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Undergraduate Honors Theses

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Analysis of Beta Decay Curves and Gamma-Ray Polarization from Compton Scattering Using C++ Programming
Analysis of Beta Decay Curves and Gamma-Ray Polarization from Compton Scattering Using C++ Programming
One issue that arises when performing experimental nuclear physics research at different laboratories is the lack of ubiquity between programs that handle the output of the data acquisition systems. This paper presents two new C++ programs that were created specific to the XIA system at LeRoy Collins Research Laboratory. A program geared for the study of γ-ray polarization was designed and tested using data from excited Neon-20 γ emissions. Using the other new program to look at β decay, the mean lifetime of Potassium-38 β+ decay was confirmed. Having these simple, yet specific, executables will allow individuals to study these topics in a more rigorous way., Keywords: Beta Decay, Gamma-Ray polarization, Compton scattering
Analysis of Cellulose Hydrolysis Kinetics
Analysis of Cellulose Hydrolysis Kinetics
Keywords: cellulose, biofuels, enzymatic hydrolysis, chemical engineering, dissolving pulp, Avicel
Analysis of Chromatin Structure Indicates a Role for Fluoxetine in Altering Nucleosome          Distribution
Analysis of Chromatin Structure Indicates a Role for Fluoxetine in Altering Nucleosome Distribution
An interesting stimulus for chromatin structural changes is the generic and popular anti-depressant drug Fluoxetine, commonly known as Prozac. Generally accepted as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI's), recent work has emerged suggesting that this antidepressant also functions as a Histone Deaceylase Inhibitors (HDIs). Studies have also come out indicating that Fluoxetine acts as an immunosuppressant drug. Treatment with Fluoxetine is believed to reduce the over-activation of the immune system associated with depression. We have used an innovative microarray technology to measure changes in nucleosomal positioning that stem from Fluoxetine treatment. With the use of the microarray, we were able to show that Fluoxetine regulated chromatin structure, that Fluoxetine induced nucleosomal changes show time-dependent kinetics, and targeted genes responsible for the regulation of immune system processes. These results give new and important insights into non-SSRI roles of this highly prescribed class of drugs., Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Biological Sciences in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation with Honors in the Major., Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2012., Date of Defense: April 17, 2012.
Analysis of Convective Transport of Biomass Burning Emissions in Southeast Asia
Analysis of Convective Transport of Biomass Burning Emissions in Southeast Asia
Biomass burning and anthropogenic emissions affect the composition of the atmosphere, thereby impacting global climate and health. Deep convective processes can loft emissions from the boundary layer into the upper troposphere or lower stratosphere (UTLS). Strong upper-level winds can potentially transport the emissions over long distances. This study focused on the deep convective transport of biomass burning emissions near the Strait of Malacca during summer. The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) and Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT_4) models were used to investigate deep convection and the transport of emissions from fires in the region. Fire data from the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors onboard the Aqua and Terra satellites provided locations of fire emissions. These fire datasets were obtained from the University of Maryland's Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS). To investigate the deep convective processes thoroughly, this study used high resolution modeling (4 km grid spacing) to resolve the convection explicitly. Explicit resolution allows the thunderstorms to be simulated more realistically than would parameterization, thus making it ideal for this research. Results showed that deep convection occurring in the Strait of Malacca is driven primarily by diurnal heating patterns and the region's topography. Convection in the region is frequent and scattered, but follows a cyclic diurnal pattern: convection over land during daytime and over the Strait during nighttime. When emissions from fires encounter areas of deep convection, they are quickly lofted to the UTLS where winds then transport them elsewhere., Keywords: convection, biomass, transport, fire, mesoscale, Asia, pollution, Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation with Honors in the Major., Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2013., Date of Defense: April 11, 2013.
Analysis of Cultural Materials from Mission San Lorenzo de Ivitachuco (8JE100)
Analysis of Cultural Materials from Mission San Lorenzo de Ivitachuco (8JE100)
Keywords: Anthropology, Archaeology, Mission, Ivitachuco, San Lorenzo
Analysis of DNA gyrase A and gyrase B mutations possibly associated with resistance to ciprofloxacin in deep subsurface bacteria
Analysis of DNA gyrase A and gyrase B mutations possibly associated with resistance to ciprofloxacin in deep subsurface bacteria
Several strains of bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotic ciprofloxacin were isolated from deep terrestrial subsurface sediments at the U. S. Department of Energy Hanford Site (HS) in Washington State. These bacteria were of special interest because they have never been exposed to manmade antibiotics or to genes that may have evolved in response to the use of these drugs. Having been isolated from the Earth's surface for several million years, the HS bacteria might have evolved and possess novel resistance mechanisms. Ciprofloxacin resistance can result from point mutations that occur in specific regions of four topoisomerase enzymes: DNA gyrase A, DNA gyrase B, topoisomerase IV C, and topoisomerase IV E. This study focused on mutations in the quinolone resistance determining regions (QRDRs) of gyrase A and gyrase B. The QRDR regions of these genes were PCR amplified and sequenced, after which the DNA sequences were converted to protein sequences. The sequences for resistant strains were compared to those of selected ciprofloxacin-sensitive strains to look for amino acid substitutions that might be resistance-conferring mutations. Several substitutions that were not present in any ciprofloxacin-sensitive strains were detected, and those that involved a marked change in the chemical nature of the amino acid at the position where the substitution occurred were identified as putative resistance-conferring mutations. Some of these mutations have been described previously, while others have not and, thus, could represent novel resistance mechanisms. Additional research will now be requited to confirm that these mutations actually do confer resistance to ciprofloxacin., by Daniele Swetnam., Advisor: David L. Balkwill, Ph.D, Florida State University, College of Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Biological Science., Thesis (Honors paper)--Florida State University, 2008., Includes bibliographical references.
Analysis of Divine Command Metaethics
Analysis of Divine Command Metaethics
Divine command metaethics comes in various forms. In this paper I examine three previously proposed relationships between morality and divine commands - Analysis, Causation, and Reduction - and determine that the Reduction view is most likely because it provides the best account of divine authority. I also seek to defend the view as a whole against some of the perennial objections against it, namely the arbitrariness objection, by arguing that God necessarily desires the well being of his creation., Keywords: ethics, divine, command, philosophy, religion, Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Philosophy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation with Honors in the Major., Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2016., Date of Defense: December 2, 2015.
Analysis of ERK/RSK Activation of Kaposi’s Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus ORF45 Homologues
Analysis of ERK/RSK Activation of Kaposi’s Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus ORF45 Homologues
Kaposi’s Sarcoma Herpesvirus (KSHV) is an oncogenic virus that causes human malignancies, including Kaposi Sarcoma, multicentric castleman disease, and primary effusion lymphoma. KSHV is a gammaherpes virus of the genus Rhadinovirus, which all contain tegument proteins. KSHV ORF45 is one such protein that is critical in production of viral progeny during lytic replication, and is an immediate early gene in viral infection. The ORF45 protein of gammaherpesvirinae has multiple functions, including inhibition of IRF-7 and prolonged activation of the MAPK/ERK pathways. In KSHV, ORF45 can activate extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and p90 ribosomal kinase (RSK) to form a complex with pERK and pRSK to prolong their phosphorylation and their abilities to transcribe DNA for viral progeny. In order to better understand the functions of ORF45, we are interested in exploring the ability of other gammaherpes homologues of KSHV ORF45 to activate ERK and RSK. In addition, we wish to better understand how the ability to activate ERK and RSK relates to the amino acid sequence of each homologue, and how expression of pERK and pRSK correlates to phylogeny. By comparing homologues’ amino acid sequences and activation, further insight into the important process of how KSHV replicates in the cell can lead to future studies on how to prevent the formation of viral progeny in live hosts such as humans. We found that activation of ERK and RSK, and therefore levels of pERK and pRSK, varies greatly between different homologues of KSHV ORF45. In addition, levels of pERK and pRSK do have some correlation to differences in the amino acid sequences of ERK and RSK binding sites of ORF45. Lastly, we observed that closely related homologues on the phylogenetic tree have similar levels of phosphorylated ERK and RSK, demonstrating a pattern between ancestry and ability to form pERK and pRSK complexes.
Analysis of GFDL Intensity Forecasting Performance for Gulf/Caribbean Major Hurricanes          from 1998-2008
Analysis of GFDL Intensity Forecasting Performance for Gulf/Caribbean Major Hurricanes from 1998-2008
While both computer model and official track forecasts of Atlantic Basin hurricanes have improved significantly over the past several decades, forecasts of intensity continue to prove difficult. Even specialized hurricane models struggle with predicting intensity. This study analyzes the intensity errors of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Hurricane Model for 19 major hurricanes over the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea from 1998 to 2008. Using the measure of skill relative to the Statistical Hurricane Intensity Forecast (SHIFOR), the GFDL forecasts generally improved throughout most of the 11-year period, although there were some exceptions to this increase in skill. Comparing the GFDL to the Statistical Hurricane Intensity Prediction Scheme (SHIPS), it is found that the GFDL was slightly outperformed by SHIPS on most of the forecast categories and times. It seems that there is a correlation between higher intensity storms and higher errors (R = 0.53), and there is also a clear relationship between large negative errors and rapid intensification (R = 0.62). This relationship is explored for some of the ―higher-error‖ cases by comparing the GFDL forecast intensity progression with the actual intensity change. Hurricanes Dean (2007) and Felix (2007) are also analyzed in more detail, since both of these storms were exceptions to the general trend in increased skill from 2000-2008. It is hoped that this and further analysis will illuminate reasons for the model's difficulty with the intensity forecasts, and provide a basis for improving model forecasts and official forecasts of tropical cyclone intensity., Keywords: Major hurricanes, Computer models, Rapid intensification, Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science in partial fulfillment of the requirements the degree of Honors in the Major., Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2011., Date of Defense: April 1, 2011.
Analysis of Group Session Processes in a Faith-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention for African-American Caregivers
Analysis of Group Session Processes in a Faith-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention for African-American Caregivers
Most adults with dementia (80%) are cared for in the home by family members referred to as caregivers. The proportion of primary family caregivers is highest in minority communities, especially African Americans. The demands of caring for a family member with dementia are typically high and have been found to lead to depression and health-related problems (e.g., new hypertension). Although several studies have shown cognitive-behavioral intervention leads to reduction of emotional distress in dementia caregivers, results are inconsistent in the treatment of depressive symptoms in the African-American dementia caregiver population. Lack of cultural sensitivity and same culture providers potentially may account for diminished efficacy of cognitive-behavioral intervention in this minority group. In the present study, participants were interviewed to provide feedback on their in-session experiences of the ACTS 2 program. A qualitative analysis of caregivers’ responses were conducted to assess the group session processes. The responses were used to assess: (a) caregivers’ appraisals of the quality of interactions among their peers; (b) caregivers’ appraisals of the consequences of group skills training; and (c) caregivers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of facilitators during ACTS 2 group based sessions. Caregivers’ appraisals of these group process domains suggested the tailoring of group processes led to positive perceptions of sensitivity to cultural and spiritual values, created a sense of unity among participants and provided useful caregiving skills. Negative appraisals were case specific and were not reflective of the findings of the group as a whole. Future direction for research on group process with depressed African-American dementia caregivers are addressed., Keywords: Alzheimer’s, dementia, cognitive behavioral intervention, African-American, caregiving, caregiver, facilitator, depression, stress, burden, faith, goals, self-care, skills
Analysis of Maize Remains from Unit 258N 472E at San Luis de Talimali (8Le4)
Analysis of Maize Remains from Unit 258N 472E at San Luis de Talimali (8Le4)
What cultigens of maize were grown at San Luis de Talimali? What was their dietary importance to the mission’s inhabitants? Who cooked with the maize- just the Apalachee who grew the crops or the Spanish as well? What role did maize play in the blending of Apalachee and Spanish cultures during the mission period in La Florida? Maize was a staple of the Apalachee diet, and were one of the plants heavily relied on by the Spanish upon their arrival in the new World. San Luis was one of the wealthiest Spanish missions in La Florida and played a crucial role in the success of the Mission system. The farms associated with San Luis produced a majority of foodstuffs for the rest of the province, however, modest archaeobotanical research has been conducted on the site. The results of this research will give a clearer picture of how maize was incorporated into Spanish foodways during the Mission Period. This will be done by analyzing flotation samples and floor deposits from a Spanish home and its surrounding area. This study will utilize flotation samples and general floor deposits excavated in Spring 2018 by Florida State University, and a foundational analysis, Plant Remains from Council House and Church Complex, conducted by C. Margaret Scarry in 1992 to identify the remains. The presence of maize will be quantified by variety, function, and location., Keywords: Foodways, archaeobotany, San Luis de Talimali
Analysis of North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Motion
Analysis of North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Motion
Tropical cyclones (TCs) have been widely researched in attempt to improve their predictability and the general atmospheric influence on their intensity and motion. This study analyzes North Atlantic TC translation in terms of the phase and strength of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Atlantic Warm Pool (AWP). The composite steering flow is also examined to consider its effect on TC geographic location and seasonality for these anomalous variations. The data is from the National Hurricane Center’s Hurricane Database (HURDAT) and uses 27 years of 6-hourly TC fixes from 1988 to 2014. It is found that the highest frequency of TCs occur in the speed range of 10 – 20 mi/hr for both phases of the ENSO and AWP. The fastest moving (> 55 mi/hr) TCs occur during the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season (September and October) and at latitudes between 35°N and 55°N. With regard to ENSO, cold relative to warm years showed an increase in TC frequency over all ranges of translation speed, with the largest difference for TCs traveling 10 – 20 mi/hr. The large relative to small phase of the AWP likewise showed an overall increase in TC frequency for all speed ranges, though the fractional difference between AWP phases was close in magnitude for the four most frequent speed ranges. This suggests that the AWP has a stronger influence on Atlantic TC translation than ENSO over a larger range of speeds.
Analysis of Recent Legislation on Religious Attire in France
Analysis of Recent Legislation on Religious Attire in France
This thesis aims to situate the controversy surrounding Muslim women's attire in France in a historical context of this country, specifically the development of the French concept of laïcité. In 1905, there occurred an important development in the law, pertaining to the separation of church and state. In France, this is called laïcité and was "informed by and predicated upon French secularism and later inculcated in the ideals of French citizenship (liberté, egalité, and fraternité) through 'neutral' civic education" (Gordner 2008, 75). The relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the state was the main reason for this judicial development that lead to laïcité. Its main purpose was to curb the influence of the Cahtolic Church in state matters. However, in the later part of the 20th century, Islam has taken the place previously associated with the Catholic Church in that its influence was seen as being in contrast with a laïque society and has become "the new focal point for the state secular policy in France" (Gordner 2008, 72). Obviously, there are far fewer Muslims in France than there were or are Catholics, but the concept of laïcité is invoked with regards to limiting certain Islamic practices in public spaces. This shift caused several tensions between French citizens and North African immigrants as France tried to preserve its traditional French culture. As a result, in 2004, a law was passed in France to ban "ostentatious religious symbols" in public schools. Even though the law applies to all religious symbols, most observers would argue that it was really intended towards Muslim girls wearing the Muslim headscarf, hijab. "The wearing of small Christian crosses, for example, is not disallowed and therefore the law can be interpreted to be directed at the wearing of the Muslim headscarf" (Gray 2008, 101). In this Honors Thesis I will explore the question if the French bans on select religious attire in public schools (2004) and the niqab in public spheres (2011) are specifically related to the religion of Islam or if other factors, such as immigration, social exclusion, "otherness" of Muslim minorities etc. play 5 a role. I also will explore the history of laïcité in France and its current application. I further my research by looking into other Francophone countries dealing with similar issues. Much research is available on the 2004 law banning ostentatious religious symbols in public schools. Since the 2011 controversy surrounding the full-face veil is relatively new, there is little scholarly research published at this time. My literature research is also limited due to the fact that I have no background in the French language. However, this topic is of interest because France has the largest Muslim minority in a Western country and therefore the way France deals with this population is of interest to other countries as well., Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of International Affairs in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation with Honors in the Major., Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2012., Date of Defense: April 16, 2012.
Analysis of Regional Politics: The Concert of Europe and the Arab League
Analysis of Regional Politics: The Concert of Europe and the Arab League
There is scarce existing literature regarding the intersection of domestic politics and regional alliance behavior in the discipline of international relations. To comprehensively understand the dynamics of regional peace, security, and conflict, it is necessary to account for the domestic politics of states involved in regional alliances. By utilizing the Concert of Europe and the Arab League to analyze the importance of domestic politics in the formation, stability, and effectiveness of regional alliance systems, a coherent understanding of the hidden significance of domestic politics in regional alliance systems will emerge. By utilizing dynamic case studies, I demonstrate that favorable domestic political conditions can produce highly effective collective security agreements, while volatile domestic politics can actually increase violence amongst the members/states in regional alliance systems., Keywords: International Relations, Alliance Politics, The Concert of Europe, The Arab League
Analysis of Self-Employment from 2003-2013
Analysis of Self-Employment from 2003-2013
This paper attempts to analyze different trends in self-employment from the years 2003-2013 using data from the Current Population Survey (CPS). Self-employment can be broken down into two categories: incorporated and unincorporated self-employment. Incorporated self-employed individuals are those who have formed a legal corporation whereas unincorporated self-employed individuals have not. The reason as to why both groups are studied is, typically, those who incorporate are more entrepreneurial than those who do no incorporate. For example, an incorporated business can be an individual who starts a law firm or medical practice. The trends analyzed here are based on age, industry, and educational attainment. Age, industry, and education are very important for this analysis. Education and age have been observed in a multitude of literature on self-employment and there are observable trends, such as those who are older are more likely to be self-employed. These trends hold true in this research The Great Recession started in December of 2007 and lasted until June 2009. The major cause of this recession was the popping of the housing bubble in the United States. This led to the value of securities bound to real estate pricing in the U.S. to fall drastically, devastating financial institutions. A major contribution of this paper is to see whether the recent financial crisis had a significant impact on self-employment rates. The study is restricted to white males, ages 18-65 who are full-time employed, not in school full-time, and are in non-agricultural occupations. I perform a regression analysis to see which variables have significant effects on overall self-employment, incorporated self-employment, and unincorporated self-employment by age, industry, and educational attainment. Carrasco (1999) references a "pull" and "push" effect in regards to the business cycle and self-employment. This refers to the belief that recessions pull people into self-employment because of the lack of jobs and that booms push entrepreneurial individuals into self-employment because of a higher access to capital. The data analysis in this study finds support for the recession-pull effect on self-employment. Using transnational data, Blanchflower et al. (2001) find that (i) education and self-employment have a negative relationship, and (ii) age and self-employment have a positive relationship. Using CPS data for years 2003-2013, there is support for the second claim of Blanchflower et al., but not for the first. Additional research has shown that higher local unemployment rates lead workers to self-select into self-employment. The process is different for white and non-whites, with education being irrelevant for white self-employed workers. For nonwhites, higher education reduces the probability of entering self-employment (Rissman, 2003). High unemployment leading to start-up activity among self-employed individuals is known as the refugee effect (Thurik et al., 2008). The data analyzed indicates that education is not irrelevant for white self-employed workers; this is also concluded in Evan's and Leighton's (1989) article Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship. This paper also analyzes the trends in self-employment per industry during the recession. Industry is important to evaluate self-employment because of the 2007 financial crisis. It is expected that construction will be highly affected by this crisis. Another section in this paper is directed towards an interesting finding in the data. In the year 2013, for the first time in the years analyzed, rates for those with less than a high school diploma in unincorporated self-employment have surpassed those with a doctoral degree, becoming the most likely group to become unincorporated self-employed., Keywords: Self-Employment, Labor Economics, Economics, Recession, Industry, Employment, Applied Economics, Incorporated, Unincorporated, Great Recession, Financial Crisis, 2007 Recession, Housing Bubble, Housing Crisis, CPS, NBER, Current Population Survey, National Bureau of Economic Research, pull effect, push effect, incorporated self-employment, unincorporated self-employment, age, occupation, educational attainment, regression, The Great Recession, Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Economics in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation with Honors in the Major., Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2014., Date of Defense: April 12, 2014.

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