Effects of the United States foster care system on juvenile delinquency
The United States foster care system was home to nearly 500,000 children in 2019. The link between the United States foster care system and juvenile delinquency is empirically under-explored and theoretically under-examined. Using data collected from the Pathways to Desistance study, the current study examines the relationships between drug and alcohol abuse, exposure to violence, and early onset behaviors with those who have been in the foster care system. Using a linear regression for the statistical analysis, findings show a significant association between exposure to violence and the foster care system. While there is no significant association between drug and alcohol abuse or early onset behaviors and the foster care system, the findings suggest a trend toward a positive relationship.
Electrically Injected GeSn Lasers towards Room Temperature
Use of group IV materials for semiconductors offers many benefits compared to traditional group III-V materials. Germanium tin (GeSn) in particular has a direct bandgap above 8% Sn composition, making it ideal for use in optoelectronic devices. GeSn is also complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) compatible and has potential applications in infrared imaging and light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology. However, electrically injected GeSn lasers have not yet been extensively researched. The operating temperatures for such devices are low, with the world record highest temperature at 110 K. Higher operating temperatures are desired to increase use in applications. A PIN-doped GeSn wafer was prepared by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and wet etching. Electrodes were deposited and wire bonded to an Si carrier chip to form a PIN-diode. The sample was electrically injected using a pulsed voltage source. The electroluminescence (EL) spectra and light output versus current (LI) curves were measured. The device successfully lased with a wavelength of 2688 nm at the maximum temperature of 135 K. This beat the previous world record operating temperature by 25 K. The threshold current density was 701 A/cm2 at 77 K and 2813 A/cm2 at 135 K. Alterations in material growth and device structure need to be studied in order to further increase operating temperature to room temperature.
El Pueblo Unido: Diversity in Latin American Theatre
Anna Ruzena Kopsick
Latin American theatre is an art of culture and protest. Much of it is politically and socially-based and often provides commentary on society as a whole. Throughout history, different Latin American artists have utilized theatre to explore their struggles, identities, and hopes for the world. This research will discuss how Latin American theatre and performance bring forth, fight for, and support the common good in their societies. My sources will include the analysis of works by artists of the Latin American diaspora, including Augusto Boal, Sr. Juana Ines de la Cruz, and Quiaria Alegria Hudes.
Empirical Research Presentations in Economics
Nathan Chase Arno, Samuel Francis Attea, Kelly J. Bailey, Jeffrey Allen Banis, Brock Daniel Bartley, Maria Louise Claiborne, Kaila Colacarro, Samuel A. Collins, Matthew Thomas Concannon, Nicholas Allen Cragon, Gabriel Joseph Davey, Joseph Dominic Demarco, Alexandra Catherine Edrington, Jack Christopher Gewinner, Alec W. Gizzie, Bin Guan, Tongyu Guo, Thanh H. Ha, Jacob Richard Hartness, Erik Elias Hauptmann Harryson, Claire Healy, Katharine Ann Heller, Bridget Marie Hendry, Andrew B. Hendy, Nolan Joseph Hutter, Jon Isaj, Megan Elise Kehres, Saisai Li, Wenjiong Li, Jake William Lofgren, Camille Rhiann Lubic, Chenzhao Ma, John F. Mccarthy, Daniel William Meehan, Jacob F. Meyer, Megan Suzanne Murphy, Nicholas G. Panson, Alexandra Rachel Patrick, Saraphina Ann Peters, Michael Nicholas Pitzaferro, Julius George Riske, Alec William Schnitker, Gavin T. Scott, Caroline M. Silvis, John Michael Timko, Joshua J. Trautman, Brian Joseph Walker, Elliot J. Walsh, Dylan Thomas Wolf
Four years of coursework culminate in a written and oral presentation of an empirical research project during the senior capstone course. Students apply economic theory and econometric techniques to analyze data in order to answer an original research question.
Enabling Renewable Energy Investment with Bitcoin Mining and Community Impact
Food desert, electricity power shortage and climate change are the current global issues we are facing. With cryptocurrency investment craze, Bitcoin is becoming more and more popular among young professionals or investors. Bitcoin mining currently consumes around 117 Terawatt Hours per year — 0.55% of global electricity production. Renewables account for just 39% of crypto mining's total energy consumption. As Bitcoin market grows, it is essential to insure power for BTC comes from renewable sources. The system we’ve devised for Dayton area includes: 1)Explore the viability of using landfill gas to produce electricity for mobile cryptocurrency mining containers. 2)Evaluate the potential for using waste heat from mining servers to heat mobile container farms. 3)Propose modular and cost effective design for Landfill Gas Generated Electricity -Cryptocurrency Mining-Indoor Farm system. According to Feeding America in 2019, almost 20% of Dayton is food insecure. From the indoor farm we can produce the nutritional crops 2~4 millions pounds. The payback period between 0.7 years and 2.4 years. Annual revenue by system will be $51M.
Establishing a Drosophila colon cancer model to study interactions and therapeutic targets of oncogenic pathways
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States, with an estimated 147,950 new cases in 2020. Current treatment varies based on severity of the cancer. If potentially curable, the patient may undergo surgery; in advanced cases, chemotherapy may improve and maintain quality of life. Both treatment options are invasive and target healthy cells as well as cancerous ones. Therefore, it is important to find therapeutic targets for less invasive and more effective treatment. The objective of this project is to develop CRC models in fruit flies to test the role of Hippo and Wnt pathways in gastrointestinal cancer as potential therapeutic targets. To do so, we have (a) developed a CRC model in flies, and (b) tested the levels of Hippo and Wnt pathway activity in this model. Using fly mutants and transgenic flies we have created small patches of cancerous cells in the fly intestine in which have activated oncogenic Ras (mutation RasV12) and dominant negative p53 (mutation UASp53H15N) together with loss of function of APC. This model allows evaluation of multiple genetic combinations (one-, two-, or three- hit models) to evaluate the induced tumor, its growth profile, and the effect of the drug on tumor growth. Here we present our progress with the establishment and analyses of this tumor model.
Establishing an Immunohistochemical Method to Assess Cell Activation in the Amphibian Nervous System
Ben Klocke, Kaitlyn Martin, Augustine J. Miller, Jason Tornes
According to the National Institute of Health, 185,000 people undergo amputations each year in the United States. Understanding the process of regeneration is imperative in order to develop novel therapies and treatments for these patients. Unlike most vertebrates, axolotls can fully regenerate their limbs when amputated. In the context of the current study, we established and tested a new immunohistochemical protocol in our lab by which we can track the activation of cell cycle in different tissues in the axolotl during regeneration upon injection of 5-Ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU), a thymidine analogue which is incorporated into the DNA of dividing cells. Specifically, we utilized double immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy in paraffin sections to assess cell proliferation in specific cell types of interest. A new protocol was successfully established in our lab, and we are continuing data collection to study the implication of the nervous system in this remarkable process.
Establishing Drosophila Intestinal Tumor Models to Study Signaling interactions that regulate tumor growth.
Sydney Anderson, Matthew T. Bilotti, Elizabeth Conley, Michael K. Gruhot, Anthony Latronica, Ryann A. Mann, Kathleen McCaslin, Arushi Rai, Jibriel Saqibuddin
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States, with an estimated 147,950 new cases in 2020. Some of the most common mutations found in patients with CRC are activation of oncogenic Ras, loss of function of APC, and dominant negative p53 mutations. We have developed a Drosophila melanogaster CRC model by integrating all three mutations in a single fly line. To understand the expression of each mutated gene on tumorigenesis, ‘one-’, ‘two-’, and ‘three-hit’ models were also made. Using these models we plan to establish how combinations of genetic alterations promote intestinal tumor growth, and understand the interactions between the molecular pathways of the mutated genes, understanding the expression of pathway specific target genes in the tumors, and understanding the progression of tumor formation in these CRC models.Our goal is to conduct a two part experiment using Gal4-UAS directly, where we will use esg-GAL4 to drive expression of tumor promoting genes specifically in intestinal stem cells. We will use a temperature sensitive GAL80 in combination with the esg-GAL4. This will allow temperature dependent control of GAL4 activity in the intestinal stem cells. Initially we plan to test the efficacy of GAL4 activity by testing the intestinal growth at room temperature (22℃) where the GAL4 is expected to remain inactive; and compare the phenotypes of intestinal growth with larvae grown at 29℃ where the GAL4 is active. First, we will look for survival rates in the larvae. Second, we will characterize the nature of the intestinal defects and check if the tumors are benign or malignant by dissecting the larvae, processing the intestines for antibody staining from 29℃ cultures. Our plan is to use anti-PH3 and anti- Dlg antibodies which will mark all dividing cells and cellular boundaries. This will allow us to determine if the tumors are also invasive or metastatic tumors. Based on these initial analyses, we will identify the potent combinations that cause metastatic tumors for further studies like assessment of MAPK, WNT and HIPPO pathway interactions. Here, we present our progress on the development and assessment of CRC models using the power of Drosophila.
Establishing Soft Robot Modeling and Simulation Fundamentals to Drive Smart Hose Design
Patrick B. Hudak, Kyle Naumann, Bailey A. Reid
Soft robotics is a rapidly growing field with numerous possible applications. In grinding applications, coolant flow must be perfectly directed onto a part to prevent defects. Frequent, manual adjustments must be performed by operators, generally by bending hard tubing. By developing a smart-hose that is controlled by varying the air pressure in a series of internal chambers, machine operators can make fine adjustments to the coolant flow without entering the machine's workspace and interrupting the process. To do so, fundamentals of modeling and simulation in Solidworks using real-world material data must be established. This is done by comparing tensile testing data from physical specimens with results from Solidworks simulations of the same test using a finite element analysis to determine if a correlation is present between the two stress-strain curves. Establishing this correlation is important for determining if Solidworks accurately simulates the behavior of the material used. If a strong correlation is found, simulations in Solidworks can be run with a high degree of confidence that they will reflect the behavior of the physical actuator made out of our researched materials. The design process can be accelerated through accurate simulation by allowing for rapid and frequent iteration and simulation without needing to physically test the actuators. A wider variety of designs can also be tested in parallel, further enabling more rapid design and exploration of different styles of actuators. Ultimately, establishment of modeling and design fundamentals will result in a smart-hose design capable of being manufactured and deployed effectively in real-world applications.
Euler on Little Fermat and Fermat's Conjecture
Chloe M. Crabb
For centuries, mathematicians have been exploring the idea of prime numbers. How do we find them? Are there techniques that guarantee the existence of primes? While it is relatively easy to verify the factors of a number today using computers and programs, this was no small task in the in the 18th century or any time before that. Pierre de Fermat was famous for his contributions to number theory but was notorious for leaving the proofs as exercises for others. Two such theorems include “Little Fermat,” which states if p is prime and a is a whole number which does not have p as a factor, then p divides evenly into a^(p+1)-1, and his conjecture that 2^(2^n)+1 is prime. Here we will explore Euler’s proof of “Little Fermat” and run through how he refutes Fermat’s conjecture.
Evaluating Solar Array Positioning Designs for Small Satellites
Mohamed Ali Alsadig Mohamed
CubeSats are standard modular satellites mostly used for scientific research. Each unit (U) is 10 × 10 ×10 cm with a mass of up to 1.33 kg. Due to their reduced launch costs, standardized components, and shorter manufacturing lead time, CubeSats have become an attractive innovation in the space sector. However, the weight and size limitations of CubeSats reduce the available power budget and stored energy reserves, which limit their advanced capabilities and performance. This research studies the energy output from a 3U CubeSat in both Geosynchronous and Sun-synchronous orbits with several solar panel design configurations. The alternatives include rigidly mounted solar panels, deployable panels to optimum positioning angles, along with one and two degrees of freedom actuated panels. Commercially available orbital mechanics software, System Tool Kit, is used to validate the results for orbit parameters and energy generation for the rigid-mounted solar arrays. In addition, this research creates virtual models using SolidWorks software to simulate all the design alternatives to determine the weight penalty for advanced positioning devices and ensure the packaged size remains suitable for standard 3U CubeSat.
Evaluation of User Interface for Medical Applications
Lakshmi Pratyusha Cheedella
Virtual Medication Evaluation (ME) is a mobile application designed to help patients with discordant chronic conditions (DCCs) prioritize and adhere to their medication goals. DCCs are health conditions in which patients have multiple, often unrelated, chronic illnesses that may need to be addressed concurrently but may also be associated with conflicting treatment instructions. Virtual ME allows a user (patient with DCCs) to help a virtual version of themselves (avatar) attain a desirable state of being. They do this by setting and adhering to their medication plans (e.g., taking medications on time or reporting symptoms/side effects) and allow new plans to be set before their situation gets worse. Our work proposes a novel framework that integrates the avatar into the medications evaluation process. The avatars are composed of different expressions (representing different states/moods of a patient) to encourage the patient to take medications on the pretext of maintaining the state of the avatar. The medication prescriptions and prioritization are generated by the machine learning algorithms. We evaluated Virtual ME and interviewed users to learn whether avatars and applications interface might be effective for motivating users to prioritize prescriptions and medications adherence. Our results show that real users demonstrate the effectiveness of the application.
Examining Felony Disenfranchisement Laws, Voter Restoration, and U.S. Elections
Macy Victoria Mcquinn
Voter disenfranchisement for felony convictions in the United States has become an increasingly important target of criminal justice reform efforts. Although most states have established laws to restore voting rights upon the completion of a prison sentence, other states such as Ohio and Florida still restrict or prohibit felony offenders from voting in some manner. Using publicly available data provided by each state's official voter database, the research will examine voter registration, turnout, and party affiliation in Presidential elections during the years 2016, 2019, and 2020 across states where voter laws have recently changed, specifically Florida.
Excess energy and cryptocurrency for a local community in Liberia
Rustam Kuzhin, Rishabh Sanjaykumar Shukla
Model for assessing of the viability of using biodiesel generator to produce electricity for mobile cryptocurrency mining containers and to provide electricity for a local community needs in Liberia. Proposed modular and cost effective design for biodiesel generated Electricity and Cryptocurrency Mining. The model considers the features of mining hardware, the price of virtual currency, Operation maintenance cost and fuel cost to produce 1 kWh using biodiesel generator, heat loss of container, cooling system for mining hardware, to predict the payback period of the investment. This work will help the local communities around the world to access the energy and cryptocurrency. Also it will help to improve the sustainability of cryptocurrency mining businesses by reducing their dependence on exhaustible energy resources and their impact on the environment.
Exploration of Data Clustering within a Novel Multi-Scale Topology Optimization Framework
Kevin Robert Lawson
An advanced computational framework is needed to design next-generation aerospace structures capable of performing in increasingly extreme environments. Multi-scale topology optimization (TO) offers a solution in which a macroscale-level optimization conditions further optimizations at the mesoscale level, where designs for constitutive representative volume elements (voxels) are generated based on the properties called for at their location in the macroscale problem. As the desired properties of each macro voxel must be met through a unique, voxel-specific meso lattice architecture, the cost of large-scale design problems can be substantial. Aiming to increase efficiency without a significant loss in predictive fidelity, we explore the use of data clustering to reduce the number of targeted macro voxel properties and thus the number of homogenized meso lattice architectures needed to attain these properties. Four data clustering algorithms k-means, spectral clustering, DBSCAN, and OPTICS were implemented and gauged by their run time and variance from the unfiltered solution. A characterization of their performance reveals the most suitable grouping method and assesses the feasibility of clustering methods in a multi-scale TO framework. Preliminary results are presented for a three-point bend problem, which provides an ideal setting for experimental validation of the proposed computational methodology. With minimal variation from the optimized result, data clustering greatly reduces the computational cost of voxel design generation by lowering the number of unique designs. K-means clustering specifically has the lowest impact on the structural performance for a set number of groups, with a 97% reduction in voxel types with only an approximate 5% increase in compliance. The present work provides insight into how data clustering algorithms can be used to effectively pass data through a multi-scale TO framework, which will be particularly important as the framework evolves from a single anisotropic linear elastic material to multiple materials, inelastic deformations, and multi-physics loadings.
Exploring Academic, Financial, and Behavioral Barriers First-Year Students Face
First-year students are some of the most vulnerable college-aged students. Existing research highlights that first-year students will likely encounter academic, financial, and behavior barriers. This study explores the barriers first-year students face at the University of Dayton. Data for this study emerges from a sample of 55 University of Dayton first-year students who completed an online survey. The results demonstrate evidence that some of the students are experiencing more academic anxieties than anything else. Student affairs practitioners can use this study's findings to inform working with and supporting first-year students.
Exploring Barriers for Human Trafficking Victims Assistance and Assessing Disconnects Between Area Agencies in Ohio
Laura Lee Franklin
There are many key areas to assistance for human trafficked victims that should be met based on the Governor’s Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force Report (2019) and the National District Attorneys Association (2020). This research sought to determine if those who may possibly come in contact with trafficked victims have been adequately trained, if there are any barriers to serving victims, and if there is adequate communication between agencies who serve these victims. Utilizing a survey sent to my existing networks, reviewing agency directories, and referrals from existing contacts, I will utilized both qualitative and quantitative analysis to determine if training is being conducted, if victims’ needs are being met, and if agencies are communicating with one another.
Exploring Children of Single Parent Households at the University of Dayton
Jackelyn Christine Rospert
The “traditional” two parent household is on the decline while single parent households are no longer the minority. Households headed by a single mother lead the trends for single parent households. Although the number of single parent households are increasing, children from single parent households are not the majority in institutions such as the University of Dayton. This may lead to marginalization and a sense of othering from students who have single parents. Through the use of interviews with UD undergraduate participants, this project examines the experiences of UD students who come from single parent households and how their time at UD differs from students who reside in other family structures.
Exploring Conflicting Paradigms of Birthing Doulas
Katherine Grace Kuzma
This research uses interviews with birthing doulas to learn about different experiences in a medical field where they are not medically trained. Doulas take more of a holistic approach to birth as opposed to the medical model of birthing which has persisted for the past century. Through interviews with doulas, this research explores the day-to-day experiences for these birthing assistants, while also learning how they deal with the conflicting paradigms in their career. Using a grounded theory approach, the findings are contextualized within the current research on birthing models and doulas.
Exploring how Catholic Universities support LGBTQ+ students
Anna Svetlana Wiethorn
The purpose of this study was to look at the University of Dayton's LGBTQ+ resources on campus in addition to its 30 peer institutions. Content analysis was conducted on each of the institutions’ websites regarding their LGBTQ+ resources. While many universities indicate on their websites that they have resources for the LGBTQ+ community, a deeper analysis suggests that there is wide variability of support for this historically marginalized community. Analyzing each website, I looked for emergent themes and symbols such as transgender flags, pride flags and designated non-gendered bathrooms. Coding these themes together allows for a deeper understanding of support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Exploring Levels of Student Acceptance Toward the Nonbinary Identity
Casey Marie Mullin
With the nonbinary identity receiving increased exposure in the media, as well as outspoken scrutiny, research is needed to fill current gaps in knowledge on public perceptions and reasons behind those perceptions. Nonbinary individuals are those who do not adhere to or identify with the traditional gender binary of male and female. As a result of their deviation from societal gender norms, this identity tends to endure an abundance of criticism. This research study examines undergraduate students at the faith-based University of Dayton to determine their perceptions toward the nonbinary identity. Due to a reinforcing of the traditional gender binary by many religious practices, evaluating students exposed to a faith-based curriculum can shed light on the influences of religion and religious teachings on personal perspectives. Furthermore, the influences of educational teachings are gauged by surveying students of various majors and grade levels. Data were gathered via an online Qualtrics survey distributed to a convenient sample of undergraduate University of Dayton students. Results explore student attitudes toward the nonbinary identity, as well as the influences of a religious campus climate, year in school, and academic teachings.
Exploring Mental and Physical Illness and Homelessness Among Veterans
Problem: The purpose of the study is to understand possible reasons for the disproportionate number of veterans represented within the homeless population. Current Study: The current study aimed to understand a possible relationship between physical and mental illness and its effects on criminal-justice-involved veterans who have experienced homelessness. This study adds to the current literature by combining analysis of mental illness and physical illness, whereas previous studies mainly focus on one or the other. Sample: The study utilized the 2016 Survey of Prison Inmates from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics and includes a population of 1,602 veterans. Within the population of 1,602 veterans, only 128 responded saying that they were homeless. Of the 128 veterans who said that they were homeless, 92 were hospitalized due to mental illness in the 12 months before their arrest, and 126 reported hospitalization due to a physical illness diagnosis. Analysis: The study utilized a Chi-Square Test and a T-Test for Independent Samples in order to compare the variables of physical and mental illness and homelessness. The Chi-Square test compared the relationship between hospitalization for mental illness and homelessness. The T-Test for Independent Samples compared the relationship between physical illness and homelessness. Results: The findings show that there is no significant relationship between mental illness or physical illness and homelessness among these criminally-involved veterans. Discussion: The null findings could be due to the small sample of veterans who experienced homelessness. Future research should continue to examine the link between physical and mental illness and homelessness.
Exploring Perceptions of Gender in Military Training
Katelyn Hallie Barnes
The purpose of this study is to better understand how masculinity presents itself in the environment of ROTC, where cadets are positioned at the intersection of the military and higher education. Few scholars have attempted to understand the construction of gender within ROTC programs. Cadets are in a unique position where after graduation, they are often commissioned as officers and hold a position of power. Through qualitative interviews with current and former ROTC cadets, I explore how they define their experience in the program in relation to their gender. Cadets discuss how they navigate their roles between these two institutions, as both a member of ROTC and a student. Analyzing narratives about the qualities cadets value, like strength and discipline, reveal the cadets’ assumptions around gender in ROTC.
Exploring Student Perspectives on Community Engaged Learning
Madeline Elise Calhoun
As universities compete to stay relevant, involved, and influential in society, higher education is challenged to not only develop students academically, but professionally and personally. The traditional classroom model is being transformed as community engaged learning opportunities are offered and the value of experiential learning is recognized. Additionally, using an asset based approach to viewing community opportunity and development is important to effectively participate in community engaged learning. Through analyzing student experiences in community engaged learning courses and opportunities, this project recognizes the necessity of nontraditional learning experiences in higher education. By surveying university students, the data explores students' experience with community engaged learning and the benefits of participating in CEL. The data will also explore the value of the asset based community development model and asset mapping.
Exploring the Effects of Hookup Culture with Upper Division University of Dayton Students
Abigail Rosella Kurczewski
The effects of hookup culture for upper division university students are prevalent throughout their college career. College hookups are very frequent in todays’ society and students typically have an underlying understanding of how they are expected to participate in hookup culture. This study explores the impact of the college hookup culture via focus groups conducted at the University of Dayton with upper division college students. The qualitative research in this study may assist the campus community with a better understanding of how the hookup culture affects students' mental health and their academic career.
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