2005-2006 URAP Projects

What do Music, Love and Humor have in Common?
Christopher Buchholz, Psychology
Student - Julie Recher

In this project the research assistant will participate in an experiment collecting data on how individuals react emotionally to different songs. Analysis of the data will contribute to our understanding of how emotions are related to our psychological health and happiness.

Decision Making in Social Dilemmas
Curt Camac, Psychology
Student - Megan Poore

Why do some people make decisions based primarily on their immediate self-interest while other people decide on actions based on the overall good of the group, or to punish selfish members of the group? In this project the research assistant will participate in scientific studies designed to answer such questions. Learn more about this project.

Bacterial Source Tracking in Surface Water
Brooks Crozier, Biology
Student - Caitlin O'Callaghan

In this project the research assistant will work on developing ways to track the presence and movement of bacteria in surface waters using modern molecular biology techniques, such as DNA isolation, amplification, analysis and cloning. A variety of watersheds will be studied. Learn more about this project and other work.

Archaeological Investigations of the Tanyard House
Whitney Leeson, History
Student - Jazz Koehn

In this project the research assistant will help to collect, clean and catalog artifacts recovered from digs outside the “Tanyard House” on the southeast corner of our campus. Analysis of these artifacts will help determine the purpose of this 1½ story house between 1852 and 1870. Learn more about this project.

Separation and Purification of Boron Compounds
Vernon Miller, Chemistry
Student - Emily Looze

Over the past several years my students have studied the synthesis of a number of interesting boron compounds. Before this work can be published the compounds need to be separated and purified. In this project the research assistant will use our new high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to prepare pure samples for chemical analysis.

Rules and Norms for Hiring Law Clerks
Todd Peppers, Public Affairs
Student - Beth See

How do Supreme Court justices and lower court justices go about selecting their law clerks? Are there rules to be followed? Are there agreed-upon usual practices? In this project the research assistant will work with written materials and perhaps personal interviews to help answer these questions. Learn more about this project.

InCuR: Inculcating a Culture of Research in Computer Science
Anil Shende, Computer Science
Students - Mason Vines and Scotty Smith

In this project the research assistant will join an on-going undergraduate computer science research group. Currently we are looking at such problems as finding the longest snakes in hypercubes, wireless computing, and the “Prisoner’s Dilemma”. Learn more about this project.

Studying Erosion of Building Surfaces
Jack Steehler, Chemistry
Student - Kelly Fletcher

Acid rain is clearly damaging the surface of many buildings, but the scientific measurement of this erosion is currently a difficult and time-consuming process (months are required). In this project the URA would help to construct an instrument which will rapidly measure erosion in just seconds or minutes, using optical spectroscopy. The effectiveness of protective coatings on building materials will be tested. Learn more about this project.

Student Attitudes about Issues in Medical Ethics
Gregory Weiss, Sociology
Student - Lea Lupkin

In this project the research assistant would participate in interviews of Roanoke College freshmen in 2005 to determine their attitudes towards issues in medical ethics, such as euthanasia, human cloning, stem cell research, and others. The same students would be interviewed in 2006, 2007 and 2008 to see if their attitudes change over time. Learn more about this project.


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