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Honors Theses

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Full-Text Articles in Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Microplastic Fiber Abundance For South Carolina White Shrimp, Litopenaeus Setiferus, Across Two Habitats, Adriene Funck Oct 2022

Microplastic Fiber Abundance For South Carolina White Shrimp, Litopenaeus Setiferus, Across Two Habitats, Adriene Funck

Honors Theses

Coastal South Carolina is a prime destination for shrimping. The commercial White Shrimp, Litopenaeus setiferus, is one of the main species found in South Carolina estuaries and coastline. There are commercial and recreation fishing practices in South Carolina for L. setiferus, making it a species of interest for the public. Microplastics are additionally a large interest in the public and scientific community for research and solutions. The threats of plastic pollution are not fully understood in the marine environment, but there has been a boom of research discussing various effects and distributions of microplastics in the ocean recently. Shrimp species …


Faunal Comparison And Analysis Of The Blufftown Formation-Cusseta Sand Contact At Hannahatchee Creek, Georgia, Seth Fradella Aug 2022

Faunal Comparison And Analysis Of The Blufftown Formation-Cusseta Sand Contact At Hannahatchee Creek, Georgia, Seth Fradella

Honors Theses

The origin of fossil material in the highly fossiliferous bed above the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) Blufftown Formation-Cusseta Sand contact at Hannahatchee Creek, Georgia, has long been a subject of scientific curiosity; however, no research has yet been conducted to specifically investigate discrepancies between the fossil assemblages of the upper Blufftown Formation and the basal Cusseta Sand, which overlies it unconformably. In the most recent published hypothesis, Case and Schwimmer (1988) propose that the basal Cusseta Sand contains a mixture of original fauna as well as material reworked and redeposited from the underlying Blufftown Formation, resulting in a lag deposit above …


A Faunal Composition Of The Late Cretaceous Blue Springs Site In Northeastern Mississippi And Evidence For Potential Paleoenvironmental Differences Between Beds, Ginger Trochesset Aug 2022

A Faunal Composition Of The Late Cretaceous Blue Springs Site In Northeastern Mississippi And Evidence For Potential Paleoenvironmental Differences Between Beds, Ginger Trochesset

Honors Theses

The Maastrichtian-age Blue Springs locality of the Coon Creek Member of the Ripley Formation is known for abundant, well-preserved marine fossils, including many genera of microfossils, bivalves, gastropods, decapods, cephalopods, actinopterygians, and other vertebrate organisms. This research contributes to the understanding of the paleontology of the site, as well as the changing paleoenvironmental conditions of the beds throughout deposition.

This project analyzed bulk material collected in 2021 from three fossiliferous beds at Blue Springs: the Lower Corbula Bed (Bed C), the Pebble Bed (Bed G), and the Exogyra-Pycnodonte Bed (Bed J). Unconsolidated material from Beds C and J was processed …


Characterization Of Mumian And Host Rock In Al-Amerat Cave, Oman., Sara Alqamshouai Jul 2022

Characterization Of Mumian And Host Rock In Al-Amerat Cave, Oman., Sara Alqamshouai

Honors Theses

Mumian is a sticky black-brown material found in the Mumian cave in Wadi Al Mayh, Al Amerat, Oman. Mumian has been used for centuries as traditional medicine by the local Omani people. Though commonly ingested orally to resolve a variety of common ailments, very little is known about the Mumian material in terms of its chemical composition. The principle aim of this study is to characterize the Mumian and the host rock in terms of the mineralogy and chemical characteristics using a variety of analytic instruments, including XRD, NMR, FT-IR, XRF, and UV- VIS. A secondary goal of this study …


Development Of Quantitative Methods To Study Pfas Using Proton Induced Gamma-Ray Emission, Colin Langton Jun 2022

Development Of Quantitative Methods To Study Pfas Using Proton Induced Gamma-Ray Emission, Colin Langton

Honors Theses

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are man-made chemicals that have become a major environmental concern. They can be found in a broad range of everyday products and pose a significant risk to the public due to their adverse health effects. They are persistent, bioaccumulate and do not break down in the environment. This project specifically aims to determine the concentration of Fluorine, a key identifier of PFAS, in environmental samples. To do this, we employ proton induced gamma-ray emission (PIGE) to screen for Fluorine within our samples. PIGE is performed at the Union College Ion Beam Analysis Laboratory using a …


Investigating The Thermodynamics And Seismic Profile Of The Europan Hydrosphere Through Pure-Water Modeling And Saltwater Experiments, Samantha Rosenfeld Jun 2022

Investigating The Thermodynamics And Seismic Profile Of The Europan Hydrosphere Through Pure-Water Modeling And Saltwater Experiments, Samantha Rosenfeld

Honors Theses

We explore the properties of the hydrosphere on Europa involving both a modeling technique and experimental methods. We perform a computational analysis of the thermodynamic properties for an ideal, pure-water Europan ice shell using a Python programming framework called SeaFreeze. We create four models assuming surface temperatures of either 50 K or 140 K and ice shell thicknesses of either 3 km or 30 km. We observe mostly linear trends for the density and seismic wave velocities with respect to depth and find that surface temperature has the greatest effect on the models. Simultaneously, we experimentally investigate the phase diagram …


Sewer System Infrastructure And Stressors On Water Quality In Streams Within The Alplaus Watershed In Upstate Ny, Camryn Ragland Jun 2022

Sewer System Infrastructure And Stressors On Water Quality In Streams Within The Alplaus Watershed In Upstate Ny, Camryn Ragland

Honors Theses

Healthy aquatic ecosystems require clean water, but many creeks and streams may be impaired by human activity. This study is focused on surface water quality of the Alplaus, and Indian Kill streams located within the Alplaus Watershed in Schenectady and Saratoga Counties (NY). The primary goal of this study is to understand the extent of water quality impairment within the Alplaus and Indian Kill using a range of indicators to understand the impacts of failing infrastructure and stressors to surface water. Sixty-five water samples were collected in the fall of 2021 from six locations in the Alplaus and Indian Kill …


Analysis Of Covid-19 And Vaccine Administration In Mississippi, Megan Sickinger Jun 2022

Analysis Of Covid-19 And Vaccine Administration In Mississippi, Megan Sickinger

Honors Theses

In this work, we develop a simple mathematical model to observe the spread of COVID-19 and vaccine administration in Mississippi. Based on the well-known Kermack-McKendrick Susceptible-Infected-Removed epidemiological model, the ASIRD−V model has eight ordinary differential equations that split infected populations and recovered populations into vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. After determining that the system is reliable for real-world applications, we investigate and determine the stability and equilibrium points of this system. The system is found to be disease-free when R0 < 1 and endemic when R0 > 1. We use MATLAB to numerically solve the system and optimize the model’s parameters over four short periods, two with the …


Fine-Tuning A 𝑘-Nearest Neighbors Machine Learning Model For The Detection Of Insurance Fraud, Alliyah Stout Jun 2022

Fine-Tuning A 𝑘-Nearest Neighbors Machine Learning Model For The Detection Of Insurance Fraud, Alliyah Stout

Honors Theses

Billions of dollars are lost within insurance companies due to fraud. Large money losses force insurance companies to increase premium costs and/or restrict policies. This negatively affects a company’s loyal customers. Although this is a prevalent problem, companies are not urgently working toward bettering their machine learning algorithms. Underskilled workers paired with inefficient computer algorithms make it difficult to accurately and reliably detect fraud.

The goal of this study is to understand the idea of -Nearest Neighbors ( -NN) and to use this classification technique to accurately detect fraudulent auto insurance claims. Using -NN requires choosing a value and a …


Fluid Pathways In Magmatic Fluid-Dominated Hydrothermal System: Upper Resurgent Cone, Brothers Volcano, New Zealand, Esther G. Goita Jun 2022

Fluid Pathways In Magmatic Fluid-Dominated Hydrothermal System: Upper Resurgent Cone, Brothers Volcano, New Zealand, Esther G. Goita

Honors Theses

The Tonga-Kermadec Arc is an active volcanic arc located between New Zealand and Fiji. The arc expands over an approximate distance of 2530 km. The Kermadec Arc is currently host to over 30 volcanoes, the majority of which are submarine. The magmatic activity along the arc is characterized by the convergence between the Pacific and Australian plates. Brothers volcano is the most active hydrothermal system along the Kermadec arc and hosts two distinct hydrothermal systems, one magmatic fluid dominated, and the other seawater dominated, making the site perfect for studying nascent volcanogenic massive sulfide formation and fluid pathways. The International …


Tracking Xenophobic Terminology On Twitter Using Nlp, Harper Lyon Jun 2022

Tracking Xenophobic Terminology On Twitter Using Nlp, Harper Lyon

Honors Theses

Social media is a major driver of political thought, with platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok having a massive impact on how people think and vote. For this reason we should take seriously any large shifts in the language used to describe issues or groups on social media, as these are likely to either denote a change in political thought or even forecast the same. Of particular interest, given the international reach of social media, is the way that discussions around foreign relations and immigration play out. In the United States of America online spaces have become the default space …


Statistical Effects Of Synthetic Template Mismatch With Model Deimos Observations, Christos Kakogiannis Jun 2022

Statistical Effects Of Synthetic Template Mismatch With Model Deimos Observations, Christos Kakogiannis

Honors Theses

High-precision kinematics of individual stars in Milky Way satellite galaxies and globular clusters is crucial for studies of galaxy formation, cosmology, alternative gravity models, and dark matter. We tested a rigorous method that matches model DEIMOS observations of such targets with synthetic template spectra that deduces radial velocities and [Fe/H] abundances. We added noise to create a model spectrum with SNR = 30, fitted templates with different parameters to it, and calculated the
best-match velocity and the goodness of the fit. The best fits occur for templates that are close in parameter space to the model spectrum, and the fits …


External Beam Alignment System For Quantitative Proton Induced Gamma-Ray Emission (Pige) Spectroscopy, Elias Ottens Jun 2022

External Beam Alignment System For Quantitative Proton Induced Gamma-Ray Emission (Pige) Spectroscopy, Elias Ottens

Honors Theses

The effects of pollution on the ecosystem are paramount in our society, permeating air, soil, and drinking water. One contaminant of concern is per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also referred to as "forever chemicals", which contains fluorine (F), a potentially harmful element to humans. To investigate pollution in the environment, it is necessary to make accurate measurements of the distribution and concentrations of these PFAS chemicals. To do this, soil samples are collected and analyzed using Particle Induced Gamma-ray Emission (PIGE) via the Union College Ion Beam Analysis Laboratory's (UCIBAL) particle accelerator. A 2.2 MeV proton beam comes into contact …


Sewage And Pathogen Contamination In Urban Streams In Schenectady In The Lower Mohawk Watershed, Joanna Wright Jun 2022

Sewage And Pathogen Contamination In Urban Streams In Schenectady In The Lower Mohawk Watershed, Joanna Wright

Honors Theses

Urban streams are becoming increasingly polluted by anthropogenic activity, and in Schenectady (NY) two primary stressors include poor wastewater infrastructure and road salt use. Urban streams in Schenectady include Mill Creek and Cowhorn Creek that empty into the Binnekill (feeder to the Mohawk), and the Hans Groot Kill that empty directly into the Mohawk River. These streams were sampled to evaluate water quality and analyzed for pathogens. This study is primarily focused on fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) Enterococcus, which is an EPA-approved method of determining surface water quality and it is an established indicator of sewage in waterways. The average …


Corrective Feedback Timing In Kanji Writing Instruction Apps, Phoenix Mulgrew Jun 2022

Corrective Feedback Timing In Kanji Writing Instruction Apps, Phoenix Mulgrew

Honors Theses

The focus of this research paper is to determine the correct time to provide corrective feedback to people who are learning how to write Japanese kanji. To do this, we developed a system that is able to recognize Japanese kanji that is handwritten onto an iPad screen and check for errors such as wrong stroke order. Previous research has achieved success in developing similar systems, but this project is unique because the research question involves the timing of corrective feedback. In particular, we are looking at whether immediate or delayed corrective feedback results in better learning.


Impact Of Movements On Facial Expression Recognition, Zhebin Yin Jun 2022

Impact Of Movements On Facial Expression Recognition, Zhebin Yin

Honors Theses

The ability to recognize human emotions can be a useful skill for robots. Emotion recognition can help robots understand our responses to robot movements and actions. Human emotions can be recognized through facial expressions. Facial Expression Recognition (FER) is a well-established research area, how- ever, the majority of prior research is based on static datasets of images. With robots often the subject is moving, the robot is moving, or both. The purpose of this research is to determine the impact of movement on facial expression recognition. We apply a pre-existing model for FER, which performs around 70.86% on a given …


Bootstrapped Fractional Designs Applied To Models With Both Mixture And Process Variables, Laura Vinton Jun 2022

Bootstrapped Fractional Designs Applied To Models With Both Mixture And Process Variables, Laura Vinton

Honors Theses

Mixture variables are unique as the components must sum to 1, causing problems when there is interaction between mixture and process variables. The best model is the fully linearized model, but this can get large quickly. We began by comparing models on multiple data sets. These models include linear and nonlinear models. After seeing that nonlinear models appear to be the best alternatives, we used the systematically selected fractions of each data set in order to obtain an in and out of sample RMSE. This allows us to see if there is evidence of overfitting, how well the model predicts …


A Performance Analysis Of The Belle Ii Detector, John Stacy May 2022

A Performance Analysis Of The Belle Ii Detector, John Stacy

Honors Theses

The Belle II experiment has recently (2018) started data taking at the SuperKEKB electron-positron collider in Tsukuba, Japan. Detector performance studies are necessary to understand early data and prepare for more complex analyses. This study of the proton detection efficiency of the Belle II detector compares real and simulated data to find discrepancies with the intention to provide useful information for detector and calibration experts to better gauge detector performance. It also attempts to improve the characterization of proton identification efficiency at low momenta, which performs poorly under the current fitting model. This helps analysts exploring final states that include …


Lifetime Measurement Of The Xi_C^+ Using Belle Ii Monte Carlo, Paul Gebeline May 2022

Lifetime Measurement Of The Xi_C^+ Using Belle Ii Monte Carlo, Paul Gebeline

Honors Theses

This analysis uses simulated data from the Belle II experiment to measure the lifetime of the Xi_c^+ baryon. Three different decay modes are investigated to explore the feasibility and accuracy of such measurements at Belle II. The Xi_c^+ lifetime is measured using one of these modes after reducing backgrounds from sources other than the decay of interest. The final result is 464 +/- 15 fs, which is consistent with the expected result of 442 fs within uncertainty. This result shows that Belle II can make competitive measurements of particle properties and decays.


Ab Initio Study Of The Rotation Of The C≡C Group In Benzvalyne, Advait Praveen May 2022

Ab Initio Study Of The Rotation Of The C≡C Group In Benzvalyne, Advait Praveen

Honors Theses

For benzvalyne, we have characterized the minima and transition states of the molecule using the B3LYP, MP2, and M06-2X methods and aug-cc-pVTZ basis set. This was done by calculating the energy of the molecule while rotating the alkyne bond contained within it. After the initial rotation, optimized parameters for the molecule are found. Following this, imaginary frequencies were attempted to be found at the local maximum produced by the graph of the Energy v. rotation angle. Should the negative frequencies be found, the energy of the molecule will be characterized by the CCSD (T) method and aug-cc-pVQZ basis sets. This …


The Sustainability Rhetoric Among The Spanish Fashion Companies Involved In The Rana Plaza Collapse Of 2013, Keegan Lyle May 2022

The Sustainability Rhetoric Among The Spanish Fashion Companies Involved In The Rana Plaza Collapse Of 2013, Keegan Lyle

Honors Theses

Over the last century, fashion has evolved to become a commodity that is rapidly changing and easily available. The processes that have led to this accessibility of fashion, however, have proven to be harmful to the environment and, most recently, proven to be potentially fatal for the people making the clothing. In 2013, a garment factory in Bangladesh, housing production for major global fashion brands, like Zara and The Children’s Place, collapsed following a series of negligence. The event has sparked years of awareness-raising in the public dialogue of fast fashion. As a part of the newly-developing research in sustainable …


Increasing Perceived Realism Of Objects In A Mixed Reality Environment Using 'Diminished Virtual Reality', Logan Scott Parker May 2022

Increasing Perceived Realism Of Objects In A Mixed Reality Environment Using 'Diminished Virtual Reality', Logan Scott Parker

Honors Theses

With the recent explosion of popularity of virtual and mixed reality, an important question has arisen: “Is there a way to create a better blend of real and virtual worlds in a mixed reality experience?” This research attempts to determine whether a visual filter can be created and applied to virtual objects to better convince the brain into interpreting a composite of virtual and real views as one seamless view. The method devised in this thesis is being called 'Diminished Virtual Reality'. The results found in this study show that when presented with a scene composed of a combination of …


Monte Carlo Study Of Lepton Flavor Universality Violation In B Decays With Belle Ii Simulation, Sakul Mahat May 2022

Monte Carlo Study Of Lepton Flavor Universality Violation In B Decays With Belle Ii Simulation, Sakul Mahat

Honors Theses

Belle II, the first super B-Factory experiment, is designed to make precise measurements of weak interaction parameters and search for New Physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. The Standard Model of particle physics is a theory that classifies all known elementary particles and describes three of the four known fundamental forces in the universe. Physics beyond the Standard Model that addresses the theoretical developments needed to explain the deficiencies in the Standard Model is often referred to as New Physics. One of the assumptions of the Standard Model is that the couplings of particles that mediate the weak …


The Use Of Time-Lapse And Still Photographs To Document The Effects Of Seasonality On Dune Morphodynamic Evolution In Corolla, Nc., Briar Ownby-Connolly May 2022

The Use Of Time-Lapse And Still Photographs To Document The Effects Of Seasonality On Dune Morphodynamic Evolution In Corolla, Nc., Briar Ownby-Connolly

Honors Theses

With climate change altering established seasonal and weather phenomena, understanding the physical behavior of barrier islands and the processes driving such physical changes, specifically within their dune zones, is crucial in promoting their resiliency. With ecosystem services provided by dunes to coastal economies and wildlife habitat, promoting dune conservation serves to advance the benefits of these systems, within a changing climate. Current findings by the Army Corps of Engineers Field Research Facility in Duck, NC, suggest the significance of local aeolian sediment transport in interplay with storm intensity in effecting dune stability, and that anthropogenic impacts, like the installment of …


The Design Of A Pcr-Based Assay To Detect And Isolate The Serine Palmitolytransferase Gene From Environmental Bacteria, Lana Taylor May 2022

The Design Of A Pcr-Based Assay To Detect And Isolate The Serine Palmitolytransferase Gene From Environmental Bacteria, Lana Taylor

Honors Theses

Sphingolipids are a natural class of lipids that function as structural elements of cell membranes and signaling molecules for important cellular activities such as cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis, recognition, and adhesion. These lipids can be found universally in eukaryotic cells as well as some species of bacteria, such as those found in the human gut microbiome and in the environment in soils. Though sphingolipid production is rare in bacteria, both eukaryotic and prokaryotic sphingolipid biosynthesis begin with the condensation of serine and palmitoyl CoA into 3-ketodihydrosphingosine catalyzed by the enzyme serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT). In recent years, several studies have shown …


The Efficacy Of The Covid-19 Vaccine In Mississippi, Ilyse Miriam Levy May 2022

The Efficacy Of The Covid-19 Vaccine In Mississippi, Ilyse Miriam Levy

Honors Theses

The Efficacy of The COVID-19 Vaccine in Mississippi

(Under the direction of Dr. Xin Dang)

By tracking and analyzing fifty-three weeks of COVID-19 data, this thesis analyzes the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine within the State of Mississippi. Over the course of these fifty-three weeks, I have also been able to calculate the confidence intervals for vaccination efficacy and the risk reduction due to vaccination by using data regarding the correlations between deaths and vaccination status, provided to me by the Mississippi Office of Epidemiology. My analysis demonstrates that the COVID-19 vaccine is effective not only in Mississippi but also …


Covalent Modification Of Recombinant Protein With Reactive Thiols, Sawyer Dulaney, Bailey Taylor May 2022

Covalent Modification Of Recombinant Protein With Reactive Thiols, Sawyer Dulaney, Bailey Taylor

Honors Theses

Many diseases cause chronic and painful inflammation in different body systems. One of the front-line drug classes to treat such inflammation is Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). Despite the benefits of oral administration of NSAIDs, there are drawbacks to their long-term usage because they can cause detrimental effects on off-target systems in the body such as the liver, kidney, or the lining of the intestinal tract. An alternative to NSAIDs is the usage of hydrogels for targeted drug delivery. Hydrogels can provide drug delivery in a specific portion of the site of inflammation, thus allowing higher doses of medication to be …


The Impact Of Water Infrastructure Inequality On Marginalized Communities, Indra Khalsa May 2022

The Impact Of Water Infrastructure Inequality On Marginalized Communities, Indra Khalsa

Honors Theses

America’s current system of water infrastructure poses a threat not only to the environment but also to public health. The water crisis reveals the stark inequalities that exist from both an environmental justice and a social justice perspective. There is a growing concern that without adequate investment from federal resources, the problems related to this issue will only worsen the longer they are neglected. There is little information about how specific environmental and social factors combine with water infrastructure to create long-term infrastructure inequalities. However, this thesis explores the disparities in water infrastructure affordability, vulnerability patterns, and environmental hazards. It …


Studying Suspended Sediment Concentrations In The South Chickamauga Creek Of Chattanooga, Tn Using Satellite Imagery, Digital Image Processing, And Numeric Modeling, Abigail Faxon May 2022

Studying Suspended Sediment Concentrations In The South Chickamauga Creek Of Chattanooga, Tn Using Satellite Imagery, Digital Image Processing, And Numeric Modeling, Abigail Faxon

Honors Theses

In recent years, Hamilton County, TN has experienced extensive urban growth. According to US Census data, Hamilton County welcomed more than 33,000 new residents in the last decade. There is increased concern about the environmental sustainability of Chattanooga’s urban growth because significant impervious surface development has taken place along the South Chickamauga Creek. This leaves the creek subject to increased urban runoff, which often carries sediments with different municipal pollutants. Thus, monitoring turbidity in the stream water is important to determine the sustainability of urban development in Chattanooga, TN. In this research, we have compared the viability of using different …


Theoretical Studies Of Benzoquinone Reactivity In Acidic And Basic Environments, Natali Majoras May 2022

Theoretical Studies Of Benzoquinone Reactivity In Acidic And Basic Environments, Natali Majoras

Honors Theses

Quinones are a class of organic compounds containing a six-membered unsaturated ring with two carbonyl groups. They are biologically relevant mostly due to their ability to participate in redox reactions. Prior experiments in our lab showed that quinones can induce protein modifications that are pH dependent. In an acidic environment the modifications were less significant than in a basic environment. Previous computational studies have also been carried out to model, in neutral solutions, the reaction between various quinones and various amines. Various amine groups are used as a model for the amino group of lysine to represent protein modification. The …