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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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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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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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Networking Pricing Analysis

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This thesis examines the impact of price changes of select microprocessors on the market share and 5-year gross profit net present values of Company X in the networking market through a multi-step analysis. The networking market includes segments including media

This thesis examines the impact of price changes of select microprocessors on the market share and 5-year gross profit net present values of Company X in the networking market through a multi-step analysis. The networking market includes segments including media processing, cloud services, security, routers & switches, and access points. For this thesis our team focused on the routers & switches, as well as the security segments. Company X wants to capitalize on the expected growth of the networking market as it transitions to its fifth generation (henceforth referred to as 5G) by positioning itself favorably in its customers eyes through high quality products offered at competitive prices. Our team performed a quantitative analysis of benchmark data to measure the performances of Company X's products against those of its competitors. We collected this data from third party computer reviewers, as well as the published reports of Company X and its competitors. Through the use of a preference matrix, we then normalized this performance data to adjust for different scales. In order to provide a well-rounded analysis, we adjusted these normalized performances for power consumption (using thermal design power as a proxy) as well as price. We believe these adjusted performances are more valuable than raw benchmark data, as they appeal to the demands of price-sensitive customers. Based on these comparisons, our team was able to assess price changes for their market and discounted financial impact on Company X. Our findings challenge the current pricing of one of the two products being analyzed and suggests a 9% decrease in the price of said product. This recommendation most effectively positions Company X for the development of 5G by offering the best balance of market share and NPV.

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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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Banking Regulation: An Analysis of Dodd-Frank

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Dodd-Frank should be celebrated for its success in stabilizing the financial sector following the last financial crisis. Some of its measures have not only contained financial disaster but contributed to economic growth. These elements of Dodd-Frank have been identified as

Dodd-Frank should be celebrated for its success in stabilizing the financial sector following the last financial crisis. Some of its measures have not only contained financial disaster but contributed to economic growth. These elements of Dodd-Frank have been identified as "clear wins" and include the increase of financial institutions' capital requirements, the single-point-of-entry approach to regulating financial firms, and the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The single-point-of-entry strategy (SPOE), specifically, has done much to bring an end to the age of "too big to fail" institutions. By identifying firms that could expect to be aided in case of financial crisis, the SPOE approach reduces uncertainty among financial institutions. Moreover, SPOE eliminates the significant source of risk by establishing clear protocols for resolving failed financial firms. Dodd-Frank has also taken measures to better protect consumers with the creation of the CFPB. Some of the CFPB's stabilizing actions have included the removal of deceptive financial products, setting guidelines for qualified mortgages, and other regulatory safeguards on money transfers. Despite the CFPB's many triumphs, however, there is room for improvement, especially in the agency's ability to reduce regulatory redundancies in supervision and collaboration with other financial sector controllers. The significant strengths of Dodd-Frank are evident in its elements that have secured financial stability. However, it is important to also consider any potential to stifle healthy economic growth. There are several areas for legislative amendments and reforms in order to improve the performance of Dodd-Frank given its sweeping regulatory impact. Several governing redundancies now exist with the creation of new regulatory authorities. Special efforts to increase the authority of the Financial Sector Oversight Council (FSOC) and preserving the impartiality of the Office of Financial Research (OFR) are specific examples of reforms still needed to elevate the effectiveness of Dodd-Frank. In addition, Dodd-Frank could do more to clarify the Volcker Rule in order to ease banks' burden to comply with excessive oversight. Going forward, policymakers must be willing to adjust parts of Dodd-Frank that encroach too far on the private sector's ability to foster efficiency or development. In addition, identifying and monitoring areas of the legislation deemed "too soon to tell" will provide insight on the accuracy and benefit of some Dodd-Frank measures.

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2018-05

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The Monetary and Non-Monetary Value of a Real Estate License

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My Honors Thesis is about answering a central question regarding the business of real estate: "What is the return on investment of obtaining a real estate license?" I focused my research on the monetary, time, and other value factors that

My Honors Thesis is about answering a central question regarding the business of real estate: "What is the return on investment of obtaining a real estate license?" I focused my research on the monetary, time, and other value factors that affect the initial cost of securing a real estate salesperson license in the State of Arizona (costs) and the amount of money a licensed salesperson makes as a result of having a salesperson license (income). Licensees make this trade-off: the cost in terms of real dollars to obtain a license, as well as the opportunity costs associated with the time to secure, start using, and begin to earn money by way of a salesperson license. To answer the central question I conducted a survey of active licensees in order to determine the value ascribed to holding a real estate salesperson license. Through my research, I concluded that there is not a single number that can be assigned to a real estate license that indicates its value, but the data collected reveals that the return on investment has the potential to be great. Upfront costs and fees necessary to obtain a license are insignificant when the commission a licensee can then make from a single transaction is enough to cover those expenses. Therefore, based on the survey results and research into the initial costs associated with obtaining a real estate license, there appears to be sufficient data to support a positive return on investment and warrant obtaining a real estate license.

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2018-05

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Promoting Gender Inclusion in Engineering Through Children's Literature

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Engineering is a heavily male-dominated field and females are significantly less likely to choose an engineering-related major or career path. At the age of six years old, females start believing that their male peers are smarter than them, leading them

Engineering is a heavily male-dominated field and females are significantly less likely to choose an engineering-related major or career path. At the age of six years old, females start believing that their male peers are smarter than them, leading them to pursue less ambitious careers. The children's book Lyla B. An Engineering Legacy was created to encourage more young girls to discover their own potential and pursue engineering as a career. To explore the efficacy of the book on its target consumers, a pilot study was performed with first and second grade children. The participants' engineering knowledge; fixed and failure mindset beliefs; STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) interest, competency, and career aspirations; and stereotype beliefs were evaluated before and after being read the book to determine if the story has a positive impact on children. Additionally, the satisfaction of the participants towards both the book and main character were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Overall, the results of the study suggest that the book has a positive impact on the interest and competency of STEM fields and the stereotype beliefs that the children had towards engineers. The study also suggests that the book decreases fixed and failure mindsets and that the participants were satisfied with the overall concept of the book and main character, Lyla.

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2018-05