3,864 Works

Using Text-Based and Example-Based Querying to Improve Usage of IoT Sensor Data in Smart Buildings; IoT Devices and Smart Buildings: Starting on the Right Foot

Andrew Villca-Rocha
Achieving Industry 4.0: Improving the Use of IoT Device Data in Smart Buildings Current industrial trends show a push for Industry 4.0 (I4.0) technology. I4.0 is regarded as the “next industrial revolution” through the use of interconnected technologies. Smart buildings are a part of I4.0 and utilize Internet of Things (IoT) devices and their data to increase the efficiency of the operation of their buildings. Both my technical project and my STS research focus on...

Developing Agriculture: A Political Divide

Zavier Richards
The purpose of the study is to examine how political influences have stagnated the growth in agricultural and environmental progress in developing nations. The case study will focus around Guyana and nearby Latin American countries as to how their decisions as a nation have set them back in the race for a greener and more sustainable earth. The study seeks to answer the research question, how politics and global trade hurt Guyana’s health and environment?...

Tactile Glance: Encoding Notifications using Illusive Movement Constraints for Eyes- and Ears-free Interaction

Anastasia Lalamentik
Voice-over features enable visually impaired users to access information and communicate with others using their mobile devices. However, these features rely heavily on audio feedback and create challenges for users in scenarios where they cannot hear the feedback. This thesis presents a haptic interaction technique that enables tactile glancing by utilizing tangential movement haptic illusion with tactile marks along the movement path, providing an overview of the notifications. The illusion was created by rendering friction-induced...

If It Were Not for AATF, I Probably Wouldn't Have Stayed\": The Impact of a Pathways Program on African American Teacher Recruitment and Retention

Brian Kayser
Black teachers are underrepresented in U.S. public schools, where 16% of students are Black but only 7% of teachers are Black (USDOE, 2016). Black students are positively impacted, both academically (Dee, 2005) and socially (Milner, 2006) by having Black teachers. In Charlottesville, both school districts (Albemarle County Public Schools and Charlottesville City Schools) have a higher percentage of Black teachers than the national average, yet Black teachers are still underrepresented compared to their student demographics....

Long-Term Aquatic Eddy Covariance Measurements of Seagrass Metabolism and Ecosystem Response to Warming Oceans

Amelie Berger
Seagrass meadows are valued globally for their ecosystem services, including their role as a ‘blue carbon’ sink due to high rates of primary production and carbon burial in the sediment. However, seagrasses are threatened by climate change and other natural and anthropogenic stressors, and their ecosystem services risk being lost as well. In some cases, seagrass declines have led to the release of previously stored carbon in the form of greenhouse gases, creating a positive...

ThunderStruct: A Data Structure and Algorithm Visualizer; Augmented Reality in Education: Boosting Learning Efficiency in a Digital World

Rickey Guo
The world is facing an unprecedented number of challenges ranging from a pandemic to climate change. Solving these complex problems requires the invention of new tools and ideas that will tap into humanity’s greatest strength — the ability to work together to organize and expand domains of knowledge. The need for dramatic increases in knowledge transfer is what motivated the following two projects. The capstone project is about designing a web app called ThunderStruct that...

E2-Chat: A Web-Based End-to-End Encrypted Messaging Service; The Limitations of Consumer Data Agency Under the California Consumer Privacy Act

Ashwin Pathi
Internet data collection has made corporations and society more productive, but at the expense of individual privacy and control over personal data. Public perception regarding data privacy has slowly gained prominence in public discussion, especially in the wake of recent data privacy and security incidents. As such, many new technologies have sought to build their product with end user privacy in mind by using techniques such as end-to-end encryption. The technical portion of this paper...

The Impact of Regional Mechanics and Tissue Structure on Scar Formation Following Myocardial Infarction

Laura Caggiano
Like many mechanically loaded tissues, the heart responds to ischemic injury such as myocardial infarction (MI) by forming a stiff, collagen-rich scar. The mechanical and structural properties of this scar play a critical role in determining heart function and subsequent patient outcomes post-MI. Experimental data and computational models both suggest that regional mechanics (local strains or stresses) are a key determinant of collagen structure in healing infarcts. At the same time, other studies suggest that...

\"Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies\": White Womanhood and Folk Song Collection in Early Twentieth Century America

Aldona Dye
In the first decades of the twentieth century, a large number of middle- to upper-class white women did fieldwork collecting folk songs, yet the scope and impact of their work has remained largely unexplored in scholarly literature. To explore this phenomenon, this dissertation consults four archived collections of white women song collectors and organizations that relied on the song collecting work of white women: The Virginia Folklore Society of Charlottesville, VA; Annabel Morris Buchanan of...

Personality and plasticity across time, space, and context in forked fungus beetles (Bolitotherus cornutus)

Lisa Mitchem
Individuals experience constant fluctuations in social contexts within a breeding season and across their lifetime, and these changes can have a large effect on the expression of behaviors. Behavioral plasticity allows individuals to instantaneously adjust their phenotype to changing contexts, but behaviors are not perfectly plastic. Animal personalities and behavioral syndromes quantify the proportion of behaviors that remain consistent in response to changing cues. My dissertation research used forked fungus beetles (Bolitotherus cornutus) as a...

Low-Power Integrated Microcontrollers for Self-Powered Internet-of-Things Applications

Daniel Truesdell
The Internet-of-Things (IoT) is a maturing technological revolution that is creating new hardware applications in consumer, commercial, and industrial spaces to collect information and generate insights for a variety of benefits. Exponential early growth of the IoT has seen billions of integrated hardware sensing nodes, or “IoT nodes” deployed into action, but this number falls short of early predictions by over an order of magnitude. A major factor preventing the IoT from reaching its originally-projected...

Salmonella Typhimurium promotes cholesterol accumulation and bacterial survival in host macrophages through the cholesterol acyltransferase activity of the SPI-2 effector protein SseJ

Adam Greene
Upon infection of host cells, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium resides in a modified endosomal compartment referred to as the Salmonella-containing vacuole (SCV). Following invasion of host cells, Salmonella uses multiple effector proteins translocated through two type III secretion systems (T3SS-1 and T3SS-2) to alter the host environment and manipulate intracellular signaling. While many host proteins targeted by effector proteins have been characterized, the role of host lipids in Salmonella pathogenesis remains poorly understood. Previous studies...

Model-based Analysis of a Novel Variant of the Balloon Analogue Risk Task Improves Sensitivity to Risk-taking Behavior

Adam Fenton
The assessment and quantification of risk-taking behaviors is critical to parsing out individual differences in cognitive performance. The Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART) is frequently implemented for differentiating risk-taking behaviors between different populations. We developed a new version of the BART that is able to differentiate decision makers’ (DM) behavior within a single population. Past BART studies typically utilize summary statistics that disregard the experimental context at the choice-by-choice level, grossly oversimplifying risk-taking behavior. To...


Patrick Leonard
The Justice System in the United States has always disproportionately affected people of color. Racial disparities in the prison system are not a new topic. 1 in 3 black men will spend time behind bars during their lifetime compared to 1 in 17 white men. Jails and Prisons rarely focus on rehabilitation due to the focus on punishment. Many needs of these inmates are not met such as medical and mental health services. The technical...

Building Immunity to Online Deception: A New Approach Using Active Inoculation; Brain-Machine Interfaces: Treating and Decoding the Mind

Austin Baney
Included in this portfolio are two distinct analyses exploring facets of the ever-deepening relationship between technology — digital tools with superhuman capabilities — and the collective of thinking, feeling entities responsible for innovating these tools — humanity. Though we have invented devices capable of storing and transferring complex information by sending electrical signals through silicon-based circuits, we have yet to fully understand the nuanced mechanisms by which our carbon-based neural circuitry facilitates our own thought...

From Soils to Catchments: A Hydrologic Perspective of Vegetation-Climate Interactions Across Scales

Charles Scaife
Vegetation is a critical component of ecological and hydrological systems, but rising temperatures, worsening droughts, and new disturbance regimes are changing the composition of many ecosystems. The connections between vegetation, climate, and streamflow are complex and often require long-term data to characterize, but sites with sufficiently long datasets are limited. At the same time, many modeling frameworks used to predict future streamflow are not designed to capture long-term, nonstationary relationships between vegetation, climate, and streamflow....

A Systems Approach to Optimizing Patient Flow During the COVID-19 Pandemic; Influences of Misinformation and Conspiracy Theories on the Public

Courtney Laughlin
The presence of the novel coronavirus pandemic has been felt all over the world. This thesis considers two issues related to the coronavirus pandemic. The first issue is examined in a technical report on the optimization of patient flow in healthcare systems affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This report suggests that although it is hard to make changes in existing healthcare processes, changes are needed in order to deal with this ‘new normal.’ The addition...

Cybernetic Environment: Uncontrollability and non-communication for a future of coexistence

Zihao Zhang
This research constructs a field of inquiry – the cybernetic environment – between sciences, engineering, arts, and design. It interrogates and investigates the underlying mode of thought in emerging environmental practices revolving around cybernetic technologies – that is, environmental sensing, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics – in light of contemporary posthumanism cognition and more-than-human ontological concerns across disciplines. Emerging cybernetic practices across fields pose challenges which have been largely understudied, and may transform...

A Novel Application of Natural Language Processing for the Assessment of Communication Outcomes Post-Stroke

Sydney Cadogan
Aphasia is an acquired neurogenic communication disorder resulting in an impairment across one or many modalities of communication. When assessing aphasia, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) utilize a blend of quantitative and qualitative measures to aid in clinical diagnoses and treatment outcomes. Analysis of discourse is a particularly important component to document language recovery. Computer aided text analysis (CATA) utilizing natural language processing (NLP) is an intersection of quantitative and qualitative research that aims to draw the...

Diabetes Management Application; Social and Cultural Factors that Influence Health Technology

Shivali Dessai
More than 9 percent of people in the world suffer from diabetes. Both my STS research paper and technical report focused on diabetes and health tracking technology but my STS paper focused on a broader view of health tracking technology and what influences it while my technical report focused on a health tracking technology specifically for people suffering from diabetes. My technical project was building a diabetes management application that helps users track their condition....

Creating a Vacuum Thermoformer Designed to Help Fabricate a Powered Air Purifying Respirator for Children; Ethical and Social Construction of Wearable Technology

Ryan Gibiser
The Coronavirus pandemic has introduced unforeseen changes to society. It has not only changed the way people interact with each other, but it has also shifted research attention toward fighting the virus. It has therefore prompted innovation from engineers of all backgrounds to help alleviate the problems that society is still facing as we continuously adapt to new and difficult situations. From ventilators and respirators to vaccine production, scientists and engineers are coming together to...

Understanding Earth's Diurnal Terrestrial Water Cycle with Satellite Data, Land Surface Models, and Data Assimilation

Hyunglok Kim
Water is essential for life on Earth. The water cycle describes how water reaches plants, animals, and humans. Examining Earth’s water cycle can be a challenging task, but understating the speed at which the water cycle evolves under climate change is extremely important for life on Earth. For over a century, humans have been modifying Earth’s climate systems by clearing forests to grow fast-growing crops and emitting heat-trapping greenhouse gases from a wide variety of...

Classroom Enactment of Interdisciplinary STEM+CS Curricula: Elementary Teachers’ Verbal Supports in Implementation of an NGSS-Aligned Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Computer Science Project

Sarah Lilly
National frameworks for science education in the United States (e.g., American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), 2020; Framework for K-12 Science Education; National Research Council, 2012) have worked to bring science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science (STEM+CS) disciplines together through curricula in K-12 classrooms (ASEE, 2020; Computer Science Framework, 2016; NGSS Lead States, 2013). Yet little research has investigated the ways that elementary teachers support students to engage in science and engineering practices (SEPs)...

Defining Local Politics: Three Essays on Voters, Media, and Representatives

Richard Burke
This dissertation examines representation in city governments across the United States. In the first essay, I derived hypotheses about the relationship between one's self-interest and partisanship in their preferences for local policies. I turned to the case of homeowners and their preferences for lower property taxes to test these hypotheses. First, I relied on data from a conjoint survey experiment (n=2,036). Through this survey experiment, I found that homeowners were more likely to prioritize property...

Towards Robust and Accurate Visual Object Tracking: Scale Estimation

Haoyi Ma
Visual object tracking is a critical task with a plethora of applications ranging from medical imaging to robotics. In a video sequence, given the states of the target object in the initial frame, the goal of visual object tracking is to estimate the target state in the subsequent frames. The tracking problem is challenging as numerous factors affect the performance of a tracking algorithm, such as scaling, viewpoint, illumination variation and occlusion. Furthermore, as a...

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