2013 Big Night Celebrates Undergraduate Research

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Six remarkable UWG students presented profound research at the 15th Annual Big Night on April 2. From Rachmaninoff to the emergency room, the student presentations covered business, education, fine arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences. Prior to Big Night, each of the six students won first round competitions within their respective colleges. Immediately following the presentations, certificates were presented to first, second and third place students in each college who participated in the research competition.Alisha Contractor, Poster Competition First Place Winner

Students were also invited to participate in a research poster competition for monetary prizes. The poster winners were announced at the conclusion of Big Night. The first place winner was Alisha Contractor for her research in "Spectroscopic/Colorimetric Studies of a New Anion/Cation Receptor: PAIn." The second place winner was Geoffrey Liotta for "Pandora's Music Box: Does Internet Access Influence Consumptions of Live Performances?" The third place winners were Natalee Hite and Jessica Rattray for their research titled "Measurement of the Forces Between Two Permanent Magnets Using a Precision Linear Mechanical Feed." The fourth place winner was Borja Arino for his research in "'I'm Sorry' Laws and Malpractice Insurance: Estimating the Impact of Apologies in Medical Misadventures."

From L to R – Tyler Reid, Dominique Hollis, Andrea Culpepper, Nicholas Romano, Jeffrey Taylor and Elle Garland Andrea Culpepper, representing School of the Arts in the College of Arts and Humanities, was the first UWG student to present, incorporating her musical talent into her presentation titled “Revisiting Rachmaninoff through the Lens of Chopin, DeBussy, and Grieg.” In addition to playing recordings from her research, Culpepper also personally took to the piano to demonstrate the music to the audience.

Representing the Richards College of Business, Tyler Reid used economics to explain the possibility of “Forecasting Emergency Room Visits with Google Trends.” He used Google Trends technology to show how patterns of flu outbreaks correspond with the number of visits to an emergency room, and therefore, hospitals can more economically and efficiently staff the hospital emergency room by forecasting future trends.

Jeffrey Taylor, representing the College of Education, discussed “The Role of Achievement Goals in Online Test Anxiety and Help-Seeking.” Among other results, Taylor found that online students might be less competitive because they are more anonymous than face-to-face students. He noted that this could cause students to be less likely to seek help with studying. According to Taylor, competition might encourage help-seeking.

Next, representing Humanities, Elle Garland presented “In a Mad World, only the Mad are Sane:’ Questioning the authority in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.” During her presentation, Garland carefully deconstructed the characters in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,a 1920 horror film that discusses the meaning of madness. “Some elements of the ending of the film leave open the possibility that Francis is mad, only because the world is mad,” she proposed.

Representing the College of Science and Mathematics, Nicholas Romano examined the “Predator-Induced Life History Changes in Daphnia.” Romano used salamanders as the predator for the observed Daphnia. According to his findings, “Daphnia Obtusa have evolved adaptive inducible defenses in the face of salamander predation.”

Dominique Hollis, representing the College of Social Sciences, presented her research in “English as a Language of Performance.” As a study abroad student in France, Hollis used her experience to examine Parisian speech communication and language ideologies, and also used the jazz culture to illustrate her findings. “By recognizing English as a language of performance, the speech community validates speech as heterogeneous, multifunctional and unconfined to the implications of one ideology,” she said.

The evening concluded with a reception for the audience and presenters.

Photo 1: Alisha Contractor, Poster Competition First Place Winner

Photo 2: From L to R – Tyler Reid, Dominique Hollis, Andrea Culpepper, Nicholas Romano, Jeffrey Taylor and Elle Garland