the full deformation field of a specimen, due to an applied load. The speckle size, shape, contrast against the specimen's background, and unique pattern are all parameters that influence the accuracy of the displacement measurements. An airbrush, with a 3D printed nozzle attachment, is applied to generate repeatable speckles for DIC experiments. This research determined the feasibility of using this airbrush attachment as a means to speckle soft biological tissue, for improving the results following DIC analysis. Attachments are printed and used to speckle the surface of porcine brain tissue. The tissue is then subjected to unconfined compression experiments utilizing a rheometer while DIC analysis is applied to quantify the tissue’s surface deformation. Preliminary experiments determine the testing parameters. A MATLAB code is developed to quantitatively analyze the speckle patterns and provide researchers with data to determine the quality of a speckle pattern. The results of this work will benefit researchers using DIC to characterize the mechanical behavior of soft biological tissue or biomaterials.
Martha Hodapp - Mechanical Engineering
Integrated Sensor Placenta-On-A-Chip
Project Advisor(s): Nicole Nastaran Hashemi | Advisor(s): John Wagner
AbstractAbstract not available
Tyler Kirscht - Materials Engineering
Use of a Double-Barreled Biolistic Device and Counting Software for Comparing Performance Between Plant Transfection Procedures
Project Advisor(s): Shan Jiang, Kyle Miller | Advisor(s): Holly Dunlay-Lott
AbstractThe accuracy of plant cell characterization is improved through the optimization of CellProfiler software, where images of fluorescent gene expression are analyzed to determine the efficacy of a gene delivery system. CellProfiler is an open-source cell characterization software made up of various modules that process images. These modules require their settings to be fine-tuned in order to accurately identify, separate, and count the cells with modified DNA. These inputs affect the various steps which the program uses to count the cells. The brightness threshold is the first, in which the program runs an algorithmic thresholding method to determine which cells are significant. Several of these thresholding methods were tested, along with a threshold correction factor that empirically adjusts the calculated threshold value. An enhancement filter and Gaussian blur were also implemented to suppress background noise while making the cell features more prominent. Additionally, the cell size parameter was adjusted for effective brightness. Finally, the program uses de-clumping to separate and identify cells that are grouped together, based on several empirically determined factors. Overall, the accuracy of the software was significantly improved, and the lessons learned here can be taken into future plant cell characterization projects.
Zacharias Komodromos - Electrical Engineering
The Importance of 1800s Science Advancements on Society Today and the Significance of Todays Advancements on Tomorrow
Project Advisor(s): Mani Mina | Advisor(s): Vicky Thorland-Oster
AbstractThere is a myriad of scientific discoveries that were conceived long before the 21st or even the 20th century with a massive impact on today’s society. After looking into three of these discoveries that are vital for Electrical Engineering, it became clear just how fundamental these were to the field as well as fields at first seemingly unrelated. Laplace’s Transform is the basis for system analysis and his work is widely used sometimes unwittingly, as when taught to students taking introductory Electrical Engineering classes. Fourier’s Transform laid the groundwork for frequency analysis, a tool used, for example, in communications which didn’t develop until the 20th century. Finally, Boole’s work on Boolean Algebra was the foundation of modern computing and digital logic, without which our lives would be unrecognizable. Delving into their important works, and their reasons for researching them can offer insight into how discoveries of this importance are reached. Following the path of their contributions throughout the centuries and comparing to the modern definitions helps prove the narrative that all scientific work is not merely achieved by one person. Rather, some scientists make small but meaningful contributions to a subject, while others make giant leaps that bring the process closer to completion.
Christopher Lopez – Computer Engineering
Study Abroad iOS App
Project Advisor(s): Frank Peters | Advisor(s): Vicky Thorland-Oster
AbstractFor my honors project, I wanted to take a look at something valuable to me and my university. After studying abroad in Ireland Spring 2018, I started working for Iowa State’s Study Abroad Office. It was there I got the idea to research and prototype the possibility of an ISU Study Abroad App. This project has combined my love for travel with the joy of learning new software technologies. The idea of the app is to make studying abroad more accessible and tangible for students. In the development of the prototype, I chose iOS as it represented the largest portion of ISU students. Choosing the iOS platform, I explored new app development tools in XCode programming in Swift and using Apple’s latest UI library SwiftUI.
Matthew Schaschwary - Chemical Engineering
Assessing Genome Accessibility and the Impact on Microbial Factory Performance Using CRISPR-Based Genome Editing Tool
Project Advisor(s): Zengyi Shao | Advisor(s): Nicole Prentice
AbstractFermenting xylose sugar to produce ethanol can be a practical challenge in industry due to safety concerns and significant by-product formation. Saccharomyces Cerevisiae is a yeast commonly utilized to consume the xylose sugar and produce ethanol, which can be used in many products including fuels, chemicals, nutraceuticals, and pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae is not capable of fermenting xylose sugar without any genetic modifications. Even if modifications are made to Saccharomyces Cerevisiae to produce ethanol, the yeast contains drug-resistant genes which can lead to uncontrollable growth and contamination of the product. Additionally, the yeast is highly susceptible to producing high concentrations of acetate and xylitol by-products. This study investigates two different methods utilized to improve bioproduction of ethanol. One method involves using CRISPR/Cas9 to remove drug resistant gene PHO13 and gene ALD6 associated with acetate and xylitol by-product formation while incorporating an expression cassette XY123 to increase ethanol production. Another method uses NADH Oxidase to increase NADH presence resulting in increased ethanol production and decreased xylitol production. Both methods were successful in producing optimized yeast strains that can be incorporated into large-scale fermenters in industry, implying that incorporating multiple methods can potentially result in a more optimized yeast strain.
Kenna Short - Mechanical Engineering
Interactive Console Design for a Mars Rover
Project Advisor(s): James Heise | Advisor(s): Alyssa Mittleider
AbstractThis project evaluates the design and construction of an interactive console installed at the Science Center of Iowa (SCI). I worked on a team of three to create a museum exhibit to teach children about programming and spark an interest in STEM. The participants insert tiles, labeled with instructions, into slots on the console. Then, the participants can watch the rover carry out their instructions. The primary design objectives were to make the console intuitive and accessible by all ages. This was accomplished through prototyping and testing of various designs and layouts. The plywood prototype resulted in a final installed console made of durable HDPE with a second layer of transparent polycarbonate for protection and design purposes. Accompanying the console, is a 3D-printed rover designed to replicate NASA’s Mars rover. The exhibit can be found at SCI as a part of the “Why the Sky” exhibit.
Rae Stephenson - Chemical Engineering
Non-Binary and Gender Nonconforming Fashion in Vogue, 2000 to 2020
Project Advisor(s): Kelly Reddy-Best | Advisor(s): Mackenzie Schwartz
AbstractVogue has been a highly respected source for the latest fashion installations and profiles since the first publication in 1892. As such, it can be used as a tool to assess how historical changes in our society impact how we interact with high fashion. As a society, over the last twenty years we have seen a shift in how gender is defined and how our fashion choices are influenced by our identities. The goal of this study was to review how the fashion media outlet Vogue addresses these changes and in what context. The Iowa State University Vogue database was searched using a variety of key words pertaining to non-binary gender identities such as “androgynous”, “gender fluid”, and “non-binary.” Each mention of these words was recorded, along with its context, to categorize the ways in which they are used by Vogue to describe fashion and the greater fashion world. From this data, trends were uncovered showing how the use and context of each of the selected words has shifted over the last twenty years in the context of Vogue.
Evan Timmons - Computer Engineering
The Efficacy of Using Virtual Reality for Therapeutic Purposes: An Analysis
Project Advisor(s): Richard Stone | Advisor(s): Vicky Thorland-Oster
AbstractThrough an extensive array of trials, virtual reality therapy has proven itself to be effective in treating and preventing both mental and physical ailments. Research on the subject began as far back as the early 2000’s, and the technology provided promising results from the beginning. Its adoption has been mediated by human and technological factors like skepticism and high prices, however recent studies have proven these detriments obsolete. Regardless, adoption rates remain incredibly low. Virtual reality therapy can be a remarkably effective tool in treating a wide variety of human affects and should be implemented where applicable.
Charles Truka - Chemical Engineering
Effect of Oxo-Degradation Products on Yeast Growth
Project Advisor(s): Laura Jarboe | Advisor(s): Nicole Prentice
AbstractThe purpose of this research is to determine the effects of degraded plastic products on yeast and bacteria growth. The work done fits into a larger project funded by DARPA with the goal of turning plastics into edible nutrients. A group of nonconventional carbon based substrates representative of the products of plastic oxo-degradation will be tested with the yeast strain Y. lipolytica. The goal of this project is to quantify how the effects of oxo-degradation products affect the growth of different candidate yeast and bacteria strains. One result will be a list of organisms that grow well on the oxo-degraded substrate and can be used as a platform for optimization through genetic engineering. The other results will be a list of compounds to target for oxo-degradation products, as well as a list of compounds to avoid.
Jacob Veatch - Software Engineering
An Analysis of Comedy College: A Look into the Data of Students and their Comedy
Project Advisor(s): Peter Orazem, Gavin Jerome | Advisor(s): Teela Wilmes
AbstractIt is apparent that specific comedians and jokes outperform others on many levels, but it has always been difficult to quantify that fact. What makes that comedian special? Why does the crowd love that specific joke? The goal of this project was to answer a subset of these kinds of questions. At Iowa State University, there is an Honors Seminar called Comedy College in which students study comedy with the goal of performing a live standup at the end of the term. These standups are recorded, and data was mined from past recordings to be used in the analysis. The data was visualized and analyzed using the R Programming Language and generated into an html page for viewers. Doing so, analysts can view relations between data such as swearing, callbacks, joke length, and demographics to determine how to maximize a crowd’s reaction to jokes. Although the relative sample size was small, the outcome of this project may help future comedians at Iowa State University and beyond to become better comedians.
Anne Wallace - Chemical Engineering
Gel Entrapment of Tumor Cell Clusters Patterned by Dielectrophoresis (DEP) at a Bipolar Electrode Array
Project Advisor(s): Robbyn Anand | Advisor(s): Nicole Prentice
AbstractThis project demonstrates gel entrapment of tumor cell clusters patterned by dielectrophoresis (DEP) at a bipolar wireless electrode (BPE) array. The use of the gel is to capture the cells in a more viscous medium, this way the cells will stay isolated even when the AC electric field is off. The first attempt of synthesized gel was viscous and had a higher conductivity than expected but still managed to function with the BPE at increased voltage and frequencies. With a higher crossover frequency due to these increased frequencies, the BPE still managed to repel and trap the cells at the electrodes. It was determined the optimal frequency for the cells to become active was at least 80 kHz. The gel had the ability to trap the cells even when the AC electric field was off which ultimately improves the isolation of cells for further research. Later, multiple concentrations of Gel-MA solution with DEP buffer were synthesized and measured for conductivity. The measured conductivities of the Gel-MA with DEP buffer solutions were within the range of cell function for BPE when measured without Tris. All concentrations were then tried for UV cross-link using multiple methods. The cross linking did not occur.
Emily Carley - Kinesiology & Health
Differences in Concussion Reporting for Adolescents in Ireland and the United States of America
Project Advisor(s): Warren Franke | Advisor(s): Jessica Dewall
AbstractConcussions are a common injury found in contact sports like hurling and soccer. Reporting of concussions are very important for the health and safety of the players. However, various countries have different rates of concussions. The Irish model of youth sports participation differs from the United States model. Throughout this project, two different aspects of the Irish sport of hurling and U.S soccer were analyzed to see if they contribute to differences in concussion reporting. These aspects include the concussion protocols used, importance of the game, and overall education of the athletes. The objectives of this research poster are to (1) explore the rates of participation in the sports of hurling and soccer, (2) discover how each country, Ireland and the USA, approaches the diagnosis of concussions, and (3) compare the differences in the concussion reporting between the two countries. The findings of this project are that there is no difference in the concussion protocols between Ireland and the United States that would account for differences in reporting. However, education about concussions had the greatest effect on the reporting behavior in both countries.
Wonhyeoung Choe - Event Management
Investigating Sport Event Attendees' Perceptions: An Application of the ZMET
Project Advisor(s): Chin-Hsun Ken Tsai | Advisor(s): Stacey Wertzberger
AbstractExploring sport events and attendee’s involvement is generating considerable interest since sport event is one of the fast developing industry in the world. In previous studies were limited to focus on attendee’s loyalty in sport events by using survey questionnaires. To our knowledge, no prior studies have examined to elicit attendee’s unconscious perceptions. This qualitative study, using the Zaltaman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET), investigated sport event attendees’ perceptions. Study participants were divided into two groups: High involvement and Low involvement group. We explored the unconscious thoughts between two groups. The study adopts an innovative-grounded qualitative research methodology, the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET) because of its sophisticated imaging techniques in eliciting both consumer’s spoken and tacit thoughts and feelings (e.g., more valid, more reliable) in a way that traditional methods do not. This thesis has made two key contributions to the RAGBRAI bicycle event. First, by researching the participant’s unconscious thought, we expect this will aid to attract different segment of biker to the event. The second contribution proposed in this field is to increase loyalty of Iowa residents to RAGBRAI bike event.
Elizabeth Cuvelier - Elementary Education
Mental Health Among College Athletes
Project Advisor(s): Jacob Meyer | Advisor(s): Becky Koenen
AbstractAthletic identity describes the extent to which an individual identifies as an athlete. Athletic retirement or the inability to participate for those with high athletic identity may lead to feelings of loneliness and other mental health struggles. The purpose of this project was to analyze the relationship between athletic identity, loneliness, and mental health resource utilization in college athletes. Via online survey, current and past college athletes (n=178) self-reported demographic information, completed the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS) and the UCLA 3-Item Loneliness Scale, and were asked questions regarding mental health utilization (e.g., frequency of mental health resource utilization). A logistic regression model provided a non-significant association between athletic identity and loneliness with mental health resource utilization. However, 42% reported they were unaware of the resources available to them. Additionally, there was a weak, negative relationship between athletic identity and loneliness (rspearman(176)= -0.16, p<.05), suggesting a buffering effect of athletic participation for those with high athletic identity. Athletes might experience an increase in loneliness once they transition out of their athlete role. This highlights a large gap in awareness of athlete mental health resources and indicates the need to provide mental health outreach to athletes with high athletic identity.
Nicole Latimer - Kinesiology & Health
The Effects of a Weighted Pen with a Grip Compared to Auditory Cues in Handwriting for Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease
Project Advisor(s): Elizabeth Stegemoller | Advisor(s): Jessica Dewall
AbstractPersons with Parkinson’s disease (PD) demonstrate impairments in handwriting characterized by small and sometimes illegible writing, termed micrographia. A common tool recommended by health care professions to alleviate this symptom is a weighted pen. However, limited research exists examining the relationship between the use of a weighted pen with a grip and handwriting in PD. The aim of this study is to determine whether using a weighted pen improves handwriting to the same extent as other strategies, such as auditory cuing. Given that weighted pens are frequently used in clinical occupational therapy to treat handwriting impairment, I hypothesize that the use of a weighted pen will decrease variability in peak amplitude and movement time during handwriting when compared to a writing with a standard ballpoint pen with auditory cues. Ten older adults with Parkinson’s Disease will be recruited for this study. Participants will be asked to write continuous cursive “l”s on a 1.5 cm lined paper for a total of 10 seconds in two conditions: auditory cued with a standard pen, and self-paced with a weighted pen. Electromagnetic sensors will be placed on the pen, fingers, hand, and arm to obtain position data. The outcome measures of peak amplitude and movement time will be derived from the position data and the coefficient of variability for both will be calculated. I expect that the weighted pen will reduce movement variability during handwriting. Results from this study will inform future research in the use of weighted pens in the treatment of persons with PD.
Avery Maresca - Elementary Education
Divorce in Children’s Literature
Project Advisor(s): Diana Lang | Advisor(s): Becky Koenen
AbstractThis project consists of researching children’s literature across age groups that are available on divorce. After researching what age categories lack books regarding divorce, this project examines those books from one age category. While looking at those available books, topics were looked at to see which ones were addressed frequently, sometimes, or hardly ever. After compiling a list of topics, a tangible book was written, illustrated, and self-published that addressed those voids. This book can serve as a resource for children trying to navigate life while their parents are going through a divorce. It can also serve as a resource for parents and educational professionals while trying to figure out how to address these topics with children.
Anna Reelfs - Kinesiology & Health, International Studies
The Effects of a Weighted Pen on Handwriting in People with Parkinson's Disease
Project Advisor(s): Elizabeth Stegemoller | Advisor(s): Jessica Dewall, Elizabeth Zimmerman
AbstractMicrographia, or abnormally small handwriting, is a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD), and people with PD often find handwriting to be stressful. To address this problem, weighted pens have been utilized by occupational therapists and recommended by the American Parkinson Disease Association. However, few studies have demonstrated their effectiveness. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine if a weighted pen reduced micrographia in people with PD. Seven participants with PD completed three 10-second trials of writing cursive “L”s on 1.5 centimeter lined paper using a standard ballpoint pen and a weighted pen. Electromagnetic sensors were adhered to the tips of the pens, and electromyography (EMG) sensors were adhered to the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and extensor digitorum communis (EDC) muscles. Letter height and peak acceleration were determined from position data. Muscle activity was determined from EMG area under the curve. Comparisons between the standard and weighted pens were made using paired t-tests. No significant differences were found in position data or muscle activity, suggesting that a weighted pen did not improve micrographia. Results from this study can be used to inform the recommendations of weighted pens for people with PD.
Mikayla Weron - Kinesiology & Health
Effects of Dance on Motor Symptoms in People with Parkinson's Disease
Project Advisor(s): Elizabeth Stegemoller | Advisor(s): Lisa Phillips
AbstractPrevious research has shown acute improvements in motor symptoms and mobility in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) following music and exercise interventions. However, it remains unknown how long these improvements last. The purpose of this research is to determine the duration of improved motor symptoms and mobility following one session of dancing, which incorporates both music and exercise. The Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) test was obtained prior to session participation, immediately after session completion, thirty minutes post session completion, and one hour post session completion. Changes in UPDRS scores were analyzed using a 3x3 ANOVA. Results of this study may inform participants how to schedule activities of daily living according to benefits received after music and exercise interventions.
Sarah Bartlett - World Languages & Cultures, Classical Studies
Exploratory Analysis of Two Lekythoi in the Collection of the Brunnier Art Museum
Project Advisor(s): Margaret Mook | Advisor(s): Alissa Whitmore, Jason Chrystal
AbstractAs part of the curation of the Global Citizen Exhibition in the Christian Petersen Art Museum, two Greek ceramic lekythoi (lekythos in the singular), objects UM2013.651 and 2.1.4, required research to determine a date, possible artist, and provenience before their inclusion in the exhibition. In this project, we analyzed the lekythoi designs, shapes, and other features and used publications and museum collections to find comparative material, some of it from dated contexts. Lekythoi artists are known to include consistent features in their work, creating a sort of signature. This characteristic was used to identify possible artists for these vases and subsequent comparative material from excavated contexts that could provide a concise date range. These two lekythoi are both from the early 5th century BCE. Object number UM2013.651 was created by the Athena painter who worked in Athens. Object 2.1.4 was created by the Beldam painter who was also working in Athens. These two objects were on display in the Global Citizens Exhibition in the Christian Petersen Art Museum. This research is being used in the curation of a new exhibition that will open in Ann Brunnier’s Gallery of the Brunnier Art Museum in September.
Rylee Bowman - Political Science
Analyzing Qualitative Data through Summer Evaluations to Outline Expectations Family Members Have about Their Iowa State Orientation Experience
Project Advisor(s): Nicole Nicholson | Advisor(s): Jason Chrystal
AbstractIowa State University hosts a two-day orientation program through the New Student Programs office every summer. This project explores and determines whether the expectations of family members and guests were met during summer orientation through the use of quantitative and qualitative survey data. Our research analyzes over four thousand family orientation evaluations collected during the summer 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 terms. Determining whether family member’s expectations were met allows New Student Programs to improve summer orientation year after year. Meeting family member’s expectations indicates successful orientation programming while failing to meet family member’s expectations indicates a need for improvements. Our project presents our findings after coding the qualitative and quantitative data recorded on the family evaluations to demonstrate whether Iowa State’s orientation programming met the expectations of family members and guests.
Rachael Brady - Biology (LAS)
Developing a Chromogenic Protein Model Adapted to High School STEM Research and Education
Project Advisor(s): Gregory Phillips | Advisor(s): Robert Wallace
AbstractChromogenic protein (CP) is a naturally occurring polypeptide produced by the coral species Acropora millepora. To employ its chromogenic properties for use in bacteria, we synthesized a codon-optimized CP gene and placed it under control of a rhamnose-inducible promoter (rha) for expression in Escherichia coli. To expand the array of chromogenic phenotypes available in E. coli, we developed a mutagenesis strategy using inverse PCR to change the DNA sequence encoding glutamine, a component of the chromophore found at position 62 of CP, to all 19 other amino acids. Strikingly, expression of many of these variants in E. coli imparted a colorful array of phenotypes to the bacteria, including purple, which is produced by the wild-type protein. This collection of CP mutants, and associated methods for expression and mutagenesis, have been incorporated into undergraduate microbial genetics curriculum as a teaching tool to reinforce the basic principles of the central dogma, including gene regulation, mutagenesis and translation, through informational suppression. This model also holds potential for high school students as a visually engaging system for introducing students to molecular biology and sparking interest in STEM, research, and biotechnology, as well as a research tool to differentiate between bacterial strains in synthetic communities.
Katherine Braught - Computer Science
Generating Decisive Sub-matrices for Phylogenetic Tree Construction
Project Advisor(s): David Fernandez-Baca | Advisor(s): Deborah Holmes
AbstractA large problem when building phylogenetic trees is data incompleteness. A significant amount of missing data can lead to ambiguity in the structure of a tree, leaving biologists unsure of its accuracy. However, even with incomplete data, an unambiguous phylogenetic tree can still be built depending on the makeup of data. Data can be represented using a data availability matrix which indicates whether sequencing data is available for a given taxon at a given locus. Sanderson and Steele found if a data availability matrix is decisive, then we can confidently build a phylogenetic tree from that data. If a matrix is indecisive, we can find a decisive submatrix, or subset of taxa for which we can build a phylogenetic tree. Checking decisiveness of a matrix is equivalent to checking the 4-rainbow coloring problem. We formulated this NP-complete problem as both an integer linear programming instance and satisfiability instance. We created a tool which builds decisive submatrices using both problem formulations and compares their speeds in practice and found that the two formulations ran at comparable speeds, but the SAT approach is better for distribution because efficient open source solving software is available, unlike for the ILP approach.
William Crow - Biology (LAS), Mathematics
Locating the mRFPruby Transgene in Drosophila Melanogaster
Project Advisor(s): Clark Coffman | Advisor(s): James Colbert, Miriam Castillo-Gil
AbstractIn Drosophila development, primordial germ cells (PGCs) form at the posterior of the embryo in an extraembryonic location, enter the embryo, and migrate to the gonads. During this migration, some PGCs undergo a process called programmed cell death. Understanding these processes has applications for possible cancer treatments. To better understand the mechanisms of PGC migration and programmed cell death, we have created transgenic lines that express the fluorophore mRFPruby in the PGCs. Due to insufficient levels of expression of the mRFPruby to image the cells during early PGC migration, we will increase the expression levels using meiotic recombination to increase the copy number of the transgene within the genome. This technique requires knowing the location of the initial insertion sites in the two lines with the highest levels of mRFPruby expression, 1-3 and 1-7. I used inverse PCR to obtain the sequence of the flanking genomic region allowing me to map the insertion sites. I have confirmed the location of the 1-7 insert on the right arm of chromosome 3. Preliminary results suggest that the 1-3 insert is less than one map unit downstream of this. More testing needs to be done to confirm the 1-3 result.
Haley Dostalik - Genetics (LAS), Bioinformatics & Computational Biology
Functional Annotation of the Grape
Project Advisor(s): Carolyn Lawrence-Dill | Advisor(s): Geetu Tuteja, Geetu Tuteja
AbstractThe purpose of this project is to update the functional annotation for the grape genome. Previous work that created a functional annotation of the grape genome has been shown to be not very accurate as time has passed. The methods used to create the annotation are not reproducible, which takes away from the credibility of the annotations. As technology has improved, there is more accurate data available for functional annotations, and it is important to update old annotations to reflect new discoveries. Over the past couple of years, Dr. Carolyn Lawrence-Dill's lab has been working on creating updated functional genome annotations of many different species of plants using a software they developed called Gene Ontology Meta Annotator for Plants (GOMAP). This involves finding and manipulating a protein fasta file to the correct format, creating slurm files to run the software, and reviewing the gene ontology annotations output by the software to check for accuracy. This project is expected to result in a new data set containing functional annotations for the grape with updated Gene Ontology terms and will discuss the accuracy of the generated annotations compared to older versions.
Sarah Grambo - Biochemistry
Accumulation of Aphid Secretions Changes the Cuticular Surface of the Soybean Plant
Project Advisor(s): Gustavo MacIntosh | Advisor(s): Gustavo Macintosh
AbstractThe soybean aphid is one of the most important soybean pests in the US Midwest. Understanding how soybean plants respond to the introduction of aphids can lead to the development of new insecticidal technologies. Previous studies have shown that aphid feeding causes transcriptional changes in soybean plants, including genes associated with cuticle biosynthesis. However, the effect of aphid feeding on soybean cuticle composition is still unknown. This project characterized the changes in composition of soybean cuticular lipids in response to seven days of aphid infestation. Extracted cuticular lipids were analyzed using GC-MS. The abundance of nearly every surface lipid produced by the plant increased as a result of aphid feeding. Additionally, aphid infestation caused the appearance of n-acylglycerols on the cuticle that did not resemble normal cuticle lipids and may originate from aphid products. I extracted soybean aphid surface lipids and determined that aphids are the source of the n- acylglycerols. The aphid- deposited lipids increased the total cuticular layer by 21% on average. We hypothesize that lipid deposition could be used by aphids to improve the leaflet surface or signal an adequate site for aphid infestation.
Zoie Green - Psychology
Healthy Identity and Conscientiousness as Predictors of Co-occurring Health-Related Habits
Project Advisor(s): Allison Phillips | Advisor(s): Whitney Baker
AbstractHealthy lifestyle behaviors are important for preventing and managing chronic illness and therefore for avoiding premature death. Although very few individuals engage in the recommended amounts of healthy behaviors, such as regular exercise and handwashing, some individuals are able to maintain healthy lifestyles. The current study evaluates the degree to which healthy habits co-occur, specifically exercise and hand-washing, and whether co-occurrence can be attributed to individuals’ conscientiousness and healthy self-identity. This study was an observational, cross-sectional design with undergraduate participants (N = 494; Mage =19.31, SDage = 1.77; 54.7% Female). It was hypothesized that exercise habit strength would co-occur (predict) handwashing habit strength and that this relationship would be mediated by individuals’ conscientiousness and self-identity as a healthy individual. The results indicate that there is no significant direct effect, or total effect between exercise habit and handwashing habit. However, there is a significant indirect effect for the mediator variable of conscientiousness (standardized indirect effect = 0.03, SE = 0.02, 95% CI [0.003, 0.066]), but not for healthy identity. The results suggest that exercise habit is unrelated to handwashing habit, and since conscientiousness was also not related to handwashing habit, more research is needed to develop valid measures of handwashing habit.
Kendall Haefele - Genetics (LAS)
Roles of EXA1 in Mediated Shoot Elongation
Project Advisor(s): Dior Kelley | Advisor(s): Marit Nilsen-Hamilton
AbstractAuxin is a major phytohormone involved in regulating aspects of seedling development, including hypocotyl elongation and root morphogenesis. The nuclear response to auxin is controlled by co-receptors TIR1/AUXIN F-BOX (TIR1/AFB) and Aux/IAA transcriptional regulators. Auxin promotes degradation of Aux/IAAs leading to tightly regulated gene expression changes. Studies reveal that TIR1 and AFB2-5 can bind IAA, but only AFB4/5 selectively bind and respond to the synthetic auxin picloram. Thus, downstream responses to IAA and picloram may elicit shared and unique targets via perception by different coreceptor complexes, but both drive similar morphological changes like hypocotyl elongation and primary root growth inhibition. The Kelley laboratory performed reverse genetic screens through auxin responsive proteomic data sets, identifying the picloram insensitive mutant exa1. EXA1 encodes a GYF-domain protein required for translational control. Thus, we hypothesized that EXA1 is required for auxin responsive gene expression during hypocotyl elongation via AFB4/5 receptors. Studies are still underway testing this in Arabidopsis. We are generating higher order mutant combinations between exa1, tir1, afb4 and afb5 to evaluate if these proteins are in the same genetic pathway. Additionally, I crossed auxin reporters like DR5:GFP and fluorescently tagged TIR1/AFB into the exa1 mutant to image auxin signaling in exa1 hypocotyls.
Madelyn Huinker – Communication Studies, Environmental Studies
A New Resource to Inform Climate Change Communication
Project Advisor(s): Dara Wald | Advisor(s): Sabrina Shields, Richard Williams
AbstractThe Climate Change Communication Collection will provide a new and previously unavailable database for scientists, communication scholars, and practitioners to create effective and evidence-based public engagement initiatives about climate change (e.g., lectures, public presentations). This database was created and collected through extensive literature review and analysis and is accessible on Iowa State University’s Science Communication Project website. The Climate Change Communication Collection is a database of 50+ articles that brings together critical knowledge and concepts to utilize when presenting climate change information. Articles focus on various topics including the importance of trust, perceived risks, and specific vocabulary or engagement initiatives. Three research questions were used in the collection process: 1) How do key dimensions of scientific trustworthiness and credibility affect public acceptance of scientific claims like climate change message? 2) How does communication about climate change align with or undermine public perceptions of scientific trustworthiness or credibility? 3) How can communication and engagement strategies about climate change be designed to enhance perceptions of scientific trustworthiness and credibility? The database provides support for these questions and encourages others to expand upon these questions and this collection of knowledge to further investigate and improve climate change communication.
Madison Hunter - Psychology, Criminal Justice
The Effects of Knowledge of Case Evidence on Deception Detection Accuracy
Project Advisor(s): Stephanie Madon | Advisor(s): Ashley Phipps, Jenny Macken
AbstractI conducted a study that investigated how contextual information and truth expectancy affect participants' ability to detect lies in a 2 (truth status: guilty liar vs. innocent truth teller) x 2 (contextual information: absent vs. present) x 2 (expectancy: lie vs. truth) experiment. As a result, I was able to examine whether participants with different expectancies about the suspects’ truthfulness use contextual information differently to make judgments of deception. I predicted that because individuals with a lie expectancy might be more inclined to search for cues indicative of deception, they will display higher accuracy when contextual information is provided than individuals who have a truth bias. I also predicted that the presence of contextual information will increase the number of truth judgements, as found in prior research conducted in our laboratory. The preliminary results of my statistical analysis suggest that contextual information may not increase accuracy, but instead create a truth bias that is exhibited regardless of whether the individual is led to believe that the suspect is truthful or deceptive.
Aaron Leppert - Chemistry
Analyzing Quantitative Data through Summer Evaluations to Outline Expectations Family Members Have about Their Iowa State Orientation Experience
Project Advisor(s): Nicole Nicholson | Advisor(s): Terry Kruse
AbstractIowa State University hosts a two-day orientation program through the New Student Programs office every summer. This project explores and determines whether the expectations of family members and guests were met during summer orientation through the use of quantitative and qualitative survey data. Our research analyzes over four thousand family orientation evaluations collected during the summer 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 terms. Determining whether family members' expectations were met allows New Student Programs to improve summer orientation year after year. Meeting family member’s expectations indicates successful orientation programming while failing to meet family members' expectations indicates a need for improvements. Our project presents our findings after coding the qualitative and quantitative data recorded on the family evaluations to demonstrate whether Iowa State’s orientation programming met the expectations of family members and guests.
Elliot Morgan – Journalism & Mass Communication, Political Science
James Madison – First Amendment Drafting Concerning Religious Liberty
Project Advisor(s): Julie Roosa | Advisor(s): Michael Dahlstrom, Jason Chrystal
AbstractAbstract not available
Anyesha Ray - Statistics
Relationships between Handwriting Slant and Demographic Features
Project Advisor(s): Alicia Carriquiry | Advisor(s): Kevin Kasper
AbstractWhile studies have been conducted on whether there are relationships between handwriting and demographic features, this study aims to provide statistical support for the relationships to handwriting slant specifically. Handwriting samples were collected from 90 adults. These handwritten images are then broken into smaller segments of writing that we call “glyphs” by the handwriter R package. For each glyph, a quantitative measure of slant is computed. The slant of a writer is determined by calculating the direction of greatest variability in a letter using principal component decomposition and the angle of rotation corresponding to that direction. We call this the rotation angle of a glyph, which is a numerical value between 0 and 2π. We then fit a regression with the demographic information as explanatory variables and the average rotation angles as the response. Because rotation angles live on a circle, the regression model is based on a probability model appropriate for this type of data. Based on exploratory analysis, it is hypothesized that females will have more of a slant in handwriting than males, left-handed writers more of a slant than right-handed, and younger age groups will have more of a slant than older age groups.
Elizabeth Siedell - Biological and Pre-medical Illustration
The Budding Biologist's Field Guide to Trees
Project Advisor(s): Laura Roy | Advisor(s): Emily Olson
AbstractChildren are naturally curious and pay close attention to their environment around them. In these developmental years, what they learn and ﬁnd a love for could stick with them for a lifetime. This project is a ﬁeld guide aimed for children at the 3rd-grade reading level that teaches them about dendrology in a palatable manner, without believing their intelligence. This project includes the ﬁrst few pages of what would be an anthology of North American trees. It includes all of the elements you might ﬁnd in a dendrology ﬁeld guide in a paired down format that explains what terms mean and how to use a ﬁeld guide as you go. Through taking a dendrology course and learning how to properly use a ﬁeld guide, the best way to teach this information to children was determined. This resulted in introduction pages detailing how to eﬀectively use the book, how to read a typical ﬁeld guide page, and deﬁning terms. Thumbnail mockups and trial runs with graphic design, illustration, and overall composition styles were created. The end result was an all-digital method of design and illustration which aids in keeping the page simple while highlighting key diagnostic features.
Amber Thompson - Psychology, Criminal Justice
Components of Callous-Unemotional Traits as Predictors of Personality Disorders
Project Advisor(s): Monica Marsee | Advisor(s): Ashley Phipps, Mark Hagley
AbstractThis study examined three subscales of Callous-Unemotional (CU) traits (e.g., callous, unemotional, and uncaring) and their ability to uniquely predict maladaptive personality traits such as narcissistic, borderline, and antisocial. Callousness (above and beyond uncaring and unemotional scales) was found to uniquely predict all three personality disorders (narcissistic, borderline, and antisocial). In addition, unemotionality partially predicted borderline personality disorder symptoms. These results suggest that interventions focused on specifically reducing callousness in patients who show symptoms of narcissistic, borderline or antisocial PD’s could help lessen the degree of severity in their symptoms.
Ashley Truman - Psychology, Criminal Justice
Psychology Internship Spreadsheet
Project Advisor(s): Whitney Baker | Advisor(s): Ashley Phipps, Mark Hagley
AbstractThe purpose of this project was to give psychology majors a resource to aid in finding internships. Internship searches were conducted through a Google search, indeed.com, and greatnonprofits.org, and included opportunities in Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois. Opportunities were recorded on an excel spreadsheet and included the name of the organization, location, whether it was paid, contact information, categorization based on field, and a description when available. The spreadsheet was uploaded on Canvas to The Psychology Major’s Handbook so that all psychology students have access to this resource.
Stephanie Walton - Genetics (LAS)
Sequencing Lipoate-Protein Ligase for Association Studies with Photosynthetic Traits under Cold Stress
Project Advisor(s): Maria Salas | Advisor(s): Scott Nelson
AbstractCold tolerance is a desirable trait in sorghum breeding and discovering genes associated with it is necessary to develop cold tolerant germplasm. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was previously conducted by the Salas lab to find chromosomal regions associated with photosynthetic capacity under cold stress phenotype. These regions contained several candidate genes, including lipoate-protein ligase. We hypothesized that this gene was associated with photosynthetic traits related to cold stress. The diversity panel needed for the association study had been previously started, but there were many sequence reactions that failed. To resolve this, I conducted primer optimization tests and polymerase chain reactions, to subsequently utilize Sanger sequencing to complete the missing sequences. Next, an association study was performed using TASSEL, including the newly identified polymorphic markers within lipoate-protein ligase. Comparing these results to associations with other markers in the same chromosomal region, the observed lower p values suggest the causal polymorphisms are likely associated with the target gene. In the future, additional sequencing reactions will be conducted to complete the diversity panel of 304 accessions.