Honors College Undergraduate Research Conference

Permanent URI for this collectionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10877/7615

The Honors College currently hosts two annual events that showcase undergraduate research on the Texas State University Campus: the Honors Research Forum in the fall and the Undergraduate Research Conference & Thesis Forum in the spring.

Undergraduate Research Conference Website: https://www.txst.edu/honors/opportunities/events/research-conferences.html


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
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    What Makes You Happy? Using Statistical Analysis to Measure Significance of Happiness Scores
    (2018-04-26) Lopanec, Brittney; Batterton, Katlyn; Maldonado, Luis
    Happiness is a state of mind that relates to life satisfaction and positive experience of emotions. Happiness is recognized as a measure for social progress. It depicts the effectiveness of a country. We have used clustering and regression as analytical methods for our analysis. Our project will give insights as to why each country holds their ranking in the World Happiness Report.
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    Adding Value to Hydroponic Production with Oyster Mushrooms
    (2018-04-26) Soza, Marisol; Wendt, Eric; Mix, Kenneth D.; Wagner, Nicole
    Specialty mushrooms, such as shiitakes and oysters, are a high value crop which totaled $96 million in sales in 2017. Oyster mushrooms are sold at $3.10/pound, illustrating their economic value (USDA, 2017). To produce these specialty mushrooms, specific environmental conditions are required, including high humidity and warmth. Indoor hydroponic systems are a specific type of closed operation system, which utilizes a controlled environment with moderate to high humidity and temperature to produce agricultural crops with faster turnover rates. This project explores vertically integrating a layer of high value mushroom crops into a hydroponic plant-production system to increase the economic return per area. Specifically, we will compare the viability, compatibility, and competitiveness of traditional mushroom farming to conjunctive hydroponic/mushroom production. The experimental design will have three plots, the first two of which will mimic traditional mushroom production: 1) HVAC controlled environment with no light, 2) no HVAC with no light, and 3) a Buddha Box hydroponic unit that is a controlled environment with high humidity and is lit by LEDs.
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    Cameron County Community: Social and Epidemiological Assessment
    (2018-04-26) Gonzalez, Sarah; Limon, Alberto; Davila, Dominique; McAnamey, Ashley; Boyd, Kristin
    Introduction: This assessment sought to determine the behavioral, environmental, and health issues that impact overall quality of life in Cameron County. Methods: The Precede-Proceed model was used to frame the assessment process. Phases of this model included the social assessment and the epidemiological phase. Data was collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Texas Health Data, and Healthy People 2020 for national goals and objectives. A prioritization matrix was incorporated to determine what health problems were most modifiable and important. Results: Major health concerns identified among Cameron County residents were diabetes, nephritis, and chronic liver disease. Diabetes rates were remarkably high compared to the other morbidity factors. Diabetes had the biggest rate difference between the county and state mortality rates. The age adjusted rate for the county and state was taken from the most recent data available (2015) and represented a rate per 100,000 population. Cameron County’s diabetes rate was 34.1 and Texas’ rate was 21.3. For nephritis, Cameron County’s rate was 18.8 and 16.4 for Texas. Finally, chronic liver disease was Cameron County’s third leading cause of death at a rate of 18.4 and Texas had a rate of 13.8. Diabetes was the only cause that increased in rate from 28.5 to 34.1. Conclusion: The prioritized need for health improvement in Cameron County is diabetes. Factors contributing to this condition may be more easily modified for residents. Programs should be created for both prevention and appropriate management of diabetes.
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    Computational Fluid Dynamics Study of an Atmospheric Water Generator
    (2018-04-26) Aina, Olaoluwa
    The goal of this project is to use Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to study an Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG) to aid the development of an optimal AWG configuration. The AWG utilizes a thermoelectric cooler (or Peltier) which is a device that when powered, transfers heat from one surface of the device to the other. This results in a very hot side and a very cold side. Under the right atmospheric conditions (dry bulb temperature and humidity), the cooling of the Peltier device allows humid air to be converted into moisture. CFD is utilized to analyze the heat exchange between all components of an AWG assembly. The assembly consists of a condensation plate, a Peltier device beneath the condensation plate, a single heat sink to draw heat away from the Peltier, and a fan to cool the heat sink. A CAD model of the water generator is created, and flow simulation is conducted on the AWG assembly. CFD is used to solve for the surface temperature of the condensation plate, heat dissipation from the thermoelectric cooler to the heat sink, and the rate of cooling that the fan provides to the heat sink. Currently, a single AWG assembly is being analyzed using CFD. Future progression of the study will be to model a larger system consisting of multiple AWG units to study the most effective method of cooling all the heat sinks so as optimize the efficiency of the Peltier.
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    Odysseus’s (Ulysses’s) Odyssey through Western Literature, and Virgil’s and Dante’s Quests for the Questor
    (2010-12) Gordyn, Edgar
    The mythological hero Odysseus, better known as Ulysses, remains as engaging to modern audiences as he was to the ancient Greeks. His early travails in the Trojan War, as described in the Iliad, led to worse travails as the veteran struggled for ten years to reach home, pursued by the vengeful god Poseidon, only to find his house overrun with ignominious suitors pursuing his wife. Although his Greek epic the Odyssey reestablishes Odysseus in the Ithaca which he stabilizes at the epic’s conclusion, the Odysseus theme gained strong momentum in ancient Greece. Developments in the Greek epic cycle pursued this multifaceted hero to the variously-imagined end of his days, and Western literature continues this tradition. Tennyson’s poem “Ulysses” and James Joyce’s novel Ulysses are two of the Western canon’s more famous variations on the Odysseus theme, but these build upon two more significant developments: Virgil’s Aeneid and Dante’s Inferno. Both of these artists treat Odysseus in intriguingly complex ways, making him simultaneously the heart of their works and the target of their attacks. Their ambivalence towards Odysseus speaks volumes about his influence upon their epic poems. My essay first explores Odysseus’s character as Homer’s epics depict him, and glances into the ancient Greek culture that conceived him as their representative hero. Then, my essay analyzes key selections from the Aeneid and the Inferno to demonstrate how strongly Odysseus inspired at the same time that he antagonized these poets who so strongly influence our Western literary canon.
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    Paralleling Reality: The Storytelling Tapestry of Don Quixote
    (2009-01) Gordyn, Edgar
    The curious phenomenon of storytelling is unique to human beings, and has for millennia been a vital vein for the development of human civilization. Epic poems glorify the deeds of heroes, stories embody religious beliefs, and our world generally becomes more sensible through stories, both factual and fictional. Miguel Cervantes’ character, the story-obsessed Don Quixote, represents our collective fascination with stories. Cervantes, in his novel Don Quixote, employs the storytelling tradition to make Quixote’s worlds—both that of his imagination and that in which Quixote lives—more ingenious and sensible. Cervantes’ numerous themes seem at first as disconnected and disorganized as Quixote’s thinking. However, utilizing the storytelling tradition within his novel, Cervantes coheres his disparate themes into a harmonious whole. This approach mirrors our general storytelling tradition that makes our world—historical and modern —more sensible, however random some of its events seem. By focusing on Part I of Don Quixote, my essay will analyze not only Cervantes’ use of stories within stories, but also his layered narrative structure, both of which devices make the novel Don Quixote a microcosm of the storytelling tradition that is crucial to our civilization’s development.