Pedagogical Approaches to AI-driven Web Development for Non-Tech Professionals (Prof. Jeff Barry)

1 student is sought for a project on “Pedagogical Approaches to AI-driven Web Development for Non-Tech Professionals” with Prof. Jeff Barry that will begin on 6/10/24 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

This summer research project explores strategies for introducing non-technical audiences to the complexities of developing web applications powered by artificial intelligence (AI). The project seeks to identify methods for demystifying the process of integrating AI technologies into web development for individuals lacking a programming background. Through a detailed examination of various educational methodologies, the project will focus on curriculum design, best practices, and learning tools for conveying complex technical concepts in an accessible manner. The ultimate goal is to create a framework for empowering non-tech professionals with the knowledge and skills to participate in the creation and management of AI-driven products and services.

Prerequisites

Some experience in programming.

Special Comments

None

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/10/24

Estimated End Date: 8/16/24

Maximum number of students sought: 1

Contact Information: Prof. Jeff Barry (barryj@wlu.edu)

Effective Altruism and Its Critics: Dignity, Ethics, and a More Just World (Prof. Howard Pickett)

2 more students are sought for a project on “Effective Altruism and Its Critics: Dignity, Ethics, and a More Just World” with Prof. Howard Pickett that will begin on 6/1/2024 and last for 8 weeks

Project Description:

“Effective Altruism and Its Critics” will give SRS participants an opportunity to read about, discuss, and research the main debates related to the increasingly popular effective altruism (EA) movement. We will examine the work of effective altruists and their critics (including Kantians, contractualists, and others) both charitably (looking for their best insights) and critically (looking for the limitations of their arguments). In other words, we will neither uncritically BASH nor uncritically PRAISE Effective Altruism. Each SRS student will be given the opportunity to research a particular philosophical issue related to EA and also apply our thinking about EA (and its alternative ethical frameworks) to a social problem that matters to YOU! By participating, you will gain a better understanding not only of EA but also, more broadly, of some of the most important debates in ethical theory and, last but not least, some of the most promising ways of adressing one of our world’s most pressing social problems.

Prerequisites

Ideally, applicants will have some familiarity with ethics and with addressing social problems in respectful ways (e.g., through courses in POV or PHIL). However, applicants with background in Effective Altruism or ethics, even without coursework in POV or PHIL, will also be considered.

Special Comments

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/1/2024

Estimated End Date: 7/26/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 2

Contact Information: Prof. Howard Pickett (Picketthy@wlu.edu)

Exploring the Role of Matrices in Analyzing Neural Networks and their Connectivity (Prof. Sima Ahsani)

2 students are sought for a project on “Exploring the Role of Matrices in Analyzing Neural Networks and their Connectivity” with Prof. Sima Ahsani that will begin on 6/1/2024 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

This is an interdisciplinary field that merges mathematics, computer science, and neuroscience, providing a comprehensive understanding of mathematical concepts and their practical applications in studying neural networks and connectivity among brain regions. It offers valuable insights into brain function and analysis methodologies. This study is structured into three phases. Phase 1 includes mathematics for machine learning, Phase 2, simultaneously with Phase 1, encompasses programming, preferably using Python, and Phase 3 integrates the knowledge gained from Phases 1 and 2 to analyze real-world fMRI data. The latter phase seeks to enhance our understanding of brain function and cognitive processes through empirical analysis.

Prerequisites

Calculus I and II, basic Linear Algebra knowledge, and basic programming skills.

Special Comments

If students don’t have linear algebra knowledge or programming skills, they will be required to learn during the Winter semester as a directed study officially or unofficially.

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/1/2024

Estimated End Date: 8/9/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 2

Contact Information: Prof. Sima Ahsani (sahsani@wlu.edu)

Connected Women: Religion, Text and Network in the Early Modern World (Prof. Genelle Gertz)

2 students are sought for a project on “Connected Women: Religion, Text and Network in the Early Modern World” with Prof. Genelle Gertz that will begin on 6/3/2024 and last for 8 weeks

Project Description:

I am co-editing an interdisciplinary volume of essays on early modern women, religion and networks. My co-editor (Prof. of English Erin McCarthy at University of Galway) and I have gathered several scholars in the fields of English and History who are contributors to the volume, and we will convene some zoom meetings over the summer for these contributors to share the progress of their chapters and the questions they are working on. I am looking for students to help me update the scholarly literature section I have already drafted for the book proposal. It would involve reading books and articles relating to networks, women, and religion in the early modern time period. I envision the students participating in the zoom sessions with contributors to hear them present their work and talk through their writing and scholarly questions. For anyone who thinks they might want to pursue research in the post-graduate setting, this experience would be valuable. It would also be valuable to anyone considering graduate school in English, Religion or History.

Prerequisites

It would help to have completed upper-level courses on early modern history, either English, European or global; or in religion and women; or in upper-level English courses that focus on the pre-1700 period. However, I will consider someone without those prerequisites as long as they are eager to read scholarly books and articles on these areas.

Special Comments

This work can be completed on campus or remotely. There won’t be any archival trips. Any manuscripts we review from the time period will be digitized and in English.

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/3/2024

Estimated End Date: 7/26/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 2

Contact Information: Prof. Genelle Gertz (gertzg@wlu.edu)

Constant leverage covering strategy for currency momentum portfolio with transaction costs. (Prof. MARIO NEGRETE GARCIA)

2 students are sought for a project on “Constant leverage covering strategy for currency momentum portfolio with transaction costs.” with Prof. MARIO NEGRETE GARCIA that will begin on 6/3/2024 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

The goal of this project is to study if it is possible to hedge currency momentum portfolios using information stored in past currency returns after considering transaction costs. The goal for the student that collaborates with me over the summer will be to reproduce and update the internet appendix of Menkhoff et al. (2012) “Currency Momentum Strategies”. If the student achieves this task before the end of the summer, we could work on advanced time series techniques to study currency returns volatility. The student will learn how to download and manage currency datasets, how to use Python to estimate currency returns, and how to use Python to generate a statistical description of a currency dataset. The Bloomberg terminal (available at the Leyburn Library) holds an amazing amount of financial and economic data. However, I learned that few senior students know how to use it when I taught Macroeconomic Forecasting. The student will learn how to find and export data from the Datastream dataset. The student will have to use Python to clean and merge multiple datasets into one panel. Then, the student will generate a statistical description of the data and will perform some hypothesis testing. I believe that these skills will help the students to strengthen their CV. The student will perform better in future classes and will be a stronger candidate for the job market when he/she graduates. The student will also have a positive impact on my research. I will be working on the literature review and reviewing the student progress during the summer. Then, I will use the panel created by the student to work on my second research project “Constant leverage covering strategy for currency momentum portfolio with transaction costs.”

Prerequisites

*The student should have successfully completed the following courses. Econ 100 Introduction to Economics Econ 211 Macroeconomic Theory

Special Comments

*Ideally, the student should have successfully completed Econ 203 (Econometrics). However, this is not required. *Ideally, the student should know how to work with Python. However, this is not required.

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/3/2024

Estimated End Date: 8/9/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 2

Contact Information: Prof. MARIO NEGRETE GARCIA (mnegrete@wlu.edu)

Modernizing Economics Education (Prof. Arthur Goldsmith)

2 students are sought for a project on “Modernizing Economics Education” with Prof. Arthur Goldsmith that will begin on 6/3/2024 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

Professor Casey and I plan to work on three papers, which are part of our research initiative – “Modernizing Economics Education” – during the summer of 2024. • “Rethinking Public Policy with an Eye Towards Meaningful Work” • “Modelling ESG: Opening the Door of Student Understanding for a Key Topic in Finance Education” • “Monetary Policy in the Age of AI: A Delicate Balancing Act” SRS will participate in virtually every aspect of the research process, which includes: • Development and articulation of research questions. • Collection of relevant literature. • Discussion and critique of current scholarly work. • Development of relevant formal models to address our research questions. • Analysis using the formal models constructed. • Collection and analysis of data to evaluate hypotheses derived from our analysis of various developments using the formal models we develop. • Create a manuscript outline covering; the importance of our work, how it is carried out, what we find, and how it alters the state of knowledge in this area. • Preparation of a slide show to facilitate presentation of the new scholarship. • Contributing to research talks using the slide show they construct. • Discussion of the feedback received, and how to revise work accordingly. • Assist in revision of the manuscript and the slide show – learning persistence. • How to submit research for review including cover letter preparation. • Strategically thinking about what research is next in light of what was learned.

Prerequisites

Economics 100 or the equivalent

Special Comments

None

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/3/2024

Estimated End Date: 8/9/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 2

Contact Information: Prof. Arthur Goldsmith (goldsmitha@wlu.edu)

Indecent Estimates: Democracies, GDP Announcements, And Their Roles In Sovereign Debt Pricing (Prof. Camilo Alvarez)

1 student is sought for a project on “Indecent Estimates: Democracies, GDP Announcements, And Their Roles In Sovereign Debt Pricing ” with Prof. Camilo Alvarez that will begin on 6/3/2024 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

Since autocracies seem to report higher estimates of GDP than external factors seem to validate, do international financial markets believe them? And when less democratic governments are in times they have high incentives to lie, do financial markets take them at face value? These are the two main questions we will tackle in the summer project. We will start by doing some basic regression to see if financial spreads react differently to GDP growth estimates for democracies or autocracies. Then we would move to focus only on periods where reporting a higher GDP growth might be more beneficial (when asking for new loans, or IMF reviews) and seeing how markets respond.

Prerequisites

They should have some familiarity with coding (language doesn’t matter) and basic regressions.

Special Comments

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/3/2024

Estimated End Date: 8/9/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 1

Contact Information: Prof. Camilo Alvarez (calvarez@wlu.edu)

Comparative Geological Analysis of Basalt in Iceland and Virginia: Implications for Carbon Storage Reservoirs (Prof. Karena Gill)

1 student is sought for a project on “Comparative Geological Analysis of Basalt in Iceland and Virginia: Implications for Carbon Storage Reservoirs” with Prof. Karena Gill that will begin on 6/1/2024 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

Project Summary i. Purpose of project, how it will be carried out, and time required: This summer research project proposal seeks funding to support one student collaborator for summer 2024 for up to 10 weeks. The student will assist in conducting a comprehensive geological analysis of basalt formations in Iceland and Virginia. The focus is on assessing their potential as native reservoirs for carbon storage. The study aims to understand the geochemical and mineralogical properties of these volcanic rocks for potential long-term carbon capture and storage (CCS) applications. To do this, we need to understand the geochemical and mineralogical properties of these volcanic rocks, by evaluating the geological characteristics of these formations. The project will be executed through a systematic study involving field sampling and geological mapping in Iceland and Virginia. Representative samples of basalts will be collected, and detailed geological maps will be created to grasp the distribution and geological context of the rocks. Subsequent laboratory analysis, including petrographic analysis, X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, and scanning electron microscopy, will provide comprehensive information on the mineralogical composition, elemental composition, crystal structure, microstructures, porosity, and permeability of the rocks. The research will also involve investigating the carbon storage potential and hydrogeological properties of basalt through laboratory experiments and analysis. The summer research project is expected to span the duration of the summer, allowing for the thorough execution of field expeditions, laboratory analyses, and data interpretation. The comprehensive study, including comparative analysis and carbon storage modeling, will culminate in the development of conceptual models for carbon storage in basalt formations. The findings of this project will contribute to advancing our understanding of geological and geochemical characteristics, offering insights into the suitability of basalt formations for carbon storage. ii. Anticipated end-product(s) and contribution to my field(s): The project aims to provide insights into the suitability of these formations as native reservoirs for carbon storage, offering recommendations for further research and potential applications in carbon capture and storage initiatives. The findings are expected to have implications for sustainable carbon management strategies, adding valuable knowledge to the broader field of geology and environmental science. The project aims to result in a student-led presentation at a national meeting (Geological Society of America or American Geophysical Union) and eventually a manuscript focusing on the geological and geochemical characteristics of basalt formations in Iceland and Virginia. iii. Student responsibilities and educational benefits: If funded, The student will actively participate in all aspects of the project, including field expeditions, sample collection, geological mapping, laboratory analyses, and comparative studies. The student will gain hands-on experience in petrographic analysis, X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, scanning electron microscopy, and carbon storage modeling. iv. Outside funding sought: The student will explore opportunities for the Johnson Opportunity Grant and other funding sources from the EEG Department to support field and lab expenses.

Prerequisites

EEG100/101

Special Comments

For geology majors; Sustainability and Regional Geology of Iceland Spring 2024; requires travel to the field in Virginia

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/1/2024

Estimated End Date: 8/9/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 1

Contact Information: Prof. Karena Gill (kgill@wlu.edu)

Three- and four-particle scattering in the (1+1)-dimension (Prof. Son Nguyen)

1 student is sought for a project on “Three- and four-particle scattering in the (1+1)-dimension” with Prof. Son Nguyen that will begin on 6/1/2024 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

Effective field theory (EFT) is a powerful tool that exploits the hierarchy of energy scales to study non- relativistic systems. Only low-energy degrees of freedom are retained explicitly, while all others are parametrized in terms of a small number of free coefficients. In this project, we revisit few-body non-relativistic fermionic systems in one spatial dimension. This seemingly trivial system has gained substantial attention from experimentalists due to better control of ultracold quantum gases confined to optical traps. It also provides exciting insights into similar quantum systems in higher dimensions. In particular, we will focus on few-body aspects of this system where constituents interact via local pair-wise interactions that can depend on their relative velocity using EFT technique.

Prerequisites

PHYS210, PHYS 225, PHYS 340

Special Comments

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/1/2024

Estimated End Date: 8/9/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 1

Contact Information: Prof. Son Nguyen (snguyen@wlu.edu)

Translating German Text Produced in 19th Century Chile (Prof. Romina Green)

1 student is sought for a project on “Translating German Text Produced in 19th Century Chile” with Prof. Romina Green that will begin on 6/3/2024 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

This project will include reading and summarize 19th century German-language texts from Chile, and translating the most significant documents. The research will support the professor’s current book project.

Prerequisites

Advanced German language skills

Special Comments

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/3/2024

Estimated End Date: 8/9/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 1

Contact Information: Prof. Romina Green (rgreen@wlu.edu)