Oral Presentations: Session III

2:30 – 3:45 PM | Merten Hall, Rooms 1202, 1203, 2500 & 3300

Presentation instructions: Presenters have 15 minutes each to present their work. After everyone has taken turns presenting, the discussant will use 5 minutes to give general feedback to the presenters. Then the last 10 minutes will be used for Q&A with the audience led by either the moderator or the discussant.

Culture and Society
Merten Hall, Room 1202

A New Noble: Creating Stories for Men to Live By

William Applegate, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Misogyny has been marketed as a way for men to reclaim their masculinity in various online communities that make up the “man-o-sphere”. This collection of communities aim to convert men to a worldview and a purpose based on a foundation of anger, distrust, and violence. As a tool for the analysis of the mansophere, this paper will ground its historical understanding in the works of two thinkers: Friedrich Nietzsche and Michel Foucault. This is for a couple major reasons. First, the kind of relationship to life being cultivated in the manosphere bears a great resemblance to the valuation of life Nietzsche forcefully critiques and names ressentiment in On The Genealogy of Morals. In order to more fully understand, and hopefully provide questions for self-reflection for the men in these communities, this paper will undergo a genealogical evaluation of the values of the manosphere. Second, by conducting a genealogical evaluation in Nietzsche’s style, this paper will be primed to utilize a Foucaultian line of incorporating of thinking about sexuality and political life in order to more fully understand contemporary communities of ressentiment as political forces. If young men are feeling ostracized by political and economic realities in new ways, then they will look for someone or something to help them cope or change their reality. By undergoing a genealogical critique of the manosphere, this paper will conclude with helping create new stories that better orient these young men to the forces actually impacting their lives.

Hidden Figures in Film Music Examining the Lives and Work of William Grant Still and William Vodery.

Calvin Evans Jr., College of Visual and Performing Arts

This presentation highlights the musical contributions of William Grant Still and Will Vodery, who laid the foundation for a rich legacy of black composers, arrangers, and orchestrators in the visual media industry. The research presented establishes them as the first Black composers to work for a major motion picture studio. Archival documents from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University and the Rubenstein Library at Duke University will reveal the studios, films, and musicians that both Vodery and Still had a major impact on yet were not given recognition. Vodery’s experience as a prominent orchestrator for Broadway and Still’s success composing for major orchestras gained Hollywood’s attention and moved them to the West Coast. Will Vodery and William Grant Still went uncredited on historical films such as Pennies from Heaven (1936), and The Ziegfeld Follies (1945) and worked alongside celebrated composers Dmitri Tiomkin and Oscar Hammerstein. Terence Blanchard, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Duke Ellington, and others have broken monumental ground and opened closed doors for Black film composers of the future. However, who gets the credit for pioneering these champions of film music? Will Vodery and William Grant Still’s time as composers, orchestrators, arrangers, and musical directors for prominent film studios of the early 20th century gave hope to a generation of composers of African descent and their impact is still relevant today. The time to shine a worthy spotlight on this essential slice of lost history about African American composers in the film industry has come.

La Ausencia

May Santiago, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

There is a dearth of Puerto Rican films across a century of filmmaking despite the fact that some of the earliest US-shot films were captured during the invasion of Puerto Rico in 1898. With the presentation of La Ausencia, I will explore the implications of this abyss for the Puerto Rican film industry and its independent filmmakers, especially through intersections of class, gender, and national identity. La Ausencia is a research-based film project/installation that will bridge together footage I gathered from abandoned Puerto Rican film palaces, the Universal Pictures newsreels located at the National Archives in College Park, Puerto Rican films housed in the Library of Congress, virtual exhibitions by Puerto Rican filmmakers, and original research related to my dissertation answering the qualitative questions of Puerto Rican cinema as a whole. This presentation will be a multimedia exploration of aesthetics and finding answers through absences, though it will also present concrete results from investigations conducted in archives between the US and Puerto Rico and first-hand interviews with Puerto Rican filmmakers.

Environmental Policy and Climate Activism
Merten Hall, Room 1203

Evaluating effects of meteorology and recent policy implementations on major pollutant concentrations over Beijing, China

Shreya Guha & Dr. Lucas Henneman, College of Engineering and Computing

Air pollution is a major contributor to adverse health outcomes, with particulate matter of aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5um (PM2.5) and tropospheric or surface ozone being the dominant sources for premature mortality globally. The concentrations of these pollutants are highly dependent on both source emissions and meteorological factors. In 2013, China launched the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan to cut the PM2.5 source emissions, which helped in reducing its concentrations in Beijing. However, the city also experienced an increase in ozone concentration since 2013. This study aims to evaluate and quantify the effects of daily meteorology and long-term policy implementations on these heterogeneous changes in ambient air pollutant concentrations in Beijing from 2011 to 2020. For this, other than relying on a specific dataset, we have assessed and combined several datasets ranging from ground observations to model reanalysis products. This study employs detrending technique in combination with the application of an array of models with increasing levels of intelligence to develop the best possible model for separating out meteorological influences. Thus, we can successfully identify the trend for the anthropological contributions to the changing air quality levels in response to the recent policy implementations in Beijing. Having this information can help in extending the use of this model across various other locations and building more effective environmental policies in the future.

The Different Faces of Climate Change Movement Leaders in Indonesia

Hilyatuz Zakiyyah, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Indonesia, one of the largest GHG emitters in the world, currently plans to double the operating coal-fired power plant, making it the fourth largest coal pipeline in the world. Public concern about climate change is also limited. A study found that Indonesians are among the least concerned in the world about climate change. The combined lack of political will and limited public demand has made it difficult for Indonesia to increase climate ambitions. Young voters in Indonesia consisted of 40% of the total population. There has been a slow but steady grow of movement among the young people on climate and environmental issue. This qualitative study has conducted in-depth interviews with 20 climate movement leaders from various geographical and socioeconomic background to understand their unique self-interest, social identification, and value relevance impacted why and how they work to advance the movement. The result showed that the participants’ self-interest were mostly the one that triggered them to learn more about climate change and environmental issue. The social identification helped them give a sense of meaning towards what they do. The value relevance helped them keep the movement on course. This study also found several challenges they have met along the way and how they would like to be supported. This study aim to contribute to scientific literature in advancing the understanding the process of individual evolution into climate activism. Also, to inform policy makers and support network of how they can create a more effective movement leaders on climate issue.

Hyperspectral Signature-Based Differentiation of Altitude of Aircraft-Induced Clouds

Amy Tal Rose, College of Science

Aircraft-Induced Clouds (AIC) form from the emission of soot from jet engines in cruise flight in favorable atmospheric conditions. AIC absorb, scatter, and reflect shortwave and longwave infrared radiation. This radiative transfer has a cooling effect during the day and warming effect during the night, leading to an overwhelming warming effect of Earth, contributing to anthropogenically-propelled climate change. Reducing AIC significantly mitigates aviation’s contribution to the climate crisis by reducing disruption of Earth’s radiation budget. Researchers have proposed AIC Abatement Programs (AAP) to increase cruise flight levels without additional fuel burn. In order to effectively implement AAP, it is crucial to be able to accurately identify AIC from publicly available imagery. This study aims at the determination of AIC altitude, and thus microphysical properties, based on hyperspectral signatures. This study provides a case study describing the development of an in-scene hyperspectral signature for AIC from aerial imagery. The results show that adaptive coherence estimation and matched filtering are successful in isolation of the AIC from other cloud types and the background with altitude discrimination. An introduction, literature review, methods, results, and future work are provided.

Assessing Thermodynamic Changes of Extratropical Cyclones and their Resulting Extreme Winter Precipitation in the Mid-Atlantic United States

Austin T. Reed & James L. Kinter III, College of Science

Throughout the Northern Hemisphere winter, the continental United States (CONUS) receives a substantial fraction of its mean and extreme precipitation originating from synoptic-scale Extratropical Cyclones (ETCs), with East Coast land areas owing greater than 80% of its winter-time precipitation climatology to ETCs. Previous work has shown that a warming world is conducive to a broadening of the subtropical Hadley Cell circulation, along with enhanced warming at the highest latitudes (polar amplification). The net result of these effects is to shrink the region of midlatitude baroclinicity due to a weakening temperature gradient, which could lead to diminished frequency or intensity of ETCs. Fewer or weaker ETCs would be able to transport the same amount of latent heat to polar regions even if the circulation is unchanged. Previous work has shown that the East Coast of CONUS is expected to see increases in cyclone intensity despite decreasing baroclinicity, due to diabatic processes such as latent heat release from the most extreme precipitation. This study employs a cyclone-following algorithm to track all winter season ETCs in the vicinity of CONUS from 1980-2022. However, a special focus on the Mid-Atlantic region is applied in order to further investigate regional statistically significant changes in mean and extreme water vapor, temperature, snowfall, and precipitation resulting from ETCs. These results will provide adequate resources for risk assessment and flood prediction and improve understanding of ETC-induced extreme precipitation in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Economics of Social Constructs
Merten Hall, Room 2500

The Right Way to Use the Wisdom of Crowds: Analyzing Solvers’ Responses to the Introduction of Marketplace in a Crowdsourcing Platform

Fanshu Li, Dr. Shun Ye & Dr. Pallab Sanyal, School of Business

Crowdsourcing platforms leverage the wisdom of crowds to help organizations solve challenging business problems. While crowdsourcing contests have been a popular way to harness the wisdom of the crowd, the introduction of a “Marketplace” provides instant and readily available solutions, where solvers can sell their ready-made logos on the platform. This study investigates how the introduction of the Marketplace impacts solvers’ contest behavior in a crowdsourcing platform. On the one hand, the introduction of Marketplace may distract solvers’ attention and thus negatively impact their contest performance. On the other hand, solvers may also improve their contest performance by learning from others in the Marketplace. Using a unique dataset from a logo design platform, we analyze the performance of solvers who participated in contests both before and after the introduction of the Marketplace. Leveraging propensity score matching (PSM) with difference-in-differences methods (DiD), we find that solvers who are attracted to the Marketplace become less likely to win in the contests although their average submissions did not change significantly. Digging deeper into the underlying mechanism, we further examine the image quality they submitted for the logo design context based on Deep Learning models. The findings provide valuable insights for organizations seeking to understand solvers’ strategies and provide implications for crowdsourcing platforms to effectively utilize the wisdom of crowds.

Monumental Effects: The Lost Cause & Confederate Symbols in the Post-Reconstruction South

Alexander Taylor, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Symbols of the Confederacy have become central to debates over racism and discrimination in America. Recent work has shown that symbols of the Confederacy, specifically Confederate street names, are associated with worse economic outcomes for Black Americans in the present day. But what was the effect of these symbols when they were first dedicated, and why were they erected in the first place? To assess these questions, I situate Confederate symbols in the context of public art and cultural revivals. I argue that public symbols are cultural items that shape social behavior by sending signals about the values of their society. Next, I combine data on Confederate symbol dedications from the Southern Poverty Law Center with election and census data from ICPSR to create a congressional election-year panel dataset of former confederate states between 1878–1912. I then use Two-Way Fixed Effects and event study models to explore symbols’ effect on voter turnout, voting for Democrats (the anti-Reconstruction party), and the Black population. I find that newly dedicated symbols led to a decrease in voter turnout, an increase in the percentage of voters voting for Democratic congressional candidates, and a decrease in the Black population relative to counties without symbols in this time period. There is little measurable suppression of Black political activity by Confederate symbols, as much of it was already formally suppressed by restrictive voting laws. The results have implications for current debates over Confederate symbols in the United States.

You Can’t Develop What You Don’t Know: How Hayek Predicted Limitations on the Mission Economy

Kathryn Waldron & Dr. Christopher Coyne, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

There has been a recent resurgence in the ideology that governments should intervene in the economy to promote grand “missions” in the national interest. This position is exemplified by the work of Mariana Mazzucato. Her latest book, Mission Economy, identifies seven key pillars designed to ensure successful economic mission. In this paper, we assess the economic theory behind these pillars and identify two problems government officials will face during implementation. The “knowledge problem”, as identified by F.A. Hayek, tells us that much of the knowledge necessary to coordinate social economic action is by nature dispersed and tacit. As a result, it is impossible for government officials to harness this knowledge since it does not exist outside the market process. Meanwhile, the “incentive problem” tells us government officials are utility-maximizing individuals who will seek to use their government positions in pursuit of their own goals. We look at previous U.S. efforts to develop the local economy and establish new political institutions in three different states: Japan, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. We analyze the successfulness of each mission by assessing government officials’ ability to overcome the “knowledge problem” and the “incentive problem”.

Expanding Marx Ecologically: Nature, the Grundrisse, and the Social Metabolic Order

Blake Vullo, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

“Nature” is an extraordinary concept. While it remains a complicated term that seems firmly situated in various arenas of social scientific inquiry and research, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels—both collectively and, at times, independently within the course of their lives and works—have been long underappreciated in their ecologically-minded critiques of philosophy, economics, and political economy. This work seeks to expand existing understandings of the overall vision and utility of Marxian thought, as it relates to an ecologically informed understanding of the social metabolic order under capitalism. Through a careful examination of the foundations of a materialist ecological critique, Marx’s Grundrisse, and Georg Lukács’s contested contributions to “Western Marxism,” the author seeks to convey a more dynamic interpretation of Marx’s and Engel’s respective sociologies in relation to “natural” and social science. In this effort, it is argued that there exists an expanded moral imperative within Marxian thought which remains largely unrecognized within classical, and contemporary, theory and research.

Conversations in Public Health and Healthcare
Merten Hall, Room 3300

Do chatbots improve health applications patient engagement and treatment adherence?

Kevin E Cevasco, Rachel E Morrison, Rediet Woldeselassie & Dr. Seth Kaplan, College of Public Health

Clinicians and patients seeking electronic health (eHealth) applications face challenges in selecting effective solutions due to a high market failure rate. Conversational agent applications, or “chatbots”, show promise in increasing healthcare user engagement by creating bonds between the applications and users. However, it is unclear if chatbots will improve patient adherence or if chatbot development is due to technology hype dynamics’ competitive pressure to innovate. The goal of this review is to identify if user engagement indicators (UEIs) are published in eHealth chatbot studies. Assessing eHealth application engagement requires an interdisciplinary investigation across complex health, technology, and business domains. We conducted a systematic literature review using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) methodology on health chatbot randomized control trials (RCTs). A meta-analysis examined patient clinical trial retention of chatbot apps. Our approach to indirectly capture UEIs through loss to follow-up rates showed no chatbot arm patient retention effect. The small number of studies suggests a need for ongoing eHealth chatbot research, especially given the widespread use of chatbots and the claims regarding their effectiveness made outside the scientific literatures.

COVID and beyond: COVID-19 interventions and power plant emissions in the United States

Munshi Md Rasel & Lucas Henneman, College of Engineering and Computing

Short and long-term changes in electricity generating unit (EGU) emissions were observed during COVID-19 public health interventions in the United States. In a generalized synthetic control framework, we employ weekly EGU SO2, NOx and CO2 emissions data from EPA’s Clean Air Markets Database and location-specific meteorology from 2010-2019 to estimate each EGU’s hypothetical business as usual (BAU) emissions throughout 2020. We find that over 60% (covering >50% of total electricity generation) of EGUs saw SO2, NOx and CO2 emissions increases relative to BAU, with most of the increases occurring in the eastern U.S. We find increases relative to BAU in March-April, stringent lockdown, for SO2, NOx, and CO2 of 44% (4,500 tons/week), 23% (2,200 tons/week), and 14% (2.3 million tons/week), respectively, with similar results from March-December 2020. We find EGUs using coal as primary fuels are the main driver of increased emissions due to increased operations, and SO2 emissions increases at coal EGUs led to a 28% increase in PM2.5 related to coal SO2 emissions relative to BAU across March-December. The increased emissions compared to BAU possibly due to slower electric power sectors coal consumption reduction in 2020. Our results highlight that COVID-19 intervention observed during and after the lockdowns led to increased EGU emissions and PM2.5 concentrations in 2020.

Lighting Up A Lipid: Fluorescence of Cardiolipin in Estrogen Treatment Conditions

Nadege Lebert, College of Science

A variety of lipid classes play important roles in neuronal structure and function. One of these lipids is cardiolipin, a phospholipid exclusive to the mitochondria and important to processes such as mitophagy and apoptosis through its differential oxidation. Estradiol (E2), a steroid sex hormone, is known to exert antioxidant effects in various cell types. I used confocal microscopy to fluoresce the fluorescent label nonyl acridine orange (NAO) after estrogen treatment or removal in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Analysis of the fluorescence of cells in these conditions could contribute to understanding of how hormonal changes can impact neural cell health and neurodegeneration.