2005 Diamond Research Scholars
Among their other achievements, several 2005 Diamond Research Scholars presented their work at regional and national conferences: Farheen Altaf at INFORMS 2005, Allison Pymer at American Physical and Optical Society of America, and Healey Whitsett at the Eastern Sociological Society Conference and the American Sociological Association Conference. Two Diamond Research Scholars received national recognition in part for the work they accomplished as part of the program: Allison Pymer, Honorable Mention, Goldwater Scholarship, and Mena Hanna, recipient, Marshall Scholarship.
Nucleon Structure Functions: Analysis of Results from Deep-Inelastic Scattering
Mentor: Dr. Zbigniew Dziembowski, Physics
Modern theories in particle physics, specifically quantum chromo-dynamics (QCD), predict that protons and neutrons, the nucleons, are composed of three elementary particles called quarks. Both the proton and the neutron are composed of the two lightest quarks, the "up" and the "down." The proton consists of two "up" quarks and one "down" whereas the neutron consists of two "down" quarks and one" up" quark. Deep-inelastic scattering is the experimental method in physics that allows us to probe inside the nucleons and "see" this quark structure. These experimental results are compared a theoretical quantity called a structure function, which measures how the constituent quarks are arranged inside the nucleon.
In this work, the wave functions for the quarks are constructed from a relativistic constituent quark model (RCQM). Structure functions are then calculated numerically in the SU(6) RCQM and then compared to neutron data recently obtained from deep-inelastic scattering.
The Adoption of ASP Services by Small Businesses
Mentor: Dr. David Schuff, Management Information Systems
Application Service Providers (ASPs) are firms that deliver an application over the web. ASPs serve as alternatives for many traditional business applications, allowing small businesses access to the latest software and infrastructure which they could not otherwise afford. Despite these advantages, they have a slow rate of adoption among small businesses.
The purpose of this research is to investigate the factors that influence adoption of ASPs by small businesses. After a review of previous literature, I developed a combined model, using aspects of an adoption model for small and medium-sized businesses and an adoption model for ASPs in general. The model (see Figure I) focuses on six factors: experience, cost, increase in productivity, perceived ease of use, functional capability, and flexibility. I developed a survey to investigate the role these factors play in adoption by small businesses and am in the process of data collection and analysis.
I focused particularly on flexibility, which I defined as the ability of a small business to choose the modules/functions they need rather than opting for the complete application. Many small businesses end up renting a complete application when they actually only need some of its functionality. An alternative pricing model for ASPs is to offer application components and allow businesses to choose only the modules they want to use. For instance, a business could have the ability to choose a human resource application, but not purchase payroll functions. This study will represent a contribution to the relatively small body of academic literature regarding the adoption of ASPs by combining two existing models and adding the new flexibility construct.
Wind Energy in the Dominican Republic: A GIS Site Suitability Analysis
Mentor: Dr. Jeremy Mennis, Geography and Urban Studies
The purpose of this paper is two fold: first to examine the electricity sector and the viability of wind energy development in the Dominican Republic in the context of energy issues in Latin America and the developing countries as a whole. It is clear that the Latin American energy market, particularly in the Dominican Republic, is expanding as these countries grow, opening the market up to new ventures and investments. These new investments should be in the renewable sector. Developing Latin American countries like the Dominican Republic are poised to lead the way in the transition to using clean energy to support industrialization, an opportunity that should not be missed. In the long run, supporting growth with clean energy could save their country from negative long-term environmental and economic effects.
The second purpose is to develop a GIS model for performing a site suitability analysis for utility-scale wind farms, using the Dominican Republic as a point of study. Despite somewhat faulty and unreliable data, it is clear that there are regions of the Dominican Republic that are conducive to wind energy and that meet requirements for wind farm development. It was also found that the model is efficient in integrating the data and creating maps of areas meeting the necessary criteria, allowing developers to better understand areas that are more conducive to wind energy and the resources they are working with. However, better data needs to be integrated into the analysis for the model to truly function in reality.
The Synthetic Utility of Methanopyrrolidine (MetPyr)-5-SynCadboxylic Acid:
Functional Group Modifications and the Incorporation of Methanopyrrolidine Subunits into Non-Natural b-peptide Foldamers
Ryan A. Centafont
Mentor: Dr. Grant Krow, Chemistry
The synthesis and resolution of 5-syn-carboxy-2-azabicyclo[2.1.l]hexane was performed for its incorporation into novel b-peptide foldamers. Methods of synthesis, resolution, oligomerization, and functional group modifications of the 5-syn-carboxy-2-azabicyclo(2.1.1]hexane monomer are reported. Additionally, the synthesis of 5-X-Substituted-2Azabicyclo(2.1.1]hexanes, X = 5-syn-I, Ph, and X = 5-anti-I, Ph, were also carried out utilizing the 5-syn-carboxy MetPyr derivative as starting material.
Approaching Women in Antiquity Post-Arethusa XI
Mentor: Dr. Daniel Tompkins, Classics
Proper analysis of the role of women in ancient Greek society is fundamental to our understanding of antiquity and its intellectual and cultural accomplishments. The approaches and perspectives of modem scholars influence how ancient women are analyzed. Before the 1970s, when feminist criticism began to influence the classics community, the model of women in ancient society was one of simple oppression, supported by limited sources. Women were seen as a single group, at times allowed to participate in society, but generally isolated in the household. With the publication of Arethusa 6 and Sarah Pomeroy's Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves, some scholars began to break the image of ancient women as a homogenous class characterized by a similar fate. This paper analyzes several papers published since this change took place. New methodologies and cross-disciplinary approaches have allowed for a more nuanced view of ancient women but many of the achievements have been limited by lingering debates and limited ancient sources. Modem anthropological studies have offered possible models for ancient society, but portions of the classics community have been skeptical of such studies. Some scholars have catered to the skepticism of the classics community by solely focusing on literature sources, but others have successfully incorporated archaeology, gender theory, and economics into their study of the traditional sources. This paper argues that those scholars willing to incorporate a variety of approaches have been most successful and makes some suggestions for approaching women in antiquity in the future.
Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (QPSK) -
Digital Data Transmission in Communication Channels
Mentor: Dr. Dennis Silage, Electrical Engineering
There are many techniques of digital transmission through bandpass channel. Airwaves and fiber optics are examples of bandpass channels. Information can be transmitted across a bandpass channel by modulating the carrier's signals parameters: amplitude, frequency, and phase. By changing the sinusoidal carrier's phase, a Quaternary Phase Shift Keying modulation technique is developed into four possible symbols. Each symbol represents two binary data (00,10,11,01). The speed of transmission that will be used is 10 Kbits/ sec and the carrier's center frequency is 50 KHz. In order to study the effect and efficiency of transmission between the QPSK transmitter and its receiver, the power spectral density (PSD) of the transmitted signal will be observed. The Additive White Gaussian Noise (AWGN) will be used to corrupt the modulated signal, and the bit error rate (BER) measurements will be performed in order to ascertain the number of error that is inherent in the whole digital data transmission process.
The Effect of Dexamethasone on Expression of the BAX Gene in Ovarian Tissues
Job G. Godino
Mentor: Dr. L. Christie Rockwell, Anthropology
Environmental factors, whether they are naturally occurring or artificially synthesized, significantly influence human reproduction. There are social, cultural, and biological factors that can either positively or negatively impact reproductive health. Understanding the complex processes involved in normal human reproduction and the manner in which external factors impact healthy reproduction is vital for the field of public health. Among the many complex areas of research in this field of study, is the examination of the influential role that hormones have in normal female reproductive function. Hormones that are naturally produced within the endocrine system of mammalian organisms and that are administered exogenously for pharmacological purposes can have a wide range of effects, but their effect on the cells, tissues, and organs involved in normal female reproduction is incompletely understood. Studies that investigate their influence will also increase our understanding of the mechanisms and molecular pathways involved in normal reproduction, fertility, and perhaps contraception, areas of great importance to individual and public health.
The expression of the bcl-2 family of genes has been shown to have a regulatory role in normal ovarian function by influencing the biochemical signals that direct apoptosis. The expression of this family of genes has been shown to be influenced by glucocorticoid steroid hormones, more specifically dexamethasone (DEX). Thus, the objective of the study is to completely understand what the direct effect of DEX is on the in vivo expression of the bcl-2 family of genes in ovarian tissues and cells, and the manner in which this effects follicular development and ultimately ovulation.
La Storia di un Ciliegio
Mentor: Dr. Richard Brodhead, Music
In March of 2005, I was awarded a commissioned music composition project from the International Opera Theater. The commission entailed a musical rendering of a modern fairy tale, La Storia di un Ciliegio by an Umbrian poet, Paolo Caciola Aliprandi. The Diamond Scholars grant enabled me to travel to Umbria, Italy to rehearse with my ensemble and conduct four premieres in Citta della Pieve, Perugia, Castelgiorgio and Spolleto on the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th of August. These concerts contributed to a chamber music series part of a larger music festival in Umbria, Italy involving the International Opera Theater.
When setting the fairy tale, I decided to go with a slightly unorthodox arrangement: that is Narrator, Soprano voice (Coloratura), and a chamber ensemble consisting of Violin, Cello, Clarinet, and Bass Clarinet. Although many composers in the past century have composed for narration, Stravinsky, Prokofjev, and Schonberg to name a few, the combination of a narrator and a singer is quite rare because the usage of two different forces verbally communicating the story can be often construed as contradictory to the musical argument. Compositionally, I tried to use this innate conflict to my advantage in terms of timbreal distinction and dialectical form.
The chamber ensemble and singer coalesce to produce special effects, textures, and colors. They provide leitmotifs musical motives signifying characters, emotive concepts, or settings, which act as an aural map throughout the piece. This is balanced by the pragmatism of the narrator, who wants to tell the story, but is repeatedly interrupted by the ensemble and singer. The result is a playful vignette, with a graceful naivete that can only be complemented by the fairy tale itself.
The composition is approximately thirty-five minutes long; its US premier was April 5, 2006 in Rock Hall as part of Temple University's TURF Symposium.
Investigation of Gene Expression on Cisplatin-Resistant Cancer Cell Lines
Mentor: Dr. Jan Feng, Chemistry
Cancer is a disease that is due to uncontrollable spreading of malignant cells in the body and it has become a major health problem in the United States. Furthermore, the leading cause of death in the United States from gynecologic malignancies is ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer can be treated and often treatment is platinum-based chemotherapy. An example of a platinum compound used for chemotherapy is Cisplatin. However, there have been patients that have not been as fortunate ultimately with this type of treatment which is evident because they experience relapses that are resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs, like platinum compounds. Treatment for relapsed patients with cisplatin resistance has yet to be developed. Development of ways to treat these patients will become more possible by understanding the cellular mechanism that is responsible for the resistance.
DNA microarray technology allows for a more in-depth knowledge of the resistance cells compared to cells that do not display this resistance. This technology will allow for the monitoring of the change in gene expression for the resistant cells compared to nonresistant cells in order to associate them to molecular responses that may cause the resistance. The use of microarray technology allows thousands of genes to be monitored together, and comparison from two chips with derived from the cisplatin resistant ovarian cancer cell line and the other derived from nonresistant ovarian cancer cell line will provide genes that are either under expressed or over expressed in the cisplatin resistance ovarian cancer cell line. This will provide insight into various activated pathways in response to different drug dosages. This insight can further lead to prevention of drug resistance.
The Future of History: Why and How Cold War-era Science Fiction Should be Taught in High School American History Class
Mentor:Dr. Robert Weinberg, Physics/ American Studies
My project is a thesis paper which proposes the inclusion of Cold War era science fiction (SF) in the high school history curriculum. I outline the difficulty that many teachers and administrators have in addressing the teaching of critical reading and writing skills (skills which are essential to high SAT scores and the progression to colleges and universities). The introduction of SF into the history curriculum, combined with analytical class discussion and essay-writing workshops, could provide a simple and viable way to help students improve these skills.
SF is a dynamic genre that was at once heavily influenced by the sociopolitical climate in which it was created and forceful in shaping this climate. The often futuristic setting of SF requires the student to more rigorously analyze the text in order to make historical connections which might seem fairly obvious in a work of non-fiction or realistic fiction. SF would provide a student with a primary document to explore, unlike a traditional high school history book in which all of the analytical work (which is the meat of the study of history in college and as a profession) has already been done.
I chose 15 novels which I felt best represented the genre of Cold War era SF, as they were among the most popular and best-received novels of the time. I use these, in conjunction with many outside studies on SF, to give the reader a brief, comprehensive history of the genre itself and its relation to Cold War history. I broke Cold War history down into themes which are historically important as well as prevalent in the novels. The analytical work I did in describing how these themes were manifested in the novels is meant to provide teachers with a way to approach a genre that is not widely considered worthy of academic note.
Cool Blue Records: A Study in Corporate Design
David P.L. Jones
Mentor: Professor Scott Laserow, Graphic Interactive Design
Integrating methods of conventional research with visual explorations of music-related artwork proved an ambiguous task from the start. How does an individual truly analyze, interpret, or record information from sources that were intended to exist on a purely subjective level of successfulness?
As far as I was concerned, fulfilling the requirements of the project was simple enough in the concrete sense; to produce an array of tightly integrated visuals that would serve as the identity of a small record label specializing in the production of bootlegged blues recordings. Through my acquiring and subsequent interpretation of existing artwork such as posters, album sleeves, and promos from the blues culture, I was pleased to notice that in addition to the broadening of my artistic vocabulary, I was developing an appreciation for a musical genre that until now had managed to elude me.
Fortunately, the nature of the project permitted me to conduct my research not in and amongst endless lines of text or figures, but in everything from the swirls of paint on an album cover to the smell of cigarettes and stale whiskey in packed blues bars. I purchased dozens of records and played them round the clock while I worked in an attempt to absorb as much information as possible.
To summarize, I feel this work illustrates a very influential experience I was fortunate enough to enjoy. Now completed, I feel my work is successful; however, I happily anticipate conducting more 'research' on the subject long after the due date has passed.
Assessment of the Implementation of JROTC programs
John J. Mulholland, Jr.
Mentor: Dr. Regina Gramer, History
Increasingly JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corp) programs are being adopted by public high schools within the United States. Looking at secondary sources leads to the realization that an assessment of JROTC programs must be comprehensive, assessing the particular strengths in these programs and isolating them. However, in order to understand these programs it would be necessary to first find the standard by which to judge them. School Districts see them as means to improve "tangibles" such as academic performance, conduct, and attendance. However, Arthur Coumbe, a prominent historian of ROTC and JROTC, contends that JR OTC was never designed to be "a vehicle to morally and educationally uplift hard-core delinquents." Instead they participate for the "sense of belonging and purpose it gives them.” My paper seeks to find ways to effectively assess both JROTC's "tangibles and intangibles." The paper utilizes three approaches in order to accomplish this: academic literature review, interviews with students, teachers, and administrators, and actual observations of JROTC at the Philadelphia Military Academy at Elverson in the School District of Philadelphia. Its only definitive conclusion - more research is desperately needed.
The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program
Mentor: Professor Lori Pompa, Criminal Justice
The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is a Temple University criminal justice course in which college students and incarcerated men and women take a college course together in a Philadelphia jail. The course is based on a service/experiential learning model, in which all students learn about the criminal justice system through first-hand experience. The course aims to alter college students' perceptions of incarcerated· individuals and encourages activism to correct social injustice. To date, Inside-Out has not been empirically evaluated to determine its efficacy or impact on college students. This study seeks to identify variables contributing to the course's anecdotal benefits. Students in four criminal justice classes, ranging from a non traditional/experiential class to a traditional lecture class, will be asked to complete an on-line survey at the beginning and end of the spring 2006 semester. The survey evaluates attitudes toward the incarcerated and attitudes toward service learning. It is predicted that students enrolled in Inside-Out will demonstrate significant positive attitude change toward experiential leaning and incarcerated individuals.
Optical Studies of Adsorption on Functionalized Colloidal Polystyrene Spheres
Allison K. Pymer
Mentor: Dr. Eric Borguet, Chemistry
Molecular adsorption of the triphenylmethane dye crystal violet on chemically functionalized micron-sized particles was studied using conventional optical techniques and second harmonic generation (SHG), which is a surface-sensitive, in situ, laser-based technique. The resulting adsorption isotherms indicated multisite adsorption and were used to calculate the Gibbs' free energy of the system, -37.3 kJ/ mol. Understanding the adsorption of complex materials is important for applications ranging from geochemistry to paint formulation.
Additional supported provided by NSF.
Surface Detection of Oxygen Containing Functional Groups on the Surface of Carbonaceous Materials
Mentor: Dr. Eric Borguet, Chemistry
My primary goal while researching with the Borguet Lab Group was to detect as well as describe both qualitatively and quantitatively any oxygen containing functionalities on the of surface of nanoporous carbon materials. The carbon material being researched is known as multi-walled carbon nanotubes or MWNTs. In short, carbon nanotubes are fullerene/benzene-like structures composed of graphitic sheets of carbon rolled into cylinders. These cylinders are usually closed at one end and open at the other with diameters of only a few nanometers. Multi-wall carbon nanotubes have multiple walls of hexagonal carbon sheets rolled over the inner most tube.
Two key procedures were implemented to take on the challenge of detecting acidic surface functionality on MWNT. The first, known as the Boehm Titration, uses acid/base titration and pH readings as a means to both qualify and quantify functionality on the surface of MWNTs. It was determined that 9.0x10-5mols of total acidic groups (carboxylic, carboxylic anhydride, lactonic, hydroxyl, quinone, and ether) exist on the surface of my sample of HN03 treated MWNTs. This number corresponds to 1.08xlOI4groups/cm2. The other method used is known as fluorescent labeling of surface species or FLOSS method. In essence the FLOSS method selectively functionalizes functional groups using various fluorophores that can be detected using fluorescence measurements. Using this method along with calibration experiments, aldehyde functionality on the surface of HN03 treated MWNTs was detected and characterized.
Optimizing Adhesive Bonded Metal-Composite Joints: A Review
Mentor: Dr. Parsaoran Hutapea, MW1anical Engineering
Recently, many nations along with private shipbuilders have begun developing large maritime vessels using composite materials structurally. Currently, the US Navy has the need for researching bonded metal-composite joints. Consequently, a literature review was conducted. The goal of the review was to establish a fundamental knowledge base of adhesive bonding & failure theories along with surface cleaning and engineering processes. Emphasis was placed on processes feasible in large shipyards. It is believed that through understanding bonding and failure fundamentals, optimal surface characteristics can be targeted. Furthermore, by knowing the available cleaning and surface engineering processes, in conjunction with understanding their resulting surface topographies and compositions, creative and novel joints can be designed. This report details the literature review performed, which serves as a platform for future research aimed at optimizing bonded joints for use in naval applications.
A Universal Insanity: The Legitimacy of Self-Consciousness in Signs and Symbols and Wittgenstein's Mistress
Eleni Ifigenia Solomos
Mentor: Professor Kevin Varrone, English
“A University Insanity” analyzes the relative and varied levels of instability assigned to and exhibited by the characters of the son in Vladimir Nabokov's short story "Signs and Symbols" and Kate in David Markson's novel, Wittgenstein's Mistress. Both characters are deemed insane, but examination of their sense of self-consciousness within the two texts reveals that their disparate thought processes have a lot more in common with the experiences of "authentic" human awareness, self-knowledge, self-placement, observation, and meaning-making than one might assume. The main difference lies in the lack of expected or accepted means of control that these characters exhibit over their constant consciousness that we, too, possess, but can turn off before it becomes entirely destructive. This shared characteristic between the two protagonists does result in an unconventional narrative or voice, and makes for an arresting read. However, at the same time, for all of their unconventionality, the thought processes of these two characters cannot be written off as wholly unreliable or a novelty, the voice of an untrustworthy and unstable character or narrator, or something entirely different from the way we think. This paper explores how instead, their narratives serve as legitimate commentary and insight to the methods of meaning made by the mind as we try and assert ourselves within the vastness of human experience and sensory input, and the consciousness and narratives we create, consciously or subconsciously, as we view and experience the world, our lives, relationships, and our placement within these spheres.
Inside the Music Room: Women, Education, and Culture
Sarah Van Doel
Mentor: Dr. Jayasinhji Jhala, Anthropology
The arguments in this paper are based on fieldwork that I completed in Dhrangadhra, Gujarat, India, over the course of one summer. While in Dhrangadhra I studied tabla in the communal teaching style with Shri Mehul Sheth. Fortunately, Shri Sheth opened his home to me as a family member and I was able to spend countless hours with his mother, friends, and neighbors. During this time I was exposed to and subjected to several aspects of Dhrangadhra's culture.
This paper will take into consideration my experiences in the music room as they relate to Dhrangadhra's culture. My main objective is to show how the music education process and experience is a microcosm of the social structure of Dhrangadhra, Gujarat. Under scrutiny will be the role communal education plays in reinforcing female gender roles and social laws in the town as well as how music relates to female identity cultural construction.
The first section of my paper will explore the role and gender specific behaviors of women in Indian culture. I will emphasize familism, the cultural and social education of women and the child to housewife transformation. Because women in India spend their adolescent lives preparing to be a suitable housewife, this aspect of femininity is necessarily discussed in significant detail. The second section of my paper will focus on the music room and the educational experience from the female perspective. Noted spatial relations and guru/chtr interactions will establish a cultural framework for the analytical section of this paper. The third section of this paper will show how several aspects of Dhrangadhra's culture are presently reinforced in the music room I will focus on the behaviors and experiences of female music students whom I interviewed and observed on a daily basis.
The Changing Role of Women and the Question of Orthodoxy in the Nation of Islam after Malcolm X’s Death
Mentor: Dr, Grant Ward, Intellectual Heritage
(Image by permission of
Urban Archives, Temple University)
The Nation of Islam occupies a distinct niche in the consciousness of the American public, Throughout theyears,the Nation of Islam has been associated with violence, corruption, and racist dialogue, yet it continues to maintain an active presence as a revolutionary and dynamic organization. In terms of religious matters, it was one of the first organizations identified as Islamic. The Nation of Islam forced America to acknowledge a religion unfamiliar to the majority of Americans. Before the Nation of Islam established Islam as a political presence in American society, the terms Allah, Muhammad, and mosque were relatively unknown in the American vocabulary.
More importantly, however, the Nation of Islam gave a voice to the post-Depression era African-Americans who were struggling to establish an identity of their own. While the views held by the Nation of Islam during the tumultuous 60's and 70's were sometimes in opposition to the Civil Rights Movement, the Nation of Islam still played a vital part in encouraging the formation of a black identity.
My research project explored the contradiction between the resurgence of traditional Sunni Islam in the Nation of Islam at the same time women in the organization are being offered positions that in Islam are traditionally held by men. Especial attention was focused on the Nation of Islam's presence in the city of Philadelphia. Through the research, the question of black identity as defined by the Nation of Islam was explored. Research was divided into two particular areas, the Nation of Islam before and after Malcolm X's assassination. In my research, I show how the practices associated with the Nation of Islam took an abrupt turn with the assassination of Malcolm X.
Media, Menstruation, and Medicalization: A Longitudinal Content Analysis of Women’s Magazines
Mentor: Dr. Julia Ericksen, Sociology
In recent years, sociologists have observed an increase in the number of human biological processes addressed and treated by the medical community. In particular, this medical attention has increasingly focused on women’s reproductive processes. This work examines whether the medicalization process has occurred concerning women’s menstrual cycles. Articles pertaining to menstruation published between 1974 and 2004 in three women’s magazines are examined using content analysis to determine changes in discourse about menstrual problems across time. The coding scheme utilized focuses on both medical and non-medical discussion to develop an accurate presentation of menstrual discourse observed in the articles. The results show that as time progressed, magazines became increasingly likely to discuss menstruation in a medical context. Across time, the articles more frequently recognized medical practitioners as the authority on menstruation, discussed irregularities as pathological, and recommended medical attention and treatment for these menstrual problems. This medical discussion is, however, applied unevenly across categories of menstrual problems.
Alternate discourses in the articles are also identified which recommended changes in personal habits and lifestyle, and often presented menstrual irregularities and variations as natural. The research then considers that this combination of uneven medicalization and the alternate discourses creates a series of contradictory messages about menstruation that women are left to interpret.