CAS Students Participate in the Summer Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF)

Posted on: July 27, 2012


Category: Social Sciences

Mentor(s): Rick Wash (Telecommunications, Information Studies and Media), Emilee Rader (Telecommunications, Information Studies and Media)
Funded by: National Science Foundation

Everyone needs help finding money for projects and ambitions, especially college students. The Behavior Information and Technology Lab is in the process of creating a crowd-funding platform specifically for students and alumni of Michigan State University and I want to help them. I want to create an application that is innovative and different from other crowd-funding sites. The goal will still be to fund creative projects but the process will not be the same. I interviewed 5 Kickstarter users and talked to them about how they use the site, why they donate money, and what type of projects they donate to. I analyzed the data I got from the interviews and have constructed an affinity diagram. From those conclusions, I will create a prototype and design specifications to implement in the donation process in the current site. This will provide more options while donating and a system that handles money in a way no one has thought of before. Hopefully a new donation process will encourage people to donate to student projects and fund creativity. In the future, other colleges and universities might use these ideas to their own crowd-funding sites.

"The research was challenging but I learned a lot about myself, the research process, and my career choice. It was definitely a worthwhile experience and I had a lot of fun working with professors, MSU Alumni, graduate, and undergraduate students. After I graduate in may, I hope to get a job in or near Michigan relating to web design."


Category: Social Sciences
Mentor(s): Rick Wash (Telecommunications, Information Studies and Media), Alcides Velasquez (Telecommunications, Information Studies and Media), Emilee Rader (Telecommunications, Information Studies and Media)
Funded by: National Science Foundation

As times goes on, computers and the Internet are becoming more and more ubiquitous. With the deployment of high-speed Internet connections increasing, the issue of data and systems security has become even more prevalent. Now, all computer users are faced with security-related decisions throughout their daily activities. These decisions require some degree of technical knowledge, and in order to accommodate these needs a culture of security education has arisen. Previous research has shown that users seek information about computer security from a variety of different sources that include peers, the media, the government, universities, salespeople, among others. This content analysis will examine materials from a variety of different sources in order to understand how each source differs in its approach to computer security education. Materials collected will be meant for an assortment of audiences in fields with varying degrees of technical sophistication. In particular, this study will categorize the prioritization of topics within each source in order to see what is emphasized in different spheres.

"Researchers look at the world through the eyes of science, which is thorough, meticulous, and above all productive. Being a part of a team of incredibly smart people and contributing to society's pool of knowledge is one of the most rewarding things I can think of doing... We all learned so much from each other. The work itself can be tedious, although that's usually only the data collection process. Analyzing data engages your mind and stretches your brain in a way that nothing I've ever done has in the past. You're exhausted at the end of the day, but it always feels like you've made something happen."


Category: Social Sciences
Mentor(s): Laura Dilley (Communicative Sciences and Disorders), Tuuli Morril (Psychology, Communicative Sciences and Disorders)
Funded by: The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program

Listeners have to use a combination of different acoustic cues in order to divide the continuous speech signal into words. Recent work has shown that word segmentation in the later part of an utterance is influenced by distal prosodic characteristics, meaning those pitch and timing patterns which occur at the beginning of an utterance (Dilley and McAuley, 2008). In previous experiments, whether or not listeners heard monosyllabic or disyllabic words in a lexically ambiguous sequence in English (such as footnote and bookworm or foot, notebook, and worm) was shown to depend on distal prosodic characteristics. The purpose of this study is to determine if these findings will extend to spoken Spanish, a language which exhibits lexical stress patterns. There are numerous minimal pairs that contrast only in their stress pattern; for example, "el jugo" means "the juice," while "el jugo" means "he played." Similar to Dilley and McAuley's study, participants in the current experiment will listen to ambiguous sentences and report the word they hear, indicating which stress pattern they perceived. If Spanish-speaking listeners use pitch and timing information in a similar way to English listeners, the context speech should influence their perception of which stress pattern is heard, and therefore, which word is perceived. The results will help further understanding of how listeners are able to divide the continuous acoustic speech signal into words, as well as on the generality of this process across languages.

"I had a great experience presenting my research project, the audience were excellent listeners which motivated me to explain clearly and confident. This is the first time presenting my research, now I eagerly wait for the opportunity to present at other conferences... After graduating in May, I plan to obtain a Master's degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders and work with bilingual children in a private children's rehab clinic."

Share via these networks: