2,809 Works

Policy-Based Reward Shaping for Accelerated and Robust Reinforcement Learning

Cheng Wang
Reinforcement learning (RL) has recently achieved great successes in areas such as video games, robotics, and the game of Go. However, a number of challenges remain when it comes to applying RL to real-world sequential decision problems. Reward signals from real systems are often sparse, delayed, or noisy, which can significantly slow down the learning process. Compounding this issue with limited data for training, it can become very difficult to learn effective and robust control...

Grading Tool for Web-based Reports; Analysis on Motivations for Cheating

Peter Chen
My technical work and STS project are connected by their mutual goal of bettering educational methods. My technical work involves the development of a tool for grading web-based reports. My STS research offers an analysis on the motivations of cheating among students with an emphasis on trends during the shift to online learning amidst COVID-19. While the technologies discussed in my technical and STS research differ (one involves a grading tool and the other involves...

Migrating to the Cloud; The Effect of Smartphones/Social Media on Mental Health

Matthew Fruchterman
Introduction The topic I chose for my STS research paper was completely unrelated to my technical project. I felt obligated to write my STS research paper on the topic I did because it was personal to me, and I was passionate about it. I chose to write about the effect that social media has on the mental health of young adults. I have watched my youngest sister struggle immensely with phone addiction, cyberbullying, and depression,...

Passion and Purpose: A Portrait of Leadership Practices Supporting Implementation of a Dual Language Spanish-English Elementary School Program

Jessica Panfil
With the three goals of bilingualism, academic achievement, and cultural competence, dual language schools have grown in popularity across the United States, in part because of their unparalleled success to close the academic achievement gap between English Learner students and non-English learner students (Center for Applied Linguistics, 2018; Gándara & Escamilla, 2017; Kim, Hutchison, & Winsler, 2015). Longitudinal and large studies have established that dual language schools implemented with fidelity can achieve their stated goals....

Understanding and Controlling Metal Organic Framework Crystallization for Thin Film Fabrication

Luke Huelsenbeck
Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) are a promising class of materials that have seen an exponential growth in research interest in the past few decades. Composed of transition metal nodes with organic linkers, these crystalline, highly porous, and chemically versatile structures show significant promise in applications ranging from drug delivery, data storage, separations, sensing and catalysis. Many of these applications require MOFs to be configured as a thin film for better transport characteristics and to act...

Pannexin 1 Signaling Metabolite Flux and Stoichiometry

Adishesh Narahari
Pannexin 1 (Panx1) channels are ion channels expressed in a wide range of tissues in vertebrate animals. Panx1 is predicted to be responsible for the release of ATP and other large signaling metabolites from cells. Panx1 has numerous activation mechanisms including via Gq-GPCRs and via C-terminal tail cleavage. The channel is important in this regard for various cell signaling pathways in numerous (patho)physiological processes. Despite works by previous groups, there are still numerous questions regarding...

Form and Function Relationships Governing Complex Muscle-Soft Tissue Interactions Revealed with 3D Modeling: Applications to Aging

Katherine Knaus
The universal experience of aging presents many clinical problems rooted in muscle dysfunction. Muscles actuate movement required for daily life and understanding muscle function prior to the onset of age-related changes is critical in addressing these problems. Muscle function depends on both its fiber architecture (the arrangement of its cells) and its interaction with elastic connective tissues. When muscles have complex architectures and connective tissue interfaces it is difficult to intuit the full relationship between...

A Mixed Methods Approach to Optimizing Outcomes in State Government Relations at Public Institutions of Higher Education

Matthew Banfield
Public institutions of higher education are reliant on their state governments for the provision of appropriations and enactment of policies, yet within any given state there exists a political contest between interests for limited resources. As public institutions of higher education compete for appropriations and favorable policy decisions from state legislators, institutional administrators enact strategies to achieve desired legislative outcomes. The purpose of this sequential explanatory mixed methods study is to gain a deeper understanding...

Active Stabilization of a Floating Wind Turbine Platform; Society’s Role in Wheelchair Technology and Accessibility

Daniel Dereberry
As a student in the STS 4500 course during this past summer session, I was tasked with creating my own proposed technical and STS report. I proposed new technical development of a supportive joint mechanism for people with physical disabilities which necessitate wheelchair usage, and STS research into the intertwining of wheelchairs with society. Following this, my technical project was changed to the development of an active mechanism for the stabilization of offshore wind turbine...

Evaluating the development of Internet industries between the United States and China

Tiancheng Ren
My technical project and STS research paper are both working on the development of Internet industries to help make a better world. My technical work involves the integration of an innovative online testing system, which mainly includes test subsystem and question bank subsystem to help solve the problem of inconsistent examination system during the current epidemic. My STS research compares and analyzes the development of China and the United States on the Internet industries and...

Database Comparison Service;What are the ethical and societal consequences of digital voting for democratic elections?

Ram Karri
My Technical Project was focused on database management software I created at my summer internship. My STS Research Paper on the other hand was about determining whether digital voting was worth implementing in our countries voting system. It would be a stretch to say that my STS paper and technical paper were related, other than maybe the fact that digital voting will have to use some type of database to store peoples’ votes. Nonetheless, I...

Statements in Brick and Timber: The Eighteenth-Century Middling Planter Housing of Accomack County, Virginia

Edward Barnes
Historians of eighteenth-century Virginia and its architecture have long argued that houses were a material manifestation of their owners’ wealth and position in society. Treating houses as representations of planter wealth and status has allowed architectural historians to identify and categorize eighteenth-century Virginia houses as products of particular classes of planters according to house size, form, materials, and finishes. But our understanding of class-based developments in Virginia’s eighteenth-century housing has suffered from the predominance of...

SpellCheck: A Spelling Practice Device; Special Considerations for the Mass Adoption of Brain-Computer Interfaces

Catlinh Nguyen
Introduction While my STS research and technical research are not directly related, both topics draw on the concept of using technology to aid human learning. My STS research focused on the success and adoption of Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) technology, as well as the major societal and ethical concerns that arise with the emergence of BCI’s. My technical capstone research involves designing, implementing, and testing a tool to help elementary school students learn and spell words...

Da fotocopiadora à nuvem: Acesso ao conhecimento, pirataria e educação

Jess Reia, Pedro Augusto Pereira Francisco, Bruna Castanheira de Freitas & Pedro Mizukami
Esse livro é o resultado de muitos anos de pesquisas e colaborações. O último de uma série de projetos financiados pelo International Development Research Centre (IDRC) e desenvolvidos pelo Centro de Tecnologia e Sociedade da FGV, foi pensado em rede e costurado por muitas mãos. Ao olhar para os processos de digitalização, a série à qual esse livro pertence tentou entender desdobramentos e impactos de novas tecnologias na produção cultural em diferentes setores. Aqui apresentamos...

Chiral Analysis by Chiral Tag Rotational Spectroscopy

Kevin Mayer
Chiral compounds are of immense importance for medicinal research and pharmaceutical manufacturing. A complete chiral analysis would quantify all stereoisomers of a molecule which scales by 2N, where N is the number of chiral centers. There are 2N-1 diastereomers and for each diastereomer there is an enantiomer. Furthermore, the analysis would allow for quantification of the enantiomeric excess, EE, of each component. This dissertation presents the ability of chiral tag rotational spectroscopy for chiral analysis....

Thermal Analysis of High Altitude Ballooning Payloads

Paul Hughes
Balloon-borne telescopes have the potential to produce almost space telescope quality data, because stratospheric balloons float above 99% of the atmosphere. The stratospheric environment poses unique and unsolved issues especially in the thermal stability of the optics. To inform the design of the future ”Testbed for High-Acuity Imaging - Stable Photometry and Image-Motion Compensation Experiment” balloon borne telescope, a team formed to improve thermal models for the stratosphere, especially by including convection. To accomplish such...

Examination of Planetary Systems with Kepler Data

Claire Teclaw
In this period of study we attempted to use data from the Kepler archive to deduce information about planetary systems observed by that mission. The ultimate goal was to potentially identify features of the planets in these systems by examining ellipsoidal variations in their light curves. For this purpose we attempted to, separately, apply PyKE utilities and create new code to search the mission’s fits files. We discovered potential issues with the PyKE code regarding...

Chemical Abundance Verifiction of Candidate Omega Centauri Tidal Debris Stars

Joy Skipper
The Omega Centauri star system has several peculiar features that set it apart from other Milky Way globular clusters, such as its large mass, extended size, oblate shape, internal rotation, large age and metallicity spreads, and retrograde orbit. Because of these properties it is thought that Omega Cen may instead be a heavily stripped remnant of a Milky Way-captured dwarf spheroidal galaxy , now currently orbiting (backwards) near the Galactic plane (e.g., Lee et al....

Parameter Estimation of Tidally-Deformed White Dwarf Binaries with LISA

Nick Anderson
The LISA mission, currently planned to launch in 2034, will introduce exceptional observation capabilities in the millihertz regime of the gravitational wave spectrum. Galactic compact binaries, including white dwarf binaries, are a primary science target of the mission. At least one well-established verification binary has been categorized as tidally deformed by electromagnetic observations. We investigate the capability of GW observations to measure the tidal effects, as well as other relevant parameters, in tidally deformed systems....

Measurement and Analysis of Obscured Luminous Active Galaxies

Sarah Hesler
Throughout the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters, I improved my skills in DS9 and IRAF programs by completing a number of tasks in the pursuit of further characterizing a series of high-redshift galaxies believed to be hosts to active galactic nuclei (AGN) as a part of my Tutorial course. These tasks include identifying a radio source in optical images by overlaying contours from the radio onto the optical, investigating several physical characteristics of the...

Advancing Hyku Year Two Update: Samvera Virtual Connect

Ellen Ramsey, Brian Hole & Ilkay Holt
Year Two project update for the Advancing Hyku collaborative project, which aims to support the growth of green open access through institutional repositories. The deliverables of the project are to introduce significant structural improvements and new features to the Samvera Community's Hyku platform. The project partners are University of Virginia Library, Ubiquity Press and the British Library, with funding from Arcadia, a charitable fund of philanthropists Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. The project began October...

Building Computer-Aided Diagnostic Models for Biopsy Images Using Minimally Curated Datasets

Joseph Vincent Pulido
Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) perform well on many biopsy datasets and show promising signs of becoming part of the process to augment physicians' workflow to diagnose diseases. Training these medical models typically involves the tedious task of curating large-scale medical datasets which involves activities like collecting, storing, and annotating data. In general, these data curation tasks are usually the most time consuming and resource intensive portion of the model development processes. This cost is exacerbated...

Controlling Diffusion on Multi-Pathway Spatial Networks: Application to Biological Invasions

Manisha Sudhir
An important challenge in agriculture and food security is the control of invasive alien species (IAS) spread that affect important agricultural crops. However, optimal control of such epidemics is a challenging problem. In this thesis, we consider the problem of controlling a multi-pathway epidemiological process on a temporal network. Our focus is on the problem of group-scale interventions, where the objective is to find an optimal set of regions (or groups of nodes) to intervene...

Learning Local Representations of Images and Text

Fuwen Tan
Images and text inherently exhibit hierarchical structures, e.g. scenes built from objects, sentences built from words. In many computer vision and natural language processing tasks, learning accurate prediction models requires analyzing the correlation of the local primitives of both the input and output data. In this thesis, we develop techniques for learning local representations of images and text and demonstrate their effectiveness on visual recognition, retrieval, and synthesis. In particular, the thesis includes three primary...

Incorporating Auto Accessibility into Statewide Project Prioritization: Feasibility, Behavior, and Equity

Richard Atta Boateng
While accessibility, the number of time-decayed jobs available to each zone within a region, has frequently been proposed as an element in transportation project prioritization, widespread adoption of accessibility has been hindered by two obstacles: computational feasibility in a semi-open source manner and longitudinal transparency. Surmounting the former through computational steps such as automation of turn restrictions, error checking for incorrectly formed GIS-based service areas, and accounting for random perturbations in the formation of such...

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