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Natural Science and Mathematics Blog

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Nicole Vanagas, an Honors Chemistry major, was recently awarded a $1,000 Eli Lilly travel award through the American Chemical Society (ACS). This travel award allows her to attend and present her project at the 2014 meeting in Dallas, TX in March. These grants are awarded to female graduate and undergraduate students who are attending and presenting their research for the first time at a national or international conference. Nicole will be presenting her Honors research project with Dr. Bradley, which deals with synthesis of new N-heterocylic carbene cobalt complexes.

For more information about the program, please visit the ACS website at

http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/funding-and-awards/awards/other/travel/wcctravelaward.html

This past summer, Amy Strosser, worked on two mathematical research projects in graph theory at Rochester Institute of Technology. A group of students, along with Amy, analyzed data that was recorded from the MRI's of football player's brains. They used graph theory metrics to determine whether the communication between brain regions had changed from preseason to postseason. They concluded that the number of hits a player took affected the communication connectivity of the player's brain. Amy and her partner worked on a second project, in which they discovered an algorithm called Walk Modularity that can detect communities within graphs. A community is a set of vertices that is well-connected by edges within a graph.

During the summer of 2012 at St. Mary's College of Maryland, Michelle Rose C'15 and a group of three other undergraduate students researched existing work on dominating sets to create their own algorithm to find minimally double dominating sets. The algorithms were created to handle different types of graphs and to be self-stabilizing, in order to reduce the need for external interference. To make the idea of double dominating sets more applicable to the modern world, the group decided to tie their research to the zombie apocalypse. Zombies and national guard squadrons correspond to nodes out of and in the set, respectively. Therefore, in the event of a zombie apocalypse, the algorithm can be applied to the intersections of streets in order to determine where to place squadrons to contain the zombie mobs and how to use them most efficiently.

Thanks to the generosity of several donors, four students had the unparalleled opportunity to conduct original, professional-level research under the mentorship of Science Department faculty. The students were the recipients of Summer Research Internship Program (SRIP) awards in the form of stipends that allowed them to dedicate their summer to research rather than a mundane summer job. The awards were made possible by donations to the Dean's Fund for Excellence. Faculty were able to advance their research and students gained valuable training and experience that will help them get into medical school and graduate school or land a job after graduation. We are very grateful to all those who support the Dean's Fund for Excellence.

Dr. staiger and student

Dahyana Arias and Dr. Jen Staiger, Biology
Examining the molecular mediators of HMGB1 signaling in rat glioma cells

Dr. Bradley and Jordan DeSilva

Jordan DeSilva and Dr. Chris Bradley, Chemistry
Synthesis of a Super Bulky N-Heterocyclic Carbene and Its Reactivity with Transitional Metals

Dr. McCauslin and student

Brad Shenberger and Dr. Christine McCauslin, Biology
Transcriptional regulation in response to ischemic shock and inflammation

Dr. Dye and student

Jessica Boegner and Dr. Katy Dye, Biology
Induction of the unfolded protein response by Ebolavirus - a qPCR array investigation

 
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