1,241 Works

Lofty Dreams-Dark Necessities: Piedmont Planters and the Commodification of the Enslaved in EarlyNational Virginia

Matthew Grace
This article explores the circumstances surrounding Virginia Piedmont planters and their decisions to adopt various human commodification strategies in the early national period. Coming out of the American Revolution, Virginia’s Piedmont gentry, in general, expressed an exclusionary racist antislavery position. Men like Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and John Hartwell Cocke believed slavery an evil harmful to Blacks, whites, and the overall Republic. They hoped the South might gradually emancipate its slaves and resettle...

Characterization of the Morphological and Synaptic Properties of Terminals in Koniocellular versus Magnocellular/Parvocellular Parallel Pathways in the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus of the Tree Shrew (Tupaia belangeri)

Francesca Sciaccotta
In addition to its main excitatory input coming from the retina, the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the thalamus receives axons from the superior colliculus (SC). In tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri), these tectogeniculate (TG) projections terminate in the koniocellular laminae 3 and 6, but their precise role in this pathway is unknown. To address the circuitry that underlines the TG input regulation of geniculate relay, I studied the synaptic circuitry in koniocellular laminae and its...

Pious Voices Unheard: Religion, Peacebuilding, and the Conflict in Mali

Holden Lipscomb
This paper seeks to explain the absence of religion in peacebuilding and peacekeeping operations through an in-depth examination of the contemporary Islamist crisis in Mali. Beginning by analyzing and explicating contemporary peacekeeping doctrines, the paper then explores the contemporary religious landscape in Mali, as well as the historical record. This paper contends that the absence of religion in non-Western contexts is best attributed to : Western fascination with militant jihad, biases in Western models of...

Moral Words, Immoral Deeds: The Ethical Aspect of American Decision Making in Vietnam

Daniel Jachim
The American decision to go to war in Vietnam was tied deeply to the moral views of key decision makers at the time. Influenced by both theories of global development and scarred by the memory of Appeasement before the Second World War, key actors in the Department of Defense, Department of State, and National Security Council informed their decisions in part based on an understanding of American responsibility to both a global interest in general...

Discovery and Morphology of Complex Molecules toward Interstellar Molecular Clouds

Ci Xue
Up to now, more than 250 individual molecular species have been detected toward both interstellar and circumstellar mediums with astronomical facilities. This dissertation presented two cases of investigations focusing on the chemical composition as well as the molecular spatial distributions of complex astronomical molecules in interstellar clouds, the chemistry in which sets the initial conditions of the chemical processes in the late stages of star formation. We leveraged the GOTHAM high-sensitivity and high-spectral-resolution survey as...

Connect to Protect: The Moderating Role of Connectedness on Gendered Racial Microaggressions and Vigilance Among Black Women

Lamont Bryant
Black women’s experiences of gendered racial microaggressions can contribute to adverse health outcomes via maladaptive behavioral reactions, such as vigilant stress responses. Yet, fewer scholars have examined how Black women’s ability to create community with others offline and on social media may offer them the opportunity to unpack their experiences of gendered racial microaggressions and reduce the frequency of vigilant stress responses. The following study addressed this gap by examining how interpersonal connections, as a...

Investigation of Bacterial Cell Surface Accessibility and Peptidoglycan Interactions

Noel Ferraro
Antibiotic resistance is a threat to public health that demands to be met with either new and innovative antibiotics or alternative therapies. The occurrence of antibiotic resistant bacteria is a multifactorial process but often involves improper use of antibiotics or sharing of genetic components that allow bacteria to survive when challenged with antimicrobial agents. Specific resistance mechanisms usually fall under one of the following categories: inactivation of drug, target modification, active efflux, and limiting uptake....

Essays on Firms' Foreign Direct Investment Decisions

Haruka Takayama
Multinationals are a key part of the global economy, and many governments have made tremendous efforts to attract FDI. When a firm invests overseas, it faces two choices---a firm can either establish a new facility in its host country or purchase a local firm. These two types of foreign direct investment (FDI) are greenfield investment and cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A). The first chapter investigates the question: how do firms choose between the two FDI...

\"It's Okay If You Flap Your Hands\": Non-Autistic Children Do Not Object to Autistic-Like Behavior and Peers

Zoe Sargent
Young children’s disapproval of unconventional behavior could influence their attitudes towards autistic peers, whose behavior is often described as unconventional. Non-autistic children and adults do stigmatize autistic people on the basis of their atypical behaviors, but they do so to a lesser degree when they are aware of the autistic person’s diagnosis. Here, we investigated how young children evaluate behaviors characteristic of autism, and whether labeling would influence their evaluations. Over Zoom, 112 4- to...

Development, Testing, and Evaluation of Shape Memory Alloy-Based Structural Control Devices for Seismic Resilience

Amedebrhan Asfaw
Improving community resilience to natural hazards such as earthquakes is one of the central challenges in the 21st century. Among others, the performance of individual buildings is a critical factor that dictates how soon societies impacted by seismic hazards could recover. Recent earthquakes have demonstrated that many buildings designed based on modern code requirements were not occupiable due to substantial structural damages, taking months or years to repair or reconstruct. Mitigating the devastating socio-economic impacts...

Analyzing Biases in Visual Recognition Models

Jaspreet Ranjit
With the rise of deep learning models which require exceedingly large amounts of data, there exists a need to examine the biases that are reflected in the applications of these models. For example, a visual recognition model can learn image representations of cooking that are closer to the representations of women than men, thus reinforcing a negative gender stereotype of women being homemakers. This thesis explores and analyzes these biases across state of the art...

Open Source Software Practices in CS2; Ethics Education for Responsible Computer Scientists

Emma Choi
Computer science (CS) is a versatile discipline with the potential to revolutionize every other domain of knowledge. However, while computer scientists have the power to bring visionary technology from science fiction closer to reality, they may also spawn dystopian nightmares where privacy is relinquished for security or malicious artificial intelligence programs wreak havoc. Therefore, to ensure a more optimistic future, higher education institutions must empower engineers to solve challenging problems while reflecting on the ethical...

MDP-Based Adaptive Motion Planning for Autonomous Robot Operations Under DegradedConditions

Phillip Seaton
Autonomous mobile robots (AMR) like ground and aerial vehicles may encounter internal failures and external disturbances when deployed in real-world scenarios compromising the success of a mission. This thesis proposes an online learning method to adapt the motion planner to recover and continue an operation after a change in a robot's dynamics. Our proposed framework builds on the Markov Decision Process (MDP) and leverages the residual - defined in this work as the difference between...

Non-invasive single cell imaging in bacterial biofilms under controlled physicochemical environments

Ji Zhang
Bacteria commonly live in dense and diverse communities, known as biofilms. As the major mode of microbial life, biofilms have been widely recognized for their impact on global biogeochemical cycling and the health of higher living organisms. Commonly used assays to study biofilm probe biofilm formation and behavior using ensemble averaged data. However, to better understand how the individual behaviors of biofilm dwelling cells contribute to the emergent macroscopic properties of biofilms, cellular level information...

Stress in the Age of Technology: Evaluating the Validity and Accessibility of Cardiac Data from Industry-Leading Smartwatches

Aaron Moore
Objective: To test the validity and data accessibility of the health detection features on two leading smartwatches in the industry, the Apple Watch Series 6 and Fitbit Sense, and to determine if these devices can be used to accurately measure stress responses in the body. Background: Stress causes the release of hormones in the human body that increase heart rate, blood pressure, and energy supplies. Over time, the constant release of stress hormones can lead...

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...

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  • 2021
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  • University of Virginia
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