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Honors Theses

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Full-Text Articles in Physical Sciences and Mathematics

The Intersection Of Literacy And Digital Literacy: Incorporating Writing Standards With Computer Technology Standards, Grace Mcpherson Dec 2018

The Intersection Of Literacy And Digital Literacy: Incorporating Writing Standards With Computer Technology Standards, Grace Mcpherson

Honors Theses

This project aims to increase access to computer science/computer technology education by providing teachers resources to enable them to teach computer science/computer technology. A survey was taken to discover the interests and needs of teachers in Hamilton County, Tennessee. The project resulted in the creation of several lesson plans that integrate English and computer science through hands-on web development exercises, computational thinking opportunities, and critical thinking.


Cigarette Litter Leachates: A Statistical Study Of Elements In Freshwater And Saltwater, Cintly Guzman Hernandez Dec 2018

Cigarette Litter Leachates: A Statistical Study Of Elements In Freshwater And Saltwater, Cintly Guzman Hernandez

Honors Theses

Cigarette butts are the most common item found in coastal litter cleanups as approximately 4.5 trillion smoked cigarette butts are discarded into the environment every year. Cigarette butts can leach toxic heavy metals and nicotine along with other compounds from tobacco combustion. Past research in our lab has analyzed elements leached from cigarette butts into freshwater. The cigarette butts consisted of smoked and unsmoked butts that were soaked varying periods of time, and at different pH levels to identify the relationship of these variables to the amount of metal leached. The elements analyzed were Al, Ba, Cd, Cr, Cu ...


Analysis Of Sterol Diagenesis Stages In A Peat Core From Kamchatka, Russia, Tia Ogus Dec 2018

Analysis Of Sterol Diagenesis Stages In A Peat Core From Kamchatka, Russia, Tia Ogus

Honors Theses

Peatlands are a critical part of the global carbon cycle. While many studies of peat carbon focus on accumulation, less is known about peat decay. We use the diagenesis of sterols to track the decomposition of peat in a Holocene-length core of a sedge fen on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia. Diagenesis can transform sterols as soon as the peat is initially deposited, but they can also remain unchanged for millennia. We have quantified the transformation of sterols into their diagenetic products to measure the maturity of peat and estimate carbon loss. Further, there are two pathways in sterol diagenesis, oxidative ...


Quantifying The Effect Of Dietary Restriction On Lifespans In Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, Kathryn Rouse Aug 2018

Quantifying The Effect Of Dietary Restriction On Lifespans In Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, Kathryn Rouse

Honors Theses

Dietary restriction (DR) increases lifespan in many organisms. The effect of DR is best studied in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae; however, previous studies of the DR effect on yeast lifespan tend to be qualitative. Here, we quantitatively study the effect of DR on lifespan for a selection of gene deletions in a 168-strain set of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Lifespans of these yeast mutants were measured in YPD with 2% glucose and 0.05% glucose conditions. To quantify the aging process and its influence by DR, we fit yeast lifespan data with a three-parameter network aging model that is informative of ...


Evaluation Of Blight Resistance In Chestnut F2 Half-Sibling And Full-Sibling Families Via Small Stem Assay, Kevin Gentner Aug 2018

Evaluation Of Blight Resistance In Chestnut F2 Half-Sibling And Full-Sibling Families Via Small Stem Assay, Kevin Gentner

Honors Theses

In 1904, Cryphonectria parasitica, the causal agent for chestnut blight, was imported into North America on chestnut nursery stock from China. Fifty-five years later, nearly all full-grown wild American chestnut trees (Castanea dentata) were dead. A century of work has been put into restoring the American chestnut to its rightful place among the forest canopy. Since the 1980s, The American Chestnut Foundation has pursued backcross breeding to introgress blight resistance into C. dentata from the resistant Chinese species (C. mollissima), and has used progeny testing to make predictions about parental resistance in B3F2 chestnuts. We performed a small stem assay ...


Environmental Clearinghouse Of Schenectady, Kate Van Patten Jun 2018

Environmental Clearinghouse Of Schenectady, Kate Van Patten

Honors Theses

This paper analyses Environmental Clearinghouse of Schenectady, a local nonprofit environmental organization. The paper investigates the history of the organization as well as the effectiveness of its organizational and funding habits. A literary review was conducted to analyze the success of ECOS mission as well as the positive effects ECOS has on society using elements such as environmental education, the importance of early environmental education, how well the organization connects urban residents with the outdoors and the effectiveness of environmental programs. This research promotes the importance of early environmental education on our future generations health and environmental conditions. Additionally, through ...


Petrology And Thermodynamic Modeling Of Amphibolite Facies Rocks Of The Blåhø Nappe Of The Middle Allochthon, Scandinavian Caledonides In Norway, Maria Van Nostrand Jun 2018

Petrology And Thermodynamic Modeling Of Amphibolite Facies Rocks Of The Blåhø Nappe Of The Middle Allochthon, Scandinavian Caledonides In Norway, Maria Van Nostrand

Honors Theses

The Scandinavian Caledonides are an orogenic belt formed when Baltica collided with Laurentia during the late Silurian to early Devonian (Scandian, ~426–390 Ma, Gee et al., 2008). The thrust sheets forming the belt are divided into the Lower, Middle, Upper, and Uppermost Allochthons derived, respectively, from the Baltican margin and regions progressively farther outboard. This study focuses on the Blåhø Nappe, part of the Middle Allochthon, which is generally presumed to have been from an Early Paleozoic volcanic arc off the Baltican margin. The Blåhø Nappe contains abundant igneous and sedimentary rocks, metamorphosed almost entirely at amphibolite facies, but ...


An Empirical Analysis Of Climatic, Geographic, And Cultural Determinants Of International Tourism, Ethan Straus Jun 2018

An Empirical Analysis Of Climatic, Geographic, And Cultural Determinants Of International Tourism, Ethan Straus

Honors Theses

Each year, billions of people visit different countries all around the world. For many of those countries, tourism is their primary industry, leading to millions of jobs and dollars in revenue. It is expected that by 2020 total International Tourism Receipts will reach 2 trillion US dollars annually. Currently, tourism employs an estimated 200 million people around the world. With the continued progression of climate change, the tourism industry is facing a newfound threat. Global temperatures and the seal level are both expected to rise significantly by the end of the century. Additionally, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has ...


Synthesis And Characterization Of Organically Modified Hectorites For Sequestration Of Pfaas From Contaminated Drinking Water, Alexandra Pagano Jun 2018

Synthesis And Characterization Of Organically Modified Hectorites For Sequestration Of Pfaas From Contaminated Drinking Water, Alexandra Pagano

Honors Theses

Perfluoroalkyl Acids (PFAAs), a family of industrial chemicals, are found in household products such as pizza boxes, microwave popcorn bags, and non-stick pans. PFAAs of different carbon chain lengths and ionic head groups exist, such as PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid). Used without regulation in industry for decades, PFAAs only recently became recognized as contaminants of emerging concern, since they are bioaccumulative in organisms, persistent in the environment, and toxic. PFAAs are known to accumulate in the blood, liver and kidneys, and drinking water contaminated with PFAAs has been linked to certain types of cancer. Therefore, it ...


Iterated Local Search Algorithms For Bike Route Generation, Aidan Pieper Jun 2018

Iterated Local Search Algorithms For Bike Route Generation, Aidan Pieper

Honors Theses

Planning routes for recreational cyclists is challenging because they prefer longer more scenic routes, not the shortest one. This problem can be modeled as an instance of the Arc Orienteering Problem (AOP), a known NP-Hard optimization problem. Because no known algorithms exist to solve this optimization problem efficiently, we solve the AOP using heuristic algorithms which trade accuracy for speed. We implement and evaluate two different Iterated Local Search (ILS) heuristic algorithms using an open source routing engine called GraphHopper and the OpenStreetMap data set. We propose ILS variants which our experimental results show can produce better routes at the ...


Characterization Of Glacial Sediments From A 700,000-Year-Old Lake Junín Drill Core, Tshering Lama Sherpa Jun 2018

Characterization Of Glacial Sediments From A 700,000-Year-Old Lake Junín Drill Core, Tshering Lama Sherpa

Honors Theses

Lake Junín (11.0°S, 76.2°W) is an intermontane lake at an elevation of 4085 masl in Junín, Peru. The lake spans ~300 km2 and has a water depth of ~12m. It is dammed at its northern and southern ends by glacial alluvial fans that have been dated >250 ka, indicating that the lake is at least this old. Lake Junín has never been overridden by ice in the past 1 million years making it one of the few lakes in the tropical Andes that predates the last maximum extent of glaciation and has a continuous record of ...


Galois Theory And The Quintic Equation, Yunye Jiang Jun 2018

Galois Theory And The Quintic Equation, Yunye Jiang

Honors Theses

Most students know the quadratic formula for the solution of the general quadratic polynomial in terms of its coefficients. There are also similar formulas for solutions of the general cubic and quartic polynomials. In these three cases, the roots can be expressed in terms of the coefficients using only basic algebra and radicals. We then say that the general quadratic, cubic, and quartic polynomials are solvable by radicals. The question then becomes: Is the general quintic polynomial solvable by radicals? Abel was the first to prove that it is not. In turn, Galois provided a general method of determining when ...


2018 Ieee Signal Processing Cup: Forensic Camera Model Identification Challenge, Michael Geiger Jun 2018

2018 Ieee Signal Processing Cup: Forensic Camera Model Identification Challenge, Michael Geiger

Honors Theses

The goal of this Senior Capstone Project was to lead Union College’s first ever Signal Processing Cup Team to compete in IEEE’s 2018 Signal Processing Cup Competition. This year’s competition was a forensic camera model identification challenge and was divided into two separate stages of competition: Open Competition and Final Competition. Participation in the Open Competition was open to any teams of undergraduate students, but the Final Competition was only open to the three finalists from Open Competition and is scheduled to be held at ICASSP 2018 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Teams that make it to the ...


Elementary Computational Fluid Dynamics Using Finite-Difference Methods, Jason Turner, Scott Labrake Jun 2018

Elementary Computational Fluid Dynamics Using Finite-Difference Methods, Jason Turner, Scott Labrake

Honors Theses

Fluids permeate all of human existence, and fluid dynamics serves as a rich field of research for many physicists. Although the mathematics involved in studying fluids tends to get complicated, the physical intuition gained through daily exposure to such systems bridges the gap between abstract calculations and their physical meaning. We discuss the mathematical treatment and simulations of fluid flows found in everyday life, such as flow in a cavity and through a pipe. Our discussions follow the example set by several notable texts, referenced in the document.


Optimizing Tensegrity Gaits Using Bayesian Optimization, James Boggs Jun 2018

Optimizing Tensegrity Gaits Using Bayesian Optimization, James Boggs

Honors Theses

We design and implement a new, modular, more complex tensegrity robot featuring data collection and wireless communication and operation as well as necessary accompanying research infrastructure. We then utilize this new tensegrity to assess previous research on using Bayesian optimization to generate effective forward gaits for tensegrity robots. Ultimately, we affirm the conclusions of previous researchers, demonstrating that Bayesian optimization is statistically significantly (p < 0:05) more effective at discovering useful gaits than random search. We also identify several flaws in our new system and identify means of addressing them, paving the way for more effective future research.


Accelerating Ring-Polymer Molecular Dynamics Using Hyperdynamics, Luke C. Adams May 2018

Accelerating Ring-Polymer Molecular Dynamics Using Hyperdynamics, Luke C. Adams

Honors Theses

Molecular Dynamics (MD) is an incredibly powerful tool in the computational study of atomistic systems. However it is also very computationally costly, which severely limits the types of events that can be studied using MD. Additionally, traditional MD methods are purely classical, and thus they do not incorporate quantum zero-point energy and tunneling effects. At low temperatures in particular, this omission of quantum effects produces results that may be incorrect by many orders of magnitude. In this thesis, we present a new method, hyperRPMD, which both incorporates quantum effects, and also reduces the computational cost of simulating state-to-state dynamics of ...


Effects Of Riparian Revegetation On Stream Temperature In The Walla Walla Basin, Evan T. Romasco-Kelly May 2018

Effects Of Riparian Revegetation On Stream Temperature In The Walla Walla Basin, Evan T. Romasco-Kelly

Honors Theses

Habitat degradation across the Pacific Northwest has resulted in the decline of stocks of salmonids such as bull trout, steelhead trout, and Chinook salmon. High stream temperatures play a significant part of this degradation by causing behavioral and physiological changes or causing direct mortality to salmonids. In the Walla Walla basin of southeastern Washington there are numerous streams which have been designated as polluted by high temperatures under the Clean Water Act during the summer months of June through September. In response local nonprofit organizations have implemented riparian restoration projects which seek to lower heat inputs into streams by removing ...


Lead Concentrations In City Of Walla Walla Households : A Survey, Aaron E. Lieberman May 2018

Lead Concentrations In City Of Walla Walla Households : A Survey, Aaron E. Lieberman

Honors Theses

Since the Flint Michigan drinking water disaster, municipalities around the country are on edge and more aware of potential lead contamination in the drinking water system. Lead, and other heavy metals, can be found in drinking water due to the desorption of trace amounts of metals into the water system, from both piping in the cities’ water pipes and more commonly in domestic piping systems. Because the exposure to heavy metals can come from different places, potentially beyond the control of either the homeowner or city manager, it is difficult to ensure that the water is clean from treatment plant ...


Temporal Geophysical Investigation Of J-Hook Induced Changes To The Hyporheic Zone In A Fine-Grained Streambed, Kevin Mabee Helenurm May 2018

Temporal Geophysical Investigation Of J-Hook Induced Changes To The Hyporheic Zone In A Fine-Grained Streambed, Kevin Mabee Helenurm

Honors Theses

In combination with a saline tracer, temporal Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI) is an effective tool to analyze the structure of the hyporheic zone. A saline solution was added to the streambed upstream of a J-hook rock vane in a fine-grained stream (Cow Creek, Stillwater, OK) in order to assess the effect of an in-stream rehabilitation structure on hyporheic flow. Three transects were employed, one longitudinal and two transverse, across and downstream of the J-hook. Wells were used to monitor electrical conductivity of the hyporheic zone. The results indicate that the in-stream rehabilitation structures promote and increase hyporheic flow, even streams ...


Investigating Stainless Steel Particle Synthesis, Michael E. Klaczko May 2018

Investigating Stainless Steel Particle Synthesis, Michael E. Klaczko

Honors Theses


This thesis focuses on the chemistry for stainless nanoparticle synthesis in order to develop corrosion resistant nanoparticles. Syntheses within the Maye lab have been successful, however at the large scale these processes have been hindered by low yields as a result of byproduct formation and oxidation loss. This study addresses these problems by introducing a new precursor to synthesize the Fe core of FeCr/Ni stainless core/shell particles. Traditionally iron pentacarbonyl (Fe(CO)5 is used, but this study uses iron acetylacetonate (Fe(acac)3) as a substitute. Although the degradation of Fe(CO)5 is more commonly used ...


A Non-Point Source Study Of Skaneateles Lake Tributaries, Dana Carris May 2018

A Non-Point Source Study Of Skaneateles Lake Tributaries, Dana Carris

Honors Theses

Skaneateles Lake and its watershed are valuable natural resources to local communities, and the lake is the source of drinking water for the nearby city of Syracuse. In recent years, foam has been seen forming on the surface of Skaneateles Lake, and during late summer of this year was an outbreak of blue-green algae. Previous studies suggest that runoff from agricultural land in particular may be contributing nutrients to the lake that could influence the water quality. This study took surface water samples from four tributaries of Skaneateles Lake and analyzed them for orthophosphates, nitrate nitrogen, ammonia nitrogen, and total ...


Developmental And Cross-Generational Distribution And Toxicity Of Polystyrene Nanoparticles In Zebrafish (Danio Rerio), Jordan Pitt May 2018

Developmental And Cross-Generational Distribution And Toxicity Of Polystyrene Nanoparticles In Zebrafish (Danio Rerio), Jordan Pitt

Honors Theses

Plastics are ubiquitous in aquatic environments, accounting for 50-80% of marine debris (Barnes et al., 2009). The hazard of macroplastics (particles with a diameter > 5 mm) is well established, with records of countless different species ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic debris (Laist, 1997). Recently, the degradation of macroplastics debris in the ocean and the beach litter into microplastics and nanoplastics has become a significant concern and an increasingly important area of research (Andrady, 2011). Despite this increase in concern relatively little is known about the presence of micro and nanoplastics in freshwater systems or about their potential toxicity to ...


An Analysis Of Runoff Ratios Across Urbanizing Gradients, Cole Jermyn May 2018

An Analysis Of Runoff Ratios Across Urbanizing Gradients, Cole Jermyn

Honors Theses

This study examines precipitation and streamflow patterns in watersheds in the Bronx, New York and Baltimore, Maryland to analyze runoff ratios, the ratio of runoff to precipitation, across varying levels of urbanization. i-Tree Hydro was also utilized to assess its effectiveness at modeling urban hydrology. NEXRAD precipitation data and USGS streamflow measurements were used to calculate monthly average runoff ratios for five watersheds of varying land cover characteristics. This data, supplemented by weather station data from BWI Airport, was also used to run the i-Tree Hydro model. Streamflow predictions from this model were used to calculate average monthly runoff ratios ...


Treating Breast Cancer With Light: The Creation Of Two Photodynamic Therapy Agents, Victoria Lackey May 2018

Treating Breast Cancer With Light: The Creation Of Two Photodynamic Therapy Agents, Victoria Lackey

Honors Theses

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment for a wide display of diseases, including cancer, that has become gradually widespread. The procedure requires the usage of photosynthesizing agents, which are activated in the presence of light. One quite successful photodynamic therapy agent is an aromatic structure made up of four pyrrole rings called a porphyrin. This research focused on producing the water-soluble porphyrins, H2TPP-3-PEG-OH and H2TPP-PiperMe-OH, through the attachment of the starting porphyrin, H2TPPC, with 3-polyethyleneglycol and 3-piperidinemethanol, respectively. The novel, water-soluble agent was purified and characterized by infrared spectroscopy (IR), nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), and UV-vis spectroscopy. Purity was ...


Project Emerald, Addison Bostian May 2018

Project Emerald, Addison Bostian

Honors Theses

I designed the language described here to be, first and foremost, fun. I wanted it to be a programmer's go-to language, the language that you pick up for personal projects or utilities. I felt the way to make this happen was to make it fun to write in. In order to accomplish this, the language derives from several existing languages, taking what I believed were the best parts of each of them. Combining principles from multiple languages sounds like a good idea, I quickly ran into problems that would make developing a compiler extremely difficult, if not impossible. Because ...


Sds-Page Analysis Of Modified Lysozyme By Substituted Benzoquinones And Naphthoquinones, Neethu Kurien May 2018

Sds-Page Analysis Of Modified Lysozyme By Substituted Benzoquinones And Naphthoquinones, Neethu Kurien

Honors Theses

Quinones are molecules that are commonly found in the environment, as cofactors for proteins or an electron carrier in the mitochondrial electron transport chain. However, quinones also can come from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as their metabolites, harming cellular integrity. In this study, we investigated protein modification of lysozyme in the presence of substituted benzoquinones and naphthoquinones. To simulate physiological conditions, all reactions used phosphate buffer (50.0 mM). While the majority of the experiments were performed at 37 C and pH 7.0, there were also temperature dependence (27 C and 42 C) and pH dependence (6.0 and 8 ...


Characterization Of Metamorphic Zones In The Tennessee Blue Ridge Using Gis And Digital Imaging Processing, Hayley Beitel May 2018

Characterization Of Metamorphic Zones In The Tennessee Blue Ridge Using Gis And Digital Imaging Processing, Hayley Beitel

Honors Theses

The origin of metamorphic zones of the Blue Ridge is attributed to metamorphic events that affected sedimentary rocks of debated age, leading the topic to be controversial and continuously studied. The present study seeks to refine the metamorphic isograds of the Tennessee Blue Ridge based on Barrovian index minerals in pelitic rocks and the texture patterns these pelitic rocks present. Methods used in the present study are supported by conventional petrography, powder X-ray diffraction, and by GIS and digital image processing. Metamorphic isograds in the Blue Ridge have been determined mainly by identification of index minerals using a polarizing petrographic ...


Parental Care, Offspring Abandonment, And Filial Cannibalism, Mackenzie Davenport May 2018

Parental Care, Offspring Abandonment, And Filial Cannibalism, Mackenzie Davenport

Honors Theses

Parental care is a fundamental life-history trait that is found in many animals (reviewed in Royle et al. 2012). Parental care can include behaviors such as egg cleaning (Knouft et al. 2003), egg guarding (Royle et al. 2012, pg. 4), egg provisioning (Simmons & Parker 1989; Hilker & Meiners 2002; Royle et al. 2012, pg. 2), and oviposition-site selection (Refsnider & Janzen 2010). Such forms of parental care typically result in the spatial clumping of parents and their offspring. This often leads to density effects on within-clutch egg mortality, meaning that when within-clutch egg density increases, egg mortality also increases. These forms of parental care, and many others, commonly co-occur with other behaviors such as offspring abandonment (Lack 1954; Rettig 1978; Clark & Wilson 1981; Nuechterlein & Johnson 1981; Maple 2002) and filial cannibalism (i.e., the consumption of one’s offspring; Rohwer 1978; Hoelzer 1995; Payne et al. 2002; Klemme et al. 2006; Klug & Bonsall 2007). Offspring abandonment and filial cannibalism have typically been viewed as evolutionary conundrums that are ...


Implementing Early Screening Methods To Detect Resistance To Phytophthora Cinnamomi In Backcross Chinese-American Chestnut Hybrids, Kirsten Hein May 2018

Implementing Early Screening Methods To Detect Resistance To Phytophthora Cinnamomi In Backcross Chinese-American Chestnut Hybrids, Kirsten Hein

Honors Theses

Phytophthora root rot (PRR), caused by the oomycete Phytophthora cinnamomi Rands., is one of the two greatest obstacles to survival of American chestnut (Castanea dentata Borkh.). The other is chestnut blight, caused by the ascomycete Cryphonectria parasitica (Murr.) Barr. Developing early and reliable PRR screening methods can facilitate the efficient introgression of PRR resistance from Chinese chestnut (C. mollissima Blume.) into the populations of potentially chestnut blight resistant trees currently under development by The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF). This study tests the efficacy of a method for early identification of PRR-resistant hybrid chestnuts in a greenhouse/nursery setting. The chestnut ...


An Explicit Formula For Dirichlet's L-Function, Shannon Michele Hyder May 2018

An Explicit Formula For Dirichlet's L-Function, Shannon Michele Hyder

Honors Theses

The Riemann zeta function has a deep connection to the distribution of primes. In 1911 Landau proved that, an explicit formula where ρ = β + iγ denotes a complex zero of the zeta function and Λ(x) is an extension of the usual von Mangoldt function, so that Λ(x) = log p if x is a positive integral power of a prime p and Λ(x) = 0 for all other real values of x. Landau’s remarkable explicit formula lacks uniformity in x and therefore has limited applications to the theory of the zeta function. In 1993 Gonek proved a version ...