|First Place Winning Abstracts - Graduate
Tissue Engineering of the Tendon/Bone Interface
Jared Cooper (Biomedical Engineering), Presenter
The tendon/bone interface is a complex region with multiple shifts in cell type and
mechanical loading within a very short distance. Typically, these sites do not naturally
heal well, requiring surgical intervention to repair. This project uses the tissue
engineering paradigm to evaluate a mechanically robust and degradable polylactic acid
fabric under co-culture conditions with fibroblasts (tendon) and osteoblasts (bone).
An Unforeseen Turn: Harmful Effects of a Pesticide and Pathogen on Amphibian Health
Shane Hanlon (Biological Sciences), Presenter
| Increasing evidence suggests that both pesticides and disease-inducing pathogens
have independently contributed to global amphibian declines. I conducted field studies
to determine the interactive effects of the fungicide thiophanate-methyl (TM), density,
and the amphibian disease Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in tadpole posts. There
was 100% anuran mortality in all TM+ tanks, independent of Bd exposure. Bd+ individuals
were lighter, shorter, and had longer developmental periods compared to control subjects.
Tadpoles in low-density treatments were heavier, longer, and developed faster. My
results illustrate that interactions between multiple perturbations impact amphibian
health and further research is necessary to elucidate such effects.
| The Product Touch (PT) Scale: Measuring a Product's Propensity to Evoke Consumer Haptic
Phillip M. Hart (Marketing & Supply Chain Management), Presenter, Co-Presenter: Subhash
|There has been an increasing interest in understanding the role of haptic information
processing in product evaluation. However, the present research argues that this line
of research has been stifled by the need for touch (NFT) scale's focus on individuals
seeking haptic information rather than haptic product categories. To address this
limitation, the current work develops and validates a parsimonious, generalizable
product-touch (PT) scale. This scale will allow marketing managers to determine when
a product's packaging should allow touching, when display models are advantageous,
as well as when a product may be unfit for online retail.
| Architecture & Ecology: Engaging the Wolf River through Design
Colby Mitchell (Architecture), Presenter
|How can the proposal of a Magnet School and an Educational Center with the focus on
Ecology have both an unassuming presence and educate the students and community through
its physical location, curriculum, program, and architecture? Of the two studio projects
proposed, one engages a master plan to revitalize a 3-mile stretch along the Wolf
River Harbor while the other acknowledges the 100-year flood plain. However, both
individually and collectively, the two projects draw attention to the great flood
of the city of Memphis in the early spring of 2011 with ways to engage local ecology
through architectural design.
| Cerebellar Purkinje Cell Loss Results in a Shift in Modulatory Control of Cortical
Tiffany Rogers (Psychology), Presenter
|Developmental loss of Purkinje cells and prefrontal cortex (PFC) dysfunction are consistent
neural abnormalities associated with autism. We have shown that two cerebellar pathways
contribute to PFC DA release. To identify any compensatory changes within neural circuitry
following a developmental loss of Purkinje cells, PFC DA release evoked by DN electrical
stimulation was recorded using fixed potential amperometry in Lurcher mutant mice
which have a developmental loss of nearly all Purkinje cells. This study suggests
that after the loss of Purkinje cells, there is a developmental adaptation of cerebellar-PFC
inputs that could account for certain symptoms observed in autistic patients.
|Episodic Memory in the LIDA Cognitive Architecture
Rodrigo Silva-Lugo (Computer Science), Presenter
|If an artificial agent expects to achieve human-like performance, it has to implement
different kinds of memory structures and learning processes. One of these structures
is Episodic Memory (EM). In the LIDA Cognitive Architecture, EM is implemented using
a Sparse Distributed Memory (SDM). There are several issues that need to be addressed
in order to get a functional and efficient implementation of EM: 1) encoding and translation
of information in SDM, 2) implementing decay (forgetting mechanism), and 3) implementing
learning. This work discusses these implementations and shows some experimental results.
Perceptions of a One-to-One Initiative
Carmen Weaver (Instructional Design and Technology), Presenter
|This study sought to take a snapshot of a steering committee's perceptions of a one-to-one
initiative during the planning phase of the implementation. Qualitative data were
collected through a series of interviews with representatives from the committee.
Through these interviews, four themes emerged: Relevance in the 21st century, change
in the teaching and learning environment, a need for leadership, and support for implementation.
| Greater Distance from a Sickle Cell Center Does Not Compromise Routine Healthcare
Matthew P. Smeltzer (Public Health), Presenter (A Research Forum Winner and a MENSA
|The Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) Program at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
(SJCRH) serves a 150-mile radius. We evaluated associations between distance to the
SCD Center (< or ≥35 miles), frequency of clinic visits, and disease-related hospitalizations
from 2006-2011 to better understand possible effects of distance on healthcare management.
In 508 children included in the study, we found that distance was not a barrier to
receiving routine hematology care when transportation assistance was provided (p=0.17).
However, patients living farther from the center had fewer hospitalizations (p<0.0001),
likely reflecting suboptimal access to hospitalization services for acute care or
| Systems Genetics Analysis Reveals Nipsnap1, a Novel Mitochondrial Protein, Plays a
Role in Pyruvate Metabolism
Sarani Ghoshal (Biological Sciences), Presenter (A Research Forum Winner and a MENSA
|Nipsnap1 is a novel mitochondrial protein found in a wide range of species from bacteria
to human. The protein is evolutionarily conserved but its physiological function is
still unknown. In this study, we utilized a systems genetics approach to gain insights
into the cellular function of Nipsnap1 in brain. Gene expression analysis was performed
across a panel of recombinant inbred mice using a variety of bioinformatics tools
and databases. Our study suggests that Nipsnap1 plays a role in pyruvate metabolism
and has identified several potential players in its molecular network.
|Second Place Winning Abstracts - Graduate
Paleoseismic Investigation along the Yushu Fault, the Tibetan Plateau, Qinghai Province,
Taylor Armstrong (Earth Sciences), Presenter
|On April 14, 2010, a swarm of earthquakes devastated the city of Yushu and nearby
villages in the Qinghai Province, China. Five large-magnitude historical earthquakes
have been documented along the Ganzi-Yushu fault during the past 700 years. However,
the paleoseismic recorded is incomplete. Geomorphic evidence and offset geologic features
suggest that initiation of the Ganzi-Yushu fault started approximately 8-5.6 Ma, accommodating
the southeastward movement of material. Due to the incomplete paleoseismic record
and impelled by the 2010 Yushu earthquake swarm; this fault was excellent for the
inspection of the Late Pleistocene to Quaternary sediments for evidence of paleoseismic
The Mediating Role of Adaptive Personalization in Online Shopping
Son Bui (Management Information Systems), Presenter
|In the context of e-commerce, personalization system provides customers with recommendations
on what products to buy. Grounded on the social exchange theory, this study empirically
examines and theoretically articulates the effects of willingness to share information
and adaptive personalization on willingness to repurchase products. A survey was conducted
and PLS was used demonstrating that personalization fully mediates relationship between
willingness to share information and willingness to repurchase products. The results
implicated that online customers might take risks to provide their information to
online retailers in exchange of offerings.
Finding Online Network Communities through a Genetic Clustering Algorithm
Mustafa Hajeer (Computer Science), Presenter, Co-Presenter: Alka Singh
|In the analysis of online social network (OSN) data, the basic problem lies in the
detection of groups of closely connected nodes which are called network communities.
In this work, we consider the relation between the nodes in OSN, and group them according
to the value of these relations/ interactions. We introduced a concept known as Node
of Attraction ( NoA), which represents the most active node in a network community.
This NoA is identified as the origin of a post/communication which attracts other
nodes in that cluster. In this research, a genetic algorithm (GA) is used as a clustering
method where the main objective of clustering is to form network communities from
a given OSN dataset. This approach is efficient in handling multiple values for every
edge and different type of discussion topics in our studied OSN comments, emails,
chat sessions, etc. -and can form clusters according to one or more topics of discussion
at any point of time. The designed GA-based clustering system is capable to cope up
with rapid changes in online interactions as it observed in real-world social network
environment. We will present preliminary results of our experiments with real-world
data and demonstrate the performance of proposed approach.
School Climate, Math Beliefs, and Math Behaviors as Sources of Math Achievement
Thomas W. Hamlet (Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research), Presenter, Co-Presenters:
Katherine Wright, Caroline Hart, and Christopher Cobb
|The authors developed a structural equation model (RMSEA=.037, CFI=.99) using Bandura's
(1986) social cognitive theory framework to examine the mediating role of individual
factors (i.e., math beliefs and math behaviors) on the relationship between social-contextual
factors (i.e., school climate) and the math achievement. The researchers used participant
data (N = 16,197) from a large nationally-representative sample of 10th graders. Results
indicate that math beliefs (i.e., self-efficacy, mindset) play a greater role than
math behaviors (i.e., effort and persistence) in mediating the relationship between
social-contextual factors and math achievement.
Observer Agreement for Infant Vocalization Type in Three Modalities
Yuna Jhang (Communication Sciences and Disorders), Presenter, Co-Presenter: Beau Franklin
|No prior research has addressed the possibility of coding vocal type for protophones
in the video modality. Nor has there been any prior investigation of a possible enhancement
of coding agreement when using video and audio together in vocal type coding. Two
trained judges coded affect in three different modes, video, audio, and video/audio
to assess coder agreement.
Popular Culture in Kate Chopin's "A Pair of Silk Stockings"
Kelli O'Brien (English), Presenter
|Kate Chopin's relationship with popular culture in the 1890s was complex, as illustrated
by a clear tension between the themes of her stories and the venues in which they
appeared, as well as the audience who read them. In this decade, Vogue was a magazine
that fully embodied and supported the materialistic consumer culture of the times.
In "A Pair of Silk Stockings," Chopin writes for a fashionable audience but writes
about a character who unwisely buys into their material culture. Through an examination
of the text of the story, Chopin's personal writings, and her publication history
with Vogue, I reconcile the conflict between Chopin's ideas as embodied in both her
writing and those as embodied in her publication in pop culture sources.
Structure-Based Pharmacophore Development for Hydrophobic Tunnel Targeted Autotaxin
Lauren Ragle (Chemistry), Presenter
|Autotaxin (ATX) is a ubiquitous, secreted enzyme linked to human diseases such as
cancer and cardiovascular disease. Autotaxin hydrolyzes lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC)
to form the bioactive phospholipid lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). The active site of
ATX contains multiple domains including a hydrophobic tunnel. Much of the biological
activity of ATX is mediated through LPA which activates numerous signaling cascades
via the activation of specific G-protein coupled receptors. Autotaxin is a chemotherapeutic
target but few potent, drug-like inhibitors have been discovered to date. This study
applies virtual screening techniques to guide the experimental identification and
characterization of hydrophobic tunnel targeted ATX inhibitors.
Principal Component Analysis To Identify Differences In Gait Kinetics In Subjects
With ACL Reconstruction
Brooke Sanford (Biomedical Engineering), Presenter
|We compared the gait of 10 subjects with unilateral anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
reconstruction to a group of 12 control subjects. The analysis was based on knee angles
and moments and used principal component analysis (PCA) to identify knees of the ACL
reconstructed subjects that fell outside normal ranges as determined by control subjects.
In a sample of 10 ACL reconstructed subjects, 9 of the ACL reconstructed knees had
not returned to normal following surgery, and 8 of the contralateral knees functioned
differently from controls. PCA enabled identification of gait waveforms which fell
outside of normal ranges.
|First Place Winning Abstracts - Undergraduate
Understanding the One Child Policy, Migrant Workers, and the Income Gap in Shanghai
Jacob Howard (Economics), Presenter
|The goal of this paper is to analyze what affects, Chinese government policy on a
national and local levels have had on the growing income disparity in Shanghai between
the upper class and the middle class. Specifically this paper will analyze the effects
the One Child Policy has had on the middle class through an increase in consumption,
decrease in savings, and the inflation of the white-collar labor force through the
emphasis placed on education within Chinese society. It will also include the effect
of government policies concerning migrant workers through an increase in savings and
an inflation of the blue-collar labor force. Within the context of China's pursuit
of modernization this paper will analyze the usefulness of the One Child Policy within
modern society. For the purpose of this paper research was conducted through the method
of interviews among urban Shanghai singletons and among the migrant community within
Shanghai through the method of surveys. Ultimately this paper determines that through
secondary and primary research that there is a transfer of wealth from the urban middle
class to the business owners and richest peoples in urban areas in addition to the
rural areas of China via migrant workers that has generated an income gap within Shanghai
thanks to the One Child Policy.
Automatic Detection of Cardiac Arrhythmias in Electrocardiogram (ECG) Recordings
Duy Dang (Biomedical Engineering), Presenter
|The purpose of this study is to improve automatic detection of cardiac arrhythmias
in electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings. The previous algorithm was designed to detect
premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) using a template matching system. Because
noisy intervals in ECG signals compromise the recognizable features of PVCs, either
PVCs are missed during template matching or false positives occur. This study will
determine whether the addition of a supplemental program will improve PVC detection
in ECG recordings. The anticipated outcome is an optimal filter design that would
smooth out the ECG while maintaining the integrity of the original recording.
21st Century Battle of Blair Mountain: Analysis of an Advocacy Campaign
Aaron Turner (English), Presenter
|In 1921, the largest civil uprising in U.S. history and the largest armed insurrection
since the American Civil War took place in the coalfields of Southern West Virginia
in the Battle of Blair Mountain. Now, in the 21st century, Blair Mountain is facing
another battle as activists try to block a form of extreme strip mining called mountaintop
removal mining. Blair Mountain is now on the chopping block, along with several hundred
mountains that are threatened by this type of strip mining. In an effort to save Blair
Mountain and stop mountaintop removal, Appalachia Rising and Friends of Blair Mountain
organized a reenactment of the 1921 March on Blair Mountain in order to abolish mountaintop
removal, strengthen labor rights, demand sustainable job creation in all Appalachian
communities, and preserve Blair Mountain. This paper evaluates the March as an advocacy
campaign in the anti-mountaintop removal (MTR) social movement. It analyzes the organizing
strategies of the March on Blair Mountain planners through a participant observation
of the march itself (utilizing photographs, speeches, and interviews), studying how
the organizers, speakers, participants and press framed the march.
Developing an Acceptable, Vitamin E Enriched Muffin for Children with Sickle Cell
Blake Randle (Health and Sport Sciences), Presenter
|Sickle cell disease is a condition of increased free radical damage, specifically
from a lack of adequate vitamin E intake. The purpose of this study was to develop
a vitamin E enriched muffin, providing approximately 50% of the RDA, for children
(n=26), ages 9 to 13, with sickle cell anemia. Results from the study indicated the
muffin received positive scores in the areas of taste, texture, aroma, and overall
appeal. The results also indicate that the muffin can be used to help dietitians prevent
the free radical damage often seen in the disease, and at the same time, increasing
the vitamin E content in the diet.
Designing Water-Soluble Mimics of a Membrane Protein
Virginia Godwin (Chemistry), Presenter
|Membrane and water-soluble proteins have similar core but different surface residue
properties. Membrane protein surfaces are hydrophobic, while water-soluble protein
surfaces are hydrophilic. Core residues confer function and structure, while surface
residues determine solubility. Thus, altering surface residues of a G protein-coupled
receptor (GPCR), a membrane protein, to hydrophilic residues should produce water-solubility.
We aim to develop a family-wide design of water-soluble GPCR using seven crystallized
structures to inform the design. Molecular dynamics were used to evaluate stability
of the native protein and mutants in water. Expression of the native protein and mutants
was used to evaluate solubility.
Modernization and Sovereign Debt Crises: The Case of Greece
Jonathan Bennett (Political Science), Presenter
|One crucial driver of the 2010-12 Greek debt crisis was the limited extent of modernization
of the Greek political system, particularly clientelism. Clientelism accelerated the
growth of Greek public debt by increasing wasteful government spending, impairing
tax collection, and institutionalizing substandard economic performance. These effects
were combined with a failure of stakeholders such as the EU and the financial community
to recognize the effects of clientelistic politics on economic outcomes. Using comparative
analysis and with supporting interviews, I argue that clientelism should become a
more significant factor when analyzing the risk of a given polity to default on its
|Second Place Winning Abstracts - Undergraduate
Structure Illumination Microscopy Compared to Other Computational Optical Sectioning
Gregorio Lobo (Electrical/Computer Engineering), Presenter
|Computational Optical Sectioning Microscopy (COSM) is widely used today for enhancing
3-D images obtained from microscopes and similar imaging devices. This technique uses
several 2-D images of the specimen at different depths to produce a 3-D model of the
true object. Furthermore, another method for enhancing 3-D images is Structure Illumination
Microscopy (SIM). This technique uses a grid, which contains a sinusoidal pattern
of lines, to project a modulated illuminating light onto a focal plane of the specimen.
During data acquisition, the phase of the grid is shifted to create sub-images, which
are used to reconstruct an accurate 3-D image.
Chitosan Calcium Phosphate Membranes
Orlandis Scott (Biomedical Engineering), Presenter
|Chitosan is a polysaccharide that is biodegradable and biocompatible. Chitosan may
be electrospun into no-woven nano-fibrous mats for use as guided tissue membranes
to help in bone regeneration and healing of adjacent soft tissue. A major disadvantage
with using the chitosan nano-fibrous membranes is that they can be very weak and easily
torn during handling by a surgeon. Calcium phosphate materials are commonly used as
coatings on dental/orthopedic implants and in bone tissue engineering due to their
chemical similarity to native bone mineral. The disadvantage with using calcium phosphate
is that itâ€™s brittle and not flexible. By combining chitosan and calcium phosphate
we may form a composite material with improved strength and toughness as well as with
enhanced bone and tissue healing characteristics. In this project, we aim to deposit
carbonated substitute calcium phosphate particles onto electrospun membranes to mimic
the natural mineral-fibrous extracellular matrix of bone. The goal of this is to provide
a more tissue like surface for the bone cells to regenerate bone and to increase strength
of the guided tissue membrane.
15 Year Study of Free Radicals in Irradiated Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene
Jason Brewer (Physics), Presenter
|Gamma irradiation is often used in sterilization and crosslinking during the manufacture
of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) components used in joint replacements.
This irradiation creates free radicals which can increase oxidation in UHMWPE and
subsequent osteolysis, a primary reason for implant failure. We have examined free
radicals in UHMWPE exposed to various temperatures and environments over 15 years.
The purpose of this study is to gain knowledge about the long-term effects of storage
environments on free radical induced oxidative behavior with respect to time.
Kinetic Analysis of Sphingosine Kinase 1
Melanie Sparks (Chemistry), Presenter
|Sphingosine kinase 1 (SK1) is a key enzyme involved in determining cellular fate.
The overexpression of SK1 has been shown to be involved in human diseases such as
cancer, arthritis, and asthma. Despite its role in human health, many unanswered questions
remain concerning the biochemistry of SK1. We have undertaken a comparison of SK1
produced in bacterial, insect, and mammalian cell systems and have begun mutagenesis
experiments for SK1 for verification of a homology model developed in our lab. The
characterization of SK1 expressed in these systems using multiple assays and the results
of current mutagenesis experiments will be presented.
Developing History: Processes for Recovering Images from Antique Photographic Films
Tommy W. Wilson (Art), Presenter
|In the past 25 years, vernacular photography, that being photographs taken largely
by non-professional photographers have become a validated resource for historic information.
Interestingly, as this material became known to researchers, undeveloped films were
also discovered. Many of these films are currently languishing in museums worldwide.
This research project, which is currently in its second phase, will establish basic
protocols for recovering these latent images and enriching our vernacular record.
The films used for this research were shot greater than 50 years ago inMemphisand
images from the early 1900s are already being gathered.
Lack of a Partner Preference in the Eusocial, Socially Monogamous Damaraland Mole-Rat
EunBit Grace Cho (Biological Sciences), Presenter
Damaraland mole-rats (DMR) are eusocial mammals. They live in colonies that consist
of a breeding pair and non-breeding workers. The breeding pair remains together and
reproduces for their entire lives. Extra-pair mating is rare. It is hypothesized that
DMR form partner preferences, i.e., breeders exhibit a preference for each other over
other potential mates. We tested this hypothesis by allowing breeders to choose between
their partner and an unfamiliar breeder. Results indicate that DMR do not exhibit
partner preferences; females are equally likely to mate with their partner or an unfamiliar
male, whereas males prefer to mate with unfamiliar females.
Neighborhood Perceptions and Realities of Access to Grocers in Uptown Memphis
K. Cole Bradley (Anthropology), Presenter
In the Uptown neighborhood of downtown Memphis, residents see access to grocery stores
as a critical but lacking element in their growing community. This study analyzes
interviews with several Uptown key informants and ninety-three neighborhood satisfaction
surveys measuring average Uptown residents' opinions of various aspects of fulfillment
including access to food. The study then analyzes product pricing, variety of products,
and estimated travel cost of five local grocers and compares the results to the residents'
attitudes to gauge whether neighborhood perceptions of convenience are consistent
with realities and which plays the greater role in shaping ideas of accessibility.
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