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Development and Evaluation of an Electrical Engineering and Math Curriculum Module for High School Students

Description

Parents in STEM careers are more apt to guide their kids towards STEM careers (Sherburne-Michigan, 2017). There are STEM programs and classes for students who are interested in related fields, but the conundrum is that students need to be interested

Parents in STEM careers are more apt to guide their kids towards STEM careers (Sherburne-Michigan, 2017). There are STEM programs and classes for students who are interested in related fields, but the conundrum is that students need to be interested in order to choose to participate. The goal of this creative project was to introduce engineering concepts in a high school class to reveal and investigate the ways in which engineering concepts can be successfully introduced to a larger student populace to increase interest in engineering programs, courses, and degrees. A lesson plan and corresponding materials - including circuit kits and a simulated ball launching station with graphical display - were made to accomplish this goal. Throughout the lesson students were asked to (1) use given materials to accomplish a goal, (2) predict outcomes based on conceptual understanding and mathematical calculations, (3) test predictions, (4) record data, and (5) analyze data to generate results. The students first created a simple circuit to understand the circuit components and learn general electrical engineering concepts. A simple light dimmer circuit let students demonstrate understanding of electrical concepts (e.g., voltage, current resistance) before using the circuit to a simulated motor in order to launch a ball. The students were then asked to predict the time and height of a ball launched with various settings of their control circuit. The students were able to test their theories with the simulated launcher test set up shown in Figure 25 and collect data to create a parabolic height versus time graph. Based on the measured graph, the students were able to record their results and compare calculated values to real-world measured values. The results of the study suggest ways to introduce students to engineering while developing hands-on concept modeling of projectile motion and circuit design in math classrooms. Additionally, this lesson identifies a rich topic for teachers and STEM education researchers to explore lesson plans with interdisciplinary connections to engineering. This report will include the inspiration for the product, related work, iterative design process, and the final design. This information will be followed by user feedback, a project reflection, and lessons learned. The report will conclude with a summary and a discussion of future work.

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2018-05

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Analog-to-Digital Converter Reliability Testing in Hostile Environments

Description

Analog to Digital Converters (ADCs) are a critical component in modern circuit applications. ADCs are used in virtually every application in which a digital circuit is interacting with data from the real world, ranging from commercial applications to crucial military

Analog to Digital Converters (ADCs) are a critical component in modern circuit applications. ADCs are used in virtually every application in which a digital circuit is interacting with data from the real world, ranging from commercial applications to crucial military and aerospace applications, and are especially important when interacting with sensors that observe environmental factors. Due to the critical nature of these converters, as well as the vast range of environments in which they are used, it is important that they accurately sample data regardless of environmental factors. These environmental factors range from input noise and power supply variations to temperature and radiation, and it is important to know how each may affect the accuracy of the resulting data when designing circuits that depend upon the data from these ADCs. These environmental factors are considered hostile environments, as they each generally have a negative effect on the operation of an ADC. This thesis seeks to investigate the effects of several of these hostile environmental variables on the performance of analog to digital converters. Three different analog to digital converters with similar specifications were selected and analyzed under common hostile environments. Data was collected on multiple copies of an ADC and averaged together to analyze the results using multiple characteristics of converter performance. Performance metrics were obtained across a range of frequencies, input noise, input signal offsets, power supply voltages, and temperatures. The obtained results showed a clear decrease in performance farther from a room temperature environment, but the results for several other environmental variables showed either no significant correlation or resulted in inconclusive data.

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2019-05

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S. Cerevisiae Sul1 and Sul2 Sulfate Transporters in Varying Sulfate Concentrations

Description

The primary objective of this project is to further the knowledge about SCL26 family of anion transporters. The goals of the experiment were to find the lowest sulfate concentration where the yeast without Sulp1 and Sulp2 is able to grow,

The primary objective of this project is to further the knowledge about SCL26 family of anion transporters. The goals of the experiment were to find the lowest sulfate concentration where the yeast without Sulp1 and Sulp2 is able to grow, but it grows very slowly, and to find a higher sulfate concentration where the yeast grows quickly, with or without the sulfate transporters. The lowest sulfate concentration where the yeast without the sulfate transporters is able to grow was determined to be 2-4 mM, however, this range can likely be refined by more quantitative analytical methods. At a sulfate concentration of 20 mM sulfate or higher, the yeast is able to grow quickly without high-affinity sulfate transporters. The next step in the project is to re-introduce the Sulp1 and Sulp2 genes into the yeast, so that growth in low and high sulfate conditions can be compared with and without the Sulp1 and Sulp2 proteins. The long-term goals of the project are to bring experience with yeast to Dr. Nannenga’s structural discovery lab, to determine if yeast sulfate transporters respond in the same way to drug candidates as human sulfate transporters, and to determine the structure of the proteins using cryo-electron microscopy.

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2019-05

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Predicting Mechanical Failure of Vacuum Pumps Using Accelerometer Data

Description

The objective of this paper is to find and describe trends in the fast Fourier transformed accelerometer data that can be used to predict the mechanical failure of large vacuum pumps used in industrial settings, such as providing drinking water.

The objective of this paper is to find and describe trends in the fast Fourier transformed accelerometer data that can be used to predict the mechanical failure of large vacuum pumps used in industrial settings, such as providing drinking water. Using three-dimensional plots of the data, this paper suggests how a model can be developed to predict the mechanical failure of vacuum pumps.

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2019-05

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Around the Corner Imaging: Developing a Graphical User Interface

Description

This Creative Project was carried out in coordination with the capstone project, Around the Corner Imaging with Terahertz Waves. This capstone project deals with a system designed to implement Around the Corner, or Non Line-of-Sight (NLoS) Imaging. This document discusses

This Creative Project was carried out in coordination with the capstone project, Around the Corner Imaging with Terahertz Waves. This capstone project deals with a system designed to implement Around the Corner, or Non Line-of-Sight (NLoS) Imaging. This document discusses the creation of a GUI using MATLAB to control the Terahertz Imaging system. The GUI was developed in response to a need for synchronization, ease of operation, easy parameter modification, and data management. Along the way, many design decisions were made ranging from choosing a software platform to determining how variables should be passed. These decisions and considerations are discussed in this document. The resulting GUI has measured up to the design criteria and will be able to be used by anyone wishing to use the Terahertz Imaging System for further research in the field of Around the Corner or NLoS Imaging.

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2019-05

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Measuring the Activity of Φ29 DNA Polymerase

Description

The major goal of this large project is to develop a Recognition Tunneling Nanopore (RTP) device that will be used for determining the structure of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). The RTP device is composed of a recognition tunneling junction that is embedded

The major goal of this large project is to develop a Recognition Tunneling Nanopore (RTP) device that will be used for determining the structure of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). The RTP device is composed of a recognition tunneling junction that is embedded in a nanopore. In order to translocate the GAG molecule through the nanopore, researchers have designed a scheme in which the GAG molecule of interest will be attached to the 5’ end of a DNA primer (figure 1) and the DNA primer will be extended by a biotinylated Φ29 DNA polymerase that is anchored in the nanoslit using streptavidin. This research project specifically is part of a larger project with the main goal of comparing the activity of the wild-type Φ29 DNA polymerase which I have expressed and purified with the mutated Φ29 DNA polymerase devoid of 3’ - 5’ exonuclease activity which was made by Dr. Deng.

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2018-05

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Analysis of the Cellular Localization of PANK2 Mutations Using a Yeast Model

Description

Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration, PKAN, is a neurological disease that is caused by biallelic mutations in the PANK2 gene, which codes for a pantothenate kinase. Some PANK2 mutations that cause PKAN retain enzymatic activity. A possible explanation for the mutations that

Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration, PKAN, is a neurological disease that is caused by biallelic mutations in the PANK2 gene, which codes for a pantothenate kinase. Some PANK2 mutations that cause PKAN retain enzymatic activity. A possible explanation for the mutations that have residual activity but still cause the disease is that they do not have the correct cellular localization. The localization of PANK2 was studied through cellular fractionation. We found the precursor form of PANK2, pPANK2, appears to be anchored to the inner membrane of the mitochondria, and the mature form, mPANK2, is located in the inter-membrane space, IMS. However, the IMS of the PKAN causing mutants is completely devoid of mPANK2 which suggests some disease-causing mutations may be mislocalized. In addition, PANK2 catalyzes the first and rate limiting step in Coenzyme A biosynthesis, and in other studies, it has been shown that the CoA biosynthesis enzymes form a complex in yeast. Therefore, we also considered the possibility that PKAN-causing mutations that retain activity have altered interactions with the other CoA biosynthesis enzymes. Coimmunoprecipitation of the proteins in the pathway was done to determine if there were any interactions with PANK2. The results indicate that PANK2 does not directly interact with either PPCS or CoASY, the second and final enzymatic activities in the CoA biosynthesis pathway.

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2019-05

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Structural Analysis of the Spinach Rubisco Activase AAA+ Domain by Negative Stain Electron Microscopy

Description

Higher plant Rubisco activase (Rca) is a stromal ATPase responsible for reactivating Rubisco. It is a member of the AAA+ protein superfamily and is thought to assemble into closed-ring hexamers like other AAA+ proteins belonging to the classic clade. Progress

Higher plant Rubisco activase (Rca) is a stromal ATPase responsible for reactivating Rubisco. It is a member of the AAA+ protein superfamily and is thought to assemble into closed-ring hexamers like other AAA+ proteins belonging to the classic clade. Progress towards modeling the interaction between Rca and Rubisco has been slow due to limited structural information on Rca. Previous efforts in the lab were directed towards solving the structure of spinach short-form Rca using X-ray crystallography, given that it had notably high thermostability in the presence of ATP-γS, an ATP analog. However, due to disorder within the crystal lattice, an atomic resolution structure could not be obtained, prompting us to move to negative stain electron microscopy (EM), with our long-term goal being the use of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) for atomic resolution structure determination. Thus far, we have screened different Rca constructs in the presence of ATP-γS, both the full-length β-isoform and truncations containing only the AAA+ domain. Images collected on preparations of the full-length protein were amorphous, whereas images of the AAA+ domain showed well-defined ring-like assemblies under some conditions. Procedural adjustments, such as the use of previously frozen protein samples, rapid dilution, and minimizing thawing time were shown to improve complex assembly. The presence of Mn2+ was also found to improve hexamer formation over Mg2+. Calculated class averages of the AAA+ Rca construct in the presence of ATP-γS indicated a lack of homogeneity in the assemblies, showing both symmetric and asymmetric hexameric rings. To improve structural homogeneity, we tested buffer conditions containing either ADP alone or different ratios of ATP-γS to ADP, though results did not show a significant improvement in homogeneity. Multiple AAA+ domain preparations were evaluated. Because uniform protein assembly is a major requirement for structure solution by cryo-EM, more work needs to be done on screening biochemical conditions to optimize homogeneity.

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2018-05

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Algorithmic Prediction of Binding Sites of TNFα/TNFR2 and PD-1/PD-L1

Description

Predicting the binding sites of proteins has historically relied on the determination of protein structural data. However, the ability to utilize binding data obtained from a simple assay and computationally make the same predictions using only sequence information would be

Predicting the binding sites of proteins has historically relied on the determination of protein structural data. However, the ability to utilize binding data obtained from a simple assay and computationally make the same predictions using only sequence information would be more efficient, both in time and resources. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an algorithm developed to predict regions of high-binding on proteins as it applies to determining the regions of interaction between binding partners. This approach was applied to tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), its receptor TNFR2, programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1), and one of its ligand PD-L1. The algorithms applied accurately predicted the binding region between TNFα and TNFR2 in which the interacting residues are sequential on TNFα, however failed to predict discontinuous regions of binding as accurately. The interface of PD-1 and PD-L1 contained continuous residues interacting with each other, however this region was predicted to bind weaker than the regions on the external portions of the molecules. Limitations of this approach include use of a linear search window (resulting in inability to predict discontinuous binding residues), and the use of proteins with unnaturally exposed regions, in the case of PD-1 and PD-L1 (resulting in observed interactions which would not occur normally). However, this method was overall very effective in utilizing the available information to make accurate predictions. The use of the microarray to obtain binding information and a computer algorithm to analyze is a versatile tool capable of being adapted to refine accuracy.

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2018-05

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Automatic Recording of Children's Activity Within a Classroom: A Study of Levy Flights

Description

The diagnosis for an attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children is heavily based on teacher or parent opinion, and not on scientific evidence. This causes children to be wrongly diagnosed with a disorder and be prescribed medicine that they do

The diagnosis for an attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children is heavily based on teacher or parent opinion, and not on scientific evidence. This causes children to be wrongly diagnosed with a disorder and be prescribed medicine that they do not need to be taking. This paper discusses a project that was completed for the Child Study Lab (CSL) preschool at Arizona State University (ASU), in which children’s activity within a classroom was automatically recorded using ultra-wideband technology. This project’s goal was to gather location data on the children in the CSL and analyze and assess the collected data for any patterns of behavior. The hope was that if a child’s data displayed a pattern that strayed from the norm, that this analysis could pose as a more objective way to indicate that a child may have an attention deficit problem. Fractal Dimensions and Levy Flights were researched and applied to the data analysis portion of this project.

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2020-05