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Updated: 5 hours 37 min ago

Eventual Cone Invariance

Fri, 2017-07-07 10:59

Eventually nonnegative matrices are square matrices whose powers become and remain (entrywise) nonnegative. Using classical Perron-Frobenius theory for cone preserving maps, this notion is generalized to matrices whose powers eventually leave a proper cone K ⊂ R^n invariant, that is, A^mK ⊆ K for all sufficiently large m. Also studied are the related notions of eventual cone invariance by the matrix exponential, as well as other generalizations of M-matrix and dynamical system notions.

Optimal dual fusion frames for probabilistic erasures

Fri, 2017-07-07 10:59

For any fixed fusion frame, its optimal dual fusion frames for reconstruction is studied in case of erasures of subspaces. It is considered that a probability distribution of erasure of subspaces is given and that a blind reconstruction procedure is used, where the erased data are set to zero. It is proved that there are always optimal duals. Sufficient conditions for the canonical dual fusion frame being either the unique optimal dual, a non-unique optimal dual, or a non optimal dual, are obtained. The reconstruction error is analyzed, using the optimal duals in the probability model considered here and using the optimal duals in a non-probability model.

Quantifying the Impact of Population Size on Natural Selection Across the Genome

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

In a world of rapid anthropogenic change understanding factors influencing the pace with which a population can respond to natural selection has become a necessity for conservation. Often when considering risk of extinction we take population size into account. However, understanding evolutionary implications of that population size may also be important. Most mechanisms involved in evolution act within a population, such as selection, mutation, migration, and genetic drift. Notably, these processes are not static across species or populations and are often influenced by dynamic aspects such as population size. By comparing among groups that naturally show difference in population size we can better understand the impacts of population size pressures on genetic diversity and the effectiveness of natural selection. In this comparative study of five co-distributed Alaskan mammals—Collared Pikas, Hoary Marmots, Brown Lemmings, Artic Ground Squirrels, and Singing Voles—we tested whether population size influences the ability of a population to respond to selection using genomic data and predictive simulations. Our results show species with larger population sizes display more genomic variation, suggesting that selection may be working more effectively in larger populations. Meanwhile, smaller populations are more likely to lose advantageous loci by chance alone. In conclusion, evolution is not a static process, but rather, as we found, selection response is dynamic in relation to population size.

Likelihood of Bystander Intervention as a Function of a Social Norms

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

Bystander intervention is the decision of a third party to take action in a perceived, ongoing, or completed sexual assault to assist the victim. The primary goal of bystander intervention is to prevent sexual victimization before it is perpetrated. Research demonstrates how perceptions of community expectations can alter rape myth acceptance (RMA). RMA can be malleable if the community’s perception of RMA is higher or lower, at least temporarily. RMA can function as a social norm. This study evaluates the degree to which an individual’s perceptions of community support influences willingness to intervene in potential assault situations. It is expected that individuals’ perceptions of bystander behavior as normative will increase self-reported willingness to intervene, and perceptions of such behavior as uncommon, will decrease one’s intent to intervene. Participants (N=81) filled out two surveys assessing willingness to help and efficacy to help in a hypothetical sexual assault situation. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: control group, low community support, or high community support. Trends in bystander efficacy demonstrated that higher levels of perceived community support lead to higher self-reported efficacy. This also held true for lower levels. Readiness to help was divided into three subscales (action, responsibility, and no awareness). The different conditions had no effect on action. Trends indicate feelings of responsibility and need for awareness in the two experimental groups.

Fabrication and Mechanical Characterization of Thiol-ene Polymers and Thiol-acrylate Liquid Crystal Elastomers

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

This study’s purpose was to synthesize and program thiol-acrylate and thiol-ene based polymeric materials. A Michael addition of dithiol and tetrathiol monomers with a diacrylate mesogen is the single crosslinking mechanism to form a polydomain. A room-temperature-nematic exhibiting local mesogenic alignment, termed polydomain. A strained polydomain with up to 45 mol% excess acrylate composition, allows photocrosslinking reaction forming monodomain elastomers. These polydomain and monodomain stages largely depend on the effects of increment in crosslink density, showing independent mechanical properties. To study mechanical behavior of polydomain and monodomain samples, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) was used to investigate linear viscoelastic region, glass transition temperature, isotropic transition temperature and thermal actuation properties. The amount of acrylate associated in LCEs changed mechanical properties of both polydomain and monodomain elastomers. Polydomain samples exhibited reduced transition temperatures, storage modulus, and high strain-to-failure with increased acrylate as a result of reduced crosslink density. Whereas, monodomain have higher transition temperatures, storage modulus, and reducing strain-to-failure with increased acrylate due to increased crosslink density. A tetrathiol monomer with triene is sole crosslinking mechanism to form radical thiol-ene network polymer. The evolution of mechanical properties is analyzed as a function of UV exposure, where ultraviolet light initiates radical reaction. Thiol-ene polymers were successfully prepared through photochemical reaction with up to 80 mol% excess thiol (relative to acrylate) to form glassy polymer networks with chemically function surfaces. DMA was used to investigate the viscoelastic region and glass transition temperature. Increased thiol concentration resulted in reduced glass transition temperature.

Fabrication and Mechanical Characterization of Thiol-ene Polymers and Thiol-acrylate Liquid Crystal Elastomers

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

This study’s purpose was to synthesize and program thiol-acrylate and thiol-ene based polymeric materials. A Michael addition of dithiol and tetrathiol monomers with a diacrylate mesogen is the single crosslinking mechanism to form a polydomain. A room-temperature-nematic exhibiting local mesogenic alignment, termed polydomain. A strained polydomain with up to 45 mol% excess acrylate composition, allows photocrosslinking reaction forming monodomain elastomers. These polydomain and monodomain stages largely depend on the effects of increment in crosslink density, showing independent mechanical properties. To study mechanical behavior of polydomain and monodomain samples, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) was used to investigate linear viscoelastic region, glass transition temperature, isotropic transition temperature and thermal actuation properties. The amount of acrylate associated in LCEs changed mechanical properties of both polydomain and monodomain elastomers. Polydomain samples exhibited reduced transition temperatures, storage modulus, and high strain-to-failure with increased acrylate as a result of reduced crosslink density. Whereas, monodomain have higher transition temperatures, storage modulus, and reducing strain-to-failure with increased acrylate due to increased crosslink density. A tetrathiol monomer with triene is sole crosslinking mechanism to form radical thiol-ene network polymer. The evolution of mechanical properties is analyzed as a function of UV exposure, where ultraviolet light initiates radical reaction. Thiol-ene polymers were successfully prepared through photochemical reaction with up to 80 mol% excess thiol (relative to acrylate) to form glassy polymer networks with chemically function surfaces. DMA was used to investigate the viscoelastic region and glass transition temperature. Increased thiol concentration resulted in reduced glass transition temperature.

MouseVision

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

MouseVision is a project that combines optical tracking and speech recognition software to create a mouse that does not rely on the use of arms and legs. It utilizes the openCV API to find an initial point to track and creates a point vector. Then it detects changes in the point vector to create a corresponding change in the mouse position on screen. It combines this aspect with the CMU Sphinx speech recognition library to perform clicks when the end user says “left click” or “right click”. The goal of this project was to make an interface that used cost-effective hardware, such as a webcam and microphone, to allow someone who is quadriplegic, or otherwise physically limited, to operate a mouse cursor. The project is considered successful, because a person without any arms at all is able to do basic computer tasks, such as play chess, using the MouseVision software.

Assessment of Cardiac Function in Mice Chronically Exposed to Volatile Organic Compounds

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

Atmospheric air pollutants, including Volatile Organic Compounds such as acrolein and polyvinyl chloride (VOC), have been linked to increased cardiovascular and metabolic dysfunction. This is of particular interest in Wyoming, where industrial mining may increase exposure to VOC. This project is part of a recently begun two-year collaboration with Dr. Jun Ren (UW Pharmacy School), to examine the relationship between VOC exposure and cardio-metabolic syndrome. We hypothesize that chronic (6-12 week) exposure to aerosolized VOC will result in cardiac dysfunction in mice. Mice will be exposed to VOC in Dr. Ren’s lab, transported to our lab, and subjected to pressure-volume loop analysis of cardiac function (PV). PV is the most comprehensive technique to measure cardiac function, including beat-by-beat determination of: cardiac output, heart rate, stroke volume, preload, afterload, and a load-independent measure of contractility. A PV transducer is inserted into the left ventricle (LV) via the carotid artery, and baseline loops are generated in real time. Inferior vena cava occlusions are performed to assess contractility over a range of end-diastolic volumes. Finally, two calibrations are necessary: 1) hypertonic saline calibration, to subtract parallel conductance (conductance due to cardiac muscle rather than ventricular volume), and 2) cuvette calibration, to convert conductance to volume. PV experiments for this project will begin in Fall 2017.

Attitudes Towards Autism in Healthcare and in Society

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

Autism did not appear as its own diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) until the third edition in 1980 (Davis, pg 461). In 2014, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that autism diagnosis rates were 1 in 110 and stated the high prevalence as “an urgent public health concern” (McGuire, pg 55). This declaration lead to autism being described as an epidemic, which then lead to a widespread sense of fear (McGuire, pg 56). Disability studies scholars take a different approach when looking at autism and disabilities in general. The two main views of disabilities discussed by disability studies scholars are the medical and the social model. The medical model views disability as something that needs to be fixed or cured and as a person-centered problem. The social model views disability as something that is socially constructed (Davis, pg 462). In today’s health care, most health professionals view disabilities through the individual model. This takes the medical model to a new level and labels a disability as a tragedy. Disability studies scholars find this to be a nonproductive method of approaching disabilities (Durell). Because of this, a lot of medical students report discomfort when working with disabilities (Symons). Specifically, the field of occupational therapy (OT) is based on a client-centered practice philosophy. It has been argued that embracing disability studies and the viewpoints of disabled people could truly benefit the client-centered practice approach that is utilized by OTs (McCormack, page 2).

Attitudes Towards Autism in Healthcare and in Society

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

Autism did not appear as its own diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) until the third edition in 1980 (Davis, pg 461). In 2014, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that autism diagnosis rates were 1 in 110 and stated the high prevalence as “an urgent public health concern” (McGuire, pg 55). This declaration lead to autism being described as an epidemic, which then lead to a widespread sense of fear (McGuire, pg 56). Disability studies scholars take a different approach when looking at autism and disabilities in general. The two main views of disabilities discussed by disability studies scholars are the medical and the social model. The medical model views disability as something that needs to be fixed or cured and as a person-centered problem. The social model views disability as something that is socially constructed (Davis, pg 462). In today’s health care, most health professionals view disabilities through the individual model. This takes the medical model to a new level and labels a disability as a tragedy. Disability studies scholars find this to be a nonproductive method of approaching disabilities (Durell). Because of this, a lot of medical students report discomfort when working with disabilities (Symons). Specifically, the field of occupational therapy (OT) is based on a client-centered practice philosophy. It has been argued that embracing disability studies and the viewpoints of disabled people could truly benefit the client-centered practice approach that is utilized by OTs (McCormack, page 2).

3D World for Reddit

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

Reddit describes itself as “the front page of the Internet.” It is a popular website that aims to help connect people and discover new things. Anybody can join this website, or anonymously browse its more than one million subreddits (discussion boards). The website is designed in a simple fashion; when logged in, users can customize their view, but it is generally laid out as a simple forum website. Our group aims to visually represent the existing Reddit community and give Reddit users a new and fun way to discover content on Reddit. Using the Unity game development engine, we have created a real-time 3D world for Reddit. Subreddits are represented as buildings within a city, and threads are represented as pictures within the building. From this 3D world, users can interact with subreddits and threads by viewing or commenting on them.

How Clinicians Report Discussing Self-Monitoring with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Patients

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

Patient self-monitoring is critical to diabetes self-management. With no detailed approach to discussing self-monitoring by the American Diabetes Association we examined how clinicians report discussing self-monitoring with patients. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and three key questions followed from the research question. Analysis included transcripts and debriefing notes. A constant-comparison approach with category coding and thematic representation was used. How the clinicians discuss self-monitoring relates to their perceptions of: (1) the clinician-patient relationship, (2) needs beyond diabetes, and (3) perceived benefits of self-monitoring. Participants revealed a continuum of relational approaches from “partnership” with the goal to achieve patient independence on one end to benevolent paternalism wherein the clinician “keep[s] people safe”, “make[s] slow fixes” and who, in a perfect world would like to “free” patients from insulin and self-monitoring requirements. Different needs of patients were reported to affect self-monitoring efforts and many benefits of self-monitoring were identified. While some clinicians take a partnering approach, others reported this possibility only in “the perfect world” due to patients’ struggles and obstacles outside of the clinician’s control. It’s not clear how the approaches to discussing self-monitoring relate to the clinician-patient relationship, patients’ needs or the benefits of self-monitoring. How clinicians talk about self-monitoring within the clinician-patient relationship may influence diabetes outcomes. Future research is needed to address the variety and severity of patients’ needs and to include the patient perspective.

Quantitative Rating System for Imagery Acquired with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are increasingly used for acquiring aerial images due to their flexibility, low operational cost, and perceived ease of use in comparison to manned aircrafts. However, UAVs can be subjected to relatively higher instability leading to more pitch-roll-yaw and drift problems than manned aircrafts. Hence images acquired from the UAVs could suffer from distortion which will limit their use. Currently, there is a lack of studies that have systematically evaluated how these distortions affect the usefulness and interpretability of the images. This project will focus on quantifying the utility of aerial images acquired in different illumination conditions and camera look angles. A Phantom DJ II aircraft was flown in the UW Williams Conservatory and images of six plants were acquired under three different illumination conditions and three camera look angles. These images were then rated using the modified version of the US Air Force and USDA National Image Interpretability Rating Scales (NIIRS) systems. Results from this study will provide insights about the utility of UAV and the images acquired under different conditions, along with the time and training involved in learning to fly the UAV in a variety of conditions and difficult environments.

Quantitative Rating System for Imagery Acquired with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are increasingly used for acquiring aerial images due to their flexibility, low operational cost, and perceived ease of use in comparison to manned aircrafts. However, UAVs can be subjected to relatively higher instability leading to more pitch-roll-yaw and drift problems than manned aircrafts. Hence images acquired from the UAVs could suffer from distortion which will limit their use. Currently, there is a lack of studies that have systematically evaluated how these distortions affect the usefulness and interpretability of the images. This project will focus on quantifying the utility of aerial images acquired in different illumination conditions and camera look angles. A Phantom DJ II aircraft was flown in the UW Williams Conservatory and images of six plants were acquired under three different illumination conditions and three camera look angles. These images were then rated using the modified version of the US Air Force and USDA National Image Interpretability Rating Scales (NIIRS) systems. Results from this study will provide insights about the utility of UAV and the images acquired under different conditions, along with the time and training involved in learning to fly the UAV in a variety of conditions and difficult environments.

From Source to the Photosynthetic Fringe: The Downstream Geochemistry of Yellowstone National Park’s Hydrothermal System

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

Hydrothermal features provide a unique and extreme environment that can act as a proxy for studying both past earth environments and similar environments of interest that exist throughout the universe today. Yellowstone National Park contains more than half of the world’s hydrothermal springs; over 10,000 features in all. As waters flow out of hydrothermal features they cool, evaporate, and interact with the air. This results in significant changes in water chemistry as the outflowing waters move away from their source. Outflow samples were collected that represented Yellowstone’s entire geochemical spectrum to further explore the chemical variations in the waters as they moved away from their effluent source. This project analyzed changes in the major and trace element chemistry of the water samples by implementing IC and ICP-OES analytical methods. Results indicate a number of significant trends in major and trace element concentrations. These trends have uncovered information regarding inorganic mineral deposition along with organic uptake of metals in outflow streams. These trends shed new light on the Yellowstone hydrothermal system’s unique geobiochemistry along with geobiochemical implications in the greater context of both the Earth and other planetary bodies throughout our universe, including Mars, other rocky planets and moons.

With Wyoming in Mind: Wyoming Writes Its Own Narrative

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

This two-part project examines modern writing in Wyoming, from fictional narratives to poetry, as a framework for my own original poetry. By analyzing the primary source accounts left by writers, their own work, and peer reviewed investigations of their words, it seeks to determine what about Wyoming lends itself to a prominent, though often overlooked, literary tradition. The inherent paradox of creativity in the least-populated state suggests the cathartic and necessary nature of establishing a Wyoming narrative from within the state itself. Reinforcing this need for expression is the landscape, isolated and expansive, and the population, separate, even altern, from the rest of the United States. Such paradox, tied inextricably to these factors, have certainly influenced the collection of poems included in this project, which focus on my own experiences in relation to time and place, heroes, storms and weather, and religion.

With Wyoming in Mind: Wyoming Writes Its Own Narrative

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

This two-part project examines modern writing in Wyoming, from fictional narratives to poetry, as a framework for my own original poetry. By analyzing the primary source accounts left by writers, their own work, and peer reviewed investigations of their words, it seeks to determine what about Wyoming lends itself to a prominent, though often overlooked, literary tradition. The inherent paradox of creativity in the least-populated state suggests the cathartic and necessary nature of establishing a Wyoming narrative from within the state itself. Reinforcing this need for expression is the landscape, isolated and expansive, and the population, separate, even altern, from the rest of the United States. Such paradox, tied inextricably to these factors, have certainly influenced the collection of poems included in this project, which focus on my own experiences in relation to time and place, heroes, storms and weather, and religion.

Wireless Lighting Control System

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

The use of wireless systems has become more and more mainstream as of the start of the 21st century. These products have continually decreased in price, and have seen an increase in popularity for a variety of markets. There are products ranging from speakers to routers all using different types of wireless communication. The goal of this project is to create and implement a method for easily integrating wireless capabilities to a home’s existing electrical system. This project will demonstrate the use of Wi-Fi to communicate at range with a receiver in order to toggle existing spot lights on or off. Secondly, as a proof of concept, it will have ability to point a given light using motors along its axes. The system’s main control will be a handheld device that allows for portability, rechargeability, and convenience. All the receivers will have the ability to be retrofit into an existing electrical system with minimal effort.

Wireless Lighting Control System

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

The use of wireless systems has become more and more mainstream as of the start of the 21st century. These products have continually decreased in price, and have seen an increase in popularity for a variety of markets. There are products ranging from speakers to routers all using different types of wireless communication. The goal of this project is to create and implement a method for easily integrating wireless capabilities to a home’s existing electrical system. This project will demonstrate the use of Wi-Fi to communicate at range with a receiver in order to toggle existing spot lights on or off. Secondly, as a proof of concept, it will have ability to point a given light using motors along its axes. The system’s main control will be a handheld device that allows for portability, rechargeability, and convenience. All the receivers will have the ability to be retrofit into an existing electrical system with minimal effort.

History of Women in Agriculture

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

The number of women as key farming operators rose from 28 percent to nearly 60 percent from 1940 through the mid-1990s. (Blau, Ferber, & Winkler, 2014, p. 27) as men were sent to war during WWII (Adams, 1997, p.5). At the same time, unfortunately, the total number of farms declined by more than half from 1940 to 1980. (Labao & Meyer, 2001, pp. 107-108). In an effort to understand historical trends of women’s involvement in agriculture, a research project was performed tracking the participation rate, collegiate enrollment, and employment as faculty of women in agriculture across the United States and in Wyoming. The goal was to analyze historical trends of women’s involvement in agriculture. The first research topic was used to determine the trend in women’s participation in agriculture by comparing the number of women as principle operators across the U.S. to Wyoming. The second research topic was used to determine the trend of the rate at which women have received general bachelor, masters, and doctorate degrees across the U.S. and in Wyoming compared to the rate at which women have received agricultural degrees at those levels. The final research topic was used to determine the trend in the number of women faculty members of agricultural programs across the U.S. and in Wyoming compared to the number of women faculty members in general. It was determined that women’s participation rate, collegiate enrollment, and faculty status in agriculture across the U.S. and in Wyoming has historically increased.

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