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Aggie Research Scholars Program and Aggie Research Leadership Program

Project List

Available Undergraduate Research Opportunities: 24

Team Leaders and Faculty Mentors have created 2100 undergraduate research opportunities since spring, 2016. More projects are being added every day, bookmark and check this page periodically. Please contact Team Leaders to discuss joining their teams.

Available Projects

Fall 2019: Motion Planning for Robots2 Spots Open
Affiliations:
Department of Computer Science & Engineering
Project Leader:
Reza Teshnizi
r.teshnizi@tamu.edu
Computer Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Dylan Shell, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Tuesdays or Thursdays
Team Size:
4
Special Opportunities:
Students will learn to work with ROS and implement AI algorithms
Team Needs:
We would require a team of 3-5 students with: * basic understanding of C++ language * familiarity with basic concepts of Computer Science including search algorithms and different data structures.
Description:
In this project we would like to create a hardware implementation of the work done in the following publications: Teshnizi, Reza H., and Dylan A. Shell. "Computing cell-based decompositions dynamically for planning motions of tethered robots." 2014 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). IEEE, 2014. Teshnizi, Reza H., and Dylan A. Shell. "Planning motions for a planar robot attached to a stiff tether." 2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). IEEE, 2016. In this project you will work with ROS, Image Processing, Computation Geometry, iRobot Creates and several other topics related to Artificial Intelligence and Algorithm design
Fall 2019: Aggie Teacher Trajectory: Analyzing Pre-service Teachers’ Perceptions and Experiences 2 Spots Open
Project Leader:
Karen McIntush
kgm91@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Andrew Kwok, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Monday at 3pm in Harrington Tower (room TBD).
Team Size:
3
Special Opportunities:
-Team members will have the chance to earn co-authorship on a paper(s) and/or presentation; possibly attend regional conference(s), gain experience with research and data analysis, support with academic writing, interact with faculty and other graduate student teams, and earn research credit. - Students who successfully complete the fall project work will be invited to reapply for following semesters.
Team Needs:
-Participants must be accountable and self-motivated with a strong work ethic. -Participants should understand the value and necessity of detailed and accurate work as it contributes to the analysis of coding survey data. -Student researchers should have a strong work ethic, a research interest, be intrinsically motivated, and the ability to make reasoned decisions. All of these will contribute to a successful experience. -Weekly meetings will occur on Mondays at 2:30 pm. - Participants need skills to meet virtually when face-to-face is not possible -No research experience required. Training will be provided as needed. -Interested students should email their resume and Fall schedule to the contact person. -In-person or virtual interviews are required.
Description:
Students participating in this project will learn qualitative and quantitative research skills. The research team will be working with data collected through surveys from current and past students in the educator preparation program at Texas A&M. Graduate students and a faculty member in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture will guide and direct this project. Student researchers will code data from the survey responses. Students will use Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets and word processing applications. Other graphic programs, like LucidCharts, may also be used. Students may also be asked to obtain scholarly articles pertinent to the data. Student researchers will have the opportunity to write up the findings from the data, participate in local and state conferences, and potentially write for publication. The option for earning 1 hour of undergraduate research credit is available (291 or 491).
Fall 2019: Ambiguity of crimmigration and the social effects of a 21st century polarizing presidential administration3 Spots Open
Project Leader:
Joshua Martin
jomartin97@tamu.edu
Public Service and Administration
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Brittany Perry , Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBA
Team Size:
3
Special Opportunities:
IRB Training, Publication, Presentation and Poster opportunities
Team Needs:
Socially conscious undergraduates that have an understanding of institutions in relation to race
Description:
This project takes a deeper dive on how federal immigration law, state laws, and local laws intertwine, creating a web of social and justice abuses that are for the majority unobserved. The social implications of this never ending web creates tension between the majority and minority groups within this country. When finally understanding where all these laws have stemmed from, we can begin to understand why and how this polarized administration came to fruition. The goal is to understand how all of this has created more tension with marginalized communities and perception of minority communities from the majority. Surveys and interviews will be given out here at Texas A&M to measure students of colors experiences at an institution where they are the minority.
Fall 2019: Haptic Interventions3 Spots Open
Project Leader:
Josh Cherian
jcherian14@tamu.edu
Computer Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Tracy Hammond, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Friday 1-3
Team Size:
3
Special Opportunities:
Thesis, publications, cool research
Team Needs:
Students interested in completing an undergraduate thesis. Programming expertise. Interest in developing and testing wearables.
Description:
Haptics has been shown to be useful in navigation, piano learning, direction, and memory provoking. Haptics is beneficial since it does not interfere with sight or sound. This project will work on developing novel haptic solutions to improve people's lives.
Fall 2019: Crisis Management Information System1 Spot Open
Affiliations:
Department of Information and Operations Management
Project Leader:
Parker Caputo
parker.caputo@tamu.edu
Information and Operations Management
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Dwayne Whitten, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD - Weekly
Team Size:
4
Special Opportunities:
Develop a information system proposal at the end of the semester, hands-on data collection from law enforcement agencies/crisis management centers, faculty networking, potential to earn credit hours in research in later semesters, potential to support the development of an information system in later semesters
Team Needs:
1. Motivated students who are interested in meaningful research 2. Cross-disciplinary students are encouraged to apply (this is NOT only for computer science students). Range of majors including business, finance/accounting, psychology, government, law enforcement, information systems, computer science, and other related fields are desired. 3. Sophomores, juniors or seniors are preferred 4. Comfortable with discussing sensitive topics such as sexual assault and mass shootings 5. Must be able to commit to weekly meetings throughout the semester 6. 5-10 hours of time each week is expected, with reasonable accommodations for class activities, exams, etc.
Description:
In this project, research is being conducted into the applications of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data concepts as they are applicable to a crisis management system. More specifically, the ability of these concepts to produce data in a meaningful way such that it may promote the safety of an individual during a crisis. This study will observe the feasibility of connecting first responders to individuals affected by a crisis situation via a centralized information system. The goal of the system is to increase the flow of accurate communication, thereby reducing the chaos that typically follows a crisis. A number of functional crisis situations will be investigated, including but not limited to natural disasters, mass shootings, sexual assault, and gang violence. This project does not consist of developing an actual information system, but rather it investigates the capabilities of such a system if it were to be created. There is potential for students to participate in the development of an actual information system in later semesters. Students from a range of majors are encouraged to apply, no technical experience is required.
Fall 2019: Behavior and ecology of Wild Turkeys 5 Spots Open
Affiliations:
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Project Leader:
Amanda Beckman
akb13@tamu.edu
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Michael Morrison, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
8
Special Opportunities:
Hands-on experience with turkeys, learning different behavioral and ecological field methods, possibility for co-author on publication. In Fall 2019 weekly meetings will take place to discuss scientific literature, trapping methods, and permitting processes. We will also practice using drop nets, and gain experience handling birds. January-April 2020 turkey trapping will take place in South Texas. Transportation and housing will be provided. Transportation can be provided to/from College Station and/or Kingsville. Students that are available more than three weeks may have the opportunity to complete an independent project.
Team Needs:
Priority will go to students that will be available for at least three weeks January-April 2020 to go to South Texas for field work (signing up for a research credit in spring is not required). Field work will include capturing and handling Wild Turkeys and working as a team to perform behavioral observations, so you must be comfortable working outdoors in a relatively remote field site. Current students or students that have a degree in any life science field may apply. If space is available, students only available during Fall 2019 will be accepted.
Description:
Cooperative display coalitions, groups where an alpha male mates but one or more males assist in attracting females, occur in some animal mating systems. Coalitions of male Rio Grande Wild Turkeys are an ideal system to investigate how cooperation may vary in groups of individuals varying in relatedness. Promiscuous males and females can lead to some coalitions being made up of brothers, half-brothers, or unrelated individuals. This project will investigate how relatedness between individuals influences behavior, parasite presence, and ability to attract females. Turkeys will be captured with drop nets so a blood sample can be obtained, and wing tags with unique numbers will be attached to each turkey for behavioral observations. This study will provide new information about cooperation, and the behavior of Wild Turkeys.
Fall 2019: Culturally Responsive School Leadership in Rural and Suburban Schools Impacting the Needs of African American Girls 4 Spots Open
Project Leader:
Kevin Bazner
kbazner@tamu.edu
Educational Administration & Human Resource Development
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Gwendolyn Webb, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD - Flexible Meeting Times and Location
Team Size:
4
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to gain research and academic writing experience. Additionally, students have the opportunity to develop co-authored papers and/or scholarly presentations.
Team Needs:
We are looking for team members who are highly motivated to be involved in a robust and fast-moving project. Team members will gather existing information and summarize current research on Culturally Responsive School Leadership (CRSL). Ideally, team members will have some familiarity with library databases and conducting literature searches.
Description:
Culturally relevant and inclusive classrooms are just one component to developing a more equitable and socially just educational environment. Culturally responsive school leadership (CRSL) incorporates mandates that school administrators have just the same, if not more, responsibility as teachers in addressing the educational environment impacting minoritized students. Literature examining CRSL exists, but is largely limited to urban school environments and rarely engages rural and suburban settings. Moreover, CRSL seldom focuses on school leadership as they pertain to the specific needs of African American girls in the K-12 setting. This project aims to examine the existing literature on Culturally Responsive School Leadership (CRSL) within rural and suburban schools, and as it relates to the specific needs of African American girls. Particular attention will be paid to how school leadership (e.g. Assistant Principals, Principals, etc.) address the disproportionate discipline of African American girls in K-12 classrooms. The goals of this project are to generate an exhaustive search of existing literature pertaining to the topic and develop a summary of the findings. Students will be highly-supported by both the project leader and the faculty mentor through ongoing meetings, discussions, and development.
Fall 2019: Inexpressible, Unspeakable, Unthinkable: Language, Mind, and Meaning in Medieval and Wittgensteinian Philosophy of Religion 2 Spots Open
Project Leader:
David Anderson
davidjanderson@tamu.edu
Philosophy
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Michael Hand, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
8
Special Opportunities:
Undergraduate researchers may submit their papers to Aletheia: The Undergraduate Jounral of Philosophy at Texas A&M for publication and may participate in an undergraduate philosophy research symposium.
Team Needs:
There are no prerequisites, but PHIL 251 (Intro) and/or PHIL (Philosophy of Religion) may be helpful. This project is likely to appeal to and help students enrolled in PHIL 255 (C.S. Lewis, Faith, & Philosophy) or PHIL 416 (Recent British & American Philosophy)
Description:
Despite being associated with both Logical Positivism and Ordinary Language Philosophy, both of which apparently had little room for religious language, Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) was a figure of immense religious passion and angst. Since the publication of his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922), critics and commentators have noted its apparent “mysticism” (e.g. Wasmuth 1952;). Moreover, his later work has been associated with “fideism” and “relativism.” Wittgenstein and “Wittgensteinianism” are both loved and hated by philosophers and theologians. This project seeks to examine certain precedents to post-Wittgensteinian philosophy of religion in the work of medieval “mystics” and theologians such as Augustine, Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, Maimonides, Meister Eckhart, Julian of Norwich, Marguerite Porete, and Nicholas Cusanus. Undergraduate researchers will be allowed and encouraged to take on different facets of the research independently and in groups, but all will begin with a collective reading of Cusanus’ Idiota (Layman) dialogues.
Fall 2019: Mapping Projection Art for Dance Performance2 Spots Open
Affiliations:
Visualization department, Performance Studies department, Health and Kinesiology department, History department
Project Leader:
Eman Al-Zubeidi
eman.alzubeidi@tamu.edu
Visualization
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Jinsil Hwaryoung Seo, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Once a week, possibly more nearing performance date
Team Size:
5
Special Opportunities:
This project will offer the opportunity to gain a strong eye for impactful time-based work and create powerful projection art, in addition to learning how to contribute to interdisciplinary collaborative projects. Your work has the potential to be displayed in public in front of a live audience. This project will also help you earn networking opportunities with distinguished professors in all department listed which can open the possibility of requesting recommendation letters to add to your resume/CV. Your research can be presented at the Undergraduate Research Expo at Texas A&M which takes place in October every year. You can also submit your work/research to conferences both nationally and internationally.
Team Needs:
*Required: Ability to come up with strong conceptual artistic ideas / Background in 2D and/or 3D art / Background in traditional and digital design / Interest and willingness to learn interaction design / Motivated team player. *Pros (Additional): Skill in creating time-based work (videography, animation..etc.) / Skill in using Adobe products like Illustrator, Photoshop, and After Effects / Skill in using 3D asset creation programs like Maya, Houdini, Zbrush..etc. / Projection-mapping experience.
Description:
This project that will focus on creating visual art to be projected on multiple outdoor environments in Downtown Bryan (location/venue may change). The projection-mapped art will accompany a dance theatre production based on the historical event of the Holocaust executed by the departments of Visualization, Health and Kinesiology, Performance Studies, and History. The objective is to engage the live audience in an immersive dance theatre experience through the use of projection art and interactive design/techniques. The anticipated results of this work involves an evening length immersive performance that educates the community on the impact of the Holocaust and its parallels to our current political climate.

Projects with Full Teams

Fall 2019: The effects of alpha synuclein over expression on blood brain barrier integrity Full Team
Project Leader:
Sara Zarate
sara_zarate@tamu.edu
Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Rahul Srinivasan, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Monthly
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to learn standard behavior research methods as well as standard staining and microscopy methods. Significant contribution to the project will result in co-authorship of posters and papers
Team Needs:
All undergraduates are required to enroll in 3 research credit hours of their respective department. We are particularly interested in undergraduates interested in biomedical research and/or neuroscience. BIMS, PSYC, and Neuroscience minors are preferred
Description:
Parkison's disease is a motor function disease characterized by the progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons. A barrier in PD research is the lack of an animal model that accurately portrays key features of the disease over time. In this study, we will focus on developing a mouse model of PD centered around the overexpression of alpha synuclein and the resulting changes in motor function. Students will gain experience in general laboratory practices, and behavior research data collection and analysis
Fall 2019: Effect of low dose cytisine in female mice in a model of Parkinson's disease Full Team
Project Leader:
Sara Zarate
sara_zarate@tamu.edu
Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Rahul Srinivasan, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Bi-weekly
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to learn standard behavior research methods as well as standard staining and microscopy methods. Significant contribution to the project will result in co-authorship of posters and papers
Team Needs:
All undergraduates are required to enroll in 3 research credit hours of their respective department. We are particularly interested in undergraduates interested in biomedical research and/or neuroscience. BIMS, PSYC, and Neuroscience minors are preferred
Description:
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a devasting neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons. Therefore, there is an urgent and unmet need for developing disease modifying strategies. We have shown that low dose cytisine can convey neuroprotection in female mice by chaperoning nicotinic acetylcholine receptors from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the plasma membrane. This action reduces ER stress that could lead to cell death. In this study we will focus on the role estrogen plays in cytisine mediated neuroprotection using a mouse model of PD. Students will gain experience in general laboratory practices, and behavior research data collection and analysis.
Fall 2019: Hypoglycemia Continuous Monitoring Full Team
Affiliations:
Texas A&M University
Project Leader:
Karim Zahed
k.zahed@tamu.edu
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Farzan Sasangohar, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBA
Team Size:
2 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Hands-on data collection, publication and poster presentation opportunities
Team Needs:
Undergrad researcher with a knowledge in diabetes
Description:
This project investigates the efficacy of a novel hypoglycemic detection and warning system. The system involves a secure, non-invasive wearable proactive technology that detects early onsets of hypoglycemic tremors. This collaborative project involves research teams from Industrial and System Engineering, Center for Remote Health Technologies and Systems, and School of Public Health at Texas A&M University as well as Sidra Hospital and Texas A&M University at Qatar.
Fall 2019: At Home Hypertension management Full Team
Project Leader:
Karim Zahed
k.zahed@tamu.edu
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Farzan Sasangohar, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Team Size:
1 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
poster and paper published
Team Needs:
Interest in Hypertension and Cardiovascular diseases as well as behavior change
Description:
In this project, the team will be developing an AHA approved plan to help participants with hypertension learn how to better manage their condition while assessing the impact of behavior change interventions on their engagement with the regimen and its effect on their health outcomes
Fall 2019: Predicting Impact of Cardiovascular Parameters on Transport of Orally Administered Drugs Via the Mesenteric Lymphatic System Full Team
Project Leader:
Noor Zabad
N_zabad@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Monday 3-3:50 P.M. and Friday TBA
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Potential to earn co-authorship in a research publication
Team Needs:
Those who have a particular interest in scientific writing, experience in pharmacology, or synthesizing information from the scientific literature
Description:
Plasma concentration of orally administered drugs can be reduced by metabolism in the first pass through the liver. There are two pathways for drugs to enter the blood circulation: uptake by intestinal capillaries and transport to the liver or uptake by mesenteric lymphatic vessels and transport directly to the venous circulation. The latter route is a target for research because it avoids the “first pass effect”. The fraction transported by the mesenteric lymphatic system depends on the complex interaction of the mechanical properties governing the portal circulation, intestinal interstitium, and the mesenteric lymphatic system. Because the information derived from animal models is limited, we developed a general algebraic formula that predicts the relative rate of drug transport via mesenteric lymphatics. This formula applies to disease states as diverse as hepatic cirrhosis, congestive heart failure, and Crohn's disease. This project will require validating the model predictions, re-evaluating the implications of prior published experimental studies, and exploring novel clinical applications. This work has the potential to fundamentally change out current understanding of the factors affecting the bioavailability of orally-administered drugs.
Fall 2019: Comparing the Effect of Collaboration on Teachers' Job Satisfaction Between the U.S. and China: An Analysis of TALIS 2018 Full Team
Project Leader:
Zhihong Xu
xuzhihong@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Wen Luo, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
once a week
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
submit the paper to AERA or some other influential conference; co-author the paper to some high-impact journals if contribution is appropriate.
Team Needs:
In order to finish this study, the research team needs to: 1) Do literature review about professional collaboration and teacher cooperation, and their impact on teachers' job satisfaction; 2) Clean the relevant data and organize the data from 2018 TALIS; 3) Write the literature part and help with the data analysis; 4) Promise to work for the project at least three hours' a week
Description:
Studies have shown that teachers who are more satisfied with their jobs are less likely to depart (Ladd, 2011), and culture of collaboration, through association with teachers' job satisfaction, contributes to teacher retention. Professional collaboration and teacher cooperation are two basic elements that compose of collaboration at school. The current study aims to examine the impact of teacher collaboration on teachers’ job satisfaction in U.S. and China based on TALIS (The Teaching and Learning International Survey) 2018 data. The research questions are as follows: Are there any difference between U.S. and China in terms of the effect of collaboration on the job satisfaction? If so, what factors at the teacher and school level can explain the differences? In order to answer the above research questions, a hierarchical linear model (HLM) will be used to analyze the data from both school and teacher levels.
Fall 2019: Captive Exotic Fowl Assessment and Management (CEFAM) Full Team
Project Leader:
Travis Williams
twilliams49@tamu.edu
Poultry Science
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Giri Athrey, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Wednesday's from 6-7pm
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Undergraduate Researchers will be supported through mentorship in conducting research on and management of a captive wild Red Jungle Fowl colony, as this is one of three colonies in the United States. Due to the special nature of these animals, co-authorship on publications can stem from behavioral analysis, performance metrics, nutritional analysis, and potentially management techniques.
Team Needs:
Priority will be given to students with previous avian management experience or research experience, however it is not required. Participants must be self-motivated and accountable. Required skills: willingness to learn proper animal handling, work in an outdoor environment, attend short weekly meetings to present findings and provide updates, abide by safe laboratory practices, take required laboratory safety training courses.
Description:
Students must be willing to work according to a schedule in one or more of the following: daily care, observation, collection of samples, wet laboratory work, laboratory maintenance tasks, and project workdays. Most, if not all activities requirements will take no longer than 2 hour per day. Students will assist with monthly special projects ranging from enclosure inspection to laboratory analysis of samples. Team members will be expected to update on-site and electronic records, perform literature research related to their project.
Fall 2019: Developing an Algebraic Formula Predicting Hemodynamic Responses to the Tilt Table Test Full Team
Affiliations:
Biomedical Sciences Program
Project Leader:
Stephen Whitney
stephenw97@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 10:20-11:10
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Description:
The tilt table test is a common clinical test used to evaluate systemic blood pressure homeostasis. The sensitivity of systemic pressure to tilt is modulated by both the baroreflex and mechanical properties of the closed loop system. Inferring the cause of changes in the sensitivity of systemic pressure to tilt angle is not possible from experimental means alone. Investigators have thus used the standard minimal closed-loop model to predict blood pressures with table tilt, but numerical solutions of model equations requires all mechanical parameter values to be known a priori. However, it has been shown that linearizing model equations allows the derivation of algebraic formulas for blood pressure that explicitly relate variables to mechanical parameters without this limitation. Therefore, the purpose of the present work is to derive an algebraic formula for the sensitivity of systemic pressure to tilt in terms of the mechanical properties of the closed-loop system. The construction of a working model has been fulfilled and the current aim involves integrating supplemental revisions in the interest of developing an analytical tool that can be used to guide future clinical research in this area.
Fall 2019: Evaluation of Factors Impacting Meat Flavor Full Team
Project Leader:
Kayley Wall
wall4165@tamu.edu
Animal Science
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Chris Kerth, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Authorship on conference abstracts
Team Needs:
Individuals are needed to aid in all components of the research. This includes: Sample identification, specification, and preparation Lab analyses: Collagen Assessment, TBARs, Texture Profile, Consumer Panels, Trained Sensory Panels, GC/MS, HPLC/MS, Protein Oxidation, Fatty Acid Analysis
Description:
There are several projects we are conducting this year with both beef and lamb. We are evaluating the texture attributes of beef brisket at different time and temperature combinations of cooking. We are looking at the shelf-stability and color phenomenon that occurs with varying combinations of grass- and grain-fed ground beef. We are investigating the contribution of beef breed to flavor in ground beef patties. Additionally, we are qualifying and quantifying lamb flavor as it appears in different age and breed of lambs. Also on the horizon, we plan to look at evaluating consumer and non-consumer behavior and attitudes to unique odors associated with specific lamb flavor thresholds.
Fall 2019: AggieNova Templates Full Team
Project Leader:
Tate Walker
tatewalker@tamu.edu
Physics & Astronomy
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Peter Brown, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Presenting findings in a poster session, learning how to write an abstract, learning industry-standard coding practices. As a member of this team, you'll be exposed to real data-science applications and gain experience working as a team to improve a client's workflow. You will develop/improve communication and presentation skills.
Team Needs:
REQUIRED: Python: Basic understanding (importing packages, loops, functions) and desire to improve skills. Git: Familiarity with the basic Git workflow. Interacting with local and remote repositories via "add", "commit", and "push", comfortable using branches. PREFERRED: Astronomy/Supernovae: Not required, but a plus. We'll cover the basics the first week.
Description:
Our team is using data on the brightness of exploding stars in the ultraviolet and optical light. To accomplish this, we are automating the data analysis process through Python scripts and supporting data science packages. Our data products will be used to estimate the total energy of the explosions and to predict the amount of light observed from future exploding stars using various ground and space-based observatories.
Fall 2019: Consumer attitudes toward lab cultured foods Full Team
Project Leader:
Sharon Wagner
sharon.wagner@tamu.edu
Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Deborah Dunsford, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
AGCJ 491 credit, SRW presentation
Description:
This study will examine consumer attitudes toward milk and meat products created in a lab, comparing risk perceptions associated with GMO foods.
Fall 2019: Nutrition and Health of 17th-Century Sailors Full Team
Affiliations:
Institute of Nautical Archaeology
Project Leader:
Grace Tsai
getsai@tamu.edu
Anthropology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Karen Kubena, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Once Weekly, TBD
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students have the chance to be a co-author in a paper, may have the opportunity to tour and possibly stay on a historical sailing vessel, add to their portfolio and exhibit their work on a museum (250,000 visitorship annually), present at conferences, and receive directed studies course credit in Nutrition
Team Needs:
We are now in the data analysis phase, having completed all the data collection. We are looking for those with skills in biostatistics, scientific writing, and general nutritional research.
Description:
This project hopes to understand the effects of shipboard diet on the health of sailors by determining the nutritional intake of seamen on 17th-century English ships. Previous attempts to gauge the nutritional value of shipboard diets were based on historical documentation instead of laboratory data. In this project, shipboard food will be replicated using the exact ingredients and methods of preparation from the 17th century, including non-GMO ingredients, the exact species of plant or animal, and the same butchery methods and cuts of meat. Archaeological and historical data will be used to replicate the salted pork and beef, ship biscuit, wine and beer, and other provisions aboard Warwick, an English race-built galleon that sank in 1619. Then, a trans-Atlantic voyage will be simulated by storing the food in casks and keeping these in a ship’s hull for three months. Every ten days, representative samples of food will be sent for nutritional and microbial analysis. Lastly, this project compares laboratory results to data that has already been derived from human remains on wrecks such as Mary Rose (1545) and Vasa (1628). This project also has broader impacts because it is hypothesized that certain microbes found on the experimental food may be novel strains of probiotics, which can be cultured for today’s health industry. The results of the project will be featured in an exhibit at the Texas Seaport Museum in Galveston.
Fall 2019: Emotion Elicitation using Virtual Reality and Designing Interventions to Support Human Decision Making Full Team
Affiliations:
Human Factors and Cognitive Systems Lab
Project Leader:
Sahinya Susindar
susindar@tamu.edu
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Thomas Keith Ferris, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Flexible - Ideally, Fridays
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Research experience, experience in data-collection, conducting a study, and potential publications. Opportunities to become a full-member of the group
Team Needs:
Primarily, motivation and enthusiasm to learn and work in a small group. Any coding experience is appreciated but not required, VR environment coding is a bonus.
Description:
This is a two-part project wherein the first part is on using virtual reality (VR) devices to elicit emotions in individuals in a laboratory. We will study the influence of different emotions on an individuals decision making by first identifying and presenting different emotional stimuli using VR and then observing their responses on decision tasks. In the second part, we will investigate different interventions to manage the influence of extreme emotions on decision making. We will use VR devices such as the Oculus GO headset, devices that will measure human physiological responses (electrodermal activity, heart rate, etc.), and possibly a driving simulator if we choose it for the second part.
Fall 2019: Person-Organization Fit During Recruitment - The Impact of Work Competencies Full Team
Affiliations:
Management Department - Mays Business School
Project Leader:
David Sullivan
davesullivan@tamu.edu
Management
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Murray Barrick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
To be determined by the team
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Gain valuable qualitative research experience, mentorship in the research process, guidance with graduate school applications and potentially letters of recommendation from the team leader (Dave Sullivan)
Team Needs:
Critical thinking and analytical skills required. Ability to work with a team and visually code material found online through YouTube, Glassdoor.com, Vault.com, and potentially LinkedIn. Coding this material does not require any programming background. The coding process will be taught through visual interpretation sessions during weekly meetings.
Description:
Person-Organization fit, which describes the experience where someone matches or is congruent with their workplace, is an important concept in the workforce. This study aims to investigate the impact of the match or fit based on work competencies: leadership, teamwork, communication skills, etc. To do this, we will be coding the recruitment materials of different accounting firms to assess the level of competency needs for each firm based on the publicly available data provided.
Fall 2019: Characterizing Hypoxia on Endothelial-mediated Growth and Remodeling of Microvasculature Fertilized Chicken Chorioallantoic Microvessels Full Team
Project Leader:
Parker Stallings
pstallings11@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursday 9:35 am - 10:50 am
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Research experience with biomedical sciences, VTPP 491 credt, and potentially earn co-authorship in a research publication
Description:
The chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) has become a standard model to study how the structure and function of the microvasculature adapts in response to stimuli as diverse as tumor growth, drugs, and nutrients. Changes in oxygen and blood flow in particular are known to be potent modulators of growth and remodeling of the microvascular networks of other animal models. Although investigators comparing in fertilized eggs grown inside and outside of the shell have reported minor differences in embryo morphology, they have not solved the problem of how to quantify the differences in structure and function of the CAM microvasculature. It has been well-established that changes in oxygen partial pressures affect microvascular radii in multiple animal models. Therefore the purpose of the present work is to evaluate the feasibility of using the chick CAM model to characterize the interaction of local hypoxia on endothelial-mediated growth and remodeling of microvessels, as well as to quantify differences in the structure and function of CAM vascular networks of in ovo and ex ovo models. We plan to map the vasculature of the chick embryo in both ex-ovo and in-ovo CAM models. We also plan to induce local hypoxia on days 7-10. Images will also be taken of the CAM for comparison of hypoxic effects specifically on the endothelial-mediated growth and remodeling of the microvasculature.
Fall 2019: Team Resilience in Emergency Operations (TREO) Full Team
Affiliations:
Industrial and Systems Engineering, Texas A&M University
Project Leader:
Changwon Son
cson@tamu.edu
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Farzan Sasangohar, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Flexible
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
This project provides very unique opportunities to access to U.S. Homeland Security policies, hands-on understanding of emergency operations service, and possible chances to visit the world-renowned firefighting and emergency planning simulation facility
Team Needs:
TREO is a multidisciplinary project in which different views and knowledge are required. First, the domain of the project is emergency or disaster management. Therefore, those who are interested (or preferably knowledgeable) in firefighting, law enforcement, emergency medical service can make a great contribution. Second, as this project involves human operators' perception, decision-making, and action implementation, those who are learning (or learned) human factors and cognitive systems can apply their knowledge. Third, considering the size and complexity of data collected in relation to this project is large, those who are interested in analyzing qualitative (e.g., thematic analysis, grounded theory) and quantitative (e.g., network analysis, team dynamics analysis) are believed to sharpen their skills. Based on the all aforementioned needs, this project is very suitable for Aggies Research Leadership Program. The expected number of team members is three to five
Description:
Team Resilience in Emergency Operations (TREO) aims to understand how incident management teams (IMTs) adapt their performance to constantly changing situations surrounding a disaster. In order to understand the IMT's adaptive performance, this project investigates patterns of interactions between human (e.g., emergency operators) and technical agents (e.g., information and communication tools) in a team environment. For the investigation, we collected data from multiple sources (e.g., naturalistic observation, interview, survey), which can be analyzed in both qualitative and quantitative manners. Especially, the current project efforts are focused on comparing expected IMT behaviors ('work-as-imagined') and actual IMT performance ('work-as-done'). By inspecting the difference between the two, recommendations can be made to reconcile 'work-as-imagined' and 'work-as-done' in order to enhance the resilience of the IMTs.
Fall 2019: PTSD Continuous Monitoring Systems Full Team
Affiliations:
Applied Cognitive Ergonomics (ACE) Lab; Industrial & Systems Engineering
Project Leader:
Mahnoosh Sadeghi
m7979@tamu.edu
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Farzan Sasangohar, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBA
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Be part of an award-winning team, publication and poster presentation opportunities.
Team Needs:
Motivated students who are willing to take part in hands-on, impactful research. Interest in design and testing of mobile apps a plus. Programming experience with Android and iOS devices a plus
Description:
In this project, an easy-to-use and efficient PTSD information system is being developed. Biometric data will be collected using a sensor-based mobile app designed for veterans and then be presented to clinicians to provide them with additional information about a patient’s therapeutic progress. The system will provide sensor-based monitoring of important mental state information and will help veterans to communicate patients’ key mental state changes, thus enabling clinicians to access and monitor patients by presenting them with information that supports their work and meets their expectation.
Fall 2019: Identifying High Workload Levels through Physiological Measures in Virtual Reality Environments Full Team
Affiliations:
Human Factors and Cognitive Systems Lab
Project Leader:
Carolina Rodriguez Paras
caro_rdz@tamu.edu
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Thomas Ferris, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Flexible
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will get the opportunity to collect and analyze philological measures. Additionally, several virtual reality applications for the Oculus Rift will be explored.
Team Needs:
Creative problem solving is required. Programming skills (Python, R, Matlab, others) are sought after but not mandatory.
Description:
Virtual reality environments can impose varying levels of workload. Physiological measures, such as heart rate and skin conductance, reflect the changes in workload. This project will investigate physiological patterns of workload based on varying virtual reality applications.
Fall 2019: Countermeasures to Combat Driver Inattention in Partially Automated Vehicles Full Team
Affiliations:
Human Factors and Cognitive Systems Lab
Project Leader:
Carolina Rodriguez Paras
caro_rdz@tamu.edu
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Thomas Ferris, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Flexible
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will get the chance to do research on countermeasures to combat driver inattention, use a driving simulator, and opportunities are also available to become full members of the research group.
Team Needs:
Creative problem solving is required. Programming skills (Python, R, Matlab, others) are sought after but not mandatory
Description:
This project will explore different displays to combat driver inattention in partially automated vehicles
Fall 2019: Language Instruction Research - Guided Practices and Materials Development Full Team
Project Leader:
Alessandra Ribota
ribota@tamu.edu
Hispanic Studies
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Gabriela Zapata, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursday's 3:45-5:15
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
HISP 491 credits
Team Needs:
Have knowledge of the Spanish language at an Intermediate level. Able to meet Thursdays
Description:
We are seeking Students interested in second language pedagogy and materials development using Open Educational Resources (OER) for the teaching of intermediate Spanish and Spanish for Agriculture
Fall 2019: The Effect of Ethanol on Structure and Function of the Fetal Circulation Full Team
Project Leader:
Ashritha Rao
ashritharao98@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher M. Quick , Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to learn standard microvascular microscopy methods, as well as the microvascular physiology. Significant scientific contribution to a successful project will result in co-authorship of conference proposals
Team Needs:
All undergraduates required to be enroll in 3 credit hours of VTPP 291 or 491. We are particularly interested in undergraduates who are interested in biomedical research. BIMS or biomedical engineering majors are preferred. Additionally, those with previous experience in maintaining sterile lab conditions and/or technical writing experience are preferred.
Description:
Fetal alcohol syndrome which is induced by fetal exposure to alcohol has shown to affect neurological, growth, and heart development in developing fetuses. Gross cardiovascular malformations have been reproduced in animal models, but the effects of alcohol on subtle changes on microvascular network structure and function during embryonic development have not been addressed. The chick chorioallantoic model (CAM), provides a unique platform to repeatedly study the structure and function of microvascular networks of a developing fetus. By cutting a window into a fertilized chick egg or growing a fertilized chick egg ex-vivo, the radii and length of the microvasculature can be measured, as well as blood flow velocities. Furthermore, the response to changes in blood pressure, endothelial shear stress, and vasoactive substances can be quantified, not only in different sizes of microvessels, but also at different developmental stages. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to develop the CAM model as a platform to study the effect of low-dose ethanol on fetal microvascular network structure and function.
Fall 2019: Ex Ovo Optimization Full Team
Project Leader:
Cole Randolph
colerandolph18@tamu.edu
Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Possibility of a conference presentation, with significant contributors having their name on any created abstracts as well as be listed as co-authors. This project will also allow for the development of lab and research skills.
Team Needs:
Willingness to work with chicken embryos. Ability to work independently in a group setting. Flexible schedule All undergrads required to enroll in VTPP 291/491 (3 credit hour research)
Description:
Although conventional animal models used to study intact vascular networks have been optimized for mature subjects, models to study embryonic development have yet to be fully established. Great challenges remain, including the need for refined surgical techniques, multiple survival surgeries and related animal care, and the need for dedicated and customized equipment. Furthermore, most embryonic models have low rates of viability after interventions and can be cost-prohibitive for many research groups. The chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model shows great promise as an alternative model for microvascular research, and has already been used extensively to study angiogenesis in relation to tumor growth. However, conventional windowing methods limit the study of a developing vascular network. The present work focuses on developing an ex-ovo CAM model optimized for intravital vascular studies. Three critical constraints have been identified that must be met: 1) environmental constraints: regulating temperature, humidity and oxygen levels for extended periods outside of the incubation chamber, 2) visualization constraints: ensuring planar surface and access to an entire vascular network for intravital microscopy, and 3) incubation constraints: maintaining sterility during measurements. Furthermore, to make this animal model widely accessible to investigators studying development of the vasculature over time, strategies must be developed to minimize cost and maximize reproducibility and scalability.
Fall 2019: Evaluation of Dietary Calcium on Necrotic Enteritis Pathogenesis Full Team
Affiliations:
Texas A&M Poultry Science
Project Leader:
Macey Randig
mrandig@tamu.edu
Faculty Mentor:
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
2 on 1 mentoring, hands on learning experience.
Description:
Evaluate the effect of dietary Calcium (inclusion level, source, solubility) on necrotic enteritis (NE) pathogenesis. It is questioned if Ca level/source is more detrimental in all-veg diets or diets with an animal protein source
Fall 2019: Constructing the First Mathematical Model Predicting Endolymphatic Pressure in the Inner Ear Full Team
Project Leader:
Hannah Prutchi
hannahmaayan@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences Program
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
N/A
Description:
This is a continuation of a previous research done last year. In this project, fluid flow and pressure relations will be mathematically modeled through a new model of the inner ear.
Fall 2019: Understanding Genetic Drivers of Neurological Diseases Full Team
Project Leader:
Aracely Perez
aapg96@tamu.edu
Veterinary Integrative Biosciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Candice Brinkmeyer-Langford, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Poster presentations, opportunity for course credit, possible authorship opportunities
Team Needs:
Seeking highly motivated students which are capable of devoting a minimum of 5 hours per week to the lab. Training will be provided to students for all tasks. Experience with Adobe Illustrator or ImageJ is sought after, but not required.
Description:
Neurological diseases, such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, may be the result of an earlier viral infection. In some cases, individuals infected by a given virus will eventually develop the associated neurological condition, while others will develop more variable symptomologies in response to the same viral agent. Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) provides a useful model to understand how a single virus can contribute to different types and severities of neurological outcomes. In mice, TMEV infection elicits diverse neurological conditions, depending on the infected mouse strain, suggesting that the genetic background of the individual influences the neurological disease characteristics observed. To further our understanding of how the genetic background impacts neurological damage in response to viral infection, we aim to elucidate the immunological and genetic determinants that drive the differences we see neurological disease symptoms in genetically distinct mice. The student researchers will be responsible for regularly checking mice (weighing and phenotyping), and assisting with: necropsies, organ collection and processing, RNA extractions, qPCR, RNAseq experiments and related activities (such as evaluating RNA quality), cytokine profiling experiments and related activities, data entry, and data interpretation as needed
Fall 2019: General Algebraic Formulas Predicting Cerebral Flow and Intracranial Pressure After A Hemorrhagic Stroke Full Team
Project Leader:
Faith Olson
faitholson99@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher M. Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursday 3:55-5:10 *Other times TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Potential opportunity for co-authorship for in manuscript. In addition, presenting work at Student Research Week. 3 491 credit hours
Team Needs:
Someone is understanding analytical writing and reading. Has a strong suit in mathematical work and can work with Mathematica. Preferred that you have an interest in this study of research, and have the time required to devote each week.
Description:
The damage from hemorrhagic strokes, especially arising from rupture of cerebral aneurysms, arteriovenous or cavernous malformations, can occur within minutes. Cerebral blood flow and intracranial pressure are critical variables that impact clinical outcomes. These variables emerge from the complex interaction of the mechanical properties of the cerebral vasculature, cerebrospinal fluid, brain tissue, and hematoma. Conventional animal models used to study hemorrhagic strokes are inherently limited because hematoma volume is too difficult to control experimentally and results do not readily translate to humans. Although complex computational models can provide key insights absent from animal models, results depend on specific parameter values assumed and cannot be easily extrapolated to different cases. Therefore, the purpose of the present work is to develop a general algebraic formula that predicts cerebral flow and intracranial pressure from critical parameters. Through this algebraic model multiple parameters can be tested simultaneously in order to determine the cause and effect of changing said parameters to cerebral blood flow and intracranial pressure.With the development of this model, outcomes and sensitive parameters can be more readily identified
Fall 2019: Assessing the Social Determinants of Health Insurance in a Selected Sub-Sahara African Country Full Team
Project Leader:
Eniola Olatunji
eo00960@tamu.edu
Health Policy and Management
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. David Washburn, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Fri 11 am -12 pm
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunity for Credit hours, Opportunity for co-authorship and/or poster presentation
Team Needs:
1. Enthusiastic and motivated about research 2. Interest and experience in scholarly writing 3. Some familiarity with data analysis skills (not necessarily required) 4. Students from the School of Public Health are preferred but other candidates will be duly considered
Description:
Universal health coverage and having access to healthcare has been one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) goals. Health insurance has been identified as one of the tools to help provide access to health care and reduce the burden of ill health. In Sub-Sahara Africa, entrenching health insurance has had differing experience compared to the western world. This project aims to identify socio-economic factors associated with having health insurance in a selected Sub-Saharan African country. The project will further analyses the trends over the years to see if there has been any change in the socioeconomic composition of people who have health insurance. The project will also describe the landscape of the health system and health insurance in the country.
Fall 2019: Developing the Chick Chorioallantoic Membrane (CAM) Model to Detect Subtle Changes in Microvascular Structure with Low Doses of Sodium Fluoride Full Team
Project Leader:
Erin O'Connor
eloconnor@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher M. Quick , Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Tuesday: 2:20 - 5:10 and Thursday; 2:20 - 3:35 T
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunities to go to local or national conferences
Description:
High-dose administration of sodium fluoride (NaF) induces hypertension in vivo. Both blood pressure and flow are extremely sensitive to subtle changes in microvascular radii. Low doses of NaF affect the response of endothelial cells to shear stress in vitro, which is a potent stimulus of microvessel growth in response to elevated blood flow. The chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model has the unique property that the dramatic increase in flow during development can be measured in each microvessel of a specimen over successive days. Therefore, the purpose of the current study is to test the feasibility of using the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model to test the hypothesis that low-dose NaF limits microvessel growth. We have found that this novel use of the CAM model imposes additional requirements, including microvascular mapping, ex ovo culture technique, aseptic procedures and brightfield intravital microscopy. These requirements are necessary for concurrent repeated measurement of radius and blood flow velocity over successive days. Utilizing aseptic technique, during both incubation and intravital microscopy, is needed to prevent infection. These specific modifications of the standard CAM model not only make it possible to detect subtle changes in response to NaF, but also make the CAM model a novel platform for detecting the effects of very low doses of other potential teratogens
Fall 2019: Implications of Simple Growth Rule to Predict Endothelial Shear Stresses and Radii of Cerebral Vessels Full Team
Affiliations:
Biomedical Research Certificate Program
Project Leader:
Zoe Norkiewicz
zoenorkiewicz@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher M. Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Friday 1:50-2:40 pm
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will be able to gain research experience with biomedical science and mathematical modeling, earn 3 credits for VTPP 491, and potentially earn co-authorship in a research publication.
Description:
Critical disease states such as atherosclerosis, vasospasm, and ischemic stroke have been associated with endothelial dysfunction. Mechanotransduction studies have revealed that blood vessel radii increase acutely and chronically to increases in endothelial shear stress. Experimental approaches to investigate mechanotransduction in the cerebrovasculature are limited, because changes in radii affect endothelial shear stresses through altered hemodynamics. Conversely, changes in endothelial shear stresses affect radii through growth and remodeling. Conventional mathematical models that predict how cerebrovascular networks adapt can predict radii, but they assume a constant endothelial shear stress set point. However, similar limitations have been addressed by investigators who incorporated mechanotransduction by assuming that radius increases with endothelial shear stress. Therefore, the purpose of the present work is to modify a standard cerebrovasculature model with a simple growth rule to predict both endothelial shear stress and radii of cerebral vessels. We will be developing the model and comparing predictions to previously published data. Because this model provides a framework to translate basic science in molecular and cellular mechanotransduction involving vascular endothelial cells into growth of vessels over time, we will be looking for novel insights into the development and treatment of diverse cerebrovascular diseases.
Fall 2019: Genome Editing for Shortened Days to Flowering in Rice Full Team
Affiliations:
Department of Soil and Crop Sciences
Project Leader:
Karina Morales
kymorales11@tamu.edu
Soil and Crop Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Michael Thomson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will get hands on experience with CRISPR editing in crops
Team Needs:
Students should have an intersest in plant biology, molecular biology, and genetics. Team members will also need to be interested in wet lab work and will be required to have or receive appropriate lab safety training. Students will be highly encouraged to enroll in SCSC 491.
Description:
Days to flowering is a vital trait in rice with flowering being the most heat sensitive time in the rice life cycle. This project aims to understand the function of 8 flowering time genes in rice and how they interact with each other. This will be done using genome editing to knock out each of the genes with the hope that we would get as many combinations within the 8 genes as possible
Fall 2019: Preservice Teachers’ Beliefs about ELL Writing and Pedagogical Practices Full Team
Project Leader:
Stephanie Moody
smmoody@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Zohreh Eslami, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Analysis of this data will be presented at TAMU Student Research Week 2020, where undergraduates will have the opportunity to win awards for their participation in research, as well as add a research-related event to their resumes. Interested education majors will learn more about the pedagogy of teaching ELL writing, which can benefit their future careers.
Team Needs:
3 undergraduates interested in learning about qualitative data analysis and/or teacher practice. Education majors are encouraged, but ALL are welcome to apply. Must be available for weekly or bi-weekly meetings.
Description:
In 2015, there were 4.8 million English language learners (ELLs) enrolled in public schools (NCES, 2015). Because of this, teacher education programs focus on training teachers on the best strategies for working with ELLs, but rarely do they include a focus on writing instruction (Batchelor et al., 2014). Likewise, assessments like the STAAR test mean that teachers are more focused on reading and math instruction than writing (Grisham & Wolsey, 2011). This is problematic, as many new teachers graduate from the university with the belief that ELL writing instruction is unimportant, or too difficult (Morgan & Pytash, 2014). In this study, we will investigate the beliefs of six undergraduate preservice teachers (PSTs) who participated in an after-school program focused on ELL writing. Participation will involve transcription and analysis of qualitative data such as videotaped classroom observations, journal entries, interviews, and reflections.
Fall 2019: DIY binder jetting printer Full Team
Affiliations:
Engineering rechnology and industrial distribution
Project Leader:
Guanxiong Miao
gm2666@tamu.edu
Engineering Technology & Industrial Distribution
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Chao Ma, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Engineering rechnology and industrial distribution
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Can get access to research project about 3D printing of metal, ceramic and many extrem materials
Team Needs:
The work may need some programming skills and some manufacturing knowledge
Description:
We built a binder jetting 3D printer in the past three semesters. In this semester, we have some code to debug and need to do some final adjustment to make the printer work. Then we will test different materials on this printer.
Fall 2019: Study of Essential Protein Function in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Synthesis of Bioconjugation Reagents Full Team
Affiliations:
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Project Leader:
Drake Mellott
dmellott@tamu.edu
Biochemistry and Biophysics
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Thomas Meek, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Friday at 10 am or Friday at 2:30 pm
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
The completion of this work will likely result in a publication that student(s) would receive co-authorship on. Students will have the opportunity to learn and become competent in synthetic chemistry practices, HPLC, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), NMR spectroscopy, column chromatography, protein expression and purification, gel electrophoresis, western blotting, and enzyme assays. In addition, this research can count as 491 research credit if the student would like to enroll for this.
Team Needs:
We are seeking three motivated undergraduates who have an interest in synthetic organic chemistry and chemical biology research. These individuals must have completed at least two semesters of organic chemistry course and lab work in order to apply. An ideal candidate will have a chemistry related background, some experience in reading the scientific literature, experience setting up reactions and purifying organic molecules, and the ability to problem solve and work independently. A minimum of 20 hours a week in lab is required. Please send a CV and class schedule to apply.
Description:
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the world’s deadliest bacterial pathogen is responsible for the death of greater than 10 million people per year. Current therapies for Mtb are extremely long in duration and often ineffective owing to growing drug resistance. Our research focuses on the study of an essential, highly sought after drug target of Mtb, through inhibitor design, kinetics, structural studies, as well as understanding its complex regulation within the cell. Recent work from our lab has identified and characterized an enzyme that removes post translational modifications from this essential enzyme which may serve to modulate its activity. As such, we are employing chemical biology strategies to produce uniformly modified proteins to study their regulatory roles and structure-function relationships. This project mainly focuses on the synthesis and utilization of the synthesized molecules to site specifically modify this essential enzyme, allowing one to study the function and regulatory role of these modifications. The synthesis will include the preparation and purification of simple and complex organic molecules on scales ranging from small milligram to multi-gram quantities. Protein work will include the preparation of proteins that contain a non-natural amino acid that can be selectively chemically modified by the reagents synthesized.
Fall 2019: Overchurch, Underfed: Religion & Food Insecurity in Brazos County, TX Full Team
Affiliations:
Sociology Collaborative Ethnography Lab
Project Leader:
Andrew McNeely
amcneely@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Sarah N. Gatson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Research Expo, Oct 2019
Team Needs:
timeliness, strong reading comprehension, critical thinking and analysis skills
Description:
This team will be responsible for carrying out, transcribing, and coding qualitative interviews related to the Overchurched, Underfed research project
Fall 2019: Reducing Mental Fatigue from Sustained Attention Task Full Team
Affiliations:
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Human Factors & Cognitive Systems (HF&CS) Lab
Project Leader:
Johnathan McKenzie
johnathan.mckenzie@tamu.edu
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Thomas K. Ferris, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Learn the basics of human research - how to design, conduct, and analyze an experiment
Team Needs:
The following skills are helpful, but not necessarily required. Just having a willingness to learn can lead to acquiring these skills as you work on the project! -Knowledge of human psychology, particularly human information processing -Programming skills (general, and possibly XML or Python specifically depending on the task used) -Knowledge of physiological measurements and operation of devices (Ex: Empatica) -Statistical design of experiments -Conducting human data collection during experiment (Be good at working with people!) -Statistical analysis of date (using Excel, R, JASP, SPSS, or other software)
Description:
It is very common for a person to experience mental fatigue when performing a task requiring high levels of attention for an extended period of time. This often results in an undesirable decrease in performance on the task. This fatigue can sometimes be relieved by taking a rest break, but then the person is no longer being productive. Human factors engineers and psychologists have studied human information processing and categorized different mental functions and/or resources. This study seeks to investigate whether temporarily changing the type of mental functions or resources used will relieve the mental fatigue brought about by the original task. This project will consist of designing and conducting an experiment in which human participants complete basic computerized tasks requiring sustained attention and investigating whether having them change to a different task relieves any of their mental fatigue as shown in their performance. Measurements will be made of performance, subjective fatigue, and physiological changes (heart rate, pupil change, etc.) The project will involve the following: -Studying the theory of human information processing to inform the design of the experiment -Programming the computerized tasks to be used -Learning and using physiological devices -Conducting the experiment (collecting data) -Analyzing the data -Drawing conclusions Join this project to learn about conducting research with humans!
Fall 2019: The Effect of Cadmium on Chicken Embryonic Heart Devleopment Full Team
Project Leader:
Naomi McCauley
naomimccauley9696@tamu.edu
Nutrition and Food Science
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Linglin Xie, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Group Meeting: Mondays 1:45 - 2:45 pm
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunities include gaining hands-on experience on research, reading scientific papers, and presentation at Student Research Week. Possible honor thesis opportunity for students who are willing to continue for the entire year at Dr. Xie’s lab and contribute greatly to the project
Team Needs:
Experience is not required to join the project. We are calling for students who are curious about research and are willing to read research papers alongside research. Students who sign up for this project will be required to sign up for 3 credit hrs of NUTR 485/491
Description:
Our study aims to elucidate the teratogenic effects of Cadmium in early chicken embryonic development. Team members will be able to learn general and molecular biology techniques, including PCR, gel electrophoresis, as well as histology techniques, such as tissue sectioning, staining, imaging, and heart defect identification. Members will also read and practice scientific writing.
Fall 2019: Nanoparticles for Forming Emulsion Full Team
Project Leader:
Rong Ma
marong1863@tamu.edu
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Zhengdong Cheng, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Potential to earn co-authorship in a research publication.
Team Needs:
Enthusiastic students with some background in chemistry and some knowledge of polymer.
Description:
The goal of this project is to use nanoparticles to fabricate stable Pickering emulsion. The procedures include the synthesis of amphiphilic nanoparticles, characterization of nanoparticles and emulsions.
Fall 2019: Improving Student Experiences to Increase Student Engagement (ISE-2) Full Team
Affiliations:
Improving Student Experiences to Increase Student Engagement (ISE-2); Bergman Psychology Lab
Project Leader:
Sin-Ning Liu
sinning.cindy.liu@tamu.edu
Psychological & Brain Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Mindy Bergman, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursdays 5:30-7:00
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunity to present at Student Research Week; possible opportunities to be authors on research papers, posters, or symposia
Team Needs:
Undergraduate researchers who are able to work with both quantitative data and qualitative data collected from the ISE-2 project.
Description:
Improving Student Experiences to Increase Student Engagement” (ISE-2) was awarded to Texas A&M University by the National Science Foundation, through EEC-Engineering Diversity Activities. ISE-2 is a faculty development program focused on reducing implicit bias and increasing active learning, with the goals of (a) increasing student engagement, success, and retention, and (b) ultimately seeing greater increases for underrepresented minority (URM), women, and first-generation students. Ten faculty teaching first- and second-year Engineering courses participated in the first cohort of ISE-2 in Summer 2017, which consisted of three workshops and six informal “coffee conversations”. At the conclusion of the workshops, each faculty was tasked with completing a teaching plan for the Fall 2017 semester, to incorporate the strategies and knowledge from ISE-2 into the courses they plan to teach. Focus groups with the ISE-2 faculty were conducted in Fall 2017 to obtain feedback about the faculty development program. Classroom observations were conducted using environmental scans and the Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS) to assess the classroom climate of faculty in the experimental (ISE-2) and control groups. Student surveys were also administered to students who were taught by ISE-2 faculty and control group faculty to assess student engagement and classroom climate. In the Fall 2018 semester, undergraduate students will work with both quantitative data and qualitative data collected from the ISE-2 project. On the qualitative side, the students will assist in the analysis of environmental scans of classroom observations, COPUS coding of classroom observations, focus group transcripts, teaching plans, and final reflections. On the quantitative side, the students will help with data cleaning and basic analysis for classroom observation student surveys and junior Engineering student surveys
Fall 2019: Metal 3D Printer Chamber and Material Research Full Team
Affiliations:
Laboratory for Additive Manufacturing of Extreme Materials
Project Leader:
Faculty Mentor:
Meeting Times:
1~2 times/wk
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
1) Hands on experience of metal 3D printer, state-of-art knowledge of 3D printing technologies; 2) Valuable experience in 3D printing research, 3) Conference presentation, 4) Poster competition
Team Needs:
3 engineering students who have at least one of the following knowledge or skills: (1) mechanical design, (2) additive manufacturing, (3)Arduino programming.
Description:
Big changes are brought by 3D printing in various industries nowadays. Metal 3D printing opens up opportunities for engineers to make the 'impossible' product. The aim of this project is to improve the metal 3D printer chamber and study 3D printed materials.
Fall 2019: Understanding genetic drivers of neurological diseases Full Team
Project Leader:
Koedi Lawley
koedilawley@tamu.edu
Veterinary Integrative Biosciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Candice Brinkmeyer-Langford, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
poster presentations
Team Needs:
Seeking highly motivated students which are capable of devoting a minimum of 5 hours per week to the lab. Training will be provided to students for all tasks. Experience with Adobe Illustrator or ImageJ is sought after, but not required
Description:
Neurological diseases, such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, may be the result of an earlier viral infection. In some cases, individuals infected by a given virus will eventually develop the associated neurological condition, while others will develop more variable symptomologies in response to the same viral agent. Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) provides a useful model to understand how a single virus can contribute to different types and severities of neurological outcomes. In mice, TMEV infection elicits diverse neurological conditions, depending on the infected mouse strain, suggesting that the genetic background of the individual influences the neurological disease characteristics observed. To further our understanding of how the genetic background impacts neurological damage in response to viral infection, we aim to elucidate the immunological and genetic determinants that drive the differences we see neurological disease symptoms in genetically distinct mice. The student researchers will be responsible for regularly checking mice (weighing and phenotyping), and assisting with: necropsies, organ collection and processing, RNA extractions, qPCR, RNAseq experiments and related activities (such as evaluating RNA quality), cytokine profiling experiments and related activities, data entry, and data interpretation as needed.
Fall 2019: Childhood Food Insecurity Full Team
Affiliations:
"Everbody Eats" collaborative ethnography and Service Learning project, Sociology
Project Leader:
Marita John
marita01@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Sarah Gatson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursday 4-5 Monday 5-6 Tbd
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
co-authorship on publications
Team Needs:
Interest in this research and all majors are welcomed.
Description:
We will be conducting research on all the influential factors of Childhood Food Insecurity by analyzing trends and causes throughout history and current events. We will research childhood food security in our community, the Brazos Valley, in order to compare and contrast the results with national childhood food security. Exploring the correlations and causation of attributes in different circumstances will allow us to properly tackle this growing crisis.
Fall 2019: Design of novel electrodes for next generation flexible electronic devices Full Team
Affiliations:
People in Engineering or Science majors
Project Leader:
Swarn Jha
swarn.jha14@tamu.edu
Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Hong Liang, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
People working on this project could have their names on journal and conference publications in addition to the Aggie Research certificate. This will be a tremendous boost to their career in research or academia
Team Needs:
1) Highly dedicated and committed group of individuals willing to work for pushing the boundaries of innovation. 2) The work requires a good deal of scientific literature search and writing. So people having experience in that, prior research experience or willing to take up such a challenge will be preferred. 3) Some familiarity with electrochemical experiments, electrochemistry, batteries, supercapacitors, and other electronics is preferred. 4) Prior background and experience in experimental or modeling research and journal/conference publications will be preferred but not mandatory. 5) Individual should be highly disciplined, willing to work with team, flexible in switching assignments, good with communication and adhere to lab safety rules and practices.
Description:
With the impending need for enhancing energy storage and conservation capabilities to meet the imminent demands of the coming decades, through applications such as electric vehicles, advanced batteries, and supercapacitors, it is necessary to find innovative and sustainable solutions. This project will deal with the design and fabrication of next-generation flexible electronic devices such as supercapacitors and batteries. Our lab works on cutting edge technology and has a good deal of expertise in fabricating such devices and producing new solutions. Going ahead, we look to test and perfect the newly developed solutions and also devise potential new ones.
Fall 2019: The Response of Microvessels in the Chick Chorioallantoic Membrane to Low-Dose Aspartame Full Team
Project Leader:
Hanna Hudson
h501283h@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
N/A
Description:
Aspartame (APM) has been evaluated for teratogenic potential by examining morphological changes in response to high doses. AMP is reported to impact endothelial function in vitro, and endothelial shear stress is a powerful stimulus of microvascular growth and remodeling. Because microvascular blood flow cannot be continually monitored in conventional animal models, the effects of low-dose APM on endothelial-dependent growth of microvessels cannot be evaluated. We are developing the chick chorioallantoic membrane model to study APM, because the microvasculature is exposed to sustained increases in blood flow, and radius and endothelial shear stress can be tracked in individual vessels over successive days
Fall 2019: The Impact of Linguistic Diversity Education on Facilitating Effective Communication between American Undergraduates and International Teaching Assistants Full Team
Affiliations:
English Language Proficiency at the Center for Teaching Excellence
Project Leader:
Xueyan Hu
brittanyhxy@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Mr. Brandon Cooper, M.D.
Meeting Times:
Flexible meeting time from Monday through Thursday for about 1 hour
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Interacting with people of varying language and cultural backgrounds.
Team Needs:
We need team members to assist with event planning and preparation before the social activity. Team members will also help to host the social activities. We also need team members during data collecting process to help with post study survey distribution, interviewing with participants. During the data analysis stage, we also need team members to help with data cleaning and transcription.
Description:
This project aims to examine the impact of linguistic diversity education on improving American undergraduates' perceptions of international teaching assistants' accented speech and teaching quality. In this project, American undergraduate participants will be involved in social activities with international teaching assistant and attend a workshop. They will also be required to rate international teaching assistants' speech samples before and after their participation of the events.
Fall 2019: Hydrogels Stabilized via Novel Click Chemistry-Enabled Secondary Interactions for Drug Delivery and Cell Culture Full Team
Project Leader:
Samantha Holt
seholt2@tamu.edu
Biomedical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Daniel Alge, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Potential co-authorship on a manuscript, research presentation experience at the LAUNCH symposium in October
Team Needs:
Required attendance at weekly meetings. This semester, there is a need for technical writing skills.
Description:
Hydrogels are crosslinked networks of hydrophilic polymers that can imbibe large amounts of water without dissolving. Their softness and high water content compared to other polymeric biomaterials has made them especially useful for cell culture applications and diffusion-based drug delivery devices. Recently, our lab has discovered that the choice of crosslinking chemistry in making poly(ethylene glycol)-based hydrogels can impact the properties of the bulk gel, including stiffness, swelling, degradibility, and affinity for certain dye molecules. This project aims to investigate the selective incorporation of click reaction products in the gels to enable temporal control of these gel properties. This may allow for development of a cell culture platform that can exhibit controlled stiffening over time, which has far-reaching implications in the study of fibrotic or inflammation-related diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, atherosclerosis, and cancer. Additionally, these hydrogels may enable affinity-based controlled release kinetics of certain classes of drugs.
Fall 2019: Polymer coatings for corrosion protection of metal substrates Full Team
Project Leader:
Hanna Hlushko
hanna.hlushko@tamu.edu
Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Svetlana Sukhishvili, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participation in the undergraduate research week with a poster
Team Needs:
Enthusiastic students with some background in chemistry and some knowledge of polymers, willing to work in a team.
Description:
This project is focused on the fabrication of various anti-corrosion coatings, testing their physical and chemical properties, as well as the ability to decrease the corrosion rate of metal substrates.
Fall 2019: Antioxidant Hydrogen-Bonded Coatings of Linear Synthetic Polyphenols Full Team
Project Leader:
Raman Hlushko
raman.hlushko@tamu.edu
Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Svetlana Sukhishvili, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members will have the opportunity to learn fundamental lab and research skills and to present their reseach at the LAUNCH Undergraduate Research Scholars Symposium (October 2019)
Team Needs:
Motivated students with some background in chemistry and some knowledge of polymer, preferably junior and senior students. No prior research experience is required, basic wet lab skills (using micropipette, making solutions) are a huge plus. However, training will be provided as needed
Description:
Layer-by-layer assembly of antioxidant coatings. Their characterization with various techniques, including spectroscopic ellipsometry, UV-vis spectrometry, FTIR spectrometry, etc. As well as the determination of antioxidant capability.
Fall 2019: Layer-by-Layer Polymer Assemblies for Biomedical Applications Full Team
Affiliations:
MSEN
Project Leader:
Samantha Hernandez
samanthah98@tamu.edu
Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Svetlana Sukhishvili, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members will have the opportunity to learn fundamental lab and research skills and to present their reseach at the LAUNCH Undergraduate Research Scholars Symposium (October 2019)
Team Needs:
No prior research experience is required, but preference will be given to junior and senior students with previous research experience. Basic wet lab skills (using a pH meter, micropipette) are a huge plus, but training will be provided as needed. Attendance is at required weekly team meetings. Team members will initially be required to attend classroom training for work in a BSL-2 laboratory.
Description:
Temperature and pH-responsive polymer coatings will be assembled at surfaces and characterized using a variety of techniques, including spectroscopic ellipsometry, fluorescence spectrometry, and more.
Fall 2019: Algebraic Formula Predicting Glomerular Filtration Rate Full Team
Project Leader:
Zane Hayden
zane3411@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
MWF 9:10-10:00
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Description:
The primary determinants of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) are difficult to identify from conventional experimental models. GFR arises from the complex interactions amongst afferent and efferent arterioles, glomerulus, proximal tubule, and peritubular capillaries. While complex computational renal models have provided insights, their results only apply to the very specific set of parameters assumed. It was recently demonstrated that a simplified lumped tubular reabsorption model can yield a general algebraic formula for tubular reabsorption in terms of physical properties of the proximal tubule and peritubular capillaries. Therefore, the purpose of the present work is to extend this simple tubular reabsorption model to develop a general algebraic formula for glomerular filtration in terms of critical physical properties. This model has the potential to identify critical determinants of urin production rates and blood pressure in normal physiology and in various disease states.
Fall 2019: Stem Cell Manufacture at Texas A&M University Full Team
Affiliations:
Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, Texas A&M Department of Biomedical Engineering, National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing
Project Leader:
Andrew Haskell
andrew.haskell@tamu.edu
Molecular and Cellular Medicine
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Carl Gregory, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Tissue culture, histology, hydrogel fabrication, animal studies, clinical manufacturing, poster presentations, publication authorship
Team Needs:
Team members will initially be required to attend classroom training for work in a BSL-2 laboratory and complete various annual online training units. Class schedules must be compatible with laboratory work, usually around 9 hours/week. Prior laboratory experience is not required but a genuine interest in the project and reliable attendance are a must. Team members will be trained to fabricate microcarriers using a microfluidic device as well as stem cell culture using traditional monolayer methods and microcarrier/bioreactor methods. Other assays include common fixation and staining protocols, PCR, western blots, and imaging using various microscopy techniques. Animal studies will eventually be performed but participation will be optional. Exceptional team members may be encouraged to present posters at local conferences at their convenience and included in publications.
Description:
The goal of this project is to make stem cell therapies an affordable treatment option by developing a method to culture mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that can be scaled for manufacturing. MSCs are grown on custom-made spherical microcarriers in three-dimensional bioreactors as opposed to traditional monolayer techniques. If successful, our system will allow for mass production of stem cells while simultaneously minimizing cost and variability, resulting in a product that will be more readily approved as a clinical therapeutic for musculoskeletal disorders, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and other conditions.
Fall 2019: Aggie Teachers: Research in Pedagogical Development Full Team
Project Leader:
Megan Hardy
mhardy2@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Andrew Kwok, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Monday at 2:30 p.m.
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
-Team members will have the chance to earn co-authorship on a paper(s) and/or presentation; possibly attend regional conference(s), gain experience with research and data analysis, support with academic writing, interact with faculty and other graduate student teams, and earn research credit (291 or 491). - Students who successfully complete the fall project work will be invited to reapply for following semesters.
Team Needs:
-Participants must be accountable and self-motivated with a strong work ethic. -Participants should understand the value and necessity of detailed and accurate work as it contributes to the analysis of coding survey data. -Student researchers should have a strong work ethic, a research interest, be intrinsically motivated, and the ability to make reasoned decisions. All of these will contribute to a successful experience. -Weekly meetings will occur on Mondays at 2:30 pm. - Participants need skills to meet virtually when face-to-face is not possible -No research experience required. Training will be provided as needed. -Interested students should email their resume and Fall schedule to the contact person. -In-person or virtual interviews are required.
Description:
Students participating in this project will learn qualitative and quantitative research skills. The research team will be working with data collected through surveys from current and past students in the educator preparation program at Texas A&M. Graduate students and a faculty member in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture will guide and direct this project. Student researchers will code data from the survey responses. Students will use Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and word processing applications. Other graphic programs, like LucidCharts, may also be used. Students may also be asked to obtain scholarly articles pertaining to the data. Student researchers will have the opportunity to write up the findings from the data, participate in local and state conferences, and potentially write for publication. The option for earning 1 hour of undergraduate research credit is available (291 or 491).
Fall 2019: Chicken Chorioallantoic Membrane Lymphatic Pumping Full Team
Project Leader:
Syed Haidry
ahadhaidry18@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Fridays 12:10 to 1:30, 2 hours TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students get the chance to gain biomedical research experience and work on and present a poster for Student Research Week.
Team Needs:
Student must be able to meet on Fridays from 12:40 to 1:30 to discuss findings and further plan project, as well as meet to work on the project for 2 more hours throughout the week. LabView software experience is sought after but not required. Student needs to have a willingness to learn.
Description:
The Chicken Chorioallantoic Membrane (CAM) is a standard model to characterize tissue responses to tumors, anti-angiogenic drugs, and biomaterials. In each case, lymphatic function is of special interest because lymph transport affects interstitial pressure, delivery of nutrients and drugs to tissues, and transport of inflammatory mediators. Although there are rare cases where lymph flows passively, active propulsion of lymph in vertebrates arises from either periodic contraction of lymphatic muscle or periodic compression of lymphatic vessels by adjacent tissues. Neither the existence nor the absence of active lymph transport has been previously reported in the CAM. Therefore, the purpose of the present work is to evaluate whether it is possible to identify active lymph propulsion in the CAM model. We have identified four requirements to identify active lymph transport. 1) Grow ex ovo for embryonic days 7-12 to access each lymphatic vessel. 2) Maintain the specimen within a strict temperature range during observation to ensure normal vascular tone and vasomotion. 3) Visualize the presence of lymphatic valves. 4) Measure dynamic diameters of lymphatic vessels and adjacent blood vessels to quantify lymphatic vessel compression. It is important that students have a willingness to learn and show the ability to think creatively and overcome setbacks.
Fall 2019: How much progress is acceptable for children with autism? Full Team
Affiliations:
Department of Educational Psychology, Special Education Program
Project Leader:
April Haas
haas2010@tamu.edu
Educational Psychology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Jennifer Ganz, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
flexible, but mostly likely in the evenings
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Recommendation for graduate programs, networking, experience with diverse populations, learning about special education research and autism, learning social science research methodology. Inclusion in presentations opportunities, Possible inclusion in publication opportunities depending on individual
Team Needs:
Care about how we measure behavior change and at least one of the following: Interested in research team experience Organizational skills Comfortable with excel, word, google drive (doc and sheets) Comfortable with using formulas in excel
Description:
Please come help evaluate the academic progress of children with autism when learning with peers, as we hope to determine, when is behavior change enough to be relevant or important? We need a small group of thoughtful undergraduates interested in research participation to do two things. First, examine graphs of student progress and estimate the degree of behavior change and second individually and in small groups discuss if that amount of progress is enough to be considered small, moderate, or substantial learning. This study is about both social validity and statistical significance in a group of individuals vulnerable to inequitable opportunities in school and life.
Fall 2019: Does working out really work out for students with autism? Full Team
Affiliations:
Department of Educational Psychology, Special Education Program
Project Leader:
April Haas
haas2010@tamu.edu
Educational Psychology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Jennifer Ganz, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
flexible, but mostly likely in the evenings
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Recommendation for graduate programs, networking, experience with diverse populations, learning about special education research and autism, learning social science research methodology. Inclusion in presentations opportunities, Possible inclusion in publication opportunities depending on individual.
Team Needs:
Data Extraction, Data Coding, Visual Analysis
Description:
Please come help evaluate how beneficial moving around before working on tasks is for students with autism. We are in need of a small group of undergraduates who are interested in learning about the literature and participating in research activities. We will first critically evaluate the literature to understand what has been completed in the past. Next we will look at the graphs and evaluate them visually and statistically to identify the significance of behavior change as it relates to academic skills to determine if the changes are small, moderate, or substantial. This study is about both social validity and statistical significance in a group of individuals vulnerable to inequitable opportunities in school and life. Additionally we are open to explore other related areas as questions arise within this project.
Fall 2019: General Formulas Predicting Interstitial Flows, Pressures, and Concentrations in Solid Tumors Full Team
Affiliations:
Biomedical Research Certificate Program
Project Leader:
Madison Gray
madison_gray@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Monday 12:40-1:30
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Description:
Interstitial flows, pressures, and concentrations are critical variables affecting growth and treatment of solid tumors. Experimental approaches to identify fundamental principles governing tumor transport are limited, because these variables emerge from the complex interaction of microvascular filtration into the tumor interstitium, lymphatic drainage, and transudation from the tumor. Existing tumor computational models must assume a specific set of parameter values to solve equations numerically, which makes results impossible to generalize for different tumor morphologies and tissue types. Although investigators have developed general algebraic formulas for interstitial transport, they have neglected transudation. Therefore, the purpose of the present work is to derive general algebraic formulas for these critical tumor variables from a modified tumor model that includes transudation and lymphatic drainage. We therefore assumed a lumped three-compartment model to characterize tumors with various degrees of vascularization. Fluid filtration, solute flow, and lymph flow were characterized by the Starling-Landis and Drake-Lane equations, respectively. By assuming constant interstitial protein concentrations, algebraic formulas predicting interstitial flows and hydrostatic pressures could be derived. By alternatively assuming constant interstitial pressures, algebraic formulas for interstitial flows and protein concentrations could be derived. In each set of formulas, the critical variables are explicitly related to standard fluid balance parameters: filtration coefficients, protein reflection coefficients, and lymphatic resistance. This modeling approach provides a complement to animal models by providing novel insights into how tumor various tumor properties can affect transport and concentrations of nutrients, inflammatory mediators, apoptotic factors, angiogenic factors and drugs.
Fall 2019: Exploring English Writing Development of Elementary Students in Taiwan Full Team
Project Leader:
Keith Graham
kmgraham@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Zohreh Eslami, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD based on group member availability
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members will have the opportunity to gain experience with the research process and data analysis as well as receive support with academic writing. Team members may also have an opportunity to earn co-authorship on a paper to be submitted to a conference and/or journal.
Team Needs:
No research experience is required. Participants should have a positive attitude, a strong work ethic, strong skills in English writing and grammar, and a willingness to learn. Skills needed for the project will be taught and discussed during weekly meetings.
Description:
The goal of this project is to understand how writing develops in an intensive English program at a Taiwanese elementary school. The data set includes writing samples from students in grades 1-6. Undergraduate students on the team will be involved in different phases of the project, including a) digitizing writing samples; b) scoring writing samples on various measures; c) data management; and d) preliminary analysis.These experiences will not only familiarize undergraduate students with a critical area of research and essential steps of conducting an empirical research project, but also help her or him to develop the capacity to conduct independent research in the future.
Fall 2019: Robotics and Micro-controllers in STEM Education (2) Full Team
Affiliations:
Aggie STEM, Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture, College of Education and Human Development
Project Leader:
Aamir Fidai
aamirfidai@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Robert M. Capraro, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursday 3 -5 pm & Mon OR Tuesday 3-5 pm (for 1 hour training)
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students researchers will be given opportunities to present the findings of the study at the student research week.
Team Needs:
Student researchers participating in this study should be available at following times: Thursday 3 - 5 pm to facilitate STEM club at a local elementary school and one more hour during the week to participate in training and research activities
Description:
Participants will learn about building robots using open-source arduino-based hardware and software. Participants will also serve as facilitators and team leaders at an after-school Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activity (STEM Club) at a local elementary school on Thursday evenings between 3 - 5 pm during the Fall semester. As facilitators student researchers will help students build the robots following predetermined lesson plans.
Fall 2019: Robotics and Micro-controllers in STEM Education Full Team
Affiliations:
Aggie STEM, Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture, College of Education and Human Development
Project Leader:
Aamir Fidai
aamirfidai@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Robert M. Capraro, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursday 3 -5 pm & Mon OR Tuesday 3-5 pm (for 1 hour training)
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students researchers will be given opportunities to present the findings of the study at the student research week.
Team Needs:
Student researchers participating in this study should be available at following times: Thursday 3 - 5 pm to facilitate STEM club at a local elementary school and one more hour during the week to participate in training and research activities
Description:
Undergraduate researchers will learn about building robots using open-source arduino-based hardware and software. The undergraduate researchers will also serve as facilitators and team leaders at an after-school Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activity (STEM Club) at a local elementary school on Thursday evenings between 3 - 5 pm during the Fall semester. As facilitators the undergraduate student researchers will teach 4th grade students how to build the robots following the provided lesson plans.
Fall 2019: Identification of Novel Protein-Protein Interactions Between Rice and the Rice Blast Fungus Full Team
Affiliations:
This work will be conducted in the Laboratory of Dr. Daniel Ebbole in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology
Project Leader:
Nick Farmer
nfarmer@tamu.edu
Plant Pathology and Microbiology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Daniel Ebbole, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
BESC students can satisfy BESC 484 credit requirements with this semester-long project. Students from any major may wish to receive credit for a research course (BESC491, GENE491, etc.). Students hoping to fulfill requirements for research credits should contact their departmental adviser to seek approval for research course credit. The data gathered by participating students will contribute to research intended to be published in scientific journals.
Team Needs:
Motivated students with interests in Genetics, Biochemistry, Biology, Plant Pathology, Microbiology, and Molecular Genetics should apply. Team members will be expected maintain good attendance at scheduled laboratory sessions, detailed lab notes, and to submit a final report on their research and findings for the semester. Interested students should submit their class schedule for the semester as well as a list of relevant coursework completed.
Description:
Rice and wheat provide about 40 % of the calories in the human diet worldwide. Rice blast is recognized as the greatest disease threat to rice production. A new disease caused by this fungus has recently become a threat to global wheat production. This research addresses the question of how we can feed a global population of close to 10 billion people without destroying our planet. This will be accomplished by understanding the ways in which the fungus manipulates plant susceptibility to the disease. Fungi secrete proteins into the cells of their plant host and these proteins then interact with plant proteins to modulate their functions. Not surprisingly, some of these plant proteins are components of plant defense pathways. Our lab is identifying the rice proteins that interact with proteins from the fungus. Over the course of the semester, the team of undergraduate students will gain experience in general laboratory practices, and techniques in fungal and bacterial microbiology and molecular biology. Specific techniques include transformation of DNA into bacteria and yeast cells, using yeast two-hybrid technology to identify candidate protein-protein interactions, amplifying DNA with PCR to identify cloned genes, and isolation of DNA for DNA sequencing to identify the rice genes. In future work, the rice genes you identify, may be used to produce modified versions of the protein that are immune to the pathogen protein.
Fall 2019: Effects of Low-Dose Radiation on the Lymphatics System in the CAM Model Full Team
Affiliations:
Biomedical Research Certificate
Project Leader:
Oula Eldow
oeldow@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick , Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Wednesday: (1:45 pm - 2:50 pm VIDI 109) (3:00 pm - 6:00 pm in lab)/ Monday: (1:50 pm -3:50 pm in lab)/ Other meeting times as necessary (TBD)
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Potential for earning co-authorship in a manuscript; earn 491 credit. Flexible schedule besides the required meeting time
Team Needs:
Register for 291/491 for 3 credit hours (required). Attend the confirmed weekly meeting time; there will be other meeting times by need base. Be passionate about research, particularly biomedical research. Good editing skills and reading skills. If interested, contact team leader no later than June 1st.
Description:
The effectiveness of radiation therapy to treat malignant tumors depends in part on its effect on lymphatic vessels in and adjacent to the tumor. Although high-dose ionizing radiation is known to obliterate lymphatic vessels and inhibit subsequent lymphangiogenesis in vivo, the effects of low-dose radiation is poorly established. The purpose of our research is to utilize the chicken Chorioallantoic Membrane (CAM) model as a platform to evaluate the effect of low-dose radiation on growth and remodeling lymphatic micro-vessels. We have been able to identify. The CAM allows for the measurement of the same blood vessels before and after radiation, and is constantly undergoing lymphatic growth because of continuous increase in flow. We are currently working on solving some challenges with the CAM model, such as keeping temperature constant, maintaining viability ex ovo, and visualizing the vessels. We will then be radiating specimens and quantifying changes in lymphatic function. This is an early-stage project that has potential to expand in scope over several semesters based on interests of participants
Fall 2019: Evaluation of Copper Sources on Broiler Performance Full Team
Project Leader:
Daniel De Leon
daniel29@tamu.edu
Poultry Science
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Audrey McElroy, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Fridays
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
n/a
Description:
Project will look at how different copper sources will affect broilers performance. Students will aide on sampling and collecting data
Fall 2019: Unraveling the Physics of Host-Invasion with 3D-Printed Artificial Bacteria Full Team
Project Leader:
Tarek Dawamne
tdawamne@tamu.edu
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Pushkar Lele, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Weekly TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
TBD
Team Needs:
Interest and understanding of Fluid Dynamics and microbiology Ability to use MATLAB and SOLIDWORKS
Description:
Using 3D modeling and printing, a motorized macro-cell that mimics bacterial motility has been designed. Experiments will be performed with the cell to test fundamental predictions from fluid mechanics. The project includes troubleshooting the cell design, experiments, and data analysis. The ultimate purpose is to explain how bacteria navigate complex environments to colonize niches.
Fall 2019: Decision Making in Small Groups: A Social Psychological Experiment Full Team
Affiliations:
Stuart J. Hysom Social Psychology Laboratory
Project Leader:
Katie Constantin
mkmcd628@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Jane Sell, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
3pm Friday
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Description:
Fall 2019: Art Curation AR (Augmented Reality) App Full Team
Affiliations:
Soft Interaction Lab
Project Leader:
Eunsun Chu
chueunsony17@tamu.edu
Visualization
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Hwaryoung Seo, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Once a week, possibly more nearing performance date
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will be able to learn about augmented reality through implementing their works on the AR app
Team Needs:
Students who are interested in Augmented Reality, mobile app, UX/UI **Preferred Qualifications 1. Experience in Unity, C#, Mobile programming OR 2. Experience using 3D and 2D art creation software like Maya, Photoshop and Illustrator
Description:
This project aims to design and develop art curation AR (Augmented Reality) app which allows children to curate, display and document their artworks through mobile augmented reality technology. Also, this art curation AR application will be developed based on iterative user experience design process.
Fall 2019: Novel Algebraic Formulas for Guyton’s Classical Cardiac Output Venous Return Curves Full Team
Project Leader:
Camille Brown
camillebrown21@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, M.D.
Meeting Times:
Tuesday afternoons, time TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Potential to earn co-authorship in a research publication
Team Needs:
We need people that are good at reading and analyzing research papers. Someone that is good at writing scientific research papers. Someone that is good at analyzing and understanding mathematical equations.
Description:
Guyton’s cardiac output-venous return curves have become a common tool for students, clinical investigators, and physiologists to conceptualize the complex interaction of cardiac output (CO) and venous return (VR). An algebraic formula predicting Guyton’s venous return has provided critical insights into the role of mechanical properties of the systemic vasculature. However, attempts to provide insights into Guyton’s cardiac output curve has been limited, because conventional model equations include nonlinearities that must be solved numerically. In a different approach, investigators reported that general algebraic formulas for hemodynamic variables can be derived from linearizing the equations characterizing the standard minimal closed-loop model. Therefore, the purpose of the present work is to use the linearized minimal closed-loop model to derive a general algebraic formula for the slopes and intercepts of Guyton's CO-VR in terms of mechanical properties of the cardiovascular system. This novel tool already provides a surprising insight that, contrary to conventional belief, the slope of Guyton’s CO curve is not influenced by contractility of the left ventricle. This project will provide a novel tool for medical students and physiologists that can be used in textbooks and clinical settings.
Fall 2019: Control & Operation of all-Converter Autonomous Three-Phase Microgrids Full Team
Affiliations:
Power System Automation Lab, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Project Leader:
Ogbonnaya Bassey
ogb.bassey@tamu.edu
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Karen Butler-Purry, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBA
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members will have the opportunity to learn computer simulation of power electronics and microgrids, possibly present their work at a conference and co-author conference, magazine and/or journal paper
Team Needs:
Preference will be given to students who have taken/currently enrolled in at least one of ECEN 438 (Power Electronics), ECEN 459 (Power system fault analysis and protection), ECEN 460 (Power system operation and Control) or related class
Description:
With the advances in signal processing and microprocessor technology, power electronics interfaced distributed generators have become popular. Power outages due to extreme weather conditions, cyber-attack, and occasional faults sometimes force sections of the power grid to operate in isolation to form autonomous microgrid. The control & operation of the autonomous microgrid present variants of the challenges required for the operation of the main power grid. This project will explore the state of art control and operation strategies of microgrids from literature, and identify current challenges and possible solutions. Power electronics interfaced distributed generator models will be developed and used for computer simulation studies to verify solutions to different control and operation challenges of autonomous microgrids.
Fall 2019: Understanding the Role of Gut Microbiota Metabolites in Hypertension Full Team
Affiliations:
College of Medicine Rutkowski Lab
Project Leader:
Gaurav Baranwal
gauravbaranwal@tamu.edu
Medical Physiology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Joseph Rutkowski, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Monday 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM (might change based in schedule of all).
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
A great opportunity to work with three collaborative labs with different expertise: Hypertension, Microbiology and Immunology, and Lymphatic biology on a clinically-relevant question. Participants may have the potential for undergraduate research presentations and authorship recognition of their work with significant, dedicated contribution to the project.
Team Needs:
Those who have particular interest in physiology and in gaining experience in biology wet lab techniques.
Description:
Hypertension (HTN) is endemic in the United States with almost 1 in 2 adults exhibiting elevated blood pressure according to recent American Heart Association guidelines. . Patients with HTN are at a 3-fold higher risk for developing cardiovascular- renal disease such as coronary artery disease, stroke, or chronic kidney disease. Current anti-hypertensive medications have numerous serious side effects, therefore there is a critical need for targeted therapies that can reduce the detrimental cardiovascular-renal effects of HTN. Previous reports have identified detrimental a role of pro-inflammatory T-cells in HTN progression. The microbiota plays a key role in a number of complex diseases, including cardiovascular disease (CVD) and HTN, largely mediated by the production of beneficial and detrimental metabolites. Work at Texas A&M has identified a class of microbial metabolites that impact T-cell inflammation. The connection between specific gut microbiota metabolites, immune cells, and HTN has not been examined extensively. In the current interdisciplinary project we are trying to understand the role of metabolites from microbiota in modulation of pro-inflammatory T-cells in HTN animal models.
Fall 2019: Bioactivity Testing of Chemical Libraries to Identify Drug Candidates for Human Diseases Full Team
Project Leader:
Dr. Dwight Baker, Ph.D.
dwight.baker@tamu.edu
Biochemistry and Biophysics
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Inna Krieger, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Weekly TBD
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students should register for 491 research credits. All team members will get valuable experience that would be desirable in industrial research laboratories and/or graduate research programs.
Team Needs:
The project can accommodate between 3 and 5 students that are detail-oriented and self-motivated to explore an important area of medical research. Students with some background in one or more of the following fields will be helpful, but not required: biological systems, human cell culture, microbiology, robotic instrument programing, inorganic chemistry, computer-based data entry and analysis, data visualization.
Description:
Drug discovery occurs in the modern scientific laboratory by screening libraries of chemicals in model biological or biochemical assays to identify those compounds which interact with the disease target. Team members of this project will participate in all aspects of the drug discovery process from development of one or more hypotheses, conceptualization of new or re-formatted assays, continuing through the hands-on performance of the assay using automated instruments, analysis and visualization of data through a web-based cheminformatics database, and presentation of results in a scientific forum. The laboratory is currently working on human diseases like tuberculosis, malaria and numerous types of cancer.
Fall 2019: Dumb Beasts, Talking Animals and Cosmic Vivisectors: Pain, Progress, and the Problems of Evil and Evolution in 20th Century British Philosophy Full Team
Project Leader:
David Anderson
davidjanderson@tamu.edu
Philosophy
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Michael Hand, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Undergraduate researchers may submit their papers to Aletheia: The Undergraduate Jounral of Philosophy at Texas A&M for publication and may participate in an undergraduate philosophy research symposium.
Team Needs:
There are no prerequisites, but PHIL 251 (Intro) and/or PHIL (Philosophy of Religion) may be helpful. This project is likely to appeal to and help students enrolled in PHIL 255 (C.S. Lewis, Faith, & Philosophy) or PHIL 416 (Recent British & American Philosophy)
Description:
C. S. Lewis was one of the most influential and beloved lay theologians of the 20th century, but he is often ignored by contemporary philosophers of religion. Moreover, interest in Lewis is often primarily apologetic rather than philosophical. While interested broadly in Lewis’ apologetic arguments, this project seeks to situate Lewis as an historical figure, influenced by, in dialogue with, and part of the history of 20th century British and American philosophy and literature. Lewis’ influence by and response to the classical canon as well as his contemporaries such as C. E. M. Joad, R. G. Collingwood, H. G. Wells, J. B. S. Haldane, Julian Huxley, G. E. M. Anscombe and others will be examined. The ultimate aim of the project is to examine the underappreciated importance of the implications of Darwinian evolution (and other evolutionary theories and views) on philosophy of religion and the “problem of evil.”
Fall 2019: Deviation from Murray’s Law under Hyperglycemic and Hyperketonic Environments in the Chick Chorioallantoic Membrane Model Full Team
Project Leader:
Janisah Amirah Saripada
jsaripada19@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher M. Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
This project will count for 3 credit hours of VTPP 291 or 491. Contributions will also allow individuals to earn co-authorship and present in publication or poster format.
Team Needs:
Determined individuals looking to assist in carrying out research. Laboratory experience is preferred, as is experience conducting scientific experiments in sterile conditions (but not required).
Description:
Under normal conditions, endothelial shear stress stimulates nitric oxide production by endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), a critical mechanism for stimulating acute dilation and chronic growth of blood vessels. When vessel growth properly regulates endothelial shear stress, the radii of arterioles at a branch follow a specific pattern, known as Murray’s Law: the cube of the mother radii is equal to the sum of the cube of daughter vessel radii. Although in vitro exposure to glucose and ketones downregulate and upregulate eNOS, respectively, the impact on the radii of arterioles in vivo has not been evaluated. Conventional microvascular animal models limit access to an intact microvascular network, and radii are impacted by anesthesia, surgical trauma, and inflammation. In contrast, the ex-ovo chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model allows access to the entire arteriolar network over the course of successive days as blood flow (and thus endothelial shear stress) increases. Therefore, the purpose of the present work is to determine the feasibility of the CAM model to test the hypothesis that chronic exposure to hyperglycemic and hyperketonic environments will cause deviation from Murray’s Law. Four critical requirements have been identified: 1) mapping microvessel networks, allowing return to particular branches on consecutive days, 2) antibiotic use and aseptic techniques, minimizing infection, 3) regulating temperature and humidity during measurements, maintaining long-term viability, and 4) measuring branching patterns of control and experimental subjects. Preliminary experimentation has shown all requirements as attainable, and it is therefore feasible to use the chick CAM model.
Fall 2019: Layer-by-Layer Polymer Assemblies Full Team
Affiliations:
MSEN
Project Leader:
Victoria Albright
victoria.albright@tamu.edu
Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Svetlana Sukhishvili, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
MSEN
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
N/A
Description:
Temperature and pH-responsive polymer coatings will be assembled at surfaces and characterized using a variety of techniques.
Fall 2019: General Algebraic Formulas Predict Development of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome Full Team
Project Leader:
Michael Abreo
michaelabreo@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Wednesday 3:00-3:50 and Tuesday/Thursday 2:30.
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
3 hour 491 credit
Team Needs:
We are in need of a team member who is either interested in using math or is a proficient writer. Students must be willing to be registered for 3 credit hours of VTPP 491with the faculty advisor.
Description:
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is characterized by malformations of the left ventricle and manifests itself as decreased ventricular contractility and increased diastolic stiffness. It is unknown whether associated abnormalities of the vasculature are a cause or effect of HLHS, because there is no accepted HLHS animal model. Mathematical models of HLHS are likewise limited. The conventional practice of solving model equations numerically requires a large number of parameter values to be assumed a priori, and thus results only pertain to a narrow window of fetal development. Therefore, the purpose of the present work is to derive general algebraic formulas predicting diastolic stiffness to test the hypothesis that HLHS emerges from adaptation in response to abnormal vascular properties. First an existing closed-loop model of the fetal circulation was assumed, consisting of two ventricles and seven resistances to blood flow through the systemic, pulmonary, and placenta l circulations, as well as the ductus arteriosus and foramen ovale. Then we made the novel assumption that blood volume was controlled to make systemic pressure a regulated constant. Adaptation was characterized by assuming that diastolic stiffness is inversely proportional to end-diastolic wall stress. Unlike conventional approaches, model equations were linearized and solved algebraically. The resulting formulas predict that the left ventricle does indeed adapt to abnormal vasculature consistent with HLHS. Furthermore, the algebraic formulas remain valid over different developmental stages, and yield insights without assuming parameter values that cannot be measured in human fetuses.
Summer 2019: Distribution and Biodiversity of Head Morphology in Horned Lizards Full Team
Affiliations:
Paleobiology, Evolution and Climate Laboratory
Project Leader:
James West
jvwest25@tamu.edu
Ecosystem Science and Management
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. A. Michelle Lawing, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members will have the opportunity to earn research experience and course credit (ESSM 491). Team members will learn about quanitative methods in ecology, evolution, and biogeography. Students may have the opportunity to develop research project within scope of the study with guidance from Team Leader and Faculty Mentor.
Team Needs:
Specific research experience or coursework is not required, but a willingness to learn is encouraged. Team members should have a positive attitude and good work ethic. Ideally, students should be able to commit between 5-10 hours a week to the team project including weekly meetings. Students majoring in a biological or life science are preferred, but all majors are welcome to apply.
Description:
Previous studies have demonstrated that strong associations exist between species morphology and local habitat characteristics. Morphological traits in horned lizards such as head size and limb length have been correlated with precipitation, temperature, and elevation. Reduction in horn size has also been suggest to co-occur with life history traits like viviparity. Understanding the extent to which climate and environment relate to variation and distribution of head morphology can provide insight into how species may respond to future climate change. Previous research on horned lizard morphology has used traditional morphometric techniques to capture shape and variation in specific species. This project seeks to quantify morphological shape and variation of the skull across the genus using 3D geometric morphometric methods.
Summer 2019: 3D Printing of Medical Models by PolyJet 3D Printer Full Team
Project Leader:
Xingjian Wei
we.iko.ken@tamu.edu
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Zhijian Pei, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Hands-on experiences of PolyJet 3D printer, state-of-art knowledge of versatility of 3D printing of medical models
Team Needs:
Desired candidates are expected to have experience with (or are willing to learn) the following: 1) skills of handling DICOM images by e.g., InVesalius, OsiriX. 2) knowledge of manipulating STL files by e.g., Meshmixer.
Description:
The goal of this project is to 3D print human anatomies from medical images. The procedures include segmentation of medical images, processing STL files, and 3D printing.
Summer 2019: Physiological Measures as Indicators of the Cognitive Redline of Workload Full Team
Affiliations:
Human Factors & Cogntive Systems Lab
Project Leader:
Carolina Rodriguez Paras
caro_rdz@tamu.edu
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Thomas Ferris, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Flexible, will be decided once the team is complete
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will get the chance to do research on how differences in mental workload levels are reflected through physiological measures. Opportunities are also available to become full members of the research group.
Team Needs:
Creative problem solving is required. Programming skills are sought after but not mandatory. No research experience is required, but students must be willing to learn.
Description:
Physiological measures, such as heart rate and skin conductance, tend to change in response to increased levels of mental workload. The cognitive redline is the threshold where mental resources are depleted. The threshold can be detected through performance decrements and physiological patterns. This project will explore how a combination of physiological patterns, subjective measures, and performance, can be indicative of the cognitive redline
Summer 2019: 3D printing of self-moving gelatin Full Team
Project Leader:
Ilse Nava
inavamed@tamu.edu
Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Zhengdong Cheng, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
You will get a chance to present your work as poster/oral presentation. You will have a chance to be co-author when publishing research journal.
Team Needs:
Basic chemistry knowledge, interest in chemical research (lab experiments)
Description:
We will prepare gelatin-based hydrogels that can move by themselves thanks to a reaction called Belousov-Zhabotinsky. We will analyze the wave formation and position of the gel throughout the course of the reaction. We will employ biocompatible polymers which make these hydrogels good models for studies in biological/biomedical fields: cardiac arrhythmia and migraines.
Summer 2019: Improve a DIY Binder Jetting Printer Full Team
Affiliations:
ETID department
Project Leader:
Guanxiong Miao
gm2666@tamu.edu
Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Chao Ma, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
1/week
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
May have the opportunity to present their work on the conference
Team Needs:
The work requires the students to have mechanical design skills, electronic design skills, and some coding experience.
Description:
A customized binder jetting 3D printer was built last semester. Now, we want to improve the printer to accomplish more functions. A roller system will be added to the printer to compress the powder.
Summer 2019: Hydrogels Stabilized via Novel Click Chemistry-Enabled Secondary Interactions for Drug Delivery and Cell Culture Full Team
Project Leader:
Samantha Holt
seholt2@tamu.edu
Biomedical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Daniel Alge, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBA
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Potential to earn co-authorship on a manuscript, as well as research presentations at the BMEN departmental symposium in August and the LAUNCH symposium in the fall
Team Needs:
Attendance at required weekly team meetings. Technical writing skills and basic wet lab skills (using a balance, micropipette) are a huge plus, but training will be provided as needed. Creativity and a drive to innovate, as this is a new area of biomaterials research.
Description:
Hydrogels are crosslinked networks of hydrophilic polymers that can imbibe large amounts of water without dissolving. Their softness and high water content compared to other polymeric biomaterials has made them especially useful for cell culture applications and diffusion-based drug delivery devices. Recently, our lab has discovered that the choice of crosslinking chemistry in making poly(ethylene glycol)-based hydrogels can impact the properties of the bulk gel, including stiffness, swelling, degradibility, and affinity for certain dye molecules. This project aims to investigate the selective incorporation of click reaction products in the gels to enable temporal control of these gel properties. This may allow for development of a cell culture platform that can exhibit controlled stiffening over time, which has far-reaching implications in the study of fibrotic or inflammation-related diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, atherosclerosis, and cancer. Additionally, these hydrogels may enable affinity-based controlled release kinetics of certain classes of drugs.
Summer 2019: Decision Making in Small Groups: A Social Psychological Experiment Full Team
Affiliations:
Stuart J. Hysom Social Psychology Laboratory
Project Leader:
Katie Constantin
mkmcd628@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Jane Sell, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Training in experimental methods and research ethics Research hours (SOCI 491) available for those who want/need credits
Team Needs:
No prior research experience is required, but preference will be given to students who have taken a course in research methods (particularly those who have taken SOCI 220, SOCI 411, and/or SOCI 420). Students should have strong organizational skills and a good work ethic. Team members should be able to commit to working between 5-10 hours per week in the lab, and students who can continue working in the Fall semester are preferred.
Description:
The purpose of this project is to investigate how individuals make decisions in small groups when they are unable to communicate with one another. Students will be trained about research ethics and experimental methods. Responsibilities will include participant recruitment, scheduling coordination, the preparation of lab materials, data collection, record keeping, etc.
Summer 2019: 3D Printing of Cement-based Materials Full Team
Project Leader:
Abhinav Bhardwaj
abhinavb@tamu.edu
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Zhijian Pei, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBA
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Work on an exciting project, possible publications and conference attendance. Past team members have published their work at conferences in paper/poster format.
Team Needs:
Desired candidates are expected to have the following: 1) Time availability of 10-15 hours per week 2) Basic understanding of cement materials and characterization/testing of cementitious materials such as slump test, compression test, bending test is desirable
Description:
The objective of this research is to analyze the effects of material properties on the 3d printing of cementitious materials. Experiments would include 3d printing of cement pastes as well as other mechanical techniques that mimic the 3d printing process.
Summer 2019: 3D Printing of Biomaterials for Construction Applications Full Team
Project Leader:
Abhinav Bhardwaj
abhinavb@tamu.edu
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Zhijian Pei, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBA
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Work on an exciting project, possible publications and conference attendance. Past team members have published their work at conferences in paper/poster format.
Team Needs:
Desired candidates are expected to have the following: 1) Time availability of 10-15 hours per week 2) Experience of working with biomaterial such as fungi is desirable. 3) Experience with Solidworks or any other design software would be great (however, not a necessity)
Description:
This project focuses on 3d printing of biomaterial derived from agricultural waste. Currently, the project is in initial stages during which we are identifying optimal material and process settings to achieve printability of biomaterial. The next stage of research would target characterization of printed samples using microscopy and mechanical testing.
Spring 2019: Machine-Learning Prediction of Chemical Properties for Process Safety and Soft Materials Full Team
Project Leader:
Minxiang Zeng
glennzeng@tamu.edu
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Zhengdong Cheng, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
1. First-hand experience of Machine Learning in science and engineering 2. One or two publications are expected.
Team Needs:
1. Skills in Excel 2. Passionate on research
Description:
There is growing interest in applying machine learning techniques in the research of materials science. These machine learning models have enabled rapid predictions based purely on past data rather than by direct experimentation which takes a lot of time and efforts. Compared with computations/simulations, the machine learning methods don't require that fundamental equations are explicitly solved. In this project, we will take advantage of machine learning methods to predict the chemical properties based on existing experimental data. The undergraduate researchers will learn how data acquisition and prediction were used in the real engineering world. By end of the project, one or two co-authored publications would be expected.
Spring 2019: Effect of Low Dose Cytisine on Parkinson's Disease Progression Full Team
Project Leader:
Sara Zarate
zarate@medicine.tamhsc.edu
Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Rahul Srinivasan, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to learn standard behavior research methods as well as standard staining and microscopy methods. Significant contribution to the project will result in co-authorship of posters and papers.
Team Needs:
All undergraduates are required to enroll in 3 research credit hours of their respective department. We are particularly interested in undergraduates interested in biomedical research and/or neuroscience. BIMS, PSYC, and Neuroscience minors are preferred.
Description:
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a devasting neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons. Therefore, there is an urgent and unmet need for developing disease modifying strategies. Studies have shown that smoking can reduce the risk for PD by 50%. We have shown that low doses of nicotine convey neuroprotection by chaperoning nicotinic acetylcholine receptors from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the plasma membrane. This action reduces ER stress that could lead to cell death. In this study we will focus on the effect of a partial nicotinic agonist, cytisine, on the in vivo behavioral outcomes during PD progression in mice. Students will gain experience in general laboratory practices, and behavior research data collection and analysis.
Spring 2019: Materials Discovery Using Machine Learning Full Team
Affiliations:
Qian's Materials Theory, Design, and Discovery Group
Project Leader:
Nathan Wilson
wilsonnater@tamu.edu
Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Xiaofeng Qian, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunities to present at conferences, co-author in papers, and continued research in our group
Team Needs:
Programing experience is required. Machine learning or data science knowledge is not required, but preferred. Basic chemistry and physics understanding is also preferred
Description:
Throughout history, the advancement of human civilization has largely been driven by new materials. Therefore, Significant effort has been put into designing and discovering new materials. Yet, much of the materials space is still left unexplored due to exponentially large number of possible materials. Modern computational models are often used to find new materials, however their computational costs to explore the material space is still too large. The goal of this project is to create a machine learning algorithm to explore the space while using the computational models to validate and train the machine learning algorithm, which will could bring down the computational cost significantly.
Spring 2019: Captive Exotic Fowl Assessment and Management (CEFAM) Full Team
Project Leader:
Travis Williams
twilliams49@tamu.edu
Poultry Science
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Giri Athrey, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Undergraduate Researchers will be supported through mentorship in conducting research on and management of a captive wild Red Jungle Fowl colony, as this is one of three colonies in the United States. Due to the special nature of these animals, co-authorship on publications can stem from behavioral analysis, performance metrics, nutritional analysis, and potentially management techniques.
Team Needs:
Priority will be given to students with previous avian management, wet bench, and research experience, however it is not required. Participants must be self-motivated and accountable. Required skills: willingness to learn proper animal handling, work in an outdoor environment, attend short weekly meetings to present findings and provide updates, abide by safe laboratory practices, take required laboratory safety training courses.
Description:
Students must be willing to work according to a schedule in the daily care, observation, and collection of samples. Daily care and sampling requirements will take no longer than 1 hour per day. Students will assist with monthly special projects ranging from enclosure inspection to laboratory analysis of samples. Team members will be expected to update on-site and electronic records, perform literature research related to their project.
Spring 2019: Theoretical Foundations of Agricultural Education: A Bibliometric Analysis Full Team
Project Leader:
Sharon Wagner
sharon.wagner@tamu.edu
Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Tracy Rutherford, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD after spring registration is complete
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
(1) 3 hours 491 credit; (2) guided introductory experience in conducting research; (3) poster presentation.
Team Needs:
Five detail-oriented undergraduate students. Excel experience preferred
Description:
In an effort to provide specific curriculum suggestions for doctoral-level programs, we will explore 25 years of content in five premier journals to identify the theoretical foundations in the broad discipline of agricultural education. Expected outputs are one team paper (graduate student as first author) and five posters (undergraduates as first author) which will be presented at a research conference(s).
Spring 2019: Nutrition and Health of 17th-Century Sailors Full Team
Affiliations:
Institute of Nautical Archaeology
Project Leader:
Grace Tsai
getsai@tamu.edu
Anthropology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Karen Kubena, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursday 6-7 pm
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students have the chance to be a co-author in a paper, may have the opportunity to tour and possibly stay on a historical sailing vessel, add to their portfolio and exhibit their work on a museum (250,000 visitorship annually), present at conferences, and receive directed studies course credit in Nutrition (optional: only if needed for coursework credit).
Team Needs:
All motivated students are welcome
Description:
This project hopes to understand the effects of shipboard diet on the health of sailors by determining the nutritional intake of seamen on 17th-century English ships. Previous attempts to gauge the nutritional value of shipboard diets were based on historical documentation instead of laboratory data. In this project, shipboard food will be replicated using the exact ingredients and methods of preparation from the 17th century, including non-GMO ingredients, the exact species of plant or animal, and the same butchery methods and cuts of meat. Archaeological and historical data will be used to replicate the salted pork and beef, ship biscuit, wine and beer, and other provisions aboard Warwick, an English race-built galleon that sank in 1619. Then, a trans- Atlantic voyage will be simulated by storing the food in casks and keeping these in a ship’s hull for three months. Every ten days, representative samples of food will be sent for nutritional and microbial analysis. Lastly, this project compares laboratory results to data that has already been derived from human remains on wrecks such as Mary Rose (1545) and Vasa (1628). This project also has broader impacts because it is hypothesized that certain microbes found on the experimental food may be novel strains of probiotics, which can be cultured for today’s health industry. The results of the project will be featured in an exhibit at the Texas Seaport Museum in Galveston.
Spring 2019: Primary Mechanical Determinants of Ejection Fraction Full Team
Affiliations:
Michael E. DeBakey Research Institute
Project Leader:
Darius Tartibi
sina4113@tamu.edu
Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TR 12:45-2:00
Team Size:
2 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Earning co-authorship of a manuscript to be published in a peer review journal; earn 491 credit in Spring 2019.
Team Needs:
Meet biweekly during meeting times. 10 hours per week.
Description:
Ejection fraction (EF) is the the fraction of blood ejected by a ventricle and is one of the most common clinical measurements to used to assess cardiac function. We have solved the minimal closed-loop cardiovascular model to yield a formula for EF, then further simplified this formula to find which parameters of the closed-loop system affect ejection fraction the most.
Spring 2019: Fighting Inequality - Collective Action in the Developing World 2 Full Team
Affiliations:
Department of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service – Track: International Development and Economic Policy (IDEP)
Project Leader:
Andrea Talero Bonilla
andretalerob@tamu.edu
International Affairs
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Jessica Gottlieb, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursdays 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jessica Gottlieb joined the Bush School after earning her PhD in political science at Stanford University. She also holds a master’s degree in economics from Stanford University. While at Stanford, Gottlieb received the Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship and was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Center for Democracy Development and the Rule of Law. Her work falls into three themes: information asymmetries and voter coordination, informal institutions and clientelism, and the political implications of unequal gender norms. She has conducted field experiments, behavioral games, and surveys in Africa. She has published articles in the American Journal of Political Science, World Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, and World Development. Team Leader: I am Andrea Talero, a master of international affairs candidate at the Bush School at Texas A&M University with three years of experience working at both strategic and risk departments of a commercial bank in Colombia. I have an advanced understanding of quantitative methods, econometrics and statistics applied to project monitoring and evaluation (M&E). I am bilingual in Spanish and English, and reading proficient in French.
Team Needs:
Highly committed and responsible students interested in improving living conditions in developing countries
Description:
- Focus on Latin America. - Civil engagement opportunities to get equitable social outcomes. - Social innovation. - Role of technology (digital platforms, social media, digital communications). - Game theory, relevant groups, options, and incentives. - Simple and practical recommendations for civil society and politicians.
Spring 2019: Fighting Inequality - Collective Action in the Developing World 1 Full Team
Affiliations:
Department of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service – Track: International Development and Economic Policy (IDEP)
Project Leader:
Andrea Talero Bonilla
andretalerob@tamu.edu
International Affairs
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Jessica Gottlieb, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursdays 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jessica Gottlieb joined the Bush School after earning her PhD in political science at Stanford University. She also holds a master’s degree in economics from Stanford University. While at Stanford, Gottlieb received the Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship and was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Center for Democracy Development and the Rule of Law. Her work falls into three themes: information asymmetries and voter coordination, informal institutions and clientelism, and the political implications of unequal gender norms. She has conducted field experiments, behavioral games, and surveys in Africa. She has published articles in the American Journal of Political Science, World Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, and World Development. Team Leader: I am Andrea Talero, a master of international affairs candidate at the Bush School at Texas A&M University with three years of experience working at both strategic and risk departments of a commercial bank in Colombia. I have an advanced understanding of quantitative methods, econometrics and statistics applied to project monitoring and evaluation (M&E). I am bilingual in Spanish and English, and reading proficient in French.
Team Needs:
Highly committed and responsible students interested in improving living conditions in developing countries
Description:
- Focus on Latin America. - Civil engagement opportunities to get equitable social outcomes. - Social innovation. - Role of technology (digital platforms, social media, digital communications). - Game theory, relevant groups, options, and incentives. - Simple and practical recommendations for civil society and politicians.
Spring 2019: Who are the cool kids? Shoaling tendency in hybridizing Mexican fishes Behavior and Genomic Exchange in Wild Mexican Fishes Full Team
Affiliations:
Rosenthal Lab and CICHAZ (www.cichaz.org)
Project Leader:
Sarah Ruckman
sruckman@tamu.edu
Biology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Gil Rosenthal, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
-Opportunity to co-author a scientific paper and present at national meetings; field and lab work at the field station in Mexico (www.cichaz.org), and other outreach events in Mexico and Texas -491 Research Credit Hours -Possible paid positions for undergraduates
Team Needs:
Coding experience is highly recommended. Student must be able to commit to this project for at least two semesters including time during the summer and a minimum of 9 hours per week in the lab.
Description:
Our lab research is based on the hybridization of two fish species in Mexico, Xiphophorus birchmanni and X. malinche. For this project, we will be looking to assess cooperative behavior in the form of shoaling in both species. Shoaling is like schooling or when fish are all aligned and swimming together however in shoals, fish are less organized. We will start by going through the literature and understanding shoaling tendency and personality types that encourage this particularly in fishes. We will also read papers on personality and the link it has with speciation and hybridization. Next, we will be experimentally testing the fish for time spent in shoals as well as preferences for specific shoal mates. For this testing, we will be building 3D printed fish attached to robotic cars to be our controlled shoal mates. This will ultimately lead to a much larger project that can assess the genetic architecture associated with personalities that lead to hybridizations. I hope that this will inspire other projects in the lab that you will be able to lead as an independent project later on.
Spring 2019: Physiological Indicators of Workload and Stress Full Team
Affiliations:
Human Factors & Cogntive Systems Lab
Project Leader:
Carolina Rodriguez Paras
caro_rdz@tamu.edu
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Thomas Ferris, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Flexible, will be decided once the team is complete
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will get the chance to do research on how differences in mental workload are reflected through physiological measures, and opportunities are also available to become full members of the research group.
Team Needs:
Creative problem solving is required. Programming skills are sought after but not mandatory. No research experience is required, but students must be willing to learn.
Description:
Physiological measures, such as heart rate and skin conductance, tend to change in response to increased levels of workload and stress. This project will explore the physiological patterns to determine the difference between workload, stress, and the startle response. Workload in different domains will be studied, including partially-automated vehicles.
Spring 2019: Empowering Diverse Student Voices Through Redefining Professional Writing Full Team
Project Leader:
Ambyr Rios
ambyrrios@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Radhika Viruru, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Flexible based on needs of research team
Team Size:
2 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Research team members will have the opportunity to work closely with two Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture faculty on a project with conference presentation and publication goals.
Team Needs:
We are looking for a diverse group of individuals to work with both qualitative data obtained from writing groups, interviews, and surveys and quantitative data obtained from Likert Scale responses. Students with an interest in educational issues or writing are highly encouraged to apply. There is also an opportunity for a WebGIS project or programming project within the scope of the research study. Experience with Excel is a plus, though not required.
Description:
Universities worldwide have observed an increasing diversity in the population of doctoral students (Odena & Burgess, 2017; Pare, 2018). The students in the online Ed.D in curriculum and instruction are no exception and in fact represent a wide variety of backgrounds: 40% of the 80 students in the program are first generation college students; 12.5% are African-American and 20% are Hispanic; 72.5% are female and 44% are over the age of 40. It is therefore more important than ever that their voices be heard and honored as we reconceptualize what writing means in a professional doctorate. As Pare (2018) has noted, the process of writing, particularly as related to a dissertation or it’s equivalent, is deeply tied to issues of identity and voice and agency and is reflective of the author’s “identity, authority, agency, voice, ideology, intersectionality, epistemology, culture, race, language, community, mental health, creativity, and more” (p. 2). Thus the imposition of an inflexible structure or of academic conventions far removed from the writer’s realities can serve to disenfranchise non-traditional doctoral students. The students in the online Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction thus are in a unique position at Texas A&M University as they bring both a wealth of real world experience as well as a rich diversity of perspectives to the university. This study therefore attempts to honor those perspectives and to bring them to the table, to discover what writing means to them and how their ideas about writing can be incorporated into defining what writing in a professional doctorate should be. A review of the professional literature on doctoral education shows that many programs across the world now incorporate the use of writing groups to aid doctoral students acquire writing competencies (Kumar & Aitchison, 2018). Writing groups have been found to positively impact “writing proficiency, higher-order thinking skills, motivation and confidence” among doctoral students (de Caux, Lam, Lau, Hoang & Pretorius, 2017, p. 465). This study too will incorporate the use of writing groups. The following research questions guide this study (1) How do students in a professional doctorate in education perceive writing? (2) Does the use of writing groups in an introductory professional doctoral course help students discover their own voices as writers?
Spring 2019: Second Language Pedagogy: Open Educational Material (OER) Development Full Team
Affiliations:
The Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL)
Project Leader:
Alessandra Ribota
ribota@tamu.edu
Hispanic Studies
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Gabriela C. Zapata, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Tuesday: 4:00-6:00 P.M.
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
200/400 Level Research Credits, Authorship of OER material created, Co-authorship of material publications, possible honor thesis opportunity, OER textbook recognition
Team Needs:
The student must possess a performance/proficiency level in the Spanish Language of Intermediate-mid. The student must be able to meet every Tuesday from 4:00-6:00 P.M.
Description:
The Department of Hispanic Studies is seeking undergraduate students who are interested in second language pedagogy and material development using Open educational Resources. Students will the components needed to search, create, remix, and apply OER material in the curriculum of an L2 (Spanish), Intermediate-Mid, volume textbook. Students in the team will have the opportunity to Receive HISP 291 or Span 491 (research) credits towards their degree. Students will also have the opportunity to be co-author on material publications.
Spring 2019: The Effect of Ethanol on Structure and Function of the Fetal Circulation Full Team
Project Leader:
Ashritha Rao
ashritharao98@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
T 4:30-7:30 F 3:00-6:00 some flexibility
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to learn standard microvascular microscopy methods, as well as the microvascular physiology. Significant scientific contribution to a successful project will result in co-authorship of conference proposals.
Team Needs:
All undergraduates required to be enroll in 3 credit hours of VTPP 291 or 491. We are particularly interested in undergraduates who are interested in biomedical research. BIMS or biomedical engineering majors are preferred
Description:
Fetal alcohol syndrome which is induced by fetal exposure to alcohol has shown to affect neurological, growth, and heart development in developing fetuses. Gross cardiovascular malformations have been reproduced in animal models, but the effects of alcohol on subtle changes on microvascular network structure and function during embryonic development have not been addressed. The chick chorioallantoic model (CAM), provides a unique platform to repeatedly study the structure and function of microvascular networks of a developing fetus. By cutting a window into a fertilized chick egg or growing a fertilized chick egg ex-vivo, the radii and length of the microvasculature can be measured, as well as blood flow velocities. Furthermore, the response to changes in blood pressure, endothelial shear stress, and vasoactive substances can be quantified, not only in different sizes of microvessels, but also at different developmental stages. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to develop the CAM model as a platform to study the effect of low-dose ethanol on fetal microvascular network structure and function.
Spring 2019: Regenerative Redux: Tracing the Blastemal Progenitors in the Regenerating Mouse Digit Full Team
Affiliations:
DARPA
Project Leader:
Osama Qureshi
osamaq@tamu.edu
Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Lindsay Dawson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Tuesday Nights at 7PM
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Able to experience an internationally recognized lab conducting high impact, cutting edge research (without freezing to death in New England). Gain valuable and transferable skills in a biomedical setting Great opportunity to potentially co-author a publication that you can bring out to bolster your academic and professional "street cred"
Team Needs:
Highly motivated, independent, and critically thinking students with a thirst to quaff deeply from the fountains of knowledge in a quirky lab environment filled with eccentric personalities. Congeniality is essential in our unorthodox but effective work space.
Description:
Almost 1 out of 200 Americans is an amputee. Meaning that more than 1.7 million people are living with limb loss in the United States, and this number is projected to double by 2050, reaching an upwards of 3.6 million. Thus regeneration of body parts, especially limbs, has long captured the imaginations both scientists, healthcare providers, and the public. For example, popular culture is abound with characters who can regenerate body parts heal after injuries that would normally be fatal. Yet, the dream of regeneration of body parts, like the dreams of George Milton and Lennie Smalls in Steinbeck’s classic novella, have remained thus far elusive. This all being said, new research on the diminutive third phalangeal (P3) digit is beginning to unearth possible new ways to essentially re-grow that which could not be had once lost. Regeneration itself is actually not a process rooted in fantasy. Our bodies regenerate cells every day, constantly replacing tissues like skin or the lining of our stomachs. However, this homeostatic regeneration differs in contrast to epimorphic regeneration of complex organs or limbs that is common in vertebrates such as salamanders and axolotls. A defining characteristic that distinguished the latter from the former is the presence of a blastema, a heterogeneous, lineage dependent, and transient mass of cells that mediates the regenerative response. Mammals, unlike salamanders, have generally lost epimorphic regeneration in the evolutionary process, except for a few instances. One of the most studied of these blastema-mediated regenerating models is the terminal phalanx (P3) digit. Our studies focus on the blastema in trying to answer a particular question: Where exactly does it come from? Recent data has demonstrated that the blastema is derived from cells located on the outer surface "periosteal" and inner surface "endosteal" regions of the amputated P3 bone. In this particular study, we will be conducting lineage mapping using transgenic mice to trace back blastemal cell populations. Basically, we are using a model to show the ancestry of cells within a regenerating context.
Spring 2019: Potential Target for Osteosarcoma and Bone Regeneration Full Team
Project Leader:
Simin Pan
span@tamhsc.edu
Molecular and Cellular Medicine
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Carl Gregory, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Authorship opportunities
Team Needs:
Related lab experience is required. Student must be able to commit to this project for at least two semesters and a minimum of 9 hours per week at the lab.
Description:
Our lab research is focused on bone regeneration and malignant bone disease. This project would be a skill orientated project. We will provide specialized training on MicoCT, histology, image processing, RT-PCR and/or Western for student to master at least one of those skills. Once student are able to perform the task by themselves, they will have opportunities to work on multiple projects. Thus, multiple chance to make their name in a publication.
Spring 2019: Testing Predictions of Adaptation of Microvascular Networks Full Team
Project Leader:
Kelbi Padilla
kelbipadilla@tamu.edu
Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to develop novel skills while learning about cardiovascular physiology. Significant scientific contribution to a successful project will result in co-authorship of conference proposals.
Team Needs:
All undergraduates will be required to enroll in 3 credit hours of VTPP 291 or 491. Willingness to work with chicken embryos. Ability to work independently in a group setting. Flexible schedule.
Description:
Systemic blood pressure and regional tissue perfusion are determined by the radii of micro-vessels. Adaptation of microvascular radii is inherently complex, because each vessel responds to local mechanical stimuli, and yet all the micro-vessels in a network appear to adapt their radii in a coordinated manner to ensure blood supply matches tissue demand. We propose a novel mechanism for adaptation that does not assume non-physiological “set points” that define equilibrium endothelial shear stresses, blood pressures and flows, but instead predicts these hemodynamic variables from physiological “balance points”. To test model predictions of proposed adaptive responses, it is necessary to measure relevant microvascular radii and hemodynamic variables both before and after disturbing blood flow to tissue by occluding select micro-vessels. Given the ability to track changes in the microvasculature over time, we will use the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model. First, the architecture of several branches of the microvasculature network will be mapped. A simple mathematical model will then be developed to predict changes in blood flow and radii of the network with select occlusions. Following this, vessels will be occluded, and the resulting radii of the microvascular network will be compared to model results.
Spring 2019: Influence of Nitrogen Source on the Performance of Mixed Cultures in the Carboxylate Platform: Team 2 Full Team
Project Leader:
Opeyemi Olokede
olokede@tamu.edu
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Mark T. Holtzapple, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Team Needs:
Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior student from any engineering major
Description:
The Carboxylate Platform is a waste to energy pathway that uses mixed-cultures of bacteria break down the complex carbohydrates and proteins in waste into carboxylic acids. Carboxylic acids are valuable chemicals which serve as precursors for hydrocarbon fuels. Bacteria need a friendly environment to perform properly. One of the key factors that determines this is the Carbon-Nitrogen ratio of the waste (substrate) fed to the bacteria. The carbon source being used is shredded office paper while the nitrogen source is being varied. The nitrogen source doesn't just supply nitrogen, it also supplies nutrients and vitamins which are needed for the cells to grow. The two main Nitrogen sources being compared are Chicken Manure and Municipal Sewage Sludge. The methods of storage for these are also being varied.
Spring 2019: Influence of Nitrogen Source on the Performance of Mixed Cultures in the Carboxylate Platform Full Team
Project Leader:
Opeyemi Olokede
olokede@tamu.edu
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Mark T. Holtzapple, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Team Needs:
Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior student from any engineering major
Description:
The Carboxylate Platform is a waste to energy pathway that uses mixed-cultures of bacteria break down the complex carbohydrates and proteins in waste into carboxylic acids. Carboxylic acids are valuable chemicals which serve as precursors for hydrocarbon fuels. Bacteria need a friendly environment to perform properly. One of the key factors that determines this is the Carbon-Nitrogen ratio of the waste (substrate) fed to the bacteria. The carbon source being used is shredded office paper while the nitrogen source is being varied. The nitrogen source doesn't just supply nitrogen, it also supplies nutrients and vitamins which are needed for the cells to grow. The two main Nitrogen sources being compared are Chicken Manure and Municipal Sewage Sludge. The methods of storage for these are also being varied.
Spring 2019: Adaptation of Hepatic Capsule in Fluid Volume Regulation Full Team
Project Leader:
Chanyanuch Nakapakorn
cnakapakorn@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Tuesday 12:45 - 2pm and Friday 12:40-1:30pm
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members have opportunities to earn 491 research credit for Fall 2018, earn co-authorship of manuscript to be published in a peer review journal, and gain scientific writing experience.
Team Needs:
No prior research experience required; proficiency in mathematical software mathematica; interests in biomedical science research
Description:
liver is surrounded by a layer of connective tissues called the Glisson’s capsule. The Glisson’s capsule has been observed in experiments to adapt in permeability under certain conditions and may play a role in the regulation of ascites, excess fluid collected in the peritoneal cavity. Therefore, the purpose of the present work was to incorporate capsular adaptation into a hepatic fluid balance model to quantify its role in mediating lymph flow and ameliorating ascites formation. Algebraic model characterizing hepatic fluid balance with capsular adaptation has been constructed. The team is currently working on a manuscript to further describe the interactions of important hepatic parameters and the primary mechanical determinants of fluid volume regulation as well as the possible applications of the model.
Spring 2019: Biological, Behavioral, and Environmental Risk Characteristics Linked to Child and Youth Outcomes Full Team
Affiliations:
Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania and the Pennsylvania State University
Project Leader:
Francisco Montiel Ishino
fami@tamu.edu
Health & Kinesiology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Tamika Gilreath, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Wed 5:00-7:00pm
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will be able to learn and hone the skills necessary to become successful graduate students in health and social science related fields. Prospective students will work with national and international level data as well as take part in study designs for global public health and health education projects. Opportunities will include earning co-authorship for publications, developing abstracts for and possibly attending professional research conferences, letters of recommendation, or becoming a member of our research group with prospect of conducting fieldwork and data collection in the US and abroad.
Team Needs:
Skills and familiarity preferred with: critical reading and thinking, following directions and completing tasks independently, academic/professional writing, qualitative and quantitative methods and analysis, detailed note taking, conducting literature searchers, reading and synthesizing information from the peer-reviewed literature, organizing and storing peer-reviewed literature in reference software (e.g., EndNote, Zotero, ReadCube, etc.), data entry and management and related software (e.g., Excel, SPSS, etc.), statistical software packages (e.g., SPSS, SAS, STATA, MiniTab, etc.), and most important will be the desire to learn and apply what is learned from this experience to the student's future endeavors.
Description:
The project consists of examining behavioral and environmental factors that increase the risk of negative health outcomes in young children and youths. The grad-student led project is a study that will use data from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) for Tanzania and Kenya to analyze risk factors for young (under-5-years-of-age) child outcomes. The DHS data and subsequent analyses are part of an ongoing collaboration with the East African Community - Tropical Pesticide Research Institute and the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania. Other research projects under Dr. Tamika Gilreath are examining risk in American youths using using novel statistical methods on primary data from ongoing projects, as well as secondary data from nationally representative data sets (e.g., YBRSS; NHANES).
Spring 2019: Overchurched, Underfed: Qualitative Interview Team Full Team
Affiliations:
Sociology Collaborative Ethnography Lab
Project Leader:
Andrew McNeely
amcneely@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Sarah Gatson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
collaborative research experience; potential for increased responsibility and self-motivated sub projects
Team Needs:
Team members need good interpersonal skills and flexible schedules
Description:
This team will be responsible for carrying out, transcribing, and coding qualitative interviews related to the Overchurched, Underfed research project.
Spring 2019: Overchurched, Underfed: Organizational Mission of Relgiously Affiliated Food Provision Programs Full Team
Affiliations:
Urban Re-Rural: Community Food Security in the Brazos Valley A Participatory Action Ethnography (http://everybodyeats.tamu.edu/) Maternal and Child Health Student Organization (https://stuactonline.tamu.edu/app/organization/profile/public/id/1944)
Project Leader:
Andrew McNeely
amcneely@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Sarah Gatson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will be trained in qualitative methodology, survey methodology, sociological inquiry and relevant topics (i.e. religion, culture, nutrition, race & ethnic relations). Successful students will have access to networking and recommendation letter opportunities, further responsibility and self-directed research projects, potential co-authorship on publications and research presentations, and 491 research credit hours
Team Needs:
Team members must be available to attend 1-2 weekly food pantry operations (see below, some days have multiple options) as well as a weekly team meeting (TBD). Monday: 1:00pm-2:30pm Tuesday: 9:00am-12:00pm; 9:30am-11:00am Wednesday: 1:00pm-2:30pm Thursday: 9:30am-11:00am; 5:00pm-7:30pm Friday: 9:30am-11:00am Saturday: 10:00am-11:30am
Description:
This research focuses on the relationship between religious organizations and emergency food provision/food insecurity issues in Brazos County. The team is responsible for conducting ethnographic, participant-observation analysis at local food pantries. Team members generate field notes from their observations, and meet with the team leader weekly to discuss their findings and the research project as a whole. In the Spring 2019 semester, a selection of students will also be collaborating with the School of Public Health Maternal and Child Health Student Organization to conduct a survey of clients at the Brazos Church Pantry.
Spring 2019: Decision Making in Small Groups: A Social Psychological Experiment Full Team
Affiliations:
Social Psychology Lab (Department of Sociology)
Project Leader:
Mary McDougal
mkmcd628@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Jane Sell, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Team Needs:
No prior research experience is required. But, students should have a strong organizational skills and a good work ethic. All team members should be able to commit to an average of 10 hours/week in the lab, and students who are interested in experimental methods and/or available to continue working during the summer semesters are preferred. Open positions include the following: Recruitment and communication specialist; Data/finance manager; Laboratory technician
Description:
The purpose of this project to investigate how individuals make decisions in small groups when they are unable to communicate with one another. Students will be involved in several different stages of the research process including pretests, participant recruitment, scheduling coordination, the preparation of lab materials, data collection, record keeping, etc.
Spring 2019: Effect of Cd on Chicken Embryo Heart Development Full Team
Affiliations:
Food Diversity Innovation Program
Project Leader:
Naomi McCauley
naomimccauley9696@tamu.edu
Nutrition & Food Science
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Linglin Xie, Ph.D. M.D.
Meeting Times:
Arrange with team leader
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunities include gaining hands-on experience on research, reading scientific papers, and presentation at Student Research Week. Possible honor thesis opportunity for students who are willing to continue for the entire year at Dr. Xie’s lab and contribute greatly to the project
Team Needs:
Experience is not required to join the project. We are calling for students who are curious about research and are willing to read research papers alongside research. Students who sign up for this project will be required to sign up for 3 credit hrs of NUTR 485 (6 hrs of research + approx 1 hr of reading/week)
Description:
Our study aims to elucidate the teratogenic effects of Cd in early chicken embryonic development. Team members will be able to gain knowledge and skills in histology techniques, such as tissue sectioning, staining, imaging, and heart defect identification. Members will also read and practice scientific writing. Through the semester, there may be opportunities to learn and practice general and molecular biology techniques, including DNA and RNA isolation, PCR, and gel electrophoresis
Spring 2019: Modeling Ventricular Diastolic Volume as Both Cause and Effect of Ventricular Wall Stress Full Team
Affiliations:
Biomedical Research Certificate
Project Leader:
Vanessa Liu
vanessaliu@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Tuesdays 6-7pm, Wednesdays 12:40-1:30pm, Thursdays 4-5pm Team Size : 4
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members will gain research experience on scientific reading and writing, earn research credit, and potential co-authorship on paper. The project will possibly continue into the fall semester and team members could potentially present in conferences and obtain letters of recommendation
Team Needs:
We are looking for dedicated, hardworking BIMS and Biomedical Engineering students who have strong writing and math abilities and are interested in biomedical research. Matlab experience is preferred but not required.
Description:
The mechanisms impacting chronic adaptation of cardiac ventricles are difficult to identify, because diastolic volume is both the cause and effect of ventricular wall stress. Diastolic volume affects the ability of the ventricle to pump blood out of the venous system, thus impacting diastolic pressure and wall stress. Conversely, chronic changes in filling pressure affect ventricular wall stress, leading to growth and remodeling that alters diastolic volume. To characterize a system where ventricular diastolic volume is both cause and effect of ventricular wall stress, we developed a general algebraic formula that predicts diastolic volume and wall stress in terms of mechanical properties of the cardiovascular system. Therefore, the purpose of the present work is to simplify the algebraic solution to be clinically relevant. The model predicts that normal adaptive processes will result in enlargement of heart in response to pathological changes in vasculature.
Spring 2019: Improving Student Experiences to Increase Student Engagement (ISE-2) - 485 Full Team
Affiliations:
Improving Student Experiences to Increase Student Engagement (ISE-2); Bergman Psychology Lab
Project Leader:
Sin-Ning Cindy Liu
sinning.cindy.liu@tamu.edu
Psychological & Brain Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Mindy Bergman, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Tuesdays 5:30-7:00
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunity to present at Student Research Week; possible opportunities to be authors on research papers, posters, or symposia.
Team Needs:
Undergraduate researchers who are able to work with both quantitative data and qualitative data collected from the ISE-2 project.
Description:
Improving Student Experiences to Increase Student Engagement” (ISE-2) was awarded to Texas A&M University by the National Science Foundation, through EEC-Engineering Diversity Activities. ISE-2 is a faculty development program focused on reducing implicit bias and increasing active learning, with the goals of (a) increasing student engagement, success, and retention, and (b) ultimately seeing greater increases for underrepresented minority (URM), women, and first-generation students. Ten faculty teaching first- and second-year Engineering courses participated in the first cohort of ISE-2 in Summer 2017, which consisted of three workshops and six informal “coffee conversations”. At the conclusion of the workshops, each faculty was tasked with completing a teaching plan for the Fall 2017 semester, to incorporate the strategies and knowledge from ISE-2 into the courses they plan to teach. Focus groups with the ISE-2 faculty were conducted in Fall 2017 to obtain feedback about the faculty development program. Classroom observations were conducted using environmental scans and the Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS) to assess the classroom climate of faculty in the experimental (ISE-2) and control groups. Student surveys were also administered to students who were taught by ISE-2 faculty and control group faculty to assess student engagement and classroom climate. In the Fall 2018 semester, undergraduate students will work with both quantitative data and qualitative data collected from the ISE-2 project. On the qualitative side, the students will assist in the analysis of environmental scans of classroom observations, COPUS coding of classroom observations, focus group transcripts, teaching plans, and final reflections. On the quantitative side, the students will help with data cleaning and basic analysis for classroom observation student surveys and junior Engineering student surveys.
Spring 2019: Improving Student Experiences to Increase Student Engagement (ISE-2) - 491 Full Team
Affiliations:
Improving Student Experiences to Increase Student Engagement (ISE-2); Bergman Psychology Lab
Project Leader:
Sin-Ning Cindy Liu
sinning.cindy.liu@tamu.edu
Psychological & Brain Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Mindy Bergman, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Tuesdays 5:30-7:00
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunity to present at Student Research Week; possible opportunities to be authors on research papers, posters, or symposia.
Team Needs:
Undergraduate researchers who are able to work with both quantitative data and qualitative data collected from the ISE-2 project.
Description:
Improving Student Experiences to Increase Student Engagement” (ISE-2) was awarded to Texas A&M University by the National Science Foundation, through EEC-Engineering Diversity Activities. ISE-2 is a faculty development program focused on reducing implicit bias and increasing active learning, with the goals of (a) increasing student engagement, success, and retention, and (b) ultimately seeing greater increases for underrepresented minority (URM), women, and first-generation students. Ten faculty teaching first- and second-year Engineering courses participated in the first cohort of ISE-2 in Summer 2017, which consisted of three workshops and six informal “coffee conversations”. At the conclusion of the workshops, each faculty was tasked with completing a teaching plan for the Fall 2017 semester, to incorporate the strategies and knowledge from ISE-2 into the courses they plan to teach. Focus groups with the ISE-2 faculty were conducted in Fall 2017 to obtain feedback about the faculty development program. Classroom observations were conducted using environmental scans and the Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS) to assess the classroom climate of faculty in the experimental (ISE-2) and control groups. Student surveys were also administered to students who were taught by ISE-2 faculty and control group faculty to assess student engagement and classroom climate. In the Fall 2018 semester, undergraduate students will work with both quantitative data and qualitative data collected from the ISE-2 project. On the qualitative side, the students will assist in the analysis of environmental scans of classroom observations, COPUS coding of classroom observations, focus group transcripts, teaching plans, and final reflections. On the quantitative side, the students will help with data cleaning and basic analysis for classroom observation student surveys and junior Engineering student surveys.
Spring 2019: Metal 3D Printer Chamber Full Team
Affiliations:
Laboratory for Additive Manufacturing of Extreme Materials
Project Leader:
Ming Li
xaviorsbear2015@tamu.edu
Engineering Technology & Industrial Distribution
Faculty Mentor:
Engineering Technology & Industrial Distribution
Meeting Times:
1~2 times
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
1) Hands on experience of metal 3D printer, state-of-art knowledge of 3D printing technologies; 2) Valuable experience in extreme working environment (e.g., vacuuming system), 3) Possible conference presentation, 4) Poster competition.
Team Needs:
3 engineering students who have at least one of the following knowledge or skills: (1) mechanical design, (2) additive manufacturing, (3)Arduino programming
Description:
Big changes are brought by 3D printing in various industries nowadays. Metal 3D printing opens up opportunities for engineers to make the 'impossible' product. The aim of this project is to build up a chamber in conjunction with a lab-designed metal 3D printer. Last semester, our team successfully delivered a design of a functional chamber which has a good sealing ability and an easy-to-operate vacuum system. The major goal in this semester is to execute the design and improve the current oxygen sensor system. The research team will be creating solutions to figure out the engineering challenges. The possible tasks include but not limited to machining, assembly, Arduino/ python coding, research on 3D printing
Spring 2019: Internet Security Issues Full Team
Affiliations:
Aggie STEM
Project Leader:
Hyunkyung Kwon
kwonx133@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Robert M. Capraro, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursdays 5-7
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Each participant will become part of presentations submitted for student research week- co-author pool (after making substantial intellectual contribution to the final product) -robot building team.
Team Needs:
Participants are expected to be prompt in replying to email communication- willing to conduct research (reading and analyzing articles and other literature)-available for meetings once a week for a duration of at least 2 hours within a group setting- able to devote at least 4 hours total (meeting and non-meeting) to this research project per week.
Description:
We will be exploring the security related issues with today's connected devices. Our goal is to research and present an overview of security threats to both the software and hardware sides of the World Wide Web.
Spring 2019: Electrical Engineering, Power Electronics Full Team
Affiliations:
Renewable Energy and Advanced Power Electronics Research Laboratory
Project Leader:
Minjeong Kim
kim14909@tamu.edu
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Robert Balog, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
0 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Co-authorship on publication, ECEN 491 credits, Hands on experience
Team Needs:
Must have taken fundamental circuit theory courses, ( for example ECEN 214 or 215 )
Description:
The goal of this project is to develop new control methods for inverter, which is used for solar power. This project will be mainly about conducting experiments for power electronics circuits so you can have opportunities to work with various EE lab equipment including PCBs, power supplies, voltage and current probes, oscilloscope etc
Spring 2019: Childhood Food Insecurity Full Team
Affiliations:
"Everbody Eats" collaborative ethnography and Service Learning project, Sociology
Project Leader:
Marita John
marita01@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Sarah Gatson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
MW 4p-5p T5p-6p (TBD)
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
co-authorship on publications
Team Needs:
Interest in this research and all majors are welcomed.
Description:
We will be conducting research on all the influential factors of Childhood Food Insecurity by analyzing trends and causes throughout history and current events. We will research childhood food security in our community, the Brazos Valley, in order to compare and contrast the results with national childhood food security. Exploring the correlations and causation of attributes in different circumstances will allow us to properly tackle this growing crisis.
Spring 2019: Gelatin Composite with Automotion Full Team
Project Leader:
Dali Huang
dhuang@tamu.edu
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Zhengdong Cheng, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
You will get chance to present your work as poster or oral presentation. You will have chance to be co-author when publishing research journal.
Team Needs:
Basic chemistry knowledge, interest in chemical research experiment in lab
Description:
We will prepare some gelatin-based hydrogels that can move by themselves thanks to a reaction called Belousov-Zhabotinsky. We will analyze the wave formation and position of the gel throughout the course of the reaction. This type of research can be potentially applied to biological and biomedical fields: cardiac arrithmias, migraines and cellular growth of molds.
Spring 2019: Polymer Coating for Corrosion Protection of Metal Substrates Full Team
Project Leader:
Hanna Hlushko
hanna.hlushko@tamu.edu
Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Svetlana Sukhishvili, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
After a couple of semesters of productive work, there is an opportunity to be a part of conference thesis or peer-reviewed publication.
Team Needs:
Enthusiastic students with a basic knowledge of chemistry, polymer chemistry and physics, willing to work in the team.
Description:
Development of polymer coatings for corrosion protection of metal substrates, using layer-by-layer assembly or film casting techniques. The corrosion of the coatings will be studied with electrochemical impedance measurements. The properties and composition of the coating will be characterized by FTIR, contact angle measurements, and spectrofluorimetry. Additionally, we will study UV-degradation of polymer coatings and the influence of different additives on degradation using FTIR.
Spring 2019: Developing the First Animal Model for Single Ventricle Physiology Full Team
Project Leader:
Anson Harris
anson_harris@tamu.edu
Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Significant scientific contribution to a successful project will result in co-authorship of conference proposals
Team Needs:
Participants will have the opportunity to develop novel skills while learning about cardiovascular physiology. Special requirements include: all undergraduates will be required to enroll in 3 credit hours of VTPP 291 or 491.
Description:
Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) occurs when the left ventricle fails to develop normally, requiring infants to undergo multiple surgeries to survive with a single right ventricle. The incidence of HLHS is nearly 1,000 per year in the United States, and is one of the more common of the congenital heart defects. It is believed that HLHS can result during early fetal development when valves of the ventricle do not open completely or the aorta carrying blood from the left ventricle is narrowed. This hypothesis has not yet been tested. In fact, research to elucidate the causes and treatment of HLHS in human infants is severely limited by the lack of an animal model of HLHS. The purpose of this project is to attempt to develop an animal model of HLHS using the chick embryo model (within the shell or ex-ovo). We hypothesize that coarcting (narrowing) the aorta early in embryonic development will result in HLHS. To our knowledge, this approach has never been attempted. Thus participation in this project will require ingenuity and a willingness to develop new skills. Most importantly, this project will require a high degree of persistence, despite the knowledge that there is a high probability that this project will ultimately fail. The main motivation for participants will be that this project may yield the first animal model for HLHS, providing a much-needed research tool to better the lives of infants with this devastating congenital heart defect.
Spring 2019: Ex Ovo optimization Full Team
Project Leader:
Anson Harris
anson_harris@tamu.edu
Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Possibility of a conference presentation, with significant contributors having their name on any created abstracts as well as be listed as co-authors. This project will also allow for the development of lab and research skills
Team Needs:
Willingness to work with chicken embryos Ability to work independently in a group setting Flexible schedule All undergrads required to enroll in VTPP 291/491 (3 credit hour research)
Description:
The chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) is an excellent model to study the structure and function of development of the fetal heart and vasculature, given rapidity of growth, cost, and ease of use. Although the CAM model can be studied in situ (inside of the shell), investigators have prefered growing the chick ex-ovo (outside of the shell) to provide easy access for serial study of the same vessels of the microvascular network over the course of multiple days. However, the ex-ovo CAM model has not been optimized for chronic microvascular studies, which requires access for intravital microscopy, prevention of infection, and control of environmental humidity and temperature. The purpose of this project is therefore to develop a novel microvascular ex-ovo cam model that is robust, easy to implement, inexpensive, and amenable to become the basis of a large-scale resource for the new Certificate Program in Biomedical Research
Spring 2019: Team Processes and Interpersonal Mistreatment #2 Full Team
Affiliations:
Dr. Winfred Arthur, Jr.'s Industrial/Organizational Psychology Lab
Project Leader:
Ellen Hagen
elli_hagen2346@tamu.edu
Psychological & Brain Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Winfred Arthur, Jr., Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
How will this benefit you? PSYC 485 credit hours (3 hours per semester) Certification as an Aggie Research Scholar Opportunity to learn about the research process and industrial/organizational psychology Recommendation letters contingent on satisfactory performance
Team Needs:
This opportunity is open to all majors and classifications, however the following are required to participate in this team: Ability to commit to nine scheduled hours per week Willingness to enroll in 3 credits of PSYC 485 Willingness to participate in the Aggie Research Leadership Program Minimum GPA of 3.0
Description:
Research Topics: Team processes Interpersonal mistreatment Responsibilities include: Attending training sessions and weekly meetings Proctoring laboratory sessions Reviewing videos and coding behaviors observed Data entry Literature reviews Reading journal articles
Spring 2019: Team Processes and Interpersonal Mistreatment Full Team
Affiliations:
Dr. Winfred Arthur, Jr.'s Industrial/Organizational Psychology Lab
Project Leader:
Ellen Hagen
elli_hagen2346@tamu.edu
Psychological & Brain Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Winfred Arthur, Jr., Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
How will this benefit you? PSYC 485 credit hours (3 hours per semester) Certification as an Aggie Research Scholar Opportunity to learn about the research process and industrial/organizational psychology Recommendation letters contingent on satisfactory performance
Team Needs:
This opportunity is open to all majors and classifications, however the following are required to participate in this team: Ability to commit to nine scheduled hours per week Willingness to enroll in 3 credits of PSYC 485 Willingness to participate in the Aggie Research Leadership Program Minimum GPA of 3.0
Description:
Research Topics: Team processes Interpersonal mistreatment Responsibilities include: Attending training sessions and weekly meetings Proctoring laboratory sessions Reviewing videos and coding behaviors observed Data entry Literature reviews Reading journal articles
Spring 2019: Support for Writing for English Language Learners Using Technology-Enhanced Instruction (SWELL-TEI) Full Team
Project Leader:
Keith Graham
kmgraham@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. L. Quentin Dixon, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Monday, Wednesday, or Thursdays depending on participants' schedules.
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members will have the opportunity to gain experience with research and data analysis as well as receive support with academic writing. Team members will also have an opportunity to earn co-authorship on a paper to be submitted to a conference and/or journal.
Team Needs:
No research experience is required. Participants should have a positive attitude, a strong work ethic, strong skills in English writing, and a willingness to learn. Skills needed for the project will be taught and discussed during weekly meetings. Candidates bi-literate in English and Spanish are preferred
Description:
The undergraduate students participating in this project will be part of a research team consisting of graduate students in the College of Education and Human Development. The undergraduate student will be involved in different phases of the project, including a) recruiting participants; b) administering standardized assessments; c) data collection, management and preliminary analysis; d) drafting sections of a conference proposal or a journal article; and e) administrative tasks. These experiences will not only familiarize the undergraduate student with a critical area of research and essential steps of conducting an empirical research project, but also help her or him to develop the capacity to conduct independent research in the future.
Spring 2019: Historical Archival Research integrating GIS and Excel Full Team
Affiliations:
Teaching Learning and Culture
Project Leader:
Karla Garza
Karla.Garza@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Lynn Burlbaw, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursdays
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students participating in this project will learn qualitative and quantitative research skills as they work with primary sources related to teachers and their work in Texas in general, and Brazoria County specifically. Graduate students and a faculty member in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture will guide and direct this project. Students will work on categorizing archival data from the Brazoria County schools using archives and publications from ~1890 -1921. GIS and Excel will be used to organize the data, but facility in Excel is not required - the project will teach, if necessary, participating students the Microsoft Word and Excel skills needed
Team Needs:
Participants must be accountable and self-motivated with a strong work ethic. Participants should understand the value and necessity of detailed and accurate work as it contributes to the analysis of printed materials. A “can do attitude,” a research interest and the ability to make reasoned decisions will contribute to a successful experience Dedication, highly motivated, hard working, enthusiasm. Skills to meet virtually when face-to-face is not possible. No research experience required
Description:
Team members will have the chance to earn co-authorship on a paper(s) and/or presentation; possibly attend regional conference(s), gain experience with research and data analysis, support with academic writing, interact with faculty and other graduate student teams, and earn research credit. -Students can receive research hour credits with Faculty Mentor approval
Spring 2019: Robotics, Programmable Toys and Microcontrollers in STEM Education Full Team
Affiliations:
Aggie STEM
Project Leader:
Aamir Fidai
aamirfidai@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Robert M. Capraro, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursday 5-7 pm
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Each participant will become part of - presentations submitted for student research week - co-author pool (after making substantial intellectual contribution to the final product) - robot building team
Team Needs:
Participants are expected to - be prompt in replying to email communication - willing to conduct research (reading/analyzing articles and other literature) - available for meetings once a week for a duration of at least 2 hours within a group setting - able to devote at least 4 hours total (meeting and non-meeting) to this research project per week
Description:
This project will engage participants in detailed literature review of the research concerning the use of programmable toys, Robotics and micro-controller devices in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. The participants will have an opportunity to engage in working directly with these products to gain a hands-on experience. Participants will also take part in building robotic products to be tested in STEM instructional environments.
Spring 2019: Identification of Novel Protein-Protein Interactions Between Rice and the Rice Blast Fungus Full Team
Affiliations:
This work will be conducted in the Laboratory of Dr. Daniel Ebbole in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology in the LF Peterson building
Project Leader:
Nick Farmer
nfarmer@tamu.edu
Plant Pathology and Microbiology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Daniel Ebbole, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
BESC students can satisfy BESC 484 credit requirements with this semester-long project. Students from any major may wish to receive credit for a research course (BESC491, GENE491, etc.). Students hoping to fulfill requirements for research credits should contact their departmental adviser to seek approval for research course credit. The data gathered by participating students will contribute to research intended to be published in scientific journals.
Team Needs:
Motivated students with interests in Genetics, Biochemistry, Biology, Plant Pathology, Microbiology, and Molecular Genetics should apply. Team members will be expected maintain good attendance at scheduled laboratory sessions, detailed lab notes, and to submit a final report on their research and findings for the semester. Interested students should submit their class schedule for the semester
Description:
Rice and wheat provide about 40 % of the calories in the human diet worldwide. Rice blast is recognized as the greatest disease threat to rice production. A new disease caused by this fungus has recently become a threat to global wheat production. This research addresses the question of how we can feed a global population of close to 10 billion people without destroying our planet. This will be accomplished by understanding the ways in which the fungus manipulates plant susceptibility to the disease. Fungi secrete proteins into the cells of their plant host and these proteins then interact with plant proteins to modulate their functions. Not surprisingly, some of these plant proteins are components of plant defense pathways. Our lab is identifying the rice proteins that interact with proteins from the fungus. Over the course of the semester, the team of undergraduate students will gain experience in general laboratory practices, and techniques in fungal and bacterial microbiology and molecular biology. Specific techniques include transformation of DNA into bacteria and yeast cells, using yeast two-hybrid technology to identify candidate protein-protein interactions, amplifying DNA with PCR to identify cloned genes, and isolation of DNA for DNA sequencing to identify the rice genes. In future work, the rice genes you identify, may be used to produce modified versions of the protein that are immune to the pathogen protein.
Spring 2019: Carbon Dioxide Utilization through Polymer Synthesis Integration Full Team
Project Leader:
Jared Enriquez
jme9982@tamu.edu
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Mahmoud El-Halwagi, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will have the opportunity to gain experience with research, process design, group discussions and presentations, and computational skills through ASPEN modeling; Possibility of publication/conference opportunities.
Team Needs:
Students majoring in chemical engineering or those interested in process design are encouraged to apply. No computational experience is necessary
Description:
As atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continue to rise, interest in finding methods to utilize the greenhouse gas in productive and meaningful ways has increased. One instance of potential carbon dioxide utilization comes from the processing of the increasingly popular fuel source shale gas. In this project, the investigation of integrating carbon dioxide based polymer synthesis pathways with shale gas processing will take place in order to create an environmentally and economically beneficial system. The process will be modeled and simulated using ASPEN to find viable and optimal pathways.
Spring 2019: Mathematical Model of Intestinal Edema as Both Cause and Effect of Prolonged Ileus Full Team
Project Leader:
Megan Dole
megan.dole@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Monday 11:30 - 12:20; Thursday 11:15 - 12:25
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Co-authorship of a manuscript; 491 credit (3hrs) during Spring 2019 semester
Team Needs:
Proficient in mathematical modeling software (we use Mathematica) or scientific writing experience
Description:
Edema is any accumulation of fluid volume in a space between tissues, and is the phenomenon responsible for what we see as swelling due to inflammation or injury. When edema is present in the intestines, the excess volume makes it harder for the intestines to pump (a motion called peristalsis, which is responsible for digestion and absorption of nutrients). Ileus is the cessation of peristalsis, and when the intestines don't pump, there is no force to push the excess fluid out of the interstitial space via the lymphatic system. The interaction between edema and ileus is categorized as a positive feedback system, and we've been working to develop a mathematical model to determine the onset of an unstable positive feedback loop as well as predict the primary mechanical properties responsible.
Spring 2019: Youth Leadership Development Full Team
Project Leader:
Sakina Dixon
STSDixon@tamu.edu
Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Chanda D. Elbert, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
2 hours on a weekday between 8AM-5PM; exact time will be determined by team's availability
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will gain valuable research experience. Significant contributions to the research team may result in the co-authorship of manuscripts and posters. Students will have the opportunity to participate over multiple semesters.
Team Needs:
Interest in this research. Willingness to learn and ask questions. Enjoys reading. Strong organizational skills. Understands the need for detailed and accurate data collection. In-person interviews are required
Description:
The first phase of this research project will be an in-depth review of the literature on youth leadership development in the United States. The findings will be analyzed and used to propose an experimental study to be conducted in future semesters.
Spring 2019: Corrosion Study of Copper Concetrate Pipeline Full Team
Affiliations:
This project will be conducted in the The National Corrosion and Materials Reliability Lab (NCMRL) located in the Center for Infrastructure Renewal (CIR) at RELLIS Campus
Project Leader:
Yenny Paola Cubides Gonzalez
ypc2@tamu.edu
Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Homero Castaneda, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
The students will have the opportunity to learn how to conduct electrochemical testing as well as materials characterization and how to analyze the results. In addition, they have the opportunity to get involve in our NACE Texas A&M University chapter where they can learn more about corrosion and materials through our industry lecture series and at the same time they can establish a networking with our industry speakers for job opportunities.
Team Needs:
For this project we will need three undergraduate students helping us with the three major experimental parts of the project, that are described as the following tasks: - Task 1- Design and build of the physical prototypes in the laboratory to simulate internal corrosion and erosion in pipelines, as well as influence of microorganisms on corrosion rate - Task 2- Perform electrochemical testing such as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), linear polarization resistance (LPR), galvanostatic, potentiostatic, and weight loss - Task 3- Materials characterization after corrosion testing such as optical microscopy, SEM, EDS, XRD, and Raman spectroscopy
Description:
This project intends to use a series of advanced electrochemical techniques for characterizing and estimating corrosivity of a copper concentrated fluid (slurry) in specific pipeline samples. The technical outcome is the methodology and determination of corrosion degree in simulated operation conditions for different slurry samples that can guide indutry to find the path for the most effective selection of corrosion control and prevention action. This robust study of corrosion of pipeline that transports slurries at different grades offers a unique approach to investigate the corrosion rate and the mechanism influencing this process. The objectives of this study are as follows: • To simulate the corrosion process occurring in the pipeline that transports different concentrate grades. • • To estimate the pure corrosion / erosion-enhanced corrosion / corrosion-enhanced erosion / pure erosion rate and Microbial-induced corrosion (MIC) of the pipeline at different slurries concentrations • To understand the corrosion mechanisms at the pipeline/product interface formed by copper concentrate and factors influencing corrosion kinetics. • To characterize if some inhibitors are plausible for corrosion mitigation in this pipeline system.
Spring 2019: Potential Target for Osteosarcoma and Bone Regeneration Full Team
Affiliations:
Texas A&M Health Science Center, Molecular and Cellular Medicine
Project Leader:
Michael Cesarek
cesarekmr@tamu.edu
Molecular and Cellular Medicine
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Carl Gregory , Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
1 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Authorship opportunities
Team Needs:
Related lab experience is required. The student​ must be able to commit to this project for at least two semesters and a minimum of 9 hours per week at the lab.
Description:
Our lab research is focused on bone regeneration and malignant bone disease. This project would be a skill orientated project. We will provide specialized training on MicoCT, histology, image processing, RT-PCR and/or Western for the student to master at least one of those skills. Once the student is able to perform the task by themselves, they will have opportunities to work on multiple projects. Thus, multiple chances​ to make their name in a publication.
Spring 2019: Valuation Tools that Measure Environmental, Social, and Economic Benefits of Public Green Spaces Case Study Full Team
Affiliations:
Collaboration with the City of College Station Department of Parks and Recreation
Project Leader:
Gerald Burgner
gsburgner@tamu.edu
Horticultural Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Charles R. Hall, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
1) Opportunity to work with city officials 2) Experience with ecological models 3) Experience with qualitative research methods to measure social aspects of communities.
Team Needs:
Individuals interested in one or more of the following areas: carbon footprint; energy use; recycling; hydrology; biodiversity; sustainability; air quality; cultural and social activities and benefits; and ecosystem services.
Description:
This research is a pilot case study evaluating 82 valuation tools that measure aspects of environmental, social, and economic benefits for public urban green spaces. One of the main objectives is to provide recommendations and guidelines for selecting valuation tools that public garden managers, park directors, and other decision-makers can use to implement self-assessments and to increase perceived value of public green space. The pilot case study is a collaboration with the City of College Station Department of Parks and Recreation.
Spring 2019: AGGIENOVA: Understanding Exploding Stars Full Team
Project Leader:
Peter Brown
pbrown@physics.tamu.edu
Physics & Astronomy
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. NIcholas Suntzeff, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Team Needs:
Student research should know python and/or IDL or be willing to work to learn python. Much of the work will involve programming, but students with other skills or interests such as outreach, visualization, or web design could also find ways to contribute.
Description:
The Aggienova research group will study the catastrophic deaths of stars. The last decade has seen an explosion in the amount of ultraviolet observations of supernovae. We will use ultraviolet observations from the Swift and Hubble space telescopes as well as ground-based optical and near-infrared data. We will exploit that data and make tools to better understand nearby supernovae as well as those observed at high redshifts http://people.physics.tamu.edu/pbrown/SwiftSN/swift_sn.html
Spring 2019: Aggienova Swift Team Full Team
Project Leader:
Peter Brown
pbrown801@tamu.edu
Physics & Astronomy
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Nicholas Suntzeff, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Friday noon-1pm
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Description:
The Aggienova research group will study the catastrophic deaths of stars. The last decade has seen an explosion in the amount of ultraviolet observations of supernovae. We will use ultraviolet observations from the Swift and Hubble space telescopes as well as ground-based optical and near-infrared data. We will exploit that data and make tools to better understand nearby supernovae as well as those observed at high redshifts http://people.physics.tamu.edu/pbrown/SwiftSN/swift_sn.html This team will focus on calibration and data from the Swift satellite.
Spring 2019: Aggienova SOUSA team Full Team
Project Leader:
Peter Brown
pbrown801@tamu.edu
Physics & Astronomy
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Nicholas Suntzeff, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Monday 4-5
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Description:
The Aggienova research group will study the catastrophic deaths of stars. The last decade has seen an explosion in the amount of ultraviolet observations of supernovae. We will use ultraviolet observations from the Swift and Hubble space telescopes as well as ground-based optical and near-infrared data. We will exploit that data and make tools to better understand nearby supernovae as well as those observed at high redshifts http://people.physics.tamu.edu/pbrown/SwiftSN/swift_sn.html This team focuses on the use of the Swift Optical Ultraviolet Supernova Archive
Spring 2019: Determining the Causation of Intestinal Diseases in Regards to Calcium Availability in Poultry Diets Full Team
Project Leader:
Ariel Bergeron
anbergeron@tamu.edu
Poultry Science
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Audrey McElroy, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Undergraduate Researchers will have the opportunity for hands-on experience not only in avian husbandry, but basic lab skills. Undergraduate's may also have the opportunity to oversee a research project, which could lead to opportunities of attending scientific conferences and contributing to scientific publications.
Team Needs:
Undergraduate students having previous experience with avian management or research experience will have priority, however it is not required. It is expected that undergraduate researchers be self-motivated and accountable. Therefore it is prudent that participants having a willingness to learn proper animal handling, work in an outdoor environment, attend short weekly meetings, abide by laboratory procedures and complete required laboratory safety training courses.
Description:
Evaluation of dietary components in poultry diets, in Clostridium perfringens challenge trials, to better define the involvement in dietary components due to changes to the intestinal environment resulting in Necrotic Enteritis morbidity and changes in leg health.
Spring 2019: Layer-by-Layer Coatings for Potential Biomedical Applications Full Team
Project Leader:
Victoria Albright
victoria.albright@tamu.edu
Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Svetlana Sukhishvili, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Hard working students will be rewarded with opportunities to continue research for multiple semesters. In addition, opportunities for presenting work at a conference, earning co-authorship on publications or even becoming a full member of our research group can be explored.
Team Needs:
Science & engineering majors will be given preference. Students need to be highly self-driven, quick learning and detail oriented. Students will be required to write up daily summaries of what work was done in the lab so that other team members can pick up where he or she left off.
Description:
The future of polymeric materials as biological implant coatings to prevent bacterial infection and stimulate cell growth depends on the ability to selectively trigger the release of components from the materials on demand. Our research group currently explores manipulating chemistry of polymer particles and films in order to develop polymeric materials that can deliver antibiotics in a controlled fashion. This work will explore assembly of antimicrobial agents and enzymes or temperature responsive particles into layer-by-layer coatings with biodegradable polymers. Students are needed to study how polymeric films are built and understanding why they are growing that way. Various properties of the coatings will be assessed to maximize film functionality. Students will become familiar with the layer-by-layer assembly, ellipsometry, and various other techniques. Check out our recent works on biomedical polymer coatings https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/adhm.201800132 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1742706117305020
Fall 2018: Captive Exotic Fowl Assessment and Management (CEFAM) Full Team
Affiliations:
Dr. Giri Athrey's Quantitative and Functional Genomics Lab
Project Leader:
Travis Williams
twilliams49@tamu.edu
Poultry Science
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Giri Athrey
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Undergraduate Researchers will be supported through mentorship in conducting research on and management of a captive wild Red Jungle Fowl colony, as this is one of three colonies in the United States. Due to the special nature of these animals, co-authorship on publications can stem from behavioral analysis, performance metrics, nutritional analysis, and potentially management techniques.
Team Needs:
Priority will be given to students with previous avian management experience or research experience, however it is not required. Participants must be self-motivated and accountable. Required skills: willingness to learn proper animal handling, work in an outdoor environment, attend short weekly meetings to present findings and provide updates, abide by safe laboratory practices, take required laboratory safety training courses.
Description:
Students must be willing to work according to a schedule in the daily care, observation, and collection of samples. Daily care and sampling requirements will take no longer than 1 hour per day. Students will assist with monthly special projects ranging from enclosure inspection to laboratory analysis of samples. Team members will be expected to update on-site and electronic records, perform literature research related to their project.
Fall 2018: Plant-Insect Interactions Mediated by Microbiome Manipulations of Cotton Seed Full Team
Affiliations:
Sword Lab
Project Leader:
Cesar Valencia
cuvalencia@tamu.edu
Entomology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Gregory A Sword, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Previous students to work on this project have gone on to present their research at multiple local and regional conferences including the Ecological Integration Symposium and the Beltwide Cotton Conference. Previous students won awards for their research at the Ecological Integration Symposium and the department-wide Entomology Mentorship Symposium. These students are attending a national conference this year in Vancouver.
Team Needs:
Students must enroll in ENTO491 with Dr. Greg Sword for a minimum of 1 credit hour, a departmental requirement. This team will be co-advised by myself and another student/lab manager. Students need to work well in teams, especially pairs. Students are encouraged to engage in public speaking events about the research. Students need to actively and consistently communicate with advisors, yet need to be able to work independently.
Description:
We are interested in the effects of experimental manipulations of the plant microbiome on plant-insect interactions. The plant microbiome has recently been recognized as a major contributor to plant health. We will be treating cotton seeds with spores of certain fungi that are known to affect insect herbivore behavior. We will be assessing the extent to which these fungi colonize the plant and exist as endophytes. We will also assess the ways in which these treatments affect the odor molecules emitted from the plants, as these are known to be important in plant-insect interactions. Students will learn how to rear insects and plants for experiments, how to work in a sterile environment to create microbial cultures, and how to mix and analyze standard solutions for gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, plus more. Students who are interested in entomology, plant ecology, and chemical ecology should apply. Students who would like to earn experience with microscopy, GC-MS, and biological experimental designs should apply.
Fall 2018: Ship Biscuit & Salted Beef Research Project Full Team
Affiliations:
USDA-ARS
Project Leader:
Grace Tsai
getsai@tamu.edu
Anthropology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Karen Kubena, Ph.D
Meeting Times:
Monday at 5 pm
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Publications, Conferences, Resume-building
Team Needs:
Any interested individual
Description:
https://proxy.qualtrics.com/proxy/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fnauticalarch.org%2Fprojects%2Fship-biscuit-and-salted-beef-research-project%2F&token=oTHPup3KGgSnTYPr1%2B4PgSCEQ2rkk1xxF4%2Boo1DiTME%3D
Fall 2018: Ascitegenic Gains: Identifying the Primary Mechanical Determinants of Ascites Fluid Formation Full Team
Project Leader:
Nicholas Tan
nicholas_tan@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher M. Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
W 3:00 - 3:50, F 9:10 - 10:00
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Co-authorship is available to those who have significant contribution to the project. Conference presentation opportunities are also available.
Team Needs:
We are particularly interested in undergraduates who possess proficient technical writing skills and basic familiarity with biological systems. Basic understanding of physiology (or willingness to learn such from us) is a requirement. All majors are encouraged to apply. All undergraduates required to be enroll in 3 credit hours of VTPP/BMEN 291 or 491.
Description:
Ascites, the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity, is the result of an imbalance in the inflow and outflow of abdominal fluid . The objective of this project is to algebraically model “ascitegenic gain” - the sensitivity of fluid accumulation with respect to changes in fluid parameters such as capillary pressure. Previous numerical models of the disease state are complex and overly reliant on extant parameter values. The algebraic nature of our work defines the relationships between fluid parameters rather than calculating their discrete values - proving particularly useful in guiding further ascites research.
Fall 2018: Analysis of Unconventional Warfare: Kinetic, Cyber, and Information Environment Full Team
Affiliations:
Asymmetric Threat Analysis
Project Leader:
Austin Spacek
abs@tamu.edu
Political Science
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Danny Davis, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Mondays - 7 P.M
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
We are seeking a team of 2-3 students from various academic background related to Unconventional Cyber and Kinetic warfare tactics (including engineering, computer science, political science, etc.). Students should be self-driven with strong work ethic. No research experience is needed, but willingness to learn and ask questions are a must. Expected to attend weekly meetings
Team Needs:
Ideal team description: We are seeking a team of 2-3 students from various academic background related to Unconventional Cyber and Kinetic warfare tactics (including engineering, computer science, political science, history, etc.). Students should be self-driven with strong work ethic. No research experience is needed, but willingness to learn and ask questions are a must. Expected to attend weekly meetings
Description:
Basis of the research: Cyber and Kinetic effects can be used by non-state actors to gain geo-political advantage: What additional information can be found in an analysis of unconventional warfare used by non-state actors in Ukraine and Crimea? In the past 5 years, what information would have enabled the E.U. and NATO to prevent such attacks?
Fall 2018: The Role of Renal Control and Systemic Resistance in Hemodynamic Regulation Full Team
Project Leader:
Braden Sims
bradensims@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher M. Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TR 11:15-12:25; flexible evening hours
Team Size:
2 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
By acting as a valuable team member, you will have the opportunity to be published as a co-author in academic abstracts, posters, and manuscripts (which is very beneficial for graduate and/or medical school), additional exposure to qualified faculty capable of writing letters of recommendation, as well as practical and exciting experience working in a research team.
Team Needs:
To be a contributing member to our team, an individual must be able to read and comprehend academic literature, communicate and articulate ideas effectively to the remainder of the team, utilize creative problem solving, understand basic mathematical modeling programming (such as Wolfgram Mathematica) and ask meaningful questions to direct future research. In addition to these valued qualities, our team is looking for an individual with a coding and/or engineering background to address mathematical problems.
Description:
While the effects of hypertension have clearly been observed as a predisposition for many illnesses and diseases, the autoregulatory processes which control systemic autoregulation are not clearly understood. Our team is working to create a solution to this problem by creating a simple algebraic mathematical model that is capable of identifying the most influential hemodynamic parameters, crucial systemic interactions, and to identify possible mechanisms that have not yet been identified. Research is conducted through identifying, reading and analyzing previously established and credible research papers, by translating known knowledge and assumptions into a simplified algebraic mathematical model, and by analyzing the resulting conclusions to support valid and novel conclusions.
Fall 2018: Second Language Pedagogy: Open Educational Material (OER) Development Full Team
Project Leader:
Alessandra Ribota
ribota@tamu.edu
Hispanic Studies
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Gabriela Zapata, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursdays, 4-6 PM
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
200/400 Level Research Credits, Authorship of OER material created, Co-authorship of material publications, possible honor thesis opportunity, OER textbook recognition
Team Needs:
The student must possess a performance/proficiency level in the Spanish Language of Intermediate-mid. The student must be able to meet on the time assign for weekly meetings
Description:
The Department of Hispanic Studies is seeking undergraduate students who are interested in second language pedagogy and material development using Open educational Resources. Students will the components needed to search, create, remix, and apply OER material in the curriculum of an L2 (Spanish), Intermediate-Mid, volume textbook. Students in the team will have the opportunity to Receive HISP 291 or Span 491 (research) credits towards their degree. Students will also have the opportunity to be co-author on material publications
Fall 2018: Testing the Hypothesis that the Intestinal Lumen Acts as a Reservoir to Delay ARDS with Mathematical Modeling Full Team
Affiliations:
VIDI 109 is the research lab we work out of.
Project Leader:
Jason Poston
jasonposton3898@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Wednesday and Friday 3-3:50
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunity to publish abstracts at research conferences.
Description:
The purpose of this project is to take a deeper look at the process of Acute Respiratory Disease Syndrome (ARDS) and the possibility of the lumen acting as a reservoir that could potentially delay the onset of ARDS through this process. This project is mostly done through the use of mathematical modeling in order to create models that mirror the intestines and the way in which interstitial fluids move about.
Fall 2018: Countermeasures to Combat Driver Inattention in Partially Automated Vehicles Full Team
Affiliations:
Human Factors & Cogntive Systems Lab
Project Leader:
Carolina Rodriguez Paras
caro_rdz@tamu.edu
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Thomas Ferris, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Wednesday, Thursday
Team Size:
1 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will get the chance to do research on countermeasures to combat driver inattention, use a driving simulator, and opportunities are also available to become full members of the research group. Affiliations: Human Factors & Cogntive Systems Lab
Team Needs:
Creative problem solving is required. Programming skills are sought after but not mandatory.
Description:
This project will explore different displays to combat driver inattention in partially automated vehicles
Fall 2018: Testing Predictions of Adaptation of Microvascular Networks Full Team
Project Leader:
Kelbi Padilla
kelbipadilla@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursday 2:00-4:00/5:00 pm
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to develop novel skills while learning about cardiovascular physiology. Significant scientific contribution to a successful project will result in co-authorship of conference proposals.
Team Needs:
All undergraduates will be required to enroll in 3 credit hours of VTPP 291 or 491.
Description:
Systemic blood pressure and regional tissue perfusion are determined by the radii of micro-vessels. Adaptation of microvascular radii is inherently complex, because each vessel responds to local mechanical stimuli, and yet all the micro-vessels in a network appear to adapt their radii in a coordinated manner to ensure blood supply matches tissue demand. We propose a novel mechanism for adaptation that does not assume non-physiological “set points” that define equilibrium endothelial shear stresses, blood pressures and flows, but instead predicts these hemodynamic variables from physiological “balance points”. To test model predictions of proposed adaptive responses, it is necessary to measure relevant microvascular radii and hemodynamic variables both before and after disturbing blood flow to tissue by occluding select micro-vessels. Given the ability to track changes in the microvasculature over time, we will use the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model. First, the architecture of several branches of the microvasculature network will be mapped. A simple mathematical model will then be developed to predict changes in blood flow and radii of the network with select occlusions. Following this, vessels will be occluded, and the resulting radii of the microvascular network will be compared to model results.
Fall 2018: Effect of Ethanol on Structure and Function of the Fetal Circulation Full Team
Project Leader:
Monica Nguyen
monica.nguyen@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBA
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to learn standard microvascular microscopy methods, as well as the microvascular physiology. Significant scientific contribution to a successful project will result in co-authorship of conference proposals.
Team Needs:
All undergraduates required to be enroll in 3 credit hours of VTPP 291 or 491. We are particularly interested in undergraduates who are interested in biomedical research. BIMS or biomedical engineering majors are preferred.
Description:
Fetal alcohol syndrome which is induced by fetal exposure to alcohol has shown to affect neurological, growth, and heart development in developing fetuses. Gross cardiovascular malformations have been reproduced in animal models, but the effects of alcohol on subtle changes on microvascular network structure and function during embryonic development have not been addressed. The chick chorioallantoic model (CAM), provides a unique platform to repeatedly study the structure and function of microvascular networks of a developing fetus. By cutting a window into a fertilized chick egg or growing a fertilized chick egg ex-vivo, the radii and length of the microvasculature can be measured, as well as blood flow velocities. Furthermore, the response to changes in blood pressure, endothelial shear stress, and vasoactive substances can be quantified, not only in different sizes of microvessels, but also at different developmental stages. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to develop the CAM model as a platform to study the effect of low-dose ethanol on fetal microvascular network structure and function.
Fall 2018: Adaptation of Hepatic Capsule in Fluid Volume Regulation Full Team
Project Leader:
Chanyanuch Nakapakorn
cnakapakorn@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher M. Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Monday 9:10 - 10AM
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members have opportunities to earn 491 research credit for Fall 2018, earn co-authorship of manuscript to be published in a peer review journal, and gain scientific writing experience.
Team Needs:
No prior research experience required; proficiency in mathematical software mathematica; interests in biomedical science research
Description:
The liver is surrounded by a layer of connective tissues called the Glisson’s capsule. The Glisson’s capsule has been observed in experiments to adapt in permeability under certain conditions and may play a role in the regulation of ascites, excess fluid collected in the peritoneal cavity. Therefore, the purpose of the present work was to incorporate capsular adaptation into a hepatic fluid balance model to quantify its role in mediating lymph flow and ameliorating ascites formation. Algebraic model characterizing hepatic fluid balance with capsular adaptation has been constructed. The team is currently working on a manuscript to further describe the interactions of important hepatic parameters and the primary mechanical determinants of fluid volume regulation as well as the possible applications of the model.
Fall 2018: Over-churched, Under-fed: Qualitative Interview Team Full Team
Affiliations:
Everybody Eats: Experiences in Food Production and Consumption in the Brazos Valley
Project Leader:
Andrew McNeely
amcneely@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Sarah Gatson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members will be trained in qualitative and and ethnographic methodology including: interview techniques, transcription, and coding, ethnographic observation, and field notes documentation. Topics of instruction will include sociology of religion, sociology of culture, sociology of race and ethnicity Team members will also have the opportunity to participate in the Undergraduate Research Symposium research poster session
Team Needs:
Motivated, inquiring minds a must. Any liberal-arts major and classification can apply for the team. Preference given to upper-level social/behavioral sciences. Lengthy interviews, participant-observation tasks, and team meetings will require team members to have flexible schedules.
Description:
Brazos County has a significantly higher percentage of its population that is food insecure than the average TX county. In addition, Brazos County is also home to a significantly high number of religious congregations. Since the spring of 2017, an ongoing participant observation project has investigated the religiously affiliated food pantries in the county. Now, we will expand our inquiry out to the religious congregations themselves, conducting qualitative interviews with key personnel at as many religious congregations as possible. Our goal will be to assess and document the perceived relationship between religion and food insecurity in Brazos County.
Fall 2018: Over-churched, Under-fed: Organizational Missions of Religion and Food Security Full Team
Affiliations:
Everybody Eats: Experiences in Food Production and Consumption in Brazos Valley
Project Leader:
Sarah McKeen
smckeen@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Sarah Gatson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
participants must be available for at least TWO meeting times (see below)
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
-Extensive community service involvement -TAMU Undergrad Research Symposium -Ongoing, multiple-semester project with significant impact on local food insecurity
Team Needs:
Monday (1-2:30) Tuesday (9-12; 9:30-11) Wednesday (1-2:30) Thursday (9:30-11; 5-7) Friday (9:30-11) Saturday (10-11:30) Weekly Meeting (TBD)
Description:
Brazos County has a significantly higher number of religious congregations than the average county in Texas. Along with this, it also has a significantly higher rate of food insecurity among its citizens. These two realities, ostensibly, should not exist simultaneously in the same area. The purpose of this research project is to investigate the relationship between religious bodies and food security issues. Initially, we will explore baseline statistical data to establish the relationship. Further, we will create contacts with as many religious bodies as possible in order to perform participant-observational research with their food related service programs, investigating the variation across religion, denomination, size, and structure. The goal is to determine, if possible, what aspects of religious organizations—if any—affect food security issues in their community, and how. This project will emphasize a sociological imagination when thinking about religious issues in a community. As such, all religious activities will be treated objectively and with respect at all times
Fall 2018: Researching Teachers’ Lives: Early 20th Century Texas Full Team
Project Leader:
Karen McIntush
kgm91@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Lynn Burlbaw, Ph.D
Meeting Times:
Will be determined based upon researchers' and participants' schedules. An afternoon timeframe of 1-2 hours weekly is most likely.
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members will have the chance to earn co-authorship on a paper(s) and/or presentation; possibly attend regional conference(s), gain experience with research and data analysis, support with academic writing, interact with faculty and other graduate student teams, and earn research credit. - Students who successfully complete the fall project work will be invited to reapply for following semesters.
Team Needs:
Participants must be accountable and self-motivated with a strong work ethic. -Participants should understand the value and necessity of detailed and accurate work as it contributes to the analysis of printed materials. -A “can do attitude,” a research interest, and the ability to make reasoned decisions will contribute to a successful experience - Dedication, highly motivated, hard working, enthusiasm. - Skills to meet virtually when face-to-face is not possible -No research experience required. -Interested students should email their resume and Fall schedule to the contact person. -In-person or virtual interviews are required.
Description:
Students participating in this project will learn qualitative and quantitative research skills as they work with primary sources related to teachers and their work in Texas in general, and Brazoria County specifically. Graduate students and a faculty member in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture will guide and direct this project. Students will work on categorizing archival data from the Brazoria County schools using archives and publications from ~1890 -1921. Excel will be used to organize the data, but facility in Excel is not required - the project will teach, if necessary, participating students the Microsoft Word and Excel skills needed. We are also using the power of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to unlock the component of location as a part of this research. Project leaders especially welcome TLAC students who want to learn about their future occupation’s historical past.
Fall 2018: Effect of Cd on Chicken Embryo Heart Development Full Team
Project Leader:
Naomi McCauley
naomimccauley9696@tamu.edu
Nutrition and Food Science
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Linglin Xie, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Find 6 hours/week out of MWF 12:30-15:30; R 14:30-17:00; T 9:00-12:00 (2nd and 4th week of the month); R 9:00-12:00 (1st and 3rd week of the month); F 12:30-17:00 (2nd and 3rd week of the month)
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunities include gaining hands-on experience on research, reading scientific papers, and presentation at Student Research Week. Possible honor thesis opportunity for students who are willing to continue for the entire year at Dr. Xie’s lab and contribute greatly to the project.
Team Needs:
Experience is not required to join the project. We are calling for students who are curious about research and are willing to read research papers alongside research. Students who sign up for this project will be required to sign up for 3 credit hrs of NUTR 485 (6 hrs of research + approx 1 hr of reading/week)
Description:
Our study aims to elucidate the teratogenic effects of Cd in early chicken embryonic development. Team members will be able to learn general and molecular biology techniques, including DNA and RNA isolation, PCR, gel-electrophoresis, as well as histology techniques, such as tissue sectioning, staining, imaging, and heart defect identification. Members will also read and practice scientific writing.
Fall 2018: Iron-Sulfur Based Biosensors Full Team
Affiliations:
Nanoscale Biological Engineering Lab
Project Leader:
Aishwarya Mahadevan
aishmahadp@tamu.edu
Biological & Agricultural Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Sandun Fernando, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Varies
Team Size:
0 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Possibility of earning co-authorship upon the publication of the group research project manuscript, Learn to fabricate and test glucose biosensors using electrochemical techniques, Develop writing skills
Team Needs:
Excel, graphing/plotting software, preferably some lab experience. Self-driven, strong work ethic, positive attitude, flexible work schedule. Junior year or above in science or engineering degree
Description:
This research project focuses primarily on the assembly of Fe-S molecular wires between enzymes on electrode surfaces to function as electron shuttles. Fe-S complexes are the core group of molecules in the biological electron transport chain that accepts and transports electrons from cofactors to target electron acceptors. Despite the resistance of cofactors to cyclically oxidize, reduce and mobilize electrons when used for bioelectronic applications outside a living cell, Fe-S complexes seem to have a unique combination of properties that allow unimpeded electron transport inside a living cell. The Aggie Re-search Leadership Team will work on optimizing the electrode fabrication aspects and working conditions for the Fe-S-based wired enzyme electrodes, thus enhancing its electron transport characteristics.
Fall 2018: The Dynamic Team, Dynamic Modeling Skills in Response to Complex Future Needs Full Team
Project Leader:
Layal Maddah
Lsmaddah@tamu.edu
Civil Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Jean-Louis Briaud, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
This is an opportunity for students interested in finite element modeling. The goal is to create a practical understanding of finite-element modeling through documenting your learning experience. This would contribute in activation of knowledge-sharing endeavor that is essential to boost productivity in projects that involve finite element modeling. This also equips the students with scarce skills that are essential to solve complex engineering problems. Just like any other experience, it is what you make of it. If you decide to excel, you will have all the support that you need throughout and beyond this program.
Team Needs:
Preferred hard skills (at least one): Matlab Skills (programming, automation, compiling)/ Graphic and PowerPoint (Prezi) Skills/ Video Edition/ (Advanced) Excel/ Web Design Soft skills (as much as possible! ):creativity, reliability, good communication skills, being fun to work with, an interest in changing the world!
Description:
The goal of this project is to provide guidelines for the design of barrier-wall systems subject to vehicle crash. This improves road-side safety and redirect errant vehicles back into the highway. The walls studied are mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls, made of inter-layers of compacted soil and reinforcement strips. Look around while you are driving (BE CAREFUL!!), and you will see that these systems are heavily adopted in our transportation systems at bridge approaches (Yes, with the cute-looking paneled walls). The project includes full-scale crash tests and "fancy" simulations of these crash tests using a finite element software (LS-DYNA).
Fall 2018: Automation, The New Language in the Infrastructure Industry Full Team
Project Leader:
Layal Maddah
Lsmaddah@tamu.edu
Civil Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Prof. Jean-Louis Briaud, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
This is an opportunity to develop an end-to-end solution.
Team Needs:
Programming background (Python (& preferably Bokeh Python)/ R/ other) Knowledge in statistical/ machine learning Preparation of Apps
Description:
This is an opportunity for students with programming background interested in applying their knowledge to add value to the engineering industry and get practical experience. The goal is to apply cutting edge technologies to optimize processing of data. This leads to the production of consistently high-quality results, especially whenever repetitive processes take place. Simply said, what you will be working with is crafting the future of the civil engineering industry, through bridging the gap between civil engineering applications and knowledge and technology. So are you up for a challenge? Do you want to provide infrastructure for the infrastructure industry?
Fall 2018: Disruptive Technology Usage by Non-State Actors Full Team
Project Leader:
Annie Lui
annie-lui@tamu.edu
Political Science
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Danny Davis, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Late afternoon / Evenings, flexible
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
You'll gain insight into the process of researching and earn skills that are invaluable. You will have the opportunity to conduct research and write a research paper, and gain a deeper understanding of disruptive technologies. This project also contributes to a larger research project.
Team Needs:
We are seeking a team of 4-5 students from various academic background related to disruptive technologies and its application, including political science, engineering, computer science, etc. Students should be self-driven with strong work ethic. No research experience is needed, but willingness to learn and ask questions are a must. No background knowledge on disruptive technology is necessary, though helpful. Expected to attend weekly meetings, which will be decided once we have a team
Description:
Disruptive technologies are becoming more common among non-state actors in recent years. Rapid technological advancement have created the need to understand how these technologies are affecting the world. Furthermore, the need exists to not only analyze present usage of disruptive technologies, but also foresee likely future development and influence as these technologies become more integrated into warfare, intelligence, and other arenas. The goal for this research is to gain a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the current and future use of descriptive technologies, as well as how they are influencing the world in political, economical, and other ways. A research paper of 5-10 pages will be written to deliver our findings based on scholarly sources and our interpretations.
Fall 2018: Improving Student Experiences to Increase Student Engagement (ISE-2) Full Team
Affiliations:
Improving Student Experiences to Increase Student Engagement (ISE-2); Bergman Psychology Lab
Project Leader:
Sin-Ning Liu
sinning.cindy.liu@tamu.edu
Psychological & Brain Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Mindy Bergman, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Wednesdays 8:30-10:00 AM
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunity to present at Student Research Week; possible opportunities to be authors on research papers, posters, or symposia.
Team Needs:
Undergraduate researchers who are able to work with both quantitative data and qualitative data collected from the ISE-2 project.
Description:
“Improving Student Experiences to Increase Student Engagement” (ISE-2) was awarded to Texas A&M University by the National Science Foundation, through EEC-Engineering Diversity Activities. ISE-2 is a faculty development program focused on reducing implicit bias and increasing active learning, with the goals of (a) increasing student engagement, success, and retention, and (b) ultimately seeing greater increases for underrepresented minority (URM), women, and first-generation students. Ten faculty teaching first- and second-year Engineering courses participated in the first cohort of ISE-2 in Summer 2017, which consisted of three workshops and six informal “coffee conversations”. At the conclusion of the workshops, each faculty was tasked with completing a teaching plan for the Fall 2017 semester, to incorporate the strategies and knowledge from ISE-2 into the courses they plan to teach. Focus groups with the ISE-2 faculty were conducted in Fall 2017 to obtain feedback about the faculty development program. Classroom observations were conducted using environmental scans and the Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS) to assess the classroom climate of faculty in the experimental (ISE-2) and control groups. Student surveys were also administered to students who were taught by ISE-2 faculty and control group faculty to assess student engagement and classroom climate. In the Fall 2018 semester, undergraduate students will work with both quantitative data and qualitative data collected from the ISE-2 project. On the qualitative side, the students will assist in the analysis of environmental scans of classroom observations, COPUS coding of classroom observations, focus group transcripts, teaching plans, and final reflections. On the quantitative side, the students will help with data cleaning and basic analysis for classroom observation student surveys and junior Engineering student surveys.
Fall 2018: Algebraic Model to Characterize Chronic Adaptation when Ventricular Diastolic Volume is Both Cause and Effect of Ventricular Wall Stress Full Team
Affiliations:
Biomedical Research Certificate Program
Project Leader:
Vanessa Liu
vanessaliu@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
MWF 1:50-2:40pm
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members will gain research experience on scientific reading and writing, earn research credit, and potential co-authorship on paper. The project will possibly continue into the spring semester and team members could potentially present in conferences and obtain letters of recommendation.
Team Needs:
We are looking for dedicated, hardworking BIMS and Biomedical Engineering students who have strong writing and math abilities and are interested in biomedical research. Matlab experience is preferred but not required.
Description:
The mechanisms impacting chronic adaptation of cardiac ventricles are difficult to identify, because diastolic volume is both the cause and effect of ventricular wall stress. Diastolic volume affects the ability of the ventricle to pump blood out of the venous system, thus impacting diastolic pressure and wall stress. Conversely, chronic changes in filling pressure affect ventricular wall stress, leading to growth and remodeling that alters diastolic volume. To characterize this interaction of biomechanics and mechanobiology, investigators typically employ sophisticated numerical methods to solve complex mathematical models. Because it is necessary to assume a large number of parameter values pertaining to a particular physiological state, the results lack generality. Therefore, the purpose of the present work is to develop a general algebraic formula that predicts diastolic volume and wall stress in terms of mechanical properties of the cardiovascular system.
Fall 2018: Selective Laser Melting 3D Printer Chamber Full Team
Affiliations:
Laboratory for Additive Manufacturing of Extreme Materials
Project Leader:
Ming Li
xaviorsbear2015@tamu.edu
Engineering Technology & Industrial Distribution
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Chao Ma, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
1
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
1) Hands on experience of metal 3D printer, state-of-art knowledge of 3D printing technologies 2) Valuable experience in extreme working environment controlling.
Team Needs:
4-5 engineering students who have one of the following experiences: (1) Metal machining, (2) Plastic 3D printing, (3) PCBs, (4) Tubing design for air or liquid, (5) electronic programming
Description:
Big changes are brought by 3D printing in various industries nowadays. Metal 3D printing opens up opportunities for engineers to make the 'impossible' product. The aim of this project is to build up a chamber in conjunction with a lab-designed metal 3D printer. At the end of the project, the research group needs to deliver a functional chamber which have a good sealing ability and a easy-to-operate vacuum system with close- or open-loop inert gas system. The research team will be creating solutions to figure out the engineering challenges.
Fall 2018: ECE major, Power Electronics Project Full Team
Affiliations:
Renewable Energy and Advanced Power Electronics Research Laboratory
Project Leader:
Minjeong Kim
kim14909@tamu.edu
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Robert S. Balog, Ph.D
Meeting Times:
Monday, 1:00-3:00pm
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Co-authorship on publication, ECEN 491 credits, Hands on experience
Team Needs:
Must have taken fundamental circuit theory courses, ( for example ECEN 214 or 215 ), previous experience in embedded coding, circuit testing are desired but not required
Description:
The goal of this project is to develop new control methods for inverters used for solar power. This project will be mainly about conducting experiments for power electronics circuits so you can have opportunities to work with various EE lab equipment including PCBs, power supplies, voltage and current probes, oscilloscope etc.
Fall 2018: Childhood Food Insecurity Full Team
Project Leader:
Marita John
marita01@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Sarah Gatson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
MW 4p-5p T5p-6p (TBD)
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
co-authorship on publications
Team Needs:
Interest in this research and all majors are welcomed.
Description:
We will be conducting research on all the influential factors of Childhood Food Insecurity by analyzing trends and causes throughout history and current events. We will research childhood food security in our community, the Brazos Valley, in order to compare and contrast the results with national childhood food security. Exploring the correlations and causation of attributes in different circumstances will allow us to properly tackle this growing crisis.
Fall 2018: Behavioral and Environmental Risk Characteristics Linked to Child and Youth Outcomes Full Team
Affiliations:
Tropical Pesticide Research Institute and the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania; Pennsylvania State University
Project Leader:
Francisco A. "Alex" Montiel Ishino
fami@tamu.edu
Health & Kinesiology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Tamika Gilreath, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Wed 2:00-4:00pm
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will be able to learn and hone the skills necessary to become successful graduate students in health and social science related fields. Prospective students will work with national and international level data as well as take part in study designs for global public health and health education projects. Opportunities will include earning co-authorship for publications, developing abstracts for and possibly attending professional research conferences, letters of recommendation, or becoming a member of our research group with prospect of conducting fieldwork and data collection in the US and abroad.
Team Needs:
Skills and familiarity preferred with: critical reading and thinking, following directions and completing tasks independently, academic/professional writing, qualitative and quantitative methods and analysis, detailed note taking, conducting literature searchers, reading and synthesizing information from the peer-reviewed literature, organizing and storing peer-reviewed literature in reference software (e.g., EndNote, Zotero, ReadCube, etc.), data entry and management and related software (e.g., Excel, SPSS, etc.), statistical software packages (e.g., SPSS, SAS, STATA, MiniTab, etc.), and most important will be the desire to learn and apply what is learned from this experience to the student's future endeavors.
Description:
The project consists of examining behavioral and environmental factors that increase the risk of negative health outcomes in young children and youths. The grad-student led project is a study that will use data from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) for Tanzania and Kenya to analyze risk factors for young (under-5-years-of-age) child outcomes. The DHS data and subsequent analyses are part of an ongoing collaboration with the East African Community - Tropical Pesticide Research Institute and the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania. Other research projects under Dr. Tamika Gilreath are examining risk in American youths using using novel statistical methods on primary data from ongoing projects, as well as secondary data from nationally representative data sets (e.g., YBRSS; NHANES).
Fall 2018: Polymer Coatings for Corrosion Protection of Metal Substrates Full Team
Affiliations:
Dr. Sukhishvili's research group
Project Leader:
Hanna Hlushko
hanna.hlushko@tamu.edu
Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Svetlana Sukhishvili, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Possibility to be a part of the publication or presentation at the conference if participated in the project for couple of semesters and made a significant impact to the final results.
Team Needs:
Active team members with basic organic and polymer chemistry knowledge
Description:
The project will include metal substrates preparation (polishing), Layer-by-layer assembly of polyelectrolyte complexes on metal substrates (spin-coating, dipping methods), corrosion studies (electrochemical impedance spectroscopy), as well as coatings characterization (with ellipsometry, AFM, and light microscopy).
Fall 2018: Genetic Determinants of Virus Induced Neuropathology II Full Team
Affiliations:
Dr. David Threadgill, Dr. Jane Welsh
Project Leader:
Austen Herron
Austen.herron@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Candice Brinkmeyer-Langford, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
varies
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Description:
Infection with Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) can cause various neurological conditions in mice which are similar to multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease in humans. This makes TMEV an excellent tool for studying varied outcomes following viral infection, a phenomenon that occurs similarly in humans. The determinant of the outcome is the genetic makeup of the individual. Each of the responses to TMEV causes observable symptoms in mice, including altered gait. In this study, the specific area of interest is the effects of TMEV infection on the gait of different strains of Collaborative Cross mice. It was hypothesized that gait would be affected differently depending on the strain of mice and their genetic background. Infected and sham-infected (control) mice were studied over a period of 90 days, during which a number of gait parameters were measured three times using the DigiGait analysis system. The first of these gait measurements was taken pre-infection to be used as a baseline. A second data collection occurred ~21 days post-infection (dpi) and the final measurement was taken at ~90 dpi, just prior to sacrifice and tissue collection. We observed strain-specific differences in gait parameters as measured objectively via DigiGait. Additionally, we also observed differences between sexes in mice of the same strain for some parameters. In summary, gait differences are useful examples of how genetic background influences response to TMEV infection. The studentswill be responsible for regularly checking mice (weighing and phenotyping), communicating with LARR personnel when cages or other equipment are needed, and assisting with: necropsies, organ collection and processing, RNA extractions, qPCR, RNAseq experiments and related activities (such as evaluating RNA quality), cytokine profiling experiments and related activities, data entry, and data interpretation as needed.
Fall 2018: Ventricular Atresia: Developing the First Animal Model for Single Ventricle Physiology Full Team
Project Leader:
Anson Harris
anson_harris@tamu.edu
Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD based on team member availability
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Significant scientific contribution to a successful project will result in co-authorship of conference proposals
Team Needs:
Participants will have the opportunity to develop novel skills while learning about cardiovascular physiology. Special requirements include: all undergraduates will be required to enroll in 3 credit hours of VTPP 291 or 491.
Description:
Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) occurs when the left ventricle fails to develop normally, requiring infants to undergo multiple surgeries to survive with a single right ventricle. The incidence of HLHS is nearly 1,000 per year in the United States, and is one of the more common of the congenital heart defects. It is believed that HLHS can result during early fetal development when valves of the ventricle do not open completely or the aorta carrying blood from the left ventricle is narrowed. This hypothesis has not yet been tested. In fact, research to elucidate the causes and treatment of HLHS in human infants is severely limited by the lack of an animal model of HLHS. The purpose of this project is to attempt to develop an animal model of HLHS using the chick embryo model (within the shell or ex-ovo). We hypothesize that coarcting (narrowing) the aorta early in embryonic development will result in HLHS. To our knowledge, this approach has never been attempted. Thus participation in this project will require ingenuity and a willingness to develop new skills. Most importantly, this project will require a high degree of persistence, despite the knowledge that there is a high probability that this project will ultimately fail. The main motivation for participants will be that this project may yield the first animal model for HLHS, providing a much-needed research tool to better the lives of infants with this devastating congenital heart defect.
Fall 2018: Ex Ovo optimization Full Team
Project Leader:
Anson Harris
anson_harris@tamu.edu
Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Possibility of a conference presentation, with significant contributors having their name on any created abstracts as well as be listed as co-authors. This project will also allow for the development of lab and research skills
Team Needs:
Willingness to work with chicken embryos Ability to work independently in a group setting Flexible schedule All undergrads required to enroll in VTPP 291/491 (3 credit hour research)
Description:
The chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) is an excellent model to study the structure and function of development of the fetal heart and vasculature, given rapidity of growth, cost, and ease of use. Although the CAM model can be studied in situ (inside of the shell), investigators have prefered growing the chick ex-ovo (outside of the shell) to provide easy access for serial study of the same vessels of the microvascular network over the course of multiple days. However, the ex-ovo CAM model has not been optimized for chronic microvascular studies, which requires access for intravital microscopy, prevention of infection, and control of environmental humidity and temperature. The purpose of this project is therefore to develop a novel microvascular ex-ovo cam model that is robust, easy to implement, inexpensive, and amenable to become the basis of a large-scale resource for the new Certificate Program in Biomedical Research
Fall 2018: Team Processes and Interpersonal Mistreatment (Team #2) Full Team
Affiliations:
Dr. Winfred Arthur, Jr.'s Industrial/Organizational Psychology Lab
Project Leader:
Ellen Hagen
elli_hagen2346@tamu.edu
Psychological & Brain Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Winfred Arthur, Jr., Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursdays, 4-6pm
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
How will this benefit you? PSYC 485 credit hours (3 hours per semester) Certification as an Aggie Research Scholar Opportunity to learn about the research process and industrial/organizational psychology Recommendation letters contingent on satisfactory performance
Team Needs:
This opportunity is open to all majors and classifications, however the following are required to participate in this team: Ability to commit to nine scheduled hours per week including a two hour lab meetings on Thursdays from 4-6pm Willingness to enroll in 3 credits of PSYC 485 Willingness to participate in the Aggie Research Leadership Program Minimum GPA of 3.0
Description:
Research Topics: Team processes Interpersonal mistreatment Responsibilities include: Attending training sessions and weekly meetings Proctoring laboratory sessions Reviewing videos and coding behaviors observed Data entry Literature reviews Reading journal articles
Fall 2018: Team Processes and Interpersonal Mistreatment Full Team
Affiliations:
Dr. Winfred Arthur, Jr.'s Industrial/Organizational Psychology Lab
Project Leader:
Ellen Hagen
elli_hagen2346@tamu.edu
Psychological & Brain Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Winfred Arthur, Jr., Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursday, 4-6pm
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
How will this benefit you? PSYC 485 credit hours (3 hours per semester) Certification as an Aggie Research Scholar Opportunity to learn about the research process and industrial/organizational psychology Recommendation letters contingent on satisfactory performance
Team Needs:
This opportunity is open to all majors and classifications, however the following are required to participate in this team: Ability to commit to nine scheduled hours per week including a two hour lab meetings on Thursdays from 4-6pm Willingness to enroll in 3 credits of PSYC 485 Willingness to participate in the Aggie Research Leadership Program Minimum GPA of 3.0
Description:
Research Topics: Team processes Interpersonal mistreatment Responsibilities include: Attending training sessions and weekly meetings Proctoring laboratory sessions Reviewing videos and coding behaviors observed Data entry Literature reviews Reading journal articles
Fall 2018: Support for Writing for English Language Learners Using Technology-Enhanced Instruction (SWELL-TEI) Full Team
Affiliations:
Ready-Set-Write Research Project
Project Leader:
Keith Graham
kmgraham@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. L. Quentin Dixon, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday afternnoons depending on participants' schedules.
Team Size:
2 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members will have the opportunity to gain experience with research and data analysis as well as receive support with academic writing. Team members will also have an opportunity to earn co-authorship on a paper to be submitted to a conference and/or journal.
Team Needs:
The ideal candidate would be literate in both English and Spanish. No research experience is required. Participants should have a positive attitude, a strong work ethic, and a willingness to learn. Skills needed for the project will be taught and discussed during weekly meetings.
Description:
The undergraduate students participating in this project will be part of a research team consisting of graduate students in the College of Education and Human Development. The undergraduate student will be involved in different phases of the project, including a) recruiting participants; b) administering standardized assessments; c) data collection, management and preliminary analysis; d) drafting sections of a conference proposal or a journal article; and e) administrative tasks that may involve translation from English to Spanish. These experiences will not only familiarize the undergraduate student with a critical area of research and essential steps of conducting an empirical research project, but also help her or him to develop the capacity to conduct independent research in the future.
Fall 2018: Intelligent Motion Video Guidance for Unmanned Air System Ground Target Tracking Full Team
Affiliations:
Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory (VSCL) - Department of Aerospace Engineering
Project Leader:
Vinicius Guimaraes Goecks
vinicius.goecks@tamu.edu
Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. John Valasek, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Wed 11am-noon (subject to change to fit team member's needs)
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Team Needs:
There are two main development areas at this moment: 1) Scale down UAS platform Description: We currently fly a vehicle that requires a runaway to takeoff and land. We would like to replicate our current system on a small aircraft. We already have the small aircraft, but need to investigate how to design a flight computer system that meets the maximum payload of the aircraft. Needs: Familiarity with (or desire to learn about) RaspberryPi or other single-board computer, UAS hardware, Python, and Linux. 2) Improve simulation environment and training of intelligent agents Description: Our current agent controls only the roll rate of the aircraft. The ideal learning agent would also controls throttle and pitch rate. To make this work, we need to develop a simulated environment that is able to simulate a linear aircraft model and a learning algorithm that will be able to communicate with it. Needs: Familiarity with (or desire to learn about) Llearning algorithms, Python, and Linux.
Description:
Surveillance and visual tracking of ground targets using Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) is challenging when the camera is strapdown, or fixed to the airframe without a pan-and-tilt capability, rather than gimbaled, so that the vehicle must be steered to orient the camera field of view. Visual tracking is even more difficult when the target follows an unpredictable path. In this project, we fly a fixed-wing small UAS with a fixed, strapdown, camera to detect and follow a target (generally, a moving vehicle) based on camera information. We use machine learning algorithms (specifically, reinforcement learning) to train an intelligent agent to control the UAS in order to keep the target in the image frame. The agent is trained on a simulated environment and later deployed to the real UAS. Please check our website for videos and more information: https://proxy.qualtrics.com/proxy/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fsites.google.com%2Ftamu.edu%2Fvscl-tracking&token=d9w7ZmXpFbv5f%2BnRdtvL%2FOzdjRmQlTT%2BIDsrTeRfiew%3D
Fall 2018: Historical Archival Research integrating GIS and Excel Full Team
Project Leader:
Karla Garza
karla.garza@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Lynn Burlbaw, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Tentative: W 3:00-4:00
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members will have the chance to earn co-authorship on a paper(s) and/or presentation; possibly attend regional conference(s), gain experience with research and data analysis, support with academic writing, interact with faculty and other graduate student teams, and earn research credit. - Students who successfully complete the spring project work will be invited to reapply for following semesters. -Students can receive research hour credits with Faculty Mentor approval
Team Needs:
Participants must be accountable and self-motivated with a strong work ethic. -Participants should understand the value and necessity of detailed and accurate work as it contributes to the analysis of printed materials. -A “can do attitude,” a research interest, and the ability to make reasoned decisions will contribute to a successful experience - Dedication, highly motivated, hard working, enthusiasm. - skills to meet virtually when face-to-face is not possible -No research experience required
Description:
Students participating in this group are continuing on from Spring 2018. Students participating in this project will learn qualitative and quantitative research skills as they work with primary sources related to teachers and their work in Texas in general, and Brazoria County specifically. Graduate students and a faculty member in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture will guide and direct this project. Students will work on categorizing archival data from the Brazoria County schools using archives and publications from ~1890 -1921. GIS and Excel will be used to organize the data, but facility in Excel is not required - the project will teach, if necessary, participating students the Microsoft Word and Excel skills needed
Fall 2018: Cotton Plant-Insect Herbivore Interactions Affected by Microbiome Manipulations Full Team
Affiliations:
Sword lab, Entomology https://swordlab.tamu.edu/
Project Leader:
Cody Gale
codygale@tamu.edu
Entomology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Gregory Sword, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Friday, 2:30 PM
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Previous students to work on this project have gone on to present their research at multiple local and regional conferences including the Ecological Integration Symposium and the Beltwide Cotton Conference. Previous students won awards for their research at the Ecological Integration Symposium and the department-wide Entomology Mentorship Symposium. These students are attending a national conference this year in Vancouver.
Team Needs:
Students must enroll in ENTO491 with Dr. Greg Sword for a minimum of 1 credit hour, a departmental requirement. This team will be co-advised by myself and another student/lab manager. Students need to work well in teams, especially pairs. Students are encouraged to engage in public speaking events about the research. Students need to actively and consistently communicate with advisors, yet need to be able to work independently.
Description:
We are interested in the effects of experimental manipulations of the plant microbiome on plant-insect interactions. The plant microbiome has recently been recognized as a major contributor to plant health. We will be treating cotton seeds with spores of certain fungi that are known to affect insect herbivore behavior. We will be assessing the extent to which these fungi colonize the plant and exist as endophytes. We will also assess the ways in which these treatments affect the odor molecules emitted from the plants, as these are known to be important in plant-insect interactions. Students will learn how to rear insects and plants for experiments, how to work in a sterile environment to create microbial cultures, and how to mix and analyze standard solutions for gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, plus more. Students who are interested in entomology, plant ecology, and chemical ecology should apply. Students who would like to earn experience with microscopy, GC-MS, and biological experimental designs should apply.
Fall 2018: Why do Locusts Swarm: the Molecular Basis of Density-Dependent Phase Polyphenism in Locusts Full Team
Affiliations:
To learn more about our lab, check out our website: https://proxy.qualtrics.com/proxy/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fschistocerca.org%2FSongLab%2F&token=4%2FrpoPMFxUr%2B8qB8Uqubb0zMIrZYp%2Fk%2Fw8%2F53BfytXY%3D
Project Leader:
Bert Foquet
Bert.Foquet@gmail.com
Entomology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Hojun Song, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
To be determined, based upon class schedules of undergraduate students.
Team Size:
0 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
This research project is a perfect opportunity to learn exciting molecular techniques like RNAi. Moreover, it is likely to result in publishable data, giving undergraduate students not only a valuable research experience but also co-authorship on a paper.
Team Needs:
We need motivated undergraduate students with a capacity to learn. A background in Entomology or molecular work is preferred but not needed. Students joining our lab will use a wide variety of techniques including behavioral assays, picture analysis, grasshopper rearing and molecular techniques like RNA-extractions, qPCR and RNAi.
Description:
Locusts are grasshoppers that swarm and exhibit density-dependent phase polyphenism, meaning they occur in two different phases dependent on locust density. The solitarious phase is found under low density, and is represented by inactive individuals that avoid each other, and green nymphal coloration. In contrast, individuals in the gregarious phase, found under high density, are highly active, are attracted by each other and their nymphal coloration consists of black spots on a yellow/orange background. Our lab is characterizing this polyphenism at a molecular level in the Central-American locust (Schistocerca piceifrons) and three related non-swarming grasshoppers. To achieve this goal, we use RNA interference (RNAi) technology to reduce gene expression of well-chosen target genes, and analyze its influence on locust behavior.
Fall 2018: Programmable toys, Robotics, and Micro-controllers in STEM Education Full Team
Affiliations:
Aggie STEM
Project Leader:
Aamir Fidai
aamirfidai@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Robert Capraro, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunity to learn research skills, and be a part of research study resulting in publications. All participants will be offered an opportunity to be part of development of a educational robot.
Team Needs:
A desire to learn about research methods and a passion for Education. Team members also need to have an ability (and willingness) to work independently and in small groups. Team members should be able to attend one face-to-face group meeting to present finding and engage in productive discussions.
Description:
This project will engage participants in detailed literature review of the research concerning the use of programmable toys, Robotics and micro-controller devices in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. The participants will also have an opportunity to engage in working directly with these products to gain a hands-on experience. Participants will have an opportunity to contribute to a meta-analysis and a systematic review of available literature as co-author.
Fall 2018: Carbon Dioxide Utilization through Polymer Synthesis Integration Full Team
Project Leader:
Jared Enriquez
jme9982@tamu.edu
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Mahmoud El-Halwagi, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will have the opportunity to gain experience with research, process design, group discussions and presentations, and computational skills through ASPEN modeling; Possibility of publication/conference opportunities.
Team Needs:
Students majoring in chemical engineering or those interested in process design are encouraged to apply. No computational experience is necessary
Description:
As atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continue to rise, interest in finding methods to utilize the greenhouse gas in productive and meaningful ways has increased. One instance of potential carbon dioxide utilization comes from the processing of the growingly popular fuel source shale gas. In this project, the investigation of integrating carbon dioxide based polymer synthesis pathways with shale gas processing will take place in order to create an environmentally and economically beneficial system. The process will be modeled and simulated using ASPEN to find viable and optimal pathways.
Fall 2018: Genetic Determinants of Virus Induced Neuropathology I Full Team
Affiliations:
Dr. David Threadgill and Dr. Jane Welsh
Project Leader:
Raena Eldridge
raena@theeldridges.net
Biochemistry and Biophysics
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Candice Brinkmeyer-Langford, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
varies
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Description:
Infection with Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) can cause various neurological conditions in mice which are similar to multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease in humans. This makes TMEV an excellent tool for studying varied outcomes following viral infection, a phenomenon that occurs similarly in humans. The determinant of the outcome is the genetic makeup of the individual. Each of the responses to TMEV causes observable symptoms in mice, including altered gait. In this study, the specific area of interest is the effects of TMEV infection on the gait of different strains of Collaborative Cross mice. It was hypothesized that gait would be affected differently depending on the strain of mice and their genetic background. Infected and sham-infected (control) mice were studied over a period of 90 days, during which a number of gait parameters were measured three times using the DigiGait analysis system. The first of these gait measurements was taken pre-infection to be used as a baseline. A second data collection occurred ~21 days post-infection (dpi) and the final measurement was taken at ~90 dpi, just prior to sacrifice and tissue collection. We observed strain-specific differences in gait parameters as measured objectively via DigiGait. Additionally, we also observed differences between sexes in mice of the same strain for some parameters. In summary, gait differences are useful examples of how genetic background influences response to TMEV infection The students will be responsible for regularly checking mice (weighing and phenotyping), communicating with LARR personnel when cages or other equipment are needed, and assisting with: necropsies, organ collection and processing, RNA extractions, qPCR, RNAseq experiments and related activities (such as evaluating RNA quality), cytokine profiling experiments and related activities, data entry, and data interpretation as needed.
Fall 2018: Binder Jetting 3D Printer Full Team
Affiliations:
Laboratory for Additive Manufacturing of Extreme Materials
Project Leader:
Wenchao Du
wenchaodu@tamu.edu
Engineering Technology & Industrial Distribution
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Chao Ma, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
1
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Hands on experience of making a 3D printer, state-of-art knowledge of 3D printing technologies
Team Needs:
Must have one of the following experiences: (1) Metal machining, (2) Plastic 3D printing, (3) PCBs, (4) electronic programming. Undergraduate students from MMET program are preferred.
Description:
This project is to build a DIY binder jetting 3D printer. The initial design is ready, including CAD files, material list, and assembling steps. It will be mainly about parts machining, printing, and programming. You will have opportunities to work on various machining tools, 3D printing facilities, and electronic circuits.
Fall 2018: Mathematical Model of Intestinal Edema as Both the Cause and Effect of Prolonged Ileus Full Team
Project Leader:
Megan Dole
megan.dole@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Wednesday 9:10-10:00AM: Friday 1:50-2:40PM
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Co-authorship of a manuscript; 491 credit (3hrs) during Fall 2018 semester
Team Needs:
Proficient in mathematical modeling software (we use Mathematica) or scientific writing experience. Interest in biomedical research and willingness to read scientific manuscripts.
Description:
Edema is any accumulation of fluid volume in a space between tissues, and is the phenomenon responsible for what we see as swelling due to inflammation or injury. When edema is present in the intestines, the excess volume makes it harder for the intestines to pump (a motion called peristalsis, which is responsible for digestion and absorption of nutrients). Ileus is the cessation of peristalsis, and when the intestines don't pump, there is no force to push the excess fluid out of the interstitial space via the lymphatic system. The interaction between edema and ileus is categorized as a positive feedback system, and we've been working to develop a mathematical model to determine the onset of an unstable positive feedback loop as well as predict the primary mechanical properties responsible.
Fall 2018: Evaluating responses from politicians Full Team
Affiliations:
Political Science
Project Leader:
Kostanca Dhima
dhima1@tamu.edu
Political Science
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Diana O'Brien, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with collecting and analyzing research data as well as learning about experimental studies.
Team Needs:
Team members are not required to have prior research skills, but must be highly motivated and have a strong work ethic. We also expect that members attend weekly meetings.
Description:
This project analyzes email responses sent from politicians to constituents. I am seeking a research team to help build a data set that measures the quality of the responses. Team members will also have the opportunity to learn about experiments, how to measure ‘discrimination’ through experimental methods, and to perform statistical analyses to evaluate whether and how responsiveness differs by the gender, office, or party of the public official.
Fall 2018: Corrosion Study of Copper Concentrate Pipeline Full Team
Affiliations:
This project will be conducted in the The National Corrosion and Materials Reliability Lab (NCMRL) (to learn more visit https://proxy.qualtrics.com/proxy/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcorrosioncenter.tamu.edu%2F&token=YtyDendpzPKGI3Cxl3PkkBfwW1Tt3v%2FJ%2FzZh4DNWMLQ%3D) located in the Center for Infrastructure Renewal (CIR) at RELLIS Campus
Project Leader:
Yenny Paola Cubides Gonzalez
ypc2@tamu.edu
Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Homero Castaneda, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Friday, 10:00 am
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
The students will have the opportunity to learn how to conduct electrochemical testing as well as materials characterization and how to analyze the results. In addition, they have the opportunity to get involve in our NACE Texas A&M University chapter where they can learn more about corrosion and materials through our industry lecture series and at the same time they can establish a networking with our industry speakers for job opportunities. To learn more visit: https://proxy.qualtrics.com/proxy/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fnacetamu.com%2F&token=ccaiGw2EXcoImsCDLt%2BajeeEiLPH6oDwDq0CKrAnDN8%3D
Team Needs:
For this project we will need three undergraduate students helping us with the three major experimental parts of the project, that are described as the following tasks: - Task 1- Design and build of the physical prototypes in the laboratory to simulate internal corrosion and erosion in pipelines, as well as influence of microorganisms on corrosion rate - Task 2- Perform electrochemical testing such as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), linear polarization resistance (LPR), galvanostatic, potentiostatic, and weight loss - Task 3- Materials characterization after corrosion testing such as optical microscopy, SEM, EDS, XRD, and Raman spectroscopy
Description:
This project intends to use a series of advanced electrochemical techniques for characterizing and estimating corrosivity of a copper concentrated fluid (slurry) in specific pipeline samples. The technical outcome is the methodology and determination of corrosion degree in simulated operation conditions for different slurry samples that can guide indutry to find the path for the most effective selection of corrosion control and prevention action. This robust study of corrosion of pipeline that transports slurries at different grades offers a unique approach to investigate the corrosion rate and the mechanism influencing this process. The objectives of this study are as follows: • To simulate the corrosion process occurring in the pipeline that transports different concentrate grades. • • To estimate the pure corrosion / erosion-enhanced corrosion / corrosion-enhanced erosion / pure erosion rate and Microbial-induced corrosion (MIC) of the pipeline at different slurries concentrations • To understand the corrosion mechanisms at the pipeline/product interface formed by copper concentrate and factors influencing corrosion kinetics. • To characterize if some inhibitors are plausible for corrosion mitigation in this pipeline system.
Fall 2018: Primary Mechanical Determinants of Ejection Fraction Full Team
Affiliations:
Michael E. DeBakey Research Institute
Project Leader:
Kalli Crabtree
kcrabtree6@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher M. Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
MW 3:00-3:50
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Earning co-authorship of a manuscript to be published in a peer review journal; earn 491 credit in Fall 2018 semester
Description:
Ejection fraction (EF) is the the fraction of blood ejected by a ventricle and is one of the most common clinical measurements to used to assess cardiac function. We have solved the minimal closed-loop cardiovascular model to yield a formula for EF, then further simplified this formula to find which parameters of the closed-loop system affect ejection fraction the most.
Fall 2018: Human Anatomical Muscles in VR: A Student Pipeline Project Full Team
Affiliations:
The Visualization Department, TAMU College of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Integrative Biosciences Department
Project Leader:
Margaret Cook
atmgirl@email.tamu.edu
Visualization
Faculty Mentor:
Jinsil Hwaryoung Seo, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBA
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will have the ability to grow their professional portfolio, with the experience of medical animation. In addition, they will be working in a pipeline environment, while gaining research experience.
Team Needs:
1-2 students for each of the following areas of the pipeline for this project: modeling, texturing, rigging, animating, game engine integration and programming
Description:
Using an industry-style pipeline, undergraduate researchers will work to develop anatomically accurate models of human muscles, which will then be textured, rigged, and animated for use in an educational Virtual Reality platform. Members of the team will work together to troubleshoot/research issues in different areas of the pipeline. These areas will include modeling, texturing, rigging, animating, game engine integration, and programming.
Fall 2018: Everybody Eats: Enhancing Food Networks and Accessibility of WIC Participants Full Team
Affiliations:
Everybody Eats at the Sociology Ethnography Lab
Project Leader:
Marissa Cisneros
m.r.cisneros_12@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Sarah Gatson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Varies, primarily Fridays at 12:00
Team Size:
1 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Soda bottle hanging garden Alcoholic Keyhole Garden Greenhouse renovation Demonstration on building personal self-watering portable gardens (October 6th 8:30am-12:30pm) Vertical leafy green garden demonstration Reassemble current garden beds. Recipe book building
Team Needs:
Gardening and cooking experience (both in the home, work, or other avenues) is a plus but not required.
Description:
In building this sub area of research I use feminist pragmatism as a theoretical base and continual guidance for my research team and their individual research projects. This project is physically centered around a Brazos Valley Women Infant Care (WIC) location. The overarching research endeavor of my team is to investigate, collaborate and aid in nutritional foodways for WIC participants. By situating WIC research in this way, the five philosophical themes of feminist-pragmatism are invoked. The first two themes of feminist pragmatism are focused on the classroom area of this research project, valuing experience and epistemology. My students focus the generation of their individual research questions through their own experiences and interests within the social environment. This provides the team with the tools necessary to begin building an epistemological lens that, unlike the dominant academic rhetoric, understands social action as a precursor to research and not simply the offshoot. Team: My students consider the overarching research endeavor, and begin to formulate a research question of a barrier to nutritional foodways for WIC participants. They investigate through legal theory and research the overarching social annals, complexities and ramifications of this problem. We consistently correspond, providing each other group support for the emotional and epistemological strain of this research, and push each other forward. Through this research they then focus their educational endeavors (theme 3) on investigating their research question and create a community solution of social action to said research question (theme 4). Community: The culmination of these themes leads to the fifth theme of feminist pragmatism which is the endeavor for diversity and democracy. This theme focuses on the need to facilitate community and equality, striving for a pluralistic community that values the experiences and knowledge of minority groups, despite the devaluing of said knowledge and experience by the dominant frame. As apparent here, the first four themes aim to build said community, value and understand the WIC participants voices. Striving to understand their experience beyond that of a positivistic “research subjects” approach. By doing this, we involve WIC participants and aim to provide them with tools against nutritional barriers as our research develops. This is done using community gardens, personal self-watering gardens, low budget nutritionally and demographically conscious recipe books, and as the research develops possibly more. The loose formulation and aims of the community outcomes is purposeful, as early feminist pragmatists understood that epistemology is ever developing and changing, there is no set community aim beyond increasing equality and diversity.
Fall 2018: Nutrition Outreach for Food Insecure Populations Full Team
Affiliations:
"Everybody Eats: Experiences in Food Production and Consumption in the Brazos Valley"
Project Leader:
Katy Carlisle
katycarlisle12@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Sarah Gatson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will be exposed to topics in the sociology of religion, culture, race & ethnicity, and food. Hands-on, participant-observation driven research will accumulate community service hours and hopefully improve nutrition access for food insecure populations of Brazos County. Students will also have the opportunity to develop a research poster for the Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Team Needs:
Any student with an interest in developing nutrition information material for local food pantries is welcome to participate. Spanish language skills are particularly valuable in the research project.
Description:
This service-learning team will attend food pantry operation in Brazos County with an objective of identifying areas of nutritional knowledge that can be improved. Team members will participate in the volunteer activities of the food pantry to better understand the operation, and collaborate with volunteers on creating nutrition interventions in whatever form is most appropriate. This team will also collaborate with the “Overchurched, Underfed” research project and attend weekly meetings about the research.
Fall 2018: EU - Mercosur Free Trade Agreement: Implications for Agriculture Full Team
Affiliations:
Center for North American Studies
Project Leader:
Yuri Calil
yuricalil@tamu.edu
Agricultural Economics
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Luis Ribera, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
may vary (Tuesday 10 am)
Team Size:
2 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Depends on the student level of commitment.
Team Needs:
work with team; work with data; express academically; basic microeconomics and econometric skills.
Description:
This research proposes to investigate EU - Mercosur Free Trade Agreement (FTA) aiming to quantify its possible effects on international agricultural trade using gravity model.
Fall 2018: Exploring Beneficial Fungi via Insect-Microbe Interactions in Sorghum and Soybean Full Team
Affiliations:
The Sword Lab
Project Leader:
Leah Buchman
lwb43@tamu.edu
Entomology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Greg Sword, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
0 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will have the opportunity to conduct research, learn important laboratory techniques and participate in research discussions
Team Needs:
I would prefer students who can devote 2-3 hrs at a time, who demonstrate an interest in the field, who are inquisitive, curious, and have attention to detail. Previous experience in microbiology, lab work and statistics would be strongly recommended. Must register for ENTO 291 research credit, min 10 hours/week.
Description:
Beneficial fungi, also known as fungal endophytes are known to enhance plant nutrient uptake, reduce the spread of plant pathogens, stimulate plant growth and tolerate biotic (insect) and abiotic (drought) stressors. I am looking for students who are interested in investigating if these fungi can have an advantageous impact on sorghum's ability to resist/tolerate insect pests thus, allocating energy resources elsewhere
Fall 2018: Development of a High-Throughput Sample Preparation Method for Analysis of Algae Full Team
Affiliations:
Devarenne Lab, Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics
Project Leader:
Daniel Browne
dbrowne@tamu.edu
Biochemistry and Biophysics
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Timothy Devarenne, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participation in entrepreneurial ventures and business development activities
Team Needs:
Seeking undergraduate students with a passion for sustainability and renewable energy. No prior experience necessary, all team members will receive training. Relevant majors include, but are not limited to: Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Management Information Systems, Technology Management
Description:
Botryococcus braunii is a species of green algae that forms colonies and produces petroleum-equivalent liquid hydrocarbons. This organism could be an industrial-scale source of renewable and valuable advanced bioproducts. However, it is first necessary to build a strong understanding of the basic biological properties of B. braunii. A key component of this process is the cultivation and collection of the algae for further study. Numerous technologies already exist for harvesting algae and have been thoroughly reviewed (1). Some research has focused specifically on methods for harvesting B. braunii, including magnetic nanocomposites (2), magnetic flocculants (3), polymer immobilization (4), starch-based flocculants (6), thermoreversible gels (7), and glycine-induced harvesting (8). This project will focus on testing and optimizing a method for high-throughput collection and storage of algae biomass. It will involve the following activities: • Identify and implement tools for automated sample management • Prepare synthetic media and manage cultivation of algae biomass • Build and test protocols for magnetic or centrifugal biomass collection • Measure and analyze physical properties of the collected biomass • Develop and assess plans for scale-up and commercialization To apply, submit resume to Daniel Browne (dbrowne@tamu.edu) References 1. N. Pragya, K. K. Pandey, P. K. Sahoo, A review on harvesting, oil extraction and biofuels production technologies from microalgae. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 24, 159-171 (2013). 2. S. Hena, N. Fatihah, S. Tabassum, J. Lalung, S. Y. Jing, Magnetophoretic harvesting of freshwater microalgae using polypyrrole/Fe3O4 nanocomposite and its reusability. Journal of Applied Phycology, (2015). 3. S. K. Wang et al., Magnetic flocculant for high efficiency harvesting of microalgal cells. ACS applied materials & interfaces 6, 109-115 (2014). 4. N. D. Giraldo Calderón, K. C. Díaz Bayona, L. Atehortúa Garcés, Immobilization of the green microalga Botryococcus braunii in polyester wadding: Effect on biomass, fatty acids, and exopolysaccharide production. Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology 14, 80-87 (2018). 5. K. Gerulová et al., Magnetic Fe 3 O 4 -polyethyleneimine nanocomposites for efficient harvesting of Chlorella zofingiensis, Chlorella vulgaris, Chlorella sorokiniana, Chlorella ellipsoidea and Botryococcus braunii. Algal Research 33, 165-172 (2018). 6. C. Peng, S. Li, J. Zheng, S. Huang, D. Li, Harvesting Microalgae with Different Sources of Starch-Based Cationic Flocculants. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 181, 112-124 (2017). 7. B. Estime, D. Ren, R. Sureshkumar, Cultivation and energy efficient harvesting of microalgae using thermoreversible sol-gel transition. Scientific reports 7, 40725 (2017). 8. Y. Shen, W. Zhu, C. Chen, Y. Nie, Glycine induced culture-harvesting strategy for Botryococcus braunii. Journal of bioscience and bioengineering 121, 424-430 (2016)
Fall 2018: Design and Creation of a Physical Model of the Cardiovascular Closed Loop Model. Full Team
Project Leader:
Jacob Brown
Brown6711@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Chance at co-authorship for anyone with a significant scientific contribution and possibility of presenting at a national conference
Team Needs:
Undergraduates with knowledge of or are willing to learn about the cardiovascular system, enjoy assembling things, and are able to think out of the box. Having proficiencies in math or writing is a plus. Can enroll in VTPP/BMEN 291/491 for a 3 hour credit.
Description:
Blood pressure and flow in the cardiovascular system arises from the complex interaction of the ventricles, large arteries and veins, and the small resistive vessels. Although the individual parts are relatively simple, their interaction can be hard to predict or understand. Although there are many mathematical models and dozens of physical models of individual parts of the cardiovascular system, a mechanical representation of the entire cardiovascular system is lacking. This project will focus on designing and creating a physical model of a closed loop system that correctly represents the system and can help teach students about the cardiovascular system in a more interactive way. Students will have an opportunity to develop a model that hopefully will be used in K-12 schools and colleges. With successful design, implementation, and testing, they will also have an opportunity to present at a national conference.
Fall 2018: Increasing Incidence of Spotted Fever Rickettsiosis in the United States Full Team
Project Leader:
Jennifer Borski
jborski@tamu.edu
Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Hsiao-Hsuan Rose Wang, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to learn quantitative and computational skills through hands-on experience collecting, organizing, analyzing and interpreting data. Significant scientific contribution to a successful project will result in conference presentations and/or co-authorship of peer-reviewed scientific papers.
Team Needs:
We are particularly interested in undergraduates who are interested in quantitative epidemiology.
Description:
Spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsioses are notifiable conditions in the United States caused by the highly pathogenic Rickettsia rickettsii and less pathogenic rickettsial species such as Rickettsia parkeri and Rickettsia sp. 364D. We aim to summarize the passive surveillance of SFG rickettsioses in the United States with onset dates from 2000 to 2017. We then will investigate the spatio-temporal patterns and hostspot detection of the cases based on spatial statistical analyses.
Fall 2018: Neural Substrates of Alcohol Use Disorder Full Team
Project Leader:
Annalise Binette
abinette@tamu.edu
Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Jun Wang, Ph.D
Meeting Times:
Friday 2-3 PM
Team Size:
0 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will primarily assist with data collection and analysis in on-going experiments that utilize a combination of optogenetic, chemogenetic and pharmacological approaches. Students will gain experience with handling of lab animals and recording of animal behavior. Additionally, students may have the opportunity to develop skills in histology, microscopy, animal breeding and genotyping, stereotaxic surgery and preparation of pharmaceutical agents and solutions as necessary.
Team Needs:
Students should be a sophomore or junior in good academic standing and have a strong interest in scientific research. Students are required to devote a minimum of 12 hours/week to lab.
Description:
Alcohol use disorder affects millions of individuals and has a significant negative impact on society. Understanding the neural circuitry mediating alcohol use is crucial to the development of new treatment strategies. Current projects in our lab are focused on manipulating distinct striatal cell types and circuits to elucidate their role in alcohol-seeking and consumption in an animal model.
Fall 2018: Desktop Cement 3D Printer Full Team
Project Leader:
Abhinav Bhardwaj
abhinavb@tamu.edu
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Zhijian Pei, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBA
Team Size:
1 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Special opportunities: Work on an exciting project, possible publications and conference attendance
Team Needs:
eam Needs Desired candidates are expected to have experience with (or are willing to learn) the following: 1) Knowledge of cement materials and characterization/testing of cementitious materials such as slump test, compression test, bending test to name a few. 2) Experience working with RepRap Arduino-compatible Mother Board systems, programming stepper motors and assembling circuits 3) Experience with programming C, G-code Experience with Solidworks and machining
Description:
The objective of this research is to develop an extrusion-based desktop-scale 3D cement printer.
Fall 2018: Evaluation of Dietary components in regards to the prevalence of necrotic enteritis Full Team
Project Leader:
Ariel Bergeron
anbergeron@tamu.edu
Poultry Science
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Audrey McElroy, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Undergraduate Researchers will have the opportunity for hands-on experience not only in avian husbandry, but basic lab skills. Undergraduate's may also have the opportunity to oversee a research project, which could lead to opportunities of attending scientific conferences and contributing to scientific publications.
Team Needs:
Undergraduate students having previous experience with avian management or research experience will have priority, however it is not required. It is expected that undergraduate researchers be self-motivated and accountable. Therefore it is prudent that participants having a willingness to learn proper animal handling, work in an outdoor environment, attend short weekly meetings, abide by laboratory procedures and complete required laboratory safety training courses.
Description:
Evaluation of dietary components in poultry diets, in Clostridium perfringens challenge trials, to better define the involvement in dietary components due to changes to the intestinal environment resulting in Necrotic Enteritis morbidity and changes in leg health.
Fall 2018: Racial Bias/Violence Targeting Black Undergraduate Women Full Team
Project Leader:
Kevin Bazner
kbazner@tamu.edu
Educational Administration & Human Resource Development
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Chayla Haynes Davison, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Flexible Hours
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members will have an opportunity to explore areas of intersectionality, racial/social justice, and higher education. Students may have the opportunity for co-authorship on paper(s) and/or presentation(s); possibility attend local/regional conferences, gain experience with research databases, data analysis, academic writing, and oral presentation skills.
Team Needs:
Team members must be highly motivated with a strong commitment to racial/social justice with an interest in exploring the intersectional oppression that affects Black women. No prior research skills required but should be responsible and committed to providing detailed and accurate data for this project.
Description:
In recent times, the state- and institution-sanctioned violence against Black people has gain increase media attention. Still, so little is known about Black women's experiences with racial trauma and assault because the challenges facing Black people and Black men are understood by institutional leaders and the general public as one in the same. This project aims to examine the racial bias/violence targeting Black undergraduate women at American colleges and universities. Collaborators on this project will assist in the collection/analysis of media coverage and institutional responses of the documented cases of racial bias/violence targeting Black undergraduate women. Goals of this project are to generate research findings that illuminate the intersectional forms of oppression that Black undergraduate women experience and assist institutional leaders to develop intersectional interventions that pertain directly to the well-being of Black undergraduate women. This research project is central to the research interests/agenda of the faculty mentor. As such, undergraduate students interested in this project will be well supported in this research endeavor by the faculty mentor and their graduate research assistant, a PhD student in the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development
Fall 2018: Layer-by-Layer Coatings for Potential Biomedical Applications Full Team
Project Leader:
Victoria Albright
victoria.albright@tamu.edu
Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Svetlana Sukhishvili, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
2 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Hard working students will be rewarded with opportunities to present their work at a conference, earn co-authorship on publications or even become a full member of our research group.
Team Needs:
Science & engineering majors will be given preference. Students need to be highly self-driven, quick learning and detail oriented. Students will be required to write up daily summaries of what work was done in the lab so that other team members can pick up where he or she left off.
Description:
The future of polymeric materials as biological implant coatings to prevent bacterial infection and stimulate cell growth depends on the ability to selectively trigger the release of components from the materials on demand. Our research group currently explores manipulating chemistry of polymer particles and films in order to develop polymeric materials that can deliver antibiotics in a controlled fashion. This work will explore assembly of antimicrobial agents and enzymes or temperature responsive particles into layer-by-layer coatings with biodegradable polymers. Students are needed to study which drugs can be loaded into temperature responsive particles, quantify amount of payload absorbed and study its release as a function of temperature and/or pH. Students will become familiar with the layer-by-layer assembly, ellipsometry, and various other techniques. Check out our recent works on biomedical polymer coatings https://doi.org/10.1002/adhm.201800132 and http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1742706117305020
Summer 2018: Ship Biscuit & Salted Beef Research Project Full Team
Project Leader:
Grace Tsai
getsai@tamu.edu
Anthropolgy
Faculty Mentor:
Stephen Talcott , Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Flexible
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Description:
Previous attempts to gauge the nutritional value of shipboard diets were based on historical documentation instead of laboratory data. In this project, shipboard food was replicated using the exact ingredients and methods of preparation from the 17th century, including non-GMO ingredients, the exact species of plant or animal, and the same butchery methods and cuts of meat. Archaeological and historical data was used to replicate the salted pork and beef, ship biscuit, wine and beer, and other provisions aboard Warwick, an English race-built galleon that sank in 1619. Then, a trans-Atlantic voyage was simulated by storing the food in casks and keeping these in a ship’s hull for three months. Current work includes nutritional laboratory analysis and microbiological analysis of the food items.
Summer 2018: Countermeasures to Combat Driver Inattention in Partially Automated Vehicles Full Team
Project Leader:
Carolina Rodriguez Paras
caro_rdz@tamu.edu
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Thomas Ferris, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
MTR 11:00AM - 12:00PM
Team Size:
2 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will get the chance to do research on countermeasures to combat driver inattention, use a driving simulator, and opportunities are also available to become full members of the research group.
Team Needs:
Creative problem solving is required. Programming skills are sought after but not mandatory.
Description:
This project will explore different displays to combat driver inattention in partially automated vehicles.
Summer 2018: Effect of Ethanol on Structure and Function of the Fetal Circulation Full Team
Project Leader:
Monica Nguyen
monica.nguyen@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBA
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to learn standard microvascular microscopy methods, as well as the microvascular physiology. Significant scientific contribution to a successful project will result in co-authorship of conference proposals.
Team Needs:
All undergraduates preferred to be enroll in 3 credit hours of VTPP 291 or 491. We are particularly interested in undergraduates who are interested in biomedical research. BIMS or biomedical engineering majors are preferred.
Description:
Fetal alcohol syndrome which is induced by fetal exposure to alcohol has shown to affect neurological, growth, and heart development in developing fetuses. Gross cardiovascular malformations have been reproduced in animal models, but the effects of alcohol on subtle changes on microvascular network structure and function during embryonic development have not been addressed. The chick chorioallantoic model (CAM), provides a unique platform to repeatedly study the structure and function of microvascular networks of a developing fetus. By cutting a window into a fertilized chick egg or growing a fertilized chick egg ex-vivo, the radii and length of the microvasculature can be measured, as well as blood flow velocities. Furthermore, the response to changes in blood pressure, endothelial shear stress, and vasoactive substances can be quantified, not only in different sizes of microvessels, but also at different developmental stages. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to develop the CAM model as a platform to study the effect of low-dose ethanol on fetal microvascular network structure and function.
Summer 2018: Behavioral and Environmental Risk Characteristics Linked to Child and Youth Outcomes Full Team
Project Leader:
Francisco A. "Alex" Montiel Ishino
fami@tamu.edu
Health & Kinesiology
Faculty Mentor:
Tamika Gilreath, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
W 2:00-4:00PM
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will be able to learn and hone the skills necessary to become successful graduate students in health and social science related fields. Prospective students will work with national and international level data as well as take part in study designs for global public health and health education projects. Opportunities will include earning co-authorship for publications, developing abstracts for and possibly attending professional research conferences, letters of recommendation, or becoming a member of our research group with prospect of conducting fieldwork and data collection in the US and abroad.
Team Needs:
Skills and familiarity preferred with: critical reading and thinking, following directions and completing tasks independently, academic/professional writing, qualitative and quantitative methods and analysis, detailed note taking, conducting literature searchers, reading and synthesizing information from the peer-reviewed literature, organizing and storing peer-reviewed literature in reference software (e.g., EndNote, Zotero, ReadCube, etc.), data entry and management and related software (e.g., Excel, SPSS, etc.), statistical software packages (e.g., SPSS, SAS, STATA, MiniTab, etc.), and most important will be the desire to learn and apply what is learned from this experience to the student's future endeavors.
Description:
The larger project consists of examining behavioral and environmental factors that increase the risk of negative health outcomes in young children and youths. The grad-student led project is a comparative study that will use data from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) for Tanzania and Kenya to analyze risk factors for young (under-5-years-of-age) child outcomes. The DHS data and subsequent analyses are part of an ongoing collaboration with the East African Community - Tropical Pesticide Research Institute and the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania.
Summer 2018: Optimization of Wired Enzyme Electrodes Full Team
Project Leader:
Aishwarya Mahadevan
aishmahadp@tamu.edu
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Sandun Fernando, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Varies
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Possibility of earning co-authorship upon the publication of the group research project manuscript, Learn to fabricate and test glucose biosensors using electrochemical techniques, Develop writing skills
Team Needs:
Excel, graphing/plotting software, preferably some lab experience. Self-driven, strong work ethic, positive attitude, flexible work schedule. Junior year or above in science or engineering degree.
Description:
This research project focuses primarily on the assembly of XYZ molecular wires between enzymes on electrode surfaces to function as electron shuttles. XYZ complexes are the core group of molecules in the biological electron transport chain that accepts and transports electrons from cofactors to target electron acceptors. Despite the resistance of cofactors to cyclically oxidize, reduce and mobilize electrons when used for bioelectronic applications outside a living cell, XYZ complexes seem to have a unique combination of properties that allow unimpeded electron transport inside a living cell. The Aggie Re-search Leadership Team will work on optimizing the electrode fabrication aspects and working conditions for the XYZ-based wired enzyme electrodes, thus enhancing its electron transport characteristics.
Summer 2018: Design Guidelines for a Road-side System Against Vehicle Crash Full Team
Project Leader:
Layal Maddah
Lsmaddah@gmail.com
Civil Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Jean-Louis Briaud, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBA
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
This is an opportunity for students from different disciplines who want to apply their knowledge to add value to the engineering industry and get practical experience. The goal is to apply cutting edge technologies to optimize processing and presentation of data. This leads to the production of consistently high-quality results that would require minimum reporting and editing effort. Simply said, what you will be working with is the future of the civil engineering industry. What you will learn is a function of how much you are passionate to learn.
Team Needs:
Preferred hard skills (at least one): Matlab Skills (programming, automation, compiling)/ Graphic and PowerPoint (Prezi) Skills/ Video Edition/ (Advanced) Excel/ Web Design Soft skills (as much as possible! ):creativity, reliability, good communication skills, being fun to work with, an interest in changing the world!
Description:
The goal of this project to provide guidelines for the design of barrier-wall systems subject to vehicle crash. This would enhance road-side safety and redirect errant vehicles back into the highway. The walls studied are mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls, made of inter-layers of compacted soil and reinforcement strips. Look around while you are driving (BE CAREFUL!!), and you will see that these systems are heavily adopted in our transportation systems at bridge approaches (Yes, with the cute-looking paneled walls). The project includes full-scale crash tests and "fancy" simulations of these crash tests using a finite element software (LS-DYNA).
Summer 2018: Water network synthesis for industrial parks Full Team
Project Leader:
Jianping Li
LJPTAMU@TAMU.EDU
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Faruque Hasan Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBA
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Potential for publications; Gaining algorithm development experience and participating in the research discussions.
Team Needs:
Students majoring in Chemical Engineering, Computer Engineering or having any background in mathematical modeling are encouraged to join us.
Description:
Nowadays, the establishment of industrial parks has become the mainstream in process industry for considering symposium among multiple enterprises. As an important resource in process industry, fresh water consumption accounts for large amount of operating cost for a plant. The need for effectively managing the water resource is required since many water-using unit (sink) allow certain amount of impurities in the feed without consuming fresh water. This feed can be obtained from other water-using unit product streams (source). An effective management strategy for water resource is the water integration, aiming at designing the most cost-effective water networks. This water network enables the design of source-sink matches inside each plant and among plants in an industrial park. In this project, we consider a problem of designing industrial parks with water-using unit in each plant. To achieve the optimal design of industrial parks, we apply two integration strategy: direct integration via direct connection between sources and sinks as well as indirect integration via reallocation of water from regenerators which accept streams from other sources. This problem can be further extended to include heat integration among streams in industrial park, multi-period design for long-term water management under uncertainty. These problems can be formulated as nonconvex mixed integer nonlinear optimization (MINLP) problems, which may be computationally expensive for many commercial solvers. The global optimization strategy for this project includes multiparametric disaggregation approach for providing effective linearization of nonlinear terms, nonconvex benders decomposition, lagrangian decomposition and cross decomposition. For decomposition-based method, parallelization among different subproblems can also be considered.
Summer 2018: Polyelectrolyte Complexes and their Application in Nanofibers and Anticorrosion Coatings Full Team
Project Leader:
Hanna Hlushko
hanna.hlushko@tamu.edu
Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Svetlana Sukhishvili, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Productive work for a couple of semesters may result in attending of hte conference or co-authorship in a publication
Team Needs:
Basic knowledge of chemistry, polymer chemistry, ability to work in a team, responsibility, initiative
Description:
This project will include work with different polymers which can form polyelectrolyte complexes. We will build polymer coatings using spin-coating and dip-coating methods to create thin polymer films on different substrates and test their physical and anticorrosion properties. The work will also include substrate preparation, and use of different techniques, such as ellipsometry, contact angle machine, benchtop AFM, UV-vis spectrophotometry, etc. This project mainly includes work in the lab. The location of the lab is in GERB building (West campus).
Summer 2018: Multi-Objective Stochastic Supply Chain Optimization Full Team
Project Leader:
Christopher Gordon
ckagordon@tamu.edu
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Lewis Ntaimo, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Will be determined based upon researchers' availabilities
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students stand to gain significant computational research experience, co-authorship of publication(s), and employable skills relevant to industry and graduate school
Team Needs:
Researchers with enthusiasm, strong work ethic, and who have preferably declared ISEN, CHEN, IDIS, SCMT, PETE, MATH, STAT or CSE Applications will accepted until Sunday, June 3 at 7:00 p.m, interested students should please include a resume, transcript, and 3-5 concise bullet points on what they believe they could best contribute to the team in their email application
Description:
The large number of interactions present in supply chains renders their synthesis and optimal design challenging. This is further complicated by the existence of several sources of variability such as uncertainty in feedstock quality, uncertainty in the prices of intermediate products, and uncertainty in consumer demand. Given these uncertainties, the simulation and optimization models used for supply chain modelling become non-deterministic and the decisions of optimally allocating resources, maximizing network flows, and minimizing inventory levels require the use of sophisticated mathematical models to maximize profit while minimizing the value at risk. This project proposes to develop a two-stage stochastic optimization model with continuous recourse to assist in the planning and scheduling of production and storage. Key components of the project include: demand and price forecasting, model formulation based on integer programming, extension of the model to multi-objective optimization, solution algorithm development, model implementation, and assessment of results. Researchers selected can expect a relatively gentle introduction to computational research and a chance to apply state of the art mathematical methods to develop tailored and actionable solutions to real world problems. Depending on the team’s interests, the project has scope to be extended to consider big data analytics, supply chain resilience, and nonlinear model reduction techniques. While some familiarity with algebra and statistics and a mathematical inclination is expected, no prior programming experience is required and researchers will be brought up to speed on the theory, techniques, software and languages they will be using (ex. GAMS, MATLAB, Python, or AMPL).
Summer 2018: Evaluating the Evolution and Clonal Expansion of Salmonella enterica serovar I4,[5],12:i:- in Swine and their Environment Full Team
Project Leader:
Selma Gonzalez
sgonzalez@cvm.tamu.edu
Veterinary Integrative Biosciences
Faculty Mentor:
Keri Norman, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
T 9:30 AM - 12:00 p.m.
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Exploring the field of epidemiology of foodborne pathogens Learn to use high quality laboratory equipment (Nephelometer, BioScreen C Growth Analysis System, AriaMX, QiAcube HT, FLUOStar Omega, Fragment Analyzer, Illumina MiSeq) Will be trained on bacterial growth curves, DNA extraction, DNA absorbance, DNA fluorescence, whole genome sequencing, and RT-PCR Will be trained on how to analyze sequencing and growth curve data using the HPRC ADA Supercomputer and Stata® V14.0 Present at the 2019 Student Research Week Present at the 2018 Annual Pathways Symposium Present at the 2018 Texas Branch American Society for Microbiology Conference
Team Needs:
Must attend weekly meetings Biological Safety Level 2 (BSL2) Training Biosafety Cabinet Training Bloodborne Pathogen (BBP) Training Biohazard Autoclave Training Standard Microbiological Practices
Description:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported an increase in human foodborne illnesses related to multi-drug resistant Salmonella enterica serovar I 4,[5],12:i:- largely associated with the consumption of contaminated pork. The cause of the rapid emergence of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- is unknown. The overall objective of this study is to determine the virulence and antimicrobial resistance traits of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- in order to understand the genetic mechanisms that have allowed the evolution and clonal expansion of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- in swine and their environment. A three-tiered approach incorporating bacterial culture, phenotypic analysis, and genotypic analysis will be used to achieve the aims of this investigation for which the students will be responsible for. Methods include generating bacterial growth curves under different antibiotics, whole genome sequencing on an Illumina MiSeq platform and Oxford Nanopore MinION. This study is important to determining the characteristics of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- that have led to an increased prevalence in swine for preventing salmonellosis linked to swine and pork products.
Summer 2018: Programmable toys, Robotics, and Micro-controllers in STEM Education Full Team
Project Leader:
Aamir Fidai
aamirfidai@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Robert M. Capraro, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Once a week (to be decided)
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunity to learn research skills, and be a part of research study resulting in publications. Participants who make substantial contribution to the project may be invited to be an author on the resulting publication/presentations.
Team Needs:
A desire to learn about research methods and a passion for Education. Team members also need to have an ability (and willingness) to work independently and in small groups. Team members should be able to attend one face-to-face group meeting to present finding and engage in productive discussions.
Description:
This project will engage participants in detailed literature review of the research concerning the use of programmable toys, Robotics and micro-controller devices in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. The participants will also have an opportunity to engage in working directly with these products to gain a hands-on experience. Participants will have an opportunity to contribute to a meta-analysis and a systematic review of available literature as co-author.
Summer 2018: Equity in STEM Education Full Team
Project Leader:
Aamir Fidai
aamirfidai@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Robert M. Capraro, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Once a week (to be decided)
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunity to learn research skills, and be a part of research study resulting in publications. Participants who make substantial contribution to the project may be invited to be an author on the resulting publication/presentations.
Team Needs:
A desire to learn about research methods and a passion for Education. Team members also need to have an ability (and willingness) to work independently and in small groups. Team members should be able to attend one face-to-face group meeting per week to present finding and engage in productive discussions.
Description:
Researching the effects of school level factors such as teacher experience, classroom resources, technology availability and school administration/support staff on equity in STEM education.
Summer 2018: Improvement in Segmentation Techniques in a Video Frame Using Deep Neural Nets Full Team
Project Leader:
Sambandh Dhal
sambandh@tamu.edu
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Abhishek Sarmah, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
MW 11 AM - 12:30 PM
Team Size:
0 (Team Full)
Team Needs:
Must be interested to learn and do research. Must be inclined to give his/her own inputs regarding the subject.
Description:
In the past, a number of different neural networks have been trained on images to achieve high accuracy in object detection. Now, we are trying to do the same across a video sequence where our main focus would be to use the motion vectors present in a compressed video to segment the objects across a live video sequence. We will track the change in the direction of the motion vectors while moving from one frame to the other and accordingly, try to detect the objects across an entire video sequence using different types of deep neural networks.
Summer 2018: Increasing Incidence of Spotted Fever Rickettsiosis in the United States Full Team
Project Leader:
Zak Derouen
Zakderouen@gmail.com
Ecosystem Science and Management
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Hsiao-Hsuan Rose Wang, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to learn quantitative and computational skills through hands-on experience collecting, organizing, analyzing and interpreting data. Significant scientific contribution to a successful project will result in conference presentations and/or co- authorship of peer-reviewed scientific papers.
Team Needs:
We are particularly interested in undergraduates who are interested in quantitative bio-geography, ecology, and epidemiology.
Description:
Spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsioses are notifiable conditions in the United States caused by the highly pathogenic Rickettsia rickettsii and less pathogenic rickettsial species such as Rickettsia parkeri and Rickettsia sp. 364D. We aim to summarize the passive surveillance of SFG rickettsioses in the United States with onset dates during 2013–2017. We then will investigate the spatio-temporal patterns and host spot detection of the cases based on spatial statistical analyses.
Summer 2018: Increasing Incidence of Ehrlichiosis in the United States Full Team
Project Leader:
Zak Derouen
Zakderouen@gmail.com
Ecosystem Science and Management
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Hsiao-Hsuan Rose Wang, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to learn quantitative and computational skills through hands-on experience collecting, organizing, analyzing and interpreting data. Significant scientific contribution to a successful project will result in conference presentations and/or co-authorship of peer-reviewed scientific papers.
Team Needs:
We are particularly interested in undergraduates who are interested in quantitative biogeography, ecology, and epidemiology.
Description:
Human ehrlichioses are potentially fatal tick-borne infections caused by the obligate intracellular bacterium of the Ehrlichia genus, including Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Ehrlichia ewingii. We aim to summarize the the passive surveillance of E. chaffeensis and E. ewingii infections in the United States with onset dates during 2008–2016. We then will investigate the spatio-temporal patterns and hostspot detection of the cases based on spatial statistical analyses.
Summer 2018: Primary Mechanical Determinants of Cardiac Ejection Fraction Full Team
Project Leader:
Kalli Crabtree
kcrabtree6@tamu.edu
Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher M. Quick Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TR 12:00PM-3:00PM
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Earning co-authorship of a manuscript to be published in a peer review journal; earn 491 credit in Fall 2018 semester
Team Needs:
Proficient in technical and scientific reading and writing. Willingness to read manuscripts and research papers. Continue meeting in Fall 2018 semester, tentative meeting time MW 3:00-3:50
Description:
Ejection fraction (EF) is the the fraction of blood ejected by a ventricle and is one of the most common clinical measurements to used to assess cardiac function. We have solved the minimal closed-loop cardiovascular model to yield a formula for EF, then further simplified this formula to find which parameters of the closed-loop system affect ejection fraction the most.
Summer 2018: Develop a Desktop Cement 3D Printer Full Team
Project Leader:
Abhinav Bhardwaj
abhinavb@tamu.edu
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Zhijian (ZJ) Pei, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
MWF 3 pm-4 pm (can be changed)
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Special opportunities: Work on an exciting project, possible publications and conference attendance
Team Needs:
Desired candidates are expected to have experience with (or are willing to learn) the following: Experience working with RepRap Arduino-compatible Mother Board systems, programming stepper motors and assembling circuits Experience with programming C, G-code Knowledge of cement materials and characterization/testing of cementitious materials such as slump test, compression test, bending test to name a few. Experience with Solidworks and machining
Description:
The objective of this research is to develop an extrusion-based desktop-scale 3D cement printer.
Summer 2018: Effect of SCFAs on Mesenteric Lymphatic Vessels Full Team
Project Leader:
Lena Ayari
Lena97@tamu.edu
Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Ranjeet Dongaonkar, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TW 9:00AM-4:00PM
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Possibility of earning co-authorship on a paper, learn to dissect and cannulate vessels, learn to perform in vitro vessel experiments.
Team Needs:
Interest in biomedical science research
Description:
The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in interstitial fluid balance—it collects and transports fluid and proteins lost to the interstitial space from blood capillaries to the circulation system. We plan to study the response of rat mesenteric lymphatic vessels to various physiological stimuli, including short chain fatty acids.
Summer 2018: Layer-by-Layer Assemblies for Potential Biomedical Applications Full Team
Project Leader:
Victoria Albright
victoria.albright@tamu.edu
Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Svetlana Sukhishvili, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Hard working students will be rewarded with opportunities to present their work at a conference, earn co-authorship on publications or even become a full member of our research group.
Team Needs:
Science & engineering majors will be given preference. Students need to be highly self-driven and quick learning.
Description:
The future of polymeric materials as biological implant coatings to prevent bacterial infection and stimulate cell growth depends on the ability to selectively trigger the release of components from the materials on demand. Our research group currently explores manipulating chemistry of polymer particles and films in order to develop polymeric materials that can deliver antibiotics in a controlled fashion. This work will explore assembly of antimicrobial agents and enzymes or temperature responsive particles into layer-by-layer coatings with biodegradable polymers. Students are needed to study which drugs can be loaded into temperature responsive particles, quantify amount of payload absorbed and study its release as a function of temperature and/or pH. Students will become familiar with the layer-by-layer assembly, ellipsometry, and various other techniques. Check out our recent works on biomedical polymer coatings https://doi.org/10.1002/adhm.201800132 and http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1742706117305020.
Spring 2018: Thermal Properties of Polyelectrolyte Mulfilayer Films Full Team
Project Leader:
Yanpu Zhang
yanpuzhang@tamu.edu
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Jodie L. Lutkenhaus, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Tuesday 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM (subject to change)
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will have the opportunity to be mentored and supported through research lab work, individual meetings, and group meetings. The goal is to have each student as a co-author on one manuscript. Also potentially a letter of recommendation to employers or graduate programs from a well-respected faculty member.
Team Needs:
Prior research experience is required. Preferably experience working with polymer materials. Must be junior classification or above. Must be willing/able to work in a laboratory environment independently.
Description:
Polyelectrolyte multilayer films (PEMs) are formed by alternating deposition of oppositely charged polyelectrolyte solutions on a substrate. PEMs act as “smart” materials in which they respond to external temperature. In this project we will explore the thermal properties of PEMs and the effect of divalent electrolyte solution on the PEMs using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The work will include preparation of layer-by-layer thin films, analysis of film impedance properties using Zveiw software, and thermal responsive behavior of film. This work will result in a publication, and all those team members who contribute to the project completion will be names as co-authors on the manuscript.
Spring 2018: Comparing Texas Oil and Gas Extraction Facility Flaring Volumes Reported to the Texas Railroad Commission to Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite Estimates Full Team
Project Leader:
Kate Willyard
kate.willyard@gmail.com
Sociology (project under Atmospheric Sciences)
Faculty Mentor:
Gunnar Schade, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBA
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to develop statistical, GIS, and manuscript writing skills. Participants will earn co-authorship upon the publication of the group research project manuscript.
Team Needs:
Undergraduates must have working knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Description:
Flaring (i.e., burning extracted natural gas) at oil and gas extraction sites is of growing concern because expanding flaring practices waste natural resources and release pollutants into the atmosphere. While estimates of the amount of gas flared in Texas each year have consistently grown since the recent shale oil and gas boom, little is known about the accuracy of these estimates. The purpose of this project is to compare oil and gas extraction facility volumes of flared natural gas reported to the Texas Railroad Commission to Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite estimates.
Spring 2018: Captive Exotic Fowl Assessment and Management (CEFAM) Full Team
Project Leader:
Travis Williams
twilliams49@tamu.edu
Poultry Science
Faculty Mentor:
Giri Athrey, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
T 9:00AM -9:45AM
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Undergraduate Researchers will be supported through mentorship in conducting research on and management of a captive wild Red Jungle Fowl colony, as this is one of three colonies in the United States. Due to the special nature of these animals, co-authorship on publications can stem from behavioral analysis, performance metrics, nutritional analysis, and potentially management techniques.
Team Needs:
Priority will be given to students with previous avian management experience or research experience, however it is not required. Participants must be self-motivated and accountable. Required skills: willingness to learn proper animal handling, work in an outdoor environment, attend short weekly meetings to present findings and provide updates, abide by safe laboratory practices, take required laboratory safety training courses.
Description:
Students must be willing to work according to a schedule in the daily care, observation of the animals, and the daily collection of samples. Daily care and sampling requirements will take no longer than 1 hour per day. Students will assist with monthly special projects ranging from enclosure inspection to laboratory analysis of samples. Team members will be expected to update on-site and electronic records and perform literature research related to this project.
Spring 2018: Faculty Research Productivity in Association of American Universities:Does rank, discipline, and membership to national academies matter? Full Team
Project Leader:
Caroline Wekullo
cweullo@tamu.edu
Educational Administration & Human Resource Development
Faculty Mentor:
Glenda Musoba, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Wednesday 2:30 PM-3:30PM
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will benefit from mentoring and supported through various avenues.By the end of the semester, the goal is to have each student as a co-author on at least one manuscript, conference abstract for presentation and possibility an opportunity to present at a conference. Students will also be supported and receive guidance and support to apply to opportunities such as develope their research agenda as upcoming scholars.
Team Needs:
Passion, interest and desire to make an impactful and meaningful contribution higher education. Ability to work independently and accomplish tasks as well as conscientiousness and ability to thrive in a team environment. Curiosity for research. Experience or desire to learn how to collect and clean data;conduct literature reviews, work with reference software programs (Refworks, EndNote), data management and analysis using ( STATA, MPLUS,).Students will learn both quantitative and qualitative research methods.
Description:
"The Association of American Universities (AAU),also known as the “global models,” comprises public and private leading research universities. The AAU members enjoy the prominent position in global university ranking. Although they represent less than 2% of the total institutions in American higher education, they receive over 60% of federal funds for research, hosts 716,223 institutions researchers, and have an 82% graduation rate of undergraduate and graduate students (Association of American Universities, n.d). Like most organizations, the health of institutions of higher learning depends on the performance of their workers .Research universities only houses research production, but faculty members design the research studies, conduct laboratory experiments or analysis and disseminate the findings. The project will focus on how faculty research productivity relate to their rank, discipline, and supervision of graduate students, and to what degree does the relationship varies by institutions. As a team, we will also examine the relationship between research productivity and membership to national academies and to what degree does the relationship vary by institutions.The project will use data from various sources such as Integrated Postsecondary Education Database, Google scholar, National academies of engineering ,Sciences, Medicine, and Education"
Spring 2018: Historical biography in Social Studies: Using Narratives to Enhance Student’s Social Studies Experiences Full Team
Project Leader:
Rachel Turner
rkt002@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Lynn M. Burlbaw, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Sundays 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to earn co-authorship in a paper and/or presentation. Additionally, students have the opportunity to gain research and academic writing experience as well as earn research credit.
Team Needs:
Participants must be accountable and self-motivated with a strong work ethic. Participants should enjoy gathering information verbally as well as through analysis of printed materials.
Description:
As elementary and middle school students study the social studies, their depth of understanding is often limited by the lack of biographical information regarding the people within history. Using narratives and the biographies of people from around the world can provide students with greater understanding of the economic, social, political and environmental factors that shape their lives. Participants in this project will work to collect primary and secondary source materials on people who are represented in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. These TEKS are what make up the elementary and middle school students social studies curriculum. The objective is to collect historical accounts for the purpose of preparing them for use by the elementary and middle school social studies teacher. We hope this will allow teachers to engage students more profoundly by allowing them to interact with first-hand accounts of real people whose lives are/were affected by the unique facets of their world. Sources will be gathered through analysis of recorded materials, archival data and library resources. Upon the completion of data gathering it is our intention to make the narratives suitable for elementary and middle school use and then compile them into a collection for use by teachers. Additionally, this research will be conducted with the goal of earning a publication in a historical or educational peer-reviewed journal.
Spring 2018: Optimal stroke work of contracting lymphatic vessels Full Team
Project Leader:
Scott Rohren
scottarh@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members have the chance to earn co-authorship in a paper, gain experience with data analysis and scientific writing, interact with faculty, and earn research credit.
Team Needs:
Prior experience is not necessary. This team is looking for enthusiastic members with the ability to comprehend basic algebra, and use algebraic solutions as a basis to characterize physiological systems. A science, math, or engineering background would be helpful but is not required.
Description:
Lymphangions, the functional units of a lymphatic vessel bound by two valves, actively contract and relax to propel lymph throughout the body, which prevents fluid from building up in the tissue (i.e., edema). Stroke work (SW) is a measure of how well a lymphangion is pushing lymph and is based on several parameters such as filling pressure, outlet pressure, systolic contractility, and diastolic stiffness. From the relationship of these parameters, an equation generalizing the conditions in which SW is maximized has been developed. Currently, a manuscript is being written describing this equation’s fundamental importance to lymphangion understanding as well as its relation to ongoing research and medical applications. In this project, members will work within a team alongside a faculty member to continue advancing the manuscript.
Spring 2018: Open Educational Resources (OER) Material Development Full Team
Project Leader:
Alessandra Ribota
ribota@tamu.edu
Hispanic Studies
Faculty Mentor:
Gabriela Zapata, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
F 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Co-authorship on material and publications
Team Needs:
Given that the development of the the material needs to be in the Spanish language, students are required to be bilingual.
Description:
Students will collaborate in the development for Open Educational Resource material. The material will target to objectives: 1) develop material on bats to be used in elementary, intermediate, and high schools; and 2) develop material for second language acquisition courses. Students working in this team will learn about and apply an innovative pedagogical framework (Learning by Design), search for open source data, and apply these two components in the elaboration of open source assessments.
Spring 2018: Epigenetic Regulation of Metabolic Disease Full Team
Project Leader:
Catherine Powell
powell@tamhsc.edu
College of Pharmacy-Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Mahua Choudhury, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Available daily based on schedule
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunities include building professional skills and experience in epigenetic research and letters of recommendation for graduate school
Team Needs:
Motivated and reliable students who are interested in scientific research.
Description:
This project will focus on the introduction to laboratory science with an emphasis on learning epigenetic concepts in relation to metabolic disease. This project will include learning basic laboratory skills, pipetting, autoclaving, and advanced techniques such as western blotting, mouse handling, and data analysis. Scholars will be encouraged to engage in ongoing research in the lab varying from cell culture to mouse work.
Spring 2018: Effect of ethanol on structure and function of the fetal circulation Full Team
Project Leader:
Madeleine Pohlmann
madeleinepohlmann@tamu.edu
Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Christopher Quick Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBA
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to learn standard microvascular microscopy methods, as well as the microvascular physiology. Significant scientific contribution to a successful project will result in co-authorship of conference proposals.
Team Needs:
All undergraduates will be required to enroll in 3 credit hours of VTPP 291 or 491. We are particularly interested in undergraduates who are interested in biomedical research. BIMS or biomedical engineering majors are preferred.
Description:
Fetal alcohol syndrome which is induced by fetal exposure to alcohol has shown to affect neurological, growth, and heart development in developing fetuses. Gross cardiovascular malformations have been reproduced in animal models, but the effects of alcohol on subtle changes on microvascular network structure and function during embryonic development have not been addressed. The chick chorioallantoic model (CAM), provides a unique platform to repeatedly study the structure and function of microvascular networks of a developing fetus. By cutting a window into a fertilized chick egg or growing a fertilized chick egg ex-vivo, the radii and length of the microvasculature can be measured, as well as blood flow velocities. Furthermore, the response to changes in blood pressure, endothelial shear stress, and vasoactive substances can be quantified, not only in different sizes of microvessels, but also at different developmental stages. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to develop the CAM model as a platform to study the effect of low-dose ethanol on fetal microvascular network structure and function.
Spring 2018: Stability Efforts Comparison Full Team
Project Leader:
Thomas Pledger
tgpledger@tamu.edu
Public Service and Administration
Faculty Mentor:
Danny Davis, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Tuesday 4:00 PM-4:45PM
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Team Needs:
Economics, Political Science, and History Majors
Description:
Analyzing efforts in Kosovo against efforts in Afghanistan, both of which contain similar religious, ethnic, and economic issues, and have had ongoing international stability efforts for similar periods of time will allow for both a quantitative analysis and a qualitative analysis of effective and ineffective efforts. An understanding of what has stabilized these regions will assist in the Counter-Facilitation development for it will allow stability efforts in various communities in the United States and in areas external to the United States.
Spring 2018: Rapidly Increasing Invasion by Chinese Tallow in Southeast United States Full Team
Project Leader:
Miranda Peterson
mrp126@tamu.edu
Geography
Faculty Mentor:
Hsiao-Hsuan Rose Wang, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to learn quantitative and computational skills through hands-on experience collecting, organizing, analyzing and interpreting ecological data. Significant scientific contribution to a successful project will result in conference presentations and/or co-authorship of peer-reviewed scientific papers.
Team Needs:
All undergraduates will be required to enroll in at least one credit hour of WFSC 291 or 491. We are particularly interested in undergraduates who are interested in quantitative ecology and biogeography.
Description:
Invasions by non-natives contribute to the loss of ecosystem biodiversity and productivity, modification of biogeochemical cycles, and inhibit natural regeneration of native species. Chinese tallow, Triadica sebifera (L.) Small, is one of the most prevalent invasive species in southeast United States. Hence, we aim to understand the historical trend in range expansion of Chinese tallow which could provide valuable information upon which to base effective control strategies and mitigation plans. We will documented the recent range expansion of Chinese Tallow in southeast U.S. based on analyses of an extensive set of field data collected by the US Forest Service on fixed plots during the period from 2001 to 2015. We then will compare the empirical results with predictions of existing models, which were based on less-recent data.
Spring 2018: Structural Energy and Power Full Team
Project Leader:
Anish Patel
agpatel@tamu.edu
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Jodie L. Lutkenhaus, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunities include learning new laboratory techniques and gaining knowledge in areas such as thin film fabrication, energy storage, materials characterization, and more. Also, there is an opportunity to be an author on publications resulting from work done through the undergraduate project.
Team Needs:
Preferred skills/knowledge (not required): basic chemistry knowledge, motivation to conduct scientific research, good communication skills, and basic laboratory experience Required skills/knowledge: strong commitment to safe laboratory practices
Description:
Structural energy and power materials can simultaneously dissipate energy and bear a load. These materials can have a significant impact on flexible/wearable electronics, battery safety, structural energy storage devices, etc. The goal of this project is to explore multifunctional composite materials that can act as both a structural support and an energy storage device. The student will characterize the formation of polymer nanostructures to be used in multifunctional composites as well as evaluate the performance of multifunctional composite films for use in batteries.
Spring 2018: Potential Traget for Osteosarcoma and Bone Regeneration Full Team
Project Leader:
Simin Pan
span@tamhsc.edu
Molecular & Cellular Medicine
Faculty Mentor:
Carl Gregory, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Friday 16:00 - 17:00
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Chance of multiple publications
Team Needs:
Give priority to students with related lab experience. Student must be able to commit to this project for at least two semesters and a minimum of 9 hours per week at the lab.
Description:
Our lab research is focused on bone regeneration and malignant bone disease. This project would be a skill orientated project. We will provide specialized training on MicoCT, histology, image processing, RT-PCR and/or Western for student to master at least one of those skills. Once student are able to perform the task by themselves, they will have opportunities to work on multiple projects. Thus, multiple chance to make their name in a publication.
Spring 2018: Testing Predictions of Adaptation of Microvascular Networks Full Team
Project Leader:
Teylor Nealy
teylornealy@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Christopher Quick Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to develop novel skills while learning about cardiovascular physiology. Significant scientific contribution to a successful project will result in co-authorship of conference proposals.
Team Needs:
All undergraduates will be required to enroll in 3 credit hours of VTPP 291 or 491.
Description:
Systemic blood pressure and regional tissue perfusion are determined by the radii of micro-vessels. Adaptation of microvascular radii is inherently complex, because each vessel responds to local mechanical stimuli, and yet all the micro-vessels in a network appear to adapt their radii in a coordinated manner to ensure blood supply matches tissue demand. We propose a novel mechanism for adaptation that does not assume non-physiological “set points” that define equilibrium endothelial shear stresses, blood pressures and flows, but instead predicts these hemodynamic variables from physiological “balance points”. To test model predictions of proposed adaptive responses, it is  necessary to measure relevant microvascular radii and hemodynamic variables both before and after disturbing blood flow to tissue by occluding select micro-vessels. Given the ability to track changes in the microvasculature over time, we will use the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model. First, the architecture of several branches of the microvasculature network will be mapped.  A simple mathematical model will then be developed to predict changes in blood flow and radii of the network with select occlusions. Following this, vessels will be occluded, and the resulting radii of the microvascular network will be compared to model results.
Spring 2018: Behavioral and environmental risk characteristics linked to child and youth outcomes Full Team
Project Leader:
Francisco "Alex" Montiel Ishino
fami@tamu.edu
Health & Kinesiology
Faculty Mentor:
Tamika Gilreath, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
W 2:00PM-3:00PM
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will be able to learn and hone the skills necessary to become successful graduate students in health and social science related fields. Prospective students will work with national and international level data as well as take part in study designs for global public health and health education projects. Opportunities will include earning co-authorship for publications, developing abstracts for and possibly attending professional research conferences, or becoming a member of our research group with prospect of conducting fieldwork and data collection in the US and abroad.
Team Needs:
Skills and familiarity preferred with: critical reading and thinking, following directions and completing tasks independently, academic/professional writing, qualitative and quantitative methods and analysis, detailed note taking, conducting literature searchers, reading and synthesizing information from the peer-reviewed literature, organizing and storing peer-reviewed literature in reference software (e.g., EndNote, Zotero, ReadCube, etc.), data entry and management and related software (e.g., Excel, SPSS, etc.), statistical software packages (e.g., SPSS, SAS, STATA, MiniTab, etc.), and most important will be the desire to learn and apply what is learned from this experience to the student's future endeavors.
Description:
The larger project consists of examining behavioral and environmental factors that increase the risk of negative health outcomes in young children and youths. The grad-student led project is a comparative study that will use data from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) for Tanzania and Kenya to analyze risk factors for young (under-5-years-of-age) child outcomes. The DHS data and subsequent analyses are part of an ongoing collaboration with the East African Community - Tropical Pesticide Research Institute and the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania. Related studies from this project directed by Dr. Tamika Gilreath will use data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) to characterize risks that affect African American/Black youth health outcomes from tobacco use.
Spring 2018: Anti-racism Curriculum Full Team
Project Leader:
Vicki Mokuria
vmokuria@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Cheryl J. Craig Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
M 2-4; Wed. 4-5:30; Thu 8-9:30 am & Fri 9-10:30
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
There will be opportunities to present at conferences and/or submit an article for publication.
Team Needs:
interest in this topic and willingness to meet weekly
Description:
This research will be co-created by participants who will be exploring HOW to study racism, with the goal to be to find ways to challenge racism in our society, starting with reflecting on how racism has impacted us.
Spring 2018: Global Factors Associated with Chronic Disease Prevention and Management Full Team
Project Leader:
Rhama Mkuu
rsmkuu@tamu.edu
Health & Kinesiology
Faculty Mentor:
Idethia Harvey, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Tuesday 2:30pm-3:30pm
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will have the opportunity to be mentored and supported through various avenues. By the end of the semester, the goal is to have each student as a co-author on at least one manuscript, conference abstract for presentation and possibility an opportunity to present/attend a scientific conference. Students will also be supported and receive guidance and support to apply to opportunities such as internships and graduate school applications.
Team Needs:
Passion, interest and desire to make an impactful and meaningful contribution in health. Ability to work independently and accomplish tasks as well as conscientiousness and ability to thrive in a team environment. Strong written and verbal communication skills. Curiosity for research. Experience or desire to learn how to conduct literature reviews, work with reference software programs (Refworks, EndNote), data management and analysis using (SPSS, STATA, MPLUS, NVIVO), creating research poster presentations and learn/improve scientific writing skills. Students will learn both quantitative and qualitative research methods.
Description:
Chronic diseases such as a cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes are the leading causes of death globally. The World Health Organization estimates that 60%, (35million people) of all deaths are linked to chronic disease worldwide. In developing countries, there is evidence that chronic diseases are increasing. Majority (80%) of all chronic disease deaths worldwide happen in developing countries. This project led by a graduate student in the department of Health & Kinesiology, division of Health Education will focus on research that explores factors that influence chronic disease in the United States and in Kenya. This project uses data from the World Health Organization, Kenya STEPwise Survey and the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey to examine chronic diseases (hypertension, diabetes and obesity) and health behaviors (fruits and vegetable consumption, physical activity, alcohol and smoking) and others. The graduate student is also involved in a study led by Dr. Idethia Harvey that examines type 2 diabetes management among rural African American residents.
Spring 2018: Overchurched, Underfed: Organizational Missions of Religiously Affiliated Food Provision in Brazos County Full Team
Project Leader:
Andrew McNeely
amcneely@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Sarah Gatson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
participants must be available for at least TWO meeting times (see below)
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
-Extensive community service involvement -TAMU research symposium -Ongoing, multiple-semester project with significant impact on local food insecurity
Team Needs:
Monday (1pm-2:30pm) Tuesday (9am-12pm; 9:30am-11am) Wednesday (1pm-2:30pm) Thursday (9:30am-11am; 5pm-7pm) Friday (9:30am-11am) Saturday (10am-11:30am) Weekly Meeting (TBD)
Description:
Brazos County has a significantly higher number of religious congregations than the average county in Texas. Along with this, it also has a significantly higher rate of food insecurity among its citizens. These two realities, ostensibly, should not exist simultaneously in the same area. The purpose of this research project is to investigate the relationship between religious bodies and food security issues. Initially, we will explore baseline statistical data to establish the relationship. Further, we will create contacts with as many religious bodies as possible in order to perform participant-observational research with their food related service programs, investigating the variation across religion, denomination, size, and structure. The goal is to determine, if possible, what aspects of religious organizations—if any—affect food security issues in their community, and how. This project will emphasize a sociological imagination when thinking about religious issues in a community. As such, all religious activities will be treated objectively and with respect at all times.
Spring 2018: Type 2 Diabetes Full Team
Project Leader:
Adara Mckeever
adara_eliz@tamu.edu
Public Health Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Idethia Harvey Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
F 4-5PM
Team Size:
2 (Team Full)
Description:
A study of Type 2 Diabetes in rural areas in African American populations
Spring 2018: Historical Archival Research Full Team
Project Leader:
Karen McIntush
kgm91@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Lynn Burlbaw, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Tuesdays or Wedednesday from 2-3:30; Meeting time is flexible per undergraduates' schedules
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
-Team members will have the chance to earn co-authorship on a paper(s) and/or presentation; possibly attend regional conference(s), gain experience with research and data analysis, support with academic writing, interact with faculty and other graduate student teams, and earn research credit. - Students who successfully complete the spring project work will be invited to reapply for following semesters.
Team Needs:
-Participants must be accountable and self-motivated with a strong work ethic. Participants should understand the value and necessity of detailed and accurate work as it contributes to the analysis of printed materials. -A can do attitude, a research interest, able to meet virtually when face-to-face is not possible. Dedication, highly motivated, hard working, enthusiasm. -No research experience required.
Description:
The archiving and analysis of historical data on teachers, schools, and students who attended school during the early 20th century in Brazoria County (TX) is the focus of this research project. Students will work on categorizing archival data from the Brazoria County schools using archives and publications from ~1890 -1921. Excel will be used to organize the data, but facility in Excel is not required - the project will teach, if necessary, participating students the Microsoft Word and Excel skills needed. Documents include journal articles, teacher record books, superintendent reports, teacher certification exams, etc. from rural white and “colored” schools.
Spring 2018: Water network synthesis for industrial parks Full Team
Project Leader:
Jianping Li
LJPTAMU@TAMU.EDU
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Faruque Hasan Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBA
Team Size:
2 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Potential for publications; Gaining algorithm development experience and participating in the research discussions.
Team Needs:
Students majoring in Chemical Engineering, Computer Engineering or having any background in mathematical modeling are encouraged to join us. Fundamental knowledge in mass transfer operations.
Description:
"Nowadays, the establishment of industrial parks has become the mainstream in process industry for considering symposium among multiple enterprises. As an important resource in process industry, fresh water consumption accounts for large amount of operating cost for a plant. The need for effectively managing the water resource is required since many water-using unit (sink) allow certain amount of impurities in the feed without consuming fresh water. This feed can be obtained from other water-using unit product streams (source). An effective management strategy for water resource is the water integration, aiming at designing the most cost-effective water networks. This water network enables the design of source-sink matches inside each plant and among plants in an industrial park. In this project, we consider a problem of designing industrial parks with water-using unit in each plant. To achieve the optimal design of industrial parks, we apply two integration strategy: direct integration via direct connection between sources and sinks as well as indirect integration via reallocation of water from regenerators which accept streams from other sources. This problem can be further extended to include heat integration among streams in industrial park, multi-period design for long-term water management under uncertainty. These problems can be formulated as nonconvex mixed integer nonlinear optimization (MINLP) problems, which may be computationally expensive for many commercial solvers. The global optimization strategy for this project includes multiparametric disaggregation approach for providing effective linearization of nonlinear terms, nonconvex benders decomposition, lagrangian decomposition and cross decomposition. For decomposition-based method, parallelization among different subproblems can also be considered. "
Spring 2018: Ventricular Atresia: Developing the first animal model for single ventricle physiology Full Team
Project Leader:
MaKenzie Lee
lee.md@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Christopher Quick Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Significant scientific contribution to a successful project will result in co-authorship of conference proposals.
Team Needs:
Participants will have the opportunity to develop novel skills while learning about cardiovascular physiology. Special requirements include: all undergraduates will be required to enroll in 3 credit hours of VTPP 291 or 491.
Description:
Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) occurs when the left ventricle fails to develop normally, requiring infants to undergo multiple surgeries to survive with a single right ventricle. The incidence of HLHS is nearly 1,000 per year in the United States, and is one of the more common of the congenital heart defects. It is believed that HLHS can result during early fetal development when valves of the ventricle do not open completely or the aorta carrying blood from the left ventricle is narrowed. This hypothesis has not yet been tested. In fact, research to elucidate the causes and treatment of HLHS in human infants is severely limited by the lack of an animal model of HLHS. The purpose of this project is to attempt to develop an animal model of HLHS using the chick embryo model (within the shell or ex-ovo). We hypothesize that coarcting (narrowing) the aorta early in embryonic development will result in HLHS. To our knowledge, this approach has never been attempted. Thus participation in this project will require ingenuity and a willingness to develop new skills. Most importantly, this project will require a high degree of persistence, despite the knowledge that there is a high probability that this project will ultimately fail. The main motivation for participants will be that this project may yield the first animal model for HLHS, providing a much-needed research tool to better the lives of infants with this devastating congenital heart defect.
Spring 2018: Experimental Assessment of Software Engineering Practices Full Team
Project Leader:
Scott Kolodziej
scottk@tamu.edu
Computer Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Jeff Huang
Meeting Times:
W 9:00AM-11:00AM (Subject to team preferences).
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Possible co-authorship on resulting publications. Experience in human subject research, experimental design, software engineering research, and data analysis.
Team Needs:
Human subject research training is mandatory (can be completed after joining the team). Must also be available for proctoring human subject experiments (ranging from 1-5 hours per week - we'll work out a schedule that works for everyone). A general understanding of software development and statistics will be beneficial. Knowledge of and the ability to program in any of the following programming languages will also be beneficial, but not required: C++, Java, Javascript, and/or Python.
Description:
Software engineering practices new and old have been proposed in books and in conferences, but their benefits are only occasionally verified using randomized controlled experiments. In this research project, we plan to test several such practices on human subjects using well-designed and controlled experiments. For example, what kinds of code documentation work best, and does knowledge of design patterns lead to better software? After data collection, we will analyze the effect of these practices using statistical significance tests and report the results to the software engineering community at large.
Spring 2018: Underlying Factors of Childhood Food Security Full Team
Project Leader:
Marita John
marita01@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Sarah Gatson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
MW 4p-5p T5p-6p
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
co-authorship on publications
Team Needs:
Interest in this research and all majors are welcomed.
Description:
We will be conducting research on all the influential factors of Childhood Food Insecurity by analyzing trends and causes throughout history and current events. We will research childhood food security in our community, the Brazos Valley, in order to compare and contrast the results with national childhood food security. Exploring the correlations and causation of attributes in different circumstances will allow us to properly tackle this growing crisis.
Spring 2018: Smart Reversible Oil-Water Separator Full Team
Project Leader:
Dali Huang
dhuang@tamu.edu
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Zhengdong Cheng, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Available conferences and poster presentations opportunities will be shared to team members.
Team Needs:
Basic engineering knowledge, interest in chemistry experiment
Description:
With the ever-increasing industrial oily wastewater and frequent oil spill accidents from tankers or pipelines, clean water is becoming a rare commodity in the world. Water pollution has now caused severe environmental and ecological damage to human and nature. Oil-water separation is an effective area for water pollution treatment and has already aroused full public concern. Traditional oil water separation method usually has only one irreversible direction (hydrophobic or hydrophilic), which limits their application. In our project, we will be developing a convenient and controllable reversible smart mesh separator to acquire oil-water separation process. This smart mesh separator should have longtime reversible wettability and can easily transfer from superhydrophobicity to superhydrophilicity, and vice versa. It can offer a good candidate for scale-up oil-water mixtures.
Spring 2018: Ex ovo optimization Full Team
Project Leader:
Anson Harris
anson_harris@tamu.edu
Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Christopher Quick Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD based on team member availability
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Possibility of a conference presentation, with significant contributors having their name on any created abstracts as well as be listed as co-authors. This project will also allow for the development of lab and research skills.
Team Needs:
Willingness to work with chicken embryos Ability to work independently in a group setting Flexible schedule All undergrads required to enroll in VTPP 291/491 (3 credit hour research)
Description:
The chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) is an excellent model to study the structure and function of development of the fetal heart and vasculature, given rapidity of growth, cost, and ease of use. Although the CAM model can be studied in situ (inside of the shell), investigators have prefered growing the chick ex-ovo (outside of the shell) to provide easy access for serial study of the same vessels of the microvascular network over the course of multiple days. However, the ex-ovo CAM model has not been optimized for chronic microvascular studies, which requires access for intravital microscopy, prevention of infection, and control of environmental humidity and temperature. The purpose of this project is therefore to develop a novel microvascular ex-ovo cam model that is robust, easy to implement, inexpensive, and amenable to become the basis of a large-scale resource for the new Certificate Program in Biomedical Research.
Spring 2018: Effects on Lymphatic Vessel Permeability Full Team
Project Leader:
Laureen Gbordzoe
laureenag@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Ranjeet Dongaonkar Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
MW 12:00PM-3:00PM
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
You will have a possibility of co-authorship on paper and participation in student research week. Learn how to isolate and cannulate lymphatic vessels, and how to perform in vitro experiments and acquire and interpret physiological data from them.
Team Needs:
Interest in biomedical research. Preferred BIMS and Biomedical Engineering students.
Description:
It is well-understood that the lymphatic system controls fluid homeostasis in the body. However, investigators have just begun to study how lymphatic vessel function is controlled normally, and disease conditions. We will perform isolated lymphatic vessels experiments to better understand how lymphatic transmural permeability is regulated.
Spring 2018: Historical Archival Research (2) Full Team
Project Leader:
Karla Garza
karla.garza@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Lynn M. Burlbaw, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
W 2:00-3:00 (Tentative)
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members will have the chance to earn co-authorship on a paper(s) and/or presentation; possibly attend regional conference(s), gain experience with research and data analysis, support with academic writing, interact with faculty and other graduate student teams, and earn research credit.
Team Needs:
Participants must be accountable and self-motivated with a strong work ethic. Participants should understand the value and necessity of detailed and accurate work as it contributes to the analysis of printed materials.
Description:
The archiving and analysis of historical data on teachers, schools, and students who attended school during the early 20th century in Brazoria County (TX) is the focus of this research project. Students will work on categorizing archival data from the Brazoria County schools using archives and publications from ~1890 -1921. Excel will be used to organize the data, but facility in Excel is not required - the project will teach, if necessary, participating students the Microsoft Word and Excel skills needed. Documents include journal articles, teacher record books, superintendent reports, teacher certification exams, etc. from rural white and “colored” schools. This project is working in conjunction with that lead by Karen McIntush.
Spring 2018: Writing software for brain-wide mapping of fluoroscently labeled neurons. Full Team
Project Leader:
Himanshu Gangal
himanshu@medicine.tamhsc.edu
Neuroscience
Faculty Mentor:
Dr.Jun Wang Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Tuesday/Thursday anytime between 9am - 11:15am
Team Size:
0 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Co-authorship in case the work gets published. Great opportunity to spend time in a successful neuroscience lab. Opportunity to suggest and implement any of your own research ideas if feasible.
Team Needs:
Strong background in algorithms, image processing. Experience in machine learning is a plus.
Description:
Neurons in a rodent brain can be fluorescently labeled using transgenic mouse lines/viral gene delivery methods. To study neural circuits, it is essential to first isolate the types of neurons involved using fluorescent labeling and then acquire information about their spatial location in the brain. The aim of the project is to build a software that can automatically/semi-automatically analyze these neurons and map them to their corresponding spatial regions, using brain slice images. It will impact the way we conduct neuroscience research, from focusing on a specific brain region to brain-wide analysis. This approach will significantly facilitate neuroscience research.
Spring 2018: Cardiac Adaptation to Wall Stress Full Team
Project Leader:
Wesley Fuertes
wfuertes@tamu.edu
Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Randolph Stewart, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursday 4:00-5:30 PM; Friday 2:00 - 3:30 PM
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Potential to earn co-authorship, opportunity to present at research conferences such as Student Research Week, and potential letters of recommendation
Team Needs:
Experience is not required to join the project. We are looking for enthusiastic students that are able to think creatively, and who are curious about research.
Description:
The ability of investigators to relate indices of cardiac function to structure, mechanical properties, and adaptive processes of ventricles suffers from isolation of complementary fields of study. On one hand, the field of biomechanics has clarified how ventricular wall stress (WS) varies with changes in contractility and wall thickness (WT). On the other, the less-established field of mechanobiology has focused on how ventricular wall thickness and contractility vary with chronic alterations in ventricular wall stress. The purpose of the present work was to create a computational model that integrates biomechanics and mechanobiology to predict the adaptation behaviors of the heart and relate it to indicators of cardiac Function
Spring 2018: Computational Investigations of Molecular Gyroscopes Full Team
Project Leader:
Lars Erik Andreas Ehnbom
lehnbom@tamu.edu
Chemistry
Faculty Mentor:
John A. Gladysz, Ph.D.; Michael B. Hall, Ph.D.; Lisa M. Pérez, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Th 1.00PM-3.00 PM
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Can earn research credit (1 credit), co-authorship on publications, obtain knowledge and practice using quantum chemical software (Gaussian09), submitting jobs using supercomputers, as well as data analysis (e.g. KaleidaGraph™ for graph plotting, Mercury™, Avogadro™, and AGUI™ for visualizations). Preparation of posters and scientific presentations. Receive letters of recommendation for work or graduate school. This Spring we will focus on participating in Student Research Week (SRW).
Team Needs:
Participants must be accountable and self-motivated with a strong work ethic. Be dedicated, highly motivated, hardworking, and enthusiastic! Computing skills are not a requirement.
Description:
Gyroscopes have numerous technological applications, but until the work in the Gladysz group, no molecules that mimic the symmetry, connectivity, and rotational abilities of common toy gyroscopes were known. In a computational tour-de-force, we study entire families of complexes called molecular gyroscopes that have a static outer cage part and an inner part featuring a transition metal bearing ligands that may rotate. These components are systematically varied in this study and different properties are probed using computational tools.
Spring 2018: Overchurched, Underfed: Organizational Missions of Religiously Affiliated Food Provision in Brazos County 2 Full Team
Affiliations:
Everybody Eats: The Urban Re-Rural community food security ethnography
Project Leader:
Shelby Eckhardt
seckhardt@tamu.edu
Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications
Faculty Mentor:
Sarah Gatson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
participants must be available for at least TWO meeting times (see below)
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
-Extensive community service involvement -TAMU research symposium -Ongoing, multiple-semester project with significant impact on local food insecurity
Team Needs:
Monday (1pm-2:30pm) Tuesday (9am-12pm; 9:30am-11am) Wednesday (1pm-2:30pm) Thursday (9:30am-11am; 5pm-7pm) Friday (9:30am-11am) Saturday (10am-11:30am) Weekly Meeting (TBD)
Description:
Brazos County has a significantly higher number of religious congregations than the average county in Texas. Along with this, it also has a significantly higher rate of food insecurity among its citizens. These two realities, ostensibly, should not exist simultaneously in the same area. The purpose of this research project is to investigate the relationship between religious bodies and food security issues. Initially, we will explore baseline statistical data to establish the relationship. Further, we will create contacts with as many religious bodies as possible in order to perform participant-observational research with their food related service programs, investigating the variation across religion, denomination, size, and structure. The goal is to determine, if possible, what aspects of religious organizations—if any—affect food security issues in their community, and how. This project will emphasize a sociological imagination when thinking about religious issues in a community. As such, all religious activities will be treated objectively and with respect at all times.
Spring 2018: Algebraic Formula Predicting Preload Recruitable Stroke Work from Cardiac End-Diastolic and End-Systolic Pressure-Volume Relationships Full Team
Project Leader:
Lindsey Dekowski
v00116540@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Christopher Quick Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
T/Tr 2:30-4:00
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunities would include the ability to work with Dr. Quick, as well as potentially earn co-authorship on our manuscript pending publication, as well as become a full member of the team.
Team Needs:
Some understanding of Preload Recruitable Stroke Work (PRSW) as well as an understanding of our current manuscript/work would be preferential. We would also like someone with the ability to work in a group, and devote outside time to do individual research for the project.
Description:
The present work presents an algebraic formula for the relationship that predicts cardiac strike work as a function of end-diastolic diameter. The slope (i.e., preload recruitable stroke work, PRSW) was shown to be determined primarily by mean arterial pressure. Thus, PRSW can be highly influenced by systemic resistance, and may not be a reliable index of cardiac contractility. We are studying the reasons why it is not a reliable index.
Spring 2018: BitGrange & Machine-Learning Agricultural Tools Full Team
Project Leader:
Alfredo Costilla-Reyes
acostillar@tamu.edu
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Edgar Sánchez-Sinencio Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
F 5PM-6:00PM
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Through this project the team members will be able to apply the Build-Measure-Learn Lean Startup Methodology using a scientific approach to conduct an engineering-driven product development.
Team Needs:
Self-motivated research-oriented candidates must show strong programming skills in C++, Python, SolidWorks, Altium, Xcode, Swift. Students are expected to have research-level technical-writing and presentation skills.
Description:
BitGrange is an award-winning internet-enabled platform that has been developed with an entrepreneurial mindset to tackle real-world challenges in modern agriculture. Our first generation of devices are currently designed for urban agriculture (grow plants indoors) and a gamified smartphone application serves as a user interface with our platform. At BitGrange we are building tools for a future generation of farmers. Join us in our quest to build and shape the future of agriculture.
Spring 2018: Childhood Food Security Full Team
Project Leader:
Christa Cardenas
christa.cardenas@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Sarah Gatson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
MW 4p-5p T 5p-6p
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
co-authorship on publications
Team Needs:
willingness to work with children
Description:
We will be conducting service learning research. We will research childhood food security in the Brazos Valley and performing community service through a non-profit organization.
Spring 2018: Exploring beneficial fungi via insect-microbe interactions in sorghum Full Team
Project Leader:
Leah Buchman
lwb43@tamu.edu
Entomology
Faculty Mentor:
Greg Sword, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBA
Team Size:
1 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will have the opportunity to conduct research, learn important laboratory techniques and participate in research discussions.
Team Needs:
I would prefer students who can devote 2-3 hrs at a time, who demonstrate an interest in the field, who are inquisitive, curious, and have attention to detail. Previous experience in microbiology, lab work and statistics would be strongly recommended. Must register for ENTO 291 research credit, min 10 hours/week.
Description:
Beneficial fungi, also known as fungal endophytes are known to enhance plant nutrient uptake, reduce the spread of plant pathogens, stimulate plant growth and tolerate biotic (insect) and abiotic (drought) stressors. I am looking for students who are interested in investigating if these fungi can have an advantageous impact on sorghum's ability to resist/tolerate insect pests thus, allocating energy resources elsewhere.
Spring 2018: Process Intensification via Sorption-Enhanced Membrane Reactors Full Team
Project Leader:
Akhil Arora
akhilarora619@tamu.edu
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
M. M. Faruque Hasan, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBA
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Possibility of co-authorship in journal publications. Conference presentations and attendance. Opportunity to explore the fields of mathematical modeling and numerical simulation.
Team Needs:
The (preferable) skills include knowledge of mathematical modeling and numerical simulation, and programming in MATLAB
Description:
"Process Intensification (PI) has emerged as an efficient strategy for developing sustainable and economically-profitable chemical processes by significantly reducing capital and operating costs incurred, wastes generated, utilities consumed and raw materials required. PI predominantly focuses on developing novel processes and intensified hardware by integrating multiple synergistic phenomena to produce desired chemical products. The sorption-enhanced membrane reactor (SEMR) is one such application of PI where both reaction and separation occur simultaneously in a single reactor column. Fundamentally, SEMR is based on the widely-famous Le Chatelier’s principle which states that removing the reaction product(s) from a gas mixture pushes the reaction equilibrium in forward direction. SEMR integrates three different phenomena in a single column – (i) reaction promoted by respective catalyst, (ii) sorption promoted by a suitable sorbent, and (iii) permeation facilitated by membrane. Therefore, the SEMR column consists of solid sorbent and catalyst mixture, and a polymeric membrane. Due to the reaction product(s) removal by both sorbent and membrane, the equilibrium shifts in the forward direction, thereby producing the reaction product(s) with higher purity and productivity. As of now, we have already developed a generalized reaction-adsorption modeling and simulation (GRAMS) framework for simulating hybrid reaction-sorption systems. The objective of this project would be to extend the framework to include the physics introduced to the system by the addition of membrane separation. Initially, the project would require the students to obtain modeling equations for describing the SEMR systems. The students would then extend the GRAMS framework to introduce the membrane physics for simulating SEMR column using MATLAB. If time permits, in-house black-box optimization algorithms would then be used for optimizing the SEMR systems. "
Spring 2018: Layer-by-Layer Assemblies with Antimicrobial Agents for Biomedical Applications Full Team
Project Leader:
Victoria Albright
victoria.albright@tamu.edu
Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Svetlana Sukhishvili Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Hard working students will be rewarded with opportunities to present their work at a conference, earn co-authorship on publications or even become a full member of our research group.
Team Needs:
Science & engineering majors will be given preference.
Description:
The future of polymeric materials as biological implant coatings to prevent bacterial infection and stimulate cell growth depends on the ability to selectively trigger the release of components from the materials on demand. Our research group currently explores manipulating chemistry of polymer particles and films in order to develop polymeric materials that can deliver antibiotics in a controlled fashion. This work will explore direct assembly of antimicrobial agents and enzymes into layer-by-layer coatings with biodegradable polymers. Students are needed to help choose better drugs to incorporate into the films, understand the optimal conditions to deposit stable films, explore enzymatic degradation of films as well as film stability in various pH and salt conditions. Students will become familiar with the layer-by-layer assembly, ellipsometry, and various other techniques. Check out our recent work on biomedical polymer coatings that was featured in Science here: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nn500674g as well as our most recent work: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1742706117305020.
Fall 2017: Jobs and Party Switching: an Overview of 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Results by Employment Rate Full Team
Project Leader:
Haopeng Yuan
yhp122691@tamu.edu
Economics
Faculty Mentor:
Li Gan, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
M 4 pm-5:30 pm
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Team Needs:
Proficiency in statistics; excellent communication skills; be punctual; willing to learn about economics
Description:
We will be examining the change in economic condition of both economies along with the issuance of new trade policies by comparing major economic indicators, including GDP growth, unemployment rate, interest rate, net export, capital account and current account, etc. We will focus on the optimal solution on creating a win-win situation for both countries by building up a model that contains some of the factors above, adjusting and comparing the results in the model. We should be able to make suggestions on how governments should be involved in trade policy in order to maximize the social welfare of both countries by the end of the project.
Fall 2017: Porcine Epicardial Lymphatics Full Team
Project Leader:
Helene Weideman
heleneweideman@gmail.com
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Ranjeet Dongaonkar, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Monday 4 pm- 6pm; Tuesday 3:30-5:30pm
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Possibility of earning co-authorship on a paper, learn to dissect and cannulate vessels, learn to perform in vitro vessel experiments and physiological data acquisition.
Team Needs:
Entry level Chemistry and Biology courses completed with lab, interest in biomedical science research, preferred BIMS and biomedical engineering majors
Description:
The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in interstitial fluid balance—it collects and transports fluid and proteins lost to the interstitial space from blood capillaries to the circulation system. However, little is known about epicardial lymphatic function. Therefore, we plan to study the response of porcine epicardial lymphatic vessels to various physiological stimuli as well as the expression levels of different contractile elements.
Fall 2017: Supporting women in STEM learning in Informal settings Full Team
Affiliations:
Project Leader:
Katherine Vela
kvela07@tamu.edu
Curriculum & Instruction
Faculty Mentor:
Robert M. Capraro, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Fall 2017: TBD (A mutually agreeable time will be determined when the team is assembled)
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunity to conduct research, work on presentations at student research week, paid travel to present at a conference, and to participate in writing a publication. Research credit can also be available from the College of Education.
Team Needs:
Positive attitude, enjoyment of team work, highly motivated, technology friendly.
Description:
Collaborators on this project will explore issues related why middle and high school girls avoid rigorous Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics learning. Women and women of color specifically are underrepresented in STEM college majors and in the professors. We will explore ways to help middle and secondary school girls to make choices about middle and high school classes that can lead to pursing a college degree in STEM. Their informal experiences may provide the opportunity to explore STEM careers and provide important incentives. We will work with three groups a girls only, a boy only, and mixed gender camps to explore what it takes to support girls in STEM fields.
Fall 2017: Exploring the Potential Applicability of ERAS and Robotic-Assisted Surgery Among Hysterectomies Full Team
Project Leader:
Justin Vann
jmvann11@gmail.com
Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Saurabh Biswas, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Twice Weekly: Time TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will participate in applied scientific research, and could obtain co-authorship on a clinical research paper. Depending on student involvement, letters of recommendation could be obtained. Additionally, students could shadow in surgery, and observe a surgical procedure that utilizes the intraoperative steps of ERAS
Team Needs:
An interest and background in biomedical science research, along with a basic proficiency in statistics is crucial. Additionally, individual initiative, utilization of critical-thinking and data analytical skills is important. Finally, further consideration will be given to those with strong communication skills (i.e., those who can cold call physicians and hospital administrators for basic information).
Description:
Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) has exhibited promise of improving outcomes among patients undergoing variety of surgical procedure diseases. Additionally, utilizing robots in clinical practice has enabled improved patient outcomes, mainly due to the decreased risk of attendant side effects. To that end, we will conduct a case-control study, as a means to understand the types of protocols implemented during abdominal hysterectomy procedures. By doing so, team members will be able to obtain data in the perioperative, intraoperative, and postoperative setting. The team will analyze the various methods and implementation of ERAS, and assess its ability to enhance patient recovery. Ultimately, the team will compare the utilization and outcomes involved with standard NPO-based surgery, ERAS-based surgery, and ERAS – ROBOTIC surgery.
Fall 2017: Social Mixing In Cattle Full Team
Affiliations:
Undergrad Animal Science and Behaviour Lab
Project Leader:
Emily Van Raay
emily.vanraay@tamu.edu
Animal Science
Faculty Mentor:
Courtney Daigle, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Tuesdays 5:30pm-6:30pm
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Team Needs:
Part of the Undergrad Animal Science and Behaviour Lab
Description:
Validating social mixing causes in cattle by ethogram and video.
Fall 2017: Algebraic Formula Predicting Preload Recruitable Stroke Work from Cardiac End-Diastolic and End-Systolic Pressure-Volume Relationships Full Team
Project Leader:
Ian Stoute
imstoute@tamu.edu
Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Description:
Preload recruitable stroke work (PRSW) is a fundamental characterization of cardiac function that is purportedly independent of preload and afterload. It is typically expressed as an empirical relationship between stroke work (SW) and end-diastolic volume (Ved). This relationship has been reported to be strikingly linear over large ranges of end-diastolic volumes in multiple mammalian species. Although the slope and intercept of the PRSW relationship shift significantly with different heart failure phenotypes, there is currently no means to predict a priori how changes in contractility, diastolic stiffness, or unstressed volume will affect the PRSW. Therefore, the purpose of the present work was to develop an algebraic formula for the PRSW relationship in terms of standard parameters characterizing systolic and diastolic function. Four simple assumptions were made. First, the end-systolic pressure-volume relationship was assumed to be linear, characterized by end-systolic elastance (Ees) and end-systolic unstressed volume. Second, the end-diastolic pressure was assumed to be an exponential function of end-diastolic volume, characterized by parameters describing diastolic stiffness. Third, either mean arterial pressure (MAP) or systemic resistance were assumed to be constant. Fourth, MAP was assumed to approximate end-systolic pressure. Solving for SW as a function of Ved resulted in a nearly linear relationship. The PRSW relationship was linearized using a Taylor series approximation, which yielded simple formulas for the slope and intercept of the PRSW relationship in terms of Ees and diastolic stiffness. The slope was found to be predominantly determined by MAP, elucidating the difficulties encountered using PRSW as an index of cardiac contractility.
Fall 2017: Optimized Solar Energy Harvesting with Dual Phase Output Full Team
Project Leader:
Sinan Sabeeh
sinan.sabih@tamu.edu
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Prasad Enjeti, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
MWT 3:00-5:00PM
Team Size:
2 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Attending Conferences, earning co-authorship on publication, learning how to get Research Grand for Post Grad
Team Needs:
C++, Lab-view, Ni equipment, DSP control, Matlab/Simulink skill (There skills are NOT mandatory to have but highly preferred)
Description:
As the electrical grid becomes more complex—Including different types of power generation units e.g solar, wind, turbines...etc—there is high demand to design elements that help to maintain the stability of the grid. This project focuses on designing an optimized differential power converter to harvest solar energy from multiple sources, and feed it high density dual phase output inverter to supply 110V/220V. The project would involve C block programming, circuit design, voltage and current sensors, using simulation tools e.g PLECS and SIMULINK. The power converter would work on high switching frequency 100KhZ-500KhZ and final product should be actual hardware that can be commercialized. The project would done in four phases: Phase 1 would ensure the dual phase inverter works on stable DC input (e.g Battery) Phase 2 would ensure the inverter works on a single set of PV module build in series and parallel Phase 3 would ensure the Power sharing module works effectively with multiple inputs Phase 4 would be integrating the Power Sharing and Balancing module with dual phase output inverter.
Fall 2017: Dopamine Effects on Lymphatic Vessels II Full Team
Project Leader:
Cheyenne Rovello
chey_rov@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Ranjeet Dongaonkar, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Fall 2017: M 12:30PM-5:30PM
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Possibility of earning co-authorship on a paper, learn to dissect and cannulate vessels, learn to perform in vitro vessel experiments physiological data acquisition.
Team Needs:
Interest in bio-medical science research, preferred BIMS and biomedical engineering majors
Description:
Recent studies have reported that dopamine at low concentrations has chronotropic as well as inotropic effects on the heart. The resulting increases in cardiac contractility and heart rate have been reported to increase cardiac output, increase mean arterial blood pressure and decrease central venous pressure. However, how dopamine affects lymphatic pump has yet to be studied thoroughly.
Fall 2017: Novel Mammalian Similarity Principle Predicted from the Minimal Closed-Loop Cardiovascular Model Full Team
Project Leader:
Emily Rimes
em4ags@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Co-authorship
Team Needs:
We are looking for team members that are interested employing their strong writing skills, or members who have developed effective public speaking skills. Also, looking for members who are interested in reading and learning the literature on allometry. While math skills are welcomed, it is not a necessary skill for this project. Must be willing to work outside scheduled meeting times. Students will be expected to register for 3 ch of research (VTPP 291/491 or BMEN 291/491).
Description:
Allometric scaling laws are empirical relationships relating particular parameters to body weight. Investigators have identified only a small number of allometric invariants for the mammalian cardiovascular system--combinations of parameters that have constant values independent of species weight. Although many allometric invariants have arisen from applying optimality principles, the physics governing blood pressures and flows impose constraints that strictly limit parameter values. Therefore, the purpose of the present work is to derive a novel mammalian similarity principle, assuming a closed-loop cardiovascular model.
Fall 2017: Why Do STEM Majors Become STEM Majors Full Team
Project Leader:
Devyn Rice
devynchae15@gmail.com
Educational Administration & Human Resource Development
Faculty Mentor:
Sue Geller, Ph.D.; Sandra Nite, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Thursday 4-5
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Presentation of the research, possible publication
Team Needs:
willing to work, interested in the topic, excited to learn about research
Description:
Examining the effects of informal/formal education, mentorship, and social interactions on the decision for students to become STEM majors.
Fall 2017: Epigenetic Regulation of Metabolic Disease Full Team
Project Leader:
Catherine Powell
powell@tamhsc.edu
College of Pharmacy-Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Mahua Choudhury, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
MWF 9:00-10:00 AM
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunities include building professional skills and experience in epigenetic research and letters of recommendation for graduate school
Team Needs:
Motivated and reliable students who are interested in research.
Description:
This project will focus on the introduction to laboratory science with an emphasis on learning epigenetic concepts in relation to metabolic disease. This project will include learning basic laboratory skills, pipetting, autoclaving, and advanced techniques such as western blotting, mouse handling, and data analysis. Scholars will be encouraged to engage in ongoing research in the lab varying from cell culture to mouse work.
Fall 2017: Exhumation and Incision of the Oregon Cascades Full Team
Project Leader:
Maria Pesek
pesekmaria@tamu.edu
Geology and Geophysics
Faculty Mentor:
Nicholas Perez, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
W 4:10PM - 5:10 PM
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members have the opportunity to present their work as a team at the department research symposium and Student Research Week if desired.
Description:
This project aims to define the timing and spatial pattern of exhumation and fluvial incision in the Oregon Cascades to investigate how along-strike variability of exhumation and the development of high topography may be indicative of interactions between lithospheric and surface processes. Team members will reconstruct the exhumation pathway across the range by assisting in mineral separation techniques for apatite and zircon grains in plutonic rocks and feldspar grains in basalts that will later be subject to low-temperature (U-Th)/He dating and Ar/Ar dating, respectively.
Fall 2017: Animal Welfare Judging Team Full Team
Affiliations:
Undergrad Animal Science and Behaviour Lab
Project Leader:
Rachel Park
rachelpark@tamu.edu
Animal Science
Faculty Mentor:
Courtney Daigle, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Tuesdays at 5:30 PM
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students involved will have the opportunity to travel to Iowa to compete and build connections within the animal welfare industry.
Team Needs:
Students will be required to meet twice weekly for one hour time periods to engage in team learning to prepare for the competition. They will additionally need to practice gathering scientific sources on their own time.
Description:
Students engaging in the Animal Welfare Judging Team will provide oral reasons based on scientific evidence to indicate welfare status of animals in a competitive environment. MORE INFORMATION on this project will be provided at informationals during the following times: Tuesday, Sep5th, 7PM @ KLCT 123; Thursday, Sep7th, 6PM @ KLCT 121
Fall 2017: Swelling Response and Thermal Transitions of Polyelectrolyte Multilayers Full Team
Project Leader:
Joshua O'neal
hammer534@tamu.edu
Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Jodie Lutkenhaus, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Fridays at 12:00PM
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Co-authorship on a journal article in a scientific journal. Potentially a letter of recommendation to employers or graduate programs from a well respected faculty member.
Team Needs:
Prior research experience is required. Preferably experience working with polymers and soft materials. Must be junior classification or above. Chemical Engineers and chemistry majors preferred. Must be willing/able to work in a laboratory environment independently. Data processing skills (excel, matlab, origin or equivilent) preferred.
Description:
In this project we will explore the responsive behavior of polyelectrolyte multilayers to changes in post-assembly environment. The project will inlclude preparation of layer-by-layer thin films, analysis of thermal properties using modulated differential scanning calorimetry, analysis of physical responsive behavior using quartz-crystal microbalance with dissipation, as well as various emission spectroscopy techniques for fundamental elemental analysis of samples. This work will result in a publication, and all those team members who contribute to the project completion will be names as co-authors on the manuscript.
Fall 2017: Development and Validation of a Novel Fear Test for Cattle Full Team
Project Leader:
Amanda Mathias
a.mathias@tamu.edu
Animal Science
Faculty Mentor:
Courtney Daigle, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
T 5:30PM-6:30PM
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Team Needs:
Commitment to working hard, completing tasks, and being willing to try something new.
Description:
Using a Bovine Zero Maze (BZM) to quantify stress and anxiety in cattle in comparison to the open field test, pen scores, and exit velocity.
Fall 2017: Ornamental Saltwater Fish - Studying the Aquarium Keeping Social World Full Team
Project Leader:
Elizabeth Marchio
elizabeth.marchio@tamu.edu
Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
David Scott, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Twice a week TBD; Approximately 2 hours of research will be done per week for the fall semester.
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Research co-authorship is possible; please inquire. I am also looking for a student to apply for the Applied Biodiversity Conservation Scholars Program at Texas A&M
Team Needs:
"Students with personal or family-owned saltwater aquaria are asked to be participant observers. Students with no personal saltwater aquaria are asked to do content analyses. Students who show interest and promise are invited to participate in conducting interviews of all skill level aquarists in any location in the United States. "
Description:
90-99% of all ornamental marine organisms in the aquarium hobby are wild caught. Who are the people that keep these organisms? What motivates them? What positive and negative attributes are found within the saltwater aquarium trade? Do aquarists learn about conservation or science? These are a sample of the themes my team is researching. Methods: You will participate in one of two separate projects: (1) Participant observation which includes participating in the hobby and/or observing those who participate in it or (2) analyzing the content of saltwater aquarium-related literature, online forums, and any other pertinent materials. Interviewing aquarists is also possible.
Fall 2017: Algebraic Formula Predicting the Fraction of Absorbed Fluid Transported by Mesenteric Lymphatic Vessels Full Team
Project Leader:
Chesley Johnson
cmjcmj25@tamu.edu
Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Th 12:45PM-2:00PM
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
This project is well-developed, with a manuscript in preparation for submission. Team members will have the opportunity to earn co-authorship.
Team Needs:
We are looking for team members that can use their skills to advance the project to a completed manuscript. We are particularly interested in students that have strong writing ability. An additional requirement we have is the ability to synthesize information from multiple scientific journals. Lastly, the project being a mathematical model, we are interested in students that have a mathematical modeling background.
Description:
Nutrients absorbed into the interstitial space from the intestinal lumen can be transported either by intestinal capillaries to the liver or by the mesenteric lymphatics to the great veins of the neck. Several factors can alter the fraction of nutrients and fluid that is transported by mesenteric lymphatics, including abnormal liver function. The purpose of the present work is to develop a simple algebraic formula that predicts the fraction of nutrients and fluid that is transported by the mesenteric lymphatic vessels. This model will not only allow for the prediction of nutrient transport, but will also serve as a novel tool in characterizing critical parameter values in clinically relevant disease states. Currently the project is in the writing phase, however, interpreting previous data, validation, and exploring disease states are also major focuses.
Fall 2017: Synthetic polymeric coatings for corrosion protection Full Team
Project Leader:
Hanna Hlushko
hanna.hlushko@tamu.edu
Materials Science and Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Svetlana Sukhishvili, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Fall 2017: TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Earning co-authorship, becoming a full member of our research group, developing of professional skills and abilities.
Team Needs:
Responsibility, accountability, maturity, general chemistry knowledge, ability to work in a team.
Description:
This topic will include studies of physical and chemical properties of antioxidant polymers which have been synthesized in our lab and the development of polymeric coatings based on these polymers. In particular, the project will include learning a range of polymer characterization techniques (TLC, UV-vis, FTIR), studies of thermal properties of polymers (such as glass transition temperature), and measurements of polymer coatings properties (contact angle, roughness, adhesion of the coating to the surface). Finally, an epoxy-based coating that contains these novel antioxidant polymers will be developed, and coatings will be prepared for electrochemical testing of their anticorrosion efficiency.
Fall 2017: Historical biography in World Cultures: Using narratives to enhance middle school social studies experiences Full Team
Project Leader:
Eliel Hinojosa
elielhinojosajr@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Lynn Burlbaw, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Fall 2017: TBD
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Participants will have the opportunity to earn co-authorship in a paper and/or presentation. Additionally, students have the opportunity to gain research and academic writing experience as well as earn research credit.
Team Needs:
Participants must be accountable and self-motivated with a strong work ethic. Participants should enjoy gathering information verbally as well as through analysis of printed materials.
Description:
As middle school students study world cultures their depth of understanding is often limited by the lack of biographical information from the people in those cultures. Historical narratives and the biographies of people from around the world can provide students with greater understanding of the economic, social, political and environmental factors that shape/shaped their lives. Participants in this project will work to collect oral histories and/or recorded histories from people who represent their particular region. The objective is to collect historical accounts for the purpose of preparing them for use by the middle school social studies teacher. While the curriculum of the sixth-grade World Cultures course calls for an analysis of the overall society of the area studied, we hope to engage students more profoundly by allowing them to interact with first-hand accounts of real people whose lives are/were affected by the unique facets of their country. First-hand accounts will be gathered through personal interview as well as through analyzing recorded materials. Upon the completion of data gathering it is our intention to make the narratives suitable for middle school use and then compile them into a collection for use by the middle school social studies teacher. Additionally, this research will be conducted with the goal of earning a publication in a historical or educational peer-reviewed journal.
Fall 2017: Kaplan Longitudinal & Multigenerational Survey (KLAMS) Using R Full Team
Project Leader:
Kimber Harvey
i_am_4ever_yours7@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Heili Pals, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Wednesdays (2:40-3:30pm)
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
possible conference and KLAMS team membership
Team Needs:
Proficient in applied statistics
Description:
For this project, we will explore the KLAMS data using R, and will create tools to help our knowledge of statistics to use on the data set.
Fall 2017: Shaping the cotton microbiome for sustainable pest management Full Team
Project Leader:
Polly Harding
pollyharding@tamu.edu
Entomology
Faculty Mentor:
Gregory Sword Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will lead their own experiment and learn technical skills such as managing field and greenhouse cotton, monitoring and controlling insect pests, performing dose-response assays, rearing insects, PCR, isolating microbes from plant tissues, and assessing the viability of fungal spores
Team Needs:
Must register for ENTO 291 research credits, minimum 10 hrs/week. Prior experience not required, but students with a demonstrated interest in a relevant field of study are preferred. To apply, send resume to pollyharding@tamu.edu
Description:
Fungi that occur inside living plant tissue without causing harm to the plant are known as fungal endophytes. Research in field crops has shown endophytes enhance plant growth and increase resistance to pests. A team of undergraduate researchers will investigate whether these microbes can be utilized for reducing dependence on insecticides in cotton production.
Fall 2017: Characterization of the Upper Camp Bird III Rock Glacier in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado Using Electromagnetic Induction Full Team
Project Leader:
Raquel Granados-Aguilar
raquelg@tamu.edu
Geology and Geophysics
Faculty Mentor:
John (Rick) Giardino, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
M 09:00AM-10:00AM
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Attending and presenting at a national conference, as well as other relevant meetings
Team Needs:
Geology field work experience Excels in a group setting. Learn how to collect and analyze data, Punctuality, meeting deadlines, Being proactive
Description:
The proposed research intends to provide a characterization of the internal structure, including water storages, pathways, and thresholds, as well as an estimation of the volume of ice stored within a rock glacier to evaluate its potential as a freshwater resources.
Fall 2017: Exploring the Properties of Werner Complex Using Computational Methods & Computational Investigations of Molecular Gyroscopes Full Team
Project Leader:
Lars Erik Andreas Ehnbom
lehnbom@tamu.edu
Chemistry
Faculty Mentor:
John A. Gladysz, Ph.D.; Michael B. Hall, Ph.D.; Lisa M. Pérez, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Tuesday 1PM
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Can earn research credit (1-3 credits), co-authorship on publications, obtain knowledge and practice using quantum chemical software (Gaussian09), submitting jobs using supercomputers, as well as data analysis (e.g. KaleidaGraph™ for graph plotting, Mercury™, Avogadro™, and AGUI™ for visualizations). Preparation of posters and scientific presentations. Receive letters of recommendation for work or graduate school.
Team Needs:
Participants must be accountable and self-motivated with a strong work ethic. Be dedicated, highly motivated, hard working, and enthusiastic! Computing skills are not a requirement.
Description:
You can choose to work with any of the two topics below. The work-methodology for them are the same. Topic 1: Experiments by Alfred Werner in the late 19th century on cobalt coordination compounds paved the road for modern coordination theory and stereochemistry. We followed in the footprints of Werner and now use related cobalt-containing complexes for catalysis. However, we do not fully understand how these catalysts function and this project use computational tools to study the properties and energies of Werner complex and their isomers. Topic 2: Gyroscopes have numerous technological applications, but until the work in the Gladysz group, no molecules that mimic the symmetry, connectivity, and rotational abilities of common toy gyroscopes were known. In a computational tour-de-force, we study entire families of complexes called molecular gyroscopes that have a static outer cage part and an inner part featuring a transition metal bearing ligands that may rotate. These components are systematically varied in this study and different properties are probed using computational tools.
Fall 2017: BitGrange: development of a smart hydroponics device to grow vegetables indoors. Full Team
Project Leader:
Alfredo Costilla-Reyes
acostillar@tamu.edu
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Edgar Sánchez-Sinencio, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
F 10:00AM-1:00PM
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Through this project the team members will be able to apply the Build-Measure-Learn Lean Startup Methodology using a scientific approach to conduct an engineering-driven product development.
Team Needs:
Strong programming skills in C++, SolidWorks, Altium, Xcode, Swift. Self-motivated research-oriented students. The students are expected to have research-level technical-writing skills.
Description:
BitGrange is an internet-enabled device, to easily grow vegetables indoors. While this device is currently designed to make it easy to grow real food, a gamified smartphone application is intended to serve as an educational tool to teach kids the science behind agriculture.
Fall 2017: Budgeting App Full Team
Project Leader:
Yuna Choe
ychoe@tamu.edu
Marketing
Faculty Mentor:
Christina Kan Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
T 11:00AM-1:00PM (but flexible with team members)
Team Size:
2 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
For students, they can exercise their programming and computing skills to create an app, and they get to earn an opportunity to beta-test to Aggie students. We also aim to develop it into a campus-wide movement to adapt this personal finance management app!
Team Needs:
Programming skills to create a mobile app
Description:
Let's create a budget app for Aggies! We would like to make a personal finance management service mobile app, simply recording how much people plan to spend and tracking how much they actually spend.
Fall 2017: Study of the rheological (flow behavior) properties of cornmeal powder Full Team
Project Leader:
Dipanshu Chinwan
dipanshuchinwan@tamu.edu
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Elena Castell-Perez Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Posters, conference, etc
Team Needs:
Punctual, food enthusiast, determined, fun,
Description:
o Characterize the physical properties of cornmeal at different moisture contents o Characterize the flow behavior of cornmeal and other food powders o Develop flow equations for cornmeal-water mixture at different ratios as they enter/exit an extruder
Fall 2017: Field-based Surveying of Riverine Channels for Hydrologic and Geomorphic Applications Full Team
Project Leader:
Cesar Castillo
castillocesar@tamu.edu
Geography
Faculty Mentor:
Inci Guneralp, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
W 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunities include: Exploring field-based aspects of hydrology and geomorphology; becoming a full member of our research group; and possibly attending a conference.
Team Needs:
The mandatory requirements include: 1) A U3 to U5 classification in a geoscience or environmental science related discipline. This will ensure that students have a solid understanding of basic hydrologic and geomorphic concepts and terminology. 2) The students must participate in all field-based activities. This includes field-based training and the fieldwork that will be undergone at Fennessey Ranch. Furthermore, students need to be able and willing to trek through water, mud, and thick vegetation that are commonly found in riparian environments. Sought after skills, talents, or abilities include: 1) Skills in topographic surveying that include using survey equipment. 2) Skills in using Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)/Global Positioning Systems (GPS) equipment and software. 3) Skills in using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). 4) Skills in using programming languages for data analysis. Preferred languages include: R, Python, and Matlab. 5) Skills in using canoes and kayaks in riverine environments.
Description:
Students will be trained in the classroom and in the field (in places around College Station such as Wolf Pen Creek Park) to use topographic survey equipment and techniques that are commonly used by hydrologists and geomorphologists. Once students have been properly trained, they will assist the Team Leader in surveying the channel geometries of Mission River for several locations (10-20) in and around Fennessey Ranch on the Coastal Bend of Texas.
Fall 2017: Childhood Food Security Full Team
Project Leader:
Christa Cardenas
christa.cardenas@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Sarah Gatson Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
MW 4pm-5pm and 5:30pm-630pm
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
co-authorship on publications
Team Needs:
willingness to work with children between the ages of 8 and 17
Description:
We will be conducting service learning research. We will research childhood food security in the Brazos Valley and performing community service through a non-profit organization.
Fall 2017: Dopamine's effects on lymphatic vessels Full Team
Project Leader:
Elizabeth Brown
eabrown11@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Ranjeet Dongaonkar, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
M 12PM-3PM
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Possibility of earning co-authorship on a paper, learn to dissect and cannulate vessels, learn to perform in vitro vessel experiments physiological data acquisition.
Team Needs:
Interest in bio-medical science research, preferred BIMS and biomedical engineering majors
Description:
Recent studies have reported that dopamine at low concentrations has chronotropic as well as inotropic effects on the heart. The resulting increases in cardiac contractility and heart rate have been reported to increase cardiac output, increase mean arterial blood pressure and decrease central venous pressure. However, how dopamine affects lymphatic pump has yet to be studied thoroughly.
Fall 2017: X-Nav Interplanetary Mission Simulation Full Team
Project Leader:
Stoian Borissov
sborissov@tamu.edu
Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Daniele Mortari, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Twice weekly. Time TBD
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Co-authorship on journal and conference papers, potential opportunity to visit Johnson Space Center
Team Needs:
Calc, Scripting, MATLAB, GMAT, Basic Prob and Stats, Signal Processing, Relativistic Physics
Description:
The 'X-Nav' team is dedicated to developing the technologies required for spacecraft navigation using X-Ray pulsars. X-ray pulsars are distant but highly energetic stars that flash at a regular interval and their light may be used to aid spacecraft navigation. This navigation technique has been tossed around by academics for decades, however our goal is to produce a fully fleshed out simulation of an interplanetary mission using x-nav. Through partnerships with Goddard Space Flight Center and Johnson Space Center, we will be be testing navigation algorithms and hardware tech. There will be heavy use of scripting languages such as MATLAB as well as mission simulation tools such as NASA's GMAT software. Students in this group will be responsible for first familiarizing themselves with the state of the art of x-nav. Online articles as well publications from academic journals will be given to students. Several copies of textbooks on pulsar astronomy will also be made available. The final results of students' work will be published in conference proceedings and may even be incorporated into journal articles. A strong background in the fundamentals of linear algebra and calculus as well as familiarity with scripting are required.
Fall 2017: Good at Math? How Teacher Mathematics Anxiety Affect their Students. Full Team
Affiliations:
Project Leader:
Danielle Bevan
dbevan114@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning, & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Robert M. Capraro, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Fall 2017: TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Can earn research credit, can participate in Student Research Week, paid conference presentation travel, authoring manuscripts for publication, and receive letter of recommendation for work or graduate school
Team Needs:
A can do attitude, a research interest, able to meet virtually when face-to-face is not possible. Dedication, highly motivated, hard working, enthusiasm.
Description:
The purpose of this project is to explore how mathematical misconceptions and or mathematics anxiety intersect to influence how teachers understand mathematics and how that influences the mathematics they teach their students. Research says that students, who are empowered mathematically are the ones who were taught mathematics by teachers who build students' mathematical identity. Research also indicates that students who have a strong mathematical identity have much greater mathematics achievement and have a much higher earning potential. Our goal is to understand what influences preservice teacher mathematics misconceptions and anxiety and develop strategies to address misconceptions and remove the mathematics anxiety.
Fall 2017: A study of porcine epicardial lymphatics Full Team
Project Leader:
Lena Ayari
Lena97@tamu.edu
Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Ranjeet Dongaonkar, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Monday 4-6, Tuesday 2-5, Wednesday 4-6
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Possibility of earning co-authorship on a paper, learn to dissect and cannulate vessels, learn to perform in vitro vessel experiments.
Team Needs:
Interest in biomedical science research, preferred BIMS and biomedical engineering majors
Description:
The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in interstitial fluid balance—it collects and transports fluid and proteins lost to the interstitial space from blood capillaries to the circulation system. However, little is known about epicardial lymphatic function. Therefore, we plan to study the response of porcine epicardial lymphatic vessels to various physiological stimuli.
Fall 2017: Layer-by-layer Polymer Assemblies with Antimicrobial Agents for Biomedical Applications Full Team
Project Leader:
Victoria Albright
victoria.albright@tamu.edu
Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Svetlana Sukhishvili, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
MWF 2 pm til 6 pm
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Hard working students will be rewarded with opportunities to present their work at a conference, earn co-authorship on publications or even become a full member of our research group.
Team Needs:
Science & engineering majors will be given preference.
Description:
"The future of polymeric materials as biological implant coatings to prevent bacterial infection and stimulate cell growth depends on the ability to selectively trigger the release of components from the materials on demand. Our research group currently explores manipulating chemistry of polymer particles and films in order to develop polymeric materials that can deliver antibiotics and cell stimulating factors in a controlled fashion. This work will explore direct assembly of antimicrobial agents and enzymes into layer-by-layer coatings with biodegradable polymers. Students are needed to help choose better drugs to incorporate into the films, understand the optimal conditions to deposit stable films, explore enzymatic degradation of films as well as film stability in various pH and salt conditions. Students will become familiar with the layer-by-layer assembly, ellipsometry, and various other techniques. Check out our recent work on biomedical polymer coatings that was featured in Science here: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nn500674g as well as our most recent work: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1742706117305020."
Fall 2017: Role of Replication Protein A (RPA) in T elomere Maintenance Full Team
Project Leader:
Behailu Aklilu
behailu@tamu.edu
Biochemistry and Biophysics
Faculty Mentor:
Dorothy Shippen, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Friday, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Special opportunities for students include exploring the field of telomeres and telomerase in relation to cancer and aging, participating in scientific meetings and conferences, and earning co-authorship on publications.
Team Needs:
For my research team, I accept undergraduate students who are in their second and/or third year of study (sophomores or juniors) and majoring in genetics or biochemistry. In addition, to be part of my team students should register for 491 Research credit. As students in my team will participate in design, execution, and analysis of experiments, they must be in good academic standing and able to commit to 10-12 hours of research per week, and for at least 3 semesters. In addition, students should have high personal motivation, commitment, self-management, detail-orientation, and ability to take responsibility. Prior laboratory experience in PCR and cloning is advantageous, but not required.
Description:
The ends of eukaryotic linear chromosomes are capped by nucleoprotein structures called telomeres, which protect the termini from progressive chromosome shortening and play essential roles in genome stability and cell proliferation capacity. Interestingly, the telomere itself need to be protected from attrition that is caused by barriers of telomere replication, e.g. G-rich higher order structures, in telomere tracts. We use biochemical, molecular and genetic approaches to study the role of Replication Protein A (RPA); a heterotrimeric, single-stranded DNA-binding protein complex required for multiple processes in eukaryotic DNA metabolism, including replication, repair and recombination; in protecting telomeres tracts from attrition caused by such higher order structures.
Fall 2017: Virtual-reality enhanced exoskeleton for rehabilitation controlled via reverse engineering the central nervous system Full Team
Affiliations:
Project Leader:
Amin Zeiaee
amin.zeiaee@tamu.edu; rana.soltani@tamu.edu
Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Reza Langari, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunity to work with a real robotic system, opportunity to work with microsoft Hololens, opportunity to interact with a medical robot
Team Needs:
Solid Basic Engineering Knowledge, Interest in programming and robotics, motivated and interested in hands on experience
Description:
Focus of this project is on developing a virtual-reality enhanced upper limb exoskeleton for rehabilitation of stroke patients. Exoskeleton is an orthosis device worn by the patients which will enable automated physical therapy. To enhance the rehabilitation process, a virtual reality environment will be linked to the exoskeleton. Thus the research effort will include automation, control and programming tasks.
Fall 2017: Nutrition and health of 17th-century sailors Full Team
Project Leader:
Grace Tsai
getsai@tamu.edu
Anthropology
Faculty Mentor:
Karen Kubena, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
W 3-4 pm and as needed
Team Size:
16 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students have the chance to be a co-author in a paper, may have the opportunity to tour and possibly stay on a historical sailing vessel, present at conferences, and receive directed studies course credit in Nutrition
Team Needs:
For those with an interest in the biology/microbiology/biochemistry/hard science side of the project, previous lab experience is preferred. I am looking for a mixture of talents as this is a multi-disciplinary project. In particular, students majoring, or with an interest in, biochemistry/microbiology, visualization, food science, meat science, viticulture, nutrition, marketing, history, anthropology, chemistry, and biology are sought after in this team. However, all interested individuals are welcome to apply.
Description:
This project hopes to understand the effects of shipboard diet on the health of sailors by determining the nutritional intake of seamen on 17th-century English ships. Previous attempts to gauge the nutritional value of shipboard diets were based on historical documentation instead of laboratory data. In this project, shipboard food will be replicated using the exact ingredients and methods of preparation from the 17th century, including non-GMO ingredients, the exact species of plant or animal, and the same butchery methods and cuts of meat. Archaeological and historical data will be used to replicate the salted pork and beef, ship biscuit, wine and beer, and other provisions aboard Warwick, an English race-built galleon that sank in 1619. Then, a trans-Atlantic voyage will be simulated by storing the food in casks and keeping these in a ship’s hull for three months. Every ten days, representative samples of food will be sent for nutritional and microbial analysis. Lastly, this project compares laboratory results to data that has already been derived from human remains on wrecks such as Mary Rose (1545) and Vasa (1628). This project also has broader impacts because it is hypothesized that certain microbes found on the experimental food may be novel strains of probiotics, which can be cultured for today’s health industry. The results of the project will be featured in an exhibit at the Texas Seaport Museum in Galveston.
Fall 2017: Optimal stroke work of contracting lymphatic vessels Full Team
Affiliations:
Michael E. DeBakey Institute Undergraduate Research Program
Project Leader:
Scott Rohren
scottarh@tamu.edu
Biomedical Science
Faculty Mentor:
Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
MW 3PM-5PM
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members have the chance to earn co-authorship in a paper, gain experience with data analysis and scientific writing, interact with faculty, and earn research credit.
Team Needs:
Prior experience is not necessary. This team is looking for enthusiastic members with the ability to comprehend basic algebra, and use algebraic solutions as a basis to characterize physiological systems. A science, math, or engineering background would be helpful but is not required. Students will be expected to register for 3 ch of VTPP 291/491 or BMEN 291/491.
Description:
Lymphangions, the functional units of a lymphatic vessel bound by two valves, actively contract and relax to propel lymph throughout the body, which prevents fluid from building up in the tissue (i.e., edema). Stroke work (SW) is a measure of how well a lymphangion is pushing lymph and is based on several parameters such as filling pressure, outlet pressure, systolic contractility, and diastolic stiffness. From the relationship of these parameters, an equation generalizing the conditions in which SW is maximized has been developed. Currently, a manuscript is being written describing this equation’s fundamental importance to lymphangion understanding as well as its relation to ongoing research and medical applications. In this project, members will work within a team alongside a faculty member to continue advancing the manuscript.
Fall 2017: Impact of Communication Design on Customer Satisfaction: Insights from Online Courses Full Team
Project Leader:
Unnati Narang
unnati@tamu.edu
Marketing
Faculty Mentor:
Manjit Yadav, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
1. Opportunity to work with cutting-edge faculty and students from Marketing, Economics, and Statistics; 2. On-the-job training in statistical software, such as R; 3. Opportunity to work with big data and potentially machine learning at later stages; 4. Presenting work at a poster session and potentially to Marketing department faculty and PhD students at Mays Business School; 5. If you do well, then letters of recommendation for your future roles (Please note that this role does not offer co-authorship or publication)
Team Needs:
Comfort with MS excel; basic knowledge of Statistics preferred but not necessary. Problem-solving ability, Willingness to learn, Resourcefulness, and Dedication
Description:
"The purpose of the proposed study is to measure and explain the impact of various communication design strategies adopted by online two-sided platforms on customer engagement and satisfaction. In recent years, two-sided platforms, such as Airbnb and Uber that connect two or more sets of participants have grown rapidly and are poised to comprise 30% of the world’s GDP by 2025. As a result, their design and delivery are critical for both companies and customers. Specifically, how a platform designs its communication flows among participants is an important but underexplored issue. In the proposed study, we investigate the effect of communication design strategies on customer engagement and satisfaction. Our overarching argument is that specific communication linkages can have beneficial – and detrimental – implications for value creation in two-sided platforms. Theoretically, the proposed framework advances our understanding of how communication strategies contribute to value creation in these platforms. Our empirical context is Coursera.org (an online course platform), but our theoretical findings have broader applicability to other two-sided platforms. We collect individual-level panel data from Coursera and also plan to conduct a number of field experiments in one of the world’s most popular Coursera courses on Digital Marketing. We apply advanced econometric techniques, such as estimating a system of equations using conditional mixed processing, and difference-in-differences analysis. Our work provides a measurable estimate of the impact of communication design for customer-centric outcomes of a two-sided platform. Learn more by watching the team leader's video presenting the project at a leading Marketing Conference: https://vimeo.com/204892915"
Fall 2017: Developing anti-racism curriculum Full Team
Project Leader:
Vicki Mokuria
vmokuria@tamu.edu
Education - Teaching, Learning, & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Marlon James, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Description:
This research will focus on studying and creating anti-racism curriculum. Students will engage in research to explore what kinds of curriculum currently exists for elementary-college level students. We will create a literature review that summarizes strengths and drawbacks of the anti-racism curriculum we find. This research project will also include conducting interviews, as well as self exploration about how we developed our own racial identities and implicit biases by completing autoethnographic activities. As a group, we will reflect on meaningful ways to engage learners of all ages in reflecting on this important topic. Based on the goals and skills of team members, the research group could work with TAMU faculty and students and lead discussion groups. The plan is that a collective research project on anti-racism will emerge from the collaborative efforts of all participants. Ultimately, a paper for publication could be submitted to a journal, based on this research.
Fall 2017: Over-churched and under-fed: organizational missions of religion and food security Full Team
Affiliations:
Urban Re-Rural/Everybody Eats: Community Food Security and the Land Grant School
Project Leader:
Andrew McNeely
amcneely@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Sarah Gatson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
participants must be available for at least TWO meeting times (see below)
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
-Extensive community service involvement -TAMU research symposium -Ongoing, multiple-semester project with significant impact on local food insecurity
Team Needs:
Monday (1-2:30) Tuesday (9-12; 9:30-11) Wednesday (1-2:30) Thursday (9:30-11; 5-7) Friday (9:30-11) Saturday (10-11:30) Weekly Meeting (TBD)
Description:
Brazos County has a significantly higher number of religious congregations than the average county in Texas. Along with this, it also has a significantly higher rate of food insecurity among its citizens. These two realities, ostensibly, should not exist simultaneously in the same area. The purpose of this research project is to investigate the relationship between religious bodies and food security issues. Initially, we will explore baseline statistical data to establish the relationship. Further, we will create contacts with as many religious bodies as possible in order to perform participant-observational research with their food related service programs, investigating the variation across religion, denomination, size, and structure. The goal is to determine, if possible, what aspects of religious organizations—if any—affect food security issues in their community, and how. This project will emphasize a sociological imagination when thinking about religious issues in a community. As such, all religious activities will be treated objectively and with respect at all times.
Fall 2017: Developing STEM language of elementary students through making Full Team
Affiliations:
Project Leader:
Rachel Martin
rkt002@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning & Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Lynn Burlbaw, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Fall 2017: TBD
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members will have the chance to earn co-authorship in a paper and/or presentation, gain experience with research and data analysis, support with academic writing, interact with faculty, and earn research credit.
Team Needs:
No research experience required. This project would be beneficial for students interested in educational research, STEM education or language development. 1-2 team members who speak Spanish would be beneficial, as many of the Maker students are bilingual.
Description:
This research project will focus on 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students’ development of STEM language. These elementary students are participating in a grant funded project where they use making and computer programing to learn science concepts. The research we will focus on is analyzing students' language use and development across time (from their 3rd grade experience through their 4th grade experience) to see how they are acquiring STEM academic language. This team will work together to review literature, design methods for the transcription of video/audio data, plan the analysis and perform data analysis. The goal for this project is to put together a scholarly paper that displays how elementary students acquire STEM language while participating in making activities.
Fall 2017: Microbiota - host immune system and metabolism cross talk Full Team
Project Leader:
Mohammad Khattab, Ph.D.
mohammad_refaat@tamu.edu
Small Animal Clinical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Jan Suchodolski, DVM, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Each member will be exposed to a huge space of very important knowledge which will affect both personal and academic life in addition to the impact on graduate study preferences; we will work together all the time even when every member being alone; we will help in everything and we will play to be the team # 1.
Team Needs:
Biomedical and bioinformatics background are very important. Team members should be knowledgeable, creative, self-initiative, ambitious, sincere
Description:
Microbiota treated now as secondary liver with great share in host metabolism and immune response; this outgoing research project try to unravel the deep relation between different microbiota and the previously mentioned host functions in a way which can enhancing the discovery of new diagnostic biomarkers and hopefully some tailored therapeutic interventions.
Fall 2017: Synthetic polymeric antioxidants for corrosion protection Full Team
Project Leader:
Hanna Hlushko
hanna.hlushko@tamu.edu
Materials Science and Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Svetlana Sukhishvili, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Spring 2017: W 4pm-7pm, F 3pm-6pm
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Earning co-authorship, becoming a full member of our research group, developing of professional skills and abilities.
Team Needs:
Responsibility, accountability, maturity, general chemistry knowledge, ability to work in a team.
Description:
This topic will include studies of physical and chemical properties of antioxidant polymers which have been synthesized in our lab and the development of polymeric coatings based on these polymers. In particular, the project will include learning a range of polymer characterization techniques (TLC, UV-vis, FTIR), studies of thermal properties of polymers (such as glass transition temperature), and measurements of polymer coatings properties (contact angle, roughness, adhesion of the coating to the surface). Finally, an epoxy-based coating that contains these novel antioxidant polymers will be developed, and coatings will be prepared for electrochemical testing of their anticorrosion efficiency.
Fall 2017: Neurosteroid or Epigenetic Therapeutics for Acquired Epilepsy Full Team
Project Leader:
Tori Golub
dunlap@medicine.tamhsc.edu
NExT- HSC
Faculty Mentor:
Samba Reddy, Ph.D., R.Ph.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
As an undergraduate student researcher, you will aid in the analysis and collection of data, and have opportunities to present and potentially publish your work or be selected for the Summer Research Program at the HSC. Students will have the opportunity to work in a top-tier research facility at the Med School campus at Texas A&M HSC. They will also gain experience working with research pharmaceuticals, lab animals, translating animal behavior, EEG analysis, histology and stereology, as well as have the opportunity to receive class credit and a certificate of being an Aggie Research Scholar.
Team Needs:
Students should be in good academic standing, with an interest in science, research, and team collaboration.
Description:
We are looking for undergrads who are interested in joining an interactive research team which studies the effects of, and develops therapeutics - for a range of neurological conditions related to epilepsy, from genetic factors and chemical toxicity, to traumatic brain injury and stroke. We require at least 10 hours/week, and are looking for students with at least 1 year left to conduct research. Longer tenures will allow for more advanced training and greatly amplify impact on your work. The main focus of our lab is epilepsy, a presently incurable disease that affects thousands of people in the US and millions worldwide. It is largely characterized by hypersynchronous activity in the brain which can manifest themselves as visible seizures. Our goal is to find new therapeutics, such as neurosteroids, to not only be used as a treatment for symptoms, but also to modify or halt the process of epileptogenesis. Our lab uses mice and rat animal models like the CCI Traumatic Brain injury model, the kindling model, and the 6Hz model to study this disease.
Fall 2017: spaceCRAFT: virtual reality sandbox environment Full Team
Affiliations:
Project Leader:
Mauricio Coen
coen@tamu.edu
Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Greg Chamitoff, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Fall 2017: TBD
Team Size:
0 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Releasing software
Team Needs:
C++, ability to research and solve open ended problems
Description:
SpaceCRAFT is a Virtual Reality (VR) 'Sandbox' environment designed to enable government, university and commercial entities to collaborate in the design, use and evaluation of technology for future operations in Space. Taking advantage of high speed parallel computing, virtual reality systems and open source software platforms, SpaceCRAFT aims to enable any person or institution to contribute to humanity’s future in Space.
Fall 2017: Additive manufacturing advantages to mars exploration Full Team
Affiliations:
Project Leader:
Mauricio Coen
coen@tamu.edu
Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Greg Chamitoff, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Fall 2017: TBD
Team Size:
0 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Releasing software
Team Needs:
C++, ability to research and solve open ended problems
Description:
SpaceCRAFT is a Virtual Reality (VR) 'Sandbox' environment designed to enable government, university and commercial entities to collaborate in the design, use and evaluation of technology for future operations in Space. Taking advantage of high speed parallel computing, virtual reality systems and open source software platforms, SpaceCRAFT aims to enable any person or institution to contribute to humanity’s future in Space.
Fall 2017: AGGIENOVA: other exploding objects Full Team
Project Leader:
Peter Brown, Ph.D.
pbrown@physics.tamu.edu
Physics and Astronomy
Faculty Mentor:
Nicholas Suntzeff, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members will be coauthors on appropriate publications.
Team Needs:
experience with programming (python or IDL) or statistics helpful but not required for all team members
Description:
The Aggienova research group will study the catastrophic deaths of stars. The last decade has seen an explosion in the amount of ultraviolet observations of supernovae. We will use ultraviolet observations from the Swift and Hubble space telescopes as well as ground-based optical and near-infrared data. We will exploit that data and make tools to better understand nearby supernovae as well as those observed at high redshifts. I will be giving a talk on my research on Monday December 5, at 11:30 in M102 of the Mitchell Institute if you would like to hear what I am working on. https://mitchell.tamu.edu/events/seminars/#astro Official meetings will start next semester, but background work can begin before the break.
Fall 2017: AGGIENOVA: exploding stars near and far Full Team
Project Leader:
Peter Brown, Ph.D.
pbrown@physics.tamu.edu
Physics and Astronomy
Faculty Mentor:
Nicholas Suntzeff, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TBD
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Team members will be coauthors on appropriate publications.
Team Needs:
experience with programming (python or IDL) or statistics helpful but not required for all team members
Description:
The Aggienova research group will study the catastrophic deaths of stars. The last decade has seen an explosion in the amount of ultraviolet observations of supernovae. We will use ultraviolet observations from the Swift and Hubble space telescopes as well as ground-based optical and near-infrared data. We will exploit that data and make tools to better understand nearby supernovae as well as those observed at high redshifts. I will be giving a talk on my research on Monday December 5, at 11:30 in M102 of the Mitchell Institute if you would like to hear what I am working on. https://mitchell.tamu.edu/events/seminars/#astro Official meetings will start next semester, but background work can begin before the break.
Fall 2017: X-Nav interplanetary mission simulation Full Team
Project Leader:
Stoian Borissov
sborissov@tamu.edu
Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Daniele Mortari, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Fall 2017: TBD
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Co-authorship on journal and conference papers, potential opportunity to visit Johnson Space Center
Team Needs:
Scripting, MATLAB, GMAT, basic electrical engineering
Description:
The 'X-Nav' team is dedicated to developing the technologies required for spacecraft navigation using X-Ray pulsars. X-ray pulsars are distant but highly energetic stars that flash at a regular interval and their light may be used to aid spacecraft navigation. This navigation technique has been tossed around by academics for decades, however our goal is to produce a fully fleshed out simulation of an interplanetary mission using x-nav. Through partnerships with Goddard Space Flight Center and Johnson Space Center, we will be be testing navigation algorithms and hardware tech. There will be heavy use of scripting languages such as MATLAB as well as mission simulation tools such as NASA's GMAT software. Students in this group will be responsible for first familiarizing themselves with the state of the art of x-nav. Online articles as well publications from academic journals will be given to students. Several copies of textbooks on pulsar astronomy will also be made available. The final results of students' work will be published in conference proceedings and may even be incorporated into journal articles. A strong background in the fundamentals of linear algebra and calculus as well as familiarity with scripting are required.
Fall 2017: Smart water distribution systems Full Team
Project Leader:
Mohsen Aghashahi
aghashahi@tamu.edu
Civil Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Katherine Banks, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Fall 2017: TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Co-authorship in publications, working in a vital research group with a postdoc fellow and two Ph.D. students and gaining a broad range of experience in smart technology.
Team Needs:
Students with a background of or interested in cyber-physical systems and infrastructures, Internet of Things, cyber-security, control theory, sensors and actuators, wireless connectivity, dynamic programming, 3D printing, robotics.
Description:
A smart water network is a water distribution system which adjusts its performance with varying elements such as variable demands and pressures and acts as an integrated cyber-physical system that constitutes four major sectors including sensing, computing, control and communication. In this research we will advance mobile and stationary water sensor networks technology to enable realtime sensing and communication at a fine temporal and spatial resolutions. Computationally efficient and accurate algorithms will be adapted to simulate system. Optimal control methods will be developed to facilitate system automation by sensor readings and simulation projections. Reliable and fast information exchange between sensors, models, and controllers under rate and power constraints will be achieved using communication systems.
Fall 2017: Advanced vapor compression desalination Full Team
Affiliations:
Project Leader:
Momore Adesanmi
momore.adesanmi@tamu.edu
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Mark Holtzapple, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Fall 2017: Thursday 5 pm
Team Size:
0 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Engineering Project Showcase
Team Needs:
Registration for ENGR 491 - 504/201
Description:
An AggiE_Challenge team of undergraduate engineers from Texas A&M University put together to address the National Academy of Engineering's Grand Challenge for the 21st Century regarding limited access to drinkable water. Ninety-seven percent of the Earth’s water exists as salt water in our oceans, so effective desalination methods are a logical step forward. Together, we have researched and developed a scalable advanced vapor-compression desalination process (Advanced VCD) that recycles the waste heat of existing refineries to produce drinkable water and other profitable byproducts. This is novel because desalination units traditionally require a large amount of heat to run and utilizing waste heat proves to be economical and environmentally friendly.
Summer 2017: A Study of Porcine Epicardial Lymphatics Full Team
Project Leader:
Lena Ayari
lena97@tamu.edu
Department of Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Ranjeet Dongaonkar, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Possibility of earning co-authorship on a paper, learn to dissect and cannulate vessels, learn to perform in vitro vessel experiments and physiological data acquisition.
Team Needs:
Interest in biomedical science research, preferred BIMS and biomedical engineering majors
Description:
The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in interstitial fluid balance—it collects and transports fluid and proteins lost to the interstitial space from blood capillaries to the circulation system. However, little is known about epicardial lymphatic function. Therefore, we plan to study the response of porcine epicardial lymphatic vessels to various physiological and pharmacological stimuli.
Summer 2017: Mapping the geography of urban drinking water Full Team
Project Leader:
Samantha Zuhlke
szuhlke@tamu.edu
Political Science
Faculty Mentor:
Manuel Teodoro, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: TBD
Team Size:
2 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
This research is part of an on-going project that may include further research and travel opportunities.
Team Needs:
Preference given to candidates who have completed POLS 207 and 209, and have experience with statistical and quantitative analysis, as well as mapping technologies (Google Maps, ArcMap). Seeking at least one team member with fluent Spanish
Description:
This project investigates urban drinking water quality via mapping analysis. I am seeking a research team to help build a data set that examines the relationship between poverty, race, various businesses and drinking water quality within the United States. Team members will use Google Maps to build datasets depicting locations of various businesses within the U.S. Ambitious team members will have the opportunity to perform geographic and statistical analyses of the data using ArcMap and statistical programs. All team members will engage in discussions of political theory that explain location-based phenomena.
Summer 2017: Virtual-reality enhanced exoskeleton for rehabilitation controlled via reverse engineering the central nervous system Full Team
Affiliations:
Project Leader:
Amin Zeiaee
amin.zeiaee@tamu.edu; rana.soltani@tamu.edu
Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Reza Langari, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: TBD
Team Size:
0 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunity to work with a real robotic system, opportunity to work with microsoft Hololens, opportunity to interact with a medical robot
Team Needs:
Solid Basic Engineering Knowledge, Interest in programming and robotics, motivated and interested in hands on experience
Description:
Focus of this project is on developing a virtual-reality enhanced upper limb exoskeleton for rehabilitation of stroke patients. Exoskeleton is an orthosis device worn by the patients which will enable automated physical therapy. To enhance the rehabilitation process, a virtual reality environment will be linked to the exoskeleton. Thus the research effort will include automation, control and programming tasks.
Summer 2017: Control of a virtual/augmented reality enhanced upper limb rehabilitation exoskeleton using bio-signals Full Team
Affiliations:
Project Leader:
Amin Zeiaee
amin.zeiaee@tamu.edu;
Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Reza Langari, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: TBD
Team Size:
0 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunity to work with a real robotic system, opportunity to work with microsoft Hololens, opportunity to interact with a medical robot
Team Needs:
Solid Basic Engineering Knowledge, Interest in programming and robotics, motivated and interested in hands on experience
Description:
Summer 2017: A 21st century perspective on prison management and the aging process Full Team
Project Leader:
Monica Williams
mewilliams28@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Sarah Gatson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Tuesday 11am-12pm
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
detail-oriented, effective written and oral communication skills, and penchant for organization
Team Needs:
experience with data coding and collection (preferred but not required).
Description:
Aging inmates are a rapidly growing part of the prison population. Some offenders are entering prison at older ages, and others are aging while imprisoned due to lengthy sentences. There is a scarcity of policies and programs designed to meet the needs of aging inmates. With a disparate amount of programs and policies for females when compared to those for men, most options available to aging female inmates were created through a patriarchal lens. Data will be analyzed to isolate trends contributing to aging inmate growth. The existing aging inmate typology will be confirmed as male-centric, and a new typology for aging female inmates will be created. Analyses will be done to include the historical process from which policies and programs have emerged, as well as a survey of state prisons and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (inclusive of Washington, D.C.). These analyses will provide necessary data to compare and contrast national policies and programs with international standards. Theory will be suggested as a set of guidelines to revise or create prison policies and programs.
Summer 2017: A Study of porcine epicardial lymphatics (2) Full Team
Affiliations:
Michael E. DeBakey Institute Undergraduate Research Program
Project Leader:
Helene Weideman
heleneweideman@tamu.edu
Vetinary Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Ranjeet Dongaonkar, Ph.D
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Possibility of earning co-authorship on a paper, learn to dissect and cannulate vessels, learn to perform in vitro vessel experiments physiological data acquisition.
Team Needs:
Interest in bio-medical science research, preferred BIMS and biomedical engineering majors. Students can register for 3 ch of research (VTPP 291/491 or BMEN 291/491).
Description:
The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in interstitial fluid balance—it collects and transports fluid and proteins lost to the interstitial space from blood capillaries to the circulation system. However, little is known about epicardial lymphatic function. Therefore, we plan to study response of porcine epicardial lymphatic vessels to various physiological and pharmacological stimuli.
Summer 2017: Nutrition and health of 17th-century sailors Full Team
Project Leader:
Grace Tsai
getsai@tamu.edu
Anthropology
Faculty Mentor:
Karen Kubena, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017 (Team Full)
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students have the chance to be a co-author in a paper, may have the opportunity to tour and possibly stay on a historical sailing vessel, present at conferences, and receive directed studies course credit in Nutrition
Team Needs:
For those with an interest in the biology/microbiology/biochemistry/hard science side of the project, previous lab experience is preferred. I am looking for a mixture of talents as this is a multi-disciplinary project. In particular, students majoring, or with an interest in, biochemistry/microbiology, visualization, food science, meat science, viticulture, nutrition, marketing, history, anthropology, chemistry, and biology are sought after in this team. However, all interested individuals are welcome to apply.
Description:
This project hopes to understand the effects of shipboard diet on the health of sailors by determining the nutritional intake of seamen on 17th-century English ships. Previous attempts to gauge the nutritional value of shipboard diets were based on historical documentation instead of laboratory data. In this project, shipboard food will be replicated using the exact ingredients and methods of preparation from the 17th century, including non-GMO ingredients, the exact species of plant or animal, and the same butchery methods and cuts of meat. Archaeological and historical data will be used to replicate the salted pork and beef, ship biscuit, wine and beer, and other provisions aboard Warwick, an English race-built galleon that sank in 1619. Then, a trans-Atlantic voyage will be simulated by storing the food in casks and keeping these in a ship’s hull for three months. Every ten days, representative samples of food will be sent for nutritional and microbial analysis. Lastly, this project compares laboratory results to data that has already been derived from human remains on wrecks such as Mary Rose (1545) and Vasa (1628). This project also has broader impacts because it is hypothesized that certain microbes found on the experimental food may be novel strains of probiotics, which can be cultured for today’s health industry. The results of the project will be featured in an exhibit at the Texas Seaport Museum in Galveston.
Summer 2017: Relating preload recruitable stroke work to parameters characterizing systolic and diastolic cardiac function Full Team
Affiliations:
Michael E. DeBakey Institute Undergraduate Research Program
Project Leader:
Ian Stoute
imstoute@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
This project is well-developed, and a manuscript is in the early stages of preparation. Team members will have an opportunity to continue this project in the Fall, and those making a scientific contribution will earn co-authorship.
Team Needs:
We are seeking students who either have an interest in employing their strong writing skills or have an interest in developing an in-depth knowledge of the scientific literature dealing with cardiac function. Understanding of mathematical approaches to physiology are welcome, but unnecessary. Must be willing to work outside of the team meeting time. Contributors must be flexible with their schedules. Students will be expected to register for 3 ch of research (VTPP 291/491 or BMEN 291/491).
Description:
Preload recruitable stroke work (PRSW) is a fundamental characterization of cardiac function that is independent of preload and afterload. It is typically expressed as an empirical relationship between stroke work (SW) and end-diastolic volume (Ved). This relationship has been reported to be remarkably linear over large ranges of end-diastolic volumes in multiple mammalian species. Although the slope and intercept of the PRSW relationship shift significantly with different heart failure phenotypes, there is currently no means to predict in what way changes in contractility, diastolic stiffness, or unstressed volume will affect the PRSW relationship. Therefore, the purpose of the present work was to develop an algebraic formula for the PRSW relationship in terms of standard parameters characterizing systolic and diastolic function.
Summer 2017: Virtual-reality enhanced exoskeleton for rehabilitation controlled via reverse engineering the central nervous system Full Team
Project Leader:
Rana Soltani
rana.soltani@tamu.edu
Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Reza Langari, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Team Size:
0 (Team Full)
Description:
"Focus of this project is on developing a virtual-reality enhanced upper limb exoskeleton for rehabilitation of stroke patients. Exoskeleton is an orthosis device worn by the patients which will enable automated physical therapy. To enhance the rehabilitation process, a virtual reality environment will be linked to the exoskeleton. Thus the research effort will include automation, control and programming tasks. "
Summer 2017: Optimized Solar Energy Harvesting with Dual Phase Output Full Team
Project Leader:
Sinan Sabeeh
sinan.sabih@tamu.edu
Electrical Engineering Department
Faculty Mentor:
Prasad Enjeti, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
MTWThF during Summer from 9:30 - 6:30
Team Size:
2 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Co-authorship on publications
Team Needs:
-Special working hours can be arranged -SIMULINK, DSP, C++ programming,Microsoft Visio, familiar with hardware design and build
Description:
As the electrical grid becomes more complex—Including different types of power generation units e.g solar, wind, turbines...etc—there is high demand to design elements that help to maintain the stability of the grid. This project focuses on designing an optimized differential power converter to harvest solar energy from multiple sources, and feed it high density dual phase output inverter to supply 110V/220V. The project would involve C block programming, circuit design, voltage and current sensors, using simulation tools e.g PLECS and SIMULINK. The power converter would work on high switching frequency 100KhZ-500KhZ and final product should be actual hardware that can be commercialized. The project would done in four phases: Phase 1 would ensure the dual phase inverter works on stable DC input (e.g Battery) Phase 2 would ensure the inverter works on a single set of PV module build in series and parallel Phase 3 would ensure the Power sharing module works effectively with multiple inputs Phase 4 would be integrating the Power Sharing and Balancing module with dual phase output inverter.
Summer 2017: The negro In our history Full Team
Project Leader:
Dalitso Ruwe
dalitso88@tamu.edu
Philosophy
Faculty Mentor:
Tommy Curry, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Friday 11:00AM - 12:00PM
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Description:
This project seeks to explore early Black Philosophy of History through texts in defense of the Black race that showed Africans as an integral part of a civilizing universe include, reading include but not limited to James W. C Pennington A Text Book of the Origin and History of the Colored People 1841, Robert Benjamin Lewis’s Light and Truth: Collected from the Bible and Ancient and Modern History; Containing the Universal History of the Colored and Indian Races from the Creation of the World to the Present Time (1843), Henry Garnet The Past and Present Condition, and the Destiny of the Colored Race, 1848, Henry McNeal Turner The Negro in All Ages, 1873, Joseph T.Wilson Emancipation 1882 Antenor Firmin The Equality of the Human Races 1885 , Williams Wells Brown, The Black Man: His Antecedents, His Genius, and His Achievements, 1863, J.F.Dyson A New and Simple Explanation of the Unity of the Human Race, 1893, W.H. Crogman and H.F. Kletzing The Progress of a Race, 1897, Pauline E. Hopkins A Primer of Facts Pertaining to the Early Greatness of the African Race and the Possibility of Restoration by its Descendants, 1905 and Daniel Murray, Murray’s Historical and Biographical Encyclopedia of the Colored Race Through the World, William Ferris The African Abroad, Carter G Woodson The African Background Outlined: Or a Handbook for the Study of the Negro,
Summer 2017: Effect of counter-ion species on the physical and thermal properties of polyelectrolyte multilayers Full Team
Project Leader:
Joshua O'Neal
hammer534@tamu.edu
Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Jodie Lutkenhaus Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: F 9am-11am (subject to change)
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
co-authorship on publication, good possibility of future membership in this research group (based on performance and competency)
Team Needs:
Excel, graphing/plotting software, technical writing, preferably some lab experience, Strong work ethic, positive attitude, flexible work schedule, junior year or above in science or engineering degree
Description:
In this project we will explore the physical response properties of layer-by-layer assembled polyelectrolyte thin films using quartz-crystal microbalance with dissipation. This is a technique that allows us to build our films and observe in real-time the swelling or contracting response the films have to various counter ion solutions. We will also study the film composition using neutron activation analysis in order to gain an understanding of the internal structure and behavior in response to ion exchanges at various concentrations. Finally, we have a branch of the project that focuses on the thermal properties of our layer-by-layer films. This study is conducted on free standing films using differential scanning calorimetry. This is a multi-dimensional project that will give you a good foundational understanding of polymer chemistry from an engineering standpoint as well as provide experience with analytical techniques you likely have never used before. In this project you will be a fully functioning member of the research team and will participate in both data analysis and publication writing/editing. The goal of this is to give you experience in the research setting as well as get your name on a publication that will result from this work. Training will be sufficient and your contribution will be valuable.​
Summer 2017: Pain meta-analysis Full Team
Project Leader:
Namrata Nanvaty
nnanavaty@tamu.edu
Psychology
Faculty Mentor:
Vani Mathur, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: TBD
Team Size:
9 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students will have the opportunity to learn more about our Social Neuroscience of Pain Disparities Lab (Mathur Lab) and if interested, apply to become a full member of our research lab in the Psychology department at Texas A&M University.
Team Needs:
Independent work at home (will need a laptop or access to a library computer). Eager to learn!
Description:
This team will involve working with a graduate researcher to conduct a meta-analysis examining mechanisms of pain, as pain is still a major public health problem that is not well understood.
Summer 2017: Developing Anti-Racism Curriculum II Full Team
Project Leader:
Vicki Mokuria
vmokuria@tamu.edu
CEHD-TLAC
Faculty Mentor:
James Marlon, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Wednesdays 1-3 (flexible)
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students can co-author papers or create workshops for other students
Team Needs:
Willingness to meet 2 hours/week
Description:
This project includes reflective journaling and dialogues between students working together to explore the ways their own racial identities developed, while also co-collaborating on curricular projects to expand similar dialogues that counter racism and its impact on the self and others.
Summer 2017: Over-churched and under-fed: organizational missions of religion and food security Full Team
Affiliations:
Urban Re-Rural/Everybody Eats: Community Food Security and the Land Grant School
Project Leader:
Andrew McNeely
amcneely@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Sarah Gatson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: participants must be available for at least TWO meeting times (see below)
Team Size:
7 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
-Extensive community service involvement -TAMU research symposium -Ongoing, multiple-semester project with significant impact on local food insecurity
Team Needs:
Monday (1-2:30) Tuesday (9-12; 9:30-11) Wednesday (1-2:30) Thursday (9:30-11; 5-7) Friday (9:30-11) Saturday (10-11:30) Weekly Meeting (TBD)
Description:
Brazos County has a significantly higher number of religious congregations than the average county in Texas. Along with this, it also has a significantly higher rate of food insecurity among its citizens. These two realities, ostensibly, should not exist simultaneously in the same area. The purpose of this research project is to investigate the relationship between religious bodies and food security issues. Initially, we will explore baseline statistical data to establish the relationship. Further, we will create contacts with as many religious bodies as possible in order to perform participant-observational research with their food related service programs, investigating the variation across religion, denomination, size, and structure. The goal is to determine, if possible, what aspects of religious organizations—if any—affect food security issues in their community, and how. This project will emphasize a sociological imagination when thinking about religious issues in a community. As such, all religious activities will be treated objectively and with respect at all times.
Summer 2017 Full Team
Project Leader:
Elizabeth Latham
ealatham@tamu.edu
Animal Science
Faculty Mentor:
Karen Kubena, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
W 3:00PM
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Team Needs:
6 hours of lab time
Description:
Examine the microbial populations found on recreated food from the 17th century.
Summer 2017: Microbiota - host immune system and metabolism cross talk Full Team
Project Leader:
Mohammad Khattab, Ph.D.
mohammad_refaat@tamu.edu
Small Animal Clinical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Jan Suchodolski, DVM, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Each member will be exposed to a huge space of very important knowledge which will affect both personal and academic life in addition to the impact on graduate study preferences; we will work together all the time even when every member being alone; we will help in everything and we will play to be the team # 1.
Team Needs:
Biomedical and bioinformatics background are very important. Team members should be knowledgeable, creative, self-initiative, ambitious, sincere
Description:
Microbiota treated now as secondary liver with great share in host metabolism and immune response; this outgoing research project try to unravel the deep relation between different microbiota and the previously mentioned host functions in a way which can enhancing the discovery of new diagnostic biomarkers and hopefully some tailored therapeutic interventions.
Summer 2017: Recommendation of evaluation tools for assessing the effectiveness of recycling agents in recycled asphalt mixtures Full Team
Project Leader:
Fawaz Kaseer
fawazkaseer@tamu.edu
Civil Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Amy Epps Martin Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Monday 8-9 AM
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Description:
"Economic and environmental considerations have prompted the use of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and recycled asphalt shingles (RAS) in asphalt mixtures. However, due to the concerns about long-term pavement performance, including low cracking resistance of the recycled asphalt mixtures, State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) tend to limit the quantities of the recycled materials unless certain mixture modifications are made, including using recycling agents (RA). The effect of recycling agents in improving the cracking resistance of recycled asphalt mixtures had been investigated by the research team for a limited set of materials from three different field projects in Texas (TX), Indiana (IN), and Nevada (NV), using a number of tools and laboratory tests. The objective of this research project in summer 2017 is to validate the evaluation tools and laboratory tests to include different materials from two different field projects in Wisconsin (WI) and Delaware (DE). "
Summer 2017: Mathematical model characterizing fluid transported by mesenteric lymphatic vessels Full Team
Affiliations:
Michael E. DeBakey Institute Undergraduate Research Program
Project Leader:
Chesley Johnson
cmjcmj25@tamu.edu
Biology
Faculty Mentor:
Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
This project is well-developed, and a manuscript is in preparation for submission to the American Journal of Physiology. Team members will have an opportunity to continue this project in the Fall, and those making a scientific contribution will earn co-authorship.
Team Needs:
We are looking for team members with different strengths that can advance the project. We are particularly seeking a team member with a strong writing skills, a member with an interest in mathematical modeling, and a team member who is interested in synthesizing information from diverse journal articles. Students will be expected to register for 3 ch of research (VTPP 291/491 or BMEN 291/491).
Description:
Nutrients absorbed into the interstitial space from the intestinal lumen can be transported either by intestinal capillaries to the liver or by the mesenteric lymphatics to the great veins of the neck. Several factors can alter the fraction of nutrients that are transported by mesenteric lymphatics, including abnormal liver function. Experimental approaches employed to elucidate the mechanisms governing the relative flow through these two parallel pathways are limited, because critical parameters are difficult to measure and cannot be controlled independently. Conventional mathematical modeling approaches are also limited, because the numerical solution of the systems of equations are sensitive to assumed parameter values and must employ advanced computational techniques. Therefore, the purpose of the present work is to develop a simple algebraic formula that predicts the fraction of nutrients that is transported by the mesenteric lymphatic vessels. This model will not only allow for the prediction of nutrient transport, but will also serve as a novel tool in characterizing critical parameter values in clinically relevant disease states.
Summer 2017: Shaping the cotton microbiome for sustainable pest management Full Team
Project Leader:
Polly Harding
pollyharding@tamu.edu
Entomology
Faculty Mentor:
Gregory Sword, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Conduct independent research, will co-author and submit a journal article on summer research, gain diverse technical skills in microbiology, horticulture and entomology
Team Needs:
Must register for ENTO 491 research credits, minimum 10 hrs/week. Prior experience not required, but students with a demonstrated interest in a relevant field of study are preferred.
Description:
"Fungi that occur inside living plant tissue without causing harm to the plant are known as fungal endophytes. Research in field crops has shown endophytic fungi enhancing plant growth and increasing resistance to pests. In this study, we will determine whether these microbes can be applied in cotton to help growers reduce the number of insecticide sprays needed to control pest populations of aphids. Responsibilities will include: Monitoring aphid populations in field cotton, maintaining plants, inoculating plants with microbes, rearing insects, plating media, sub-culturing fungi, re-isolating endophytes from plant tissues, calculating spore concentrations and creating fungal suspensions"
Summer 2017: Cardiac adaptation to wall stress Full Team
Affiliations:
Michael E. DeBakey Institute Undergraduate Research Program
Project Leader:
Wesley Fuertes
wfuertes@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Randolph Stewart, DVM, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer: TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
You will gain valuable research experience and chances of earning co-authorship, and we are presenting our findings at the Experimental Biology Conference in April. Also research is a great way of procuring letters of recommendation.
Team Needs:
Experience is not required to join the project. We are looking for enthusiastic students that are able to think creatively. Meeting Times are flexible, you don't have to be there for the entire time, but it is preferred that you can make the meeting times.
Description:
The twin fields of cardiovascular physiology and cardiac mechanobiology have typically studied independently/ On one hand, cardiovascular physiologists are interested in how ventricular stroke volumes and blood pressures emerge from the complex interaction of the heart and the vasculature. Cardiac contractility, characterized by the slope of the end-systolic pressure-volume relationship, is only one of many factors determining ventricular pressure and stroke volume. The result of cardiac adaptation is characterized by changes in contractility. On the other hand, cardiac mechanobiologists are interested in how tissue stresses result in structural remodeling. Ventricular pressures and volumes are viewed only as boundary conditions that affect wall stress. The stimulus for cardiac adaptation is wall stress. The need to integrate these two fields becomes clear when considering that wall stress affects contractility, and changes in contractility in turn, affects wall stress. Using a simple closed loop model and a simple assumed ventricular geometry, we integrate these two approaches. First, wall stress is found to be a bimodal function of contractility. Second, we make the common assumption that contractility adapts so that it increases with wall stress. These two functions, representing the fundamental assumptions of cardiovascular physiology and cardiovascular mechanobiology, result in a simple balance point that predicts equilibrium contractility. The purpose of the present project therefore is to use the insight arising from mathematical modeling to explore cardiac adaptation in health and disease.
Summer 2017: Novel mammalian similarity principle predicted from the minimal closed-loop cardiovascular model Full Team
Affiliations:
Michael E. DeBakey Institute Undergraduate Research Program
Project Leader:
Emily Duhon
emilyduhon@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Christopher Quick, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: TBD
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Co-authorship or possibly becoming a full member in Fall 2017
Team Needs:
We are looking for team members that are interested employing their strong writing skills, or members who have developed effective public speaking skills. Also, looking for members who are interested in reading and learning the literature on allometry. While math skills are welcomed, it is not a necessary skill for this project. Must be willing to work outside scheduled meeting times. Students will be expected to register for 3 ch of research (VTPP 291/491 or BMEN 291/491).
Description:

 Allometric scaling laws are empirical relationships relating particular parameters to body weight. Investigators have identified only a small number of allometric invariants for the mammalian cardiovascular system--combinations of parameters that have constant values independent of species weight. Although many allometric invariants have arisen from applying optimality principles, the physics governing blood pressures and flows impose constraints that strictly limit parameter values. Therefore, the purpose of the present work is to derive a novel mammalian similarity principle, assuming a closed-loop cardiovascular model.
Summer 2017: Pre-Service Teacher Mathematics Confidence Level Full Team
Project Leader:
Kimberly Currens
kim.currens@tamu.edu
TLAC
Faculty Mentor:
Robert Capraro, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Monday 4-5 - subject to change
Team Size:
1 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Research hours through enrollment in EDCI 485/685, part of publication and presentation team, learn about/strengthen social science research
Team Needs:
Interested in Mathematics Education and Aggie Teach program. Strong team work and collaborative skills
Description:
Elementary teachers are expected to teach all subjects: mathematics, science, history, and language arts. However, elementary school teachers often lack confidence in their mathematics skills. Most pre-service teachers complete a minimal number of mathematics courses as part of a teaching curriculum which can lead to a lack of confidence in their mathematics skills. The purpose of this study is to determine the confidence level of pre-service teachers who have completed at least two mathematics courses. Participants will be enrolled in MASC 450 at Texas A&M University. The primary research question is: What is the confidence level of pre-service teachers when asked to consider elementary and middle school mathematics concepts.
Summer 2017: SpaceCRAFT: cislunar architecture Full Team
Affiliations:
Project Leader:
Mauricio Coen
coen@tamu.edu
Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Greg Chamitoff, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: TBD
Team Size:
0 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Releasing software
Team Needs:
C++, ability to research and solve open ended problems
Description:
SpaceCRAFT is a Virtual Reality (VR) 'Sandbox' environment designed to enable government, university and commercial entities to collaborate in the design, use and evaluation of technology for future operations in Space. Taking advantage of high speed parallel computing, virtual reality systems and open source software platforms, SpaceCRAFT aims to enable any person or institution to contribute to humanity’s future in Space.
Summer 2017: Additive manufacturing advantages to mars exploration Full Team
Affiliations:
Project Leader:
Mauricio Coen
coen@tamu.edu
Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Greg Chamitoff, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: TBD
Team Size:
0 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Releasing software
Team Needs:
C++, ability to research and solve open ended problems
Description:
SpaceCRAFT is a Virtual Reality (VR) 'Sandbox' environment designed to enable government, university and commercial entities to collaborate in the design, use and evaluation of technology for future operations in Space. Taking advantage of high speed parallel computing, virtual reality systems and open source software platforms, SpaceCRAFT aims to enable any person or institution to contribute to humanity’s future in Space.
Summer 2017: CRISPR/Cas9-based selfish gene element propagation in Drosophila melanogaster. Full Team
Project Leader:
Pratima Chennuri, Ph.D.
pratimachennuri@tamu.edu
Entomology
Faculty Mentor:
Kevin Myles, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: TBD
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Research experience and guidance from experienced researchers, opportunity to learn methods in recombinant DNA technology such as cloning in addition to using current genome editing technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome engineering. To the enthusiastic and interested scholars, a great opportunity to learn, apply, and even get hired on a long-term basis within the lab.
Team Needs:
Experience of working in a molecular biology or cell culture or Drosophila laboratory preferred. Basic molecular biology laboratory skills, ability and more importantly enthusiasm to learn new techniques and apply them in a timely manner, self-motivated and interested in molecular biology and genetics.
Description:
The project involves engineering DNA constructs, cloning the constructs in to plasmids in E. coli, extraction and purification of plasmid DNA, and their injection in to Drosophila embryos. Scholars will spend some of their time in cloning constructs and the downstream processing of plasmid DNA. Some of the time will be spent on conducting experiments in classical Mendelian fly genetics that will complement the cloning along with associated general fly husbandry and laboratory duties. There might be opportunities for some scholars to test the cloned plasmids in insect cell cultures.
Summer 2017: Encouraging sustainable gardening among community youth Full Team
Affiliations:
Urban Re-Rural/Everybody Eats: Community Food Security and the Land Grant School
Project Leader:
Christa Cardenas
christa.cardenas@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Sarah Gatson, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
TR 9AM-10AM
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Hands on approach to sociology and co-authorship on publications.
Team Needs:
Experience or desire to work with youth. Previous gardening or nutrition experience is not necessary. Weekly community outreach
Description:
Engage with service learning research by encouraging healthy eating and sustainable gardening among school-aged children. We will be working with a local non-profit that serves children.
Summer 2017: Frogs & Lobsters Full Team
Project Leader:
Stephanie Brown
stephanieevbrown@tamu.edu
Psychology
Faculty Mentor:
Kathi Miner, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
M 2:30PM-3:30PM
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
- Exploring the field of psychology - Learning new data collection techniques - Earning co-authorship on publications - Attending a conference - Presenting research at TAMU Student Research Week - Practice writing grants
Team Needs:
Experience with data collection on human subjects, literature searches, and basic statistical tests (completion of PSYC 203 & 204 preferred). Also a willingness to learn.
Description:
The purpose of this study is to examine how exposure to varying degrees of low-level negative interpersonal interactions affects physical health (e.g., blood pressure) and psychological well-being (e.g., negative emotions). We intend to determine if exposure to one more severe interaction (e.g., raising voice) has a different effect on physical and psychological measures than exposure to a series of milder interactions (e.g., eye rolling, condescension).
Summer 2017: Dopamine's effects on lymphatic vessels (2 Groups) Full Team
Affiliations:
Michael E. DeBakey Institute Undergraduate Research Program
Project Leader:
Elizabeth Brown
eabrown11@tamu.edu
Biomedical Science
Faculty Mentor:
Ranjeet Dongaonkar, Ph.D
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: Monday 11:30AM-5:30PM
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Possibility of earning co-authorship on a paper, learn to dissect and cannulate vessels, learn to perform in vitro vessel experiments physiological data acquisition.
Team Needs:
Interest in bio-medical science research, preferred BIMS and biomedical engineering majors. Students can register for 3 ch of research (VTPP 291/491 or BMEN 291/491).
Description:
Recent studies have reported that dopamine at low concentrations has chronotropic as well as inotropic effects on the heart. The resulting increases in cardiac contractility and heart rate have been reported to increase cardiac output, increase mean arterial blood pressure and decrease central venous pressure. However, how dopamine affects lymphatic pump has yet to be studied thoroughly.
Summer 2017: X-Nav interplanetary mission simulation Full Team
Project Leader:
Stoian Borissov
sborissov@tamu.edu
Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Daniele Mortari, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: TBD
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Co-authorship on journal and conference papers, potential opportunity to visit Johnson Space Center
Team Needs:
Scripting, MATLAB, GMAT, basic electrical engineering
Description:
The 'X-Nav' team is dedicated to developing the technologies required for spacecraft navigation using X-Ray pulsars. X-ray pulsars are distant but highly energetic stars that flash at a regular interval and their light may be used to aid spacecraft navigation. This navigation technique has been tossed around by academics for decades, however our goal is to produce a fully fleshed out simulation of an interplanetary mission using x-nav. Through partnerships with Goddard Space Flight Center and Johnson Space Center, we will be be testing navigation algorithms and hardware tech. There will be heavy use of scripting languages such as MATLAB as well as mission simulation tools such as NASA's GMAT software. Students in this group will be responsible for first familiarizing themselves with the state of the art of x-nav. Online articles as well publications from academic journals will be given to students. Several copies of textbooks on pulsar astronomy will also be made available. The final results of students' work will be published in conference proceedings and may even be incorporated into journal articles. A strong background in the fundamentals of linear algebra and calculus as well as familiarity with scripting are required.
Summer 2017: Institutional factors influencing underrepresented students’ STEM preparation in ISHSs Full Team
Affiliations:
Project Leader:
Ali Bicer
alibicer@tamu.edu
Teaching, Learning, and Culture
Faculty Mentor:
Robert Capraro, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer: MT 2-3PM (staring May 1)
Team Size:
0 (Team Full)
Description:
The purpose of this study is to understand factors influencing underrepresented students’ STEM preparation in Inclusive STEM High Schools (ISHSs). The researchers will conduct a case study that used semi-structured interviews with participants who graduated from ISHSs in Texas. Students’ STEM high school experiences related to their school factors will be classified under categories and these characteristics will be helpful for both STEM and non-STEM schools to establish STEM-focused school environment.
Summer 2017: A study of porcine epicardial lymphatics Full Team
Affiliations:
Michael E. DeBakey Institute Undergraduate Research Program
Project Leader:
Lena Ayari
lena97@tamu.edu
Physiology & Pharmacology
Faculty Mentor:
Ranjeet Dongaonkar, Ph.D
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Possibility of earning co-authorship on a paper, learn to dissect and cannulate vessels, learn to perform in vitro vessel experiments physiological data acquisition.
Team Needs:
Interest in bio-medical science research, preferred BIMS and biomedical engineering majors. Students can register for 3 ch of research (VTPP 291/491 or BMEN 291/491).
Description:
The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in interstitial fluid balance—it collects and transports fluid and proteins lost to the interstitial space from blood capillaries to the circulation system. However, little is known about epicardial lymphatic function. Therefore, we plan to study response of porcine epicardial lymphatic vessels to various physiological and pharmacological stimuli.
Summer 2017: Smart water distribution systems Full Team
Project Leader:
Mohsen Aghashahi
aghashahi@tamu.edu
Civil Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Katherine Banks, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Summer 2017: TBD
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Co-authorship in publications, working in a vital research group with a postdoc fellow and two Ph.D. students and gaining a broad range of experience in smart technology.
Team Needs:
Students with a background of or interested in cyber-physical systems and infrastructures, Internet of Things, cyber-security, control theory, sensors and actuators, wireless connectivity, dynamic programming, 3D printing, robotics.
Description:
A smart water network is a water distribution system which adjusts its performance with varying elements such as variable demands and pressures and acts as an integrated cyber-physical system that constitutes four major sectors including sensing, computing, control and communication. In this research we will advance mobile and stationary water sensor networks technology to enable realtime sensing and communication at a fine temporal and spatial resolutions. Computationally efficient and accurate algorithms will be adapted to simulate system. Optimal control methods will be developed to facilitate system automation by sensor readings and simulation projections. Reliable and fast information exchange between sensors, models, and controllers under rate and power constraints will be achieved using communication systems.
Spring 2017: Mapping the geography of urban drinking water Full Team
Project Leader:
Samantha Zuhlke
szuhlke@tamu.edu
Political Science
Faculty Mentor:
Manuel Teodoro, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Spring 2017: (full)
Team Size:
5 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
This research is part of an on-going project that may include further research and travel opportunities.
Team Needs:
Preference given to candidates who have completed POLS 207 and 209, and have experience with statistical and quantitative analysis, as well as mapping technologies (Google Maps, ArcMap). Seeking at least one team member with fluent Spanish
Description:
This project investigates urban drinking water quality via mapping analysis. I am seeking a research team to help build a data set that examines the relationship between poverty, race, various businesses and drinking water quality within the United States. Team members will use Google Maps to build datasets depicting locations of various businesses within the U.S. Ambitious team members will have the opportunity to perform geographic and statistical analyses of the data using ArcMap and statistical programs. All team members will engage in discussions of political theory that explain location-based phenomena.
Spring 2017: Superhydrophilic filter paper for effective oil recovery from oil contaminated wastewater Full Team
Project Leader:
Minxiang Zeng
zeng692@tamu.edu
Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Zhengdong Cheng, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Spring 2017: (full)
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Available conference opportunities will be shared to team members.
Team Needs:
Strong teamwork skills
Description:
Oil contaminated wastewater from petrochemical industries each year causes serious environmental issues and low resource utilization. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other oily chemicals in wastewater pose a potential risk to aquatic ecosystems as their decomposition causes excessive oxygen consumption, which leads to an increased mortality rate in fish populations. Meanwhile, those “harmful” chemicals could be useful in other areas such as energy fields or pharmaceutical industries. Therefore, the challenge of effective oil–water separation has been highlighted. Conventional oil-water separation methods including gravity separation, air flotation, coagulation, de-emulsification, have the inevitable disadvantages such as low efficiency, high energy consumption, recontamination problems. Separation of oil and water is essentially an interfacial science problem, and thus new strategies based on unique wettability materials have shown to be effective and advantageous. Herein, we proposed a hydrogel coated superhydrophilic filter paper for efficient oil recovery from oily wastewater.
Spring 2017: Virtual-reality enhanced exoskeleton for rehabilitation controlled via reverse engineering the central nervous system Full Team
Affiliations:
Project Leader:
Amin Zeiaee; Rana Soltani-Zarrin
amin.zeiaee@tamu.edu; rana.soltani@tamu.edu
Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Reza Langari, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Spring 2017: (full)
Team Size:
15 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Opportunity to work with a real robotic system, opportunity to work with microsoft Hololens, opportunity to interact with a medical robot
Team Needs:
Solid Basic Engineering Knowledge, Interest in programming and robotics, motivated and interested in hands on experience
Description:
Focus of this project is on developing a virtual-reality enhanced upper limb exoskeleton for rehabilitation of stroke patients. Exoskeleton is an orthosis device worn by the patients which will enable automated physical therapy. To enhance the rehabilitation process, a virtual reality environment will be linked to the exoskeleton. Thus the research effort will include automation, control and programming tasks.
Spring 2017: What is a dune? Improving our ability to extract features from remote sensing data Full Team
Project Leader:
Phil Wernette
wernett9@tamu.edu
Geography
Faculty Mentor:
Chris Houser Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Spring 2017: (full)
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Co-authorship on publications from this research. Opportunities to preset this research at Student Research Week and possibly additional conferences.
Team Needs:
GIS, geology, programmingGIS, geology, programming
Description:
Traditional approaches to identifying and differentiating landscape features and landforms from the landscape remain time-intensive and highly subjective, which limit our ability to assess changes over large geographic areas. Subjectivity due to the person interpreting the features introduces spatially variable amount of error into the change assessment. The purpose of this project is to expand on existing approaches and develop new approaches for objectively differentiating landscape features, which can be automated. The project will utilize existing geographic information systems (GIS) and work to develop new custom approaches. Team members may have the opportunity to be listed as co-authors on publications and/or presentations related to this research. It is also possible that team members may present this research at Student Research Week and/or one or more regional/national professional conferences.
Spring 2017: Historical relationships between vegetation and geology on barrier islands Full Team
Project Leader:
Phil Wernette
wernett9@tamu.edu
Geography
Faculty Mentor:
Chris Houser, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Spring 2017: (full)
Team Size:
8 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Co-authorship on publications. Poster and paper presentations at Student Research Week and national conferences. Possible fieldwork opportunities.
Team Needs:
Looking for diverse set of skills, including, but not limited to: GIS, geology, geophysics, computer science/programming, statistics.
Description:
Recent evidence suggests that barrier island morphology, particularly dune morphology, exhibits both free and forced controls. The purpose of this project is to explore the relationship between spatially discontinuous or variable vegetation dynamics (typically identified as a free factor) and the underlying geologic structure (forcing factor). Understanding the roles and relationships of these factors in dune behavior has implications for modelling the effects of storms and sea-level change on coastal communities. Team members may have the opportunity to be listed as co-authors on publications and/or presentations related to this research. It is also possible that team members may present this research at Student Research Week and/or one or more regional/national professional conferences.
Spring 2017: Nutrition and health of 17th-century sailors Full Team
Project Leader:
Grace Tsai
getsai@tamu.edu
Anthropology
Faculty Mentor:
Karen Kubena, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Spring 2017: (full)
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Students have the chance to be a co-author in a paper, may have the opportunity to tour and possibly stay on a historical sailing vessel, present at conferences, and receive directed studies course credit in Nutrition
Team Needs:
For those with an interest in the biology/microbiology/biochemistry/hard science side of the project, previous lab experience is preferred. I am looking for a mixture of talents as this is a multi-disciplinary project. In particular, students majoring, or with an interest in, biochemistry/microbiology, visualization, food science, meat science, viticulture, nutrition, marketing, history, anthropology, chemistry, and biology are sought after in this team. However, all interested individuals are welcome to apply.
Description:
This project hopes to understand the effects of shipboard diet on the health of sailors by determining the nutritional intake of seamen on 17th-century English ships. Previous attempts to gauge the nutritional value of shipboard diets were based on historical documentation instead of laboratory data. In this project, shipboard food will be replicated using the exact ingredients and methods of preparation from the 17th century, including non-GMO ingredients, the exact species of plant or animal, and the same butchery methods and cuts of meat. Archaeological and historical data will be used to replicate the salted pork and beef, ship biscuit, wine and beer, and other provisions aboard Warwick, an English race-built galleon that sank in 1619. Then, a trans-Atlantic voyage will be simulated by storing the food in casks and keeping these in a ship’s hull for three months. Every ten days, representative samples of food will be sent for nutritional and microbial analysis. Lastly, this project compares laboratory results to data that has already been derived from human remains on wrecks such as Mary Rose (1545) and Vasa (1628). This project also has broader impacts because it is hypothesized that certain microbes found on the experimental food may be novel strains of probiotics, which can be cultured for today’s health industry. The results of the project will be featured in an exhibit at the Texas Seaport Museum in Galveston.
Spring 2017: International rip current detection Full Team
Project Leader:
Sarah Trimble
trimblesm@tamu.edu
Geography
Faculty Mentor:
Chris Houser, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Spring 2017: (Full)
Team Size:
2 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
All significant contributions will be acknowledged with co-authorship on resulting publications.
Team Needs:
GIS/Remote sensing skills, statistics.
Description:
Rip currents, sometimes called rip tides, are concentrated flows of water moving out to sea between breaking waves. They cause hundreds of fatalities worldwide every year and are therefore a global health issue (~100 deaths per year in the US). My dissertation aims to reduce these fatalities by improving signs, warning systems, and rip current prediction models. I am looking for a max of 5 undergraduates with a variety of skills because my dissertation has many types of data, ranging from large multispectral satellite images to tape-recorded interviews with business owners in a small Costa Rican town. All class years are welcome (freshman too!). You only need a basic knowledge (or a desire to learn more) in any one of the following subjects: geology, geography, computer science, modeling, remote sensing, GIS, coastal engineering, statistics, psychology, Spanish… there are many others and all will be useful. We will investigate: (1) developing rip current maps from satellite data, (2) results from interviews with beachgoers, lifeguards, rip current survivors and more, and (3) computer modeling of rip current circulations. Additional research topics may come up throughout the semester. If you want to know more about rip currents, here’s a great website with more information: http://www.scienceofthesurf.com/about.html
Spring 2017: Impact of biomechanical environment on adipose tissue function Full Team
Project Leader:
Arturo Sobarzo
gabrielsobarzo@tamu.edu
Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Mentor:
Joseph M. Rutkowski, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Spring 2017: (full)
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Course credit; experience with a range of biological research techniques, such as tissue culture, RNA analysis, and imaging
Team Needs:
Detail-attentive, coachable, punctual. Students will have to complete BL2 training in addition to the standard laboratory safety training.
Description:
We will be utilizing genetic mouse models and isolating adipose cells, then manipulating the cellular microenvironments in which the cells live in vitro. This will involve varying the composition of the extracellular matrix and scaffolding as well as interstitial flow rates, among other elements. The adipose cells and their matrices will then be analyzed mechanically (porosity, stiffness, etc.) in addition to being imaged and quantified using qPCR. This project is of timely medical significance in regards to obesity and adipose tissue inflammation.
Spring 2017: Primary mechanical determinants of ejection fraction Full Team
Affiliations:
Michael E. DeBakey Institute Undergraduate Research Program
Project Leader:
Steven Shao
stevenshao@tamu.edu
Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor:
Randolph Stewart, DVM, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Spring 2017: (full)
Team Size:
6 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Student Research Week, Research experience working with an experienced faculty
Team Needs:
Writing and editing
Description:
Cardiovascular diseases make up the leading cause of death in the United States and around the world. Estimates of left ventricular ejection fraction are widely used clinical indices to track cardiac performance and progression of heart disease. Ejection fraction is defined as the ratio of stroke volume over end-diastolic volume of a ventricle. However, it is not that simple. Clinicians run into a phenomenon in which patients with and without heart failure would appear to have the same ejection fraction. This is problematic to any clinician using this value to diagnose heart failure. This project aims to define the primary determinants of ejection fraction by further expanding and understand the implications each parameter involves. Team members will gain a foundation of the cardiovascular system while learning the fundamentals of research and modeling.
Spring 2017: Racialization of religious cultural capital in secular Turkey Full Team
Project Leader:
Rebecca Shaffer
rkshaffer@tamu.edu
Sociology
Faculty Mentor:
Edward Murguia, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Spring 2017: Friday 9:30AM-12:30PM
Team Size:
0 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Writing IRB Applications, Semi-Structured Interviews, Preparing Manuscript for Publication
Team Needs:
A student interested in history, particularly modern Turkish History (or Islamic history); good writing skills; student interested in researching intersectional apporaches to race, class and religion.
Description:
This project has two aims: (1) to demonstrate that religious identity and behaviors are a form of cultural capital and (2) to demonstrate that religious cultural capital is undergoing racialization in secular Turkey.
Spring 2017: Genomic prediction modeling for fiber quality in upland cotton Full Team
Project Leader:
Mitchell Schumann
mitchell.schumann@tamu.edu
Soil and Crop Science
Faculty Mentor:
Wayne C. Smith, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Spring 2017: (full)
Team Size:
3 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
You will be able to gain research experience working in plant breeding and genetics with the Cotton Genetics Improvement Lab (CGIL); learn basic principles in plant breeding and statistical techniques for quantifying genetic variation that will be applied to real world data; given the opportunity to receive research credit hours; and highly motivated participants will be considered for full time paid summer employment with the (CGIL).
Team Needs:
You will need to be able to work outside and in different varying weather conditions (heat, cold, dusty) while standing.
Description:
The cotton industry accounts for 100 billion dollars of the U.S. economy, and the U.S. is the number one exporter of cotton. The goal of this program is to explore the genetic architecture of cotton fiber quality, and produce elite cultivars with superior fiber quality alleles. The approach of this project is to develop genomic prediction models to predict fiber quality using only genotypic data.
Spring 2017: Drug target identification Full Team
Project Leader:
Adam Salazar
isayni2u@tamu.edu
Genetics IDP; TIGGS, Biochemistry and Biophysics
Faculty Mentor:
James Sacchettini, Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Spring 2017: (full)
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Special Opportunities:
Being part of an elite research team, possibility of preferentially joining future ARP projects, mastering basic microbiology techniques
Team Needs:
Must be committed to weekly schedule; Microbiological practice generally requires a small-moderate input of time over many days! General microbiology lab coursework, isolation of clonal bacteria, pouring agar media plates, aseptic tequnique, working with biological safety hoods, BSL2 certification, working with liquid bacterial cultures
Description:
M. tuberculosis is an opportunistic human pathogen responsible for infecting nearly 1/3 of the world's population (CDC, 2015). The recent emergence of multi-drug and pan-drug resistance in Mtb to classical antibiotics has highlighted a pressing need to explore the development of novel antibiotic drugs with new targets. In this project, we will attempt to determine the enzymatic target(s) of candidate novel antibiotics. First, we will isolate resistant mutants of a fast growing mycobacterial species to Mtb active compounds by traditional microbiological techniques. Once mutants have been isolated, we will genetically characterize isolates by preparing high quality DNA for illumina ""next gen"" sequencing and mapping resulting sequenced reads to the parental genome. The location and type of mutation will likely reveal the candidate drug target. This project will likely span multiple semesters.
Spring 2017: Impact of a selective NADPH oxidase inhibitor on skeletal muscle atrophy Full Team
Project Leader:
Patrick Ryan
patryan412@tamu.edu
Kinesiology
Faculty Mentor:
John Lawler Ph.D.
Meeting Times:
Spring 2017: F 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Team Size:
4 (Team Full)
Description:
Skeletal muscle is responsible for producing the forces required for organisms to move and interact with their surroundings, while also serving a crucial role in metabolism. As such, it is critical to overall health. A highly dynamic tissue, it is capable of responding and adapting to changes in external load and physiological stimuli. During prolonged periods of unloading, such as bedrest, casting, or spaceflight, skeletal muscle undergoes an atrophic process, decreasing in mass, size, and force generating capacity. The Redox Biology and Cell Signaling Lab at TAMU has identified increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) as a key factor in the signaling pathway that leads to muscular atrophy. Ongoing research by our laboratory investigates the role of NADPH oxidase-2 (Nox2), a membrane bound enzyme that produces ROS, in relation to increased oxidative stress and atrophy. We are currently conducting experiments involving inhibition of Nox2 in rat tissue by a selective peptide inhibitor in order to determine the role of this enzyme in the atrophic cell signaling pathway, and to potentially identify novel therapies that would slow the muscle wasting process. In addition to becoming acquainted with the operation of a modern exercise physiology laboratory, team members will have the opportunity to participate in biochemic