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Sunday, April 11th, 2021

Thomas Matsumura

Title: Measuring Lower Limb Muscle Activity and Kinematics in Variable Foot Strike Gaits

Abstract: Anterior knee pain affects roughly a quarter of the population, and many cases go untreated. Joint pain is a complex condition, but is influenced by morphology, kinematics (motion), and joint load imbalances, which are driven by muscle forces. To develop a better understanding of the interactions between kinematics and muscle activity patterns, non-invasive surface EMG sensors will be used on the lower limbs of pain-free subjects to measure muscle activation during different activities and gait patterns, including normal walking, toe-in/toe-out walking, and box jumps. Sensors are placed on the subject’s knee extensor muscles, hamstrings, dorsiflexors, and plantar flexors, which are the muscle groups that are most associated with knee loads. Data processing includes rectification, smoothing, and statistical analysis between different activities. Comparing these data will allow us to determine activities that lead to changes in surface EMG signals, and thus muscle forces, and how these changes may affect knee joint loads. We will then examine how those with no history of patellofemoral pain and those with a history of pain differ in muscle activation patterns. We hope that the data collected and subsequent analysis can help us determine how joint loads may be reduced in subjects with anterior knee pain may be reduced by gait retraining, physical therapy, or surgical interventions.

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Sunday, April 11th, 2021

Shane Kozick

Measuring Concordance of Subtype Sulcogryral Patterns in Monozygotic and Dizygotic Twin Pairs

The brain’s surface is made up of sulci (grooves) and gyri (ridges) that together create the distinct folded (sulcogryal) appearance of the brain. It is known that individual differences in the sulcogyral pattern of the orbital frontal cortex (OFC) can lead to variation in social behaviors and psychiatric pathology. Recent research has focused on the sulcogyral folding pattern variations in individuals, specifically within the OFC. Four pattern types have been identified based on the continuity of four distinct sulci, and subtypes within each pattern type have been defined that offer more fine-grained characterization of OFC structure. To date, there have been no analyses of OFC sulcogyral patterns (or subpatterns) and genetic associations. The goal of this project is to categorize the OFC pattern subtypes of monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs to explore whether the development of OFC pattern types have a strong genetic component. The study is accomplished using a publicly available structural MRI data set from the Human Connectome Project (HCP). We used neuroimaging software to individually subtype 570 subjects in the data set and we are currently investigating the association with genetics.

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Sunday, April 11th, 2021

Meg MacNeille

What’s Out There? Investigating Online Teacher Created Activites

Despite the popularity of online teacher-created
resource-sharing sites, little is known about the scope and quality of elementary mathematics activities from these sites. Our research specifically focuses on Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT), a rapidly growing educator resource site where teachers can create and sell their own content to other teachers without the process of peer review. This leads to the question, are these high-quality activities?
To answer this question, we downloaded the top 500
free and top 500 less than $5 mathematics activities
from TpT. Our findings are separated into two grade
bands: K-2 and 3-5. Given the difference in learning
styles for the two grade bands, we deemed it very
necessary to look at the data in separate groups. We
coded each activity for its intended grade level(s),
Common Core domain(s), picture type (Brändström
2005), and level of cognitive demand (Smith and Stein 1998). Broadly speaking, our findings revealed a high dependency on price dictating the quality of the activity. We also saw finding quality activities for grades 3-5 is a very difficult task, unless money was involved. This poses a further question, is the marketing and potential payout putting children’s learning in the shadows?
Brändström, Anna. 2005. “Differentiated Tasks in
Mathematics Textbooks an Analysis of the Levels of
Difficulty.”; Dissertation. Lulea University of Technology.
Smith, Margaret S, and Mary Kay Stein. 1998. “Selecting and Creating Mathematical Tasks: From Research to Practice.”; “Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School 3(5): 344-50.

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Saturday, April 10th, 2021

Gari Eberly

Synthesis is a collection of poetry that explores how
gender relations and race amalgamate to impact
the maturation of an individual. These poems are
scientifically-aware and influenced by my concurrent
education in both Creative Writing and Biomedical
Engineering. For the past four years, I have sought
to bridge the gap between my two academic
commitments: poetry and science. Both poetry and
science exist as a means to ask and answer questions
about the messy interactions that shape personalities
and relations with the broader world. To be successful,
both tools require dedication to detail, creativity, and
exploration. On the page, poets mold language to reveal
startling truths about how we engage with the world.
In a lab, engineers leverage scientific theories to build
technological innovations. Despite these similarities,
I have noticed that interactions between poetry and
science remain faint: a missed connection at the train
station, an asymptote that never opens its mouth.
Through this collection, I instead seek to converge these
two disciplines at a single point by melding personal
experience with scientific observations, as explored
through a variety of poetic forms.

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Saturday, April 10th, 2021

Colette Sachs

The Psychological Impacts of COVID-19 and Social Distancing

During the period of March to August of 2020, college students across the country were asked to stay in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This unprecedented era of social distancing and sheltering in place presents the unique opportunity to explore how college students coped and fared psychologically. Browning et. al (2021) assessed students from seven US universities and found high psychological impact due to sheltering in place, specifically for students who identified as female, people of color, and low income. Through a virtual MTurk survey administered to first-year Bucknell students in the fall of 2020, we intended to examine differences in students’ reactions to and experiences in this quarantine period. This sample included 120 first-year Bucknell students, 70% female. Subject variables included family background, personality, and the perceived support felt by the student within their quarantine environment. Participants completed survey measures on some key outcomes such as parental relationships, loneliness, eating habits, and body image. We have run correlations, regressions and T-tests to determine differences in quarantine experiences and discover any significant outcome variables.

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Saturday, April 10th, 2021

Cameron Hong

Assessing Solvent Viscosity Impact on the Physical Characteristics of Polymeric Organogels

Traditionally, studies of polymeric organogels focus on the impact of polymer factors on the gels’ mechanical and transport properties. Alternatively, this study seeks to assess the impact of altering solvent viscosity, while holding polymer factors constant. The gels in this study were composed of styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene (SEBS) triblock copolymer, oleic acid (OA), and mineral oil. Samples were formulated at 10, 20, and 30 wt% SEBS copolymer for each mineral oil, varying in viscosity from ~30 mPa*s to ~500 mPa*s. Uniaxial mechanical testing was performed to determine Gc, the contributions of physical crosslinks, i.e., micelles, to stress, and Ge, the contributions of chain entanglements to stress. Modeling the data from these experiments showed that Gc and Ge only varied with polymer concentration. In a separate set of experiments, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to track the diffusion of OA out of the gel. Through modeling the release of OA with time using a Fickian diffusion model, the diffusion coefficients for formulations at varying solvent viscosities were determined. Notably, the results of the FTIR experiments conform to behavior predicted by the Stokes-Einstein equation. The results from these two sets of experiments allows for a higher degree of tunability than previously available. The results from this study will be of particular use in development of transdermal drug delivery devices.

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Saturday, April 10th, 2021

Michael Duncan

Title: Gas-Phase Chemical Ionization Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry
Michael Duncan
Advisor: Douglas B. Collins
The most common method of analysis for trace gases in air employs chemical ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (CI-TOF-MS). Transportable CI-TOF-MS instruments have relatively low mass resolving power (m/Δm 50,000, allowing for the exact monoisotopic mass to be determined. However, Orbitrap instruments are most commonly designed to analyze sprayed liquid samples. Atmospheric chemists commonly need to analyze the molecular composition of gases that include a variety of large organic molecules that have a similar mass to charge ratios as one another, making it difficult to accurately identify them using a CI-TOF-MS. This project set out to design a chemical ionization apparatus for Orbitrap mass spectrometry and allow for the analysis of gaseous samples. The design has been focused on low costs, modularity, and adaptability, all in order to keep the horizon of users and use cases as broad as possible. Analyte ions will be formed by ion-molecule reactions within a cone-shaped flow reactor. Reagent ions will be supplied to the ion-molecule reactor using a continuous soft x-ray photoionization process. Computer-aided design in Solidworks along with rapid prototyping with 3D printing has allowed for conceptualization, realization, and testing of key components before fabrication. The first machined prototype is the next major step that will provide the opportunity to test the concept.

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Saturday, April 10th, 2021

Jaden Lee

Using Finite Element Modeling to Investigate the Effect of Mechanical Loading on Muscle Microstructure

Clinical treatments for muscle conditions such as muscle atrophy and cerebral palsy require an understanding of the mechanical properties of the impaired tissue. The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a collagen-based, honeycomb-like structure present throughout muscle tissue that greatly influences muscle stiffness. Although many studies have investigated the mechanical properties of muscle tissue and the ECM, there is scarce literature on the effect of different loading conditions on the functionality of the ECM. The goal of this study is to develop a finite element model of a muscle fascicle unit in order to understand how muscle stiffness may be dictated by the ECM. We hypothesize that the geometric parameters and material properties of the ECM such as thickness, fiber alignment, and hyperelasticity impact the mechanical properties of muscle tissue subject to various mechanical loading conditions. A transversely uniform representative volume element of muscle tissue was developed in Solidworks using a Voronoi-based cross-section. The model was discretized into tetrahedral finite elements using an open-source meshing package. Using FEBio, we will simulate the effects of uniaxial and biaxial stretching on the element with variations in ECM geometric and material properties. This theoretical model will then be used to link tissue-level mechanical function (stiffness) to tissue microstructure, thus providing insight into how impaired muscle may differ mechanically and structurally from healthy muscle.

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Saturday, April 10th, 2021

Akil Atkins

Catch the Pig! Understanding Interaction Between People and AI
Our study sought to investigate the ways in which people would interact with an AI agent, based on how the agent was racialized. To investigate this we modeled a game after the stag hunt task, where participants were tasked with gaining as many points as possible. Participants could gain points by either cooperating with an AI agent to capture a pink game piece, which represented a pig or exiting the game through the black squares on either side of the board. The study was a true experiment in which participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions. Participants were either assigned to a condition where the AI was racialized as Black, where the AI was racialized as white, or a condition where the AI wasn’t racialized at all, which represented the control condition. After completing the game participants were asked three survey questions to assess how they perceived the AI’s strategy when playing the game. So far our results have shown that participants in the control condition were more likely to believe the AI was working with them to capture the pig than participants in both the Black and white treatment groups. Moreover, the participants in the white treatment group were more likely than those in the Black treatment group to believe the AI agent was working them to capture the pig. The results do suggest that there is a relationship between the racialization, or lack thereof, of AI and how people interact with AI Agents.

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