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Undergraduate Honors Theses

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AN ACCOUNT OF MORAL STATUS FOR MACHINES
AN ACCOUNT OF MORAL STATUS FOR MACHINES
This thesis deals with moral status and its potential application to machines. It introduces an account of moral status and defends the claim that with the correct features a machine can have moral status. The thesis also discusses some issues involved in recognizing the non-apparent features of a machine and how we might overcome them., Keywords: Machine Ethics, Ethics, AI, Artificial Intelligence, Philosophy
AP Student Visual Preferences for Problem Solving
AP Student Visual Preferences for Problem Solving
The purpose of this study is to explore the mathematical preference of high school AP Calculus students by examining their tendencies for using differing methods of thought. A student's preferred mode of thinking was measured on a scale ranging from a preference for analytical thought to a preference for visual thought as they completed derivative and antiderivative tasks presented both algebraically and graphically. This relates to previous studies by continuing to analyze the factors that have been found to mediate the students' performance and preference in regards to a variety of calculus tasks. Data was collected by Dr. Erhan Haciomeroglu at the University of Central Florida. Students' preferences were not affected by gender. Students were found to approach graphical and algebraic tasks similarly, without any significant change with regards to derivative or antiderivative nature of the tasks. Highly analytic and highly visual students revealed the same proportion of change in visuality as harmonic students when more difficult calculus tasks were encountered. Thus, a strong preference for visual thinking when completing algebraic tasks was not the determining factor of their preferred method of thinking when approaching graphical tasks., Keywords: Calculus, Derivative, Antiderivative, Gender Difference, Visuality, Visual Thinking, Analytic Thinking, Harmonic Thinking, Preference, High School., Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Statistics in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation with Honors in the Major., Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2012., Date of Defense: March 21, 2012.
ARMY SUICIDE AND THE INTERPERSONAL THEORY OF SUICIDE
ARMY SUICIDE AND THE INTERPERSONAL THEORY OF SUICIDE
The increase of military suicide rates has received substantial attention from scholars over the past few years. Accordingly, this trend has become the object of study for numerous researchers, but gaps exist in evaluating components of the military branches of service (i.e. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps) as separate entities. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the core constructs of the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (i.e. thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, acquired capability), number of deployments, and sex using a sample of Army personnel (N=1540). Multiple regressions equations were calculated to predict thwarted belongingness (TB) and acquired capability (AC) based on number of deployments and gender, and a logistic regression equation was calculated to predict perceived burdensomeness (PB) based on number of deployments and gender. Gender was found to be predictive of AC and number of deployments was trending. Gender and number of deployments were not predictive of TB and PB. Researchers would benefit from further evaluating these constructs as they relate to an Army population. Furthermore, a longitudinal design to understand in greater depth how these constructs, especially AC, present from pre-deployment to post-deployment should be considered for future endeavors., Keywords: suicide, army, interpersonal theory of suicide
AUTHORITARIANISM IN AMERICAN POLITICAL BEHAVIOR & THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
AUTHORITARIANISM IN AMERICAN POLITICAL BEHAVIOR & THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
This paper analyzes what conditions led to the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. The introduction sets the stage for the research question by examining the Trump campaign in the months leading to Election Day. Examination of the campaign’s rhetoric and Trump’s actions indicates that Trump tapped into the electorate’s authoritarian attitudes. Incorporating a measure of authoritarian dispositions that is valid among white non-Hispanic Americans, six linear regression models were estimated to test the hypothesis that those having a high authoritarian disposition were more likely to vote for Donald Trump. The results suggest that having a high authoritarian disposition made a white non-Hispanic voter more likely to vote for Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton.
Abelian Splittings of Right-Angled Artin Groups and Subgroups
Abelian Splittings of Right-Angled Artin Groups and Subgroups
In classical mathematics, variables usually commute under multiplication. On the other hand, in this thesis we are interested in a setting in which variables do not always commute. Useful for representing this information are right-angled Artin groups (RAAGs).RAAGs are defined using graphs, i.e. sets of vertices and edges, where vertices represent variables and edges represent a commutative relationship between the connected vertices. RAAGs are often used as a tool to convert problems involving complex geometric phenomena into relatively simple algebra, as we can derive useful information directly from the geometric structure of the underlying graph. Bestvina-Brady groups (BBs) are normal subgroups of RAAGs, originally introduced by Bestvina and Brady to create subgroups of RAAGs which have exotic finiteness properties, such as subgroups which are finitely generated but not finitely presented.This thesis is focused on the problem of understanding splittings. Specifically, how to find an explicit description for some ways of decomposing the groups in terms of the geometry of the underlying graph. In this thesis, we review the findings by Groves and Hull for RAAGs and Chang for BBs, including details and full computations. The methodology used in this thesis relies upon three main topics: group theory, graph theory, and group actions on trees. In the last topic, we use Bass-Serre theory as a bridge between the group and graph theory., Algebra, Group Theory, Graph Theory, Group actions on trees, Right-angled artin groups, bestvina-brady groups
Abraham Lincoln: suspension of habeas corpus and supreme court cases Ex Parte Merryman and Ex Parte Milligan
Abraham Lincoln: suspension of habeas corpus and supreme court cases Ex Parte Merryman and Ex Parte Milligan
This thesis paper focuses on the time period, during the Civil War, when President Abraham Lincoln suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and the subsequent legal problems this suspension caused. In particular my research focuses on two Supreme Court cases which resulted from Lincoln's suspension. The Supreme Court cases discussed in this paper are Ex Parte Merryman and Ex Parte Milligan. My research will also examine various responses to the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and consequently, free speech during the Civil War. The responses and reactions will include the opinions of Supreme Court justices in both of the cases and various other Judges, as well as public opinion., Advisor: Dr. James P. Jones, Florida State University, College of Arts and Sciences, Dept. of History., Thesis (Honors paper)--Florida State University, 2009., Includes bibliographical references.
Accessing Novel Graphene Nanoribbon Architectures through Double peri-Annulations
Accessing Novel Graphene Nanoribbon Architectures through Double peri-Annulations
Routes to construct graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) and nanographenes (NGs) from smaller polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have long been explored. Foundational work in the Alabugin group has recently culminated in the development of a double peri-annulation protocol where aromatic core precursors containing a propargylic OMe traceless directing group (TDG) are π-extended through Sn-radical promoted cyclizations. After cyclization, two Bu3Sn chemical handles are present in the products. These handles can serve for downstream PAH-extension via cross-coupling and cycloaromatization approaches. As proof-of-concept, our group has recently reported the extension of distannylpyrenes via iodination followed by double Suzuki crosscoupling with an aromatic electrophile. By mono cross-coupling of the 1,8-disubstituted-2,7 distannylpyrenes, we hypothesize that extension at one Sn at a time may be possible, allowing to further diversify the PAH library accessible for the construction of GNRs. Mono-Suzuki and Stille couplings were explored under multiple conditions with limited success due to prevalent double cross-couplings in the former and sluggish reactivity in the latter. The broad flexibility of the Bu3Sn handles allows for exploration of other approaches, for example, the borylation of the cyclized product, further cross-coupling with aryl dihalides and cycloaromatization in order to access novel GNR structures., Keywords: polyaromatic hydrocarbons, benzannulations, graphene, alkyne, cross-coupling
Acclimation of Red Tide Dinoflagellate Karenia Brevis to Higher Temperatures Results in Abnormal Morphology and Changes in Growth             Rates
Acclimation of Red Tide Dinoflagellate Karenia Brevis to Higher Temperatures Results in Abnormal Morphology and Changes in Growth Rates
This paper addresses the effects of increased temperature on the Red Tide dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis. A clonal strain of Karenia brevis was acclimated to the currently estimated increase in Gulf temperatures over a period of time long enough to ensure proper acclimation of the experimental cultures. A long acclimation time was used to avoid temperature shock conditions for the culture and to more closely mimic natural temperature increases, such as those seen during seasonal transitions. Over the course of the experiment, K. brevis cultures were acclimated from 25° C to 31° C. An abnormal, rounded, cell morphology was produced in K. brevis cultures acclimated to 28° C and persisted in cultures acclimated through 28° C to 31° C. As well, specific growth rates of cultures growing at 25° C and acclimated to 30° C differed depending on whether the average growth rates were derived from culture cell density or RFU measurements. K. brevis cultures grown in GP/2 media had significantly higher average growth rates based on RFU measurements than cultures growing in L1-Si media. Cultures growing at 25° C and 30° C did not have significantly different chlorophyll a content per cell. In conjunction with the rounded cell morphology, the reported higher maximum temperature range, and future physiological observations, the result of this experiment aim to help researchers understand what may be happening to populations of K. brevis throughout seasonal temperature variations., Keywords: Red Tide, Karenia brevis, dinoflagellate, Harmful Algal Bloom, growth rates, acclimation, Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Biological Sciences in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation with Honors in the Major for Marine Biology., Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2015., Date of Defense: April 20, 2015.
Accuracy of the National Hurricane Center's United States Tropical Cyclone Landfall          Forecasts in the Atlantic Basin (2004–2012)
Accuracy of the National Hurricane Center's United States Tropical Cyclone Landfall Forecasts in the Atlantic Basin (2004–2012)
This study examined the position, timing, and intensity of each National Hurricane Center's (NHC) Official Forecasts (OFCL) for Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes that made landfall in the United States from 2004 to 2012. During that time period, one hundred and fifty tropical cyclones developed in the Atlantic basin. Thirty-two of the cyclones made landfall in the United States as tropical storms or hurricanes. Accurate predictions of the location, timing, and intensity of tropical cyclone landfalls are important, so that people in a storm's track can prepare adequately for heavy to catastrophic wind, rain, and storm surge. The errors of each of the OFCL for Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes that made landfall in the United States during 2004–2012 are acquired from the Best Track data set. The ELTOPO1 landmask is used to find the forecasted landfall point using sequential locations from the OFCL offshore and onshore points of each forecast. The great circle distance between the forecasted and actual landfall constitutes the location error. The official landfall time is subtracted from the forecasted landfall time to find the timing error, and the official landfall wind speed is subtracted from the closest to onshore wind speed to find intensity error. There is a trend of decreasing error in location, timing, and intensity forecasting with decreasing lead time. An improvement in tropical cyclone landfall forecasting is found from comparing the 2004–2012 Atlantic landfall forecast errors to those in a study of 1976-2000 forecasts., Keywords: hurricane, forecasting, landfall, Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Honors in the Major., Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2014., Date of Defense: April 23, 2014.
Acoustic Measures of Stress in Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Acoustic Measures of Stress in Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Disordered stress has been proposed as a potential diagnostic marker of CAS. This study examines the use of the durational aspect of stress, particularly vowel and consonant duration, in distinguishing children with suspected CAS from those with non-CAS SSDs and those with typical speech and language development. Rhythm metrics that were over 80% successful in distinguishing among speakers with dysarthria, another disorder characterized by abnormal stress, were used to measure the variability of vocalic and consonantal intervals. These metrics were analyzed to compare children with suspected CAS, children with non-CAS SSDs, and children with typical speech and language development. Results showed that children with CAS had the least variable vocalic durations and most variable consonantal durations. The CAS group was the only group to have more variability in consonantal durations than vocalic durations, and the relative difference between vocalic and consonantal variability was greatest in the CAS group. Further research should more closely examine the comparative differences between vocalic and consonantal variability within each group of children., Keywords: childhood apraxia of speech, apraxia, stress, acoustic analysis, speech, Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Communication Science and Disorders in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation with Honors in the Major., Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2015., Date of Defense: April 14, 2015.
Acoustic and Physiologic Correlates of Singing Register Transition Among Classically Trained Female Singers: Single Note Data
Acoustic and Physiologic Correlates of Singing Register Transition Among Classically Trained Female Singers: Single Note Data
Maintaining vocal stability while shifting between the vocal registers of chest and mixed voice is a challenging task for classically trained singers. Several researchers have completed studies of the register transitions by classically trained singers. The purpose of this study was to better understand the acoustic and physiologic correlates of the vocal tract and larynx activities during a register transition on a single note sung by classically trained female singers. In particular, this study included evaluation of the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) from the audio signal data and the EGG cycles around a register transition during singing in the chest and mixed registers. Sixteen classically trained female singers were recorded singing an /a/ vowel on a suspended single pitch within their register transition as determined from a previous recording that included the primo passaggio. The microphone signal from the singing sample was used to find measurements of harmonic amplitude, and electroglottograph (EGG) electrodes were placed on the thyroid to measure closing quotient (CQEGG) data. The dependent variables were the CQEGG and the FFT amplitude measurements for the first five harmonics. Results indicated that the participants demonstrated significantly higher CQEGG in the chest register than mixed register and the singers reduced their harmonic amplitudes during the register transition from chest to mixed register.

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