1,052 Works

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....

Transforming Institutions: Accelerating Systemic Change in Higher Education

Kate White, Andrea Beach, Noah Finkelstein, Charles Henderson, Scott Simkins, Linda Slakey, Marilyne Stains, Gabriela Weaver & Lorne Whitehead
This volume of Transforming Institutions follows from and builds on its predecessor of five years ago (Weaver et al., 2015) with a mix of case studies, models, and analyses. The authors and editors provide key perspectives for advancing change initiatives in higher education and STEM education. The Transforming Institutions conferences and book series began with the first convening in 2011 at Purdue University, organized by the Discovery Learning Research Center (DLRC), and continues with the...

A Variational Approach of Anharmonicity in Lattice Dynamics

Yuan Liang
In this work, a variational approach by optimizing the free energy of an anharmonic Hamiltonian with respect to strain tensor, inter-cell atomic displacements and force constants in a lattice system based on first-principle self-consistent phonon theory has been established. The goal is to predict possible phase transitions in crystal structures with the ability to describe phonon spectra at any given finite temperatures. A Fortran code package has been developed by implementing this computational scheme which...

Assessing Video Game Level Design by Simulating Human Playtesters with Reinforcement Learning; The Technological Politics of Machine Learning in Criminal Justice

Saeed Razavi
My technical project and my STS research paper find common ground in their discussion of machine learning. In my technical work, I propose a method for automatically testing how intuitively a video game level teaches its player how to play it, using reinforcement learning. In my STS research, I analyze the use and adverse effects of machine learning in the U.S. criminal justice system. I am dedicatedly interested in social justice, so beginning in STS...

Role of Plant Amino Acid Transporters in Shaping Root-Beneficial Microbe Associations

Israel Agorsor
Crop agriculture fueled by reliance on chemical fertilizers has environmentally-damaging consequences. Proposed alternative approaches to enhancing plant growth include the use of plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB). Large-scale field adoption of PGPB has been hindered by the low rhizosphere competence of PGPB, among others. Plant-derived amino acids in the rhizosphere promote bacterial growth, facilitate bacterial chemotaxis towards the roots, and enable microbial biosynthesis of plant growth-promoting compounds such as auxins. In this dissertation, I set out...

Genetically Encoded Far-Red Fluorescent Zn2+ and Ca2+ Indicators

Tianchen Wu
The color palette of genetically encoded fluorescent protein indicators has expanded rapidly in recent years. Genetically encoded indicators with excitation and emission within the “optical window” above 600 nm are expected to be superior in many aspects, such as enhanced tissue penetration, reduced autofluorescence and scattering, and lower phototoxicity. We first explored the tolerance of two far-red fluorescent proteins (FPs), mMaroon1 and mCarmine, towards circular permutation. Five circularly permuted far-red FPs (cpFrFPs) with excitation and...

Advancing Hyku: Annual Report for Year One, October 2019-August 2020

Ellen Ramsey, Ilkay Holt, Rachael Kotarski, Brian Hole, Elisa Barrett & Chris Colvard
This report is a deliverable of the Advancing Hyku: Open Source Institutional Repository Platform Development” project, funded by Arcadia—a charitable fund of philanthropists Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin The Advancing Hyku project is designed to complete the design and implementation of specific advances to the open-source community repository product Hyku. Upon project completion, these advances will drive green open access and will increase value to researchers with a combined approach of auto-population and expanding the...

Developing and Teaching a New Course on “Race Matters in Engineering and Technology

Rosalyn Berne
In response to the recent national outcry over racism in policing and other U.S. institutions, a new course on “Matters of Race in Engineering and Technology” was designed and taught by an engineering ethicist during the 2020-21 academic year, for undergraduate engineering students. This course explores sociotechnical systems underlying systemic racism, and considers the ethical culpability and moral responsibilities of the engineering profession and its professionals. This short presentation sums up the initial design and...

Biofuel Adoption: A Case Study In Emerging Technology

Avery Black
Biofuels, a potential part of this new era of energy, have struggled to be adopted as a scaled energy source and provide a relatively miniscule amount of energy in comparison to the dominant fossil-fuel industry. This solution cannot be solved by itself, it will take key players to promote the adoption and prove the technological feasibility of the industry. This thesis will work to understand the major and minor actors, how they have or have...

Safe and Sustainable Fleet Management with Data Analytics and Reinforcement Training; How Social Media’s Personalized Algorithms Contribute to Political Polarization

Jenny Chun
Data has become an extremely powerful and essential tool as it helps inform, predict, and improve in almost any aspect of life. As data mining becomes a standard practice in many industries, it brings many benefits but also concerns surrounding its use and privacy. This portfolio aims to explore the impact of data-driven practices in different industries. The technical project highlights the positive use of data by the UVA Facilities Management Fleet to promote safe...

Using Corn Ethanol to Slow Climate Change

William Mosberg
With each passing year climate change is becoming harder and harder to ignore, with more activists, celebrities, politicians, and others speaking up about the issue. This thesis serves two goals. The first to discover how even with a large amount of evidence supporting the theory of climate change, the American public has been very reluctant to fully embrace renewable energy. The second is to provide another opportunity to reduce the global carbon footprint through the...

DARA: Development of a Chatbot Support System for an Anxiety Reduction Digital Intervention; Using Actor Network Theory to Analyze Digital Mental Health Interventions for Individuals of Low Socioeconomic Status

Annabel Lynch
The prevalence of mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, has increased in the US in recent decades. Unfortunately, only about half of the US population suffering from these conditions will receive treatment. With this level of burden, treating people one-on-one in a traditional clinical setting will never meet the existing needs of mental illness intervention. People of low socioeconomic status (SES) are more likely to suffer from mental illness, as well as less...

Gas and Liquid Gradient Bioreactor to Mimic Tumor Microenvironments; Under Representation of Women in Clinical Research

Elizabeth Wood
Despite the millions of dollars allocated to medical research annually, many major gaps still exist in the field of biomedical research. My capstone team aimed to develop a solution for a major shortcoming in the field of cancer research, and I aimed to address the lack of female representation in research in my technical thesis. Cancer remains one of the leading causes of deaths across the globe, despite worldwide efforts to research cancer biology and...

Covid-19 in Native America

Brianna Baldwin
According to CDC data, American Indians, and Alaskan Natives (AI/AN) have insofar experienced the highest rates of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths among any ethnic group in the U.S., despite the highest rate of vaccinations among any ethnic group. AI/AN peoples suffer 1.7x cases, 3.5x hospitalizations, and 2.4x deaths when compared to White, Non-Hispanic persons. In June 2020 in particular, the Navajo Nation reported a 3.4% COVID-19 infection rate, higher than any U.S. state. The...

Smart Pet Feeding Station; The Motivations of Smart Home Technology Adoption

Matthew Garrison
The STS and technical projects were both largely inspired by experiences from the UVA Computer Engineering Program. The technical project, an automatic pet feeding station, was decided on out of a love for pets, and also because it was a very hands-on application of the computer engineering disciplines and skills that the team had developed over the previous three years. Meanwhile, the STS Research topic, of smart home devices, came from the fact that the...

Differential Experiences in Web and App Project Management

Ifeoluwapo Adetunji
For the technical report I relate my experience as an intern for a California based tech company that maintains a job finding service. My task was to integrate the website’s homepage with a A/B testing API produced by the company. The details of the modifications made to the API and homepage are contained inside, as well as my overall experience and view of courses that helped prepare me for the experience. Tying into this is...

COVID-19 Vaccination Status Surveying and Education

Cam Stadlin & Caroline Cotton
We travelled throughout Charlottesville and the surrounding counties to conduct research regarding why community members chose not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, where they obtained vaccine information, and what the demographics were of this population. We collected this information through anonymous, voluntary paper surveys. Concurrently, we also distributed informational handouts on the virus, vaccine, free rides to vaccinations, and lists of vaccination sites nearby. 215 surveys were completed by community members and 264 online surveys...

Academic Productivity Among Underrepresented Minority Urologists at Academic Institutions

Caleigh Smith
Background: This study compares academic productivity among underrepresented minorities (URMs) and genders within urology. Methods: A database of residents and faculty was created from 145 urology residency programs including demographics, URM status, and publications (pubs). URM equals Black, Hispanic, or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. Multivariable analysis included URM status, gender, years of practice, and Doximity institution rank. Results: Among 1,644 residents, 145 (9%) were URMs, with a median of 2 (IQR 1,5) pubs for URMs and...

Pulse Wave Analysis for Cardiovascular Disease

Lauren Orr
Pulse wave analysis (PWA) is a technique that studies the shape of a pressure waveform caused by a heartbeat in order to estimate cardiovascular health. The waveform is often measured from the aorta, where the morphology is well understood in relation to cardiovascular physiology, but the waveform can also be measured from the peripheral circulation with a pulse oximeter, via photoplesmography. Thus, the goal of this project was to create a noninvasive diagnostic device that...

Usability of a Video Support Tool to Elicit Patient Preferences in a Medical ICU

Kirsten Mccavanagh
Significance: The state of the science of Advance Care Planning in the acute or critical care setting urges care givers to elicite patients’ goals as the standard of care. (Kelley & Morrison, 2015; Kavalieratos et al., 2016; Center to Advanced Palliative Care, 2020; National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care, 2018; Committee on Approaching Death, 2015). However, evidence is equivocal on the optimal approach to goals of care discussions with patients/families in the critical care...

Lost in Space: A Case Study on Optimizing Student Spaces at the University of Virginia; Crafting a Biomaterial Culture for Building Process

Joshua Cauthen
The overall goal of this project was to attempt to better understand our built environments. It is often that the spaces we live and work in are not being utilized to their fullest ability, and it is difficult for humanity to imagine what the future of our built environments could and should look like in regard to sustainably constructing and operating them. The technical project sought to optimize student spaces around UVA and provided recommendations...

Comparison of Open-Source Software Release and Civic Hackathon Organizational Structures regarding Sustainability Factors: Powershare App Development Technical Report

Andy Tan
Civic technologies are information and communications technologies that connect citizens to other citizens and to public administrative bodies. For the technical project, my team and I developed a mobile application civic technology that enabled suggesting and sharing feedback with local elected officials based on citizens’ residence locations. My STS research focused on drawing analogies between actors in organizational structures surrounding civic hackathons and open source software releases to assess the distribution of responsibilities’ effect on...

Cyber-Physical Systems and the Rise of Consumer E-Waste

Kendall Livesay
This thesis is comprised of a technical component developing a pancake printer and an STS component investigating the causes for a lack of citizen participation in e-waste recycling. These topics were approached together because working in a field that creates luxury technologies that are prone to rapid disposal can cause ethical challenges in a world where sustainability is becoming higher priority for much of the world. As an actor involved in the system, I want...

The Impact of Free Clinic Services on Healthcare Utilization among Charlottesville Residents Experiencing Homelessness

Steven Neal
The UVA Community Outreach Clinic is a free clinic run by UVA physicians and medical students that provides access to healthcare for Charlottesville residents currently experiencing homelessness. The study population includes patients experiencing homelessness who have had at least one visit at this free clinic. The primary objective of this study is to assess changes in the frequency of emergency department visits before and after a patient’s initial UVA Community Outreach Clinic visit. Secondary objectives...

Towards a Comprehensive Model-Based Safety Assessment: A STPA-Informed Approach

Minghui Sun
With the rapidly increasing complexity of the modern safety-critical system, the "model-based'' approach has gained much traction for safety assurance, thanks to advancements in computation capability and computational techniques. We have seen many model-based applications in the industry, for example, using models to automatically generate software code and using models as 3D drawings directly for manufacture. Similarly, Model-based Safety Assessment (MBSA) has been an important research topic in the safety engineering community over the past...

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