2013 science summer research projects
During the summer of 2013, 100 students worked on 58 different research projects across the science division.
Students were involved in a wide variety of research projects both on and off campus. Some research dealt with diseases, other research with environmental concerns. Students studied how human activity affects coastal dune activity, experimented with trapped krypton atoms and participated in a community health project dealing with reproductive health. Research took place in campus labs and outdoors. Some students traveled to other states as part of their research and some “traveled” to outer space.
Below is a sampling of 2013 projects:
- Melissa Braun worked with Professor Ryan Bebej on his project "A Whale of a Tale: the origin of tail-powered swimming in early cetaceans." Read the Spark article about this research. >>
Chemistry and Biochemistry
John LaGrand used gold(III) catalyst to synthesize new molecules. John was supervised by Professor Carolyn Anderson.
- Thomas Wodarek worked with Professor Serita Nelesen, Computer Science and Professor John Wertz, Biology, on a project to develop a computer program that would allow researchers to analyze large amounts of mass spectrometry data. Read the one page summary of his work.
- Aldo Daniel and Khoi (Kevin) Vu worked with Professor Yoon Kim to develop a palm-size wireless computing device for environmental monitoring. See the poster they prepared for the Science Division Summer Research Poster Fair.
Geology, geography and environmental studies
- Linden Brinks, James Karsten and Lucas VanderBilt, with Professor Deanna van Dijk, assisted in two projects dealing with dunes. One project investigated how human activity affects coastal dune activity. The other studied a dune area in Van Buren County that is advancing inland. See the poster Lucas and James prepared for the Science Division Summer Research Poster Fair.
Mathematics and statistics
- Kate Ardinger, HwaPyeong Kim and Nicholas Visser worked with Professor James Turner on a project to utilize algebra to address problems in the geometry of polynomials. See the poster they prepared for the Science Division Summer Research Poster Fair.
- Erika Bosch, Lyndsay DeGroot and Kendra Pennings participated in a community health care project dealing with reproductive knowledge promotion. They were supervised by Professor Joke Ayoola.
Physics and astronomy
Margeaux Carter, Jake Lampen, Nathan McReynolds and Jonathan Shomsky used laser light to trap a small cloud of atoms and then used various tools to study atomic collisions in the cloud. Their supervisor was Professor Matt Walhout.
Jiaming Jiang worked with Professor Loren Haarsma (Physics & Astronomy), Professor Becky Haney (Economics), and Professor Vic Norman (Computer Science) on the project "Programming and optimizing an agent-based computer simulation of a self-organized, interdependent economy." Read the summary of her work.