UMD Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Student Works

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This collection contains works by students participating in the UMD Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).

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Now showing 1 - 20 of 162
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    Modeling and Mapping of Microstructure of Powder Bed Laser Fusion Additive Manufacturing Hybrid Milling of Maraging Steel
    (2024-05) Knight, Erin
    Additive manufacturing, (AM), has revolutionized traditional manufacturing methods by allowing for more intricate and customized part manufacturing. Industries including aerospace and advanced tooling utilize metal AM to design and manufacture complex components with high quality and performance. This study focuses on powder bed laser fusion (PBLF) hybrid milling (PBLFM), which is an additive hybrid subtractive manufacturing approach (AHSM). This relatively new AM manufacturing approach has gaps in understanding the influence of the process parameters on the manufactured parts’ mechanical and physical properties. Hence, in this study, the Taguchi L9 Orthogonal array was used to design an experiment to evaluate the influence of the PBLFM major process parameters, (laser power, print speed hatch space, and layer thickness) on the resulting microstructure, energy density, and mechanical properties of Maraging steel. It was found that print speed and layer thickness are the top contributors to mechanical properties and microstructure variance. The resulting process map from this project can be used to guide engineers to design the optimal PBLFM parameters for any given application.
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    The Perceived Value of English in Moroccan Society Across Generational Lines
    (2024-04-18) Broten, Johanna C
    The importance of English cannot be ignored. Increasingly, non-native speakers need to communicate and interpret information in the English language worldwide. Morocco is no exception. Because of the growing importance of international tourism in Morocco and the rise of its status on the global stage, this research seeks to better understand the instrumentality and desirability of the English language in the eyes of Moroccans. The current understanding of the value of English in Morocco exists primarily from the perspective of students, providing an important but incomplete view of the importance of English in Moroccan society. To gain a fuller understanding of its perceived value, this research examines the attitudes and opinions of people across generational lines. This research was guided by the question “What is the perceived value of English in Moroccan society across generational lines?” We answered this question through a survey that gathered information on demographics, English language background, English use (e.g. what percent of your daily conversations are in English?), and English attitudes (e.g. how important do you think English will be in your future?). After comparing responses across generational lines to identify any important differences, we found a strong correlation between attitudes towards English and actual use of the language suggesting that English is highly valued in Morocco, especially among the younger generation.
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    Mammal Mediated Dispersal of Mycorrhizal Fungi: Using Microscopy as a Method for Quantifying Diet and Fungal Richness
    (2024-04-30) Weiss, Teagan; Joyce, Michael; Stephens, Ryan; Moen, Ron
    Small mammals help initiate mycorrhizal fungal networks by consuming fungi and dispersing spores through their scat. Quantifying small mammal diets can help define the role these species play in mediating the colonization of mycorrhizal fungal networks that play important roles in ecosystem health such as soil aggregation, carbon sequestration, and tree establishment. In this study, fecal material was collected from the gastrointestinal tracts of small mammal specimens to be analyzed for diet quantification. Preliminary results found red-backed voles to have the greatest fungal abundance on average, with fungi making up 83% of their diet. Short-tailed shrew diets were composed primarily of insects, while White-footed mice and Deer-mice diets were composed primarily of plants and insects.
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    Research on Influential Factors for Producing Nanoparticle Enhanced Sol-Gel Composites
    (2024-04) Boyer, Chase W; Xie, Weiguo
    The sol-gel process provides a cheap and simple method for making ceramic materials. The benefits of producing ceramic materials through the sol-gel process are production at significantly lower temperatures than traditional methods and the ability to be produced in intricate 3D shapes. A major problem holding back the sol-gel ceramics is their lack of structural integrity. This research aimed to find the optimal processing conditions to increase the hardness of the ceramic. The impact of HCl pH, Titania particle amount, Dry temperature, Drying time, and mixing time were investigated through an L16 (45) orthogonal design. The data from all 16 experiments showed that the amount of titania particles had the largest effect on hardness. Hardness increased as the titania particle amount increased. The effect on drying time and drying temperature showed a sweet spot around 2 days and 50℃ where the hardness increased without the risk of fracturing the ceramic. If the sol-gel was dried at too high of a temperature and/or for too long, the resulting ceramic would thermally degrade. The pH of the HCl used in the solution was optimal at a pH of 3. The mean hardness values of pH 1 and 2 were not much lower, but the mean hardness was significantly lower at a pH of 4 and was the most inhibiting factor throughout all the experiments. The mix time was shown to have an optimal condition of 3 minutes of mixing before drying. This goes against intuition, however, it can be noted that there existed room for error due to the hand mixing of the sol-gels. The experiments provided a great insight into how the processing conditions of the sol-gel affect the final ceramic. Further experiments are required to decode and optimize the conditions for a structurally stable sol-gel ceramic. The mitigation of human and machine error alongside an investigation into the effect of shape on hardness as well as finding optimal conditions for creating a single large grain will be required to create a sol-gel ceramic that can be applied industrially.
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    Gay Bar Culture and Drinking in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and Two-Spirited Community
    (2024-04-10) Dolan, Eleanor; Ostrander, Nomi
    Gay bars have long been a staple of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and Two-Spirited (LGBTQIA2S+) community. They were often the only spaces for LGBTQIA2S+ individuals to meet others, connect with their community, and engage in activism (Escoffier, 1997). Yet today the LGBTQIA2S+ community engages in disproportionately high levels of drinking (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2017). This study examines the impact of gay bar culture of drinking in the LGBTQIA2S+ community through a survey of 60 participants from Minnesota who identify as members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community. The majority of participants reported no change in their drinking behavior between LGBTQIA2S+ and non-LGBTQIA2S+ spaces. Yet many expressed a need for more sober LGBTQIA2S+ spaces. Participants also expressed feeling safe in LGBTQIA2S+ spaces and enjoying their time in them. More research is required on the need for sober LGBTQIA2S+ spaces and the benefits they bring.
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    The Relationship Between Musical Composition and Emotional Response
    (2024-03-13) Kroeger, Caleb N
    This research project, supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) at the University of Minnesota Duluth, aimed to investigate the psychological effects of different musical compositions on individuals' emotional responses. Drawing on existing literature linking music to emotional reactions, the study hypothesized distinct emotional reactions to compositions varying in tempo, dynamics, and key. The research involved administering unique musical compositions to four experimental groups, each representing different tempo, dynamic, and key combinations. Participants then completed a Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) to assess their emotional responses. Results from a MANOVA test indicated a statistically significant difference in emotional reactions among the experimental groups, confirming the hypothesis and highlighting the impact of musical composition elements on emotional states. The findings contribute valuable insights into the complex interplay between music and emotions, with implications for fields such as music therapy, marketing, and entertainment.
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    Monitoring the UMD Stormwater Detention Pond
    (2019) Hill, Kendall; Merten, Gustavo
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    The Effect of Room Temperature on Productivity and Performance
    (2017) Lensen, Haley; Slowiak, Julie M
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    Virtual Reality Exercise Effects on College Students with Anxiety and Depression: A Pilot Study
    (2023) Larson, Hanna
    Both within and outside of the classroom, mental health has become a primary concern across college campuses. Using virtual reality (VR) to provide an alternative exercise environment may amplify the beneficial effects of traditional exercise on mental health that have already been established. The purpose of this study is to investigate the physiological and psychological effects of VR exercise on college students with anxiety and/or depression. A sample of fourteen participants (Mage =19.86 ± 1.16; 11 females) with symptoms of anxiety and/or depression was recruited from the University of Minnesota Duluth campus. Participants performed two 20-minute sessions of VirZoom immersive VR exercise biking and VirZoom biking without the VR system (traditional condition) on separate days. Participants’ heart rate (HR), rate of perceived exertion (RPE), enjoyment, self-efficacy, and mood were measured at various points during each of the two biking sessions. The VR biking sessions resulted in significant improvements in exercise self-efficacy, as well as the mood subscales of anger, confusion, depression, tension, and vigor. The traditional sessions resulted in significant improvements in only three mood subscales (depression, tension and vigor). A paired t-test indicated there were no significant differences in average HR or RPE between the two exercise conditions. College students suffering from symptoms of anxiety and depression can benefit from 20 minutes of exercise biking, regardless of the use of VR. While the physiological response may be comparable between the two exercise conditions, VR exercise may be more effective in enhancing mood and self-efficacy compared to traditional bike exercise. The results of this study may lend themselves to improved long-term exercise adherence in individuals suffering from mental illness and suggest a potential way to improve mood supplemental to traditional therapies.
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    The Public Perceptions of Mental Illness in Moroccan Culture
    (2023-04-30) Mitchell, Madeline S
    Individuals with mental illnesses are commonly exposed to a variety of stigmas. These stigmas differ across cultural and individual levels (Al-Krenawi et al., 2008; Corrigan & O’Shaughnessy, 2007; Gesser-Edelsburg & Shbat, 2016; Kadri et al., 2004; Markowitz, 1998; Stein, 2000; Zarrouq et al., 2021; Zolezzi et al., 2018). Specifically, stigma exists as a significant obstacle to the abilities of people with mental illness to receive adequate care and integrate into the public without worrying about discrimination (Gesser-Edelsburg & Shbat, 2016; Slate et al., 2013). This research examined the most prevalent factors that impact the Moroccan public’s attitudes and perceptions about individuals with mental illnesses, according to past research. It was found that men, specifically Muslim men, and participants ages 25 years old and above had significantly more stigmatic, particularly authoritarian, perceptions about people with mental illness. Conversely, women were significantly more benevolent than men. Significant findings also suggested that women and participants 24 years and younger were more likely to be interested in Westernized mental health services.
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    Specimen Printing Methodology for Testing large format Robotic Arm 3D Printing
    (2023) Olesen, Derek; Menta, Gireesh
    This study aims to observe fused deposition modeling 3D printing with the S1 robotic arm 3D printer. The goal is to utilize the methodology for printing test specimens from a previous research project to troubleshoot parameters to achieve consistent prints. This project aims to alter print settings to achieve the optimal print settings for both adhesion between roads and adhesion between an anchor part and a specimen part.
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    Social Entrepreneurship: Investigating the Experiences of Moroccan Artisans in Cooperatives
    (2022-12-04) Strong, Joshua
    This paper takes a qualitative approach to observe how social entrepreneurship interacts with the people it is purposed to benefit using the Moroccan artisan sector as a case study. Much of the literature surrounding the highly contested topic of social entrepreneurship is concerned with definitions and socio-economic implications. This study takes a specific interest in the people at the root of social entrepreneurship as well as the programs and cooperatives it employs. Interpretative phenomenological analysis (Smith & Osborn, 2015) of interviews involving four Moroccan artisans from two separate cooperatives is used to observe the artisan experience within a social entrepreneurial context. The results show that the experiences of the artisans are heavily influenced by the characterization of the cooperative in which they operate. The lived experiences of the artisans indicate that cooperatives acting as wage-labor programs are only social entrepreneurial on the surface, effectively retaining characteristics of exploitative economic apparatuses. The findings support the argument that purely entrepreneurial cooperatives, and the flat structure within them, are the preferred framework to employ social entrepreneurship programs. In the end, through communication of their lived experiences, artisans operating within the more entrepreneurial cooperative not only displayed a better understanding of themselves as individuals, but also the broader socio-economic landscape in which they exist. Understanding this will help inform future initiatives and social enterprise that are concerned with producing sustainable benefits to society and the economy.
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    Creating a Dichotomous Key for the Identification of Trade Axes (1600-1900) in the Western Great Lakes Region, version 1.2022
    (2022-12-07) Jones, Jennifer E; Bruentrup, Hannah Rose; Colberg, Alli; Herman, Adam M; Krzyzaniak, Jesse; Nelson, Race; Roering, Trinity; Soderberg, Sarah; Sybrant, Holly; Walpole, Erin; Peterson, David H
    This report is the result of a semester-long project in an advanced archaeological methods course at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). The goal of this research was to create a trade axe identification guide for museum curators using a technique called the dichotomous key. Carried out in the Fall of 2022 as the laboratory component of a class, the intent of the project was to teach students data collection, analysis, and dissemination through hands-on work.
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    Differences in Academic Burnout and Coping Styles Between Moroccan and American University Students
    (2022-11-15) McClintock, Linnea
    The aim of this cross-cultural comparative study was to investigate the differences in academic burnout, coping styles, and learning-related achievement emotions between university students in Morocco (studying at the International University of Rabat) and in the United States (studying at the University of Minnesota Duluth). This study addressed three objectives: (1) to evaluate the different perceptions of academic burnout between both cultures, (2) to compare the coping strategies used by Moroccan and American students when responding to stress, and (3) to investigate differences in learning-related achievement emotions. Findings of this study revealed that UMD students reported higher levels of exhaustion in academic-related activities, UIR students had higher levels of hope and pride when learning academic material. Future research might examine how distinct cultural values and environments can have psychological impacts on university students’ academic experiences.
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    Strength Test Methodology for Testing large format Robotic Arm 3D Printing
    (2022) Olesen, Derek; Lindley, Ty; Menta, Gireesh
    This study aims to observe fused deposition modeling 3D printing with the S1 robotic arm 3D printer. First, the goal is to learn and develop a method for producing consistent prints, then create and follow a methodology for testing the strength and adhesion between roads for different possible print settings from the robot.
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    Analyzing Plant Wax Profiles – Can Herbarium Species Serve As Proxies For Globally Distributed Plant Species?
    (2022) Lastovich, Jacob R
    Previous research has showed qualitative and quantitative similarity of compounds in wax profiles of plants. The aim of this project showed that these trends continued across the plant kingdom.
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    Differences in COVID-19 Guideline Adherence Among Sports Enthusiasts
    (2022) Swanson, Abby; Hjelle, Ryan J
    This study aims to find out if there are between-group differences among sport enthusiasts (e.g., football fan, hockey fan, etc.) regarding COVID-19 regulation adherence/beliefs, while considering any moderating effects of personality differences, narcissism, anxiety, and political beliefs.
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    Factors of adherence to modified diets in individuals with dysphagia
    (2022) Samargia-Grivette, Sharyl; Klemm, Abigail
    Dysphagia is the term used to describe difficulty swallowing. Individuals with dysphagia are at high risk for respiratory illness including pneumonia leading to increased hospitalizations and even death due to laryngeal aspiration of foods and liquids. Speech-language pathologists provide assessment and intervention services for this population. One compensatory strategy often recommended is the implementation of a modified diet. Methods: Thirty adults over the age of 18 years that have been diagnosed with dysphagia and are on a modified diet are being recruited. As part of the survey, participants are assigned to groups based on the level of modified diet they have been prescribed. Exclusion criteria include individuals who 1) are living in a residential facility, 2) have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, or any other neurologic condition negatively impacting their ability to provide consent and/or respond reliably to survey questions. Results: Seven people have consented to the survey but have not yet completed the survey. Recruitment and enrollment is ongoing. Upon completion of data collection, an ANOVA will be conducted to compare differences in adherence between diet level groups. A linear regression will be conducted to identify predictors for adherence and non-adherence to modified diets.