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Tag: research (page 1 of 3)

“Sleep: An Unrecognized Treasure” by Ryan Dean

There are certain practices that are familiar to all college students; chief among them being the “all-nighter.” In our hectic lives, sleep is often the first resource abandoned in favor of studying or hanging with friends. This is a real shame, because sleep is far more significant to an individual’s well-being than most people realize. In this post, I’m going to make the case for sleep, and ideally open a few eyes to the necessity of this forgotten practice.

Let’s start with the basics: what is sleep? A good night’s rest can be broken down into 5 phases, which are cycled through repeatedly as one sleeps. As we progress through these stages, the body moves into an increasingly deeper sleep, until finally reaching REM sleep. It is at this point that we experience dreams. So called “deep sleep” and REM are the most critical phases, and receiving an adequate amount of each is necessary to feel rested in the morning. In fact, if an individual is suddenly awoken during REM sleep, their body will instinctually move directly into that phase the next time the person sleeps. And while this is all fascinating, it isn’t entirely clear why we sleep. That said, the effects of sleep deprivation are evident and worrisome. Continue reading

“Friends 4 Friends” by Avery Beer

Friends 4 Friends: a new community, a new movement, and one of the new RSO’s on UD’s campus. It is an empowering community of students who are actively changing the way mental health is viewed on our campus and raising funds to better our campus’ resources along the way. This is the way we are ditching stigmas centered around mental health and standing up to be advocates for ourselves and for each other.

In September of 2016, we lost a fellow blue hen, a passionate friend, and someone loved by so many. Connor Mullen, who I did not personally know, took his own life tragically, and his presence is missed every day. I remember exactly where I was on the day when we all mourned his loss together as a college campus. I remember feeling immense sorrow, to the point of tears, despite not even knowing him. I have always felt a deep connection to this cause after my mom’s long battle with depression, which eventually led to her suicide when I was just seven years old, so I felt the need to be there for the people that I know and loved that were so heartbroken by his loss. I remember writing a blog about it on this day, featured on my personal blog, so I’m just going to give a quick excerpt from that to show how emotional it was for many. I wrote: Continue reading

In the [research] Trenches 12.4.12

As the semester finishes up we get an update from Alexandra Bayles and Matthew Sinnott on their senior theses.

Alexandra Bayles: “Morphological Responsiveness of Anisotropic Partially Crystalline Emulsion Colloids”

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The thing that I find most exciting about the research I’m doing for my thesis is that the work has relevant, practical implications outside of the academic world. I’ve been incredibly fortunate over the past 1.5 years to collaborate with researchers in industry throughout my work. Throughout the collaboration, we have drawn from one another’s results to advance both the physical understanding of the PCE phenomena and ultimately utilize this understanding to engineer products.

The most challenging part about the research I’m doing is finding the time to go into lab and conduct experiments. The fall semester of senior year is particularly busy for many seniors–not only do we have difficult capstone classes within our major, but many of us are also applying for graduate fellowships and research programs. There are many days where I wish I could forgo doing coursework and writing applications and instead spend the entire day in lab. By writing a thesis, I expect to learn how to better communicate my experimental results to audiences both familiar and unfamiliar with my field of research.

After graduating, I intend to go to graduate school to complete a PhD. Writing this senior research thesis not only improves my chance at being accepted into top graduate programs, but has also given me a preview of the work that I will do while in graduate school.

Matthew Sinnott: “Damage sensing in composite structures for the development of a health monitoring system and sensing self-healing capabilities”

I am excited to continually learn more about my research by reading articles and discovering what is done as other universities. Because the field is emerging into an area where there are new projects being explored everyday the scope of my project is constantly changing. The most challenging part of the research that I am doing is organizing all of my data and information nicely. There is a lot of different data that I am collecting with every test that needs to be evaluated and interpreted.

I am hoping to have a better understanding of how a final report should look before submitting it for publication. Writing a thesis should help me improve my technical writing skills and be better prepared for graduate school After graduation I am hoping to get a job in industry and work towards my master’s degree as a part time student. During interviews a lot of potential employers question me about my experience as an undergraduate researcher. After writing a thesis I have a better understanding of the small details of my project and feel comfortable explaining these details in a professional setting.

In the [research] Trenches 11.27.12

This week it’s all about the numbers. Seth Rubin (Finance and Economics) talks baseball stats while Joe Servadio (Statistics, Math-Economics) discusses undergraduate sanitation habits.

Seth Rubin Market Efficiency of Major League Baseball Player Salaries: A Look at the Moneyball Hypothesis Ten Years Later”

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What most excites me is the opportunity to combined a passion of mine in baseball statistics, and combine it with what I have learned and will continue to learn and get to write about it as a thesis. The most challenging part is finding the right statistics to use for my research and getting some of the pieces of data.

I am expecting to learn about Major League Baseball and how statistical analysis has and is still changing the way players are evaluated. My hopeful plans will be to work at either a financial services firm or with a major league sports team where I can use my data analysis tools to make a positive impact. And then eventually go back to school for either my MBA, Masters or even potentially a PHD. This will help me continue to grow my analysis skills that will help me wherever I end up.

Joe Servadio: “Comparative Risk of Undergraduate Sanitation Habits.”

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The intent is to determine whether or not any interactions exist among the Knowledge, Beliefs, and Practices of undergraduates concerning sanitation habits. The habits I am isolating are hand hygiene and food safety, which focuses on produce storage and preparation.

So far, what I have found to be the most exciting part of my research is being able to conduct my own research project that has a practical application. I also was really excited to be able to create and conduct a survey that was sent to a random sample of undergraduates. My response rate was better than expected, and I’m really glad that I was able to collect a lot of data, which will make my results more precise.

The biggest challenge I am facing so far is the step that I am currently working on: the data analysis. My survey closed last week, and I am now in the process of sorting through all of the raw data and making it more usable. Many of the questions on my survey were multi-part, meaning that while something looked like 1 question with 10 different categories, it now to me is like 10 different questions that must be addressed individually. It’s definitely a challenge to take a huge Excel spreadsheet and find a way to make this data usable. What I hope to learn from this thesis is how to organize, plan, and conduct a research project. I hope that this will, even at the most rudimentary level, provide insight into a career in research. So far, I have found this to be a very positive experience.

I currently am applying to doctoral programs in Statistics with a research focus in health sciences. I think that writing a thesis in this topic is a good way to show graduate schools that I am currently involved in this form of research, and that I am capable of being involved in research.

In the [research] Trenches 11.20.12

This week, we caught up with seniors Ron Lewis (Chemical Engineering), Michael Rowley (Exercise Science and Biological Sciences) and Allison McCague (Cell and Molecular Biology & Genetics) as they work on their thesis projects!

K. Michael Rowley: “The Effect of Plantarflexion Angle on Landing Mechanics Using a Within-Subjects Real-TimeFeedback Protocol”

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UDHP: What most excites you about the research that you are doing?

KMR: Actually the most exciting part just happened three hours ago! I am currently in Singapore and just presented my research at the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science conference. It has been really awesome to see the differences in landing mechanics between a group of controls and a group of dancers. There are some interesting differences in using the hip and ankle when landing with very pointed feet between the two populations. The presentation was received very well and other researchers had some great feedback for future directions and more variables to look at.

UDHP: What is the most challenging part of the research that you are doing?

KMR: The most challenging part is figuring out which variables are meaningful and which aren’t. There are SO many variables to look at between groups, between individuals, and between ankle angles of landing. Just some that we are considering are the peak force and the peak loading rate with which the subjects are hitting the ground, the joint moments in the hip, knee, and ankle at landing, and rotations at the hip, knee, and ankle both at initial contact and throughout the entire landing.

UDHP: What are you hoping to learn from writing a thesis?

KMR: I have already learned so much about how a research project gets from just an idea, to a specific question, to an actual method, through data analysis, and then drawn into some conclusions that give some information about that initial idea. It’s amazing how the data I collected and the questions I answered only led to more questions, which is why data analysis is still an evolving process as we think of more and more things to investigate.

UDHP: What are your plans for after graduation?

KMR: I plan to attend graduate school for biomechanics research in dance science, not sure where yet. Writing this thesis will give me a huge leg up when it comes to my first semester in graduate school. I will be able to jump right into research questions and thesis development.

Allison McCague: “The Role of N-Linked Glycosylation During Drosophila Development”

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UDHP: What most excites you about the research that you are doing?

AM: Probably the challenging genetics excite me the most. My project is stimulating intellectually, which I like. I like the fact that I’m applying what I’ve learned in the classroom to a project that has applications in the real world.

UDHP: What is the most challenging part of the research that you are doing?

AM: The most challenging part of the research I’m doing is probably all the roadblocks I’ve run into (especially in the past year). When things just don’t work right, it can be frustrating.

UDHP: What are you hoping to learn from writing a thesis?

AM: I’m primarily hoping to learn how to write scientifically. I’ve read many scientific publications in my college career, but I’ve never had to write anything more complicated than a lab report. A senior thesis will be the thing I write in my undergraduate career that will most resemble a bionafied scientific publication. And if I end up in the field I’m thinking I will end up in, that is a skill that will be absolutely essential.

UDHP:What are your plans for after graduation?

AM: I plan to attend graduate school and obtain a PhD in genetics. Undergraduate research and writing a thesis provide absolutely vital experiences that give me an idea of what it will be like to be a grad student.

Ron Lewis: “The Effect of Block Copolymer Thin Film Morphology on Stem Cell Differentiation”

UDHP: What most excites you about the research that you are doing?

RL: I am most excited by the idea that this is something that has never been done, and also by the fact that we are essentially going to try to use artificially generated materials to mimic the structures of the human body.

UDHP:  What is the most challenging part of the research that you are doing?

RL: The most challenging part of my research is that there seem to be so many factors that go into it. For my project, it’s nothing at all like putting an object into a machine and pressing a button. There’s quite a few things going on, and it is important to be extra careful at every step along the way.

UDHP: What are you hoping to learn from writing a thesis?

RL: I am expecting and certainly hoping that writing a thesis will increase my skill and knowledge of technical writing, research procedures, and the material I am studying, in general.

UDHP:What are your plans for after graduation?

RL: My plans after graduation are to attend graduate school. Since this path is a research intensive one, I expect that writing a thesis and performing research for it will help me prepare for what is ahead!

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