2008 Thesis Abstracts

Jennifer K. Arnold

"Power and Violence in La Mala Hora"

Advisor:  Dennis Beach, OSB

The process of transforming a lived experience into a novel is notoriously difficult.  The struggle becomes especially arduous if the experience is of a violent conflict.  A whole genre of literature, called la novella de la violencia, 1 arose in Colombia as an attempt to express the experience of just such a conflict.  The genre treate the lived experience of la violencia, a notoriously brutal and complicated civil conflict lived by the people of Colombia.  Part of the difficulty of conveying the experience of such a conflict is the complexity of the events of the time period.  The second difficulty deals with understanding the human constitution of such a conflict.  The relationship between power and violence, according to political philosopher Hanna Arendt, is routinely misunderstood.  As a result, in works of philosophy, history and literature, the causes of violence and the role that violence plays in the conflict are rarely understood.  It is not surprising, therefore, that most of the literature that comes out of la violencia simplifies the nature of power and violence and fails to accurately represent the conflict.  I will use the work of Hanna Arendt to demonstrate the way in which the novel La Mala Hora,2 in opposition to the rest of the literature of la violencia, properly captures the atmosphere of the conflict.  In this novel, new concepts of power and violence emerge.  I will use the work On Violence, by Hanna Arendt, to elucidate this new concept of violence and its implications.

Benjamin Bennett

"A Parasite-Host-Human Mathematical Model and Simulation: Predicting Chagas Prevalence"

Advisor:  Dr. Robert Hesse, Mathematics

We study the interactions of a parasite through an environment consisting of animals (which serve as a reservoir), bugs (the vector) and humans (the topic of concern) in order to predict the prevalence of the Trypanasoma cruzi parasite within the system. A state diagram was created first in order to describe important states and interactions between bugs, animals and humans. To understand the dynamics of these interactions, a differential equation model was created and implemented. A discrete computer simulation was employed as a supplemental approach. A second version of each was created in order to study more closely the dynamics of the disease within humans.

Joseph Degiovanni

"Detecting Source Code Plagiarism"

Advisor: Dr. Imad Rahal, Computer Science

Plagiarism is a serious problem among university students and that needs to be taken care of.  In order to deter students from submitting plagiarized work, instructors must have a way of automatically detecting plagiarism.  Currently there are many tools to help instructors detect plagiarism within free-text essays, but there are few that focus specifically on source code plagiarism.  This paper surveys the current techniques of detecting source code plagiarism, and them proposes a new technique, called N-Grams, and show that it has a significant amount of speed up without sacrificing a lot of accuracy in detecting plagiarism.

Benjamin T. Demarais

"CCD Photometry of Cepheid Variable"

Advisor: Dr. Tom Kirkman, Physics

The main purpose of this project is to become familiar with the techniques and methods of observational astronomy and CCD photometry.  I will observe the brightness of stars and deduce some properties of these stars from these observations.  Stars with non-constant magnitudes, variable stars, give the most interesting data.  The specific variable star that this project is concerned with was discovered by Antipin et al. and is described in their paper "TYC 103101262 1:The First Known Galactic Eclipsing Binary with a Type II Cepheid Component."  The American Association of Variable Star Observers (www.aavso.org) has organized many observers' data of this star through their observing campaign Alert 351.  This project involved collecting our own data at the Saint John's University Observatory, using other observers' data from the AAVSO, and creating various fits to the data to confirm the pulsation and eclipse periods of Antipin et al.

Danielle R. DiFabio

"The Effects Types of Praise Has on College Students' Self-Theories"

Advisor: Dr. Pam Bacon, Psychology

Although research suggests that young children's attitudes toward a task can be affected by the type of praise they receive, the impact of praise on college students is unclear. In this study, college students were either praised for their puzzle solving ability or for their effort.  It was hypothesized that after failure, students praised for their effort would hold an incremental self-theory and show adaptive responses, whereas students praised for their ability would hold an entity self-theory and show maladaptive responses. The effects seen in praise studies with children were not replicated in this college age sample. The inability of praise to impact college students' thoughts and performance could have been due to the design of the study or lack of participants. Additional studies are needed to determine if praise affects college students' beliefs and performance.

An Doan

"Language Talks: Is Simplified Chinese that Simple?"

Advisor: Dr. Richard Bohr, Liberal Studies

China is home to fifty five ethnic minorities.  Throughout its long history, communication within the nation has always been problematic.  Despite the uniformity in written Chinese, which can be understood by any literary Chinese, Chinese spoken language is very diverse ranging from mutually intelligible to unintelligible among speakers of different dialects.  Recognizing this linguistic obstacle, the Chinese communist party initiated a language reform program which aimed to standardize the common language, minimize linguistic miscommunication, and improve the literacy rate by simplifying Chinese characters to make it easier to learn.  Language reform is influenced by the utilitarian view regarding language as a practical tool.  However, language reform seems to suggest a larger role for language in the development of China as a nation.  The ideological view reflects this role of language as a unifying force and a symbol of national identity.  Thus, an issue arises questioning: "How can a society seeking to modernize use language to sustain a sense of national identity during a period of deep-rooted political, economic, and social change (modernization)?"  It will be shown that during modernization, the ideological view dominates and proves the crucial relation between language and national identity.

Judith Falvey

"Cross-Cultural Comparison of Implicit and Explicit Stigma of Mental Illness in American and Chinese Samples"

Advisor: Dr. Linda Tennison, Psychology

This study was a cross-cultural investigation of the implicit and explicit bias of mental and physical illness.  A sample of 89 university students (56% Chinese, 44% American) completed an explicit attitude questionnaire as well as an Implicit Associations Test (IAT) regarding stigma toward mental and physical illness.  At an implicit level, I found that American students had higher levels of bias against mental illness than Chinese students in each task.  Chinese students were slower to associate physical illness with positive than mental illness.  Americans were slower to associate mental illness with positive words in the Good/Bad and Capable/Incapable task.  In the explicit survey, Chinese students rated their own self bias against mental illness as higher than the bias of others, while American students rated their self bias as much lower than that of others.

Kelly Fermoyle

"High Performance Computing in Integrated Environments"

Advisor:  Dr. Michael Heroux, Computer Science

Iterative numerical solvers are essential in many areas of engineering. Most high performance solvers rely on lower-level programming languages for the backbone of the computation. By using newer extensions to programs like Matlab, engineers can save time and energy that would be lost to rewriting code and create more readable code that is also easier to debug. Two such extensions are examined: Star-P and the Distributed Computing Toolbox. We found that while Star-P is very easy to program, there are some applications that Star-P cannot run well. The alternative, DCT, required some knowledge of data handling, but showed better performance for each processor used. The important result is that there are always compromises made when using higher-level languages for high performance computing.

Sam Harriman

"Pain Tolerance and Impulsivity"

Advisor: Dr. Laura Sinville, Psychology

A strong connection between biology and personality was established in the case of Phineas Gage (Harlow, 1993).  To my knowledge, no one has examined a relationship between pain tolerance, a concept with strong biological ties, and impulsivity, a personality trait.  This is especially interesting because impulsive individuals typically have a personality characterized by fearlessness, sensation seeking, and "with a tendency toward acting without forethought, making quick cognitive decisions and failing to appreciate circumstance beyond the here-and now" (Barratt, 1085).  Another reason the lack of research in this area is surprising is because of the activity of the vagus nerve.  The vangus nerve enacts parasympathetic control over the heart.  When the nerve's activity is increased, resting heart rate decreases.  Impulsive individuals have been found to have4 a lower resting heart rate and therefore a more active vangus nerve (Mathias and Stanford, 2003; Scarpa and Ollendick, 2004).  A previous link has been established between the vagus nerve and pain tolerance (Ness et al, 2000).  For these reasons it was predicted that pain tolerance would be positively correlated with impulsivity.  Participants were recruited from a college sample and were excluded if they had used caffeine or nicotine the day of the appointment, suffered from Reynaud's Syndrome, or had a history of burns/frostbite.  Using a cold pressor task, each participant's pain tolerance, pain threshold, and pain perception were measured.  The hypothesis was not supported; however, a negative correlation was found in men between pain tolerance and motor impulsivity.  Significant differences were also found between men and women in pain tolerance and pain rating.

Jonathan Keillor

"Hakka Influence on the Taiping Rebellion"

Advisor:  Dr. Richard Bohr, History

The purpose of this project is to examine the concept of cultural/ethnic minority in China, specifically in the late imperial period.  Focus will be placed on Hakka people during the formulation and execution of the Taiping Rebellion: a rebellion led by Hakka people that affected millions of people.  An attempt will be made to explain the role of Hakka culture in the development of the Taiping political agenda, and how the Taiping ideology appealed to the average Hakka.

This thesis will contribute to the historical field by examining a topic heretofore largely ignored, specifically focusing on cultural/ethnic identity as a lens through which to bring new interpretations of the Taiping movement to light.

Steven R. Lemke

"Figure Ground: Methods and Processes in Figurative Sculpture"

Advisor:  Br. David-Paul Lange, OSB, Art

A thirty-four piece plaster mold, cast over a life-size sculpted foam figure proportioned after the human body, is used to replicate multiple variations upon a similar form when re-cast into new works of art.  Through casting in clay, handmade paper, or wax, these body parts emerge from their molds as a new kind of visual language.  Collectively, the sculptures engage the viewer in a dialogue of ideas relating to narrative, place, and especially the cycles of change over time.  These works question how the concept of home and place influence one's sense of identity within our landscape.  This is executed through research, creation, a supporting paper, and critique.  The outcome corresponds with the solo exhibition "Figure Ground" at the Saint John's Art Center, part of a portfolio of mixed-media ceramic figurative sculptures.

Theodore C. Leonard

"Winning Darts:  Where to Aim to Minimize Risk and Maximize Expected Value in the Classic Darts Game 501"

Advisor:  Dr. Phil Byrne, Mathematics

The purpose of this project is to provide an problem that was advanced enough to provide sufficient thesis-worthy material. Since this project is built upon a real life understandable problem it will convey mathematical ideas to people who aren't usually involved in mathematics. Lastly, this project will serve some practical purpose by helping people win dart games.

Within the discipline this project is valuable because it is a concrete and tangible project that incorporates many different areas mathematics. It also valuable because it pushes the known regions of mathematical computation. This project involves very complicated equations and it will require the use of "heavy duty" computer computation that would have been impossible only a short while ago.

Jessica Mader

"The Relationship Between Epinephrine Levels and Rebound Hypoglycemia"

Advisor: Dr. Barbara May, Biology

The purpose of this experiment was to study the relationship between epinephrine levels and the hypoglycemic rebound effect.  Epinephrine is the principal signaling hormone to signal the release of glucagon at the onset of hypoglycemic.  A danger with Type 1 Diabetes is hypoglycemia unawareness; this is when a diabetic experiences hypoglycemia, without the hormonal response of epinephrine to express physical symptoms.  Hypoglycemia unawareness is more common in rebound hypoglycemia, since the body takes too long to realize that it's low on glucose.  Mice were injected with Streptozotocin to induce beta cell destruction and the onset of diabetes.  They were then injected with rapid acting insulin and the blood glucose level was monitored and plasma samples were collected while the mouse experiences a hypoglycemic state.  When 30mg/dl was reached the mice were insufficiently treated with glucose and then the blood glucose level was monitored and plasma levels collected.  This continued until the mice reached a rebound hypoglycemic state.  The mice were sufficiently treated with glucose and monitored for safety.  The plasma was centrifuged and measured for epinephrine levels using an epinephrine ELISA kit.   The results were analyzed and a delay in epinephrine onset and a blunting of epinephrine levels was discovered.

Maya Main

"Witness for Change: Observations from Fast Forward Youth's First Year at the Southside Boys and Girls Club Using a Participatory Research Approach"

Advisors:  Dr. Stephen Stelzner, Psychology and Dr. Kelly Kraemer, Peace Studies

The Fast Forward Youth Program (FFYP) is a program at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University whose principal goal is to increase college participation rates of its participants.  Originally, FFYP worked only with Latino/a youth and used tutoring and mentoring strategies to achieve their goal.  However, Fast Forward has shifted its programming to utilize new methods focusing around college preparation instead of tutoring with its participants.  The program is also opening up a new site at the Southside boys and Girls Club in St. Cloud.  The programming at the Southside site will be unique because it will be FFYP's first time working in a non-school setting, and with a predominately Somali population.  My research with the FFYP will take place at the Southside site where I will be investigating through participatory research the challenges and successes of bringing the program to the Southside Club. In particular, I want to examine the new programming focus within the context of the Southside Club's specific population and see if they seem to be compatible and effective for the youth.

Charles J. McCarron

"Creating a Polyalbum:  The Mystery of Grey Matters"

Advisor:  Dr. Brian Campbell, Music

In The Mystery of Grey Matters, music, sound, and dialogue provide glimpses into the life of Gregory "Grey" Matters throughout the course of two audio discs. However, a new perspective on his story emerges when both discs are heard simultaneously. The Mystery of Grey Matters is thus a "polyalbum." From a compositional standpoint, a polyalbum must be cleverly crafted so that two discs stand on their own as individual pieces of music. At the same time, their combination must remain cohesive as a rich new piece of art. Since the human mind can only attend to a limited amount of audio information at once, the listener's focus naturally shifts back and forth between discs. In this way, the traditional compositional technique of musical dialogue plays out on a grand scale, with one disc "soloing" and the other "accompanying" at various times. The result is a listening experience unlike any other.

Allen K. Ng

"Investigating Bootstrap Confidence Intervals on Dr. D's 123"

Advisor:  Dr. Michael Gass, Mathematics

The focus of this thesis is to investigate the effect of varied selections of B, the number of Bootstrap samples, p, the probability associated with the discrete values, and n, the sample size, on the accuracy of confidence intervals developed by Biased-Corrected and Accelerated, and Percentile methods on Dr. D's 123.  Efron, Tibshirani, and other statisticians have given general guidelines for selection the sample size and the number of Bootstrap samples associated with creating accurate confidence intervals.  However, none of then particularly pertain to a distribution like Dr. D's 123.  Our objective is to either validate their guidelines or form new ones pertaining to this distribution.

Erin Olufs

"The Effect of Colored Overlays on an Individual's Rate of Reading when the Font is 'Quiet' versus 'Busy'"

Advisor:  Dr. Richard Wielkiewicz, Psychology

The study examined the combined effect of colored overlays and either "quiet" or "busy" type fonts upon reading rate and accuracy in 64 college-aged participants. Participants were randomly assigned to read either a "quiet" or "busy" font and asked to read two passages, once with a Iterative numerical solvers are essential in many areas of engineering. Most high performance solvers rely on lower-level programming languages for the backbone of the computation. By using newer extensions to programs like Matlab, engineers can save time and energy that would be lost to rewriting code and create more readable code that is also easier to debug. Two such extensions are examined: Star-P and the Distributed Computing Toolbox. We found that while Star-P is very easy to program, there are some applications that Star-P cannot run well. The alternative, DCT, required some knowledge of data handling, but showed better performance for each processor used. The important result is that there are always compromises made when using higher-level languages for high performance computing.

Chosen overlay and once without. Overall, participants had similar rates of reading when they took the rate of reading test the first time with or without their chosen overlay. When they took the test the second time, rates of reading for those who used an overlay were faster than the rates of reading for those who did not use an overlay. However, for the busy font condition participants actually performed worse when they were using their colored overlay. Overall, the results of this study support previous research that it is the lines of the text which contribute to visual stress and reading difficulties.

Vanju Paunic

"Creating a Computer Model of East Gemini Lake"

Advisor: Michael Heroux, Computer Science

During the past decade, there has been growing concern about potentially adverse effects of pharmaceuticals released in the environment through wastewater treatment systems. Computer models are written to simulate such natural systems and to enable the prediction of the behavior of the systems from a set of parameters and initial conditions. The Virtual East Gemini Lake Project (VEGLP) seeks to develop a computer model of East Gemini Lake at St. Johns, which will be able to estimate the concentration of pharmaceuticals and to detect changes in the lake. The model could help the chemists develop strategies to decrease concentration of pharmaceuticals in the water treatment system and, therefore, improve our water supplies. My Honors Thesis research is a part of VEGLP and, as such, aims to build the functions needed in creating the model.

Katie Ranallo

"The Ethical Ramifications of Direct-to-consumer Pharmaceutical Drug Marketing: An Exploratory Study"

Advisor: Rick Saucier, Management

Ethics must be a primary consideration for organizations, industries, and professions.  As a vital business function, marketing's powerful influence on consumers has caused it to become of the most controversial business functions.  Direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical drug marketing has become an ethical 'hot topic' in the last ten years, and placed the pharmaceutical industry and esteemed medical profession under intense scrutiny.  This exploratory study will examine the ethical implications of all involved parties, including the pharmaceutical industry, government, consumers, and physicians, while offering brief suggestions for reform.

Joao Rodrigues

"An Empirical Investigation of the Sources and Patterns of Regional Inequality in Brazil from 1950 to 2004"

Advisor: Parker Wheatley, Economics

The problem of regional inequality dates back to the beginning of the Brazillian history as an independent country.  Throughout its entire history until the second half of the 19th century, equality of output prevailed among economically active and occupied regions of the country.  By the end of the 19th century, international economic disturbances and domestic inefficiencies led southern and northern regions of Brazil into different economic directions, creating what I call the 'dichotomy state' in the Brazilian economy.  We can generalize the effects of these disturbances by the decline in demand of northern products and the rapid rise in demand for southern goods, namely coffee.  Since then, income has remained in the south, allowing this region to develop and industrialize.  Such early disturbances formed the starting point of regional inequality in brazil.  Therefore, our focus lies on how and to what extent poor regions of Brazil have been able to catch to richer ones in terms of income and growth rates (convergence).  More specifically, this research studies Brazil from 1950 to 2004 in order to see: (1) whether there is any evidence of convergence; (2) what are the main determinants of convergence and (3) how sectors have played a role in this convergence.

Tena Rytel

"The Decline of Flour Milling in Minnesota, 1900 to 1930"

Advisor: Louis Johnston, Economics

My research looks to Minnesota's economic history to hopefully reveal why Minnesota's economy is how it is today. We hope to be the first step to extensive research on flour milling in the US in the early 20th century. We look to answer why the flour milling industry in Minnesota, the largest in the world in 1910, declined in the 1920s. We primarily turned to the United States Census and the Year of Agriculture to find the supporting data. This research utilizes the geographic concentration model found in Paul Krugman's book, Geography and Trade, to show that the flour milling industry in Minnesota declined because it did not retain transportation cost advantages, lacked sufficiently large economies of scale, did not have a large enough local demand for flour, and finally, Minnesota millers shifted their own production to Buffalo, NY based on future expectations.

Zachary Schmitt

"The Self and the Success of Friends"

Advisor: Pam Bacon, Psychology

According to social psychologists, people feel threatened by a friend's success.  The results of this study suggest that a person's reaction to the success of a friend depends on how self-defining the relationship is.  In Experiment 1, 47 undergraduates wrote about a personal success or a friend's success.  Results revealed that in the friend condition, there was a positive association between relational self-construal scores and positive mood.  In a second sample of 54 high school students there was a negative correlation between relational self-construal scores and the amount the participant denigrated the successful friend.   These results suggest that whether or not a person feels threatened by the success of a friend may depend upon the organization of the self-concept.

Sarah Skytte

"Perceived Parental Approval and Self-Esteem in College Students"

Advisor: Pam Bacon, Psychology

Knowledge of how a person's relational self-construal, contingencies of self-worth, and attachment style effect self-esteem may help identify individuals who are vulnerable to parental expectations. The purpose of my honors thesis is to add to the growing literature on these three theories and to see if they relate to college students' self-esteem coming from their parent's approval or disapproval.  This study will also see if the combination of something that is normally viewed at unconditional (e.g., family love and support) and something that is normally viewed at conditional (e.g., approval from generalized others) will have a positive or negative impact on the self-esteem of a college student.

Elizabeth Sturlaugson

"Is the World Really Flat?  Internationalization, Advanced Technology, and the Question of Convergence (vs. Divergence) in the Age of Globalization"

Advisor: Dr. Sanford Moskowitz, Management

This Honors Thesis explores the question: Is the World Flat (or at least becoming flatter) in the age of globalization?  The study explores the theme within two contexts: that the "developing" countries and regions and that of "developed" countries and regions, coming to the conclusion that "Divergence" is as prevalent as "convergence" and in fact exacerbated by the globalization movement.  The center of the study is the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME).  This study maintains that the case of "developing" countries and regions, the critical issue in this debate is degree of "internationalization" of SMEs in such traditional industries as textiles and apparel: those countries within which such internationalization happen move up the value chain and help kick-start a small economy to growth.  We discuss this evolution from low-fee blue-collar to high-profit white-collar economic activity.  In the case of already "developing" countries and regions, the issue is one of the proliferation of high-technology start up SMEs working within cluster environments (e.g., Silicon Valley) centered by venture capital and so-called gatekeepers working within multi-dimensional environments: in such cases new technologies come on the scene and accelerate national and regional productivity and economic growth.  When these conditions - internationalization of SMEs and creation of high-tech SME clusters--are not met, divergent occurs ibn the sense that those countries and regions that are marginalized stagnate and fall by the wayside competitively and thus diverge from those more successful countries and regions.  This thesis then uncovers common links between our analysis of "Developing" and "Developed" Countries and regions in the form of the necessity of becoming part of (for "Developing" countries) or creating (for "Developed" countries) "Seamless Webs" or networks.  For "Developing" countries is the importance of external webs or networks (such as the necessity of SMEs in becoming an integral and active of the EU network); for "Developed" countries is the importance of forming the major actors of technology creation - SMEs, universities, venture capital, glatekeepers, markets - into coherent and multidimensional cluster groups.  These discussions provide a model for predicting the competitive future of Asian companies.

Elizabeth A. Super

"Larger Than One Culture: The Myth and the Reality of Cultural Competence at CSB/SJU"

Advisor: Dr. Matt Lindstrom, Political Science

In 1987, Terry Cross proposed a theory of cultural competence as a way to understand and assess an organization's ability to deal appropriately with cross-cultural relationships. Twenty years later, the continuum he developed is still at the forefront of cultural competence theory.  Larger Than One Culture: The Myth and the Reality of Cultural Competence at CSB/SJU will use Dr. Cross' theory to examine the cultural competence of CSB/SJU and of the various administrative departments within the universities, as well as to examine the cultural competence movement on a national and state scale and explore its possibilities for the future.

Nicholas Syman

"The Trombone as a Solo Instrument"

Advisor: Dr. Dale White, Music

This project is very much a practical endeavor for my own development as a musician.  Spending extensive time research and practicing one's instrument is invaluable for anyone pursuing music performance.  It will prepare me for my two senior recitals, graduate study of trombone performance, and a career as a musician.  There is also value for the musical community in the planned outcomes of this project.  The resulting thesis paper on the modern solo trombone will be valuable for trombonists whether the ideas are new or old, because there is a little written about the instrument from this perspective.

Anthony Tufte

"Alcohol Outcome Expectancies, Attractiveness and Infidelity"

Advisor: Robert Kachelski, Psychology

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between alcohol outcome expectancies, attractiveness, and infidelity.  The study used suboptimal priming of alcohol cue words to activate alcohol outcome expectancies; non-alcohol cue words were used in the control condition.  The priming was done to observe the effect that activated alcohol outcome expectancies had on attractiveness ratings of the opposite-sex and on a person's self-reported susceptibility to infidelity.  Among participants with high alcohol outcome expectancies, there were no significant differences between priming conditions for attractiveness ratings or susceptibility to infidelity ratings.  However, participants in a relationship displayed significantly higher alcohol expectancies than participants not in a relationship.  Level of alcohol consumption was positively correlated with both alcohol expectancies and susceptibility to flirting.

Laura Turkowski

"Reentry Issues upon Returning from Study Abroad Programs"

Advisor: Richard Wielkiewicz, Psychology

This study examined the psychological effects associated with returning from studying abroad for 661 American college students from the College of Saint Benedict and St. John's University.  The survey contained a Brief Screen for Depression, a scale measuring social support from different relationships, a Reentry Shock Scale, and attitude statements that related to anxiety level and social functioning.  The responses from students who studies abroad were compared to those that did not.  Juniors who studied abroad scored significantly higher on the Reentry Shock Scale than juniors that did not.  Contrary to prior research and theory, study abroad had no detectable influence on students' romantic relationships.

Mitch VanBruggen

"The Effective of Caffeine on Maximal Oxygen Consumption (VO2 max) and Lactate Threshold in Cross-Country Runners"

Advisor: Amy Olson, Nutrition Science

Caffeine has been part of the human diet for over 4500 years and is currently the most widely used drug in the United States and Europe (1, 2, 3).  Caffeine and caffeine-like substances are found in beverages and foods, with the main sources coming from coffee, tea, cocoa beans, energy drinks, and soft drinks.  Cold medicine, pain relievers, weight-control pills, and stimulants [such as NoDoz®] are all additional sources of this drug.  Average daily consumption of caffeine is estimated to be about 75 mg/day/person worldwide; furthermore, average intakes in the United States and Canada reach 230 mg/day/person [equivalent to about 1.5 - 2 cups of coffee/day] (3).  the general population typically uses the drug as part of their food intake for its psychoactive properties; athletes believe that it provides an ergogenic benefit to their performance, particularly in endurance exercise (1, 2).

Matthew K. Voigt

"The Complexity of the Stars"

Advisor: Kris Nairn, Mathematics

My Honors Thesis will try to examine what relationship there is between elements in the kernel of a matrix with elements in higher Lawrence liftings of the same matrix.  For the sake of simplicity and statistical significance I will examine the matrices associated with complete bipartite graphs.  All of this knowledge will be used to try and fix a bound on the the yet unknown Graver complexity of the complete bipartite graph K3x4.

Jonathan F. Werth

"Rhythmnation: An Exploration of World Rhythm"

Advisor: Gregory Walker, Music

American composer Charles Ives once stated, "The possibilities of percussion sounds, I believe, have never been fully realized." The enormous potential and variety of percussion is the inspiration for Rhythmnation: An Exploration of World Rhythm. This composition showcases different rhythms, styles, and instruments from around the world, highlighting the unique characteristics of each, while also celebrating the similarities. The audience travels on a musical adventure around the globe, experiencing the wide range of world percussion sounds. These individual cultures of percussion are fused together in the show's finale where the many cultures of drumming come together to form Rhythmnation!