Maciel Porto, Biology
(Faculty Mentor: Dr. Megan Doczi)
This research investigated the potential role of leptin receptors (LEPR), gene-encoded proteins located within the hypothalamus, that control metabolism and energy expenditure by means of hunger inhibition. This study found higher levels of LEPR gene expression at later time points compared to younger embryonic time points. Embryonic (E) day 8 LEPR gene expression was significantly lower than all other time points tested. These results suggest that LEPR expression varies during gestation according to nutritional needs, and developmental time periods. Further research aims to identify other metabolic hormones to compare hormone/receptor relationship.
Kaitlyn Patterson, Civil and Construction Engineering
(Faculty Mentor: Prof. Moses Tefe)
This research compared the performance and safety characteristics of roundabouts to signalized intersections. Accident records by type and severity, traffic delays and traffic volumes for conditions before and after were obtained from the Department of Transportation in Keene, New Hampshire in order to analyze data for the comparison of the two traffic control systems. Following this research, further analysis should be carried out to ascertain the real benefits of roundabouts over traffic signals.
Lance Ostby, Physics
(Faculty Mentor: Dr. Richard Hyde)
This research expands upon one of the most significant results in the study of non-linear differential equation systems. Starting with the well-known Lorenz model, which describes the chaotic currents in a heated fluid, terms are added to the equation system to include a magnetic force affecting the motion of a plasma. The Lorenz model of atmospheric convection is thereby extended to the fluid convection in Earth’s outer liquid core where Earth’s magnetic field influences the motion. The modified Lorenz model is solved numerically, revealing that the Earth’s fluid core is fundamentally different from atmospheric convection for sufficiently strong magnetic field strengths.
Jeffrey Morgan, Physics
(Faculty Mentor: Dr. Robert Knapik)
The goal of this project was to improve the sensitivity of neutrino detectors. Neutrinos are one of the least understood fundamental particles and many researchers worldwide are working on learning more about their properties. A computer simulation of the SNO+ large volume liquid scintillator neutrino detector was used to develop methods to differentiate between alpha, beta, and gamma particles. Differentiating between these particles helps to separate background signals in the detector that interfere with neutrino detection. The results of this work can be generalized to other particle physics detectors.
Alex Menard, Architecture
(Faculty Mentor: Prof. Tolya Stonorov)
Architecture has given landscape a voice formed by two conditions: the site of the building and the culture of its inhabitants. The economy of Switzerland has recognized that site driven architecture can be profitable and is capitalizing upon this observation. This research investigated instances of site-driven architecture in the Swiss Alps to develop a formula that can be used to create responsive architecture in the future.