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Federal Reserve Interest Rate Management: Combatting Speculation of Market Volatility and Recessionary Sentiment

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Abstract: Handling the multiple functions of monetary policy that protect the U.S. economy not only on a short term, but also long-term scale is a complicated responsibility assigned to Federal Reserve, in which their actions present a profound impact on

Abstract: Handling the multiple functions of monetary policy that protect the U.S. economy not only on a short term, but also long-term scale is a complicated responsibility assigned to Federal Reserve, in which their actions present a profound impact on consumer confidence towards financial markets and global economies. Specifically, one of the most important goals of the Federal Reserve is to mitigate the risk of the United States to enter a recession, while maintaining a balanced approach when making those policy decisions. In this thesis, we focus on the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve, particularly, their role in controlling interest rates to prevent recessionary sentiment in the current state of the economy. Since 2008, markets have been stronger and previous policies like Dodd-Frank have ensured that market collapses during the Great Recession do not repeat itself. Yet, fluctuations in the yield curve, polarizing investment views, and unsettled consumer confidence has pointed to another recession in the near future. In this case, we will look at the way the Fed has implemented short term policies to lower this risk in order to fight volatile markets, however, fluctuating interest rates has its consequences. The goal of this thesis is to analyze the various ways the Fed has managed interest rates in the past and present, and further, to offer a framework to serve as the most effective policy to combat volatility and recessionary sentiment in the U.S. economy.

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2020-05

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K-pop as a Soft Power

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This essay examines national leaders’ shaping of K-pop into a foreign export, specifically looking into how K-pop is used as a soft power for South Korea. I also examine how effective K-pop is as a soft power. Because of its

This essay examines national leaders’ shaping of K-pop into a foreign export, specifically looking into how K-pop is used as a soft power for South Korea. I also examine how effective K-pop is as a soft power. Because of its growing global popularity and use of K-pop artists for international relations, such as Red Velvet performing for Kim Jong Un, we might expect K-pop to act as the gateway into South Korean culture, often being the first exposure that other countries have into this country’s way of life. Through a qualitative analysis of resources ranging from news articles, videos, and social media posts, we see that K-pop idols, a term for K-pop celebrities, are heavily groomed and shaped by their labels to promote the South Korean national brand. Combined with a well-made business model to appeal to different countries, they also create sentiment for South Korean culture throughout the world with the support of the government and a strong fanbase. This plan is extremely effective in generating revenue for a multitude of South Korean brands beyond K-pop and even fosters South Korean affection in North Korea.

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2020-05

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Factors of Economic Development and Implications for the Future

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This paper, titled “Factors of Economic Development and Implications for the Future” focuses on identifying historical factors that have impacted economic development and analyzing what changes may be important for the future. It uses studies done across the world in

This paper, titled “Factors of Economic Development and Implications for the Future” focuses on identifying historical factors that have impacted economic development and analyzing what changes may be important for the future. It uses studies done across the world in energy economics, economic development, economic policy, and more to identify important considerations for evaluating historical growth, as well as concerns for the future, particularly given the threat of climate change. Historically important papers, as well as newer insights both feature heavily. This literary review resulted in the finding that education, energy, trade, policy, institutions, endowments, and culture are all important factors for economic development. Endowments and institutions that arise from them are found to be the most important factor in explaining historical development. The paper also analyzes policy that the existing literature suggests could be beneficial for growth. Next, an analysis of factors that the literature identified as important for growth is carried out to assess which countries may have the highest potentials for future growth. The countries are ranked based upon a composite scoring system created from those factors. Countries in Central Asia feature heavily in the top ten entries, while many African countries narrowly miss out on the top ten but still rank relatively high. Together, the findings of both sections are used to discuss how economies have historically developed as well as possible policies to encourage future sustainable development. Both the literature and statistical findings suggest that for future growth promotion of strong institutions that promote property rights and economic growth will be important. They also suggest that coordinated energy policy to increase green technologies and decouple growth from emissions will be essential.

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2020-05

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Self-Efficacy and Learning of Engineering Concepts Through Gamification

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The relationship between video games and education is something that has been studied extensively in academia. Based upon these studies a new concept was created, gamification. Gamification is the next step in video game research to analyze why video games

The relationship between video games and education is something that has been studied extensively in academia. Based upon these studies a new concept was created, gamification. Gamification is the next step in video game research to analyze why video games enhance learning. The interest and research into this concept have developed so much so that it has become its own topic area for research. This study is looking to analyze the effect that gamification has on not only learning, but also self-efficacy. Through a choose your own adventure game, the knowledge and self-efficacy of participants will be examined to observe the differences when learning difficult engineering concepts with and without gamification. It is expected that participants that experienced training through gamification will demonstrate deeper learning and higher self-efficacy than trained through a video. Furthermore, it is anticipated that some video trained participants’ self-efficacy will increase; however, their comprehension will be less than participants trained through gamification. The results of this study can help promote the interest in researching gamification and education, while influencing educators to corporate gamification elements when designing their courses. Moreover, this study continued through adaptation and integration into a statics forces class, investigated if the same results can be found within a classroom setting.

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2020-05

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Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) of 7075 Aluminum Alloy to Induce a Protective Corrosion Resistant Layer

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This paper investigates Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) and the influence of treatment temperature and initial sample surface finish on the corrosion resistance of 7075-T651 aluminum alloy. Ambient SMAT was performed on AA7075 samples polished to 80-grit initial surface roughness.

This paper investigates Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) and the influence of treatment temperature and initial sample surface finish on the corrosion resistance of 7075-T651 aluminum alloy. Ambient SMAT was performed on AA7075 samples polished to 80-grit initial surface roughness. Potentiodynamic polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) tests were used to characterize the corrosion behavior of samples before and after SMAT. Electrochemical tests indicated an improved corrosion resistance after application of SMAT process. The observed improvements in corrosion properties are potentially due to microstructural changes in the material surface induced by SMAT which encouraged the formation of a passive oxide layer. Further testing and research are required to understand the corrosion related effects of cryogenic SMAT and initial-surface finish as the COVID-19 pandemic inhibited experimentation plans.

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2020-05

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Where to From Here? A Comprehensive Analysis of Past and Future of The Republic of Cuba

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This paper analyzes modern day Cuba and draws conclusions about the most likely future political and economic events that will take place. Because of Cuba's troubled economy, leadership change and the world's continued shift towards democratization, Cuba is in a

This paper analyzes modern day Cuba and draws conclusions about the most likely future political and economic events that will take place. Because of Cuba's troubled economy, leadership change and the world's continued shift towards democratization, Cuba is in a position where drastic changes in its government and economic structure may occur. This paper investigates Cuba's history, politics, economy, and the general quality of life of its citizens, which are used to help predict what may happen to the Cuban government in the near future. The paper also analyzes options for foreign nations' policy towards Cuba and summarizes what actions they may take to increase the likelihood of an economic and political transition. Cuba's economic structure needs drastic reform, the reluctant privatization only increases wealth disparity, trust in the government continues to get weaker as more information and its human rights violations are causes of huge concern. There are four possible outcomes for Cuba's future: stagnation, adopting the mixed economic model, a peaceful transition to a democratic model, and rebellion. There is evidence that Cuba will not make drastic policy changes in favor of liberalization in the immediate future, however, if the economic conditions are not improved and an economic crisis ensues, this paper asserts that another revolution or coup will likely occur. The resulting government may be a new autocratic leader that fills the vacuum of leadership, or a democratic regime depending on the nature of the rebellion. The exact future of Cuba is uncertain, but one thing is clear, change is on the horizon.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Developing Inventory Control and Build Management Software for Spacecraft Engineering

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Engineering an object means engineering the process that creates the object. Today, software can make the task of tracking these processes robust and straightforward. When engineering requirements are strict and strenuous, software custom-built for such processes can prove essential. The

Engineering an object means engineering the process that creates the object. Today, software can make the task of tracking these processes robust and straightforward. When engineering requirements are strict and strenuous, software custom-built for such processes can prove essential. The work for this project was developing ICDB, an inventory control and build management system created for spacecraft engineers at ASU to record each step of their engineering processes. In-house development means ICDB is more precisely designed around its users' functionality and cost requirements than most off-the-shelf commercial offerings. By placing a complex relational database behind an intuitive web application, ICDB enables organizations and their users to create and store parts libraries, assembly designs, purchasing and location records for inventory items, and more.

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2018-05

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Understanding and Predicting Persistence in First Year Engineering Students

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Based on James Marcia's theory, identity development in youth is the degree to which one has explored and committed to a vocation [1], [2]. During the path to an engineering identity, students will experience a crisis, when one's values and

Based on James Marcia's theory, identity development in youth is the degree to which one has explored and committed to a vocation [1], [2]. During the path to an engineering identity, students will experience a crisis, when one's values and choices are examined and reevaluated, and a commitment, when the outcome of the crisis leads the student to commit to becoming an engineer. During the crisis phase, students are offered a multitude of experiences to shape their values and choices to influence commitment to becoming an engineering student. Student's identities in engineering are fostered through mentoring from industry, alumni, and peer coaching [3], [4]; experiences that emphasize awareness of the importance of professional interactions [5]; and experiences that show creativity, collaboration, and communication as crucial components to engineering. Further strategies to increase students' persistence include support in their transition to becoming an engineering student, education about professional engineers and the workplace [6], and engagement in engineering activities beyond the classroom. Though these strategies are applied to all students, there are challenges students face in confronting their current identity and beliefs before they can understand their value to society and achieve personal satisfaction. To understand student's progression in developing their engineering identity, first year engineering students were surveyed at the beginning and end of their first semester. Students were asked to rate their level of agreement with 22 statements about their engineering experience. Data included 840 cases. Items with factor loading less than 0.6 suggesting no sufficient explanation were removed in successive factor analysis to identify the four factors. Factor analysis indicated that 60.69% of the total variance was explained by the successive factors. Survey questions were categorized into three factors: engineering identity as defined by sense of belonging and self-efficacy, doubts about becoming an engineer, and exploring engineering. Statements in exploring engineering indicated student awareness, interest and enjoyment within engineering. Students were asked to think about whether they spent time learning what engineers do and participating in engineering activities. Statements about doubts about engineering to engineering indicated whether students had formed opinions about their engineering experience and had understanding about their environment. Engineering identity required thought in belonging and self-efficacy. Belonging statements called for thought about one's opinion in the importance of being an engineer, the meaning of engineering, an attachment to engineering, and self-identification as an engineer. Statements about self-efficacy required students to contemplate their personal judgement of whether they would be able to succeed and their ability to become an engineer. Effort in engineering indicated student willingness to invest time and effort and their choices and effort in their engineering discipline.

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2018-05

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Robot Head Kit for High School Robotics Education

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The field of robotics is rapidly expanding, and with it, the methods of teaching and introducing students must also advance alongside new technologies. There is a challenge in robotics education, especially at high school levels, to expose them to more

The field of robotics is rapidly expanding, and with it, the methods of teaching and introducing students must also advance alongside new technologies. There is a challenge in robotics education, especially at high school levels, to expose them to more modern and practical robots. One way to bridge this gap is human-robot interaction for a more hands-on and impactful experience that will leave students more interested in pursuing the field. Our project is a Robotic Head Kit that can be used in an educational setting to teach about its electrical, mechanical, programming, and psychological concepts. We took an existing robot head prototype and further advanced it so it can be easily assembled while still maintaining human complexity. Our research for this project dove into the electronics, mechanics, software, and even psychological barriers present in order to advance the already existing head design. The kit we have developed combines the field of robotics with psychology to create and add more life-like features and functionality to the robot, nicknamed "James Junior." The goal of our Honors Thesis was to initially fix electrical, mechanical, and software problems present. We were then tasked to run tests with high school students to validate our assembly instructions while gathering their observations and feedback about the robot's programmed reactions and emotions. The electrical problems were solved with custom PCBs designed to power and program the existing servo motors on the head. A new set of assembly instructions were written and modifications to the 3D printed parts were made for the kit. In software, existing code was improved to implement a user interface via keypad and joystick to give students control of the robot head they construct themselves. The results of our tests showed that we were not only successful in creating an intuitive robot head kit that could be easily assembled by high school students, but we were also successful in programming human-like expressions that could be emotionally perceived by the students.

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2018-05

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Impact of R&D Expenditure on Pharmaceutical Drug Prices: A Cross-Country Comparison

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Over the past few decades, pharmaceutical spending has been increasing, due in large part to high prices of prescription drugs. In the United States, pharmaceutical manufacturers defend high prices by citing the high costs of research and development, which they

Over the past few decades, pharmaceutical spending has been increasing, due in large part to high prices of prescription drugs. In the United States, pharmaceutical manufacturers defend high prices by citing the high costs of research and development, which they argue spurns innovation and makes up for the high prices paid by consumers. This study seeks to determine the validity of that claim and to fully understand the impact that R&D expenditures have on pharmaceutical drug prices. Employing a fixed effects regression, this study assesses the relationship between per capita R&D expenditure and per capita pharmaceutical spending (a stand-in variable for average drug price) for twelve OECD-member countries over a span of seven years. Holding country and year effects fixed, this regression shows a nearly one to one positive relationship between R&D expenditure and pharmaceutical spending, meaning a one-dollar increase in R&D expenditure increases pharmaceutical spending by around one-dollar as well. This impact, while statistically significant, is not that large, implying that R&D expenditures are not a strong driver of drug prices, contrary to what many pharmaceutical manufacturers argue.

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2018-05