2015 is a GO!

We are VERY excited that the SAU Undergraduate Summer Research Institute is in its 5th year! This year we have 26 students, and eight faculty participating. Here are the students (minus two who are still in Brazil with the engineering group):USRI 2015 student collage

And this year’s projects are VERY cool:

Dr. Joshua Stratton, Chemistry: The students will work in small groups to propose and carry out a research project of their own choice on the atomic absorption spectrometer available in the Chemistry Department.  This instrument is designed to measure metal levels (iron, calcium, cadmium, lead, etc.) in various sources including food, consumer products, and water. Previous projects have included iron or cadmium in chocolate, lead in tap water, and calcium in green beans or orange juice.

Dr. Hunhui Oh, Social Work: Students will be introduced to an opportunity to develop knowledge on mixed-method research analysis (a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methodology) via a series of in-class lectures, surveys and interviews with older adults in the community which is the instructor’s new research project with focus on older people’s life stories, wisdom, and well-being in rural settings. Students will learn how to collect, modify, and analyze survey and interview data correctly by using qualitative data analysis software (i.e., MAXQDA) and quantitative software (i.e., SPSS). To meet this end, students will (1) participate in in-class lectures on the key fundamental skills of research methods mentioned above during the first week, (2) conduct one-on-one interviews and surveys (which will be done simultaneously during each interview) and codings of the interview transcripts and surveys during the following two weeks under instructor’s supervision, (3) and data analysis and presentation during the second three weeks. At the end of the project, students will gain skills and confidence in both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis which should play a significant role in the informed decisions on the topics and approaches of their future research projects.

Dr. Jodi Prosise, Engineering: Students will be involved with developing a simple, affordable, neural-controlled upper limb prosthetic by developing a hand model for motion analysis, designing an experiment for EEG data-collection, analyzing data collected from monkeys, and re-developing current open-source models of prosthetics.

Dr. Susa Stonedahl, Physics & Engineering: Students will be conducting an experiment designed to investigate the flow of water through heterogeneous sediments.  They will collect data, analyze the data, and simulate the system using a variety of computer programs.  This is a multi-disciplinary project, which would be well suited to students from a variety of disciplines.  Engineering, chemistry, computer science, and math students are particularly encouraged to apply.

Dr. Grant Tietjen, Criminal Justice & Sociology: Are you interested in peering into the scientific sphere of severe, violent, and heinous criminal actions and the people who commit such acts? Psychopathic and sociopathic individuals. How are these two concepts different? What motivates certain members of society to commit such actions? Is it socially motivated? Is it genetically/biologically motivated? Is it environmentally motivated? This research project will examine some of the most high profile, sensationalized, and least understood types of criminal behavior, and the people who perpetrated such acts in an attempt to determine if a typology of sociopathic and psychopathic explanations for heinous criminal behavior can be established.

Dr. Katie Trujillo, Psychology: This study focuses on the impact of therapy dogs on people’s stress levels in hospital waiting room environments. Students will measure the stress of individuals before and after interacting with a therapy dog using rating scales and tools designed to gather physiological data.

We’ll be giving you updates from time to time, so check in often!



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