Abstracts of 1993/1994 Senior Honors Theses

Alphabetically by Student's Name

Stacy Abner, Chemistry

"GC/MS Analysis of Pesticides in Rural Well Water"

Advisor: John Klassen

In this study, a small area of west-central Minnesota was selected to examine the ground water quality of an agricultural community with a very limited background of previous quality testing. Agribusiness persons and county authorities were contacted prior to method selection to determine which pesticides were applied most frequently in this area. The EPA Method 525.1 Revision 2.2, using the GC/MS, was used in sample extraction and analysis of atrazine, alachlor, and metolachlor. Of 22 wells sampled, none contained metolachlor and three were found to contain atrazine at very high levels. Alachlor could not be quantified due to a contamination problem from an outside source.

Dominic Ackerman, Biology

"Woody Plants of Hundred Acres Quarry"

Advisor: Steve Saupe

A former site of granite quarrying, "Hundred Acres Quarry" contains several distinct and diverse habitats, with diverse botanical characteristics. I made a preliminary study of the woody plants of this new Stearns County park, located in southern Waite Park, Minnesota, to learn what trees, shrubs, and woody vines are found within the park. I assessed their relative abundance and their distribution within the park. Fifty-eight species were identified to a high degree of certainty. In addition, I surveyed the literature and listed various economic and ethnobotanical uses for these species, to form an interpretive guide. This research was conducted using methods and materials that would allow comparison and future research with work done by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and serves as a baseline for future park research.

Robert Bellin, Chemistry

ÔThe Effect of Encapsulated Antibodies on Spontaneous Translocation of a Protein Presequence into Synthetically Produced Phospholipid Vesicles"

Advisor: Henry Jakubowski

The cytochrome oxidase subunit IV (CoxIV) protein presequence has been found by previous researchers to target proteins to the mitochondria of the cells and associate with or translocate across a membrane bilayer. In this study, the effects of encapsulating antibodies against the presequence within phospholipid vesicles on this association or translocation was studied. Kinetic and thermodynamic theories were developed which predict a higher level of association or translocation of the protein presequence into these antibody containing vesicles. Antibodies against the CoxIV presequence were produced in two rabbits and purified with a Protein A affinity column. Phospholipid vesicles were created with and without encapsulated antibodies by a detergent dispersion method. Translocation studies were completed utilizing fluorescently labeled CoxIV presequence and a fluorometer for quantification.

Mary Bellman, Government

"Theories of Revolution: A Latin American Perspective"

Advisor: Gary Prevost

Socialistic revolutions in the twentieth century have not followed the patterns suggested by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. However, Marxist analysis remains useful in Latin America as a guide for making and evaluating revolution. Because the class structure of Latin America differs from that of the "First World," the peasantry and proletariat play a larger role in making revolution. In the experiences of Nicaragua and El Salvador, the ideology of the revolutionary organizations evolved in response to the permissive world context. Future revolutionaries can learn many lessons from the contributions (as well as from the errors) of the FSLN and the FMLN.

Kevin Brenner, Mathematics

"A Qualitative Analysis of Differential Equations of Population Dynamics"

Advisor: Gary Brown

An exploration of systems of equations modeling closed hypothetical ecosystems. Models are formed from biological assumptions about population. Models are constructed by combining or modifying simpler systems. The simple models used in constructing systems are the logistic, competition, and Lotka-Volterra models. Eigenvalues and eigenvectors are used to prove some results about the equilibria of the systems. Geometric perspectives of the systems are used to develop the intuitive approach of the work. Examples of graphed systems are included. Partial results are proven. Conjectures are formed. Difficulties in the work are described and suggestions for further work are given.

Shannon Campbell, Social Work

"ÔDamn it Johnny, stop!¹: Real Life 101 Evaluating an Educational Approach to Treating Men Who Batter"

Advisor: Ralph Holcomb

A feminist Theory is an effective perspective from which to develop programs for treating men who batter. The feminist perspective takes into consideration possible societal, familial, economic, and judicial influences which perpetuate male violence in American society. The feminist analysis of domestic violence contends that violence is a learned behavior. Using a feminist orientation, the St. Cloud (MN) Intervention Project ( SCIP) conducts large group educational programs for male batterers. SCIP was interested in testing their program to determine if it significantly reduced incidents of abuse in the relationships of participants. The partners (N=21) of the participants were given a pre-test concurrent with intake, and post-test when the program was completed. Significant reductions in batterer¹s violent behavior between pre- and post-tests (p<.05) were found in all categories surveyed.

Brian Canfield, Physics

"Cartesian Lumière and Newtonian Light"

Advisor: Dean Langley

My thesis examines the scientific methods of René Descartes and Sir Isaac Newton. I begin by looking briefly at Aristotle¹s concept of light. Aristotle believed that light was a property that the medium acquired instantaneously from a luminous source. Descartes later separated light from the medium and the luminous object as in instantaneous pression in the ether. He introduced a more mechanical way of examining light with this separation. Descartes¹ methods consist mainly of analogies between the behavior of light and observations of processes unrelated to optics. Descartes appears to have derived the law of refraction. This law is a very important result in optics. Historians debate whether Descartes was the original discoverer of the law, or if Snell found it first and Descartes plagiarized him. After examining Descartes¹ methods, I turn to Newton¹s methods. Newton made suppositions about the behavior of light and supported them with experiments. Newton believed that light was a particle with certain unchangeable characteristics, such as refrangibility and color. He studied the formation of colored rings in thin films. He improved telescopes using reflection and refraction. To understand Newton¹s methods better, I performed some of his experiments and observed the rings in thin films of air and soapy water. I report my results and compare them with Newton¹s. I describe the telescope I built. I also analyze some of Newton¹s Queries, using modern optical knowledge. I conclude by summarizing the impact that Descartes and Newton had on the development of optical theory.

Jason Dillon, Sociology

"Defining Multicultural Education: A Bankian Approach"

Advisor: Michael Emerson

An investigation of current multicultural education, this thesis comparatively analyzes the definition of multi-cultural education in three parts: (1) the ideal, (2) the process, and (3) the reform movement. Multicultural education strives to achieve the master goal of education, preparing students to be contributive citizens in our pluralistic, democratic nation, by providing an approach which upholds equality, freedom, and respect for diversity.

Specific curriculum contents and presentation styles which are addressed are: knowledge construction, power: prejudice and discrimination, responsibility, culture, and respect for diversity. The ideal of multicultural education is not that it is an alternative form of education, but that it is GOOD education. It enables ALL students the opportunity for academic success, thus increasing their life chances and preparing them to be contributive citizens within society.

Brian Dingman, Biology

"A Survey of the Seasonal Population Patterns of Rotifers: A Comparison between the Eutrophic Conditions of Gemini Lake and the "Cleansing" effects of the Wetlands"

Advisor: Elizabeth Wurdak

A survey was conducted of the population dynamics of rotifers on a lake in Collegeville Township. Also, the following contrasting effects on rotifers of lake pollution and purification from a polluted lake through nearby wetlands was surveyed for a length of four months. This was coupled with an analysis of seasonal physical and chemical parameters of the mentioned aquatic environments. These included water temperature, pH, levels of nitrates and phosphates, and dissolved oxygen content. Further research involved horizontal and vertical distribution of rotifer species in the polluted lake.

The result of the survey was to demonstrate the diversity and succession of rotifer population due to eutrophic lake conditions and seasonal water temperature increases. The eutrophic Gemini Lake was initially not as diverse in rotifer populations but maintained its diversity to a greater degree than that of the Wetlands.

Mark Evans, Accounting

"Environmental Accounting: An Analysis of Environmental Liabilities"

Advisor: Lucy Larson

I have identified the environment as our most important asset and have illustrated how the role it plays in our lives has undergone a metamorphosis. This change in the way we interact with the environment has magnified the accountant¹s deficiency in reporting environmental liabilities. Fortunately, these deficiencies are beginning to be recognized. Changes in environmental accounting will validate the relevancy and reliability of information as well as foster positive environmental practices. Through the influence of consumers, investors, and policy makers, companies will be forced to adapt new accounting procedures. In reporting and recording the social costs that businesses occur, a step will be taken to stop environmental abuses.

Kristen Findley, Modern and Classical Languages: French

"Voices from the Wild Zone: Feminist Awakenings in Selected Works of George Sand and Kate Chopin"

Advisor: Vera Theisen

My research focused on four pieces of literature to examine awakenings as examples of the female voice. An awakening I defined as a woman rediscovering herself and the world around her. I consulted The Awakening and "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin, an American woman, as well as La Petite Fadette and Indiana by George Sand, a Frenchwoman, to explore different types of awakenings within different contexts. To examine an awakening further, I used a theory explained by Elaine Showalter, a feminist critic, and Shirley and Edwin Ardener, anthropologists, as "The Wild Zone," an area of women¹s culture. The wild zone is outside the realm of male- dominated culture, so experiences occurring here are unique to women. I explained that these awakenings were derived from the wild zone. I also addressed the fact that restrictions on these awakenings, placed there by society, strengthen the entire experience because the women are forced to overcome them. I concluded that these authors, writing before modern feminist theory existed, spoke of the female experience and the difficulties faced in the wild zone.

Jennifer Folkers, Communication

"Black Elk Speaks (and so does John Neihardt) An Intercultural Relationship"

Advisor: Catherine Palczewski

In 1930, John Neihardt went to South Dakota to interview a Native American religious man about the ghost dance religion. When he got there, he discovered a 79 year old Oglala Lakota man named Black Elk who wanted to share his religious visions with the author. Neihardt was excited about the possibility of writing down the story and postponed his other work to interview Black Elk. These interviews turned into Black Elk Speaks. Although its first copyright was in 1931, Black Elk Speaks has been reprinted many times since then. My thesis is about the relationship between Neihardt and Black Elk--both as writer/speaker and as men. This relationship parallels the relationship between the dominant culture in the United States and Native American ones. It also parallels the relationship between two people that believe they are spiritually connected. Because Neihardt was not fully aware of Black Elk¹s Native American perspective, and because he adapted the text, I argue that Black Elk Speaks does not represent Native American cultures. I do however, offer the possibility that spiritual transcendence, especially given a Native American perspective of traditional storytelling, makes Black Elk Speaks a fantastic text that should continue to represent the powerful spiritual relationship between Neihardt and Black Elk.

Dawn Lee Hinds, Theater

"Directing A Theater Production: RENFIELD'S WINDOW"

Advisor - Kaarin S. Johnston

This thesis is a chronology of the process of directing the play RENFIELD'S WINDOW. It contains information about the author's process of working with a new play to bring it to performance. Detailed information is included about the idea of the play, the audition process, the rehearsal process, working with designers, the technical rehearsals, and the author's post-performance reflections. Appendixes include audition materials, rehearsal schedules and other rehearsal information, warm-up exercises, physical exploration exercises, technical information such as lighting cues, sound cues, set design, props list and costume descriptions, photographs of the performance, the publicity poster and the program from the performance, and a bibliography.

Brian Holbrook, Mathematics

"Irreducible Polynomials over a Finite Field Zp"

Advisor: Robert Dumonceaux

The topic of my thesis was counting irreducible polynomials. I began with some preliminary material including relevant theorems discovered in various math textbooks and data generated by a computer program that I wrote. I then used this data to calculate formulas for the number of polynomials which had zeroes in a field Zp of sufficiently low degree. Next, I explained why it would not be practical to use the formulas for lower degrees to synthesize formulas for high degrees. However, I was able to generate a new formula using a different counting technique: the inclusion-exclusion principle. Finally, I discussed the possibilities of generalizing my findings to all finite fields or to commutative rings.

James Lamm, Management

"Evolution in the Microprocessor Industry for Personal Computers: The Shift from CISC Chips to RISC Chips"

Advisor: Patrick McKee

The thesis examines the semiconductor industry, specifically focusing on microprocessor manufacturers for the personal computer market. The current technology in the industry, CISC microprocessors, have reached a price/performance limit. The industry is turning to RISC microprocessors for improved speed at lower costs. Intel, the current industry leader, is being challenged by AMD and Cyrix, who manufacture clones of Intel¹s microprocessors. In addition, Motorola, another giant in the industry, has teamed up with Apple and IBM to challenge Intel¹s dominance of the industry. Motorola is attempting to set a new microprocessor standard based on a RISC microprocessor, the Power PC. Intel must face the challenges of the clone microprocessor manufacturers and Motorola or risk losing its dominance of the industry.

John Laskowski, Psychology

"Experimental Study of the Mindfulness of Adolescents"

Advisor: Michael Livingston

A cross-sectional experiment was performed to determine if the novelness of a stimulus and the conditionality of its presentation would have any effect on the subjects¹ mindfulness and divergent thinking. Age and gender differences were also considered. Seventy-two high school and seventy-two college students were randomly assigned to one of six conditions. Each subject was given either a novel or familiar stimulus which was designed by the experimenter either unconditionally, conditionally, or not at all, and each was asked to produce a list of possible uses for the object. The length of each list and the variety of responses were measured and compared. The results showed no significant differences between the experimental conditions, genders, or age groups; nor were there any significant interaction effects. Possible explanations for the results were discussed, and suggestions were made for future research.

Heidi Moulzolf, Music

"The Works and Worlds of Female Composers"

Advisor: Axel Theimer

Concentrating on the genre of art song, the project explored the world and works of female composers. The project both compiles a complete history of female contributions to the art song and prepared a recital program using such works exclusively. Also included was a discussion of the difficulties faced by female composers as well as a discussion of societal changes which resulted in the gradually increasing levels of recognition women are receiving for their contributions.

Jennifer Nord, Government

"Gender Equity in the National Collegiate Athletic Association"

Advisor: Jim Murphy

Medical research has demonstrated that women¹s physical, mental, and social health improves when they participate in athletics. Historically, men have had nearly exclusive control of sports revenues and opportunities. Women are now breaking down the walls to "men¹s only" activities through a heated debate that revolves around the word equality. But, equity with regard to gender means fairness, not necessarily equality. Proponents of gender equity are urging the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which is the governing body, to take action and prohibit inequitable conditions in college athletics. Men¹s athletics currently receive over 82% of department budgets. Not only is this unfair, but it could also be illegal. The Department of Education Amendments of 1972 created Title IX, which makes discrimination in educational programs illegal. Not only is gender equity a moral imperative, but it is also a legal obligation.

Wade Olson, Mathematics

"Applied Operational Research and Analysis Techniques"

Advisor: Michael Tangredi

This thesis is a mathematical analysis of Foam Enterprises, a small corporation in the Twin Cities. Through interaction with the,. I heard of several problems occurring at that time which were being dealt with in a mathematical fashion. The first involves the profitability of two main clients of Foam Enterprises. The second deals with the production capacity of the two current plants and the distribution of products to customers. Each problem was then described in detail. The general mathematical approaches were stated for each problem and important circumstances which could affect the procedure were given. In turn, the results of the procedure used for each problem were shown and discussed. The assumptions made earlier were discussed more thoroughly and the nature of each outcome was analyzed. Significant answers were found to each problem, yet at the same time this thesis showed how further research on this topic may be done.

Ann Marie Paulukonis, Mathematics

"Nothing in Moderation, Everything in Excess: A New Weighted Statistic on Permutations"

Advisor: Jennifer Galovich

The major index is a well-known statistic on permutations which is computed by summing the positions of descents in a permutation. Instead of considering descents, this paper investigates what happens when excedances are weighted by position in a permutation. Several theorems are presented concerning various symmetries of the resulting distribution.

Jennifer Rexroat, Government

"The United States Nonprofit Sector as an Alternative Delivery System"

Advisor: Jim Murphy

The purpose of this thesis project is the exploration of the nonprofit sector in the United States. In the course of my research, I came to a comprehensive definition of the nonprofit sector, illuminating its foundation, manifestations, and infrastructure in relationship to the whole of the U.S. bureaucracy. I supported my analysis by illustrating the advantage of nonprofit organizations in several areas, asking penetrating questions about their standards of quality, mission, effectiveness, and efficiency. A concentration upon the case study of nonprofit education allowed me not only to discover the inner workings of a nonprofit organization, but it also provided a vehicle through which the theories concerning nonprofit organizations were applied and evaluated. My honors thesis enabled both my advisor and myself to come to a more thorough understanding of the nonprofit sector and its effect upon public policy.

Kelly Scanlan, Government

"The United Nations and the Environment: Sinners or Rainbow Warriors"

Advisor: Gary Prevost

Over the past two decades, concern for the environment has greatly increased. As the international community has come to understand the global repercussions of the environmental crisis, the need has grown for improved international cooperation. The United Nations provides a forum for the nations of the world to come together to discuss these issues but lacks the ability to enforce its decisions. In order to understand their role, my thesis goes through a critical analysis of the UN¹s role, looking specifically at the Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHE), the World Commission on Environment and Development (UNCED) and finally at the role that non- governmental organizations (NGOs) play. Ecological thinking must become an inherent part of decision-making at all levels from local to international and can be facilitated by the United Nations who serves an important symbolic and consciousness-raising role. Due to the structures of international law and attitudinal barriers such as sovereign nations and anthropocentricism, the United Nations is unable to meet the expectations of a world that sees it as playing a central role. Therefore until these nations are willing to re-evaluate their willingness for cooperative efforts and become dedicated to finding harmony with nature, environmental solutions will continue to be fragmented.

Ernest Shriver, Government

"Strengthening the Toy Handcuff: The Future of the War Powers Resolution"

Advisor: Scott Johnson

The Constitution clearly defines the powers that Congress and the President are to share concerning war-making. The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, while the Congress has the power to declare war and raise and support the army and the navy. The President has gradually encroached on Congress¹ power, however, to the point where war is declared de facto by the President. The War Powers Resolution was passed by Congress in 1973 to attempt to rectify this imbalance. Due to flaws in the Resolution, however, Congress has been unable to force the President¹s compliance and the federal courts have been unwilling to adjudicate the matter. If Congress is serious about regaining its lost war powers, changes must be made to the Resolution.

Erin Urbashich, Psychology

"Paths to Healing: The Incorporation of Holistic Approaches to the U.S. Health Care System"

Advisor: Bruce Wolmering

The advent of recent research in the field of psychoneuroimmunology has brought about a revival of interest in the mind/body connection. Because recent research has shown that mental state may affect health, many physicians and the lay public alike are considering methods of therapy that may improve mental health, as well as physical health. When methods such as medication, psychotherapy, and traditional Chinese medicine are practiced as an adjunct to conventional Western medicine, the results have been quite successful. This collaborative medical approach has the potential to improve the potency of Western medicine by creating a system of medicine that will treat the whole person, and not just the illness.

Kristin Vickers, Psychology

"Depression in College Students: The Influence of Coping Strategies, Optimism, and Daily Hassles"

Advisor: Richard Wielkiewicz

College students (n=250) were given a survey packet containing reliable instruments for the measure of depression, coping strategies, optimism, and daily hassles. Depression in college students was hypothesized to be positively correlated with avoidance and frequent daily hassles; whereas problem-solving, social support coping, and optimism were hypothesized to be negatively correlated with a depressed effect. Hierarchical multiple regression produced empirical support that frequent daily hassles and avoidant coping strategies exacerbates depression in a college population. Data analysis assessed a significant relationship between optimism and decreased depression. The coping strategies of problem-solving and social support did not enter into a significant relationship with depression or buffer the development of depressive symptoms. This study examines and expands upon prior research of depression in college students by reviewing related psychological literature, contributing empirical research, and making suggestions for further research.

Kathleen Wilson, Mathematics

"Triangles, Triangles and, Yes, More Triangles: Explorations in Euclidean Ramsey Theory"

Advisor: Jennifer Galovich

Several important general theorems of Euclidean Ramsey Theory are presented with an emphasis on trying to prove or disprove the 1973 conjecture of Erdös et al. that for all triangles, except for equilateral triangles, it is possible to find a monochromatic coloring of the vertices in any two colorings of the plane. Further investigation included looking at triangles in greater dimensions.

Kelly Wolfe, Biology

"Vegetative Comparison of Two Gravel Ridge Prairies with Different Grazing Histories in Polk County, Minnesota"

Advisor: Steve Saupe

The vegetation of a gravel ridge running the length of two native prairie remnants, the Stipa Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and the Tympanuchus WMA, in northwestern Minnesota was compared during June, July, and August 1993. The Stipa WMA was grazed by confined domestic cattle from 1958 to 1977, while the Tympanuchus WMA has been relatively undisturbed. The vegetative composition of each area was compared qualitatively by compiling a plant species list for each ridge. Quantitative vegetative comparisons were conducted by recording abundance and cover values for individual plant species in twenty-five 0.5 m2 random sample plots on each ridge during the first two weeks of August. The calculated Shannon-Wiener diversity index values showed the Tympanuchus WMA ridge vegetation to be more diverse than the Stipa WMA ridge vegetation. Also, 10 plant species predicted to decrease with grazing were found with significantly greater frequency and in higher abundance on the Tympanuchus WMA ridge, while 4 species categorized as weedy invaders under conditions of grazing were found with greater frequency and in higher abundance on the Stipa WMA ridge. Data collected on species expected to increase under heavy grazing pressure, however, were inconclusive. As predicted, the vegetation on the grazed native prairie gravel ridge was less diverse than that on the undisturbed native prairie ridge and consisted of more weedy, introduced plant species and fewer plant species palatable to large grazers.