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Spring 2021 CoAS Interdepartmental Research Showcase


 

June 1, 2021

The Spring 2021 CoAS Interdepartmental Research Showcase was held on Wednesday, May 26. Thank you to everyone who shared their research, and congratulations to the following prize winners:

First Prize: Emily Greberman

Criminology & Justice Studies and Psychology

Title: Twitter As a Mechanism for Coping with a Traumatic Event: Ferguson and the Shooting of Michael Brown

Abstract: This analysis examines how a community used social media to cope with a highly public traumatic event and how the community itself became a self-documenting ethnographic unit. To make this connection, this study analyzed public Tweets (n= 2,023) made from people in Ferguson, Missouri, from August 9 - September 1, 2014, to identify dimensions of coping resulting from the shooting of Michael Brown that occurred on August 9, 2014. Grounded primarily in psychological theories of trauma and coping, this study identifies themes such as solidarity, grieving, community organization and calls for justice within these tweets. These themes represent how a community used a social media platform to process a highly public and socially charged traumatic event. This research highlighted concepts such as the power of social media, the impact of collective trauma and how a community copes together.

Second Prize: Fareshte Erani and Elizabeth Espinal

Erani's Title: The Role of an Effort-Reward Imbalance in Cognitive Fatigue

Abstract: Fatigue, specifically mental (cognitive) fatigue, is commonly reported in many clinical syndromes, including multiple sclerosis, and contributes substantially to decrements in quality of life, work and disability in these diseases, with no reliable treatments. The proposed research will test a model of cognitive fatigue from cognitive neuroscience using neuroimaging techniques and computerized testing. If successful, this research could provide a new understanding of the basis of cognitive fatigue and lead to assessments and treatments that reduce the burdens of fatigue in patients.

Espinal's Title: Forget forgetting: Uncovering the neural mechanisms of targeted memory reactivation during sleep in humans

Abstract: The purpose of the project is to identify the exact spatio-temporal interplay of slow wave neural activity and ripples between the hippocampus, auditory and frontal cortices that may explain the consolidation effect in targeted memory reactivation (TMR) during sleep. This question will be examined using intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) data recorded in surgical epilepsy patients. This method will allow the unique spatial and temporal resolution needed to investigate TMR consolidation during sleep in humans, which has never been done before.

Third Prize: Joshua McGinnis

Mathematics

Title: The Dynamics of Lattice Systems with Random Components

Abstract: Lattices can be used to model spatially regular interactions of many nodes. Often it is assumed a lattice has only deterministic properties. For example, in a crystal, the atoms are assumed to be periodic. In reality, we should expect lattices to have random impurities or irregularities. Therefore, we study the dynamics of spring-mass lattices where the masses and springs vary randomly. Since it is very difficult to predict the exact dynamics of any one node, we use homogenization theory to approximate macroscopic, collective dynamics of many nodes. We find the same kind of approximate dynamics in lattices with random components as we do in lattices with non-random components. However, the added randomness makes the approximation less accurate in a way we can quantify. Since the random irregularities can make the approximation less accurate, they should be taken into consideration in such lattice systems.