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Nov. 20, 2013 | Midwestern State University | thewichitan.com | Your Campus. Your News. | SPECIAL EDITION

PHOTO BY EDDIE MILLER / WICHITAN

Jennifer McDaniel leads a lab discussion in Bolin Nov. 18.

PHOTO BY MAGALY RINCÓN-ZACHARY / UGROW

Tyler Thomas works with students during a UGROW discussion this past summer.

PHOTO BY MAGALY RINCÓN-ZACHARY / UGROW

Samantha Brownwell adjusts a piece of equipment this past summer.

Undergrad research a priority Students get professional opportunities as part of 9-year-old program EDDIE MILLER SPECIAL SECTION EDITOR

S

ince a group of six professors started the undergraduate research program in 2004, some 90 students have had the opportunity to produce publishable research studies. And in the nine years since, the program — student participants and budget — continues to grow. “Research has been going on here for ever,” Director of Undergraduate Research Magaly Rincón-Zachary said. “There wasn’t a formal way for students and faculty to come together to do to research. We always wanted to include students and professors from other departments.” Wade Courtney, a senior in mechanical engineering and UGROW participant, said, “I fully endorsed the idea of UGROW, and I am MAGALY RINCÓN-ZACHARY glad that I had a chance to be a part of the experience.” DIRECTOR OF Rincón-Zachary, a professor of biology, said UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH $4,000 became available to start the collaborative program in 2005 for five students, selected from 13 applicants. In 2012, program administrators accepted 18 students into the program, too many for faculty to handle. A year later, as the summer program was adding a new component for student researching during the fall and spring semesters, program administrators capped enrollment for the summer

“We always wanted to include students and professors from other departments.”

program at 16 students from 40 applicants, keeping a low faculty-to-student ratio. And through the years, collaboration remained the focus of the program. According to the Wichitan article “UGROW aids students, faculty in campus-wide research projects” by Chris Collins, Zach Evett, a mechanical engineering student, helped the theatre department develop mechanical puppets for the show Bandersnatch in 2012. “I feel like this has been one of the best opportunities I have ever had. I wish everyone got to do that,” Evett said. “We’re supposed to allow students to see a whole lot of things. They want us to have a very nice education here. I feel like I can really diversify myself.” “The students develop their minds, become more assertive. By doing research, they can put their creativity to work,” Rincón-Zachary said. “When several minds of different backgrounds come together, there are more opportunities and advantages to solve a problem,” ANGELICA TORRES John Eakin,a senior in biology and UGROW STUDENT participant, said, “As someone who plans to continue on with schooling after graduation, this program has prepared me not only for the type of environment I will find myself in, but also the thought processes and creative mindsets that

“I highly recommend UGROW for a fun and learning experience in undergraduate research.”

see UGROW pg. 2

ORIGINAL FACULTY Michael Shipley, professor; Jon Scales, professor; Bill Cook, professor; Chris Hansen, professor; Magaly RincónZachary,director of undergraduate research; Fred Stangle, professor | IMPORTANT DATES Nov. 22, EURECA Undergraduate and Creative Activity Presentations; Nov. 25, EURECA application deadline, Spring 2014

Sponsored by: McCoy School of Engineering

Bachelor’s Degree In Mechanical Engineering


2B | Nov. 20, 2013 | SPECIAL UGROW EDITION |

BACKGROUND FAST FACTS 2005

First year of UGROW

16

PHOTO BY EDDIE MILLER / WICHITAN

Number of people that participated in UGROW for 2013

John Eakin looks at an object through a microscope Nov. 18. UGROW pg. 1 I will need in order to be successful at the next level.” Students in the four and one-half week program receive personal training from mentors, training students to conduct professional-level research ready for publication. Students have had their work published or presented at the Texas Academy of Science, the Annual Meeting of Planned Biology and American Chemistry Society. Others have gone a step further and presented at a geo-science conference in Denver and a computer science conference in Hawaii. “I highly recommend UGROW for a fun and learning experience in undergraduate research. It really gives a better understanding of how research really is,” Angelica Torres, a sophomore in biology and UGROW participant, WADE COURTNEY said. STUDENT And noting that faculty, staff and students need to continue to promote research within the campus, Rincón-Zachary, who was promoted to her position overseeing undergraduate student research in January of 2013, said in addition to benefiting the students, the program benefits the university as well. “It’s a great recruiting tool,” she said. And,

“I fully endorse the idea of UGROW and am glad that I had a chance to be part of the experience.”

“the students will eventually graduate from MSU, remember where they came from and possibly become contributing alumni.” While UGROW has more than tripled in size and now has a budget of $60,000 each summer, funding meetings, labs, scholarships, faculty pay and materials from private donations. It is now a five and one-half week program, Ricón-Zachary said she hopes it will continue to grow. “Undergraduate research will be a common element in all undergrad careers,” she said. “I also see it being a part of MSU culture because it is a high-impact learning tool.” Algerr Remy, a junior in biology and UGROW participant, said the expansion will help future participants. “Although we were never able to actually answer our question during the four and a half weeks of UGROW, we did make significant headway,” Remy said. The next step for UGROW to expand would be getting more professors who can take part in the research studies over summer, requiring additional funding. The professors went from 2005 to 2008 without getting paid. “I look forward to UGROW every year. Being involved with students who are truly interested in discovering and learning is the single most-satisfying endeavor with which I have been involved at Midwestern State University,” Rincón-Zachary, who has been at Midwestern since 1992, said.

$1.4 mil

EURECA budget for the period of 2013/14-2019

4.5

Weeks spent doing research

6

Original faculty members that started UGROW

$60K

UGROW’s 2013 budget for research development

11

Number of faculty members who participated in UGROW for 2013 Source: www.midwesternstate.edu/ugrow/

UGROW Faculty in the College of Science and Mathematics conceived UGROW in 2004 as an initiative to create an interdisciplinary environment to train and nurture young scientists. The first UGROW was in 2005 and since then, it has offered research opportunities to 90 undergraduate students. For five weeks UGROW students experience the authenticity of scientific research in faculty’s laboratories, in a highly interdisciplinary environment. During the first week of the program, faculty members conduct a variety of workshops using a hands-on approach to introduce the students to experimental techniques, statistical tests for data analysis, bioinformatics, MATLAB, etc. Students work on projects of their choice for four weeks. The program culminates with a symposium at which students highlight their results and share their experience with their peers and faculty mentors. In 2012, to facilitate cross disciplinary research endeavors, UGROW reached out to students and faculty members in Fine Arts and Health Sciences. This action has produced collaborative partnerships among students and faculty from those colleges with students and faculty from the College of Science and Mathematics. EURECA Enhancing Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities became Midwestern State University’s Quality Enhancement Plan in April 2013. EURECA’s goal is to promote and facilitate undergraduate research by providing incentives and a support system for undergraduate students to engage in high-quality research and creative activities in an interdisciplinary environment. Students have opportunities during the entire academic year to explore, to create, to discover, to think critically, and to express their potential as independent thinkers. The cornerstone of EURECA is the development of strong mentoring and collaborative partnerships between students and faculty. Graduate students may also be mentors. Graduate students enrolled in thesis-based graduate programs may submit proposals to mentor an undergraduate student. Currently, 20 students from different disciplines are working on different research and creative projects; some projects are cross-disciplinary, others are discipline-specific. All EURECA students and faculty mentors meet once a month to share and to discuss their progress, pitfalls and experiences.

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH AND CREATIVE ACTIVITY FORUM EURECA, UGROW, and students

engaged in research and creative activities are getting ready to report on their findings, progress, and their vision for the future at the first Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum Nov. 22. DEADLINES EURECA application deadline: Nov. 25; http://www.mwsu.edu/eureca/

wichitan

the

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SPECIAL SECTION EDITOR: Eddie Miller LAYOUT DESIGNER: Sam Croft BUSINESS MANAGER: Blake Muse STAFF: Ethan Metcalf, Aleisha Solorio ADVISER: Bradley Wilson

Copyright © 2013. The Wichitan is a member of the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association and the Associated Collegiate Press. The Wichitan reserves the right to edit any material submitted for publication. Opinions expressed in The Wichitan do not necessarily reflect those of the students, staff, faculty, administration or Board of Regents of Midwestern State University. The Wichitan welcomes letters of opinion from students, faculty and staff submitted by the Friday before intended publication. Letters should be brief (250 words or fewer) and without abusive language or personal attacks. Letters must be typed and signed by the writer and include a telephone number and address. The editor retains the right to edit letters.


| SPECIAL UGROW EDITION | Nov. 20, 2013 | 3B

Synthesis and Characterization of Tetraarylazadipyrromethene Complexes RESEARCHERS ANNE LAM | DAMALI GREENAWAY

FACULTY MENTOR

ABSTRACT

T

etraarylazadipyrromethene complexes are organic compounds that have gained attention for their many practical applications, particularly as possible drugs in cancer treatment, specifically, in photodynamic therapy. Photodynamic therapy uses photosensitive chemicals, like tetraarylazadipyrromethene, to produce toxic oxygen around cancerous cells upon activation by light energy. Metallo-tetraarylazadipyrromethene complexes exhibit potential application as fluorescent chemosensors an extremely sensitive optical method for the real-time monitoring of molecular interactions, in virto fluorophores, molecules employed in biochemistry, and photosensitive drugs.

Jianguo Shao METHODOLOGY

W Chris Hansen

The two students synt­ hesized Copper tetraphenylaza­ dipyrromethene and Nickel complexes and began to study their electrochemical and spectroscopic properties.

e made the free base by first adding a nitro group on benzalacetophenone, aka chalcone, via a reflux which allows the reaction to operate at high temperatures and therefore with more energy. This reaction mechanism is known as a 1,4 Michael Addition. This product then underwent a second reflux in a reaction with ammonium acetate in a butanol solvent to create the free base. The free base was then used to create the metal complexes with the addition of the appropriate acetates (Nickel complex was made with Nickel (ii) Acetate Tetrahydrate, Copper complex made with Copper (ii) Acetate, and Cobalt required Cobalt (ii) Chloride Hexahydrate and Ammonium acetate) with Butanol as the solvent again. For analyzing, we charted the data from the spectrophotometer and looked at the wavelength peaks and noted how broad the peaks were.

FINDINGS

T

he spectral properties show absorption in the visible range and reduction data show Copper to be unique from the Nickel and Cobalt species. However, all three have common oxidations and are diffusion controlled. Much more research remains to be done to achieve practical function for our complexes in their many potential applications.

REFLECTIONS

W

e learned the research process and new technical procedures. We also learned to be true scientists who are careful and scrutinizing about our observations. Our group is interested in research because we love learning and want to do well. UGROW enables this trait in us and allows us as undergraduates to be prepared to do more in our careers. The 30-to 40-hour work weeks didn’t feel like work and at the end, we got to see all our efforts as a success in our final presentations. Personal pride also came with seeing our work displayed in Bolin.

Anne Lam

The objectives of the project were to sythesize ligand and metal complexes and to characterize complexes.

Graph of the Cyclic Voltammetry Theory.

The chemicals studied have potential as possible cancer treatment drugs.

Damali Greenaway


4B | Nov. 20, 2013 | SPECIAL UGROW EDITION |

Predator-Prey Interaction of Wolf Spider and Cricket RESEARCHERS CHRISTOPHER JAMES | ANGELICA TORRES | COLLIN BUERGER

FACULTY MENTOR

Michael Shipley

ABSTRACT

T

he research focused on how wolf spiders and crickets interact with each other in an extreme urban environment. Our intent was to mimic the street of the city, the garage of our house, or even a shop or a mall, where these two organisms have made their “home” for a long time. The wolf spider, Lycosidae, is a relevant specimen in that the family not only exists in a variety of differing terrestrial environments, but these spiders exhibit many behavioral characteristics, such as burrowing, preferring solitude, and actively ground hunting, that might otherwise be contradicted by urban environment. By mimicking an extreme urban environment and varying the population densities while maintaining a one-to-one predator-prey, spider to cricket (Gryllidae) ratio, the possible effects of ever-encroaching human created urban environments can be observed.

METHODOLOGY

W Dale McDonald

Our data show that wolf spiders will regard each other as a food source if no other prey is present, yet their preference for field crickets is absolute. With this baseline study it is hoped to gain further knowledge as to how species react with limited natural resources.

e prepared five terraria of the same size with different configurations (Tank A-20 spiders, Tank B-20 crickets, Tank C-10 spiders; 10 crickets, Tank D-20 spiders; 20 crickets, and Tank E-30 spiders; 30 crickets). We first put in the crickets and water for them to drink, but deprived them of food. We wanted to avoid cannibalism between spiders before putting the crickets in, and we also did not want our specimens to die by dehydration. Observations and counting sessions every day allowed us to have a reliable result. Effects included, but are not limited to, behavioral changes, population dynamics changes, a notable spatial distribution between spiders, and an increase in cannibalistic events.

FINDINGS

C

ricket corpses were found in a circle pattern, and cannibalism among spiders was reported within seconds of putting them into the terraria, but we did not observe any cannibalism among crickets. Although we did not provide any food for the crickets, they preferred to starve than to eat each other. The statistical data supports a pattern in population dynamics, but further research is needed. The data points (average counting of individuals each day) fit two mathematical equations: polynomial and exponential. The process of getting the right mathematical equation for this predator-prey interaction is still up in the air.

REFLECTIONS

W

orking in teams, along with faculty who were interested in our learning, made us feel accomplished, especially when all of us presented our experiment results in the symposium. This was a good opportunity to appreciate the work of those in our community, who are interested in changing the world. Many times the group was able to create a dialog that bred creativity and problem solving ideas that greatly improved the outcome of our experiment. Strengths within the group were noted and exploited. We were able to effectively overcome the immediate obstacle in that of the size of the group and came together to focus on a unified goal.

Christopher James

Five terrias set up in the lab for research observations.

Wolf Spiders attack each other while in a small location.

Collin Buerger Angelica Torres


Steel Identification Through Spark Observation

| SPECIAL UGROW EDITION |Â Nov. 20, 2013 | 5B

RESEARCHER RAYMOND DALKE

FACULTY MENTOR

ABSTRACT

C

ertain number of steels/cast iron might be identified through the observation of the sparks projected when a specimen is held against a grinding wheel. There are many factors that can change the spark patterns that are projected, but the main goal of this paper is to attempt to standardize a method of spark testing and how it is performed.

METHODOLOGY

W Jan Brink

This manual can be used by other students and potentially by machine shops to identify samples of the included materials.

e conducted this study on 14 different grades of steels/cast iron that are commonly used in manufacturing processes. We tested rockwell hardness, brinell hardness, spark lenght, force, projected angle and angle of extremes. First I mounted the metal and turned on the grinder. Second, I prepared camera and turned off the lights. Third, swung the mounting arm into grinding position, while standing back roughly four feet to take six pictures. After, I returned the mounting arm to the non-grinding position, turned the light on and aligned pattern density cards. I took two readings, a 10-second and 30-second blast on separate cards. Finally, we measured the force applied to grinding wheel, recorded the measurements and uploaded the photos using Image J software.

FINDINGS

T

he average force was 3.3 newtons which equals .74 pounds. The average projected angle was -58.35 degress from the positive x-axis. I created a reference manual from the experimental data cataloguing the spark pictures, hardness readings and pattern density cards for the 14 tested steels/cast iron. Using this catalog can lead to significant savings for machine shops by using a relatively easy, user friendly method, to identify unknown stock sitting around in the shop and the correct selection of materials for different applications. Further research such as lab experiments, thermal imaging and pneumatic fixture can be done.

REFLECTIONS

M

y personal experience with UGROW has been excellent. Had I known about the program sooner I would have participated as much as possible. It is imperative for students to be able to practice what is taught in the regular school setting. This program is as close to a professional setting as students can get while attending college. The next step is contributing to industry. The entire faculty made an effort to make the program as stress-free as possible. URGOW is a great opportunity for students and faculty to form strong professional relationships. I used to feel that the engineering department was where engineering students obtained their answers. Now I feel I could ask just about any professor from any of the departments and if they don’t know, they will find someone that does.

OTHER PARTICIPANT | Mark Weller

Raymond Dalke

A Baldor 8-inch bench grinder is used for spark identification.

Grinding wheel shooting sparks to record the projection angle.

Safety is always important. Wearing protective items such as glasses and gloves can reduce risk of injury.


6B | Nov. 20, 2013 | SPECIAL UGROW EDITION |

Analysis of Exposure Indices in Digital Diagnostic Radiography

FACULTY MENTOR

RESEARCHERS KRYSTAL FRANCIQUE | SAMANTHA BROWNWELL

ABSTRACT

W Beth Vealé

This is ground­ breaking research as the result could be used to inform the radiologic sciences practice about ways to reduce patient exposure that were not used in the past.

e tested several factors affecting numbers that reflect observable exposure to the patient. These factors, including kilovoltage peak (kVp), milliamperage per/sec. (mAs), distance, time after exposure, and collimation were tested to see if there was a significant difference that could be used to lower patient dose or that would lead to suggestions for radiographers that could prevent higher radiation dosage. This is the number shown after the exposed cassette has been processed. It represents whether or not the patient was properly dosed to receive an optimal image.

METHODOLOGY

W

e began looking into the factors of kilovoltage peak (kVp), milliampereage per/sec. (mAs), distance, time after exposure and collimation. Once we were able to see that there was a difference being made with adjustments to these factors, we collected the data and did the calculations under the supervision and assistance of our mentor. Finding the appropriate amount of the select factor for a change in the exposure indices number proved challenging. We tested our hypothesis on different body parts multiple times to gain an overall average amount of change needed to affect the exposure number reading.

FINDINGS

W

e found an average change for the kVp factor that would affect. Exploring these factors will be helpful in reducing the amount of radiation dose the patient receives, in that radiographers will be able to select alternate factors to produce an optimal image yet lower the amount of exposure to the patient, without suffering the phenomenon resulting from increasing exposure factors to avoid underexposure, otherwise known as “dose creep.”

REFLECTIONS

T

he importance of radiation safety and dose appeals to us, and it was nice to have the chance to look into something more significant than just my main course of study. Knowing that what we were researching could help people overall with the amount of radiation they receive, felt important. The findings of this study could one day help radiographers around the world to create new techniques to raise the safety standards in radiology.

iCR2600 made by iCRco. It’s range is -1.00 to +1.00 with 0 being perfect exposure.

Samantha Brownwell Krystal Francique

One set of collimation shutters was held constant at 5” while the other set was varied by .25” increments.


| SPECIAL UGROW EDITION | Nov. 20, 2013 | 7B

Can Melatonin Break Seed Dormancy? RESEARCHERS ALGERR REMY | JOHN EAKIN

FACULTY MENTOR

Magaly RincónZachary

The findings were inconclusive, therefore, more research is needed to elucidate the role of melatonin in seed germination.

ABSTRACT

T

he focus of our study was to ascertain the ability of melatonin to break seed dormancy in several plant species. Plant seeds that require light to germinate or exposure to low temperature (4 °C) were used in this study. We hypothesized that photodormant seeds treated with melatonin would germinate in the absence of light. Likewise, we hypothesized that seeds requiring stratification (i.e. exposure to 4 °C) would germinate at room temperature when treated with melatonin. The photodormant species we focused on were Taraxacum officinale, Nicotiana benthamaina and Nicotiana tabacum. The species focused on with a stratification requirement was Arabidopsis thaliana.

METHODOLOGY

T

hese hypotheses were tested using different treatment groups of melatonin in a buffer solution at pH 6.0. For comparison, control groups consisting of buffer solutions were ran in accordance with the treatment groups. Seeds were placed in petri dishes lined with three layers of sterile paper towels saturated with either melatonin or buffer solutions. The petri dishes were placed in the dark or under the light, in a cold room or at room temperature. The number of germinated seeds in each group was determined after several days depending on the plant species germination schedule. Statistical comparative analysis was run between the resulting germination rates to determine whether or not differences in germination rates were significant.

FINDINGS

F

or the stratification experiments, the results showed that there was no significant increase in germination of these seeds due to the melatonin. This may have been due to old seeds, which no longer required cold stratification to germinate. The results of photodormancy experiments showed an increasing trend in the number of seeds germinated in the melatonin treatments. However, these experiments need to be repeated to confirm the results.

REFLECTIONS

D

uring UGROW we planted thousands of seeds. We spent many hours hunched over a microscope counting seeds that had germinated. Although we were never able to actually answer our question during the five weeks of UGROW, we did make significant headway. Having two unique perspectives working on a common problem gave us a great advantage in terms of creative problem solving. Our skill sets complimented each other well. So much so that we accomplished more in the short session period than I would have ever thought possible before we started the investigation. Perhaps the biggest learning process in my UGROW experience came from my failures rather than my successes.

Algerr Remy

John Eakin

Seeds were observed under a microscope at 15x magnification.

Seeds undergoing photodormancy.

Petri dishes with 20 seeds per dish.


8B | Nov. 20, 2013 | SPECIAL UGROW EDITION |

Analysis of West Texas Gypsum with a LIBS Calcium Calibration Curve RESEARCHER KARI BICKHARD

FACULTY MENTOR

ABSTRACT

M

y project was using the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) here at Midwestern State University to analyze calcium-bearing minerals with known concentrations of calcium to build a calibration curve for the LIBS using the resulting peak intensities

METHODOLOGY

T Johnathan Price

Her work has set the stage for future use of the instrument and future investigations into west Texas gypsum, including her EURECA study on characterizing strontium and other minor elements in this material.

he LIBS uses a laser to blast a small amount of material into plasma, the light from the plasma is recorded as values of intensity across the visible range of the light spectrum, each peak representing the excitation of a particular element. The complete spectra collected from each sample was gathered and added to our database. We focused our calibration of the calcium peak at 393.6 nm and processed minerals that others have studied extensively prior to our research. To test our curve we used a number of samples of Permian-aged gypsum from West Texas and found that the curve worked but could be strengthened by using more data points on the curve.

FINDINGS

B

y taking the known concentrations and applying them to the resulting peak intensities over a corrected background spectrograph, we built a calibration curve for calcium at the wavelength of 393.6 nm.

REFLECTIONS

D

uring the first week I had to understand what the laser and spectrometer were doing, which was a bit to grasp at first. As the weeks ripped past we went out to West Texas around Quanah and Seymour to collect gypsum samples, and in the third week we ran straight into a wall when we had problems getting a clean and reliable background subtracting method. I learned so much about minerals, chemistry, myself and the other UGROW students during the five weeks of UGROW. Before the experience, I was new to being a geoscience major and now I’m participating in EURECA, researching the differences we found between our gypsum samples, and presenting our findings so far at the 125th Annual Geologic Society of America in Denver.

The process of using LIBS

Gyp 1, 2, 3, are Alabaster. “Tank” is Yellow Selenite.

Gypsum, commonly found in West Texas.

Kari Bickhard


| SPECIAL UGROW EDITION |Â Nov. 20, 2013 | 9B

Conical Helix Curves Simulating Conical Gears RESEARCHERS CHEDDI CHARLES | AMBER LECROY

FACULTY MENTOR

ABSTRACT

T

he project consists of designing a geared continuously variable transmission for a wind turbine. A CVT would be able to take the variable energy input from the wind and change it into a constant input, thus allowing for storage in a generator. The challenge facing the start of the project was that a geared CVT had not yet been designed. The goal was to find parametric equations that would map out surfaces and curves in a computer program MATLAB-which would simulate gear teeth on a gear.

METHODOLOGY Guy Bernard

It was interesting to see the students tackle huge technical problems and grasp an understanding of the difficulties involved.

T

wo requirements were placed upon the curves: 1) That they be equal distance from each other along the gear; and 2) that the angle of the teeth curves remain constant along the gear. Several types of gear surfaces during the five-week assignment. We designed and programmed two of the surfaces proceeded to the next phase where curves were programed onto the surfaces. The first was a cone, with helix curves placed upon the length of the cone. However, the curves along the cone need to stay equal distance from each other; but one side effect of the design was that the angle of the curves changed as they moved along the surface. So, the second surface designed kept the angle of the curves the same as they moved; but this changed the cone into a more acorn shaped surface, with curves that didn’t have equal distances between them. After placing the curves along the length and getting them an equal distance from each other, we noticed that the angle greatly changed along the gear length. So we proceeded to find the equations for a surface that would allow the angle to remain constant. Placing those into MATLAB yielded a surface much like the shape of an acorn. Back at the drawing board we proved that it would not be mathematically possible to produce a surface shape that could satisfy both of the desired constraints. Taking a different approach, we then worked to minimize the negative changes in each program.

FINDINGS

F

urther investigation proved that while the negative effects of each surface can be minimized, it is impossible to design a surface where both the angle of the curves and distance between them remains the same, on a conical gear surface. Future research will include different surface styles and possibly designing a meshing gear that can adapt to slight changes in the gear angle.

REFLECTIONS

W

e progressed from each step to the next by observing unexpected side effects to the formulas used in a program. We celebrated each small victory encountered and used those to brighten the lull periods in between when it seemed as if nothing was working as planned. It was a month of calculating and programming, with those two actions being regularly repeated. Our mentor taught us valuable lessons in problem solving in the field of mathematics, using common sense in research, and the progress that can be made by working in a team toward a common goal.

Amber LeCroy Wind turbine design by the group.

Cheddi Charles


10B |Â Nov. 20, 2013 | SPECIAL UGROW EDITION |

A Future Gold Rush: Capturing Asteroids RESEARCHERS TYLER THOMAS | WADE COURTNEY

FACULTY MENTOR

Salim Azzouz

This is groundbr eaking research as the result could be used to inform the radiologic sciences practice about ways to reduce patient exposure that were not used in the past.

ABSTRACT

T

he objective is to develop concepts to capture an asteroid. Everyday, there are several asteroids passing by Earth at close distance. Many of those asteroids carry valuable resources. Out of a few categories of asteroid, the M-type is the type we are seeking. M-type asteroids carry metals such as Cobalt, Platinum, Iridium and Osmium. Many of those are rare and hard to find metals. The motivation behind such research project is the worth of asteroids. Its uses such as elements being used in high tech manufacturing processes, building efficient solar power satellites in outer space, military purposes and assisting in alleviating an asteroid threat. Logistics for capturing an asteroid is vital for the success of developing the concept. Logistics for this concept is considered for both on Earth and in space.

METHODOLOGY

W

hat makes this concept unique are the efforts to develop a method that can prove to be inexpensive as compared to other concepts developed in the past. This includes the use of inexpensive reusable rockets that are modular in design (it can break down to smaller components). This type of design allows each component of the rocket to return to Earth where it can be re-assembled for the next space mission. We have to develop a spacecraft capable of intercepting a fast-moving asteroid and bringing it to Earth. Intercepting an asteroid will have great benefits for Earth.

FINDINGS

T

he Lunar Orbit space station is where captured asteroids will be processed for re-entry and different elements of the asteroid will be separated. Detection and cataloging of asteroids need to be a part of the concept since asteroids vary in size and composition. Lasers will be used to sweep a wide area in Earth’s proximity to detect both small and large size asteroids and once they are detected they will be cataloged. Threatening asteroids must be able to be detected months or years in advance. Additionally, the concept will include approaching an asteroid. The orbit of approach and asteroid speed must be determined for the spacecraft to capture the asteroid. The spacecraft itself must have fuel reservoirs to supply sufficient fuel for each mission and powerful reusable engines. Additional to the objective, the research is to establish the concept as a feasible business model where fuel is at the heart of making this enterprise successful.

REFLECTIONS

O

ne of the most important factors of this program is learning to work with your partner and professor as a team. Teamwork has a lot of advantages but it certainly does have disadvantages. We were able to communicate perfectly. I not only learned how important communication is, I experienced it firsthand. We were proud of our accomplishment.

Tyler Thomas

The space craft designed to capture the asteroid.

The rocket module that will be used to house the asteroid.

An artistic rendering of an asteroid passing Earth.

Wade Courtney


The Morphometric Ontogeny of the Trilobite Calyptaulax

| SPECIAL UGROW EDITION |Â Nov. 20, 2013 | 11B

RESEARCHER JENNIFER McDANIEL

FACULTY MENTOR

ABSTRACT

A

combined landmark and semi-landmark based study of the ontogeny of the trilobite Calyptaulax demonstrates which shape is dependent on size as meraspids develop into holaspids. Silicified individuals from the Edinburg Formation of Virginia form the raw material for the dataset, and vary in cranidial length from approximately 1 mm to 1 cm. Landmarks are primarily intersections and end points of cranidial furrows, and a semi-landmark curve summarizes cranidial shape along the facial suture. A bivariate plot of procrustes distance and log centroid size demonstrates the linear aspects of the ontogenetic trajectory across the meraspid-holapsid boundary.

METHODOLOGY Jesse Carlucci

During the process, Jennifer grew as a burgeoning researcher and scientist. The skills she has learned will be incredibly valuable later in her career as a geoscientist.

T

o test if growth is allometric in Calyptaulax, we conducted a multivariate regression of partial warp scores from a mean reference form against log centroid size.

FINDINGS

R

esults of the regression indicate statistically significant allometric growth across the meraspid-holaspid transition in Calyptaulax. Thin plate spline deformation grids based on the regression analysis summarize a series of morphological changes during ontogeny, most notably the lateral deflection of furrows S1, S2, S3 and axial furrow. In addition, the anterior portion of the glabella becomes more angular during ontogeny and the meraspids lose a prominent occipital tubercle.

REFLECTIONS

T

he research I did this summer with Jesse Carlucci has extended into this semester, and I intend to continue with it until my graduation. The research has been more fun than I thought research could be. There is nothing quite like shifting though ancient sediment, and finding a tiny extinct arthropod hidden from the world for hundreds of millions of years. These tiny keys to Earth’s distant past are fascinating to study and I am so thankful to the UGROW program for giving me the opportunity to study them.

TOP LEFT: The centroid is determined by the average of the x,y coordinates. BOTTOM LEFT: Armadilliium vulgare body enrolled and body outstretched. RIGHT: The Trilobite exoskeleton.

Jennifer McDaniel


12B | Nov. 20, 2013 | SPECIAL UGROW EDITION |

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