1,115 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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

Mechanisms of Shigella flexneri dissemination through double membrane vacuole escape

Erin Weddle
Shigella flexneri is an important human pathogen that causes the severe diarrheal disease, bacillary dysentery and accounts for 270 million and nearly 200,000 deaths per year. S. flexneri invades colonic epithelial cells and hijacks the host actin cytoskeleton to move in the cytosol of infected cells and disseminate to neighboring cells through a process called cell-to-cell spread. The bacterial type three-secretion system (T3SS) is required for cell-to-cell spread and escape from double membrane vacuoles (DMVs)...

Are Workers Effective Lawmakers?

Jacob Lollis
Are working-class legislators effective lawmakers? Intuitively, one may expect that lawmakers from manual labor, clerical, and service-based jobs (the working-class) are less effective than legislators who have previously worked in business, politics, or law (white-collar) occupations. The legislative effectiveness of the working-class, however, has not yet been empirically evaluated. This article addresses two primary questions. First, is there a class-based effectiveness gap between working-class and white-collar legislators? Second, do various institutional and contextual arrangements moderate...

Subject Area Knowledge of Private School Secondary Mathematics Teachers: Impact of Prior Coursework on Instructional Practice

Wesley Cox
Hiring secondary mathematics teachers has become a difficult task for schools across the country. Both public and private schools alike face the task of hiring a knowledgeable and qualified teacher. One small independent, private school in the Southeastern United States has confronted the issue of hiring and retaining mathematics teachers who possess the knowledge to positively impact their students’ development and acquisition of algebraic reasoning skills for several years. The problem they face is understanding...

Synergistic Effects of Oxidation and Load on SiC/BN/SiC Ceramic Matrix Composite Degradation at Intermediate Temperatures

Kaitlin Detwiler
SiC/BN/SiC ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) are desirable for use in the hot section of jet engines, where temperatures can reach 1200°C or higher. However, due to thermal gradients and backside cooling, many SiC/BN/SiC CMC components will experience intermediate temperatures ranging from 600-800°C. Oxidation mechanisms in this intermediate temperature range are not well understood. CMCs in this region will also experience micro-cracking arising from mechanical and thermal stresses, increasing pathways for oxidant ingress. The following standalone...

The Impact of Simulation-Based Training on the Self-Confidence of New Nurses in the Care of Acutely Deteriorating Patients and Activation of the Rapid Response Team

Carl Lambert
Background: New nurses report a sense of being unprepared and low levels of self-confidence. Simulation-based education is frequently used as a strategy to address this low level of confidence and to improve patient safety by providing high-fidelity training in a safe environment. Purpose: The purpose of this DNP scholarly project was to assess if new nurses’ participation in high-fidelity simulation-based training increased self-confidence and nurse-initiated activation of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) when caring for...

Measurement-Based non-Gaussian Quantum State Engineering

Miller Eaton
Advances in quantum technologies promise to deliver a great deal of progress in information science, including applications in sensing, secure communication, and quantum computation. If successfully implemented, an error-corrected universal quantum computer would deliver an exponential boost in efficiency when solving certain problems. However, this requires a way to generate and entangle many low-noise quantum resources in a scalable way. Fortunately, quantum computing with the continuous-variable nature of light in a quantum-optics setting has recently...

Near-Infrared Studies of Embedded Star Clusters

Chan Park
The Fan Mountain Near-Infrared Camera, FanCam, features an 8.7’ x 8.7’ field of view on 1024x1024 Teledyne Imaging Sensors HAWAII-1 detector array. The instrument mounts at ⨍ /15.5 focus of the 31 inch telescope. Its seeing-limited optical design, optimized for the JHK …

The Integration of Ethical Design into Introductory Software Development Coursework; A Virtue Ethics Analysis of Racial Bias in Google Facial Recognition Technology

Justin Ngo
My technical work and STS research are connected through the idea of ethical software development, and the importance of its pedagogy and practice. Software development and design practices influence the technology that is increasingly being used in everyday life, and it is central to both my technical and research paper. However, the two works differ in the way they explore software development practices. My technical work focuses on improving the teaching of ethical software design...

HEDGE: Hypersonic ReEntry Deployable Glider Experiment; Souvenirs from the Stars: Examining International Political Impacts of Space Mining

Josh Willoughby
Introduction Since the conclusion of the Space Race in the 20th century, possibilities and capabilities revolving around spaceflight have grown substantially. Among novel 21st century concepts of space travel, development and utilization of both small-scale, affordable satellite – or “CubeSat” - and extraterrestrial resource collection – or “space mining” - technology are highly promising concepts. This portfolio will offer an examination of both concepts, including firstly a technical report and proposal to several government agencies...

Engineering a Resilient Healthcare System: Using Heart Attack Outcomes and Treatment Methods in Pennsylvania; Fast and Fit: Efforts to Promote Healthier Food Options in U.S. Restaurant Chains

Emily Pham
Due to significant gaps in current healthcare delivery models, patients have to receive non-emergent or routine care at other facilities. When fluctuating factors or unprecedented circumstances like a pandemic occur, the healthcare system is further strained and bottlenecks follow from this fixed facility model, leading to basic needs unfulfilled. The current healthcare delivery system therefore is rigid and not adaptable, unable to accommodate fluctuating variables and various scenarios. As a result, the purpose of the...

HEDGE: Hypersonic ReEntry Deployable Glider Experiment; Gold and Glory: 21st-Century U.S. Space Exploration

Jonathan Cummins
This thesis portfolio aims to provide clarity into modern spaceflight by examining the design of a hypersonic glider and detailing the evolution of the spaceflight industry in the United States. Though both the technical report and the thesis deal with modern spaceflight, the technical report focuses on the design and deployment of a specific instance of current spaceflight technology, while the thesis analyzes the role of society in shaping human spaceflight technology through shifting political,...

Optimizing for Water Equity in the Colorado River Basin; Addressing Water Resources Needs of Indigenous Peoples in the Colorado River Basin

Erin Baker
The issue of large-scale water scarcity cannot be solved by politics, engineering or changes in social habits alone. The technical approach involves thinking about the Colorado River Basin systematically and rearranging the excess flows from some groups and delivering it to other underserved groups. The ideas of reducing water shortage frequencies and durations remain central to the goal from this perspective. When specifically thinking about indigenous communities in the basin, a deep dive is taken...

Developing a Dynamic Control Algorithm to Improve Ventilation Efficiency in a University Conference Room; Why Universities and Industry Build Healthy Buildings

Avery Walters
Heating, Ventilation and Cooling (HVAC) control systems waste money by cleaning air all day, even for empty rooms. To solve this, my capstone team is making a dynamic HVAC control system that reduces ventilation to empty rooms. Our system also increases ventilation rates to occupied rooms for better air quality. This shift to a dynamic system can save wasted money for the university while improving occupant health in rooms with increased ventilation. The social construction...

Soft Robotic Exoskeleton for Elbow Assistance; Effect of User Groups on Co-Production Cycle of Wearable Exoskeleton Technology

Daniela Mendez
The STS thesis was centered around the question, with the commercialization of wearable robotic exoskeleton technology, how will the needs of user groups affect the co-production cycle of this technology? Wearable robotic exoskeletons are a means for those with muscular disorders to regain some of their mobility and independence. They must be designed with the goal of meeting all the needs of the user. What was concluded from this paper is that engineers have to...

Enhanced Awareness for the Visually Impaired: “Visually Assistive Hat”; One Emergency from Disaster: The Impact of High Medical Bills

LaDawna McEnhimer
Quality of life is a critical factor when considering equality. Without the freedom or ability to do as one desires, such as someone with a disability or during a medical crisis, there is an inherent disadvantage when compared to the rest of the world. These problems can be incredibly expensive to assuage or improve. As a result of this financial barrier, those of a lower socioeconomic status are even more unfairly disadvantaged. Both my technical...

Computational Flow Dynamics Analysis of Pelvic and Abdominal Veins Using CT, Venography, and Duplex Imaging; A Sociotechnical Analysis of College Alcoholism

Jessica Cornthwaite
The connection between the proposed technical project and research paper is loose, considering the technical project was not personally chosen, however, the two do relate to one another in various ways. In comparing computational flow dynamics (CFD) analysis of patient veins with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) to an analysis of the contributing factors on the influence of college alcoholism, a relationship can be drawn through alcohol. A common cause or contributing factor to an increased...

Development of Reliable Drive System for Medical Ultrasound Imaging; The War on Drugs: A Sociopolitical Analysis

Sarah Abourakty
This undergraduate thesis portfolio explores the research, development, and testing of an ultrasound device as part of the senior design capstone component, while also exploring the sociopolitical impacts of the War on Drugs on minority communities in a cohesive timeline for the sociotechnical research paper. The ultrasound device is motivated by a gap in the medical community for cost-effective imaging equipment, allowing more physicians and clinics to offer guided support for epidural injections. While a...

Dynamic Application Security Testing - Fuzzing: Brute-Force API Vulnerability Scanning; Understanding Phishing as a Social Engineering Problem: Why Societal Educational Efforts Falls Short

Justin Gou
With the world becoming more and more reliant on technology, cybersecurity continues to be a growing issue in the world of technology. Attackers are constantly looking for ways to break into systems for monetary reward or to compromise private data. One goal for cybersecurity researchers is to find the best ways to minimize these vulnerabilities. This portfolio focuses on two specific techniques to decrease cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The technical research topic focuses on adding automated web...

Wearable Technology: Developing a Skin-Like Temperature Sensor; Exploring the Adversarial Relationship between Tourism and Marine Pollution as an Incentive for Improving Waste Management Practices

Georgia White
Current prosthetics have limited tactile sensing abilities which hinders their functionality and creates a disconnect with the user. These limitations are evident by the choice of 21% of upper limb amputees to forego using prosthetics altogether. Creating sensory capabilities for prosthetics offers the opportunity to greatly increase the quality of living of their users. As such, we built a skin-like sensor which measures temperature, one of the many types of sensing capabilities of skin. The...

Active Control of Wind Turbine Blades to Increase Efficiency; Exploring the Ecological Impact of Wind Farm Development

Astrid Henkle
With the speed at which the wind industry is growing, it is important to ensure that wind turbines are as efficient. The consumption of wind energy grew from 14% of renewable energy consumption in 2019, to 26% in 2020. Turbines are constantly growing in size and my technical project sought to find a way to improve on existing turbines and allow smaller turbines to create more energy. To do this we created an active control...

Registration Year

  • 2022
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Affiliations

  • University of Virginia
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