3,802 Works

Anchoring an Alliance: Explaining Multilateral Balancing Alliance Formation

Mei Yin Bonnie Chan
From the Peloponnesian War, the Napoleonic Wars, to the Cold War, multilateral alliances have been one of the strongest instruments to shape the international order. But they do not always form in response to common threat. Why did NATO form in the face of Soviet threat, but the Pacific Pact – which was meant to be an Asian NATO – failed to develop even after the Chinese Communist Party won the Chinese Civil War in...

Probing the Spatial Distribution of Entanglement in Many-Body Quantum Systems

Ian MacCormack
Entanglement is the most unique and distinguishing feature of quantum mechanics, and is of fundamental importance not only to the theory of quantum information, but to the study of quantum phases of matter. While much work has been done to study the entanglement in the ground states of familiar systems like conformal field theories and gapped topological phases, slightly less attention has been paid to dynamical quantum systems and systems that lack translational invariance. In...

Defining Leukemogenic Mechanisms in Hereditary Hematopoietic Malignancies

Michael William Drazer
Hereditary hematopoietic malignancies (HHMs) were once thought to be exceedingly rare, but the development of relatively inexpensive next generation sequencing (NGS) in the early 21st century led to a dramatic increase in the number of recognized HHM syndromes. Now, HHMs are an accepted entity in the World Health Organization (WHO) classification of myeloid neoplasms and acute leukemia, and a substantial proportion of individuals are recognized to be at risk for these syndromes. However, a number...

Protein-Lipid Interactions in Lipid Droplets

Siyoung Kim
Lipid droplets (LDs) are intracellular organelles whose primary function is energy storage. Known to emerge from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) bilayer, LDs have a unique structure in which their core consists of neutral lipids, triacylglycerol (TG) or sterol ester for example, surrounded by numerous proteins and a phospholipid (PL) monolayer. Despite their importance in metabolism and metabolic diseases such as obesity, type II diabetes, or lipodystrophy, LDs have not garnered the attention that they deserve....

Accurate Modeling of Grazing Transits Using Umbrella Sampling

Gregory J. Gilbert
Grazing transits present a special problem for statistical studies of exoplanets. Even though grazing planetary orbits are rare (due to geometric selection effects), for many low to moderate signal-to-noise cases, a significant fraction of the posterior distribution is nonetheless consistent with a grazing geometry. A failure to accurately model grazing transits can therefore lead to biased inferences even for cases where the planet is not actually on a grazing trajectory. With recent advances in stellar...

Understanding and Overcoming the Non-T cell-inflamed Tumor Microenvironment

Emily Faye Higgs
Checkpoint blockade immunotherapies have demonstrated remarkable therapeutic success by overcoming tumor-induced T cell inhibition, however their efficacy is poor when patients lack evidence of a spontaneous T cell response. Tumors in mice which generate a spontaneous T cell response activate the innate immune system through the STING pathway. STING agonists promote dendritic cell (DC) activation as well as subsequent priming and recruitment of T cells, leading to significant tumor control in transplantable models. However, preliminary...

Heteroatom Guided Total Synthesis: Application to Polyhalogenated and Polyoxygenated Natural Products

Cooper Ashley Taylor
Natural products and their derivatives account for 62% of all FDA-approved small molecules from 1981 to 2014. However, the use of natural products for pharmaceutical purposes is often limited by both the low natural abundance of such targets and general synthetic inefficiency in making complex molecules on scale. Herein, we hope to explore how we may surmount the latter limitation, as we discuss our efforts in the production of compounds with not only a high...

Electron-Electron and Electron-Phonon Interactions in Semiconductors and Insulators from Many-Body Perturbation Theory

Han Yang
An accurate description of the electronic structure of semiconductors and insulators is essential in materials discovery. However, the Schrodinger equation[124] of many-body systems, e.g., electrons in solids or molecules, cannot be solved exactly. Many approaches have been proposed to solve approximately the Schrodinger equation of interacting electrons, and new methods and algorithms are still being developed to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the calculations, and/or to incorporate new physics.This dissertation focuses on the developments...

Statistical Properties of Undulator Radiation: Classical and Quantum Effects

Ihar Lobach
This dissertation presents two experiments studying the statistical properties of the undulator radiation in the Integrable Optics Test Accelerator (IOTA) storage ring at Fermilab. The first experiment studies the turn-to-turn fluctuations in the power of the radiation generated by an electron bunch (1--3 billion electrons). Generally, these turn-to-turn fluctuations depend on the full 6D phase-space distribution of the electron bunch. This effect is related to the interference of fields radiated by different electrons. Changes in...

Engineering and Evolving Dirhodium Artificial Metalloenzymes for Carbene Transfer Reactions

David Matthew Upp
This dissertation describes the engineering and evolution of dirhodium artificial metalloenzymes (ArMs) for selective carbene transfer catalysis. The ArM hybrid catalyst is formed by covalent attachment of a dirhodium tetracarboxylate cofactor a prolyl oligopeptidase scaffold, which is shown to control the environment around the metal center to enable selectivity. The process of improving this scaffold-based control through multiple carbene transfer reactions has improved our understanding of this system and ArMs more broadly. Chapter 1 begins...

The Impact of Weight-loss Surgery and the Budding Role of Cannabinoid Action in Adipose Tissue

Avelino Apostol De Leon
The US prevalence of obesity has risen from less than 20% to over 40% in last the 25 years despite all efforts to control it. Obesity represents a major health challenge because it substantially increases the risk of leading causes of death, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and several cancers, as well as dementia and poorer mental health, thereby contributing to a decline in both quality of life and life expectancy. Obesity is also associated...

The Development of Acrylamide-based Inhibitors of DHHC Family Proteins to Regulate ERK Acylation and Activity

Saara-Anne Azizi
Protein S-acylation, an enzymatically modulated lipid post-translational modification, is frequent and consequential; at the cellular level, it regulates protein subcellular trafficking and signaling activity, and at the organismal level, has been implicated in cancer and neurologic and inflammatory disease. However, the impact of dynamic S-acylation for many proteins remains unknown, in part due to lack of inhibitors for the enzymes that catalyze lipid addition, the DHHC family proteins. Not only is the most commonly used...

Transition Metal Ions as Optically Addressable Spin Qubits

Berk Diler Kovos
This thesis investigates transition metal ions (TMIs) as an emerging platform to create quantum bits (qubits). The electronic orbitals of TMIs can be tuned and designed using basic guiding principles to form various structures that contain long lived qubits in the ground state and spin selective optical transitions that form a photonic interface to initialize and readout the quantum states. This thesis starts with describing the physics behind electron spin qubits and TMI orbitals that...

Optical Control and Sensing Techniques for the Nitrogen-Vacancy Center in Diamond

Paul Jerger
Nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond are excellent model quantum systems, due to a combination of long coherence times, high-fidelity control, and inherent stability. Their atomic scale, solid-state environment, and intrinsic spin-photon interface make them well-suited for a range of quantum communication and quantum sensing applications. The success of these applications depends on developing an array of techniques to initialize, manipulate, and measure the NV center’s quantum state through optical control fields. To that end, this...

Quantification of the Allosterically-Driven Unfolding of BtuB’s N-terminus upon B12 Binding by HDX-MS

Adam Maciej Zmyslowski
To import large metabolites across the outer membrane (OM) of Gram-negative bacteria, TonB dependent transporters (TBDTs) undergo significant conformational change. After substrate binding in BtuB, the E. coli vitamin B12 TBDT, TonB binds and couples BtuB to the inner membrane proton motive force which powers transport. The role of TonB in rearranging the plug domain to form a putative pore remains enigmatic. The aim of my thesis is to advance understanding of the substrate transport...

The Proteus Effect in Context: Evidence from a Gaming Community

Ross Jesse Burkholder
This dissertation builds upon previous studies showing how a person's behavior in virtual environments is altered by the characteristics of the digital avatar they control, an effect coined as the Proteus Effect by Yee and Bailenson (2007). The goal of the dissertation is to extend this research by evaluating the Proteus Effect in a naturally occurring context, rather than a controlled laboratory setting. The community chosen for this study is one which has formed around...

Searching for Light Dark Matter with DAMIC at SNOLAB and DAMIC-M: Investigations into Radioactive Backgrounds and Silicon Skipper Charge-Coupled Devices

Ariel Yechezkel Matalon
The dark matter community has reached an inflection point. Strong limits have been placed on O(100 GeV) WIMPs, and attempts to produce dark matter at accelerators have not yet been successful. As such, there has been a shift towards exploring new parameter space, specifically that of light dark matter, and looking for hidden photons or dark matter-electron interactions. The DAMIC (Dark Matter in CCDs) program employs the bulk silicon of scientific CCDs to search for...

Essays on Poverty and Safety-Net Programs

Danke Derek Wu
This dissertation consists of three chapters that examine policy questions relevant to the low-income population in the United States. In the first chapter “Certification and Recertification in Welfare Programs: What Happens When Automation Goes Wrong?” (joint with Bruce Meyer), I examine how administrative burdens influence enrollment in different welfare programs and who is screened out at a given stage. I study the impacts of complications arising from the automation of welfare services, leveraging a unique...

Polymer-Grafted Cellulose Nanocrystals: Structure. Properties, and Interfaces

James H Lettow
Polymer nanocomposites, due to combining constituent properties, can fulfil a wide variety of applications, ranging from structural materials to filtration membranes to battery separators. However, nanofiller aggregation can pose detrimental to best maximizing the nanocomposite properties. Polymer-grafted nanoparticles, which when cast into films without additional matrix material, limit nanofiller aggregation due to the covalent bonding between nanofiller and polymer matrix, and although the class of materials has seen increasing study, gaps remain particularly in anisotropic...

Loneliness and Delay of Gratification: Understanding Childhood Instability

Angelica Bosko
Chronic stress in early childhood can have negative implications for future life outcomes. This thesis analyzes the relationships between chronic loneliness, perceptions of crime, childhood instability, and classroom behaviors in children. To answer this research question, web scraping was used on Twitter to collect tweets related to the perception of crime in Elkhart, Indiana between June 2016 and May 2019. Topic modeling was conducted on the Twitter data to explore the evolution of topics over...

The Market Reaction to Earnings Announcements in Financial Crisis of 2007 - 2008

Available upon request from campus

A risk venture? Investigating the “electability” challenge for women candidates in US elections

Sara Saltzer
“Electability” has been of great interest in media coverage and popular conceptions of recent elections, but there is little scholarly consensus on what electability is, and whether and how it influences voter behavior. This study seeks to fill that gap in the literature by analyzing polling data from the 2020 Democratic presidential primary to investigate whether voters make decisions in primaries based upon whom they believe can win a general election. Furthermore, this paper analyzes...

Investigating long term pattern of technology innovation and gender imbalance in filmmaking occupations

Gender gap continues to be a persistent issue in many industries. As many idiosyncratic and institutional factors are discussed, the study in examining female representation and technology innovation is limited. The movie industry, witnessing a digital transformation during the 1980s, is suitable for analyzing the relationship between work-related technology advancement and occupational gender segregation. To find out whether a relationship exists, this research leverages observational data from over 20,000 movies to measure the historical pattern...

Nativity Status and Latinx Mothers: Stress, Resilience, Depression and Motherhood

Karleigh Groves
Immigration has been implicated as a factor in determining the psychological well-being of Latinx parents and their children. Processes related to immigration may result in greater stress and depression over time; however, they may also foster greater resilience. Psychological symptomology and the development of stress, depression, and resilience compounded with immigration experiences may affect how Latinx mothers conceptualize motherhood. The ideology of child-centric support and intensive mothering present in the United States is associated with...

Homesign and Attachment: The acquisition of an attachment style as a nontraditional language learner

Elise Ashford
Working with data from a sample of homesigners, nontraditional language learners who are not able to be immersed in a natural language, this study investigates the relationship between caregivers’ response behaviors and signatures of the caregiver-child attachment relationship. I hypothesize that nontraditional language learners might be especially likely to develop insecure attachment styles, due to their caregivers’ difficulties understanding their needs and communicating with them. I used naturalistic video data from four different children (ages...

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