2016-2017 REU-W Projects

The following are research projects included in the CEWIT REU-W program for the fall 2016 and spring 2017 terms:

  • Project #1: Alternate Forms of Communication within the Context of a Pediatric Speech Therapy Clinic

    Department: Counseling & Educational Psychology

    Faculty Mentor: 

    jlester

    Jessica Lester

    Project description:

    This research project examines alternative forms of communication within the context of a pediatric speech therapy clinic. Specifically, the study draws upon 20 hours of video data from therapy sessions with a speech pathologist and young child with an autistic diagnosis who is nonverbal. In this project, computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (e.g., ATLAS.ti) will be used to code and map out the interactions of the child and therapist.

    Student Researcher:

    action

    Kaytlin Acton

    hentz-jac

    Jacqueline Hentz

  • Project #2: Parents Reconciling Information from Vlogs on YouTube Overview

    Department: Informatics

    Faculty Mentor: 

    ksiek

    Katie Siek

    liu

    Leslie Liu

    Project description:

    PRIVY: Parents Reconciling Information from Vlogs on YouTubeOverview The aim of PRIVY is to understand and enhance the information sharing practices of parent vloggers (parents who share their experiences through videos on YouTube) and their viewers. The project will build on research in human computer interaction include a deeper understanding of information sharing practices, privacy awareness, motivations, and expectations for participating in this social media community. The proposed research extends work in how parents use social media to share and seek information about parenting. This research comes at a critical time as people seek new, unchecked mediums to share and find information about authentic experiences. Thus, designing and developing a web-based system for Parents [to] Reconcile Information from Vlogs on YouTube (PRIVY) by easily accessing authoritative information and identifying similar videos via crowdsourcing empowers them to make more informed decisions about trying to conceive, pregnancy, and the postpartum experience. Students will help qualitatively analyze YouTube parent vlogger videos and interview parent vloggers and the vloggers' viewers. If interested, students could help build the web-based information sharing system where community members could add vlogs, tag information noted in the vlogs, and add resources.

    Student Researcher: 

    farwig

    Meaghen Farwig

    monetti

    Marisa Monetti

  • Project #3: Amazon Echo: Identify Design Opportunities to Improve and Extend the Echo's design

    Department: Informatics

    Faculty Mentor:

    norman-su

    Norman Su

    Project description:

    Digital personal assistants like the Amazon Echo are fast becoming a permanent fixture of our homes. This study will ask students to engage in human-computer interaction design methods. Students will evaluate how a diverse group of people use the Amazon Echo and identify design opportunities to improve and extend the Echo's design. Students will gain experience conducting user studies with qualitative and quantitative methods. Following these users studies, students may design evaluate prototypes. This project will be an excellent way for those interested in a future career or research position in HCI or UX to engage with real world interaction design problems. There is also a potential for co-authorship of a manuscript based on this project.

    Student Researcher:

    petrariu.ella

    Ella Petrariu

  • Project #4: Understanding Human Factors Contributing to Cyber Security Risk

    Department: SPEA

    Faculty Mentor:

    diane-h

    Diane Henshel

    Project description:

    Understanding human factors contributing to cyber security risk. This project involves understanding human characteristics that contribute to people becoming cyber attackers. One factor that needs to be addressed, especially, is culture. Another interesting question is what contributes to maliciousness. For this project you will be working with a Master's student on this question, and will help develop a survey to be implemented to a variety of audiences.

    Student Researcher:

    king.zoe

    Zoe King

  • Project #5: Understanding and Characterizing the Factors affecting Human or Ecosystem Risk within a Large, Extended Watershed

    Department: Cognitive Science

    Faculty Mentor:

    dhenshel

    Diane Henshel

    Project description: 

    Understanding and characterizing the factors affecting human or ecosystem risk within a large, extended watershed. This project involves learning how to gather data about the watershed from all the possible sources, including large datasets, and learning how to integrate and work with them.

    Student Researchers:

    zhang

    Jiayu Zhang

  • Project #6: Using Advance Technology to Advance Health Literacy

    Department: Informatics and Computing

    Faculty Mentor:

    k-connelly

    Kay Connelly

    Project description: 

    Health literacy is a major concern in the US. Many organizations advocate for a “simpler is better” approach, where materials are written at a low level to ensure understanding by everyone. This approach does not take into account the sense of pride people with chronic illnesses feel about health knowledge they do have, or the shame experienced by someone struggling with literacy. Advances in technology allow us to tailor health information to an appropriate literacy level. This allows us to optimize not only comprehension, but also pride while minimizing shame. For this project, students will conducted surveys with people with lower-literacy skills. These surveys will consist of literacy tests, as well as information about the pride, shame, and embarrassment a person experiences throughout the test. Students will apply machine learning to identify a reading level for an individual that maximizes comprehension, while also maximizes pride and minimizes shame. The overall goal of the project is to build systems that provide tailored and personalized health information to an individual. Students will develop skills in survey design, field research, data analysis and machine learning, and basic programming.

    Student Researchers: 

    mcclain

    Jasmine McClain

    p.vanessa

    Vanessa Pereira

  • Project #7: How Changes in Sensory Areas of the Brain Affect Motor Areas in Healthy People

    Department: Kinesiology & Neuroscience

    Faculty Mentor:

    hannah-block

    Hannah Block

    Project description:

    We have the ability to both sense our environment and make movements to interact with it. The sensory and motor regions of the brain interact with each other to make this possible. To better understand how this happens, and how it might go wrong in patients with impaired movement, we will study how changes in sensory areas of the brain affect motor areas in healthy people. You would help a PhD student collect data using non-invasive brain stimulation and a simple virtual reality apparatus. This is an opportunity to gain experience with sophisticated technologies used in human behavioral and neurophysiology research. There is also a potential for co-authorship of a manuscript based on this project.

    Student Researcher:

    sanchez.sabrina

    Sabrina Sanchez

  • Project #9: Investigation of Different Histories of Discrimination Against Female Scientists and Indigenous Women

    Department: Gender Studies

    Faculty Mentor:

    laura-foster

    Laura Foster

    Project description: 

    This project demonstrates how patent law is about gender. Most people think about patent ownership in very objective and neutral terms. When a scientist isolates a chemical molecule in a plant they can obtain a patent on the molecule in order to make it into a pharmaceutical. The more a scientist can get patents on their inventions the more successful they can become. The issue though is that the field of science involves a long history of gender discrimination, so female scientists find it more difficult to obtain patents than their male colleagues. At the same time, field of science also has a long history of discrimination against indigenous peoples whereby scientists have patented knowledge that originally belonged to indigenous women. This study investigates these different histories of discrimination against female scientists and indigenous women, while asking what does this mean for the field of gender and science? More specifically, what does it mean for the field of gender and science when their efforts to empower female scientists to become patent owners can actually end up harming indigenous women?

    Student Researcher:

    Brianna Cordova

    okendu-blessing

    Blessing Okendu

  • Project #10: Sexuality and Intimacy with the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Population

    Department: RPTS

    Faculty Mentor:

    piatt-jennifer

    Jennifer Piatt

    Project description: 

    Although sexuality after obtaining a spinal cord injury (SCI) is an important and sought after topic by this population, limited information exists on this subject. Although research on sexual feelings and behavior following SCI is ongoing, educational materials – particularly educational videos that explain sexual adaptations – for individuals with SCI are limited and often out of date, with many of them from the 1970s and 1980s. Yet, sexuality is one of the most important concerns of adults with SCI. As a growing population with the total number of persons who live with SCI in the United States estimated at 265,000 persons with approximately 12,000 persons acquiring a SCI annually we need to do a better job of not only conducting research, but also applying evidence-based information about SCI and sexuality to the populations who need such information. This study will be taking information collected from interviews and focus groups to develop educational information on sexuality and intimacy with the SCI population.

    Student Researcher:

    alondra.g

    Alondra Galvan

  • Project #11: The Biomechanics and Mechanisms of Running Related Overuse Injuries

    Department: Kinesiology

    Faculty Mentor:

    alison-gruber

    Allison 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 Researcher:

    gilliland.haleigh

    Haleigh Gilliland

  • Project #12: Using Functional Neuroimaging (fMRI) to Assess Brain Function in People with Alcohol Use Disorder

    Department: Psychological and Brain Sciences

    Faculty Mentor:

    tom-james

    Tom James

    Project description:

    The psychological constructs of executive function and cognitive control are implicated in a wide variety of psychological disorders. Although the frontal lobe of the brain has long been associated with these functions, more recent evidence suggests that strict localization to the frontal lobe may be incorrect. To investigate this question, we use non-invasive functional neuroimaging (fMRI) to assess brain function in healthy volunteers and also people with alcohol use disorder. Most theories of alcohol use invoke a dual-process model whereby healthy individuals resist the urge to drink by recruiting cognitive control mechanisms. They further hypothesize that cognitive control is compromised in people with AUD. Studying brain activation patterns using tasks with different cognitive control requirements in groups who are hypothesized to have different levels of cognitive control will help explain the brain mechanisms involved in risky decision making.

    Student Researcher:

    siddiqui-normeen

    Normeen Siddiqui

  • Project #13: Compiling Records of Stream Discharge and Field Chemistry Measurements from US Geological Survey Collection Sites.

    Department: Geological Sciences

    Faculty Mentor:

    erika-elswick

    Erika Elswick

    Project description:

    Water availability and water quality are basic human necessities. Currently, the western US is experiencing a long term drought or near drought conditions. By looking at multiple climate proxies for the region or individual drainage basins, we are looking to evaluate the sensitivity of each of these proxies on timescales that would help water resource managers to adjust water allocation within individual watersheds. The project will involve compiling long-term daily records of stream discharge and select field chemistry measurements from select individual US Geological Survey collection sites. These compiled data will then be evaluated against other local and regional climate proxies to test their short-term sensitivity within annual water years.

    Student Researcher:

    li.xin

     Xin Li

  • Project #14: The InPhO Project: Finding new ways to apply Machine-Learning Techniques to Questions about Collections of Documents.

    Department: Cognitive Science / Hist. & Phil. of Sci. & Med.

    Faculty Mentor: 

    colin-allen

    Colin Allen

    Project description:

    The InPhO project finds new ways to apply machine-learning techniques to questions about collections of documents that are of historical, philosophical, and general humanistic interest. Our site at http://inphodata.cogs.indiana.edu/ demos topic models applied to the letters of Thomas Jefferson, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, a large corpus of ancient Chinese texts, and other examples. We are currently working on expanding our coverage of Jefferson's letters and books, and we have other projects on Charles Darwin's readings and writings, and current neuroscience. Examples of research questions in which you might be involved include: Which of the books in Jefferson's libraries were most influential on his writing? Can you develop a way to automate the process of finding the corresponding digital volumes in HathiTrust from a list of titles?

    Student Researcher:

    gahyeon-jung

    Gahyeon Jung

    thamba

    Aish Thamba

  • Project #15: Human-Robot Interaction: How People Attribute Lifelikeness to Robots

    Department: Informatics

    Faculty Mentor:

    selma

    Selma Sabanovic

    Project description:

    The work described below is affiliated with the R-House Lab, which is a collaborative research group and space that brings together faculty, research staff, and students who study human-robot interaction (HRI). HRI is a field that explores how people perceive, respond to, and interact with robots, and how to better design robots so they can be used in everyday contexts, such as the home, work, education, or healthcare. If you are interested in such topics, we invite you to join us in our studies on how people attribute lifelikeness and various social characteristics to robots. HRI researchers have found that people often treat robots similarly to how they treat people in human-human interaction, or to how they treat animals or other living beings. However, in many studies with these findings, researchers pre-identified the robots as belonging to existing human or animal-like social categories (e.g., the robots had human- or animal-like appearances, 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 lifelikeness and/or sociality is attributed to robots that do not have preassigned or obvious human- or animal-like characteristics (such as robotic vacuum Roomba), although research shows that such robots are also treated as animate beings and social actors in certain settings. In a series of ongoing projects, we are exploring 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 particularly interested in interactions between multiple people and multiple robots (intergroup interaction), and the design of social and lifelike robotic artifacts, and will decide with students which projects they are most interested in pursuing. Research activities for undergraduates on these projects include recruiting and scheduling participants, running participants for studies in and outside the lab, collecting and managing textual, audio, and video data, handling robots, discussing study design, results, and implications, attending regular lab meetings, and working closely with project staff. There is a possibility for participating students to continue working with the group following the CEWIT REUW experience through other funding sources (e.g. National Science Foundation).

    Student Researcher:

    wolf.madeline

    Madeline Wolf

  • Project #16: Gender Issues in Science, Science Funding, and Social Media

    Department: Informatics

    Faculty Mentor:

    sugimoto-cassidy

    Cassidy Sugimoto

    Project description: 

    I'm working on several projects related to issues of gender in science, science funding, and social media. The students would be asked to join these projects. Students would likely engage in tasks such as mining and coding tweets, doing content analysis of acknowledgement data, and analyzing survey data.

    Student Researcher:

    zhao.humeng

    Huimeng Zhao

  • Project #17: Sexual Violence on University and College Campus: Issues on Underreporting

    Department: SPEA

    Faculty Mentor:

    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 build on last year's activities, which included gathering data from a variety of official reports including those from Office of Postsecondary Education in the U.S. Department of Education and university generated Clery reports. These have been analyzed to find the specific language needed to program the web scraper, a computer software technique for extracting information from websites. In this phase of the project, the web scraper 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:

    lester.katye

    Katye Lester

  • Project #18: How Competitive Interactions Affect the Evolution and Coexistence of Species

    Department: Biology

    Faculty Mentor:

    bashey-visser

    Farrah Bashey-Visser

    Project description:

    Our lab focuses on how competitive interactions affect the evolution and coexistence of species. Our goal is to test theoretical models explaining the maintenance of genetic variation. 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.

    Student Researcher:

    espada

    Sophie Espada

    lambert.libby

    Elizabeth Lambert

  • Project #19: Use of Technology to Engage with Primary Source History Documents

    Department: History

    Faculty Mentor:

    kalani

    Kalani Craig

    Project description:

    Our project looks at the use of technology to engage with primary-source documents in large history classrooms. We'll be looking at spatial history (GIS and Google maps), simulation software for epidemiology, and changes in student understanding of history and history reasoning when their input form changes (from whiteboard to iPad and Google-doc input).

    Student Researchers:

    heine.anna

    Anna Heine

  • Project #20: Digital Forensics and Preservation Strategies

    Department: IUB Libraries - Library Technologies

    Faculty Mentor: 

    dowding-heidi

    Heidi Dowding

    Project description:

    The student in this capacity would assist with work that is already taking place in the Born Digital Preservation Lab (https://wiki.dlib.indiana.edu/display/DIGIPRES/Born+Digital+Preservation+Lab) by undertaking research into digital forensics and preservation strategies. While the student's particular interests would guide the development of their project, potential areas of interest to us in the BDPL are testing out emulation as a way to preserve born digital objects such as software, as well as digital forensics metadata capture.

    Student Researcher: 

    Danielle Mark

  • Project #22: Emotional Responses to Music

    Department: Communication Science

    Faculty Mentor:

    potter

    Rob Potter

    Project description:

    This project explores people's emotional responses to music, particularly trying to differentiate the physiological responses to music people associate with 'partying' from other types of music. The student will be taught the procedures for collecting psychophysiological research data (heart rate, skin conductance, and facial muscle activation). They will then assist me and graduate students in collecting this data from subjects while they listen to small portions of music in a research lab in the Institute for Communication Research. Eventually the hope is that the student will develop enough proficiency to collect data on their own. The student will then be taught procedures for analyzing and interpreting the data. The short term goal of the project is to be able to submit the data collected to a major international communication conference.

    Student Researcher: 

    dudek-claire

    Claire Dudek

  • Project #23: Developing Human Centered Robotics Education

    Department: Center for Research on Learning and Technology

    Faculty Mentor:

    hmelo

    Cindy Hmelo-Siler

    Project description:

    Involving more students from urban and rural areas in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM_ fields and careers has been at the forefront of national education reform. Engaging these students in STEM activities relevant to their everyday lives is critical to increasing their motivation, interest, learning, and participation in STEM. This project will address this need through engineering and computer science activities aimed at helping middle and high school students grasp the intricacies of scientific principles and technology design using a teaching and learning model that will integrate human-centered robotics and telepresence theme-based activities in a problem-based learning and systems thinking environment. The goal of this project is increase under-represented middle and high school student’s interest in STEM and STEM careers as well as to engage them in learning about engineering design processes and computational thinking. Human-centered robotics will involve the development of robotics technologies and applications for everyday use while telepresence robots will enable better communication, operation, and exploration across enormous distances. As part of this research, the research team is developing a curriculum that addresses the technical and societal aspects of the human-centered robotics and telepresence. Using problem-based learning, participating students are able to creatively personalize their robots using the Roomba iCreate through design variations and with the addition of new sensors, actuators, program parts, and other technology-related functions

    Student Researcher: 

    lee.jeeyune

    Jee Yune Lee

  • Project #24: Determining Physiological Reactions and Photo Preferences to Olympic Athlete Intstagram Posts

    Faculty Mentor:

    smith-lauren

    Lauren Smith

    Project description:

    My research focuses around the portrayal of athletes in the media, with a more specific focus on gender. For this particular research project, I am investigating the emotional response of participants using facial coding software to the Instagram photographs of athletes. The facial coding software I am using can detect emotions through the muscle reactions in the face, such as surprise, anger, and happiness. My experimental design asks participants to look at a constructed Instagram profile of NBC Olympics, and will have three different conditions built in to the photographs - one of hyper sexualized photos of the athletes (breast shots, buttock shots), one that combines both the athlete's personal life (e.g. photos with friends, family, children) and athletic shots, and one that is strictly athletic shots (competition, training). My interest is twofold; one, to determine the physiological reaction to the different types of photos, and two, to determine which types of photos are preferred by the participant.

    Student Researcher: 

    amanda

    Amanda Miller

  • Project #25: Detecting Tweeters Candidate: Discovering the Stance of a Tweet

    Department: Linguistics

    Faculty Mentor:

    sandra

    Sandra Kuebler

    Project description:

    Given the upcoming elections, I am interested in creating computer programs that detect from tweets whether the tweeter is for or against Clinton or Trump. A group of students under my guidance have participated in a competition to create the best performing system, and we placed 6th out of 19 competing teams. In the current project, we will build on the group's experience and system. Students will be in involved in data collection from twitter, in the annotation of tweets, and in the design of a new computer program to discover the stance of a tweet.

    Student Researcher: 

    burnett.sophia

    Sophia Burnett

  • Project #26: Monitoring Auditory Brainwaves in Animal Models to Assess the Effects of Particular Serotonergic Drugs

    Department: Biology

    Faculty Mentor:

    hurley

    Laura Hurley

    Project description:

    When animals are interacting with social partners, a variety of brain mechanisms are activated that subsequently filter sensory information like vocal signals. One of the neurochemical pathways engaged by social interaction is the serotonin system. We still understand very little about how this process could contribute to human communication disorders or the understanding of speech. A step in this direction is to monitor auditory brainwaves in animal models, to assess the effects of particular serotonergic drugs. The current project will test a novel type of drug that activates serotonin 1A receptors.

    Student Researcher: