Mark Van der Merwe – Learning Continuous 3D Reconstructions for Geometrically Aware Grasping

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Faculty mentor: Tucker Hermans

Deep learning has enabled remarkable improvements in robotic grasp synthesis for previously unseen objects from partial object views. However, existing approaches lack the ability to explicitly reason about the full 3D geometry of the object when selecting a grasp, relying on indirect geometric reasoning derived when learning grasp success networks. In this work, we utilize learned reconstructions to explicitly model geometry in a constrained optimization grasp synthesis algorithm.

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Questions or comments? Contact me at: mark.vandermerwe@utah.edu

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Poster 38: Justin Krier – Mapping of Ultra Low Velocity Zones in the Core-Mantle Boundary

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Faculty mentor: Michael Thorne

Using earthquakes to look for Ultra Low Velocity Zones. This study is looking at a region under the Samoan Islands.

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Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1137195@utah.edu

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Poster 00: Mercedes Brown – Discourse of Difficulty: Trauma-Based Masculinity in Foster Care

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Faculty mentor: Kim Hackford-Peer

The current narrative of boys in foster care is that they are all too damaged from childhood trauma to ever recover, and their future possibilities are limited. My project is about tracing the ways that toxic masculinity and these traumatic childhood occurrences are reinforcing each other. The significant contribution my project will make is outlining an intervention in that narrative that allows us to simultaneously acknowledge these boys as important members of our community.

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Questions or comments? Contact me at: HMsadiebrown@gmail.com

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Poster 0: Treasure Lundskog – Impact Of Mother’s Depression, Anxiety, Emotion Dysregulation, And Early Childhood Trauma On Hair Cortisol Levels During Pregnancy

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Faculty mentor: Elisabeth Conradt

Depression and anxiety are prevalent among pregnant mothers. Therefore, it is important to understand the implications maternal mental health may have on future maternal and offspring health. Understanding the physiological basis of maternal mental health and stress is also necessary as it may lead to better detection of maternal mental health deficits. This study examines several mental health variables and their relations to prenatal hair cortisol concentrations.

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Questions or comments? Contact me at: treasurelundskog@gmail.com

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Poster 2: Luke Jowers – Partisanship’s Impact on Voting Behavior

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Faculty mentor: Scott Schaefer

This project answers the question of how much partisanship impacts voting behavior. The results make three unique and important contributions. First, that partisanship is a significant factor in determining an person’s likelihood to vote. Second, the 2016 election marked a shift towards increased involvement from extreme partisans. And third, as is shown in the Utah analysis, the general partisanship of the precinct that you live has a significant impact on a voter’s likelihood to vote.

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Questions or comments? Contact me at: luke.jowers@icloud.com


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Poster 172: Crystal Spagnuolo – Establishing A Temporal Distribution for Ceramics of the Virgin River Branch of the Ancestral Puebloan

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Faculty mentor: Brian Codding

Dating archaeological sites is important for establishing patterns in settlement, trade, resource use, and population of prehistoric peoples. Unfortunately, direct techniques are not always possible. Using a relative dating system that employs ceramics is a cost-effective alternative. Here I have established a temporal model for ceramics found on sites that have had direct dating, to create a cross-reference that can be used by other researchers working in the Virgin River area.

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Poster 153: Shelby Dibble – Gender Disparities in the Evidence of Prehistoric Conflict Bears Ears National Monument

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Faculty mentor: Brian Codding

This project is the first to create a comprehensive database for conflict and trauma in Bears Ears National Monument. The end result is a descriptive examination of trauma on the osteological record in the region, specifically separated by gender disparities.

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Questions or comments? Contact me at: shelby.dibble@gmail.com

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Poster 146: Nathan Caines, Devon Jecmen, James Beekhuizen – Assessment of Glucose’s Role in Cognitive Control

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Faculty mentor: Sara LoTemplio

Research suggests that both cognitive control and self-regulation share blood glucose as a common limiting resource, which we explore through a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover experiment. Using EEG, we measure the ERN in response to both glucose supplementation and placebo. We theorized that the consumption of glucose would increase the peak of the ERN compared to placebo. However preliminary data has not shown supportive evidence of this hypothesis.

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Nathan natecaines@gmail.com
Devon u1198996@utah.edu
James james.beekhuizen@utah.edu

 

 

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Poster 143: Jacob Bedke – Effects of Long-Term Memory on the Neural Components of Visual Attention During Visual Search

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Faculty mentor: Trafton Drew

This study examines the differences in visual search behavior and electrophysiological correlates examined using the ERP method of EEG when participants memorized the object information of objects they would later search for in different methods of encoding.

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Poster 52: Rachel Roser – The Unity of Blue

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Faculty mentor: Laurel Caryn

Cyanotype, an alternative photographic process, portrays hands of different colors in a wash of blue, thereby eliminating skin color and indications of race. I sought to take color/race off the table in order to equitably reveal the individual subjects as unique expressions of humanity.

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Questions or comments? Contact me at: rachel.roser@utah.edu

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Poster 49: Kristen Bennett – Wildlife Altered

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Faculty mentor: Laurel Caryn

I often find my inspiration for projects from my personal experience growing up in Utah. Being an advocate for animals, I have noticed Utah’s natural world start to disappear. Every year more animals are becoming endangered and soon we may live in a world where certain species may only be seen through photographs or in museums. The animals I have chosen to photograph have gone through the taxidermy process, because this is the way we will likely see them in the future.

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Poster 13: Juliet Reynolds – Gay Straight Alliance Clubs, Utah Law and School Policy

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Faculty mentor: Kim Hackford-Peer

What began as an expansion of my son’s R.E.A.D.Y. club model, quickly evolved into a much more in-depth social study into why information is confusing and hard to find regarding LGBT issues in Utah public schools. There is a clear need for more accessible information for educators and administrators.
There are homophobic laws in place to prevent GSA’s from forming in junior high schools.
Educators and administrators are eager to support LGBT youth but are bound by outdated policy.

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Oral 10: Morena Santana – How do Portuguese as a Foreign Language Learners Perceive Feedback?

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Faculty mentor: Shannon Barrios

My research looks at conversational interaction to analyze whether or not learners recognize feedback as well as the nature of the feedback. The present research is a replication study on Mackey’s article (Mackey et. al 2000) where there were intermediate learners of English as a Second Language and intermediate learners of Italian as a foreign language, in which she investigated feedback recognition as well as the types of interactions.

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Questions or comments? Contact me at: morenapaula.santana@gmail.com

View my Presentation Slides HERE

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Poster 113: Varun Garg – Improved Synthetic Bioengineering Production of Polysaccharides and Size-Specific Oligosaccharides of Low Molecular Weight Heparosan, a Heparin Precursor

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Faculty mentor: Kuby Balagurunathan

Heparin is a widely used blood anticoagulant medicine used in millions of surgeries worldwide annually. Currently this medicine is produced using slaughtered pig intestines, which causes many issues and is not a stable world supply. The research focuses on using bioengineering to produce polysaccharides and oligosaccharides of heparosan, a precursor to Heparin.

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Poster 26: Asmita Dulal – Osteoblast Cells Behavior on Fluoridated Hydroxyapatite

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Faculty mentor: Sujee Jeyapalina

The aim of this study was to assess the ability of FA and FHA surfaces to induce osteoblast differentiation. The degree of cellular differentiation was quantified using qPCR techniques, and titanium (Ti) and HA were used as the controls as they are the currently used in orthopedic applications.

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Poster 30: Tyler Gee – Machined Learning of Breath-based Volatile Organic Compound Sensors for Improved Diagnosis

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Faculty mentor: Swomitra Mohanty

Titanium Oxide sensors developed by Dr. Mohanty and his team are being used to diagnose TB patients in Uganda. The patient breath samples for diagnosis needed a way to be analyzed and to aid in diagnosis. Two types of tests were done amperometry and cyclic voltammetry. Originally machine learning was the proposed method however numerical methods proved more effective. The hypothesized signals ended being inconclusive due to the small sample size and nature of pediatric samples.

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Transform Undergraduate Research Showcase

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Students in Transform, and Students mentored by Transform faculty do amazing work. We are very proud of them and had hoped to celebrate them in person.

We hope you are intrigued, moved, or even inspired to do research yourself. Be in touch!


Poster 5: BRYNN ADAMS – Queer Resilience in Action: The History of an LGBT Student Club at Brigham Young University

Poster 00: MERCEDES BROWN – Discourse of Difficulty: Trauma-Based Masculinity in Foster Care

Poster 6: LAUREN CORDOVA – Associations Between Sociodemographics, Method Choice and Discontinuation of Free Contraceptives

Poster 7: ALEXANDER HIRAI – Loss Associated with Japanese American Incarceration

Poster 8: JENNY HOBBS – Wokbe: Implicit Bias Web app Pilto

ROBERT KEANEY – Warrior Spirit Tooele Combat Sports Program

Poster 9: JOCELYNE LOPEZ – Hablemos Salud

Poster 10: VERONICA LUKASINSKI – The Impact of the Non-Fatal Strangulation Protocol in Salt Lake County on Protective Orders

Poster 11: TIYA MAHI – Performance as Solidarity

Poster 12: CHRISTINE MARTINEZ – Runnin’ Utes or Runnin’ Racism: Discourse Analysis of the University of Utah Mascot 1930-1998

Poster 13: JULIET REYNOLDS – Gay Straight Alliance Clubs, Utah Law and School Policy

Poster 14: ALEX SON – Strengthening Communities

Visual Arts 1: MANDY TRAN – Love to Resist

Poster 167: JOHNNY RODRIGUEZ – Social and Economic Factors: the Influencers of Contraceptive Effectiveness

Poster 168: JOHNNY RODRIGUEZ – Reclaiming the Sterilized Body

Poster 163: PEDRO PADILLA-MARTINEZ – What do Marijuana Arrests Look Like in Utah? Are there Racial Disparities?

Poster 178: EYLÜL YEL – Crafting Authenticity in Utah’s Distilled Spirit Industry

Poster 161: Jacqueline Nguyen – The use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) within Refugee Communities

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Faculty mentor: Akiko Kamimura

The purpose of this survey research is to understand what kind of CAM modalities refugees are likely to use, whether they use it in conjunction with conventional medicine, and the expectations refugees have of American Physicians with regards to their use of CAM. We conducted a self-interviewer- administered surveys among refugees resettled in the US. Over three-quarters of refugees use an herbal medicine, nearly 80% of refugees use non-prescription pain medicine, and etc.

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Questions or comments? Contact me at: nguyen.jacqueline20@gmail.com

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Poster 159: Uyen Hoang – The Misogyny of Climate Denialism and its Influence on World Leaders’ Climate Response

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Faculty mentor: Tabitha Benney

My research serves to investigate the interconnectedness of misogyny and climate denialism by examining various identities and how they may influence, change, or even perpetuate inaction in the international system. By conducting a content analysis on three current world leaders, I hope to present a clearer understanding on how masculine identities in state leaders has evolved counter to public opinion and democratic norms to impact climate change policies and the future of the human race.

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Poster 98: Tori Moody – The effect of mitofusion 2 on megakaryocyte function and mitochondrial morphology

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Faculty mentor: Robert Campbell

My project is on the mitochondrial morphology and how it effects platelet function and half life.

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Questions or comments? Contact me at: torimoody5@gmail.com

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Oral 12: Alyssa Stringham – “Most she touched me by her muteness”: the Indexicality of Women’s Poetry in Needlework, Dissection, and the Female Voice

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Faculty mentor: Disa Gambera

My research was reading done toward the goal of writing my honors thesis. I focused first on theory and learning about semiotics and indexicality as a function of language, with many readings taken from Ferdinand de Saussure, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, and Kaja Silverman, among others. Then I shifted to a general view of women’s work and textiles as a genre. I narrowed my focus to Adrienne Rich, Emily Dickinson, and Paisley Rekdal, and secondary texts about Dickinson’s life and works.

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View my Presentation Slides HERE 

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Poster 157: Logan Hastings – Reconstructing paleoclimate variability in Baja California, Mexico through paleoecological analyses

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Faculty mentor: Jennifer Watt

This is a paleoclimate reconstruction using paleoecological data from Baja California. Supplemental analysis of loss on ignition was additionally conducted to support final results.

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Questions or comments? Contact me at: logan.hastings01@gmail.com

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Poster 61: Erica Emery – Pedal Away Parkinson’s: Recreational Therapy Specific Program

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Faculty mentor: Melissa Zahl

The Pedal Away Parkinson’s: Recreational Therapy Specific Program project was to assist participants at the L.S. Skaggs Wellness Center to be more involved in the Pedal Away Parkinson’s event. Through this program the participants will identify attitudes and emotions towards their diagnosis and cycling. Gain an understanding of their personal barriers and how to overcome them. Finally, the participants will get the chance to ride bicycles and be involved in the Pedal Away Parkinson’s event.

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Questions or comments? Contact me at: erica.emery@utah.edu

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Poster 12: Christine Martinez – Runnin’ Utes or Runnin’ Racism: Discourse Analysis of the University of Utah Mascot 1930-1998

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Faculty mentor: Wanda Pillow

This research is a discourse analysis and investigation of how the University of Utah participates in the portrayal and representation of Indigenous Peoples and culture from 1930-1998. With the intended purpose of bringing more awareness to the impact the University of Utah’s legacy has had on its identity of Indigenous depictions.

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Poster 149: Ian Clark – Changes in Climate and Fire during past droughts in the Uinta Mountains: A case study of the Medieval Climate Anomaly from 800- 1200 A.D.

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Faculty mentor: Mitchell Power

My research is related to the possibility of more severe and more frequent wildfire potential as the result of rising temperatures and increased drought, in the Uinta Mountains, Utah. I am observing the Medieval Climate Anomaly (800-1200 A.D.) when climactic conditions similar to those seen today and continuing into our near future post significant risk, and deserve our attention. Through a detailed analysis of lakebed sediments for particulate charcoal, I reconstruct past wildfire conditions.

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Poster 1: Naren Anandh – Visual Documentation: Kabuli Nomadic Camp

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Faculty mentor: Shundana Yusaf

Traditional architectural knowledge is focused on monuments and spatial production of the elite. It has made architects blind to the intelligence of cultures of scarcity, that work with the little resources that they have. The 20th and 21st centuries are the times of mass human migration, human displacement and creation of scarcity. The culture that I focused on that was able to produce incredibly sustainable architecture while in scarcity are the Kabuli People of Khyber

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Poster 142: Claire Baer – Treeline Migration Patterns of Pinus edulis Throughout the Holocene

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Faculty mentor: Larry Coats

The topic of this research was to investigate the arrival of a far-flung population of Colorado pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) in the Crawford Mountains located in Northeastern Utah. Using a reconstructive environmental proxy, Packrat (Neotoma) midden samples, we were able to identify macrofossils from past environments to radiocarbon date to get accurate emergence dates of this new species to the area. 

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Poster 154: Claire Dinehart – Examining Free Clinic Patients Household Environmental Safety and the Resulting Impact on Their Perceived Stress Levels

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Faculty mentor: Akiko Kamimura 

The purpose of this research project is to examine the association between household environmental safety and stress among uninsured primary care patients who live in poverty. Identifying these stress-related household environmental safety concerns provides a basis from which stress-reducing interventions can be launched. Providing education about environmental safety and local resources is the first step towards improving stress conditions in at-risk populations.

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 u0911672@umail.utah.edu

 

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Poster 152: Linda Derhak, Samuel Bey, & Zahra Saifee – Utahn’s Health Risk Perception Surrounding Air Pollution

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Faculty mentor: Tabitha Benney  

Our research project aims to understand Utahn’s perception of the short-term and long-term health risks of air pollution by looking at the perception differences among Utahn’s of high and low socioeconomic statuses. We utilized Dr. Tabitha Benney’s survey data of Utahn’s perceptions of air quality to test our hypotheses. This research will help inform policy, environmental education and awareness campaigns in the future.

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Linda, Derhaklinda@gmail.com
Samuel, u0999183@utah.edu
Zahra, u0792416@utah.edu


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Dinorah Segovia – Design and Fabrication of Si Micro/Nanowires through Thermal Oxidation

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Faculty mentor: Heayoung Yoon

This project focused on understanding the rate of growth of SiO2 (silicon dioxide) on trenches and planar Si (silicon) samples. This was done using rigorous cleaning processes and thermal oxidation methods. This research can then be used to fabricate Si micro/nano pillars and measure the electrical and optical properties.

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Questions or comments? Contact me at: dinorah.segovia@utah.edu

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Poster 65: Lauren Thompson – Inducible Disruption of Endothelial Cell Ceramide Biosynthesis: Vascular Implications

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Faculty mentor: J. David Symons

We tested the hypothesis that deleting ceramide biosynthesis specifically in endothelial cells (ECs) attenuates obesity-induced arterial dysfunction. Metabolic and vascular phenotyping was completed using wild type mice and mice with EC-specific deletion of Sptlc2 that consumed standard or high fat chow for 14-weeks. Preliminary results indicate obesity-induced metabolic and vascular disruptions are not attenuated by EC-specific Sptlc2 deletion.

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Poster 171: Taylor Silkey – The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree: Comparing the Physical Activity of Parents and Their Adolescents

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Faculty mentor: Rebecca Utz 

Our research project studies familial health habits between adolescents and their parents, with the goal of finding correlations between the two. We also studied these individual’s perspective of their health vs. how healthy they actually are. Our study gives us the opportunity to learn how to promote healthier habits at the family level, thus developing new methods of preventative medicine and minimizing young adults becoming chronically ill.

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Poster 71: Nicholas Cockrell – The U.S. Civil Rights Movement: Soviet Propaganda and International Reactions

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Faculty mentor: Julie Ault

I hope to offer a unique perspective on the international pressures the United States faced as a result of their Civil Rights Movement by focusing on the propaganda campaigns of both major superpowers. By studying the Civil Rights Movement through an international lens, we can better understand how the Cold War shaped the United States’ domestic policy.

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Poster 67: Ellen Williams – Neurophysiological changes in aging and cognitive decline: A cross-sectional pilot study using surface EEG.

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Faculty mentor: Keith Lohse

This research explores how a novel group of older adults with mild cognitive impairments (MCI) fit into previously investigated patterns of EEG power spectra seen in healthy younger adults (YA) and older adults (OA). The new MCI group represents a population that has shown to progress to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, so understanding their EEG power spectra could lead to improved diagnosis and prevention of such disease progression by non-invasive means.

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Questions or comments? Contact me at: ellen.williams@utah.edu

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Poster 81: Adara DeNiro – Developing Antibodies for Determining Structures of Polycystic Kidney Disease Proteins

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Faculty mentor: Erhu Cao 

Two proteins in the kidneys, polycystin-1 and polycystin-2, interact in renal tubules and promote the normal development and function of the kidneys. However, the proteins’ actions are not well understood. Polycystin-1 and Polycystin-2 are encoded by the PKD1 gene and the PKD2 gene respectively. A mutation in either of these genes can lead to ADPKD and eventually renal failure. Currently, there is no cure for ADPKD due to setbacks regarding structural determination of the ADPKD proteins.

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Poster 23: Matthew Dailey – Perfluoroalkyl Contaminant Sensor

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Faculty mentor: Swomitra Mohanty 

My research was to develop a PFAS contaminant sensor. The sensor was to modular in series with others and incorporate a TiO2 nanotube substrate to treat the water when a voltage was applied.

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Questions or comments? Contact me at: matthewjames003@gmail.com


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Poster 134: Sam Raber – Assessing Tyrant Flycatcher Species and Subspecies Populations in Utah by Using Mitochondrial DNA Barcodes

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Faculty mentor: Cagan Sekercioglu

The Sekercioglu lab has a stock of feathers and blood samples from birds banded at the Rio Mesa Center. I utilized these samples to corroborate or correct identifications made in the field by using the mitochondrial gene for cytochrome c oxidase I. Utah provides vital riparian breeding habitat for some flycatcher species. Stopover sites help guarantee successful migration. Thus, having accurate population counts will allow for improved assessments regarding conservation efforts and threats

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Questions or comments? Contact me at: sraber97@gmail.com

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Luke Jowers – Partisanship’s Impact on Voting Behavior

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Faculty mentor: Scott Schaefer

This project answers the question of how much partisanship impacts voting behavior. The results make three unique and important contributions. First, that partisanship is a significant factor in determining an person’s likelihood to vote. Second, the 2016 election marked a shift towards increased involvement from extreme partisans. And third, as is shown in the Utah analysis, the general partisanship of the precinct that you live has a significant impact on a voter’s likelihood to vote.

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Oral 18: Sara Leininger – Using Redox Active Polymers as Anode and Cathode Species in a Redox Flow Battery

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Faculty mentor: Shelley Minteer

This project seeks to improve current energy storage by creating a nonaqueous organic redox flow battery that uses redox active polymers as anolyte and catholyte species. I hypothesize that using compounds of high molecular weight paired with a size-selective membrane will minimize crossover and elongate the lifetime of a battery.

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Poster 110: Alec Parent – Research Platform for Research with Sensors

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Faculty mentor: Kathy Sward

This UROP project focused on software to automate a manual process that assists researchers in monitoring sensors when they are used with study participants.

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Questions or comments? Contact me at: alecparent@rocketmail.com

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