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					The Miami University                                                                                                                              August 2009




REP RT
 Undergraduate research: Summer 2009
     At Miami, undergraduates              ment of research and scholar-
  take advantage of research               ship (OARS). Students present
  opportunities year-round.                their research to the Miami
  Summer, especially, provides             community at an annual fo-
  time for in-depth research               rum in April.
  on campus, off campus or                    For more information, go
  abroad.                                  to www.muohio.edu/under-
     Students in every disci-              gradresearch.
  pline can pursue independent                This publication presents
  research through Miami-                  a sample of undergraduate
  funded programs supported                research activities at Miami
  by the office for the advance-           this summer.



Hands on: Bridging glass and ceramics
    “Working hands-on is some-             fascination with glass and the
                                                                                Benjamin Walker (left) with his faculty mentor Jeff Wanko in front of Presser Hall, home
thing I do everyday and love,”             benefits I know I would gain         of the Glee Club (both are members) and site of Freedom Summer training at Western
says Heather Moore, a junior               from such research.”                 College for Women in 1964.
ceramics and art education                    Through her undergraduate
double major from Dresden.                 summer scholars (USS) project,
Discovering a new love – glass-            “Bridging Glass and Ceramics,”
                                                                                Social justice and math education
blowing – helped introduce her             Moore is extensively research-          Undergraduate summer                        tion with the Miami Men’s Glee
to summer research opportuni-              ing various methods of glass         scholar Benjamin Walker is “tak-               Club, of which they are both
ties at Miami. “While talking              working, including participat-       ing ownership” of his education                members. Through the USS
to my professor, Dennis Tobin,             ing in studio workshops, by          by linking his two greatest pas-               project, “I receive the opportu-
I found out that Miami offers              visiting museums and galleries       sions: mathematics education                   nity ... to work in partner with
a scholarship for undergradu-              and interviewing artists.            and social justice. “The idea is               a wildly inspiring, supportive,
ate research. I jumped on the                 While Miami does not have a       that math educators can teach                  and professional mathematics
opportunity because of my                  glass-blowing program, Moore         more than math,” explains                      educator,” he says.
                                                            took advantage      Walker about his project “The                     Walker’s goals for his self-
                                                            of a glass-blow-    Power of One: Rationalizing                    designed project include five
                                                            ing workshop        Social Justice in Mathematics                  lesson plans that he will use
                                                            offered by          Education.”                                    during his student teaching
                                                            Miami’s                “My purpose this summer is                  in spring 200 in the Chicago
                                                            CraftSummer         to research the ways in which                  Public Schools. “I will have the
                                                            program.            math educators can enable                      unique opportunity to almost
                                                                “There are so   students to use skills and ideas               immediately test my lessons in
                                                            many proper-        from mathematics (like logical                 the classroom and assess stu-
                                                            ties and ways       thinking and critical analysis)                dent outcomes.”
                                                            to work with        and also to create lessons that                   “Dr. Wanko and I also plan
                                                            glass that are      promote the development of                     to organize a professional work-
                                                            similar to work-    a socially conscious classroom                 shop for Ohio math educators.
                                                            ing with ceram-     and empower students to be-                    I will also apply to present my
                                                            ics,” Moore         come active citizens.”                         work at the National Council
                                                            says. “By using        Walker, a senior math and                   of Teachers of Mathematics’
                                                            my knowledge        mathematics education double                   national conference and submit
                                                            of ceramics, I      major from St. Louis, describes                a manuscript of my research for
                                                            am better able      his first experience in social ad-             publication in a professional
                                                            to research and     vocacy. During his sophomore                   journal.”
                                                            expand upon         year he traveled to the School of
                                                            glass methods.”     the Americas (SOA) Protest and
                                                            Her research        Vigil For Peace. “That experi-                       “I have the opportunity
                                                            will culminate      ence transformed how I viewed                       to learn, to study and to
                                                            in an exhibition    my role in our world,” he said.
                                                            of her work         Last year, through Miami’s                         create, so that I can bring
                                                            which will be       Scholar Leader program, he or-
                                                            installed in the    ganized and led a contingent of                       my knowledge back to
                                                            Hiestand Gal-       Miami students to the 2008 SOA                              Miami.”
                                                            leries, after she   Protest and Vigil.
                                                            returns from           A Harrison Scholar, he first                          Heather Moore,
                                                            a semester in       met his faculty mentor, Jeff
                                                             Italy.             Wanko, associate professor in
                                                                                                                                           USS 2009
Heather Moore in Miami’s CraftSummer glass-blowing workshop.                    teacher education, in connec-

The Miami University Report                                                                                                                                                
The anatomy of an exploding fungal spore                                                                                 Summer
                                                                                    change before and after ... was
                                                                                    not always clear. It’s enough to     Scholars
                                                                                    give us reason to suspect that
                                                                                    cavitation is the mechanism          program grows
                                                                                    used to discharge spores in this
                                                                                    species, but not enough to be
                                                                                    conclusive about it.”                    More than 00 Miami stu-
                                                                                       “For part of this summer, we      dents do research or creative
                                                                                    are planning on looking at other     projects each year through
                                                                                    fungal species that are sus-         the Undergraduate Summer
                                                                                    pected to also use the cavitation    Scholars program (USS).
                                                                                    mechanism, and if they work in           Each scholar receives up to
                                                                                    a similar way as Deightoniella.”     2 hours of academic credit
                                                                                       “Dragana has been an inte-        with tuition waived, a $2,600
                                                                                    gral part of the work we do for      fellowship, a $400 project al-
                                                                                    a few years now,” says Jessica       lowance and the opportunity
                                                                                    Stolze-Rybczynski, doctoral          to pursue in-depth research
                                                                                    candidate in botany. She also        one-on-one with a faculty
                                                                                    has been mentoring Trninic           mentor.
                                                                                    and worked with her last year            The program, adminis-
Dragana Trninic, Miami-Hughes intern, with the high-speed video camera apparatus.                                        tered by the office for the
                                                                                    through Miami’s Doctoral-
                                                                                    Undergraduate Opportunities          advancement of research and
   Dragana Trninic, a senior                 certain microscopic fungi to           for Scholarship (DUOS) program.      scholarship (OARS), is open
botany major and environ-                    discharge their spores: the spore         Money and his collaborators       to any student in any major
mental science co-major from                 is launched by the explosive           are the first to document the        who has completed his/her
Lakewood, has participated in                formation of a gas bubble              extraordinarily fast movements       sophomore or junior year.
research since her first year at             (cavitation).                          of certain microscopic fungi and         For more information and
Miami. This summer she is a                      While the discharge of the         determine how their “catapult-       a list of the 2009 scholars,
Miami-Hughes intern in the                   fungal spores (specifically, those     ing” mechanisms work. The            their projects and their fac-
biological sciences, continuing              of the banana pathogen Deighto-        fungal spore release project is      ulty mentors, go to
work on the project “Explosive               niella torulosa) happens in the        in collaboration with Money,             http://www.units.muohio.
Formation of Gas Bubbles and                 blink of an eye, capturing the         Stolze-Rybczynski and Diana          edu/oars/undergrad_re-
the Discharge of Fungal Spores”              sequence on film and analyzing         Davis and Mark Fischer from          search/summer_scholars_
with faculty mentor Nicholas                 the results can take much time         the College of Mount St. Joseph.     program/index.php.
Money, professor of botany.                  and patience. “The ‘explo-             Also working on the project this
   Using an ultra high-speed                 sions’... in the ‘bulb’ below the      summer is undergraduate sum-
video camera, Trninic is study-              spore was captured in a few se-        mer scholar Brian Smith, junior
ing the mechanism used by                    quences,” says Trninic, “but the       music performance major.



 The organization of improvisation                                                  Comparing rhetoric: North Korea
    Marie Maloney’s under-                   and a class at the iO Theater             Undergraduate summer
 graduate summer scholars                    in Chicago, so I’m learning a          scholar Adefemi (Femi) Adey-
 project “The Organization                   lot about improv techniques,           emi has been seeking out new
 of Improvisation” includes                  along with the technical side of       experiences since he started at
 an internship with the Chi-                 running an improv theater.”            Miami. “My first year English
 cago-based Laugh Out Loud                      Maloney, a senior from              professor encouraged us to
 Theatre, an improv comedy                   Mokena, Ill., is also blogging         move outside our comfort
 professional theater. “This                 about her experiences. Her             zones,” he says. “I have never
 internship is perfect for me                faculty mentor is Howard Klei-         done this kind of project be-
 because it combines both of my              man, professor of communica-           fore,” he explains about his USS
 majors (theatre and mass com-               tion.                                  research, “What Took So Long?
 munication) in so many ways,”                  Miamians might recognize            N. Korea and the Quest for an
 she says. “I’m learning how                 Maloney as part of the duo,            Aid Package,” which will result
 much work goes into owning                  with Joe Baur, that won the            in a major research paper that
                                                                                                                        Femi Adeyemi, summer scholar
 a professional theatre. I’m                 “This is Our Miami” video              he will submit for publication.
 taking improv classes at LOL,               contest last year.                        Adeyemi, a computer science      between the Bush and Clinton
                                                                                    and political science double        administrations’ approaches to
                                                                                    major from Huber Heights,           denuclearizing North Korea,
                                                                                    originally wanted to combine        with a particular focus on the
Researching animal behavior                                                         his two majors for a project on     rhetoric used by various leaders.
                                                                                    how the Internet affects inter-        A member of the fencing
                                                Undergraduate summer                national policy. But his faculty    club and wrestling club — both
                                             scholar Beth Greiner is studying       mentor, John Rothgeb, professor     new activities for Adeyemi at
                                             animal behavior in her project         of political science, encouraged    Miami — he also works for BITS
                                             “Promiscuity and Mate Choice           him to narrow the topic and         (Benton Information Technology
                                             in Mus musculus.” She conducts         specialize in one area. His         Service), a student-run technol-
                                             dominance rank trials on male          research involves a compara-        ogy consulting business.
                                             Mus musculus (house mice)              tive analysis of the differences
                                             and observes male mate choice
                                             between pairs of sisters. Greiner,
                                             a senior zoology major and                 Miami-sponsored research            • Doctoral Undergradu-
                                             environmental science co-major          programs for undergraduates         ate Student Opportunities
                                             from Loveland, works with fac-          during the academic year            (DUOS);
                                             ulty mentor Doug Meikle, chair          include:                                • MU Interdisciplinary
                                             and professor of zoology, and              • College of Arts and Sci-       Technology Development
                                             doctoral student Aron Costello.         ence Dean’s Scholars program;       Challenge.
Beth Greiner with Mus musculus.


2                                                                                                                                                August 2009
Researching lake carbon cycling                                                                                            Using multiple
                                                                                                                           sensors in
                                                                                                                           engineering



                                                                                      Stream sampling tubes



                                                                                       Miami-Hughes
                                                                                       internships in
                                                                                       biological sciences
                                                                                          Miami-Hughes internships
                                                                                       in the biological sciences
                                                                                       provide a $,000 stipend
                                                                                       and a $750 research expense         Baishun Wu, left, with Qihou Zhou
                                                                                       account to work on indepen-
Jill Goodwin collecting stream samples with Chris Marsman, sophomore zoology major.    dent research with a faculty           Electrical engineering majors
    “I chose to research lake                                                          mentor. Interns also receive        Baishun Wu, from China, and
                                              Delta Epsilon medical fraternity.
sediment resuspension in Acton                                                         2 hours of academic credit         Vince Mancuso, from Belle-
                                                 While taking Vanni’s honors
Lake because the effects of lake                                                       with tuition waived.                fontaine, are undergraduate
                                              ecology class, she became in-
carbon cycling on global carbon                                                           Up to 5 students are            summer scholars working with
                                              terested in the research his lab
cycles are often underesti-                                                            selected each summer for the        faculty mentor Qihou Zhou,
                                              was conducting on the ecology
mated,” explains Jill Goodwin,                                                         Miami-funded program.               professor of electrical and
                                              of lakes and their surrounding
a Miami-Hughes intern in the                  landscapes. “I was most inter-                                               computer engineering. Wu’s
biological sciences.                          ested about researching a topic                                              project, “Gunshot Identification
    A zoology major and Spanish               that is of utmost importance to                                              and Localization,” involves de-
minor from Gahanna, Goodwin                   the environmental future of our                                              termining the acoustic signature
has been working with faculty                 planet,” Goodwin says.                                                       of a gunshot using multiple
mentor Mike Vanni, professor of                  “Understanding how carbon                                                 microphones. Mancuso’s proj-
zoology, since last year, athough             cycles through lakes because of                                              ect, “Analysis of EEG and MEG
this is her first experience with             sediment resuspension is an-                                                 Signals for Seizure Prediction,”
independent research. She also                other crucial part of the complex                                            involves analysis of magneto-
is involved in Miami’s honors                 picture to understanding global                                              encephalograms (measure of
program, the triathlon and                    carbon cycles, and ultimately,                                               electrical activity in the brain,
cycling clubs, Operation Smile                climate change.”                        Testing different strains of algae   obtained from Cincinnati Chil-
Student Association and Phi                                                                                                dren’s Hospital Medical Center)
                                                                                                                           to determine the location of elec-
                                                                                                                           trical surges in a patient’s brain.
Microalgae: From the lab to the farm to biofuel                                                                            Both projects involve the use of
                                                                                         Algae strains that prove to       multiple sensors to identify and
                                                                                      perform optimally under differ-      locate a source.
                                                                                      ent conditions, such as a wide
                                                                                      range of temperatures, will be
                                                                                      selected for growing on a larger
                                                                                      scale at the Miami Heritage Al-
                                                                                      gal Research Center. The algal
                                                                                      “farm,” currently in develop-
                                                                                      ment just outside of Oxford, will
                                                                                      use small-scale runways to pre-
                                                                                      condition algal cultures before
                                                                                      they are grown in large-scale
                                                                                      outdoor reactors.
                                                                                         The goal is to produce
                                                                                      algal biomass on a large scale,
                                                                                      year-round in an outdoor, cold
                                                                                      climate setting to harvest for
                                                                                      production of biodiesel. Algae
                                                                                      farms tend to be located in the
                                                                                      southern U.S. or in greenhouses
                                                                                      since they use warm condition-
                                                                                      tolerant algae, says Rachael
                                                                                      Morgan-Kiss, assistant professor
                                                                                      of microbiology and Sanguan-         Vince Mancuso, right, with Qihou Zhou
Tri Sanguanbun, testing samples of native Ohio algae.
                                                                                      bun’s faculty mentor.
   Triratana (Tri) Sanguanbun, a                 “It’s exciting … from here              Morgan-Kiss also mentored              “I will have the unique
junior microbiology major and                 we can make biodiesel — Green           the 2008-2009 Miami University
environmental science co-major                Energy,” he says of his research.       Interdisciplinary Technology            opportunity to almost imme-
from Falls Church, Va., is put-               His project involves testing            Development Challenge team:
ting his majors to work on his                strains of native Ohio algae in         “Miami Green Diesel: Biodiesel          diately test my lessons in the
undergraduate summer scholars                 laboratory-controlled settings to       Production in Non-Temperate                      classroom.”
project “Characterization of                  identify strains that grow well         Climates.”
Cold Tolerant Native Ohio Mi-                 under conditions similar to the                                                Benjamin Walker, USS 2009
croalgae for Biofuel Production.”             Ohio climate.

The Miami University Report                                                                                                                                        
Electric Greek? Ancient languages in the digital age
                                                                                                 Combining his three majors         est interests: classical linguistics
                                                                                              – classical languages, classical      and computer programming.
                                                                                              humanities and philosophy             It is unique in that it requires
                                                                                              — with his self-taught language       both a full understanding of the
                                                                                              of computer programming (and          intricacies of Greek grammar as
                                                                                              a medieval studies minor), se-        well as an in-depth knowledge
                                                                                              nior Evan Hayes is working on         of software programming.”
                                                                                              the digitization of classical texts       Hayes chose his faculty
                                                                                              (ancient Greek and Roman).            mentor, Steve Nimis, chair and
                                                                                                 “Do Androids Read Electric         professor of classics, in part for
                                                                                              Greek?: Ancient Languages             his interest in the “implications
                                                                                              in the Digital Age” — his             computer technology has for
                                                                                              undergraduate summer schol-           studying the humanities.”
                                                                                              ars project — aims to create              As for the title of his project?
                                                                                              opportunities for education,          “It is a play on the title of Philip
                                                                                              preservation and accessibility        K. Dick’s ‘60s sci-fi novel Do
                                                                                              in Latin and Greek, says Hayes,       Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
                                                                                              who is writing a computer pro-        The book, a personal favorite of
                                                                                              gram that will be able to “read”      mine, deals fundamentally with
                                                                                              Greek. “It will be able to take       the definition of ‘humanity’ in a
                                                                                              chunks of Greek input, break it       highly technologized world.”
                                                                                              down into words, distinguish
                                                                                              different parts of speech, inter-
                                                                                              pret grammatical information,
                                                                                              and even look up the words in a
                                                                                              large dictionary included in the
                                                                                              program.
                                                                                                 “While it won’t function as a
                                                                                              true translator, it should be very
                                                                                              useful as a tool for learning and
                                                                                              for textual analysis,” he says.
                                                                                                 “This project allows me to
Evan Hayes, combining the ancient world of Athena with modern technology.                     bring together two of my great-



Uniting young children and senior citizens through digital storytelling
   “I have worked at the same
retirement community for six                                                                                                            “I think that it is critical
years, and my degree is in                                                                                                             for undergraduate students
early childhood education, so
bringing together these two                                                                                                             to engage in introspective
populations (senior citizens and
children), seemed like the right                                                                                                       exploration and to acquire
decision,” says undergraduate                                                                                                           a genuine ability to reflect
summer scholar Katie Henry.
Her mentor, Brenda Dales, lec-                                                                                                              on oneself and one’s
turer in teacher education, had
asked “have you ever thought
                                                                                                                                                   attitudes.
about writing for publication?”                                                                                                          For this project, I would
explains Henry, “so I shared this
with her and she suggested the                                                                                                             like to explore ways to
USS program.”                                                                                                                             create intergenerational,
   “The purpose of the project
“Intergenerational Digital Story-                                                                                                          online communities for
telling: Uniting Young Children
and Senior Citizens” is to study                                                                                                       children in schools and se-
the ways in which participation                                                                                                        niors in retirement villages
by elders and children in digital
storytelling events influences
                                            Katie Henry (front, middle) with digital storytelling project participants.
                                                                                                                                         to blog about self-chosen
intergenerational relationships,”
Henry says. “Elders living in a                Henry, a senior early                          grade classroom.
                                                                                                                                       topics, and to upload pod-
retirement community, and chil-             childhood education major                            “I think that it is critical for       casts and digital stories.”
dren at a daycare in the same               from Middletown, began her                        undergraduate students to
community, will collaborate                 education at Miami University                     engage in introspective explora-          Katie Henry, USS 2009
as partners to create original              Middletown, which allowed                         tion and to acquire a genuine
stories and illustrations. Elders           her the flexibility to take a full                ability to reflect on oneself and
and children will record the                course load of classes and to                     one’s attitudes,” she explains.
stories digitally and will share            continue working full-time at                     “The self-knowledge I gained
their stories in a presentation for         Mount Pleasant Retirement                         at Miami Middletown, along                      REPORT
families.                                   Village, where she is now the                     with content knowledge as                 Special issue written and
   “I am not so much interested             activity coordinator for assisted                 I completed my Miami Plan             published by the Miami Univer-
in perfecting storytelling skills,          living.                                           courses, is what helped to lay a      sity news and public information
as I am interested in the types                She has also received an                       strong foundation and interest        office, Glos Center, Miami Univer-
of stories that emerge, and the             undergraduate research award                      in research.”                         sity, Oxford, Ohio 45056, phone
effect of storytelling itself on            for a research project next fall,                                                       (5) 529-7592. Available online:
the relationships between the               which she will conduct while                                                            www.miami.muohio.edu/news.
children and elders.”                       student teaching in a third-

4                                                                                                                                                            August 2009

				
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