1997 Abstracts Honors Theses
Jason Barrett, Philosophy
"Language Speaks: Heidegger's Understanding of Language."
Advisor: Rene McGraw
The central task of my thesis, entitled "Language Speaks: Heidegger on Language," is to bring to light an understanding of language found in the philosophy of Martin Heidegger (18898-1976). This understanding was rendered by a textual exegesis of three difficult texts from Heidegger's corpus: Being and Time (1929), "On the Essence of Truth" (1930), and "Hoelderlin and the Essence of Poetry" (1936). The reading of Being and Time (up to section 34) provided the grounding for the discussions on truth and language by situating Heidegger with regard to the problem of Being an language, articulating Heidegger's foundational thought, and identifying key concepts and terminology. The distilled results of my exegetical work are: Being and Time shows Being as the process of coming to presence (or, as 'presencing'); "On the Essence of Truth" shows truth as the process of concealment/unconcealment (or aletheia); "Hoelderlin and the Essence of Poetry" shows language as that through which beings come to unconcealment. In the final analysis, we come to understand that the origination of truth is the process of language as Saying (i.e., as poetry)--language answers the "how" of coming to presence (Being), of coming to unconcealment (truth).
James Beach, Computer Science
"The Effects of Network Latency on Multimedia Applications"
Advisor: James Schnepf
Network latency slows the response time of networks such as the Internet. This is an ever increasing problem as applications migrate towards interactive multimedia. To make multimedia applications viable across the Internet, the underlying data delivery structures of the Internet need to be changed. new technologies in network connections and data delivery schemes need to be further researched and implemented. Two cooperating technologies which demonstrate potential in delivering Internet multimedia applications are RealAudio systems and ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) networks. Reducing network latency will help in bringing smooth, real-time audio and video to networked computers.
Tim Beckmann, English
Advisor: J. P. Earls
What we have here is an episodic story. At the beginning, we find the narrator sitting inside somewhere looking out a window. He sees a little girl looking in the window. Thinking of her, there is a jump to a scene with a little boy waking scared in bed. From then on the episodes move through time to the end where the narrator is still sitting. The image he sees at the end is identical to the one he saw at the beginning, but his attitude towards what he sees has changed as he moved through the episodes of the stories which are, more or less, his memories.
Curtis Brown, Spanish
"The Poetic Development of Panamanian Nationalism"
Advisor: Jose Antonio Fabres
I explored the relationship between poetry and politics in Panama. Panama is a Western Hemisphere anomaly in that no other nation in the Americas has been so dominated by another as has Panama by the United States. As a result of this hegemonous relationship, Panamanians have developed an intense mistrust and hatred for the United States. This is clearly seen in their poetry. Ant-Americanism is such a pervasive element in Latin America that we can go so far as to say that it is the defining factor of their national identity. Seeing a clear link between poetry and politics in this isthmian nation, I traced the growth of Panamanian national identity through their poetry since 1821. I found that, indeed, anti-Americanism is an inseparable part of Panamanian life and that PanamaÕs national conscious continues to be reflected in the poetry produced by this nation.
Andrew Carlson, Classics and English
"The BoyÕs Heart Rose in a Long Pang for His Father: The SonÕs Search for the Father in HomerÕs Odyssey and James JoyceÕs Ulysses"
Advisors: Scott Richardson and Charles Thornbury
My thesis relies on the premise that sons gain something from their fathers that others cannot provide them. A son with an absent father, therefore, ends up with something missing in his life. This work is an evaluation of what the sons of the Odyssey and James Joyce's Ulysses are missing, how that affects them, what they do about it, and what happens when they finally make a union with their father or father-figure, as the case may be. What I find is that the son of an absent father must make progress on his own before receiving help from his father or father-figure.
Megan Casey, English
"Out of Despair, Into the Wilderness: A Study of Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and Gary Snyder's Myths & Texts"
Advisor: Mara Faulkner
Annie Dillard and Gary Snyder are both contemporary American writers. Though Dillard's and Snyder's styles, concerns, and preoccupations differ, the narrators in Dillard's narrative Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and Snyder's long poem Myths & Texts undergo spiritual progressions that are astonishingly similar. Each narrator moves out of the dualistic world view of modern science into an experience of the world's paradoxical nature. Dillard and Snyder both create, through metaphor and mythopoeia, visions that offer an alternative world view from that of the despairing modern wasteland. I call my theoretical approach ecological criticism, and after performing close readings of Pilfrim at Tinker Creek and Myths & Texts, I explore Dillard's and Snyder's understandings of themselves as writers in a modern world. I find that Snyder makes the ethics implicit in his vision real in the political world and sees his poetry as sustainable, passing through him, while Dillard burns herself up by attempting to hold her powerful vision in her hands without doing anything with it.
Anthony T. Daniel, Political Science and Spanish
"The Fall of Sendero Luminoso"
Advisors: Gary Prevost, Jose Antonio Fabres
"The Fall of Sendero Luminoso" evaluates the rise and decline of the Shining Path movement, or Sendero Luminoso, in Peru. The social insurrection began in 1980 and seeks to establish a communist state in Peru through the use of guerrilla warfare. The 1992 capture of Sendero's leader, Abimael Guzman, significantly weakend the organizationn and its influence in Peruvian society has diminished. My thesis attempts to postulate the reasons for the collapse of the organization with a particular focus on how the practices and policies of Sendero inhibited the revolution from establishing a deep social foundation. I argue that Sendero's use of guerrilla warfare against civilians, failure to represent the social needs of the populace, and refusal to unite with other leftist parties in Peru hampered its ability to gain mass appeal and respond to the harsh military counterinsurgency by the government. Primary issues covered in the thesis include social justice, Peruvian politics, and revolutionary theory,
Katrina Dolezal, Theater
"The Styles of Clothing Worn by Women in Minnesota from 1870 to 1880"
Advisor: Kaarin Johnston
My thesis was a study of the different styles of women's clothing worn in Minnesota during the 1870's. I have had two basic purposes for the study reported in this thesis. I hoped to provide an understanding of the influences that affected the clothing worn by women in Minnesota during the years 1870-1880. I also desired to assemble an illustrated record of typical women's fashion during this period. Pioneer women, who settled even in remote corners of the state, still tried to keep up to date with the fashion prevalent in the rest of the nation, but concessions to fashion were made because of lack of money and the harsh working conditions on the frontier. I have provided an overview of the forces which were acting on women's lives shape their clothing choices. First I examined what was influencing clothing styles throughout the country, as fashionable women's clothing in Minnesota generally followed the styles on the East Coast. I then examined how conditions specific to Minnesota affected fashion and styles throughout the state.
Corie Sue Dumdie, Accounting and Management
"Where the Guesswork Ends and the Accrual Begins: Environmental Remediation Liabilities and Their Effects on the Managerial Decision-Making Process"
Advisors: Lucy Larson, Wendy Klepetar
Environmental remediation is not new, but accounting for the costs of such a process is. In 1996, the first authoritative literature on accounting for the costs of cleaning up environmental degradation were established, and they gave insight into the accounting treatment for environmental remediation liabilities (ERLs). The aim of the thesis is to explain the new accrual methods for ERLs and show their importance as they have influenced many managerial philosophies. The thesis also examines some of the weaknesses of ERLs and illustrates possible changes for the future. The most important aspect of ERLs is that they have helped management begin to account for the costs of environmental degradation. In turn, companies are starting to change many of the policies they have concerning these clean-up costs. What this begins to illustrate, then, is that accounting policies may have a direct effect on how companies do business, and, therefore, the accounting profession needs to take a closer look at how it values the environment.
Joshua Flynn, Math/Computer Science
"The Use of Prime Numbers as an Effective Method of Cryptology"
Advisor: Jennifer Galovich
With the increasing amount of information transmitted over networks, there is a need to be able to keep this information from falling into the wrong hands. The method that has been used for the past couple of decades is that of cryptography. This paper gives an explanation of cryptography, as well as different alogorithms that are used to solve the problem. One unique thing about a couple of the algorithms is that they use properties provided by prime numbers. In particular, the RSA model, invented by Rivest, Shamir and Adelman, is one model which utilizes the theory that it is hard to determine prime factors of large numbers. Even though RSA provides a high level of security, there are also methods which can be used to break it. There are also programming issues to consider when implementing the RSA model. Source code in C++ is provided.Project Title: "The Evolution of the Stock Market as a Financial Institution."
Cynthia Forsman-Earl, Biology
"Serotonin Production and Neuron Proliferation in Drosophila Melanogaster in Two Environments"
Advisor: Marilyn Meinke
Environmental stimulus is suspected to play a role in both serotonin levels and neuron proliferation in the brain. To understand the relationship between environmental stimulus and serotonin levels Drosophila melanogaster were raised in two different environments, a stimulus rich and a stimulus deprived environment. The heads were isolated at different times and assayed for serotonin using an ELISA. The heads were also microscopically examined to determine if there were changes in neuroanatomical structures. It was observed that serotonin levels rose in flies that were reared in the stimulus rich environment. It was also observed that over time the flies reared in the stimulus rich environment had a change in character of the neuroanatomical structure, the protocerebral bridge.
Brooke Frost, Computer Science
"Object-Oriented Development in Creating Software Systems"
Advisor: J. Andrew Holey
Object-oriented development has become quite popular and well-known throughout the computer industry. There are three components that are a part of object-oriented development. One component is object-oriented analysis which involves the creation of an object-oriented model based on the application domain of the software system. The second component is object-oriented design which is when the programmers develop an object-oriented model based on the defined requirements for the software system. The last component is object-oriented programming which is the process of implementing the software system so it becomes a reality. Together these three components provide programmers with a beneficial tool in software development. Object-oriented development focuses on the concept of an object which is a software entity that has attributes and operations associated with it. These software objects can model real-world counterparts in order for programmers to simulate real-world situations. This simulation is accomplished by objects becoming abstractions of their real-world counterparts in which they manage their own state and offer services to other objects.
Ethan Gannaway, Humanities
"The Myths of Cu Chulainn: Uncovering the Trials Beneath the Tales"
Advisor: Scott Richardson
Irish mythology presents a world rich in the heroism of a warrior culture. Much like its Greek counterparts, however, it also possesses the intricate dimensions of the psyche. These dimensions surface clearly in the myths surrounding the Irish hero Cu Chulainn. For Cu Chulainn, a short but heroic life awaits him, and he charges into his fate like young children into Christmas presents. Yet, since he grasps the warrior ideals too tightly, he loses the ability to face other challenges in life with anything except force: especially the challenge presented in women. Similar to Greek mythology's Jason, Cu Chulainn refuses to respect women and their might. This ignorance leads Cu Chulainn to his inevitable downfall at the hands of the feminine force, just like Agamemnon at the hands of Clytemnestra. Through the examination of the symbols, the turbulence of Cu Chulainn's minds gleams out from behind its heroic mask.
Amy Goebel, Psychology
"An Analysis of Critical Thinking at a Liberal Arts College"
Advisor: Richard Wielkiewicz
This study investigated the differences among first-year, sophomore, junior, and senior college students in critical thinking skills and dispositions as measured by the California Critical Thinking Skills Test and the California Critical Thinking dispositions Inventory. Tests were administered to college students from a small, private institution in a rural area of the Midwest enrolled in general education courses with a majority being first-year and senior students. Consistent with the hypothesis, critical thinking skills and dispositions differed significantly between first-year, sophomore, junior, and senior students. Scores on the two tests were significantly correlated with each other, and scores on the skills test and the dispositions inventory were both significantly correlated with cumulative GPA. The results indicate that critical thinking skills and dispositions grow as a function of progress through general education courses in the liberal arts. In some way throughout the college years, critical thinking skills and dispositions are enhanced in students.
Joshua Hayes, Political Science and German
"The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: Germany's Pursuit of Power in the Twentieth Century"
Advisors: Scott Johnson, Wendy Sterba
Germany faces a "German Problem" because of history and ideology. Branded an aggressor nation because of its role in the two World Wars, Germany is still attempting to succeed in a competitive, anarchic world similar to that described by Hobbes' State of Nature. I illustrate this international environment through game theory's Prisoner's Dilemma. Viewed in this manner, Germany feared defection by neighboring states and its actions to protect itself helped cause the First World War. Contemporary Germany has learned from its past experiences and has a new anti-aggression stance which competes with an old Faustian German ethos. I shall argue in this work that while some of Germany's tactics may have changed this century, its fear of defection and its overall strategy to overcome this fear have not. Germany must continue to pursue power for its own self-interest and the European Union is a return to Mitteleuropa. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Sarah A. Jarstad, Psychology
"The Effects of Studying Abroad on College Students' Self-knowledge, Self-efficacy, and Perceptions of Social Support"
Advisor: Richard Wielkiewicz
The effects of college/university sponsored study abroad programs on college students' self-esteem, self-confidence, and perceived social support were examined in relationship to the phenomenon of cultural reentry shock. The participants were 75 students who participated in study abroad programs, and 34 students from the same schools, who remained on campus. Surveys were sent to these students before and after the study abroad experience. Results indicated that students who studied abroad did not differ in self-esteem, self-confidence, or social support from those who remained on campus. Students of both groups reported an increase in perceived social support on the post-travel survey. In addition, exploratory research was conducted on students' answers to an open-ended question regarding their return experiences. The relationship of these findings to other work on cultural reentry shock was discussed, along with suggestions for future research.
Christopher R. Johnson, Philosophy
"Elie Wiesel: Moral Action in an Immoral World"
Advisor: Rene McGraw
The essay, "Elie Wiesel: Moral Action in an Immoral World," is an investigation into the three ways Elie Wiesel's characters in his novel The Town Beyond the Wall deal with their own often painful and confusing views of the absurd world about them. Because The Town Beyond the Wall is a very autobiographical work for Wiesel, the backdrop of chaos found in the novel--the concentration camps, the death of the main character's father, mother and sister, the cold indifference with which the rest of the world watched as the Jews were 'liquidated'--are found in Wiesel's world too. Reading Wiesel's works, one discovers how the chaos of past events such as the Holocaust and Hiroshima not only plague Wiesel's generation but still linger as signs of absurdity at the present. One also comes to realize that current tragedies, such as those in Zaire and Bosnia, darken the shadow chaos casts on the world today. The Town Beyond the Wall calls attention to the different ways one can react to the horrors of the past and the horrors to come: as a spectator, indifferent to others' trials and tribulations, as a mad person, retreating within the chaos of the world, or as an artist, attacking one's fears and molding his own meaning and vision of the world by embracing others and making himself into an artwork.
Paul W. Jones
"Genetic Algorithms: A Visual Search"
Advisor: Michael Gass
Genetic algorithms apply the biological principles of selection, mutation, and crossover to a population set containing individuals representing target solutions to a given problem. Using these principles genetic algorithms attempt to create a migration of the individuals in subsequent generations toward the optimal solution.
This project is an attempt to visually represent the progress of a genetic algorithm. The coordinate fitness program attempts to find the maximum or minimum value of a given function. It visually represents the progress of the algorithm by providing a plot of each individual in each generation in time. It is then possible to view the migration of points toward a known maximum or minimum value. Visual representation is also achieved by a plot of the highest and lowest fitness per generation, as well as average fitness per generation.
The parameters of crossover rate and mutation rate can be altered. This allows experimentation in finding a good combination of these rates for a particular function, and viewing the results. Many involved in the field of genetic algorithms believe that this is an area of the subject that requires further research.
Julie Klinefelter, Computer Science
"How Secure Transactions are Achieved on the Internet using SSL: An Honors Presentation of Internet Security Practices and Protocols"
Advisor: Jim Schnepf
The goal of this project is to research and present the security protocol "Secure Sockets Layer" or as it is more commonly referred to, "SSL." SSL is one of the main encryption techniques used by the internet industry to help ensure the secure transfer of information across the internet. It is one of the main encryption techniques currently under review by Internet Engineering Task Force. SSL is comprised of a strict protocol that initiates a secure "session" between two computing devices. The session is established above the transport level (on the OSI model) and encrypts from the session up. Therefore any data between the application and the SSL session is encrypted from the SSL session on. The SSL protocol, in addition to directly communicating with the other computing device, also makes use of existing encryption practices such as certificates, keys, digital signatures, RSA and has functions when necessary. This project will research and present the protocol necessary for establishing a session. It will also present how certificates, keys, digital signatures, RSA and has functions are used in the protocol. The project will end with an analysis of the effectiveness of how SSL answers internet security problem risks.
Daniel J. Knoblach, Natural Science
"Schizophrenia: An Integrative Study of Biological Liabilities and Neurological Causes"
Advisor: Jan Holtz
Society has become increasingly aware of the frustrating and confusing disorders that can result when the brain loses control of its intricate mechanisms. One such disorder that continues to baffle experts is schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a serious thought disorder characterized by a broad spectrum of cognitive and emotional dysfunctions that disrupts a person's perception of the world into one of tormenting psychotic experience. Schizophrenia results from a variety of complex causes with each possibly contributing something to the disorder. A multifactorial threshold model explains causation by demonstrating that a sum of biological liabilities (genetics and prenatal developmental problems) may take a person over the threshold and into psychosis. Psychological stress can not be considered a direct cause, but it can serve as a bridge between a person being vulnerable to schizophrenia to actually manifesting the disorder. Once a person becomes schizophrenic, we can attribute the complex symptoms to a malfunctioning brain. With current neuroimaging techniques such as MRI and PET, we are expanding our knowledge of the complex neural circuits and integrated neurotransmitter systems involved in creating psychosis. However, many secrets remain unanswered in our quest to understand the disease and treat the individual.
Ben Knuth, Computer Science
"Semantic Analysis of the Postscript Page Description Language"
Advisor: J. Andrew Holey
The Postscript page description language is a functional programming language. Central to the effective use of the language are the functional properties of delayed evaluation and referential transparency. Postscript performs all of its operations via distinct, multiple stacks which stores function binding lists, function parameters, and function code. By way of these stacks, Postscript creates dynamic computational states which leads identical expressions to evaluate to different results. This hints towards the polymorphic quality of an object-oriented language, even though it contradicts the functional precept of manifest interfaces thereby introducing a nonorthogonality. One other streak of object-orientation that shows up in Postscript is pointer semantics. Postscript's graphics intentions are at the center of its slippery semantics and typeface and letter form rendering underpin Postscript's data and execution model. Properties from both functional and object-oriented programming languages create Postscript's robust font, graphics, and publishing abilities.
Tara Lane, Political Science
"Immigration and Racism in France"
Advisor: Gary Prevost
A French person who speaks of immigration is speaking about the large population of Arabs and West Africans who have migrated to France over the last 20-30 years, the majority of whom are legal citizens. At issue are the problems surrounding the integration of millions of people who are of a different race, religion, and culture into a society which does not accept difference. Why does immigration continue to exist despite attempts at regulation and general public opposition? The economics of immigration must also be considered in examining immigration policy. The debate over immigration in France in the 1900s involves some of the most basic ideals of French society; the principles that were set forth at the time of the French Revolution in 1789: unity of cultural an political values as well as a very strong sense of national identity and shared history. Recent legislation has taken on racist undertones encouraged by the extreme-right political group, the Front National. Each successive law further endangers the safety and security of both legal and illegal immigrants, extending even to French citizens who appear Arab.
Julie A. Lapos, Chemistry
"Comparative Analysis of Pesticide Extraction Methods"
Advisor: Michael Ross
Liquid-Liquid Extraction using methylene chloride, Liquid-Liquid extraction using a 75:25 mexanes: ethyl acetate solvent, and Solid Phase Extraction using C-18 disks were compared. Aliquots of water spiked with alachlor, atrazine, and trifluralin were extracted using each of the techniques. The extracts were concentrated and analyzed using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometer with Selected Ion Monitoring. A surrogate, 2-nitro-m-xlene, and an internal standard, phenanthrene-d10,, were used. At spiking levels of 5-60 ug/L, there was not a significant statistical difference between the three methods when the liquid extractors were run for 24 hours. There was however a difference between the solid phase extraction and the liquid-liquid extractions when the liquid extractors were run for only 3 hours.
Erik Leaver, Economics and Political Science
"The Effects of For-Profit Health Care Corporations on American Health Care"
Advisors: Charles Rambeck, James Murphy
My thesis investigated the implications associated with the increasing numbers of investor-owned hospitals in AmericaÕs hospital market. Traditionally, most hospitals have been non-profit, and I wanted to analyze whether the drive for profits would compromise the care that hospitals provide to their patients. I studied the differences and similarities between non-profit and for-profit ownership types in three key areas: quality, access, and efficiency. I discovered through my research that the differences between the two ownership types are becoming increasingly difficult to identify. I concluded that for-profit hospitals have created a more competitive environment, and this increased competition will help keep the rising costs of health care under control.
Benjamin J. Lindquist, English
"Exploring a New Model for Time, the Labyrinth"
Advisor: Mara Faulkner
The model for Time we currently live by, the linear continuum, is not a sufficient model in several crucial respects. In this thesis, after critiquing the linear model, I introduce a new model for Time, the Labyrinth. By tracing its roots in the Minoan civilization and in Greek myth, I reveal the Labyrinth as a structure whose creators instilled certain values in it. Beginning with these values integral to the Labyrinth, I transform it into a new model for comprehending Time, with the help of Jorge Luis Borges, a contemporary Argentinean author. This new model, the Spherical Labyrinth of Time, challenges us to focus our lives around communion with the Divine presence in Nature and in one another.
Joseph Liss, Economics
"Regional Variations in Antebellum Southern Agriculture"
Advisor: John Olson
The economy of the nation (and of the South) in pre-Civil War times has attracted much attention. This project furthers work already completed by many professional historic economists by forming smaller regions within the South and analyzing these sub-economies. County-level 1860 Census data (agricultural data) was used to group counties into six major crop regions. The agricultural output for these regions was calculated in terms of gross farm product, transformed by a method previously employed by several economic historians. Some initial analysis was then conducted with the transformed data by examining shares of total output and average county production shares/standard deviations.
Shelley Loberg, Accounting
"An abstract of "International Accounting Disclosure Standards"
Advisor: Lucy Larson
My thesis examines similarities and differences of disclosure standards from three different countries in three different areas from one multi-national corporation. 1995 financial statements from honeywell Incorporated, the United States parent company, and two Honeywell subsidiaries, one each located in the United Kingdom and Australia are examined for disclosure of accounting policies, accounting for contingencies and accounting for goodwill. Comparisons are given for the standards themselves, as well as the accounting policy chosen by each company. International Accounting Standards are also compared for the three disclosure areas. Comparability, especially for potential investors, is the main focus of harmonizing accounting disclosure standards internationally and my conclusion emphasizes the growing demand for improved comparability through the voluntary compliance with International Accounting Standards. A brief history of the International Accounting Standards Committee is also included.
John T. McBroom, Political Science
"Justice Harry Blackmun and the Regulation of Sexually Explicit Expression"
Advisor: Phil Kronebusch
Harry Blackmun is a Supreme Court Justice whose Court identity and ideology became more moderate or liberal during his twenty-four years on the Court (1970-1994). In cases dealing with the regulation of sexually explicit expression, however, he maintained a moderately conservative (pro-government censorship) position throughout his tenure. Blackmun consistently upheld the government's right to ban sexually explicit expression that had been found "obscene" under the test outlined in Miller v. California, 93 S.Ct. 2607 (1973). This was in direct contrast to the position held by Justices William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall, Blackmun's two closest Court allies in the 1980's and 90'3, that the government cannot constitutionally censor explicit or obscene expression. Most cases in which Blackmun refused to uphold a government censorship statute occurred when the expression in question had not technically been found "obscene" under the correct procedures delineated in Miller and subsequent cases.
Stacy L. Morris, Economics and Spanish
"Indecent Proposal: Exposing the 1959 Stabilization Plan of Spain"
Advisors: John Olson and Andres Moreno
Spain's Gross Domestic Product throughout the 1960's advanced at 7.5%, ranking it the fastest growing country in Europe, and second most rapidly growing country in the world. Industry replaced agriculture as the dominant sector, Spain adopted an export-oriented trading agenda, and the nation finally became recognized as a competitor in the international market. What led to this "economic miracle"? Indecent Proposal discusses the motives and results of the 1959 Stabilization Plan of Spain, and challenges the claim that this decisive government policy of the Franco regime was the single most decisive element in propelling Spain into the 20th century. This thesis is an analysis of the Plan's policy actions to determine which short-run and long-run economic effects can theoretically be attributed to the Plan. After employing standard economic tools in conjunction with an in-depth study of Spanish history, society and politics, I came to the conclusion that the success of the long-term conditions originally associated with the Plan should not be attributed to it. The evidence suggest that other factors are responsible for the tremendous economic development; this misplaced credit marks the 1959 Stabilization Plan of Spain an Indecent Proposal.
Christiana Nocito, Music
"ÔPelleas and MelisandeÕ as the Culmination of French Sound"
Advisors: Axel Theimer, Nathaniel Dubin
The thesis, "Pelleas et Melisande: A historical, literary and musical analysis" discusses the central elements of Debussy's only opera Pelleas et Melisande. It begins with a historical perspective, which expounds upon the events surrounding the genesis of Pelleas. Following the historical look is a literary analysis, which discusses the symbolist elements presented in the text. Finally appears an extensive musical analysis that explores Debussy's use of recurrent motives, text painting and recurrent tonalities, and discusses the relation of Debussy's composition to the elements of the text. The thesis concludes that Debussy's main goal in composing the opera was a complete synthesis of music and text.
Kristine Peterson, Biology
"The Culture of Dermal Replacements"
Advisor: Elizabeth Wurdak
Collagen-based wound dressings have been used to prevent excessive fluid loss and infection in individuals with severe skin damage, as well as to promote the re-growth and healing of the patient's own skin. In this study, problems encountered with cryopreservation of collagen-based wound dressings were researched.
A fibroblast cell-line was expanded in culture and seeded onto collagen sponges. The sponges were then cultured for varying lengths of time before freezing them at -80 degrees C. The sponges were analyzed to assess the total number of cells as a function of time in culture.
Toxicity tests were performed using varying concentrations of two cryoprotectants, Simethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) and Glycerol. Varying concentrations were tested in an effort to find the concentration of each that gave the highest cell survival and minimal toxic effects.
Over a four hour period, concentrations of up to 10% DMSO did not have an effect on cell viability. The results obtained at 12% DMSO showed that the viability of the cells began to decrease at three hours, and 15% DMSO had a gradual, increasingly toxic effect over time. At glycerol concentrations of 5, 10, and 15%, it was observed that the total cell number was reduced.
Efforts were made to culture sponges to obtain a concentration of 1 x 10 (9) fibroblast cells per sponge in order to provide a detectable signal for analysis by magnetic Resonance Imaging. Using MRI, the mechanism of cell death due to cryopreservants can be observed and a more efficient protocol for storing sponges created. However, the highest number of cells cultured per sponge was less than 1.4 x 10 (8). Additional research is needed to improve either the fibroblast concentration on collagen sponges or the resolution obtainable by MRI analysis.
Heather M. Rogers, Liberal Studies
"An Analysis of Chicana Feminist Rhetoric as exemplified by Cherrie Moraga"
Advisor: Kristin Vonnegut
Cherrie Moraga, a Chicana lesbian feminist advocate, cannot completely identify with the Chicano movement, AmericanÕs womenÕs movement or the Gay/lesbian movements. Even within the Chicana movement, Moraga experience subjugation because of her sexual orientation. The majority of her work has focused on reassessing the role of Chicana, lesbian, and feminist ideology by concentrating on multiple identities and the confluence of oppressions. Moraga has exposed these layers of oppression by using them as the subject of her rhetoric. In her essay La Guera and her poem, Winter of Oppression 1982. Moraga takes the difficulty that multiple identities present and turns that into an ideal perspective for discussing the problems Chicana women face within the feminist and lesbian movements.
Julie Schanilec, Biology
"The Ability of Cladophora to Adapt to Nutrient Changes in the Watab Watershed."
Advisor: Holly Adrian
Over the past several years, excessive algal growth has occurred in the lakes associated with Saint John's University campus. To assess the causes of this growth, the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of Lower Stumpf Lake were monitored for approximately four months. Environmental parameters of temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and nutrients were assessed to determine which parameter influenced growth of the green alga Cladophora. Based on these results, controlled laboratory culture experiments were conducted to determine the nitrate and phosphate requirement and uptake for Cladophora. This alga grew well in nutrient rich Lower Stumpf Lake. However, in culture, Cladophora may have a mechanism for nutrient uptake and storage. Understanding the uptake and storage capabilities of this alga may help determine affective management strategies to improve the quality of Lower Stumpf lake.
Andrew Schroepfer, Economics
"The Evolution of the Stock Market as a Financial Institution"
Advisor: Charles Rambeck
The stock market had been the driver, and has now become the servant behind the increasing efficiency, complexity, and advancing technology of the corporation. The seemingly simplistic purpose of these markets to facilitate trade, makes the complex history surrounding its evolution even more interesting. In early times of commerce, large hierarchical organizations arose to monopolize trade to bring about a prosperous city, country or nation. As individual units within these organizations became more successful, prominent, and powerful, they sought out an identity of their own. The result was the recognition of the corporate entity. Now with this new power and identity, the corporation turned to an intermediary to raise capital to continue their growth. Brokers served this purpose and founded a stock market to facilitate this financing in such a way that remained flexible to meet the changing functionality of the corporation. Consequently, the stock market is a representative entity of the corporation, flexible enough to evolve with and for the corporation.
Stamate P. Skliris, Political Science and Spanish
Advisors: Gary Prevost and Jose Antonio Fabres
"Las Maquiladoras Y Su Gente: A Look at the United States-Mexico's Industrial Past, Present, and Future"
My Senior Honors Thesis entails a close look at the U.S.- owned sweat shops which reside along the 2,000 mile border between the U.S. and Mexico. In my thesis, I discuss the positive and negative attributes of the Maquiladora Industry, in addition to their history, and a prognostication of what lies ahead for their future.
Jennifer L. Symalla, Theater
"Directing a Children's Play"
Advisor: Kaarin Johnston
After directing an hour-long children's play during January of 1997, I needed to reflect on the project and what it meant to me. In my reflection paper I discuss the process that I, as a director, went through from the moment I decided I wanted to direct a play to idealizing about my next directing project. This process that I describe includes what I learned from choosing a script, auditions, researching for the production, rehearsals, audience reactions to the production, and what I learned about myself. I also describe how directing a children's play in the style of Commedia dell' Arte has increased my knowledge of children's theater and the Italian Commedia dell' Arte during the sixteenth, seventeeenth, and eighteeenth centuries. The production materials included (prompt script, costumes, properties, etc.) should enable the reader to gain a clearer understanding of the more technical elements of the production.
Patricia A. Valusek, Chemistry
"A Comparison of the Kinetics of Fatty-Acid Metabolism in Smokers and Nonsmokers"
Advisor: Henry Jakubowski
For many years, the United States government has required labels on all cigarette packages warning against the many ill effects associated with smoking. One of the major factors contributing to the unhealthy aspects of smoking is its profound impact on nutrient levels within the body. Free radicals found in both the gas and tar phases of cigarette smoke may pose a significant threat to the fatty-acid levels in the body. One method of assessing this threat is to examine the fatty-acid synthesis rates of smokers and nonsmokers. An assumption was made that a destruction of fatty-acids will be displayed as an increased rate of synthesis of longer-chain fatty-acids from shorter-chain precursors. A significant difference was found between the fatty-acid metabolic rates of smokers (n=10) and nonsmokers (n=8) with the smokers having an overall increase in rate. Further studies are required to determine if this difference in rate is due to lipid peroxidation brought about by smoking-induced free radical attack.
Kerri Vickers, Music
"Robert Schumann: A Study of the Link Between Manic Depressive Illness and Creativity"
Advisor: Robert Koopmann
Robert Schumann was a nineteenth century German composer. His life was filled with suffering because of his constant fight with mental illness. He lived either in a state of depression or mania, which I suggest influenced his compositions. By studying his disease and the creative process for all artists I attempt to gain a better understanding of the affects of Schumann's illness on his creating. I also take a further look into the ongoing debate of whether or not genius and creativity are influenced by madness.
Kathleen Ann Westerhaus, English and Spanish
"Isabel Archer and Gertrudis (Tula): Women at the Turn-fo-the-Century Struggling for Freedom"
Advisors: Mara Faulkner and Marina Martin
Isabel Archer, the protagonist of Henry JamesÕ The Portrait of a Lady, and Gertrudis (Tula), the protagonist of Miguel de UnamunoÕs La T’a Tula are strong, able-bodied women who must combat the restraints of a corseting society. James and Unamuno write with the same agenda to critique how the turn-of-the-century society affected the lives of women. Although heroic in their determination to live life, both Isabel and Gertrudis fall victim to the society that reveres freedom more than passion. If these women had been allowed to not only express their passions but live their love for Caspar Goodwood and Ramiro, they would have found more happiness than what they experienced in exercsing their definitions of freedom.
Colleen Willenbring, English
"Such a Quantity of Merit": The Construction of the Ideal Woman in Pride and Prejudice. "
Advisor: Cynthia Malone
I believe that in PP, characterization in regard to an ideal woman functions as light in a prism. As the prism 'refracts' invisible white light into 'fractions' of the spectrum, I believe that characterization creates essential fractions of an illusory ideal. These fractions appear for us as different women embody qualities that would have been consecrated by conduct books of Austen's time. I believe these fractions appear in this way for the simple reason that logically it would be as impossible to create a character who had no valuable qualities as it would be to create one who had all. When I then focused on these qualities, the fictional journey of Pride and Prejudice ceased to appear as any kind of gradual education of its heroines, and allowed a critique of a situation in which the qualities of the ideal woman would have been inflected--modulated--by social class rank.
Jason Woolwine, Political Science
"The Application of International Water Law to the Disputes Over Freshwater in the Middle East"
Advisor: Gary Prevost
Of all the freshwater in the world today, only about one-third of one percent is available for human consumption and survival. Relationships among countries of the region were, and continue to be significantly affected and played out in the use of water and the policies that surround their use. Because of the growing concerns and problems surrounding the legal rights to have fair access to water, it has become essential for countries to realize that it is their ability to deal with this issue that will determine their survival. The common framework of international law and its principles may act as the starting point for resolving the Middle East water issues. My thesis looks at the development of international water law an its real world applicability through the use of three case studies. The case studies are the groundwater in the West Bank, the Euphrates River, and the Nile River.
Kevin T. Wyne, Psychology
"Rediscovering the Art of Medicine: Alternative Medicine and Psychoneuroimmunology"
Advisor: Bruce Woolmering
Through its reductionist paradigm, Western medicine has made many important advances in the understanding of the body and the treatment of a wide variety of somatic disorders. However, through the development of medicineÕs scientific aspects, Western medicine has sacrificed much of the art and humanness of medicine. The result has been an increasingly costly system that while prolonging the lives of its patients, does not necessarily restore them to health. Alternative therapies and developments in psychoneuroimmunology are illustrating the effectiveness of addressing the whole person and allowing the patient to be more responsible for their own health care. These advances are raising important questions about the nature of disease and the role of the healer. The future of medicine depends on its ability to integrate the biochemical understanding and intervention procedures of the West with the holistic preventative approach characterizing many cultural medical systems. The continued integration of these two worldviews is imperative so that the health care needs of future patients can effectively be met.
Aaron Ziegler, Computer Science
"Simulation of Living Processes Utilizing Concurrency and Object-Oriented Programming"
Advisor: J. Andrew Holey
What does it mean to be alive? Is it possible to create artificial life-forms that are truly alive? Can a computer program be alive? To answer these questions, I first explore the history of artificial life, beginning with John von Neumann, who designed algorithms possessing lifelike capabilities, and moving on to other famous attempts, such as Horton Conway's 'Game of Life', and Thomas Ray's remarkable 'Tierra' project.
Also included is a discussion on the merits of Object-Oriented programming for simulating, and ultimately synthesizing life on a computer. concurrency is defined, and its value for stimulating and synthesizing life is made clear.
Last, but far from least, I introduce my own attempts at artificial life, the prolific Veggies, the docile Herbies, the versatile Omnies, and the ravenous Carnies, as they compete for survival in their artificial environment.