2015-16 REU-W Projects

The following are research projects included in the CEWIT REU-W program for the fall 2015 and spring 2016 terms:

  • Project #1: Response Biases in HCI

    Department: Informatics

    Faculty Mentor: 

    katie-siek

    Katie Siek

    Project description:

    Response biases, especially demand characteristics where researchers hint at their hypothesis and participants, in response to these hints, change their behavior to be more favorable towards the hypothesis, are important to consider in human subjects research. Unfortunately, this bias is rarely acknowledged in Human Computer Interaction research. In 2012, researchers at Microsoft Research conducted a study in India comparing people, in two distinct socioeconomic classes, reactions to an interface design. They found that when a researcher notes that they created an interface, people preferred their interface even if it was obliviously inferior [1]. In this research experience, we will replicate Microsoft Research’s protocol to investigate response bias here in Monroe County Indiana. We will extend the study in two ways – (1) we will interview the undergraduate researchers about their experiences in conducting the study and introducing the biases to provide insights into a researcher’s own biases and (2) we will provide a debrief portion to get feedback from participants about how they felt about being in the study (did they feel that they were trying to be nice to the researcher and give them “good data”?).  The undergraduate researchers will work with Professor Katie Siek, and graduate research assistants Haley MacLeod and Ben Jelen to take appropriate Institutional Research Board approval exams to work with human subjects, learn about interviewing participants, learn about collecting, securing, and archiving data, and learn about reporting on the study. The currently proposed study would make a significant contribution to the field of Human Computer Interaction. In addition, the research would fit into Professor Siek’s research who regularly conducts interface studies where researchers need participants to provide candid feedback about interfaces.

    Student Researcher:

    zhang-wei

    Wei Zhang, a sophomore studying Informatics. 

    Megah Lightcap

  • Project #2: Properties of fundamental particles

    Department: Physics

    Faculty Mentor: 

    Chen-Yu

    Chen-Yu Liu

    Project description:

    In our research lab, we are studying the properties of fundamental particles to understand the forces of nature. In particular, we are trapping ultra-cold neutrons in a magnetic bottle, and watch them transform -- into a proton, an electron, and an anti-electron neutrino. This is a simple, but one of the most intriguing processes in physics, as the decay of the neutron violates many symmetries and physicists are still working hard to figuring out why. We also try to measure whether the shape of the neutron is perfectly spherical; any lopsidedness in the neutron will indicate a new force--never been discovered before--in action, that might explain why we don't see many anti-matters in our universe, and thus don't have to worry about mutual annihilation when encountering our anti-partners.  As an undergraduate assistant, you can help us design and build neutron detectors, that will be employed in the neutron experiments at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where we spent summers to do research. 

    Student Researcher: 

    bihan-shen

    Bihan Shen, a sophomore studying in Physics. 

  • Project #3: How embodied play helps early elementary students

    Department: Learning Sciences (Counseling and Educational Psychology)

    Faculty Mentor:

    joshua-danish

    Joshua Danish

    Project description:

    The National Science Foundation funded project explores how embodied play is a powerful resource for helping early elementary students (1st and 2nd grade) learn complex science concepts such as how matter is made up of particles, and how the motion of those particles impacts the states of matter. We have developed a software program that uses motion tracking to allow students to control science simulations by moving their bodies. For example, 5 kids might run around the classroom pretending to be water particles and a projected simulation shows them how their movement would impact the state of matter! If this sounds like an Xbox Kinect game, that's because we are using Kinect cameras with our custom software! The collaborating student will have the opportunity to help in designing activities, collect data within an elementary school classroom (schedule permitting), learn how to analyze interview and video data, and potentially contribute to papers resulting from this work.

    Student Researcher:

    mcgarry-kessler

    Kessler McGarry, a freshman studying Elementary Education. 

  • Project #4: Influence of phermones on mice

    Department: Medical Science Program

    Faculty Mentor:

    sachiko-koyama

    Sachiko Koyama

    Project description:

    "Influence of pheromones to mouse nose"  Many animals communicate with odors.  This is called olfactory communication.  For example, dogs sniff each other or some spots on the ground to collect information of others.  Collected information will affect their behaviors and sometimes their physiological conditions.  In my project, we will investigate the influence of exposure to pheromones on the olfactory system of mice; precisely saying, we will investigate how pheromones will affect the cell proliferation in the olfactory membrane. I am hoping to do topographic analyses of the cell proliferation in the olfactory system to see if exposure to pheromone affects specific locations in the olfactory system. You will learn about mice biology, olfactory communication, morphology of olfactory system, and you will have chances of handling mice, use microscopes and quantify proliferating cells using computer software, and convert the results into 3D maps of proliferating cells in the “nose”.

    Student Researcher:

    purk-anna

    Anna Purk, a freshman studying Human Development and Family Studies.

  • Project #5: LDA topic modeling with Thomas Jefferson

    Department: Cognitive Science

    Faculty Mentor:

    colin-allen

    Colin Allen

    Project description: 

    Thomas Jefferson owned (and sold) thousands of books and wrote tens of thousands of letters during his lifetime. He was a voracious reader (no TV or Internet!) and a true polymath, informed on the latest thinking about everything from science to religion, and from agriculture to European politics. But how much of what he wrote is owed to what he read? Can we use computational methods to trace the relationships among his ideas? The research in our project involves a technique called LDA topic modeling to try to build cognitive models of the reading and writing processes, so that we can begin to measure the influences upon a single person's thought. Jefferson is an ideal target because almost 20,000 of his letters were preserved and are being digitized, and we can reconstruct his libraries digitally from sources such as the HathiTrust digital library (hathitrust.org). The student working on this project will help us research specific questions about the intellectual context of Thomas Jefferson's work and life, and address general questions about the robustness of topic models for extracting meaningful relationships in text. For example, how much of his views about moral philosophy does he owe to the Scottish philosopher David Hume?

    Student Researchers:

    hannah-eli

    Hannah Eli, a freshman studying Marketing and Business Analytics. 

    Lauren Gaynor

  • Project #6: Running related injuries

    Department: Kinesiology

    Faculty Mentor:

    alison-gruber

    Alison Gruber

    Project description: 

    The biomechanics and mechanisms of running related overuse injuries has been investigated for over 30 years but the risk of developing these injuries remain high. The chance of experiencing a running related injury is like flipping a coin – 50% of runners will experience at least one injury per year. There are many known risk factors for running injuries including running mileage, skeletal malalignment, and the loading to the body that occurs every time the foot makes contact with the ground.  Cumulative loading – the total or summated amount of loading that occurs over a single bout, a week, or lifetime of running – has become a new focus for biomechanics researchers investigating the mechanisms of running injuries. Previous studies have quantified that running more than 20–40 miles per week may significantly contribute to the development of an overuse running injury. Findings from other studies have shown that 7 – 59 running injuries occur per 1000 hours of running exposure.  Loading occurring from running and from other activities of daily living result in micro-damage of the bone and other soft tissues but is essential for maintaining and improving tissue health. Tissues like bone, tendon, muscle, cartilage, and others will adapt and become stronger if given an appropriate amount of time to recover after micro-damage occurs. However, without appropriate recovery time, cumulative micro-damage can lead to tissue degradation and injury. To date, only the loading that occurs during running has been considered when investigating the relationship between loading and injury while the loading that occurs with activities of daily living has been ignored. By not including this non-exercise physical activity into the cumulative load paradigm, we may be inaccurately quantifying the amount of loading that may lead to tissue injury. For this study, we are collecting three-dimensional walking and running gait data, data from a FitBit activity monitor, and survey data to determine the relationship of activity and rest periods to injury occurrence.

    Student Researchers: 

    nguyen-ashley

    Ashley Nguyen, a freshman studying Biochemistry and Mathematics.

    ellinger-emily

    Emily Ellinger, a freshman studying Human Biology. 

  • Project #7: Important brain regions related to proprioception

    Department: Kinesiology & Neuroscience

    Faculty Mentor:

    hannah-block

    Hannah Block

    Project description:

    To plan accurate movements, e.g. reaching to pick up a pencil, the brain needs to know where our hand is.  We perceive our hand through position sense (proprioception) as well as vision.  Because every sense has its own flaws, the brain integrates them into a multisensory estimate of hand position.  Not doing this right can cause movement difficulties, but we don’t yet know how this works even in healthy brains.  This project will use brain imaging and non-invasive brain stimulation (functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI; and transcranial magentic stimulation, TMS) to find out what brain regions are important for the computations needed to integrate vision and proprioception in a reaching task.  The student will be involved in all aspects of the project, working with the PI and several grad students on fMRI and TMS sessions and looking at the data with us.  This is an opportunity to gain experience with sophisticated technologies used in human behavioral and neurophysiology research.

    Student Researcher:

    udayan-divya

    Divya Udayan, a freshman studying Human Biology.

  • Project #8: Cataloging online reviews and ratings

    Department: Linguistics

    Faculty Mentor: 

    sandra-k

    Sandra Kuebler

    Project description: 

    I currently have two projects in which students can participate:

    1) Determining Funniness in YouTube Videos based on comments: In this project, we try to automatically determine how funny a video is by just looking at the video's comments. The student will be involved in collecting data, in annotating comments for funniness, in determining important key words that show funniness, in automatically normalizing spelling and writing of comments, and running experiments to automatically classify comments. She will work closely with the undergraduate student who started working the project last year.

    2) Predicting User Ratings for Online Recipes: In this project, we again look into user reviews, this time of recipes. Here, the task is to predict the average rating for a recipe. The student will be involved in collecting new data, in analyzing results, in normalizing spelling, and in running experiments to automatically rate recipes.

    Student Researcher:

    mandy-reed

    Amanda Reed, a sophomore studying Game Design. 

  • Project #9: The role of protein motions

    Department: Chemistry

    Faculty Mentor:

    megan-t

    Megan Thielges

    Project description:

    Proteins are large, complex molecules which underlie almost every biological process.  Protein motions play an important role in their functions, but are challenging to investigate.  The undergraduate researcher will use modern methods in biotechnology to make and purify a protein with a unique label that allows for the investigation of fluctuations at a specific location in the protein with a state-of-the-art laser system.  The information gained from this labeled protein will provide detailed knowledge of the specific motions at one site in the protein, and combined with other labeled proteins, will contribute to a larger picture of the role of protein motions in a specific protein interaction.

    Student Researcher:

    collins-jessica

    Jessica Collins, a freshman studying Biochemistry.

  • Project #10: How competitive interactions affect the evolution and coexistence of species

    Department: Biology

    Faculty Mentor:

    bashey-visser

    Farrah Bashey-Visser

    Project description: 

    My lab focuses on how competitive interactions affect the evolution and coexistence of species.  Specifically, we work on bacteria that are insect pathogens and mutualistic partners of nematodes.  These bacteria produce anti-competitor toxins that can kill closely related bacterial strains.  We are characterizing the degree to which these toxins are beneficial in a competitive context, and in what ways their production can be costly in other contexts.  We are also examining sequence variation among natural isolates these bacteria examine variation in toxin loci vis-à-vis diversity in other parts of the genome. The participating student would have the opportunity to learn both microbiological and genetic laboratory techniques, as well as being involved in assays were we experimentally infect insects.

    Additionally, the student will take an active role in experimental design, analysis and have opportunities to present their work to the lab group and larger community.

    Student Researcher:

    ozel-m

    Meryem Ozel, a freshman studying Biology and International Studies. 

  • Project #11: Digital History and GIS

    Department: History

    Faculty Mentor:

    kalani-craig

    Kalani Craig

    Project description: 

    I'll be supporting four history-research projects this fall and spring: two spatial-history projects feed historical maps and accounts (ancient plague and 18th century trading routes) into modern interactive GIS-generated maps, and two text mining projects focus on transcription, display and natural language processing of manuscripts (to make them Network analysis and data visualization are used in all four projects to better display the connections between people and events labeled in these text mining and GIS inquiries. My goal is to provide interns with one concrete development project for use in a portfolio, and to give them project management and collaborative development experience. CEWiT interns will work as part of a project team, so we'll select projects and their components for the internship based on the overlap in skill set of the interns and our project management team. The interns will spend 3-4 weeks supporting and developing each of two projects in order to maximize their exposure to good versioning and project-management approaches.

    Student Researcher:

    laderer-meredith

    Meredith Laderer, a freshman studying Community Health.

  • Project #12: CREST, Center for Research in Extreme Scale Technologies

    Department: Center for Research in Extreme Scale Technologies (CREST)

    Faculty Mentor:

    martina

    Martina Barnas

    Project description:

    CREST, Center for Research in Extreme Scale Technologies, is affiliated with SoIC and focuses on the research and development of advanced technologies for extreme-scale computing and future exascale systems. The student will be assigned tasks in accordance with her skill level. While working with experienced researchers on a larger scope project, she will be exposed to more advanced computing concepts and practices, thus gradually expanding her knowledge of computing. The student will learn how to run jobs on a supercomputer, get an overview of how to do systems research, analyze collected data and do error analysis, depending on her skill levels and interests. Additionally, this internship will give the student an opportunity to experience authentic practices of a research group of scientists. 

    Student Researcher:

    Sydney Lyon

  • Project #13: Formation and Evolution of the Milky Way galaxy

    Department: Astronomy

    Faculty Mentor:

    e-friel

    Eileen Friel

    Project description:

    I study the formation and evolution of our Milky Way galaxy primarily by using clusters of stars that were born together and trace the conditions in the Galaxy at their time of formation.   Students working with me could chose from a variety of projects depending on their interests and the kinds of skills they would like to develop.  Most of these projects would involve analyzing observational data taken with our telescope in Arizona or other large telescopes.  These data allow us to determine the basic properties of the stars in the clusters, such as their temperatures, masses, and chemical composition, and their motion through the Galaxy.  With this information in hand, we can determine the properties of the cluster itself, and use these to explore the evolution of the Galaxy, by looking at how cluster properties depend on where the clusters are located and how they have changed over the Milky Way's 13 billion year history.

    Student Researcher:

    skylar

    Skylar Finch, a sophomore studying Astronomy and Astrophysics. 

  • Project #14: Measurements of coral rubble deposited by tropical storms in the northern Caribbean

    Department: Geological Sciences

    Faculty Mentor:

    erika-elswick

    Erika Elswick

    Project description:

    The research project will center on the collection of data for gray-scale measurements of photographs of coral rubble deposited by tropical storms in the northern Caribbean.  Variable amounts of alteration have occurred since each storm ridge was deposited.  Black and white photos, with gray-scale cards included, have been taken and will be evaluated in IMAGE J software to obtain gray-scale measurements of the coral rubble.  The most recent rubble ridge has a direct association to a known storm event.  The data will be statistically analyzed to see if relative age dating of the individual deposits can be determined and if the deposition of earlier rubble packages has influenced the deposition by subsequent storm events or the ridges do not influence storm wave dynamics.

    Student Researcher:

    krueskamp-jean

    Jean Krueskamp, a sophomore studying Physics. 

  • Project #15: Alcohol use and behavior self-regulation

    Department: Psychological and Brain Sciences

    Faculty Mentor:

    tjames

    Thomas James

    Project description:

    Among all the substance use disorders in the United States, alcohol has the highest incidence, with 7% of adults 18+ reporting an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Over-drinking stems from problems with behavior self-regulation, but the exact locus of the regulatory difficulty is not known. We hypothesize that AUD is related to atypical sensory/perceptual function and the atypical pairing of sensorimotor associations. To investigate this hypothesis, we will use non-invasive functional neuroimaging (fMRI) to assess brain function in people with and without AUD. Data will be analyzed using linear statistical models and network analytics. Evidence that AUD is related to atypical perceptual function could have dramatic effects on future intervention methods used for AUD and other substance use disorders.

    Student Researcher:

    Brita Jelen

  • Project #16: Supporting people with rare diseases using technology

    Department: Informatics

    Faculty Mentor: 

    kayconnelly

    Kay Connelly

    Project description:

    People with rare diseases face unique challenges because their conditions are so rare. To get a better understanding of these challenges, we invited people with rare diseases to join a private Facebook group and have been working with them over the past 6 months. We've given them specific activities (e.g. keeping a diary for three days or taking pictures of their environment) and they have been posting and communicating with each other as well. In the next phase of the project, students will go through these posts to identify challenges or problems that we can support with technology. We will brainstorm design ideas and begin sketching out ideas and creating early prototypes. Finally, students will get feedback on these ideas and prototypes from people with rare diseases. Students will learn qualitative data analysis, sketching and other low-fidelity prototyping techniques, and research methods for evaluating design ideas.

    Student Researcher:

    grace-bastin

    Grace Bastin, a freshman studying Informatics.

    Katie Spoon

  • Project #17: The underreporting of sexual violence incidents

    Department: School of Public and Environmental Affairs

    Faculty Mentor:

    jill-nicholsoncrotty

    Jill Nicholson-Crotty

    Project description:

    The issue of sexual violence on university and college campuses has long been a national issue. The Clery reporting system was put in place to ensure that institutions did not underreport these incidents in order to protect their reputations. However, there is concern that underreporting remains a significant problem, both because women fail to report crimes to authorities, but also because universities have strong incentives to downplay the level of sexual violence on a campus. This project will investigate this possibility by first gathering data from a variety of official reports including those from Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education and University generated Clery reports. These will be compared against nonofficial accounts of sexual violence on campuses collected using a web scraper, a computer software technique of extracting information from websites. This will be used to collect data from other internet sources, including but not limited to online newspapers, websites of advocacy organizations, and open social media sources. Data from these sources will be analyzed using STATA statistical software and appropriate econometric techniques.

    Student Researcher:

    tyler-hannah

    Hannah Tyler, a freshman studying Chemistry. 

    Risha Singh

  • Project #18: Breathy voice sonorants

    Department: Linguistics 

    Faculty Mentor:

    kelly-berkson

    Kelly Berkson

    Project description: 

    When we look at the distribution of speech sounds in the world's languages, what we see is that some sounds are profoundly common crosslinguistically while others are vanishingly rare. Breathy voiced sonorants are one such example, showing up in fewer than 1% of the world's languages. Some previous work has investigated the acoustic characteristics of breathy sonorants, particularly in Marathi--an Indic language closely related to Hindi--but very little work to date has focused on the perception of such sounds. This means that many questions about breathy sonorants remain open: Are differences between plain and breathy sonorants difficult to perceive even for native Marathi speakers? Are speakers from certain first language (L1) backgrounds--for instance, Hindi or other closely related languages--better able to distinguish between plain and breathy Marathi sounds than speakers whose native language does not employ breathy voice at all? Are results influenced by sociolinguistic or demographic factors, such as speaker sex or speech style? We will work together to design and deploy a series of perception experiments designed to test how well listeners from different native language backgrounds perceive differences between plain and breathy sonorants. You will learn how to formulate a research question and situate it within the framework of existing scholarly debate, how to design and build a perception experiment, how to collect and analyze data, and so forth. This work takes place in the Phonetics and Phonology Lab in the Linguistics Department (http://www.indiana.edu/~phonphon/home.html). 

    Student Researcher:

    Alyssa Strickler, a sophomore studying Linguistics. 

  • Project #19: Dark matter, dark energy, and other phenomena in the universe

    Department: Physics

    Faculty Mentor:

    josh-long

    Josh Long

    Project description:

    Dark matter, dark energy, and the quantum nature and relative weakness of gravity are some of the most profound unexplained phenomena in the universe. Many theoretical models of these phenomena make predictions of macroscopic forces beyond gravity and electromagnetism acting at distance ranges below 1 mm.  Present experimental limits, however, still allow for forces millions of times stronger than gravity in this range.  We have developed a program of experiments designed to be sensitive to sub-millimeter range forces, based on the use of flat, thin, 1 kHz mechanical oscillators as test masses. We are seeking motivated undergraduates to assist in the construction of test masses and shielding for the latest generation of these experiments, and in the operation of the completed experiments.

    Student Researcher:

    zhang-j

    Jingyung Zhang, a freshman studying Mathematics.

  • Project #20: Understanding human-robot interaction

    Department: Informatics

    Faculty Mentor:

    selma

    Selma Sabanovic

    Project description:

    This project is affiliated with the R-House Lab, which brings together faculty, research staff, and students who study human-robot interaction (HRI): how people interact with robots, and how to better design robots so they can be used in everyday contexts, such as the home or office.  If you are interested in such topics, we invite you to work with us to study how people attribute social characteristics to robots.      HRI researchers have found that people often treat robots similarly to how they treat people. However, in many studies with these findings, researchers pre-identified the robots as belonging to existing human social categories (e.g., the robots were given a gender, name, or said to have a nationality) or provided other cues as to the robot’s sociality. People who interact with the robots pick up on and react to those cues. It is less clear how sociality is attributed to robots that do not have preassigned or obvious human-like characteristics (such as robotic vacuum Roomba), although research shows that such robots are also treated as social actors in certain settings. In several ongoing studies, we seek to discover what attributes of human-robot interaction (e.g., robot appearance, behavior, communication style, interaction setting) lead people to respond in more social ways, and how these characteristics should be incorporated into the design of robots for use in domestic and public spaces. We are also working on developing robots that can be used by different groups (older adults, middle and high school students) through consultation with members of these groups.     Depending on your interests, research activities on this project include recruiting and scheduling participants, running participants for studies in and outside the lab, collecting and managing textual, audio, and video data, handling robots, developing robot prototypes (and learning Arduino, 3d printing, laser cutting), discussing study design, results, and implications, attending regular lab meetings, and working closely with project staff.

    Student Researcher:

    krupp-margaret

    Margaret Krupp, a sophomore studying Psychology. 

  • Project #21: The gender-gap in regards to boards and women in power

    Department: Management & Entrepreneurship

    Faculty Mentor:

    siri-t

    Siri Terjesen

    Project description:

    Despite advances in gender equality over the last century, we continue to face a gender gap. In many countries (some more than others) differences in access to economic and political opportunity, education, health, and survival between men and women persist. Of course, there are differences in the degree of the gap in different countries; it is lowest in the Nordic countries (Iceland, Finland, Norway, and Sweden) and widest in Iran, Mali, Syria, Pakistan, Chad and Yemen. Quite apart from the fairness issue, or the impact on the poverty cycle, the gender gap affects competitiveness. The lower the gender gap, the higher is a country’s competitiveness (World Economic Forum, 2015). Boards are a key place where we see this gender gap. Board composition continues to be overwhelmingly male. In the EU, women made up 17.8% of the board directors of the largest publicly listed companies in 2013; in the US, women hold 19.2% of directorships of S&P500 firms.  This project will involve interviewing, transcribing, and analyzing CEOs and board members of Fortune 500 firms with a heavy technology presence (i.e., HP, Yahoo, Ebay, Facebook) about their perceptions of women leaders and the processes by which women are selected onto boards. We will contrast firms that have made strides with bringing women into leadership positions which those that have not yet done so. The protocol has been approved and all the companies have been selected and agreed to participate- a process which took several months- so we are ready to go. The project is international - in collaboration with faculty at the University of South Australia (including Dr. Carol Kulik, current Academy of Management president- presiding over 20,000 business school professors around the world) and Catalyst, the New York-based women's advocacy group (see Catalyst.org). (Your IU supervising professor, Dr. Siri Terjesen- "Siri"- is also a member of Catalyst: http://www.catalyst.org/who-we-are/our-people/siri-terjesen-phd).

    Student Researcher:

    hoffman-margaret

    Margaret Hoffman, a sophomore studying Anthropology and International Studies. 

  • Project #22: Improving algorithms to better classify individuals on the social web

    Department: Informatics

    Faculty Mentor:

    cassidy-s

    Cassidy Sugimoto

    Project description:

    There is a growing urgency that science be made not only relevant to other scientists, but also to the public. Many national funding agencies have sought to incorporate metrics into their assessments to identify research that has high impact upon the general public. One type of metric that is being investigated for this purpose is social media metrics. Social media metrics look for evidence of dissemination, discussion, and promotion of research on social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. Some have argued that the number of times a research article is tweeted, for example, is an indicator of the value of that article to the public. However, very little has been done to investigate who is tweeting about science. Altmetric.com—the largest aggregator of scholarly social media metrics—presents a classification of tweets (i.e., scientists, communicators, practitioners, researchers). However, our research has shown their classification to be significantly inaccurate. Therefore, they have agreed to team with us to work on improving their algorithm. In the course of this project, we will conduct validation exercises and iteratively improve their algorithm for classifying individuals on the social web. We will also use the data to characterize the demographics of those who tweet about science and how various actors in the scientific system differentially use and respond to scholarly information on social media sites.

    Student Researchers:

    delaney-brinson

    Delaney Brinson, a sophomore studying Informatics.

    minik-vanessa

    Vanessa Minik, a sophomore studying Informatics. 

  • Project #23: Examining the key aspects of nonprofit operations and governance

    Department: School of Public and Environmental Affairs

    Faculty Mentor: 

    kirsten-g

    Kirsten Gronbjerg

    Project description:

    We are about to start a new large-scale survey of Indiana nonprofits that will examine key aspects of nonprofit operations and governance, including human resource management, marketing and technology, programs and planning, advocacy and policy activities, and financial management. We also have sections specifically for membership associations and faith-based organizations and churches.The survey is part of the project on the Indiana Nonprofit Sector: Scope and Community Dimensions (see www.indiana.edu/~nonprof) that I have directed for a number of years.

    Student Researcher: 

    molly-g

    Molly Gravier, a freshman studying Anthropology and Psychology.

  • Project #24: Analysis of the Anopheles genome, a vector of human malaria

    Department: Computer Science and Biology

    Faculty Mentor:

    Mathew hahan

    Matthew Hahan

    Project description:

    In our lab we study genomes—the full complement of all DNA held within every cell. Genomes contain the genes needed for organisms to develop, function, and evolve, but they are also filled with molecular parasites called transposable elements.  These discrete DNA sequences are capable of moving and replicating throughout the genome, posing a burden both to the cellular machinery and sometimes even to human health. This project will involve the study of natural selection against transposable elements in an important vector of human malaria, the mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. We will use next generation DNA sequencing  data to study the abundance, diversity, and activity of transposable elements in the Anopheles genome. The genome itself is more than 200 megabases long, and sequencing an individual mosquito produces gigabases of data (we have hundreds of these individuals).  Therefore, we will apply available bioinformatics methods to quantify transposable elements, and current statistical methods in population genetics to understand how they are affected by natural selection.

    Student Researcher: 

    Katie Spoon