More than 38,000 theses and dissertations produced at the University of Arizona are included in the UA Theses and Dissertations collections. These items are publically available and full-text searchable. A small percentage of items are under embargo (restricted).

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  • GENDER AND CONVERSATIONAL INTERRUPTIONS IN CLINICAL SCENARIO-BASED SIMULATION TRAINING FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS

    Hamilton, Allan; OLSEN, SARAH ASHLEY (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    Gender differences in conversational interruptions have been examined in a number of different professional areas, such as corporate and judicial settings. Previous studies on conversational interruptions show that a majority involve men interrupting women, and that these interruptions amplify the gender bias and discrimination faced by those in the workplace on a daily basis. However, there is a paucity of information reported on this subject within the field of medicine and, specifically, within undergraduate medical education. Hardly any research has explored gender and conversational interruptions amongst medical students, and between medical students and their instructors. To address this gap, University of Arizona medical students were recorded during their Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) trainings in the College of Medicine Arizona Simulation Technology and Education Center (ASTEC) for analysis of interruptions. Multiple raters watched and scored the video recordings of high-fidelity, mannequin-based simulation scenarios. A coding system for interruptions was developed to evaluate the impact of not only gender, but other potentially influential factors such as the type of interruption and status of the interrupter and interruptee. After analysis of the data collected, it was found that men interrupted women more often than women interrupted men (p<0.05), and more specifically, male students interrupted female students twice as often as the reverse (p<0.02). In regard to interruption type, there were twice as many male-student-on-female-student power interruptions than there were female-student-on-male-student power interruptions (p<0.05). These findings have interesting implications for ways to minimize conversational interruptions in medical simulation training.
  • THE CRIMINALIZATION OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE

    Atwood, Barbara; JOHNSON, MADISON ANNA (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    The current policy response to domestic violence in the United States is built upon a violent-incident model, focusing on isolated, physical instances of abuse. This model fails to address the gravity of emotional abuse, which occurs in long-term episodes of coercive control and infringement upon personal freedom. Domestic violence in familial relationships frequently occurs in the form of emotional abuse, producing long-standing consequences upon the victim’s mental wellbeing and sense of autonomy. European nations, including France, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, have initiated global awareness of emotional abuse through furnishing criminal provisions and sizable punishments against perpetrators. The violent-incident model of abuse in the United States must be reformed to include a universal definition of emotional abuse, which acknowledges that such abuse transpires in recurring, long-term incidents of coercive control. In addition, the United States must address the state-by-state variation in domestic violence law, which produces an inconsistency in legal protections against all forms of domestic violence. This variability of protections across state borders is clearly exhibited in an analysis of domestic violence policy in South Carolina and California, which is illustrated in this paper. It is essential that the United States implements a similar approach to that of European nations by criminalizing emotional abuse as a crime against personal liberty, which affects an individual’s autonomy, decision-making abilities, and mental wellbeing for a prolonged period.
  • THE UNDER-REPRESENTATION AND PORTRAYAL OF ANXIETY IN CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOKS

    Jaeger, Elizabeth; ANDERS, ASHLEY ROSE (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    My thesis will focus on the importance of the portrayal of anxiety in children’s picture books and the lack of material that children have access to. This paper will explore the issue and offer insights to why it is important to address this topic and its importance to children. I will also provide data on the books that are available to children in my community of Tucson, Arizona, including the Pima County Library system as well as books available to children in classrooms. Through this investigation I will explore what gaps are still left when it comes to the availability of children’s book’s portraying anxiety. I will also discuss the current portrayal of anxiety and how this helps or hinders children’s and adult’s understanding of anxiety in children.
  • AUTOMATED REFRIGERANT CHARGE STATION FOR PROTABLE MEDICAL REFRIGERATORS

    Redford, Gary; KLIX, ALYSSA RAE (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    Refrigerant is used widely for maintaining the desired temperature of vaccines, food, and living spaces; However, as the grams of refrigerant a system requires is decreased, the required precision of refrigerant charging is increased, improved methods of supplying refrigerant must be developed to ensure proper operation and efficiency. Providing an accurate refrigerant quantity to any cooling system is critical. Most known methods of refrigerant delivery are done manually, introducing the potential for human error in the refrigerant delivery process. This design improves refrigerant delivery accuracy by automating the refrigerant recharge process and monitoring refrigerant mass. A refrigerant recharging process system was designed and built by the team using electronically controlled pumps, valves, and sensors. The system minimizes human involvement and maintains an accuracy of 40g ±0.10g of refrigerant during delivery. The monitoring system consists of load-cell based weighing stations that continuously collect data on the mass of the refrigerant tanks and medical refrigerator. The system alerts operators of events, such as empty refrigerant tanks needing to be switched out or full recovery tanks of excess refrigerant, ready to be handed off to a third party for recycling.
  • Insomnia and Anxiety

    Grandner, Michael; Kapoor, Ashna (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    INTRODUCTION: Previous research within the field of sleep psychology has shown that there is a relationship between the specific symptoms of depression and insomnia. Through this study, we will try to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between anxiety and insomnia, particularly the main 7 specific symptoms of anxiety present on the GAD-7, and the daytime, nighttime, and perception symptoms of insomnia. The findings of this research will be able to further guide health professionals in being able to effectively treat patients with this comorbidity. METHODS: Data from the Sleep and Healthy Activity, Diet, Environment, and Socialization (SHADES) study were used, including N=1003 community-dwelling adults age 22-60 from southeastern Pennsylvania. All participants completed the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and the GAD7 anxiety questionnaire. The ISI was divided into 3 sections, based on prior work: SLEEP symptoms (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep or early morning awakening), DAYTIME symptoms (difficulty functioning, noticeable effects), and PERCEPTION symptoms (dissatisfaction and worry about sleep). The items of the GAD7 were assessed separately, including anxiety level, loss of control, worry about many things, difficulty relaxing, restlessness, irritability, and feelings of fear; these were coded as yes/no indicating presence often. Binary logistic regression analyses examined each symptom, with each component of the ISI as predictor (adjusting for the others), as well as age, sex, race/ethnicity and education level. Post-hoc analyses included forward stepwise analyses to determine which components of the ISI contribute to each symptom. RESULTS: SLEEP symptoms were uniquely, independently associated with control (OR=1.09, p=0.03), many worries (OR=1.1, p=0.017), restlessness (OR=1.1, p=0.009), and irritability (OR=1.1, p=0.04). DAYTIME symptoms were uniquely, independently associated with anxiety level (OR=1.3, p<0.0005), control (OR=1.2, p<0.0005), many worries (OR=1.3, p<0.0005), difficulty relaxing (OR=1.2, p=0.004), restlessness (OR=1.3, p=0.001), and irritability (OR=1.2, p<0.0005). PERCEPTION symptoms were uniquely, independently associated with anxiety level (OR=1.1, p=0.03), control (OR=1.2, p=0.001), many worries (OR=1.2, p=0.001) , difficulty relaxing (OR=1.4, p<0.0005), irritability (OR=1.2, p=0.018), and feelings of fear (OR=1.2, p=0.002). In stepwise analyses, fear was predicted only by PERCEPTION symptoms; anxiety level and difficulty relaxing were predicted by DAYTIME and PERCEPTION symptoms; restlessness was predicted by SLEEP and DAYTIME symptoms; and control, many worries and irritability were predicted by all three symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that daytime and perception symptoms of insomnia played a more significant role in the symptoms of anxiety than nighttime symptoms of insomnia. This information offers new insight into this topic and can be used by health professionals to approach this issue differently by focusing on daytime symptoms in the experience of insomnia and overall perception symptoms when treating insomnia and anxiety as a comorbidity.
  • ATTRACT PEOPLE ATTENTION USING VIDEO

    Zhang, Bin; Yu, Xiangxin (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    With the development of the Internet and the popularity of social media, video content influences our lives at an unprecedented level. Many social media platforms use video as the main content to make posts besides texts and pictures. As one of the leading social media platforms, Instagram uses pictures and videos as the primary type of posting. Although videos are everywhere around our lives, we still have no idea what type of content can attract more people. The present study explores the relationship between types of content and people’s preference on social media. Bytracking a dog trainer account about the type of content it use to make posts and the number of likes and responses under each post, there is a strong correlation between video and the number of likes and responses. This result suggests that videos can attract more people compared with pictures.
  • ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING CAPSTONE PROJECT: INNOVATION CENTER ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA

    Stingelin, Ronald; YOUNG, HAYDEN MACKENZIE (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    The team has been commissioned to design and engineer a 31,500 square foot mixed use innovation center in St. Petersburg, Florida. The completion of the project was split into two phases: the design/architecture of the building as a whole and the engineering of each individual system including the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and structural systems. There is also a construction management portion, which includes a breakdown of each individual activity that would take place if the building were to actually be constructed. The final design includes a lobby, administration area, open offices, small meeting rooms, classrooms, an auditorium, clean fabrication, Hi-Bay fabrication, outdoor fabrication, secure storage, and seven client lofts. The mechanical system consists of a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system coupled with a Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS). The plumbing system consists of sanitary waste, stormwater, hot and cold water, and plumbing fixtures. The electrical system consists of a 480/277V transformer, which supplies power to a service entrance switchboard and has a total demand of 189 kVA. The structural system consists of concrete pier foundations supporting slab on grade beams, a steel frame with lateral force resisting members, and a concrete metal deck with precast along the envelop.
  • A STUDY OF THERAPEUTIC ALLIANCE IN EMOTIONALLY-FOCUSED MENTORING

    Sbarra, David, A.; YBARRA, JACOB ANTHONY (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    This honors thesis project focused on assessing the therapeutic alliance (TA) between mentors (securely attached upperclassmen) and mentees (insecurely attached first-year college students) who were enrolled in a newly developed Emotionally-Focused Mentoring (EFM) program. Undergraduate research assistants were trained as raters to observe the relationship between mentees and mentors and efficaciously assess the strength of the TA. Raters completed this process by listening to the first thirty minutes of the last EFM session (week 5) through audio- recordings and coding these observations using an 11-item scale via Qualtrics that measures TA. In addition, self-reported closeness from the participants was assessed. Overall, these findings indicate that the raters were reliable in their assessment of TA and adequately captured true score variance in TA across the participants within the study. The overall average measures ICCs ranged from .31 to .83 for the 11 items. I also evaluated the extent to which the mean of all the coded items from the five raters was itself a reliable composite scale; the mean TA composite was highly reliable (α = .94). Coded TA was also associated with greater reductions in participant’s attachment insecurity, but these effects were driven largely by the influence of a single outlier.
  • CARBON VERSUS SILICON: THE RATIONALE FOR HUMANITY IN ARTISTIC PRODUCTION, PSYCHOACOUSTICS, AND INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS OF MUSIC PERFORMANCE

    Luce, Brian A.; YAU, WING NOK KAISSY (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    The rationale for humanity in the modern-day battle of synthetic digital music production versus human performance has always been a challenging subject. Recent events of the COVID-19 pandemic have further provoked this, as collaboration no longer has to be within physical proximity to be wholly authentic. With endless possibilities in synthetic digital music production, the vitality of human performance is challenged, particularly in a recording context. Preliminary research will be therefore be performed on a small woodwind cohort, in addition to virtual instruments in the Hollywood Orchestra by EastWest sounds. Both ensembles will be recording Robert Muczynski’s Fragments for Woodwind Trio. The five fragments: Waltz, Solitude, Holiday, Reverie, and Exit, showcase a variety of different timbres and textures with its flute, clarinet, and bassoon instrumentation. Additionally, this instrumentation will provide an interesting perspective in terms of sound production in context of the virtual orchestral. The data analysis from these recording sessions will identify the key factors in creating musical cantabile, and whether the virtual instruments are able to successfully recreate the same effect. Historically, many musicians have preserved through difficult times like this, and their ability to innovatively adapt may well allow them to beat the machine.
  • INTERVENTIONS TO TREAT BREASTFEEDING COMPLICATIONS: BEST PRACTICE RECOMMENDATIONS

    Goldsmith, Melissa; YAN, WENDY (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    Purpose: To develop evidence-informed best practice recommendations for postpartum women to reference when experiencing breastfeeding complications such as nipple trauma, pain, and soreness. Background: Breastfeeding is the optimal source of nutrition for infants as it provides nutrients and immunological support tailored to the infant’s needs. Approach to Practice: The best practice recommendations are based on a literature review that was conducted through a search on Google Scholar, PubMed, and the Health Sciences Library. Articles were filtered between the years 2010 to 2020. The literature selection process included the following keywords: breastfeeding interventions, nipple shield, lanolin oil, proper positioning, breastfeeding complications, and nipple pain. Ten articles were included in the literature review section of this thesis. Outcomes: The proposed best practice recommendations are for all postpartum mothers to reference in order to prevent or reduce breastfeeding complications. The hypothetical implementation will be evaluated based on the effect of the infographic created and the breastfeeding outcomes of the women after discharge. Conclusions: Although proper positioning, lanolin oil, and were beneficial for women experiencing breastfeeding complications, further research is needed to solidify the benefits of these therapeutic modalities.
  • BREAST CANCER GUIDE: WRITTEN FOR THOSE WITHOUT AN ACADEMIC BACKGROUND IN BIOLOGY

    Paek, Andrew; WILLIAMS, ARIANNA LEIGH (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    Throughout my undergraduate career, I have taken many classes that addressed the topic of cancer. It is one of the modern mysteries of biology. In discussions with other molecular and cellular biology students, one of the most frequent questions that we are asked is: “Why haven’t they cured cancer yet?” It is a valid question, as well as one that highlights the disconnect that seems to exist between current biological research and the general public. My grandmother had breast cancer and it was never fully explained to her what was happening within her body, what the treatments would do to her and the cancer. At least, not in a way that she could understand. They used medical jargon and scientific names that were confusing to her. This inspired me to write a breast cancer guide for my Honors thesis. The goal is to provide accurate scientific information in language that is accessible to someone with or without a significant background in biology. “Cancer” is a terrifying word because its true meaning is unknown to many people. Hopefully, this guide can provide valuable information and knowledge that can help cancer seem less scary and overwhelming. A greater understanding of the disease could bring comfort to cancer patients as well as their families and friends.
  • Investigating the Effects of FUS and EWSR1 Proteins on T7 and RNA POL II Transcription

    Schwartz, Jacob; WIELAND, DANIEL ROBERT (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    Fused in Sarcoma (FUS), Ewing Sarcoma (EWSR1), and TATA-Box Binding Protein Associated Factor 15 (TAF15) make up the ubiquitously expressed FET family of proteins, which plays a large role in regulating genomic integrity, nucleic acid metabolism, and transcription. In FUS, mutations are known to result in neurodegenerative disorders such as frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurodegenerative disorder. With EWSR1, a chromosomal translocation event with the transcription factor FLI1 results in the fusion protein EWS-FLI1, which is responsible for the titular Ewing sarcoma, an aggressive pediatric bone cancer. Placing FUS in a novel, in-vitro environment with the bacteriophage RNA polymerase T7 revealed an unexplored mechanism of RNA upregulation through the prevention of DNA:RNA hybrids (R-loops), a triple-stranded nucleic acid structure that forms during transcription. In Ewing Sarcoma and control cell lines, knockdowns and transfections have also identified how EWS-FLI1 drive tumorigenesis through the upregulation and downregulation of thousands of genes as identified through RNA sequencing. Here we combined a computational and biochemical approach to study how EWS-FLI1 influences transcription to promote oncogenesis, and how FUS promotes transcription through via DNA:RNA hybrids at the molecular level.
  • Diagnostic System for Monitoring Patients on Ventilators for Secondary Infection

    Hilzendeger, Heather; WIELAND, DANIEL ROBERT (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    Intubated patients are at high risk of developing secondary infections, which increases their risk of a poor outcome. Especially in COVID patients, clinicians need to closely monitor the presence of pathogenic agents responsible for these infections. The current standard of care involves culture-based detection methods, which may take days and may miss diagnoses due to their limited identification capabilities. As such, clinicians will often start suspected patients on a dose of broad-spectrum antibiotics, which are ineffective against viruses and fungi and promotes antibiotic resistance. A novel diagnostic technology is metagenomic, next-generation sequencing (mNGS) where it can identify a wide variety of organisms responsible for the secondary infections from the extratracheal exudate. We designed a web interface using R Shiny to successfully filter, label, and display the large amount of information outputted by mNGS. With clinician feedback from surveys, the website was made to mimic existing culture reports to facilitate clinician adoption and ensure ease of use. A secondary website was also created to context and information about the web application and to allow app users to provide feedback in the future. Our overall goal is that our system will serve as a proof-of-concept that mNGS may be one day popularized for secondary infection diagnostics.
  • EARNINGS MANAGEMENT, BOARD INDEPENDENCE, AND CEO STOCK OPTIONS

    Sunder, Shyam; WEISS, JOSH (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, financial reporting was beset with many scandals resulting from risky and impractical accounting methods used by firms. In response, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other regulations were passed to provide more oversight over financial reporting. This study examines earnings management in the time period after the passage of these. Specifically, I test whether the level of CEO vested in-the-money stock options and board independence impact a firm’s likelihood of earnings management. To determine the degree of earnings management I use a novel measure, a firm’s FSD Score, which is a statistical representation of the firm’s probability of engaging in earnings management using the standard distribution of numbers defined under Benford’s Law. The first conjecture tested in this study is whether the CEO incentives for earnings management are a function of their vested in-the-money stock options. The second conjecture tested is whether a CEO who is more powerful by being in both the CEO and Chairman of the Board (CEO Duality), is more likely to commit earnings management. CEO’s that don’t cash in their vested in-the-money stock options are expecting their firm’s stock to rise and have a greater incentive to indulge in earnings management. The CEO duality would give them more power to influence financial reporting and enable earnings management. I find that whereas the level of vested CEO in-the-money stock options does impact the likelihood of earnings management at a firm, CEO duality does not impact the likelihood of earnings management at a firm.
  • AN IMPROVED METRIC OF CODON ADAPTATION SHOWS SELECTION FOR DISORDER IN VERTEBRATE PROTEIN DOMAINS

    Masel, Joanna; WEIBEL, CATHERINE ANNE (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    The effectiveness of selection varies among species. It is often estimated by means of an “effective population size” based on neutral polymorphism, but this is confounded in complex ways with demography. The strength of codon bias more directly pertains to how well adaptation at many sites can be maintained in the face of deleterious mutations, but past metrics that compare codon bias across species are confounded by among-species variation in %GC content and/or amino acid composition. Here we propose a new Codon Adaptation Index of Species (CAIS) that corrects for both confounders. Unlike previous metrics, CAIS yields the expected relationship with adult vertebrate body mass. As an example of the use of CAIS, we ask whether protein domains evolve lower intrinsic structural disorder (ISD) when present in more exquisitely adapted species, as expected given that ISD is higher in eukaryotic proteomes than prokaryotic proteomes. Using phylogenetically corrected linear models, we find, contrary to expectations, that the ISD of a given protein domain evolves to be higher when in well- adapted species. This effect is stronger in young protein domains but is also present in ancient domains.
  • INVESTIGATING THE DIMERIZATION OF RASG USING BIOLUMINESCENCE RESONANCE ENERGY TRANSFER (BRET)

    Charest, Pascale; Schwartz, Jacob; WEISS, ETHAN T. (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    In diseases such as cancer, metastasis, the spread of cancer to secondary tumor sites, is one of the greatest challenges associated with disease progression and treatment. Ras has been identified as a molecular driver of cancer in nearly 30% of all tumors and is heavily implicated in processes like metastasis. Previous research has suggested that Ras may function as homodimers, but the nature and role of this oligomerization in regulating Ras function is unclear. The single-cell eukaryote Dictyostelium discoideum has proven to be a great model to study Ras signaling and function, mostly due to its simpler signaling network. To investigate Ras dimerization in Dictyostelium, Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET) was employed which allows for studying real-time protein-protein interactions in live cells. Using the novel GoldenBraid cloning method, the desired BRET constructs were generated by fusing the energy donor Renilla luciferase and energy acceptor GFP2 in-frame at the N-terminus of the RasG protein. Both BRET constructs were expressed in rasG null cells and the integrity of the fusion proteins and functionality of the reporters were verified. The BRET2 assay was performed on vegetative rasG null cells expressing GFP2-RasG and Rluc2-RasG and homodimerization was not observed. Future experiments will explore RasG homodimerization in chemotactically competent cells pulsed with cAMP.
  • DIGITAL SOLUTIONS FOR THE EVOLUTION OF ANALOG MANUFACTURING RESOURCE PLANNING SYSTEMS

    Redford, Gary; WAGNER, RILEY FAYE (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    The development of an Automated Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) System has been established by Team 21051 for Ruda Cardinal Inc. Products had previously been serialized in which tracking, report organization, and communication maintained in a mix of analog and digital forms. Digitizing the production system is a great need to Ruda to allow for greater production volume and reduce production time. Therefore, the need arose for a way to track location of hardware throughout product lifecycle, provide on-demand reports of the product, and allow intercommunication between all involved departments at different points in the development process. The created MRP streamlines the manufacturing process allowing for employees to minimize bookkeeping and spend more time manufacturing products. The system features a uniform process that can be followed and replicated for the production of each product of a high-volume contract. Additional features improve ease of use: barcode scanners to allow for products to be easily and concretely tracked through the manufacturing process; automated notifications to update individuals when a product is ready to move to the next steps; and templated Excel sheets to minimize operator error. The MRP was created using agile work methodologies, so three functional iterations of the product were created and delivered to the sponsor throughout the year.
  • OSO PEQUEÑO: WIND FARM INSPECTION ROVER

    Redford, Gary; VOLLMER, PETER JOSEPH GOSAN (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    PROJECT GOAL: To design and build an autonomous rover prototype from scratch that can autonomously navigate a wind farm to collect and extract data from wind turbine footage. PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Wind farms are oen situated in remote locations, with their turbines spread across a large land area. As the world shis to renewable energy, demand for autonomous surveyor robots will grow to help monitor and improve efficiency of wind farms. The rover design is based on an electric All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV). The rover includes a gimbal mounted camera to record wind turbines, weather instrumentation to measure wind speed and direction, a GPS module attached to a Raspberry Pi4 used to generate a navigation for the rover, a TFmini Plus Li-DAR module for obstacle avoidance, and two 12V 50Ah Lithium batteries, a Monocrystalline 120-Watt Solar Panel, and solar charge controller providing a renewable source of power for the rover. This equipment has been assembled and integrated onto the ATV frame, with soware allowing the rover to traverse along a navigational way-point path to collect turbine video and weather conditions autonomously. An external soware package was created for post-processing the collected wind turbine footage to determine the rotational speed of the turbineʼs blades. The processed data is used to monitor acceptable turbine performance and improve wind turbine efficiency. The Project was determined to meet the following criteria: ● The rover shall navigate using series of pre-programmed GPS coordinates ● The rover shall be able to take measurements of wind speed, direction, temperature, and record video footage of turbines ● The rover shall slow down and stop if an obstacle is detected in its path, and resume if or when it is cleared ● The rover shall be able to traverse over terrain with minor bumps and elevation changes ● The rover shall be powered entirely by an on-board solar panel ● Rover shall inspect 3 turbines per outing, and make 1 outing per week External soware shall assist a user in determining turbine blade RPM by tracking color changes in a point of the footage.
  • MULTI-FACTOR QUANTITATIVE INVESTMENT MODEL IN AN UNPRECEDENTED RECESSIONARY RECOVERY

    Haertzen, Matt; VOLPE, TREVOR JAMES (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    This competition was an equity portfolio management competition that challenged students across the nation to create a market-neutral portfolio over several months. The competition ran in three phases starting on November 2nd, 2020 and concluding on March 31st, 2021. The timeframe ran through the 2020 Presidential Election of Biden / Trump and the tribulations of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team, UAlpha, was comprised of five students, including Nick Aleman, Lauren Chitren, Ryan Cramer, Abelardo Ramirez, and myself (Trevor Volpe). We were able to make it through the semifinal round, and our competition concluded on February 14th, 2021. Initially, we created our model to outperform the index during a market correction. However, with negative returns during the first two months, while the market went positive, we decided to shift away from a bear model towards a bull model on December 30th, 2020. In the end, we finished the competition with an overall return of -22.63%, placing 11th out of 39 teams.
  • SURFACE-INITIATED ATOM TRANSFER RADICAL POLYMERIZATION OF MAGNETO-OPTICALLY ACTIVE NANOCOMPOSITES: ROLE OF RANDOM COPOLYMERS FOR HIGH VERDET CONSTANT MATERIALS

    Pyun, Jeffrey; VICKERY, JESSICA ALEXANDRA (The University of Arizona., 2021)
    Magneto-optically active materials play a crucial role in detection of weak magnetic fields produced by biological systems and are a key component in optical communications systems. Michael Faraday discovered that applications of magnetic field to a lead-doped piece of glass induced rotation of linear polarized light propagating through the glass in 1845. This is now known as the Faraday effect and the strength of this effect is described by the Verdet constant; a wavelength and compositionally dependent quantity. Currently, inorganic crystals containing paramagnetic ions are used to rotate light in traditional systems; however, processing limitations and low Verdet constants require new materials to be explored. In previous work, a new approach in fabrication of high-Verdet material was done by utilizing a matrix of polymer coated cobalt ferrite nanoparticles (CoFe2O4) and high molecular weight polystyrene to fabricate magneto-optically active films.1 In this work, we have a similar end goal however the matrix is made up using surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP) with cobalt nanoparticles (CoNPs) and a varying amount of two monomers to effectively attempt to improve physical properties. This was done by comparing SI-ATRP with pure methyl methacrylate (MMA) to copolymers that contain small amounts of n-butyl-acrylate (nBA) to introduce rubbery components to a glassy matrix. Three SI-ATRP reactions were performed, one with pure MMA and two copolymerizations with MMA and nBA that had a target composition of 90:10 and 70:30 (MMA: nBA). From this research, we found that as the polymer had a higher molar ratio of nBA, the melt pressed thin films became more brittle and less transparent. This effected our measurement of Verdet, specifically in the 70:30 sample, which could not be measured. However, we found that the 90:10 (MMA-r-nBA) sample had a Verdet constant of 119,800 °/Tm comparative to the control sample of pure MMA, which had a Verdet constant of 84,360 °/Tm. Further polymer and composite characterization was analyzed using size exclusion chromatography (SEC), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC).

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