Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference Announces Top Presenters

Over 750 students participated in the 2021 Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference. Hosted by the Purdue Office of Undergraduate Research, the conference highlights the scholarly and creative work being conducted by undergraduates at Purdue.

The 2021 conference, which was held the week of April 12, showcased almost 400 research projects. Rather than traditional in-person speeches and posters, participants of the virtual event submitted prerecorded presentations. Awards were given for the top abstracts, research talks and poster presentations in a number of categories.

“We would like to thank the many volunteer judges whose assessments helped the units make the final decisions and provided our students with invaluable feedback,” says JJ Sadler, associate director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. “Ultimately the virtual conference was a success, again, thanks to the much-appreciated work of the Undergraduate Research Event Planning Committee.”

Winners are listed below, and abstracts for all projects can be found in the 2021 Abstract Booklet.

The Office of Undergraduate Research’s next research conference is the Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium. The event will take place virtually July 29-Aug. 6; the deadline to submit is July 23. The Summer Symposium is open to any Purdue student conducting research at Purdue or off campus and any non-Purdue student working with a Purdue research mentor.

TOP OVERALL WINNERS

The top overall research talks were selected by the Honors College. They were:

  • First place: “Evaluating the Particle Collection Efficiency of Dried and Reused Breathing System Filters” by Kaushal Arvind Prasad.
  • Second place: “Interface Engineering to Kinetically Trap the Photovoltaic Crystal Phase of Formamidinium Lead Iodide Perovskite” by Yiyuan (Melody) Zhang.
  • Third place: “Geographical Analysis of Indicators of Resident Retention” by Eli Coltin.

The top abstracts were selected by the Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies. They were:

  • Life Sciences: ‘“I was Working Out Daily Prior to COVID’: Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Physical Health of Purdue Graduate Students” by Lauren Heniff.
  • Physical Sciences: “Examining the Geologic History of Mercury’s Caloris Basin using Mapped Faulting Patterns Within Superposed Volcanic Flows” by Evan King and Aubrey Bennett.
  • Mathematical/Computation Sciences: “Food Classification” by Robert Sego, Cole Stecyk, Aryan Tyagi, Prekshaa Veeraragavan, Alexander Vives, Tiffany Yu and Alex Dufour.
  • Social Sciences/Humanities/Education: “Abandoned Sentinels: An Analysis of the Past, Present, and Future of Former Armed Forces Institutions” by Jacob Slater.
  • Innovative Technology/Entrepreneurship/Design (tie): “Development and Optimization of a Thermal Transfer System for Simulating Lunar Temperatures and Possible Scenarios” by Nathan Stonitsch; and “PanCan Diagnosed (a miRNA Approach): Using Feature Selection, Ensemble Algorithms, and Interpretability for the Early Diagnosis and Personalized Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer” by Siya Goel.

ACADEMIC UNIT WINNERS

Top research talks by academic unit were selected by the units listed. They were:

College of Agriculture

  • First place: “Low-cost User-friendly Biosensors for Bovine Respiratory Disease Based on Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP)” by Ana Pascual-Garrigos.
  • Second place: “R-loops and DNA Damage in Aging Photoreceptor Neurons” by Alyssa Easton.
  • Third place: “Investigation into the Structural and Functional Effects on Phage Proteins based on Cross-Genome Differences/Mutations” by William Hadjis, Autumn Denny and Julia Mollenhauer.

College of Education

  • First place: “Investigating the Frequency and Nature of Social Justice References in the Teacher Education Program Curriculum at Purdue University” by Julia Pirrello.
  • Second place: “Telehealth Parent Coaching in Naturalistic Communication Intervention” by Alana Lorts and Brianna Coster.
  • Third place: “Investigating Identity Development in Informal STEM Learning Spaces: A Case Study of Girls Excelling in Mathematics and Science (GEMS) Clubs” by Michaela Rice.

College of Engineering

  • First place: “Interface Engineering to Kinetically Trap the Photovoltaic Crystal Phase of Formamidinium Lead Iodide Perovskite” by Yiyuan (Melody) Zhang.
  • Second place: “SCALE Radiation Hardened Technologies” by Ricardo Xie.
  • Third place: “Pandemic Altering Perceptions of College Experience” by Bridget McCole.

College of Health and Human Sciences

  • First place: “Evaluating the Particle Collection Efficiency of Dried and Reused Breathing System Filters” by Kaushal Arvind Prasad.
  • Second place: “Is There an Association Between Attentional Disengagement and Language Abilities in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder?” by Debanjana Das.
  • Third place: “Role Implications for Social Support Network Structure in Depression Among Adjudicated Adolescents” by Sanjana Murthy.

College of Liberal Arts

  • First place: “Beauty Products: Chemicals Disproportionately Endanger Women of Color” by Samantha Lu.
  • Second place: “The Saga of the People of Laxardal and Bolli Bollason’s Tale: Women Within Viking Sagas” by Alicia Geoffray.
  • Third place: “White Saviorism Through Religion” by Gabriel Ako.

College of Pharmacy

  • First place (tie): “Clinically-viable DMSO-free Cryopreservation of Human Natural Killer Cells” by Zachary Leung and Emmett Niemeyer; and “Designing a Protein Drug with the Computer Program FoldIt” by Ma. Emmanuelle Domingo.
  • Second place: “Analyzing Excipient Variability” by Jack Moen.

College of Science

  • First place: “Examining the Geologic History of Mercury’s Caloris Basin using Mapped Faulting Patterns Within Superposed Volcanic Flows” by Evan King and Aubrey Bennett.
  • Second place: “Development of Continuous Flow Sonogashira Coupling of Lead Anti-Cancer Small Molecule Inhibitors for Potential Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia” by Yuta Moriuchi.
  • Third place: “Key Genetic Contributors to Myasthenia Gravis and Other Autoimmune Disorders” by Alyssa Flint.

Honors College

  • First place: “Geographical Analysis of Indicators of Resident Retention” by Eli Coltin.

Krannert School of Management

  • First place: “Prolonged Standing in the Operating Room” by Mengzhou Chen.
  • Second place: “Contact Tracing and Civil Liberties During the Covid-19 Pandemic” by Rachel Hauser.
  • Third place: “Projected Student Enrollment During the Covid-19 Pandemic for Fall 2020 at Purdue University” by Maxim Bebekoski.

Purdue Polytechnic Institute

  • First place: “Development of an Open-source Mobile Robot Platform for Multi-robot Systems” by Jaeeun Kim.
  • Second place: “Early Childhood Education, Animation, and YouTube” by Kayla Cole, Lauren Krieger and Em Miller.
  • Third place: “A Woman’s Path to the Aviation Industry” by Katelyn Graver.

Top research posters by academic unit were selected by the units listed. They were:

College of Agriculture

  • First place: “Accessing Indiana Communities: Regional Trail Networks as a Guide for Community Development” by Sydney King.
  • Second place: “Assessing Bias in Odor Communication Studies” by Stephanie Dijak.
  • Third place: “Effects of Soil Thaw on Nitrous Oxide Emission Rate” by Erika Maneke.

College of Education

  • First place: “Breaking Bread, Breaking Bread: Developing Positive Relationships with Elementary-Aged Students with Disabilities” by Zoe Johnson and Nadia Crace.
  • Second place: “Spatial Analysis: Priming of Shapes in Tangram Puzzles” by Alexandra Foster.
  • Third place: “Differentiation in an Inclusion Classroom” by Helen Zoss.

College of Engineering

  • First place: “Optimization of the Enhanced Centrifuge Method to Quantify the Effect of Particle and Surface Properties Towards van der Waals Particle Adhesion” by Tyler Roberts.
  • Second place: “The Role of Worker Cognitive Biases in Electrical Safety Performance: An fNIRS Study in a Mixed-Reality Environment” by Makayla Simpson and Kaylee Dillard.
  • Third place: “Annotation and Functional Analysis of Mycobacteriophage Izajani Genome” by Julia Simler, Garret Manquen, Lauren Jozwiak and Emma Lietzke.

College of Health and Human Sciences

  • First place: “Building Semantic Networks through Play” by Candance Jarzombek, Caitlin Jelenski and Salsabila Lane.
  • Second place (tie): “Investigating Age Differences in Temporal Swallowing Measures in Adults: A Secondary Data Analysis” by Caroline Sarbieski; and “Investigating Eating Efficiency in Normal Development” by Mackenzie Zorn.

College of Liberal Arts

  • First place: “Conspiracy and Cooperation: A Cross-Country Study of Globalism in Coronavirus Cartoons” by Claire Stites.
  • Second place: “The Effect of Climate Change and Human Predation on the Niche Space of North American Proboscideans” by Alejandra May.
  • Third place (tie): “Anatomy of the Kôkôjagoti Media Center” by Diana Quintero; and “The Impacts of COVID-19 on College Students’ Mental Health and Accessibility of Mental Health Resource” by Yifan Zhang.

College of Pharmacy

  • First place: “Incorporating Cultural Considerations to Care During an Interprofessional Simulation Activity” by Jennifer Garson.
  • Second place: “Perceived Impact of a Counseling Practice Session on Pharmacy Student Comfort Level and Ability in Counseling on Sexual Health Products” by Margaret Tharp.

College of Science

  • First place: “Geochemistry at Springs in Furnace Creek and Ash Meadows: Implications for Regional Interbasin Flow” by Sneha Nachimuthu.
  • Second place: “Nonblind Analysis of XENON1T Data Using Double Photoelectron Emission Signals” by Yinchen Zhou, Moses Hamm, Robin Carpenter and Xieyuan Guo.
  • Third place (tie): “Structural Analysis of BamA, a Therapeutic Target for Bacterial Infections of F. nucleatum” by Lindsey Wilson; and “Protein Encapsulation to Improve Sample Quality for Cryo-Electron Microscopy” by Hannah Pletcher.

Honors College

  • First place: “Abandoned Sentinels: An Analysis of the Past, Present, and Future of Former Armed Forces Installations” by Jacob Slater.

Krannert School of Management

  • First place: “Economic Effectiveness of COVID-19 Government Relief in Indiana” by John Lawicki.
  • Second place: “A Novel Approach to Align Forecasts to Competing Operational Business Outcomes” by Jiacen Liu and Hui Zeng.
  • Third place: “Purdue Basketball Turnover and Dribble Data Analysis” by Zac Matheny.

Purdue Polytechnic Institute

  • First place: “Abandoned Sentinels: An analysis of the Past, Present, and Future of Former Armed Forces Installations” by Jacob Slater.
  • Second place: “Safety Culture in the Purdue Flight Program: Cirrus SR-20 vs. Piper Archer” by Elliot Knapp.
  • Third place: “Digital Portal for the Data Visualization Process” by Nicole Dwenger.

Interdisciplinary awards were selected by Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies. The top interdisciplinary projects were:

Research talks

  • First place: “Beauty Products: Chemicals Disproportionately Endanger Women of Color” by Samantha Lu.
  • Second place: “Early Childhood Education, Animation, and YouTube” by Kayla Cole, Lauren Krieger and Em Miller.
  • Third place: “Optimization of Heart Rate Calculation Algorithm for Real-Time Use” by Akio Fujita.

Posters

  • First place: “Drink Environment Modeling” by Gabriel Leonard and Alex Peterson.
  • Second place: “Using Synchrotron X-ray Fluorescence to Analyze Metal Distribution in Human Teeth” by Sai Dwibhashyam.
  • Third place: “Creating a Prototype Visualization Tool for Analyzing Pre-pubescent Lupus Data” by Nathan Kanter.

Archival presentations were selected by Purdue Archives and Special Collections. Top archival projects were:

Research talks

  • First place: “White Feminist Icons: An Intersectional Case Study on Amelia Earhart” by Rachel Small.
  • Second place: “Gary Gateways” by Miles Romans.

Posters

  • First place: “Abandoned Sentinels: An Analysis of the Past, Present, and Future of Former Armed Forces Installations” by Jacob Slater.
  • Second place: “Fort Ouiatenon Archival Management and Digitization” by Samuel Bakeis, Mary Phelan, Jennylee Torres and Quincy Chanda
  • Third place: “Facebook and U.S. Elections” by Matthew Heagerty.

Writer: Christy McCarter, mccarter@purdue.edu

This article was previous published in Purdue Today here.

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