2014 Graduate Student WorkBelow you will find a compilation of the graduate participants who exhibited at Innovation with Impact in 2014 listed alphabetically by school, department, and first name. Included are the participant's name, exhibit title, and abstract.
Carnegie Institute of Technology
Aimon Iftikhar - Genipin-Crosslinked Polymeric Networks for Vascular Tissue Engineering Grafts
For procedures such as arterial bypass or hemodialysis, vascular grafts made of polymers are regularly used. While advantageous properties include biodegradability and biocompatibility, current grafts still face the issues of high thrombogeneicity as well as the development of intimal hyperplasia. It is possible to counteract these issues by examining the mechanical compliance of the graft. A unique class of biodegradable elastomers were synthesized called poly (1, 3-diamino-2-hydroxypropane-co-polyol sebacate) or otherwise known as APS. While APS depicts remarkable properties in terms of biocompatibility and mechanical strength, the challenge lies in fine-tuning the biodegradability aspect while maintaining the desired Young’s Modulus. This involves manipulating the inherent properties of APS, such as crosslinking density, to form a functional polymer network for the basis of a successful vascular graft.
Alan Campbell - Enzyme-Nanomaterial Interaction Studies with Application in in situ Decontaminant Production
The high selectivity, specificity and biocompatibility of enzymes make them attractive for such uses as biosensing, industrial catalysis and bioactive coatings. However, before such applications are implemented in large-scale settings, the operational stability and retention of enzymes must be addressed. An in depth study of the interactions between enzymes and nanomaterials was accomplished using enzymes with varying properties and nanosupports with differing characteristics. Further, a system for in situ decontaminant production was investigated. This research will highlight the importance of rational design of the nanomaterial-enzyme hybrids for achieving optimal immobilization conditions that allow high retention of the enzyme structure and functionality.
Anusha Alathur Rangarajan - Machine learning based signal processing for classification of respiratory disorders
The project involves classification of apnea and snores involving respiratory signals obtained from the abdominal wall movement and sound vibration signals. Support vector machine are used for classification. The performance of the algorithm is evaluated based on the precision, recall and Fscore values on comparison with the ground truth.
Pallavi Gunalan - Thermoelastic Response of a Soft Tissue Under a Shearing Motion
The skin is the largest organ in the body, serves as a protective layer, and maintains homeostasis by sensing and adjusting to changes in the environment. The skin suffers from many diseases, several of which can be treated using thermal-related therapies. Environmental temperature changes will elicit responses from the skin that will affect its mechanical properties, thereby yielding a thermoelastic response. A thorough evaluation of temperature distribution under given stresses will provide an understanding of skin behavior relevant to diagnostic and therapeutic models. Here we model the skin as a Mooney-Rivlin material and apply a simple shear deformation.
Yue Guo - Evaluation of Vision Framework of Cell Microinjection with a Handheld Micromanipulator
Due to the inherent tremor of human hand, micromanipulations, which rely on fine motion control and precise tool positioning, require micromanipulators to overcome the limit of an unaided operator. In this demonstration, a quantitative evaluation of stereo reconstructions of a handheld micromanipulator is represented. Also, cell edge detection based on geodesic active contours is applied for cell microinjection as one possible application of this system. Experimental results obtained by this vision framework are given and discussed.
Alexander Dowling - Optimization of a Clean Coal Powerplant
In this project I apply state-of-the-art optimization algorithms to design a coal oxycombustion power plant. This new power plant configuration is believed to be more efficient and cost effective for produce electricty with little to no CO2 atmospheric emissions. This research is in collaboration with National Energy Technology Laboratory as part of the Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative. The goal of the project is to quantify the capabilities of coal oxycombution power plants, develop software tools that will aid industry more rapidly deploy reduced emissions fossil fuel technologies and further the field of numerical process optimization.
Benjamin Yezer - Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy of Doped Nonpolar Liquids
Surfactants are added to nonpolar media to increase the electrical conductivity and control particle dispersion in a number of industrial applications. Steric stabilization of dispersions is typically assumed in nonpolar media; electrostatic effects are less well characterized. Developments in this field require definitive measurements of electrical properties of the bulk fluid to determine mechanisms for the formation and stabilization of charges. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) was used in a thin fluid cell with blocking electrodes to analyze the electrical and physicochemical properties of dodecane containing up to ten mass percent added surfactant solution of trade name OLOA 11000.
Gamze Gumuslu - High-throughput characterization of H2-D2 exchange activity of PdxCu1-x alloys
We have developed a high-throughput methodology that enables characterization of a range of alloy compositions in a single experiment. The approach is based on use of Composition Spread Alloy Films (CSAFs), high-throughput libraries which include all possible alloy compositions of an alloy. In this work, PdxCu1-x CSAFs were prepared by evaporative co-deposition of the components onto Mo substrates, followed by annealing at 700 K. H2-D2 exchange (H2 + D2 ? 2HD) was performed using a multichannel microreactor array, at atmospheric pressure over a range of temperatures, to probe the H2 dissociation activity of film surface across composition and structure space.
John Riley - Spherical polymer brush nanoparticles: Swelling and adsorption to the solid/liquid interface
Polymer brushes have been well studied for their ability to produce strong normal forces, which has found numerous applications in colloidal stabilization and surface conditioning. Brushes are most commonly formed by either adsorption of block copolymers to a surface or grafting polymer chains from a surface by controlled radical polymerization, however these methods have drawbacks which limit their practical application. In an effort to combine high chain density and strong, non-covalent surface attachment, we propose the use of polymer brush nanoparticles (BNPs) consisting of a nanoscale core surrounded by a high-density polymer brush. BNPs can be adsorbed from solution to an interface, where the particles are strongly attached through multi-chain contact while also extending a large number of chains away from the surface into solution, forming a pseudo-brush layer. However, lateral repulsions between BNPs residing at the surface reduce the maximum attainable coverage, potentially robbing the coating of desired repulsive forces. In this presentation we will discuss the adsorption of neutral and charged BNPs to the solid/liquid interface, investigated by a combination of ellipsometry, quartz-crystal microbalance with dissipation, and streaming potential measurements. The effect of solution conditions on the bulk particle properties and the adsorbed layer will be discussed in detail, as well as the correlation between the adsorbed layer structure and surface forces.
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Akanksha Garg - Failure/Instabilities in Nanoscale Films
We study mechanical instabilities in thin films of metals and alloys driven by nano-indentation loading. The project employs numerical simulations and calculations at the atomistic scale and mapping these results onto continuum models (micro-scale models). Our preliminary work has focused on single-crystal Aluminum, and now we are designing precise experimental measurements on single crystal Al thin films to compare with our atomistic calculations. We envision extensions into the area of semiconductor thin films – both crystalline and amorphous --, for example Nitride-based materials (for communication and solid state lighting applications).
Argha Namhata - Multi – model Predictive System for CH4 and H2S in Water at Shale Gas Sites
Technological advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing may induce environmental risks associated with regional water quality due to migration of gases like CH4 and H2S. Thus, predicting the solubility of these gases in different aqueous conditions, including those relevant to subsurface environments, is important. Nine models, for predicting CH4 solubility in aqueous phases and six models for H2S are considered. The goal of this study was to develop multi-model weighted predictions for these gases for a range of ionic strengths, over a temperature range of 298 – 483 K and a pressure range of 1 – 350 bars.
Arka Roy - Role of Inertia and Dissipation Mechanism on Soft Particle Suspensions
Soft particle suspensions acts as an elastic solid at rest and flows very much like a viscous fluid above the yield stress. Particle-level models take contact deformation into account to model elastic forces and treat the drag forces -- in the very dense regime where long-range hydrodynamic interactions are thought to be negligible. We show that, in simple shear, although various drag mechanism results same shear modulus, yield stress, and single-particle diffusivity in quasi static regime, they show a dramatic change and different behavior in finite rate regime.
Chandrayee Basu - Smart Buildings for smart grid
With goals of improving energy efficiency, operations and power grid integration, new buildings are being instrumented with large-scale wireless sensor and actuator networks for research and development. This project is a combination of two different applications of distributed sensing in smart buildings, directed towards affordable sensor deployment and optimal operation of building systems. I will present an indoor light powered wireless sensor network platform optimized in deployment for intelligent lighting. The second application aims at inferring floor level occupancy from building vibrations. Both of these systems leverage knowledge from feature extraction and machine learning for detection of relevant events.
Milad Memarzadeh - Probabilistic Learning and Planning for Optimal Management of Wind Farms
Wind energy is a key renewable source, yet wind farms have relatively high cost compared to many traditional energy sources. Among the life cycle costs of wind farms, operation and maintenance (O&M) accounts for 25-30%, and an efficient strategy for management of turbines can significantly reduce the O&M cost. In this research, we propose a novel learning and planning method, called Planning and Learning in Uncertain dynamic Systems (PLUS), that can learn from the environment, update the distributions of model parameters, and select the optimal strategy considering the uncertainty related to the model.
Tianhao Tang - Feature analysis of temperature gradient effect on indirect and direct bridge SHM
One main problem of vibration-based bridge structural health monitoring is the variation of the bridge’s dynamic characteristics due to environmental conditions. From an experimental setup including a controlled vehicle and a bridge structure, we refer to direct monitoring and indirect monitoring by using different data source under different temperature and damaged scenarios. A two-layer classification system is proposed to split the influences from temperatures and the bridge scenarios so that each factor can be analyzed individually. Local fisher discriminant analysis is used as the feature extractor and support vector machine is used as the classifier in both layers.
Xue Yang - A formal approach to provide information support for troubleshooting of HVAC related problems
The scope of the proposed research includes: (1) identifying generic information requirements that HVAC mechanics need during troubleshooting of HVAC related problems and characteristics of work orders that affect applicable information requirements for a given work order; (2) development of representation schema and reasoning mechanisms to automatically identify applicable information requirements and populate values for those requirements for a given facility and a work order; and (3) visualization of identified and generated information for effective decision-making of HVAC mechanics during troubleshooting.
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Omer Ozdemir - Ultrasonic Power Transfer to mm-Sized and Deep Implants
Ultrasonic power transfer is a method of wireless power delivery to implants. There are different power
transfer methods (electromagnetic, etc.) but ultrasonic power transfer is the only feasible method for
deep (>5cm) and small (mm size) implants. The aim of this project is delivering a few mW power to 1 mm2
device implanted 10 cm of depth. The simulation results show that with the help of focusing, 2.68 mW of
power can be delivered which is around 2 orders of magnitude higher than the other methods. It is
expected that this powering method will enable new implant technologies.
Shahriyar Amini - PrivacyGrade
The goal of PrivacyGrade.org is to help raise awareness of the behaviors that many smartphone apps have
that may affect people’s privacy. PrivacyGrade provides detailed information about an app's privacy-
related behaviors. We summarize these behaviors in the form of a grade, ranging from A (most privacy
sensitive) to D (least privacy sensitive).
Energy Science, Technology & Policy
Janak Gahlot, Sidharth Choudhary - Rural Microgrids : Architectures and Technical Challenges
A large portion of the population in developing countries resides in rural areas, most of which are devoid of electricity access. The cost of grid expansion in such regions is usually high due to low demand density, less capacity utilization and higher transmission line/infrastructure costs. These problems can be mitigated by deploying low cost microgrids incorporating a variety of locally available renewable resources. We analyse the different types of microgrid architectures suitable for rural electrification and identify technical challenges associated with islanded and grid tied operation of such microgrids.
Shashank Donthi, Robbie Chen, David Harbor, Malika Waller - The Smart Pump
There has been a steady decline in conventional energy sources over the past decades which, when coupled with growing population and increase in adverse environmental impacts, has intensified the integration of renewable energy sources in the energy mix of both developed and developing nations. By recognizing the ever-growing impacts of renewable energy and technologies on our daily activities, we are motivated to explore solar-powered water pumping technologies.
Engineering & Public Policy
Allison Weis - Cost and Emission Impacts of Controlled Electric Vehicle Charging
Controlling the charging of electric vehicles offers cost savings to the power system by shifting load off hours of peak demand but this also increases the use of coal-fired generation. We construct a mixed integer linear programming model that optimizes power plant dispatch and plug-in electric vehicle charging based on the PJM system. We compare power plant operational costs and emissions with controlled and uncontrolled charging in scenarios with and without 20% wind generation. We calculate the marginal health and environmental damages caused by the emissions using the Air Pollution Emission Experiments and Policy analysis model.
Amy Wesolowski - Quantifying travel behavior for infectious disease research: a comparison of data from surveys and mobile phones
Human travel impacts the spread of infectious diseases across spatial and temporal scales, with broad implications for the biological and social sciences. Individual data on travel patterns have been difficult to obtain, particularly in low-income countries. Travel survey data provide detailed demographic information, but sample sizes are often small and travel histories are hard to validate. Mobile phone records can provide vast quantities of spatio-temporal travel data, but vary in spatial resolution and explicitly do not include individual information in order to protect the privacy of subscribers. Here we compare and contrast both sources of data over the same time period in a rural area of Kenya. Although both data sets are able to quantify broad travel patterns and distinguish regional differences in travel, each provides different insights that can be combined to form a more detailed picture of travel in low-income settings to understand the spread of infectious diseases.
Casey Canfield - Redesigning Bills: The Effect of Format on Responses to Electricity Use Communications
Electricity bills could be a low-cost strategy for improving feedback about home electricity use. We build on the health communication literature, which has identified formats for communicating risks to low-numerate individuals. Participants saw one of three formats for presenting electricity use information including tables, bar graphs, and icon graphs. In their assigned format, each participant saw three communications about electricity use: historical use, appliance breakdown, and neighbor comparison. Results show that the table generated the best understanding and individuals with lower energy literacy understood all formats less. Overall, these results emphasize the importance of testing materials before distribution.
Dena Asta - Nonparametric Density Estimation on Hyperbolic Space
Sometimes spaces other than Euclidean space more naturally describe structure in the real-world. While such spaces are subsets of Euclidean space, natural metrics appropriate for applications in image and network analyses are not just restrictions of the usual distance formula and Lebesgue measure for Euclidean space. The rate of convergence of ordinary kernel density estimators on such measure spaces, with respect to risks appropriate for the given metric structure, is not optimal. We develop a novel adaptation of the classical kernel density estimator appropriate for symmetric spaces, and have obtained minimax rates of convergence comparable with classical rates. Random isometries act as kernels and Helgason-Fourier transforms and inverses implicitly define convolutions with observations.
Emmanuel Owusu - OASIS: On Achieving a Sanctuary for Integrity and Secrecy on Untrusted Platforms
We present OASIS, a CPU instruction set extension for externally verifiable initiation, execution, and termination of an isolated execution environment with a trusted computing base consisting solely of the CPU. OASIS leverages the hardware components available on commodity CPUs to achieve a low-cost, low-overhead design.
Jihoon Min - Assessing Regional Differences in Lighting Heat Replacement Effects in Residential Buildings across the United States
Switching to more efficient lighting for general illumination purposes has been a widely emphasized strategy in energy efficiency programs. However, when inefficient lamps are replaced by more efficient ones, heating and cooling energy demands change due to decreased heat emission from these more efficient lighting sources. As a result, final savings after a retrofit will be different from the savings originally expected. We assess the magnitude of this technological “rebound effect” and provide policy recommendations.
Jinhyok Heo - Air Quality Impacts from Carbon Capture and Storage
Amine scrubbing, a promising carbon capturing technology, may emit a significant amount of ammonia, which is a precursor of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). This study evaluated the potential changes in PM2.5 concentrations and resulting health impacts from amine scrubbing CCS in the eastern United States. It was found that, if not properly controlled, the public health costs from amine scrubbing CCS may seriously compromise the CCS social benefits of CCS to reduce CO2.
John Helveston - Will subsidies drive electric vehicle adoption? Measuring consumer preferences in the U.S. and China
We model consumer preferences for conventional, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV), and battery electric (BEV) vehicle technologies in China and the U.S. using data from choice-based conjoint surveys fielded in both countries. We find that with the combined bundle of attributes offered by vehicles available today, mainstream consumers prefer gasoline models over their plug-in counterparts. In the U.S., low-range PHEVs compete more strongly than BEVs against their respective gasoline counterparts, whereas in China they are comparable. Notably, American respondents have significantly lower relative willingness to pay for BEV technology than Chinese respondents. While U.S. and Chinese subsidies are similar, favoring vehicles with larger battery packs, differences in consumer preferences lead to different outcomes: Our results suggest that with subsidies in place, Chinese consumers are willing to adopt BEVs at higher rates than low-range PHEVs relative to their respective gasoline counterparts, whereas American consumers prefer low-range PHEVs despite the subsidies. This implies potential for earlier BEV adoption in China, given adequate supply. With the higher emissions associated with electricity generation in China, a transition to BEVs may reduce oil consumption at the expense of increased air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Demand from China could also increase global incentives for electric vehicle technology development.
Nathaniel Horner - Effects of Government Incentives on Wind Innovation in the United States
In the United States, as elsewhere, state and federal governments have considered or implemented a range of policies to create more sustainable energy generation systems in response to concerns over climate change, security of fuel supply, and environmental impacts, as well as the desire to promote local employment. In the U.S., policies include regulatory instruments such as renewable portfolio standards (RPSs), market incentives such as tax credits, and direct technology R&D funding. This paper attempts to identify the correlations of these policies to patenting rates in the United States wind energy industry. Results show that state-level RPSs have been most associated with increasing innovation in wind turbine technology.
Materials Science & Engineering
Ellen Reifler - Measurement of In-Plane Lattice Constants and Observation of Electronic Transitions in Two-Dimensional Transition-Metal Dichalcogenides
We investigate the intrinsic characteristics of two-dimensional transition-metal dichalcogenides with potential electronic and photonic device applications in mind. We use high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and photoluminescence spectroscopy to probe molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), molybdenum diselenide (MoSe2), and tungsten diselenide (WSe2) films. Atomic-resolution aberration-corrected HRTEM micrographs were used to extract the in-plane lattice constants of monolayer MoS2, MoSe2, and WSe2. Photoluminescence spectroscopy measurements of bulk, few-layer, and monolayer films of MoS2, MoSe2, and WSe2 show a trend that reflects an indirect to direct band gap transition as the films are pared down to a single layer.
Lauren Powell - Optical and Surface Characterization Studies of CdSe Quantum Dots Undergoing Photooxidation
Quantum Dots (QDs) have the potential to perform as the active component in energy-efficient lighting and electromagnetic energy harvesting applications. However, the implementation of these engineered QDs demands that their optical and environmental stability be improved, especially with regards to inhibiting failure mechanisms related to the formation of a surface oxide layer. This reaction, accelerated by optical excitation, is called photooxidation. The overarching goal of the work presented here is to explore the chemical and physical mechanisms of photooxidation CdSe core QDs surfaces coated with oleic acid or lauric acid ligands. Understanding photooxidation mechanisms on the surfaces of QDs will allow researchers to mitigate pathways for the photooxidation reaction.
Mina Abadier - Characterization of Extended Defects in Silicon Carbide
Silicon Carbide (SiC) is an important semiconductor for high temperature, high voltage and high power electronic applications. Unfortunately, SiC still did not reach its potential due to extended defects that degrade performance. In this work, a high density of stacking faults (SFs) nucleated in SiC during growth. Using microscopy, the effect, type and structure of the SFs were identified. This information allowed us to propose a possible mechanism for the formation of SFs. Based on the proposed mechanism, we advise SiC growers to optimize the substrate surface preparation prior to growth to avoid the nucleation of defects.
Xinye Liu - Titanomagnetite Properties and Microstructures
Titanomagnetites(pseudo-binary (1-x)Fe3O4-xFe2TiO4 system) is a spinel-structured magnetic mineral whose remnant state believed to contribute to planetary magnetic field anomalies. This paper discusses both the “hematite-ilmenite” and “magnetite-ulvospinel” systems, resulting from different oxidizing conditions. Titanomagnetites(TM) were produced by solid-state synthesis from mixtures of ulvospinel and magnetite, with XRD peaks indexed to a single spinel phase. Components were ground with a SPEX high-energy mill to form fine homogeneous mixtures and sintered at 1150C. Various nominal compositions of TM solid solution pellets were annealed for different durations and atmospheres at 450C to assess grain growth kinetics and exsolution products. Grain sizes of the annealed samples grew ~21% compared to the as-quenched, indicating coarsening driven by diffusional growth. In the Fe-rich samples, Wustite was observed as an exsolution product via OIM and EBSD. Wustite grains have a lath microstructure exhibiting well-defined angles with respect to the matrix and growth aided by short-circuit diffusion.
Arden Rosenblatt - PieceMaker Technologies
PieceMaker Technologies offers the “Factory in a Store”, an easy-to-use system which lets retail toy stores create customized inventory, on-demand. Through a fun and interactive touchscreen kiosk, consumers browse an enormous library of goods in-store, customize each item, add a personal message, and receive a one-of-a-kind item in less than 20 minutes.
Chaohui Gong, Matthew Tesch - Extended Gait Equation of Sidewinding
Sidewinding is an efficient translation gait used by snakes and snake robots over flat ground, and has been demostrated being capable of steering its moving direction. Previously proposed `conical sidewinding' model reveals the working principal of its turning motion, but its dependence on computational expansive fitting alogrithm impedes online applications. In this paper, we present an extended gait equation of sidewinding which allows continuous and precise control of the turning radii. The development of this gait equation is based on the idenfication of dominant frequency components of sidewinding by leveraging the 2d Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT). Its precision in controlling the turning radii is verified by both theoretical derivation and experiments.
Christopher Nelson - Dewetting and phase separation of aqueous two phase systems in a microfluidic droplet array
Here we show that nanoliter droplets of an aqueous polymer solution trapped in a microfluidic device can be made to phase separate by spontaneous dehydration. As water leaves each drop the polymer concentration increases until phase separation occurs. Significantly, the presence and concentration of surfactant in the continuous oil phase forces the droplets to undergo a series of wetting transitions driven by concentration dependent changes in their interfacial tension. This phenomenon offers a potential method for facile separation of biomolecules, which we illustrate using λ-DNA.
Christopher McComb, Kosa Goucher-Lambert - The 25th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
In 2013, the International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology (DTM) celebrated its 25th anniversary. Our visual display will discuss the research undertaken by the DTM community in three sections: a reflection on past contributions, a summary of current research in the field, and a look forward to pending challenges and opportunities.
Gagan Srivastava - Particle Augmented Mixed Lubrication Approach for Modeling Chemical Mechanical Polishing
Chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) is a material removal process that involves rubbing a workpiece under a load against an elastic polishing pad, in the presence of a chemically active abrasive slurry. According to our mixed lubrication hypothesis of CMP, the applied load is being shared by the pressure in the liquid film, and the contact stress in the pad-wafer contact. 2D average flow Reynold's Equation is used to model the hydrodynamic pressure. The contact mechanics are modeled using a Winkler elastic foundation. The temporal evolution of local and wafer-scale material removal rates has been predicted using the abrasive wear formulation given by Luo and Dornfeld (2001). Comparisons with previous studies show similarity in the MRR and hydrodynamic pressure profiles. With the extensive capabilities of the model, parametric studies were conducted to understand the effect of some unexplored parameters involved in the CMP process.
Keith Regner - Universal phonon mean free path spectra in the high temperature limit
The thermal conductivity accumulation functions of GaAs, Si, GaN, AlN, and 4H-SiC, measured using broadband frequency domain thermoreflectance (BB-FDTR), are presented here. The measurements represent the contribution of phonons to thermal conductivity as a function of phonon mean free path. Data suggests that a universal phonon mean free path spectrum exists in all semiconductors.
Lili Ehrlich - Thermal conductivity of aqueous dimethyl-sulfoxide solutions at low temperatures
This study identifies large differences between the thermal conductivity of crystalline and amorphous water-DMSO solutions at temperatures ranging from -113°C (160K) to -5°C (268K). Sample solutions were prepared with DMSO concentrations of 2, 3, 4, 5, 7.05, 8, 9, and 10M. During cooling at a rate of -5°C/min, 2, 3, 4, and 5M samples were observed to crystallize, while 7.05, 8, 9, and 10M solutions were observed to vitrify into amorphous solids. The transient hot wire technique was used to measure thermal conductivity. Thermal conductivity of crystalline samples increased with decreasing temperature, while thermal conductivity of vitrified samples monotonically decreased with decreasing temperature. In general, thermal conductivity increased with decreasing DMSO concentration. At -113°C, thermal conductivities of crystalline DMSO solutions were roughly fivefold larger than those of vitrified DMSO solutions, which has dramatic implications for cryopreservation protocols.
Matthew Woodward - MultiMo-Bat: Biologically Inspired Integrated Jumping-Gliding Robot
This work presents the design, development, and verification of a miniature integrated jumping and gliding robot, the MultiMo-Bat, which is inspired by the locomotion strategy of vampire bats. This 115.6 gram robot exhibits high jumping and gliding performance, reaching heights of over 3 meters, to overcome obstacles in the environment. The MultiMo-Bat was developed by a novel integrated design strategy that combines jumping and gliding locomotion modes and minimizes the necessary actuation and structural components by sharing a significant portion of the components necessary for each mode.
Nateé Johnson - Fabrication of Ultra-Flexible Bioelectronic Semiconductors
Melanin is a class of biopolymer-derived pigment featuring many exciting properties that are favorable to the development and enhancement of multifunctional, biocompatible electronic devices. Such properties include hybrid electronic/ionic conduction; redox active catechol groups; and broadband absorption/dissipation of UV radiation. These properties would be ideal for use in a variety of biomedical technologies such as neural interfaces and energy storage devices. Here we will present an overview of the challenges faced with using melanin films, which exhibit brittle mechanical properties, for use as a material in tissue-devices where biological structures are often soft (E < 1 MPa) and curvilinear.
Noah Tovares - Experiential Conjoint Analysis
In this work, virtual reality (VR) technologies are used to allow the participant an interactive virtual product experience, provided at little investment. The results of this work show that providing additional interaction-based (interactional) information about a product through a product experience, does not affect the ability of participants to provide consistent preference judgments, or the predictive ability of the resulting preference models. This work additionally demonstrates that the preference judgments of virtual product representations are more similar to preference judgments of real products than preference judgments of 2D product representations are.
Paul Egan - Robust Functioning Emerges from Myosin Isoform Heterogeneity
Myosin motor proteins convert chemical energy to mechanical forces to power muscles. The myosin protein family has many isoforms with varied mechanical performance. An isoform is a variation of a protein via slight changes in its molecular structure. Myosin performance variation extends across scales to alter the emergent performance of macroscopic muscles, based on what type of myosin is present. Here, we combine myosins of different isoforms and find they work together as a whole better (are more robust and efficient) than either isoform working in isolation. These findings could help inform treatments for muscle diseases and designing nanotechnologies.
Shuda Mo - GD/SPM13 Experience
I attended the SIAM Conference on Geometric & Physical Modeling (GD/SPM13) last fall. I was not a presenter, but I would like to share what I learn from the event.
Tugce Yuksel - Evaluation of the Effects of Thermal Management on Battery Life in PHEVs
We develop a simulation model that aims to evaluate the effect of thermal management on battery life. The temperature of the battery is calculated using the thermal model, and a temperature profile is obtained under pre-defined driving, charging and stand-by scenarios. The temperature and the driving profile act as inputs to the degradation sub-model, which is used to predict the battery life. Preliminary results suggest that thermal management increases life substantially in climates with high peak temperatures (Phoenix) and for aggressive driving cycles (US06), while it has less influence in climates with lower peak temperatures (Miami) and with gentle driving cycles (UDDS).
Michael Cioffi, Marcus Townsend, Beth Herlin, Radhika Sawhney, Peri Levi-Faigen, Crystal Wai - Bloomberg Businessweek Design: A Closer Look at Today's Design Impact
The product development program at Carnegie Mellon set out to discover the meaning of design as it related to small scale technology (nanotech), human scale (wearable, vehicles), large scale (environments), and extra large scale (cities, CGI). The Bloomberg Businessweek Design Conference offered this unique opportunity not only in presentation form, but also in personal one-to-one conversations with leading people in the industry who implement design into their everyday work.
College of Fine Arts
Jihyun Park - Data Acquisition and Visualization for Indoor Environmental Quality Assessment: A case study of daylight field measurement
Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) of buildings can have strong effects on occupants’ productivity and
health. Post occupancy evaluation (POE) and associated processes have been emphasized as a crucial stage for energy conservation and occupants’ comfort and satisfaction of the building. Preliminary research has shown that POE supports opportunities for energy savings while meeting or exceeding IEQ standards. Current practice of mapping measured data with existing building components is manual and lack of flexibility of accommodating time-series building performance measurements. In order to support POE, we
propose an integrated process to automate the measured field data mapping to assist building performance visualisation. For the demonstration, we take the full-grid lighting quality measurements in an unoccupied LEED gold certified building in Los Angeles, California, USA. The outcomes are presented to show how measured performance data can be updated with the associated building elements automatically. We further compare the measured and simulation data statistically and visually. Gaps between measured and simulated performance are also discussed.
Ray Yun - Energy Dashoard and Environmental Behavior
The goal of this study is to investigate design strategies: feedback, control and automation to increase
energy conservation and awareness in the workplace. This poster presents a summary of the research
background, the system prototype, and the preliminary results from the field study.
Jesse Kauppila - I.O.P. I.E.D. (Inside Out Printer Improvised Explosive Device)
A candle was placed at the bottom of different lengths of tin tubing and then printer toner was
sprinkled down this tube. This created an explosion. Glass plates were exposed to these explosions.
Photographic prints were then made from these plates. These prints were analyzed. None of these
prints captured the physical or psychological violence of an explosion. Further analysis may be
Lucia Nhamo - “Persona” at 5th International Video Art Festival, Camagüey Cuba
Persona explores the ambivalence between personal identity and socially constructed standards of beauty
and femininity. It is a reflection on the subject of performance inherent in discussions on gendered and
racialized identities. The work draws on the post-colonial theory underpinning Homi Bhabha’s work on
mimicry, as well as the exposé on self-perception and identity in the award-winning novel “Coconut” by
South African author Kopano Matlwa. As both performer and editor of the work, I challenge my own
complicity in the hopes of achieving a greater level of self-awareness.
Oreen Cohen - Between a Stone and a Shrine
I will be displaying a video clip from my multi-video installation 'Between a Stone and a Shrine'. I will
display the TV on a pedestal with another pedestal next to it with the invitations to view the full video
installation at the Miller Gallery on campus, my MFA thesis exhibition will be opening on March 28th-
April 12th. and will be open for this event.
Brett Leber - Commuter Science: Design-enabled experiments in lifestyle change
Over time, our lifestyles accrete habits and become more rigid. Major life events tend to provide
opportunities or necessity for reflection and change, but are infrequent. When faced with challenge of
shifting commuter behavior, we tend to see big yet difficult solutions: changes in infrastructure and
policy, it's often argued, will convince us to try something else. But are there other ways to motivate
lifestyle change? This project is an exploration of the potential for small-scale, design-enabled
experimentation in daily life to lead to the adoption of more sustainable commuting practices.
Brynn Flynn - Co-design for learning: Building collaboration skills by making games
I propose that a co-design space can afford unique learning opportunities—particularly for children to
develop an understanding of their collaborative inquiry process. I examine the space of co-design by
designing and facilitating an ongoing co-design game workshop with 5th graders. Through these workshops,
I explore the following: What factors impact engagement and learning within the co-design space? Can a
co-design space support children in both: (1) understanding their collaborative inquiry learning process
and (2) building their knowledge within a specific content domain?
Christiana Lackner, Shiba Sheikh - IxDA Conference 2014
The Interaction '14 conference held in Amsterdam in early February was a great survey of the breadth of
topics covered by the field of interaction design. Talks on topics ranging from urban design to
linguistics to food provided new perspectives for thinking about interaction design and the ways it can
be understood and applied. A wide range of profiles in attendance - students from around the world and
professionals focused in many different subject matters - made for energizing conversation and
inspiration. This presentation will give an overview of the conference topics and the conference
Nicolas Perez Cervantes, Mark Choi - IxDA Conference 2014
The poster will consist on presenting our experience during the Interaction Design Conference in
Amsterdam. It will give an overview of how the conference was designed as well as what were the most
outstanding talks regarding interaction design as a discipline.
Robyn Hammond - Go and Make Disciples: A Design Approach to Educating and Engaging a Church Community in Missions Outreach
This project explores how the design of communication methods and strategies can educate a church
community, shift their perceptions, and facilitate their participation in missions outreach.
Stella Zubeck - Music Festival Experience Design
The modern music festival is a locus of interaction between up to hundreds of thousands of people,
artists, vendors, musicians and technologies. Audiences travel thousands of miles and invest huge amounts
of time, energy and money to attend music festivals. Despite increasing commercial demand for music
festivals and recognition of their social value, user-centered design methods have not been applied to
music festival experience. My goal with this project was to develop a nuanced understanding of audience
experience and design a solution based that enhances meaningful, positive and engaging experiences for
music festival audiences and communities, especially in the periods before and after events.
Xinran Lu, Joy Chen, Chia-fang Lue - Experience mapping and storytelling
Our experiences at TYPO International Design Talks 2013 San Francisco helped us onto the journey of
crafting stories in user experience using typography and graphic elements. On this poster we share our
understanding of storytelling and crafting of three different user experience stories using experience
Laci Corridor, Kelsey Carthew, Jeremy Hois, Alexis Floyd - Looks Like Rain: a ten minute play in seven scenes
A young businessman and a woman who only speaks through a squirrel puppet find an unexpected connection
as a storm threatens the commuters waiting for a train at a run-down station.
Margo Gray - The Message: developing new work in collaboration
The Mid America Theatre Conference Playwriting Symposium provided a venue to develop and present 24 new
plays in three days. Collaboration with an artistic team allowed us to present "The Message" as a work in
Sophie Hood - Technology in Costume: Plastic Bag Creature
For part of my Master’s thesis in Costume Production, I am creating a costume that incorporates ideas
from my past studies in sculpture and the culmination of new ideas and research, including advanced
construction techniques from my studies in costume production. Along with the lilypad arduino (a
microcontroller) facilitating the use of LED lights and microphone sensors to be incorporated into the
costume, I will use recycled plastic bags to create the ‘skin’ of the costume, build an armature that
exaggerates the human body, and tackle the challenges of creating an atypical but functional costume.
Erin Yanacek - The History of the Trumpet
I will present several different types of trumpets, ranging from ancient versions of the instrument
including conch shells and shofars to the modern instrument. I will discuss the evolution and the
cultural significance of the instrument over time.
Dietrich College of Humanities & Social Sciences
Center for the Neural Basis of CognitionKubra Komek - Role of NMDA Receptors in Modulating Cortical Synchrony with Relevance to Schizophrenia
The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the neural underpinnings of cortical synchrony, how it is modulated by NMDA receptor function and also how it is disrupted in schizophrenia from a computational neuroscience perspective. With this motivation, we simulated a neural network with 200 excitatory and 50 inhibitory quadratic integrate-and-fire neurons coupled with biologically realistic probabilities. We analyzed network synchronization in the gamma frequency range (30-80 Hz) as it is a powerful index of cognitive processes and also reduced in patients with schizophrenia in line with reduced cognitive performance. Our results of parametrically varying NMDA conductance onto the inhibitory cells revealed an inverted-U shaped relationship with respect to network gamma power, with lower gamma band power at both low and high NMDA conductance levels and optimal synchronization occurring at intermediate conductance levels. Such non-monotonic relationship was a result of the dynamic effects of inhibitory neuron excitability on cortical synchrony, emphasizing the significant role of inhibition on synchronization. Furthermore, reduced gamma power at low NMDA conductance levels also supports the NDMA hypofunction theory of schizophrenia, emphasizing the direct link between NMDA receptor function and cortical oscillations.
Cognitive PsychologyColleen Davy - Developing Speaking Skill in Adult Second Language Learners
I used my travel funding to attend the Second Language Research Forum in Provo, UT. There, I presented work on using imitative activities in second language classrooms to practice and improve speaking skills. I've shown that using this type of task improves the fluency and accuracy of speech production. As a result of my presentation I met a number of researchers who were interested in my work (either as a method of instruction or as a way to elicit speech for research purposes), and one teacher actually implemented my techniques in her classroom, with great success.
DJ Schuldt - The Debates to Repeal the Test and Corporation Acts, 1787-90: Social Movements in the English Romantic Media
Between 1787-1790, English Dissenters campaigned to repeal the Test and Corporation Acts, a series of laws passed over a century earlier that denied the Dissenters the ability to hold positions in local and national government. Recent scholarship on Romantic-era religions has focused on doctrinal differences and the development of secularization in English institutions, central to which is the type of toleration that the Dissenters promoted in their campaign. However, I argue that the Dissenters’ campaign fails precisely because this type of secularizing toleration was not prevalent at the time in England or in that most important of English institutions: Parliament.
Douglas Phillips, Carolyn Commer - Argumentative Frames: Shaping Public Understanding
Traditionally, argumentation has been understood as a formal means of persuasion, though contemporary approaches liken it to informal judgments based on values or beliefs. Our projects draw on work in argumentation and frame theory to answer the question: how are values and beliefs used to shape public understanding of civic concerns? Commer investigates how the broad value of "citizenship" frames and shapes education policy. Phillips examines media frames to show how they shape public understanding of an event, which in turn shapes subsequent frames, and thus understanding, of later events. This work has been supported by GSA Conference Funding.
Julie Bowman - Sixteenth Century Society Conference
Impact of attending the annual Sixteenth Century Society Conference.
Justin Mando, Alexis Teagarden, Ana Cooke, Carolyn Commer - Opening the Writing Classroom to Intellectual Risk
We ask, as teachers, how we can think about the perfectly safe versus the imperfectly daring when it comes to student work. In other words, how can we encourage, identify and assess “intellectual risk-taking”? We report from four vantage points on the results of our research. Carolyn Commer takes us on an intellectual history of intellectual risk-taking, Ana Cooke describes an intervention in her first-year writing classroom, Justin Mando explains different perceptions of intellectual risk among non-native English speakers, and Alexis Teagarden explores intellectual risk-taking in practice in her Professional and Technical Writing classroom.
Kristin Shimmin - Scientific Approaches to Language: Plain Style and the Interplay of Convention, Artistry, and Communicative Intention in Francis Bacon and the Early Royal Society
This paper enters the discussion of the resonance between Bacon’s rhetoric and that of the early Royal Society. It argues that rather than providing a coherent theory of style either through the content of his work or through his own use of style, Bacon provided an approach to the public exchange of knowledge that encourages an inspection of the way that language shaped content. By adopting a particular attention to how the relationship between words and things affected the spread of information, science writing gradually developed a habit of plain style.
Alissa Bellotti - Between Rock ‘n Roll and a Hard Place: International Youth Culture and the Struggle for the Future in East Germany, 1961-1989
My dissertation explores the international aspects of youth culture in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) from the building of the Berlin Wall until unification with West Germany. As a socialist country, the GDR struggled to get its young citizens to develop "socialist personalities" and set about creating an encompassing official youth culture. However, during the 1970s and 80s GDR youth increasingly turned to western fashions and music and fragmented into an ever increasing number of subcultures. This process had big repercussions for the leaders of the GDR at home and in international relations, especially with the Federal Republic of Germany.
Amund Tallaksen - "Junkies and Jim Crow"
I am writing an article about drug use in New Orleans in the 1950s, and will present some of my findings from the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
Cassie Miller - Creating a Color Line in the Catholic Church: Brooklyn's Catholics, 1922-1944
My poster will be based on the second chapter of my dissertation, which examines how the Catholic Church and its parishioners reacted to the growth of the black population in Brooklyn during the interwar years. I argue that racial changes in central Brooklyn created a political split among the Catholic population: those who welcomed African Americans into the Church and argued the state should create policies to curb racial prejudice, and those who actively attempted to stop African Americans from moving into their churches and neighborhoods while petitioning the government to protect their right to do so.
Jay Roszman - The Genealogy of Outrage -- Irish Agrarian Violence and the British State
My paper is concerned with the exploration of so-called Irish "outrages" - particular forms of Irish agrarian violence in the early nineteenth century that exercised the ire of British politicians seeking to “fix” Ireland. While historians have been interested in the study of agrarian violence, they have often adopted the descriptive usage of "outrages" without critically evaluating the terms historical development, pejorative political meaning, or the concern about the vitality of the British Union that the term connoted. By tracing the roots of outrage’s usage throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth century, this paper addresses how Ireland and outrage became linked.
Matthew McGrath - Labor and Environment in the Western Alaskan Fisheries, 1934-1976.
This project analyzes the interrelationship between environment and two types of fishermen in Western Alaska— “independent” fishermen and company fishing crews— from the passing of the Fisherman’s Marketing Act in 1934 to the end of open access fishing with the implementation of Limited Entry in 1976. It explores how fishermen responded to recurrent environmental crises related to depleted stocks of herring, salmon, and kind crab, as well as how their shift from working-class to entrepreneurial identities was occasioned by state and federal conservation policies.
Michael Gallen - Through a Diplomatic Eye: American Diplomats in Early Twentieth-Century Liberia
My project, which culminated in the fifth chapter of my dissertation, examines documents held at the National Archives II in College Park, Maryland detailing the activities of American consular officials in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. The diplomats’ correspondence documented the growth of American commercial involvement in Liberia, how the Liberian Republic survived the imperial scramble of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the role of Liberia in the First World War. These documents have previously been neglected by historians and shed new light on early twentieth-century Liberia.
Robert Hutchings - Imperialism, the Cold War, and Orange Juice
My research explores reasons behind the spike in American consumption of orange juice following World War Two and reasons why such a spike did not occur in Europe, despite juicers' and policy makers' best efforts
Stephanie Skipp - The Organization for Tropical Studies, 1963-1986: Science, Conservation, and Environmental Governmentality in Costa Rica
In the 1960s, conservationists both foreign and national emerged in Costa Rica and began to petition the government and international organizations in response to deforestation, poaching, and soil disruption. During the same decade, the Costa Rican government began articulating a vision for rural land use and development. The Organization for Tropical Studies arrived in the midst of these competing narratives and became a mediator between conservation and development, between activists and the state. The concept of ecogovernmentality helps explain the OTS’ relationship with the state in lieu of formal, documented agreements by highlighting how they cooperate to transform the environment.
Takashi Matsumaru - Reordering a White City: Blacks and Asians in Seattle, 1960-1990
My research investigates how African Americans and Asian Americans, though often viewed in separation, shared entangled histories. In the case of Seattle, many questions remain as to the interconnected role of African Americans and Asian Americans in what has often been described as a “white city.” Seattle’s transition from being a city loosely committed to the integration of its African American population in the early 1960s to one that adopted a range of multicultural programs is a fascinating though murky one. My research focuses on the issues of civil rights, housing, education, and immigration.
Dan Walter - Developing Teachers’ Critical Language Awareness: A Case Study of Guided Participation
Content teachers’ development of critical language awareness (CLA) can occur through guided participation in activities that pose practical problems. This paper shows the discursive strategies deployed in interactions between teacher-applied linguists’ to design disciplinary literacy lessons for multilingual history classrooms highlighting the process by which CLA developed.
Sihui Ke - Cross-linguistic Transfer in Chinese-English Biliteracy Acquisition: A Synthesis Study
This research sets out to investigate cross-linguistic transfer in Chinese-English biliteracy acquisition by synthesizing empirical studies in extant literature. Synthesis questions are as follows: (1)What is the effect of L1 reading ability on L2 reading? To what extent can L1 reading skills facilitate in L2 reading? (2) What are the possible moderators of the transfer effect?Preliminary results indicate that there is transfer facilitation effect attributed to the metalinguistic skills established in L1 reading experience, such as phonological awareness and morphological awareness. However, L2 reading processing is also influenced by the structural variations between the Chinese and English writing systems. More in-depth analysis will be conducted.
Konstantin Genin - Contraction and the Loss of True Belief
Upon discovering inconsistency in her beliefs, a real agent typically does not know which of those beliefs are false. Nonetheless, one might think that there will always be some way to reestablish consistency by contracting by only false beliefs. But the truth values of an agent’s beliefs may be sensitive to the way in which she contracts. We construct a scenario, based on the paradox of the surprise examination, in which the truth of an agent’s beliefs is bound up with the way she revises in such a way that any contraction that reestablishes consistency necessarily forfeits a true belief. We draw lessons both for the norms of belief revision and for resolutions of the paradox of the surprise examination.
Rebecca Morris - Changing Mathematical Presentations
Mathematics, like science, evolves and undergoes changes. By analyzing a case study from number theory, we address two questions: in what ways did mathematics change? Why did it do so? In response to the first question, we identify a number of axes along which changes took place in our case study. Regarding the second, we argue that such changes were made to better satisfy certain goals, such as possessing a well-defined mathematical language and rules of operation, and promoting ``economy of thought’’.
Remco Heesen - Three Ways To Become An Academic Superstar
It is well-known that some scientists are more prominent than others. But what makes one scientist more prominent than another? I propose a possible mechanism that produces differences in prominence: scientists' desire for information. In a model of a scientific community exchanging information, I show that this mechanism indeed produces the kind of patterns of prominence that are actually observed. I discuss the implications of this result for three possible explanations of an individual scientist's prominence: an explanation based on scientific merit, an explanation based on epistemically irrelevant factors (e.g., gender bias or charisma), and an explanation based on epistemic luck. Depending on which of these explanations is correct one may draw different conclusions about a scientist based on prominence. I discuss policy recommendations that result from this, including suggestions about when it is appropriate to use measures of prominence (e.g., citation metrics) in giving out grants and awards.
Brittany Jakubiak - "I'm touched by your support": How imagined touch support buffers stress and pain
Social support from a romantic partner can buffer stress and pain responses, but received social support can also have negative consequences. We investigated whether touch support, physical touch intended to provide support, could avoid the negative outcomes associated with verbal social support. Participants (n=96) were randomly assigned to imagine a support type before they completed a cold-pressor pain task. Participants who imagined touch support reported lower pain ratings and less state anxiety during the cold-pressor task than participants in other conditions. Participants who imagined verbal support reported higher pain and anxiety ratings than participants in the control condition.
Lucy Erickson - Individual differences in statistical word segmentation abilities and later vocabulary development
Considerable research demonstrates that infants can segment speech on the basis of statistical co-occurrence information between syllables in laboratory studies. What remains unknown is whether such a statistical learning ability is related to real language outcomes. If statistical learning is what allows infants to discover their first words in fluent speech, individual variation in statistical segmentation performance in the laboratory should predict later vocabulary size. In the present research, we investigate whether segmentation ability at 5- and 8- months of age predicts vocabulary size 6- and 12-months later, as predicted by statistical learning accounts of early speech segmentation
Social and Decision Sciences
Alycia Chin - Perceptions of Bankruptcy and Bankruptcy Filers
The percentage of people who would benefit financially by filing for consumer bankruptcy is many times higher than the percentage who actually file. One explanation is that the stigma surrounding bankruptcy discourages filings. For the first time, we directly examine moral evaluations of bankruptcy (rather than geographic proxies) to measure bankruptcy stigma. We examine: 1. Why do people file for bankruptcy? 2. How are evaluations of bankruptcy filers related to the reason for filing? 3. How are evaluations of bankruptcy filers related to evaluators' demographic characteristics?
David Hagmann - Polya's Bees: Decentralized Decision Making With Quorum-Based Strategies
We propose a simple model of a two-part process that decentralized systems use to make decisions. We use an urn scheme to capture the first part of the process, in which individual agents randomly search over the set of feasible choices, biased by the quality of the choices revealed during previous searches. We assume that the urn scheme runs only until a threshold is hit in order to capture the second part of the process, in which a final choice is triggered when the system senses a quorum of agents investigating any one particular choice. Wefind that the combination of these two elements results in a robust and effective means by which a decentralized system can make good choices.
Eric VanEpps - Online Ordering for Healthier Eating: A Field Experiment
We tested whether different types of menu calorie labels can reduce the calorie content of online workplace lunch orders. Employees of a large corporation ordered lunches through a website of our design, through which we presented menus with numeric calorie labels, traffic light labels, or both together, and compared the calorie content of lunches to control menus with no calorie information. Each label type reduced meal calories by 10-13 percent, largely via reduced entrée calories, although nutrition knowledge was not improved. Both numeric and traffic light labeling of individual items help reduce caloric intake in an online setting.
Zach Kurtz - Nonparametric Density Estimation in Capture-Recapture
How many people live in the U.S.? How many bird species can be found along a specific birding route in Maryland? How many people have diabetes in Italy? Given several incomplete lists of population units, how should you estimate the number of units missed by all of the lists? We combine the theory of log-linear models with modern nonparametric methods to introduce local log-linear models for capture-recapture.
H. John Heinz III College
Information Systems & Mgmt: Information Systems
Matthew Kleiman - Sloan Sports Analytics Conference
Discussion of the benefits of attending SSAC, including but not limited to: the applications of my classes in the real world, networking opportunities, and possible inspiration for startup ideas.
Information Systems: Information Security Plcy Mgmt
Will Liu - An analysis of Facebook network traffic
This project analyzed the network traffic generated by specific features within Facebook specifically the wall, and the chat application. The Facebook wall and chat applications constantly send and receive information between the client and server even when the user is idle.
William Rhoades, Kate Neeuf, Matt Hutchison, Mike Cook - Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge
On February 7-8 2014, four MSISPM Students -Mike Cook, Matthew Hutchison, Kate Meeuf, and Blake Rhoades- placed 3rd of 22 teams registered at the Atlantic Council’s Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge in Washington, DC. The event is an annual policy competition that focuses on what happens the day after a major cyber-attack against U.S. critical infrastructure and draws undergraduate and graduate students from the country’s top public affairs programs. The competition is designed to bridge the gap of understanding between policy makers and the technical specialists who implement them. Atlantic Council Cyber Statecraft member, Catherine Putz explains, “This gap in understanding will become more dangerous whenever the nation faces a catastrophic cyber incident. Closing the gap, and better preparing the responses of decision makers to such a disaster is an important goal of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative”. Prior to the event, students are provided with a fictional intelligence briefing about an attack that has occurred against U.S. critical infrastructure, and were asked to write a policy memo that proposes four policy response options that would be provided to the president. On day one of the competition, each team conducted a 10-minute policy briefing and defended their proposals to a panel of cyber security experts, before advancing to the next round. On day two, 12 of the original 22 teams advanced to the semi-final round, with only four teams advancing to the final round. At each round, teams were given increasingly limited amounts of time to review new scenario injects and formulate responses in time for the next round of briefings. During the final round, the team was only allowed 15 minutes to review an intelligence briefing and formulate an oral response tobrief to an expert panel of judges in front of a large audience.
Public Policy & Mgmt: Creative EnterprisesJacqueline Shimshoni - Reflections From NAMPC 2013
A presentation summarizing the insight gained from the 2013 National Arts Marketing Project Conference and some plans for integrating these reflections into Future Tenant, the gallery space downtown run by Arts Management students
Jingya Liu - Cannes Film Festival
Attended Cannes Film Festival in 2013
Marissa Finer, Deb Sherrer, Kelly Englert, Caroline Brent, Nicole Houghton - dog & pony DC: Organizational Structure
This is a Systems Synthesis project, a capstone project for Heinz College students. The project's client was dog & pony dc (d&pdc), a Washington, DC based ensemble of artists who devise performances that incorporate new ways for audiences to experience theatre. d&pdc was struggling to ascertain how to allow their company to grow whilst maintaining the mission, unique organizational structure, and artistic process they have worked hard to cultivate. The Systems Synthesis group investigated potential solutions for problems related to their current organizational structure. The final presentation and report include recommendations for a unique organizational structure and five-year implementation plan.
Su Wang - 2013 Annual Conference of Alliance of Artists Community
In October 2013, I attended the Annual Conference of Alliance of Artists Community in San Jose, California. The conference was an annual arts event held by Alliance of Artists Communities. The conference was mostly attended by arts management professionals and artists. The 2013 conference included four days of seminars, discussions, speeches, local arts tours to give attendees opportunities to exchange ideas on arts related issues, and to learn more about contemporary arts in the city of San Jose. The experience gave me a wonderful chance to advance my arts management study, to meet with people and to have an on-site exploration of arts in Silicon Valley.
Public Policy & Mgmt: Health Care Policy
Ankit Agrawal - Networking with Big BIOTECH
I had the opportunity to attend the 2013 BIO International Convention. This convention is the largest gathering of BIO-tech/pharma companies from around the world. They display new and innovative solutions to unique problems addressed in the industry.
Kimberly Fierst - The American College of Healthcare Executives 2014 Congress
From March 23rd through March 26th, the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) held its annual conference, Congress, in Chicago with the theme, "Where knowledge, ideas and solutions connect." With prominent keynote speakers discussing the changing landscape of healthcare, attendees have the opportunity to learn about quality advancements, data analytics, and leadership development.
Public Policy & Mgmt: Public Policy & Mgmt
Amaris Whitaker - The One Step Project Journey: The Initiative Towards Accessible Design in an Old City
During my internship with the City of Pittsburgh ADA Coordinator’s Office I led the One Step Project, where we constructed an packet of information to encourage consumer serving businesses to remove of one step in front of their entrances. We encouraged partnership between the City of Pittsburgh and commercial businesses in all communities in Pittsburgh to make these places more accessible to consumers with disabilities. The connection built during my internship between business owners, architectural firms, and local city officials made this project successful enough to present in front of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference.
Bao Le - How to Use the PISA International Data Explorer Tool
First, we will present tools for analyzing PISA data. These include those that require commercial statistical software—Stata, SAS macros, and the IEA IDB Analyzer (http://www.iea.nl/data.html), an add-on to SPSS. A free alternative is AM Statistical Software (http://am.air.org). We will also demonstrate a free easy-to-use web tool, the PISA International Data Explorer (PISA IDE) (http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/international/ide/), whereby users can run statistical tests and create customized tables, figures, and comparative maps to explore student performance across countries, subjects, and contextual factors. The display will be available via PowerPoint slides.
Changmi Jung - Volume based learning in eVisit
Online medical consultations or eVisits are a new delivery model for treating non-urgent, acute health conditions. eVisits are typically asynchronous; the patient submits the necessary information and the physician responds at some later point. The substitution of office visits by eVisits may help address some of the growing demand for primary care and enable clinicians to care for a larger pool of patients. However, the growing use of eVisits will force physicians and practices to change their operational routines. How physicians adapt to using this new technology and how they integrate eVisits into existing operational routines is unknown. In this paper, we draw on theories of organizational learning to understand what drives the variation among physicians in turn-around times for eVisits and whether physicians develop efficiency gains as they provide more eVisits. We examine both individual learning (increased efficiency for an individual physician as the physician provides more eVisits) and organizational learning (increased efficiency within a practice as physicians share methods of providing more efficient care). We analyzed 3,144 eVisits using 4 years of data from 22 physicians in 4 primary care practices in southwestern Pennsylvania. Our main outcome variables were physician evaluation time (time spent from opening eVisit to decision on treatment and response) and patient wait time (time between submission of eVisit to physician response). The average response time for physician evaluation was 7.5 minutes (standard deviation = 7.9) and patient wait time was 185 minutes (standard deviation = 286). Using OLS and time series regression models, we find that physician evaluation time is greater when the physician does not have an ongoing primary-care-provider relationship with the patient, when the reason for the eVisit is ambiguous, and the patient has more complex illnesses. There is a 13 percent decrease in physician evaluation time for 100 more eVisit experiences. However, we find no efficiency gains in patient wait time and only marginal evidence supporting that there is shared learning across physicians within a practice. These findings suggest that there are some gains in physician productivity as they learn this new care delivery model. However, more work needs to be done to improve organizational learning in digitized healthcare delivery.
Guangwei Li - What Can The Chinese Domestic Patent Explosion Tell Us About Real Innovation in China?
By peeling back the various layers of what can be learned from Chinese patent data, I show that most Chinese patents recognize something far less than significant invention, that many Chinese invention patents are awarded to foreign enterprises, and that the vast majority of domestic patents awarded to indigenous firms appear to be of quite low quality. We argue here that a focus on the top-line domestic patent grant numbers vastly exaggerates the amount of true new-to-the-world innovation being generated by indigenous Chinese firms. China's innovative capacity is indeed growing rapidly, but this is proceeding from a limited and narrow base.
Jamar Thrasher - National Association of Black Journalists Convention
The National Association of Black Journalists Convention is an annual summit for black journalists held in a major American city. I will discuss my experiences at the conference and discuss some of the major themes that are of utmost importance to black journalists.
Usha Chandna - Change Begins Here: Key Takeaways
Change begins here Conference in San Francisco Bay area was a 3day event that brought together more than 3,000 people from across the globe. The audience comprised on leaders in field of Environment Sustainability, Social Entrepreneurship and public policy. It offered a great opportunity. The common belief that tied all the attendees together was that each of us has the capability to spark change in this world. Power point presentation includes the pictures and the content takeaways from the key note speakers’ sessions.
Yi-Chin Lin - Evaluating Consumer m-Health Services for User Engagement and Health Promotion: An Organizational Field Experiment
Healthy eating has been promoted by USDA for decades with limited success. Leveraging the power of mobile technology and informed by social cognitive theory, this paper proposes and evaluates mHealth interventions to facilitate health behavioral change. A 4-month randomized field experiment is conducted to evaluate the proposed interventions delivered by Android smartphones. Objective data on the intervention usage and subjective perceptions on behavioral determinants are collected for analysis. This study is expected to add to the currently limited literature about the effectiveness of mobile technology and guide the design of future mHealth interventions for engaging patients and promoting health behaviors.
Yi-Chin Lin - Process Visibility Analysis in Ambulatory Care: A Simulation Study with RFID Data
This study analyzes care delivery process using time and location stamped data collected via RFID-enabled badges worn by patients and clinicians as they complete each clinic visit. To minimize patient waiting time, data is examined to delineate the major components of waiting time and simulate the impact of possible interventions. Results indicate that as a prevalent strategy, different appointment scheduling rules can only reduce patient waiting time in the waiting room, but not that in the exam room. The results highlight the value of RFID technology and the challenges in deploying them to improve service delivery.
Mellon College of Science
Alys Cheatle Jarvela - Modularity in DNA Binding Preference of a Tbrain Transcription Factor May Allow for More Versatile Transcriptional Responses and Increased Evolvability
In the sea star (Pm), Tbrain (Tbr), a t-box transcription factor, carries out a variety of ancestral roles in the endomesoderm and ectoderm. However, in the sea urchin (Sp), Tbr has a singular and well-defined role in the skeletogentic gene regulatory network. The DNA binding regions of these proteins contain differences in critical DNA-contacting amino acids, suggesting a protein level change could be responsible, but it is thought that this type of change must be incredibly rare owing to the potentially lethal pleiotropic effects of altering a multifunctional protein. However, novel techniques have allowed for far more sensitive assays of transcription factor function. One such technique, Protein-Binding Microarrays, has indicated that DNA binding is more complex than originally indicated, in that the same transcription factor can recognize multiple binding sites, and only a subset of these might be conserved among closely related paralogs (Badis and Bulyk 2009). Here, we first demonstrate that this type of complexity also applies to orthologous transcription factors. While both Tbr orthologs recognize the same primary motif, only PmTbr also has a secondary binding motif. While affinity for the primary binding site is conserved, affinity for the secondary binding motif is more evolutionarily labile. We have verified the effects of binding specificity and affinity changes in vivo using a dual Otx1/2 CRM reporter system. Our in vivo assays demonstrate that differences in transcriptional responses governed by primary vs. secondary sites may allow for greater evolution in timing of regulatory control. This uncovers a layer of transcription factor binding divergence that could exist for many pairs of orthologs. We hypothesize that division of transcriptional functions between multiple binding sites may allow orthologs to evolve new secondary binding preferences rapidly, as the conserved primary site reduces pleiotropic effects.
Andrew Kehr - ADAR2: Towards a Structural And Kinetic Understanding of RNA Editing
ADARs are a family of enzymes found in metazoans which edit pre-mRNAs by modifying the base adenosine to inosine. This editing results in translational mutations as inosine is interpreted as guanosine. Toward understanding the elements of ADARs which drive substrate specificity, we determined two structures of a loop of the ADAR2 catalytic domain. These structures give insight into the previously undefined electron density near the catalytic site. The structures remain incomplete, but provide a better descriptor of the dynamicity of the loop. To understand the kinetic role of the loop we have removed it and found that editing is inhibited.
Dave Bauer - Pressurized Ejection of the Herpes Virus Genome
Type 1 herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) packages its DNA genome into a nanometer-scale protein shell, termed the capsid. Upon confinement within the capsid, DNA strands experience repulsive forces and bending stress associated with bending the stiff, charged DNA molecule. We provide the first experimental evidence of tens of atmospheres internal pressure within a eukaryotic human virus, resulting from the confined genome. Experiments reveal that pressure powers ejection of the entire genome from the viral capsid. This suggests that pressure is a key mechanism for viral infection and thus reveals a new target for antiviral therapies.
Ezgi Kunttas-Tatli - Self-association of the APC tumor suppressor is required for the assembly, stability and activity of the Wnt signaling destruction complex
The colon cancer tumor suppressor Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) is an essential component of Wnt signaling as a part of the destruction complex. The destruction complex forms macromolecular particles we termed the destructosome. We hypothesize that APC proteins play a role in destructosome assembly through self-association. Here we show that the APC Self-Association Domain (ASAD) directly mediates self-association of APC and plays an essential role in the assembly and stability of the destructosome. These results suggest that APC proteins are required not only for the activity of the destructosome, but also for the assembly and stability of this macromolecular machine.
Madhumitha Ramesh - Understanding the Roles of Eukaryote-Specific rRNA Expansion Segments in Ribosome Biogenesis
We set out to systematically investigate the potential roles played by expansion segments of the 25S rRNA in Saccharomyces cerevisiae ribosome biogenesis. We began with deleting five of the eukaryote-specific ES in yeast large subunit rRNA. The phenotype of the mutants was first assayed by studying their growth. Following this, primer extension assays and affinity purifications were used to zoom in on the precise ribosome assembly phenotype that these mutants exhibit. This systematic study will help us unravel the yet unexplored functions of these eukaryote-specific ES and pave the way for a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of ribosome biogenesis in general.
Michael Gamalinda - A hierarchical model for assembly of large ribosomal subunits
Ribosomes are essential nanomachines that catalyze protein synthesis in all cells. More than a million ribosomes are required to cope with cell growth and division. Understanding how ribosomes are assembled is important because impaired ribosome assembly leads to several human diseases and increases predisposition to cancer. My recent work on the composition of assembling yeast ribosomes lacking individual ribosomal proteins strongly suggested a model for the step-wise construction of functional neighborhoods within the large ribosomal subunit. I am currently following up on this model by using cryo-electron microscopy to directly visualize the structural dynamics of ribosome assembly.
Olivia Molinar - Mechanisms of APC-Diaphanous mediated actin assembly
Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) negatively regulates Wnt signaling, stabilizes microtubules, and most recently has been implicated in actin assembly. Both vertebrates and Drosophila have two APC proteins, vAPC and vAPC2, and dAPC1 and dAPC2 respectively. In vitro, we have shown that dAPC1 shares a common mechanism of actin assembly with vAPC by exerting its activity through its basic domain and collaborating with the formin Diaphanous (Dia). Currently, we are assessing the phenotypic consequence of loss of dAPC1 alone and together with dAPC2 and Dia to determine the in vivo role of APC-Dia interactions in actin assembly in the early embryo.
Stacie Oliver - Molecular Mechanisms Governing Stem Cell Niche Architecture
The unique self-renewal and differentiation capabilities of stem cells have led to the conception of revolutionary stem cell-based therapies. The development of therapy requires an understanding of the mechanisms influencing stem cell behavior. The cellular neighborhood where stem cells reside positions them to receive signals that maintain their “stemness” identity. Upstream mechanisms governing the architecture keeping stem cells proximal to these signals are not clearly understood. My work is focused on the discovery of novel molecular mechanisms governing this architecture. Ultimately, this understanding of architecture and the influence on stem cell behavior will allow for the successful development of therapies.
Chenjie Zeng - Thiolate ligand induced size and structure transformation in gold nanoclusters
In cluster chemistry, it is known that the a specific number of atoms can self-assemble into stable structures. Clusters with these specific number of atoms are known as "magic sizes". In the poster, we will present how the magic sizes in gold nanoclusters change with the surface protecting molecules as observed by single crystal X-ray diffraction. This phenomenon reflects the versatility and beauty of the structures in the nano world.
Katlyn Meier - Mössbauer and Density Functional Theory characterization of two short-lived intermediates in the catalytic cycle of Y257F Homoprotocatechuate 2,3-dioxygenase
Homoprotocatechuate 2,3-dioxgenase is an extradiol cleaving dioxygenase enzyme that binds O2 and catechol substrate in adjacent ligand sites. This work aimed at studying the role of Tyr257; proposed by crystal structures to be important for oxygen binding and activation, via a Tyr257Phe mutation which slowed the reaction for spectroscopic studies. Crystallographic, kinetic, optical, Mossbauer and theoretical studies have shown that the Tyr257Phe mutant forms two distinct ferrous intermediates that precede the ring-cleaved product. Observation of these intermediates in the normally fast initial events of the catalytic cycle suggests that Tyr257 plays a key role in the ring attack/oxygen insertion steps.
Matthew Mills - Degradation of Ethinyl Estradiol in Water Using Iron Coordination Compounds
Ethinyl Estradiol, (EE2) is a persistent organic pollutant found in many waterways internationally. At minute concentrations EE2 can have measurable biological effects on aquatic species. This work shows the intimate details of how TAML (tetraamido macrocyclic ligand) catalysts activate hydrogen peroxide to oxidatively degrade EE2 and remove estrogenicity in water. Here we show that the concentration of EE2 in water can be reduced by over 98% at environmentally relevant pH (6-9) and with catalyst loading as low as 10 nM, and an environmentally relevant initial concentration of 2 ppt.
Saumya Saurabh - Exploiting binding kinetics of fluoregen activating peptides to enhance photostability: applications to live single cell molecule imaging
Inefficiency of fluorescent labels imposes key limitations in fluorescence microscopy. Photobleaching, non-specific signal from multiple fluorophores, and lack of multiplexing and orthogonal labels impose major challenges in studying complex cellular systems, both at ensemble and single molecule levels. We have addressed these problems by exploiting the binding kinetics of fluorogen activating peptides that on binding to a non-fluorescent molecule (a fluorogen) exhibit fluorescence. We can also target commercially available Streptavidin QDots to proteins on the cell membrane and cytoplasm.
Will Boney - Nonforking in Short and Tame AECs
We present a nonforking relation for type short and tame Abstract Elementary Classes that generalizes the first order notion of coheir (finite satisfiability) in stable, first order theories. We identify sufficient conditions for this nonforking to be well-behaved (with a set-theoretic aside) and give applications to the uniqueness of limit models and superstability.
Shadab Alam - Testing Gravity with Large Scale Structure (LSS)
The General Relativity (GR) is the backbone of modern day cosmology. GR have been proven by various observational supports. We are working on testing if the observation at large scale (~100Mpc/h) agree's with the GR prediction. We are measuring a quanitity which is a measure of strenght of gravity using perturbation theory. We are using SDSS-III (Sloan Digital Sky Survey) data to measure the galaxy correlation function at redshift of 0.57.
Udom Sae-Ueng - Mechanical Properties of Viruses
Mechanical properties of viruses refer to their ability to protect their genomic materials (DNA or RNA) inside their protein shell (termed capsid). Viruses have to be able to withstand harsh external environment such as temperature, mechanical shearing, pH, osmotic pressure, yet when it has to be unstable enough to release the genome during the infection. We study mechanical properties of viruses using atomic force microscope in order to determine the strength dependence of viral capsids. The goal is to generalize virus survival method for non-specific viral treatment.
School of Computer Science
Human Computer Interaction
Shailie Thakkar - Thinktank on the Future of the Library
Public description: In this workshop, participants will engage with one another in a forward-thinking discussion about the future of libraries and library technology. Driving question: What are the contours and features of our future libraries, both digital and physical?
Institute for Software Research
Arun Kalyanasundaram - Measuring Human Concurrency in Large Collaborative Editing Systems
In a large collaborative editing system like Wikipedia, coordination among the editors is the key to producing high quality content. It has been found that having more editors is beneficial when articles have independent tasks whereas it’s detrimental when the tasks are interdependent. However, in collaboratively developed software the degree of concurrently committed changes is strongly correlated with quality. Concurrency is measured by computing the number of commits in a given unit of time and size of the artifact. In this work we use these measures to establish the significance of concurrency in collaborative creation of textual content.
Momin Malik - Sensors and Social Network Analysis
In engineering, sensor data is increasingly used to construct networks representing social relations. However, this work has largely happened apart from the field of social network analysis, and consequently the meaningfulness of sensor data has been insufficiently theorized from a sociological point of view. I examine what it is possible to say with sensor data, given the technical possibilities and limitations of the devices, and argue that using sensors for proximity data alone, instead of trying to infer interaction, presents many opportunities for analysis. In particular, there is an opportunity to revisit theoretical questions first asked in the 1950s about how proximity affects the formation of social ties.
Language Technologies Institute
Matthew Marge - Towards Evaluating Recovery Strategies for Situated Grounding Problems in Human-Robot Dialogue
Robots can use information from their surroundings to improve spoken language communication with people. Even when speech recognition is correct, robots face challenges when interpreting human instructions. These situated grounding problems include referential ambiguities and impossible-to-execute instructions. We present an approach to resolving situated grounding problems through spoken dialogue recovery strategies that robots can invoke to repair these problems. We describe a method for evaluating these strategies in human-robot navigation scenarios.
Meghana Kshirsagar - Multi-task learning for modeling disease interactions jointly
Systems biology based approaches study infectious diseases by analyzing the interactions between the host species and the pathogen organisms. This work combines the knowledge from experimental studies of host-pathogen interactions in several diseases in order to build stronger predictive models. Our framework is based on a formalism from machine-learning called ‘multi-task learning’. To integrate interactions from several tasks (i.e diseases), our method exploits the similarity in the infection process across the diseases. In particular, we use the biological hypothesis that similar pathogens target the same critical biological processes in the host, in defining a common structure across the tasks.
Aaditya Ramdas - Margins - Geometry, Analysis and Algorithms
Linear programming is one of the most fundamental topics in theoretical and practical optimization. The behavior of linear feasibility algorithms is heavily influenced by a concept called margin. We will explore the different ways of looking at margin - through their geometry, their relation to convex analysis, and through algorithms
Seth Flaxman - Correlates of Homicide: Finding Leading Indicators of Crime with Kernel-Based Space/Time Interactions Tests
Given locations in space and time of a disease, is there a statistical method to test whether this disease is infectious? We ask the same question in the criminology domain: which types of calls to 911 are predictive of nearby shootings or homicides? Standard correlation techniques do not produce meaningful results in this setting because of purely spatial effects (i.e. "bad" neighborhoods) and purely temporal effects (i.e. more crimes in the summer). Drawing on the recent machine learning literature, we propose a new test for space-time interaction, using a Mercer kernel-based statistic for measuring the distance between probability distributions.
Christopher Tomaszewski - Planning Energy Efficient Paths through Flow Fields in Small and Uncertain Domains
The problem of planning energy efficient routes for agents is of great importance across domains in mobile robotics, where energy is at a premium. In domains involving movement through fluids, which themselves may be moving, such as flight in various wind conditions or navigation through river currents, it is understandably desirable for path planning algorithms to harness the available kinetic energy in the environment to decrease a robot's energy consumption. The work documented here implements, extends, and evaluates existing trajectory planning techniques for flow fields, and investigates the process of adapting such algorithms for deployment on autonomous surface vehicles in real world river domains.
Michael Koval - Pose Estimation for Contact Manipulation with Manifold Particle Filters
We investigate the problem of estimating the state of an object during manipulation. Contact sensors provide valuable information about the object state during actions which involve persistent contact, e.g. pushing. However, contact sensing is very discriminative by nature, and therefore the set of object states that contact a sensor constitutes a lower- dimensional manifold in the state space of the object. This causes stochastic state estimation methods, such as particle filters, to perform poorly when contact sensors are used. We propose a new algorithm, the manifold particle filter, which uses dual particles directly sampled from the contact manifold to avoid this problem. The algorithm adapts to the probability of contact by dynamically changing the number of dual particles sampled from the manifold.
Noam Brown - Regret Transfer in Games
Regret matching is a widely-used algorithm for learning how to act. We begin by proving that regerts on actions in one setting can be transferred to warm start the regrets for solving a different setting with identical structure but different payoffs that can be written as a function of parameters. We then study optimizing a parameter vector for a player in a two-player zero-sum game. We propose a custom gradient descent algorithm that provably finds a locally optimal parameter vector while leveraging our warm-start theory at each step.
Tepper School of Business
Zia Hydari - Saving Patient Ryan - Can Health IT Make Patient Care Safer? Evidence from Pennsylvania Hospitals
Patient safety is widely expected to benefit from health IT but the evidence of its impact on safety is inconclusive. We estimate the impact of advanced Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) on patient safety using a panel of Pennsylvania hospitals over 2005—2012. Using a differences-in-differences identification strategy, we find that EMRs lead to a 27% decline in patient safety events. Thus, we provide evidence to stakeholders that hospitals’ adoption of advanced EMRs improves patient safety.
Cigdem Gizem Korpeoglu - Regulation and the Market Game
Regulation of oligopolistic industries is often justified by inefficient allocations due to imperfect competition. A Pareto improving reallocation of resources can be achieved by granting some degree of countervailing market power to the weaker side of the market. In product market settings, this takes the form of creating a regulatory agency empowered to act on behalf of consumers in negotiating with firms over prices and allocations. The primary purpose of such a regulatory agency is to lower prices in the short-run and stimulate investment in new production capacity in the long-run. In this paper, we model regulatory empowerment as a consumer unionization and analyze the effects of consumer unionization in a general equilibrium setting. To reflect the market power in both sides of the market, we use a Shapley-Shubik market game model. We show that consumer unionization may lead to higher prices, and in turn, it may cause welfare loss for consumers in the short-run. Moreover, we prove that consumer unionization does not incentivize investment in new production capacity in the long-run.
Carlos Ramirez - Basket Securities in Segmented Markets
I study the design and welfare implications of basket securities issued in markets with limited investor participation. Profit-maximizing issuers exploit investors’ inability to trade freely across different markets and choose which market to specialize in. I show that when the issuer is a monopoly, the equilibrium may not be constrained efficient. Increasing competition among issuers increases the variety of baskets issued, but does not always improve investors’ welfare. Although competition increases the variety of baskets issued, many of these baskets are redundant in the sense that coordination among issuers could improve investors’ risk sharing opportunities. The equilibrium basket structure depends on institutional features of a market such as depth and gains from trade.
Yang Yang - Love It Longer: Sentimental Value Slows Hedonic Adaptation
Previous research on hedonic adaptation examined how product features influence hedonic adaptation. We introduce the idea of sentimental value (i.e., the value associated with valuable personal memories relating to the source of a product) and demonstrate its effect on consumers’ happiness with the product over time. It shows that sentimental value slows hedonic adaptation. This effect is driven by an increase in source-related thoughts for sentimentally valuable products. Whereas feature-related utility decreases for all products with time, sentimental value does not. The sentiment acts as a buffer against the effect of the decrement in feature-related utility on hedonic adaptation.
Operations Management & Manufacturing
Xin Fang - Managing Suppliers: Joint Audit and Shared Supplier Information
Product safety incidents in recent years have compelled many manufacturers to rethink approaches to manage product quality of their suppliers. We consider two cooperative approaches: auditing common suppliers jointly and sharing independent audit results. We investigate their impacts on product quality and the incentives of competing manufacturers to cooperate.
Ying Xu - The Benefit of Introducing Variability in Single-Server Queues with Application to Quality Based Service Domains
We propose a state-independent service differentiation policy for a single-server queueing system serving homogeneous customers. We show that by randomly assigning customers different service rates, the average waiting time can be reduced without affecting the mean service time. Such differentiation does introduce more service time variability, but it also creates service rate information that enables the implementation of service-rate-based scheduling, which mitigates the increased variance and may even reduce the total waiting time. We provide conditions under which our state-independent service differentiation reduces waiting, and further derive closed-form expressions for the optimal differentiation policy, which shows that both optimal service rates and grade utilization form geometric sequences.
Organizational Behavior & Theory
Erin Fahrenkopf - Firm learning and Employee Mobility in the US
Firms innovate through the combination of new and existing knowledge. Often some of the knowledge required to innovate comes from outside their boundaries. Hiring scientists and engineers with the right experience is a powerful mechanism for transferring knowledge into the firm. Yet, we know relatively little about this channel of knowledge communication. What type of employee prior experience aids a firm in successfully pursuing new technological areas? My dissertation addresses this question by examining how newly hired employees draw on their prior experiences in the context of the US laser industry.
Evelyn Zhang - From micro to macro: the effect of personality on network position
In this study, we examine how the individual’s personality traits influence his/her network position in an emergency department (ED) of a mid-size hospital in the United States.
Jonathan Kush - Transactive Memory, Turnover and Team Performance
Groups are becoming increasingly important in the workplace, as is employee turnover. I propose that the loss of information from turnover matters less than the reactions of group members to turnover. I tested these hypotheses in a laboratory study using small groups and a construction task. I found that group training improves group transactive memory which improves team performance, replicating past work. Turnover, however, does not have a direct effect on TMS or group performance. If group members changed their role in the task in response to a new member, however, the group improved their performance more than other groups
Nazli Turan - Your Cost or My Benefit? : Effects of Concession Frames in Distributive Negotiations
Four studies examine the effects of framing concessions in distributive negotiations as being costly to the conceder versus beneficial to the receiver. We find that receivers of concessions that emphasize conceder-cost obtain higher economic outcomes, but experience lower subjective outcomes, compared to receivers of concessions emphasizing benefit. These effects are driven by receivers’ perceptions that conceders emphasizing cost are more misleading, leading them to make lower counteroffers compared to receivers of concessions that emphasize benefit.