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Gates, Aricka LProfessional Members’ Perceptions of Proposed Rule Changes in All Star Cheerleading
Master of Science in Mathematics, Youngstown State University, 2017, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
The U.S. All Star Federation is the governing body of All Star Cheer in the United States. They surveyed their professional members to better understand their opinions on proposed rule changes. The object of this paper is to predict how the members voted based on their demographic variables. Classification models including multinomial logistic regression, support vector machines, neural networks, and decision tress were used to predict the member’s opinion on the proposed rule changes. The predicted response was compared with the actual response to determine how well the classifiers were performing. All the classifiers used in this study had about the same accuracy when predicting unseen observations.

Committee:

Lucy Kerns, PhD (Advisor); G. J. Kerns, PhD (Committee Member); Andy Chang, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Statistics

Keywords:

cheerleading; classification

Colwell, Kelly L.Disseminating the Cost of the Empty Chair: Improving Healthcare Access and No-Show Rates Through Age and Disease-Specific Education in the Pediatric Asthma Patient Populations
Doctor of Education (Educational Leadership), Youngstown State University, 2017, Department of Educational Foundations, Research, Technology and Leadership
The focus of this investigation was to ascertain if age and disease specific education had an effect in reducing no show rates, for follow up asthma management, in the adolescent pediatric patient population. No show rates have an effect in the quality and management of chronic health conditions, limits access for those waiting to be diagnosed and begin treatment and creates a financial hardship for provider’s practices. Methods: A quasi-experimental, retrospective chart review was utilized for 8-18 y/o participant populations with a specific ICD-9 and ICD-10 asthma diagnosis code, within Mahoning, Trumbull, Stark and Franklin Counties, Ohio. Demographic variables of age, gender, race, type of healthcare coverage and geographic zone were compared to education received or not received. Slot utilization variables of kept, no show, rescheduled and cancelled appointments were also collected. Pertinent data analysis was performed by S.P.S.S statistical analysis software. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to address all research questions. Results: Analyzed data revealed the only correlation to the slot utilization variable and education was the kept. Geographic zone revealed that the highest kept appointments were in Trumbull County, highest no show rates were between the border of Trumbull/Mahoning Counties. There was no appreciable correlation between no show rates and demographic variables. Conclusion: Although education had an integral relationship with kept appointments, it was not inversely proportionate to no show rates. Education encounters were clearly related to the kept variable lending to an assumed improvement in health literacy.

Committee:

Karen Larwin, PhD (Committee Chair); Joseph Lyons, ScD (Committee Member); Joseph Mosca, PhD (Committee Member); Patrick Spearman, PhD (Committee Member); Louis Harris, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Behavioral Sciences; Health Care; Medicine; Social Research

Keywords:

No Show rates, Pediatric asthma, access to healthcare

Uddin, Muhammad ErfanCharacterization and Quantitation of Collagen-I Oxidation in TGF-β Stimulated Fibroblast Culture
Master of Science in Biological Sciences, Youngstown State University, 2017, Department of Biological Sciences
Incisional hernia is one the most common postoperative complications of abdominal surgery. Wound healing studies detailing the events of scar formation have shown that scar collagen composition and structure changes with the maturation of the scar. Cytokines, such as TGF-β, and reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as H2O2, present in the environment during the wound healing process can influence the events of scar formation and the properties of scar tissue. Few studies, however, have examined how these factors can influence the structure and stability of collagen fibers. This study uses a MRC-5 fibroblast culture preparation, and 2D gel profile of a CNBr digested cells and media preparations to identify ROS-oxidation changes in collagen structure, characterize the collagen structure of TGF-β-treated cultures, and evaluate the ROS sensitivity of this collagen in TGF-β-treated cultures. Results showed that MRC-5 cultures treated with TGF-β (0.5%) displayed a 2D gel collagen profile distinct from their untreated counterparts. The collagen content in both MRC-5 cells and media was greater and displayed the presence of the collagen fragment, α1CB6. Results showed that oxidation of TGF-β-treated cultures also produced a 2D gel collagen profile distinct from the untreated controls. Oxidation yielded more high molecular weight collagen peptide fragments and generated the appearance of an additional collagen CNBr fragment, α1CB8. The results of these studies suggest that oxidation and TGF-β treatment can alter the collagen fiber structure and organization in the MRC-5 culture.

Committee:

Johanna Krontiris-Litowitz, PhD (Advisor); Diana Fagan, PhD (Committee Member); Gary Walker, PhD (Committee Member); Mark Womble, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Biochemistry; Biomedical Research; Molecular Biology; Surgery

Keywords:

Collagen-I; TGF-B; Wound Healing; Reactive Oxygen Species

Moran, James PThe Impact of Extracurricular Activity on Teacher Job Satisfaction
Doctor of Education (Educational Leadership), Youngstown State University, 2017, Department of Educational Foundations, Research, Technology and Leadership
Student involvement in extracurricular activities (ECA) has been studied in the field of educational research in regard to its impact on academic achievement. This research reviewed the extant research regarding student achievement. In addition, it expands upon the limited research on the relationship these activities may have in regard to the teachers and staff who oversee them, and how this supervision and involvement of ECA impacted those teachers’ job satisfaction. The findings of the current investigation indicate that supervision of ECA can have a positive impact on educational professionals. Additionally, the research has shown to substantiate positive impacts on teacher longevity, organizational commitment, job performance, and job satisfaction for those individuals who coach and/or advise these activities. Coupled with the research indicating a positive impact on academic achievement from participation in ECA for students, these findings support the prioritization of ECA by school districts and states, so that creative fiscal ways can be found to sustain such programs that have, in recent times, been eliminated due to budget cuts.

Committee:

Karen Larwin, PhD (Advisor); Charles Vergon, JD (Committee Member); Sara Michaliszyn, PhD (Committee Member); Matthew Paylo, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Education; Education Policy; Educational Leadership; School Administration

Keywords:

extracurricular activity, job satisfaction, coach, club adviser

Bridge, LaurieContributing Factors of Substance Abuse: Mental Illness, Mental Illness Treatment and Health Insurance
Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Youngstown State University, 2017, Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science
To gain a better perspective of contributing factors to substance abuse this thesis will examine the relationship between substance abuse, mental illness, previous mental health treatment and health insurance coverage. It is estimated that about 4 million of the 17.5 million people diagnosed with a mental illness also suffer from substance abuse (Important Statistics on Dual Diagnosis, n.d.). This study is a secondary analysis on the results from the 2013 National Survey of Drug Use and Health. The results from this survey is provided by random households in the United States from individuals aged 12 years and older. I test the following research questions: Is there a correlation between a person's mental health and their likeliness to abuse illegal drugs? Does previous mental health treatment decrease the likelihood that an individual will abuse drugs? Lastly, does not having health insurance increase the likelihood of drug abuse? The findings indicate that the presence of a mental illness, especially a severe mental illness, is correlated with a higher substance abuse rate than individuals without a mental illness or who are suffering from a less severe mental illness. It was also found that persons who had received mental health treatment were more likely to abuse substances than someone who had not received treatment. Lastly, the results showed that individuals without health insurance were more likely to abuse substances than someone with health insurance.

Committee:

John Hazy, PhD (Advisor); Richard Rogers, PhD (Committee Member); Christopher Bellas, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Criminology; Mental Health; Psychology; Statistics

Keywords:

Substance abuse; Mental illness; Previous mental illness treatment; Health insurance

Hartsough, Leanna L.Male and Female Athletes’ Perceptions of their Coaches’ Communication
Master of Arts in Professional Communication, Youngstown State University, 2017, Department of Communicaton
This study explores social exchange theory in relationships between college coaches and athletes. There are positive and negative aspects of athletes’ perceptions of their coaches’ recruitment styles, communication competence, ability to motivate, support, and leadership styles. Past studies have looked into student-athletes’ perceptions of their coaches’ communication and relationship with their student-athletes. This study builds on this research by exploring student-athlete alumni perceptions of their coaches. As a previous student-athlete alumna on the track and field team at Youngstown State University, I encountered a variety of experiences with multiple coaches. I interviewed seven men and seven women alumni who were members of the Youngstown State University Track and Field team. I used three demographic questions, 26 nonverbal immediacy scale-observer questions (Richmond, McCroskey, & Johnson, 2003), and five open ended questions to apply the social exchange theory to athletes’ perceptions of their coaches’ communication competence, motivation, support, and leadership styles. Results also indicate a difference between men’s and women’s perception of their coaches. Women’s primary factors included support combined with trust from coaches. Men mainly looked at their individual performance, injuries, and financial aid to figure out whether they wanted to be on the team or not. This study indicates that athletes are satisfied when their coaches treat athletes like friends and treat each individual athlete with care.

Committee:

Rebecca Curnalia, PhD (Advisor); Christina Saenger, PhD (Committee Member); Jay Gordon, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication; Gender Studies; Social Research; Sports Management

Keywords:

relationship between coaches and athletes;athletes perceptions of their coaches communication;difference between mail and female athletes view of their coaches;reasons for athletes to stay on their team or quit

Martof, Ashley NicoleAnalysis of Business Models for the Use of Additive Manufacturing for Maintenance and Sustainment
Master of Science in Engineering, Youngstown State University, 2017, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Aircraft operators must maintain and sustain their aircraft through the platform’s life cycle. The Department of Defense (DoD) is no exception. Many DoD missions may require a time-sensitive production of spare parts. This lends itself to spare parts production by the Department of Defense itself and such an approach could be enabled by additive manufacturing. In order for the government to be able to produce spare parts in-house an entirely new business model between the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and the government has to be established. A physical spare part would not be the transacted item; instead the technical data package (TDP) would be exchanged. Industry needs to be incentivized to adopt a data focused business model. A key question is can industry achieve equivalent profit similarly to the traditional spare parts production? This research explores business models from the perspective of industry. A survey was provided to both government and industry to identify differences and similarities in assumptions and expectations. Four different business models were developed. The business models were applied to two different case studies to evaluate the pros and cons of the various models. This analysis provides industry and government a reference for discussions on approaches toward future maintenance and sustainment manufacturing operations.

Committee:

Brett Conner, PhD (Advisor); Darrell Wallace, PhD (Committee Member); Martin Cala, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Business Costs; Engineering; Industrial Engineering; Public Policy

Keywords:

Additive Manufacturing; Business Models; Aerospace and Defense; 3D Printing

Nyaboke, RoselineThe Role of N2A and N2B Titin Isoforms in Muscle Cell Development
Master of Science in Biological Sciences, Youngstown State University, 2016, Department of Biological Sciences
The process of myogenesis is essential in life since it is initiated immediately after conception and continues throughout life time. It enables the formation of muscle tissues during embryonic development, and there are three types of muscle tissues that are formed during this process. The three types of muscles are skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscles. Skeletal muscle is the most abundant and is important in the movement of the body, and is formed by the muscle precursor’s cells called the myoblasts. Muscle cells consist of sarcomeres that consists of giant protein called titin that are embedded in the sarcomere. Titin is encoded by a single gene TTN that has 363 exons that undergoes alternative splicing to produce the two isoforms; N2A which is located in skeletal muscle and N2B isoform is located in the cardiac muscle. The process of muscle cell development are regulated by growth factors that results to a maturation of a myofiber. In vivo culturing of muscle cells, the cells are fed with medium that is supplemented with growth factors and is controlled during different stages of myogenesis. We conducted this experiment in different time points using the C2C12 cell line from a mouse myoblast, with our main focus on how these two genes, N2A and N2B are expressed throughout the process of myogenesis. The cells were fed with high growth serum during the first phase of myogenesis and during differentiation, the medium was supplemented with low growth serum. RNA was collected in 6 different time points. Analysis of gene study was made using RT-qPCR, and N2A and N2B genes were normalized against actin gene to bring out which gene is expressed higher than the other. The genes were expressed highly in different time points and this did not agree with our hypothesis and we therefore concluded that low serum medium does not trigger myogenesis.

Committee:

Gary Walker, PhD (Advisor); Jonathan Caguiat, PhD (Committee Member); David Asch, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Biology; Biomedical Research; Genetics; Molecular Biology

Keywords:

N2A; N2B; titin; isoforms; muscle; myogenesis

Kelley, Elaine M.Leaving a Cultural and Environmental Hoof Print: The Changing Place of the Horse in America and the Western National Parks during the 19th-20th Centuries
Master of Arts in History, Youngstown State University, 2016, Department of History
This thesis examines the place, meaning, and changing role of the horse in American history -- both physically, including its impacts on the natural environment and its place in the history of transportation, and culturally in modern American memory. As the horse has declined in importance as a beast of burden, it has become increasingly relevant and important culturally, becoming a sort of American artifact central to the notions of American authenticity and the Western experience. The use of the horse as a leisure activity has caused damage to the environment that is specific to the biological makeup of the horse. Although this phenomenon can be examined through various lenses, emphasis here will be placed on the changing place of the horse in western national parks, where over the course of the past century it has undergone transformation from basic transport engine to a starring role in the modern mythology of an authentic western experience.

Committee:

Brian Bonhomme, PhD (Advisor); Martha Pallante, PhD (Committee Member); Donna DeBlasio, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

American History; Cultural Anthropology; Environmental Studies; History; Livestock; Recreation; Transportation

Keywords:

Environmental History; Cultural History; American History; National Parks; Horse; Yosemite; Recreation; Transportation

Cadusale, M. CarmellaAllegiance and Identity: Race and Ethnicity in the Era of the Philippine-American War, 1898-1914
Master of Arts in History, Youngstown State University, 2016, Department of History
Filipino culture was founded through the amalgamation of many ethnic and cultural influences, such as centuries of Spanish colonization and the immigration of surrounding Asiatic groups as well as the long nineteenth century’s Race of Nations. However, the events of 1898 to 1914 brought a sense of national unity throughout the seven thousand islands that made the Philippine archipelago. The Philippine-American War followed by United States occupation, with the massive domestic support on the ideals of Manifest Destiny, introduced the notion of distinct racial ethnicities and cemented the birth of one national Philippine identity. The exploration on the Philippine American War and United States occupation resulted in distinguishing the three different analyses of identity each influenced by events from 1898 to 1914: 1) The identity of Filipinos through the eyes of U.S., an orientalist study of the “us” versus “them” heavily influenced by U.S. propaganda; 2) the identity of the Filipinos themselves—the Spanish American War introduced an awareness of Philippine national identity, and the Philippine American War cemented this idea; 3) associating with a national identity—emphasized in the papers of David P. Barrows, William Howard Taft’s Manila Superintendent of Schools. Barrows introduced U.S. citizens to the perception of Filipinos as “Negritos,” his own personal ethnographic study of possible African blood within all of the Filipino classes. Barrows’ patriotic loyalty to U.S. ideals of Manifest Destiny can be comparatively analyzed through the experiences of David Fagen, an African American soldier from Florida, and several of his fellow African American soldiers of the twenty-fourth regiment who defected from the United States military to join the ranks of Philippine Revolutionary leader, Emilio Aguinaldo.

Committee:

L. Diane Barnes, PhD (Advisor); David Simonelli, PhD (Committee Member); Helene Sinnreich, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

African American Studies; African Americans; American History; American Studies; Asian American Studies; Asian Studies; Black History; Cultural Anthropology; Ethnic Studies; History

Keywords:

Philippine-American War; Imperialism; Nationality; Race; Ethnicity; David Fagen; Identity; Allegiance; Social Darwinism; Eugenics; African Americans; Military; Filipino; Transnationalism; Propaganda; Human Zoos

Yozwiak, Nicole A.Thesis: Systematic Review on Long Term Care Models
Master of Arts in Gerontology, Youngstown State University, 2016, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Gerontology
Home is a place where our identity constantly develops through connections with the past and is defined by cultural, socio-demographic, psychological, political, and economic factors. Many older adults, near the end of their life, are calling long term care facilities their home. Long term care has experienced rapid growth over the past several decades. Currently, assisted living represents one of the most abundant institutional care settings for older adults. An estimated 36,000 assisted living facilities exist in the United States (National Center for Health Statistics, 2016) compared with an estimated 15,600 nursing homes (National Center for Health Statistics, 2016). With long term care facilities rapidly growing, there have been several different models composed, including medical model, person-centered care, Eden Alternative, and Green House model. These models were developed in order to improve one’s quality of life as well as making these facilities appealing to older adults to move into. While making long term care facilities appealing to older adults, artifacts of culture change have regulated care practices, environment, family and community, and workplace practices. While this has influenced long term care facilities, there is still room for improvements in order to improve the quality of life in older adults.

Committee:

Daniel Van Dussen, PhD (Advisor); Tiffany Hughes, PhD (Committee Member); Amy Weaver, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Aging; Gerontology; Health Care

Keywords:

artifacts of culture change;eden alternative;person centered care;green house model

Nagavelli, Sai Krishnanand Improve Nano-Cube Detection Performance Using A Method of Separate Training of Sample Subsets
Master of Computing and Information Systems, Youngstown State University, 2016, Department of Computer Science and Information Systems
The transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is an imaging technique whereby beams of electrons are driven through a thin specimen so that its structure on the nanoscale can be captured. Due to the unique capabilities of TEM, it has been applied to many fields such as the studies of biological tissues, virology, analyzing reactive chemical compounds, monitoring crystal growth and examining 3D printing quality, etc. As a result, a large quantity of TEM data has been produced that are far beyond human processing capabilities. This thesis applies an ensemble learning method based on the AdaBoost to automatically detect cubeshaped nanoparticles in a single TEM image. The specific aim is to improve the detection performance by training classifiers with different subsets of the original positive samples. The subsets are organized according to the degree of particle overlapping so that the classifier can pick up the Haar-like features that are more sensitive to overlapping. Promising results have been observed in the preliminary tests with a 7.89% increase of the overall detection rate.

Committee:

Yong Zhang, PhD (Advisor); Feng George Yu, PhD (Advisor); John Sullins, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Computer Science

Keywords:

Integral image; Cascade classifier; Adaboost algorithm; Transmission electron microscopy; Rapid HAAR feature; OpenCV; Image detection

Musolff, Jennifer A.Variables Considered by Educators when Determining Educational Placement for Children with Autism
Doctor of Education (Educational Leadership), Youngstown State University, 2016, Department of Educational Foundations, Research, Technology and Leadership
Since 2000, the prevalence of autism has been on the rise, with the most current data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016) showing 1 out of 68 children being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. With this growth comes an increase in the number of children served under IDEA in public schools. Educators are required under IDEA to provide children with disabilities a free, appropriate public education in the child’s least restrictive environment. There is a need, now more than ever, for effective and efficient methods of assessing students with autism and ensuring placement in the most appropriate environment to meet their unique and diverse learning needs. This study was designed to contribute to the current literature on assessment variables used to determine educational placement, thus informing educators on proficient means in deciding the most appropriate placement for a child with autism. The first research question investigated the extent children with autism are included in general education classes. The second research question sought out variables used in determining placement. The third question explored the weight each variable has in determining educational placement. The final research question analyzed outside factors and influences that IEP team members take into consideration when they determine educational placement. An online survey consisting of 39 questions was administered to analyze the variables educators in elementary public school buildings use to determine placement for children with autism. The results indicated the most widely used assessments included achievement measures and other measures including social skills assessments and the use of a functional behavior assessment. This study will assist educators with using a variety of assessment procedures when deciding placement for children with autism, helping to ensure the student’s needs are met and learning is maximized.

Committee:

Karen Larwin, PhD (Advisor); Charles Vergon, JD (Committee Member); Kathleen Aspiranti, PhD (Committee Member); Philip Belfiore, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Behavioral Sciences; Educational Tests and Measurements; Special Education

Keywords:

autism; assessment; least restrictive environment

Khavari, SepidehPredicting Human and Animal Protein Subcellular Location
Master of Science in Mathematics, Youngstown State University, 2016, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
An important objective in cell biology is to determine the subcellular location of different proteins and their functions in the cell. Identifying the subcellular location of proteins can be accomplished either by using biochemical experiments or by developing computational predictors that aid in predicting the subcellular location of proteins. Since the former method is both time-consuming and expensive, the computational predictors provide a more advantageous and efficient method of solving the problem. Computational predictors are also ideal in solving the problem of predicting protein subcellular locations since the number of newly discovered proteins have been increasing tremendously as a result of the genome sequencing project. The main objective of this study is to use several different classifiers to predict the subcellular location of animal and human proteins and to determine which of these classifiers performs the best in predicting protein subcellular location. The data for this study was obtained from The Universal Protein Resource (UniProt) which is a database of protein sequence and annotation. Therefore, by accessing UniProt Knowledgebase (UniProt KB), the human and animal proteins that were manually reviewed and annotated (Swiss-Prot) were chosen for this study. A reliable benchmark dataset is obtained by following and applying criteria established in earlier studies for predicting protein subcellular locations. After applying the above criteria to the original dataset, the working benchmark dataset includes 2944 protein sequences. The subcellular locations of these proteins are the nucleus (1001 proteins), the cytoplasm (540 proteins), the secreted (436 proteins), the mitochondria (328 proteins), the cell membrane (286 proteins), the endoplasmic reticulum (207 proteins), the Golgi apparatus (86 proteins), the peroxisome (30 proteins), and the lysosome (30 proteins). Therefore, there are 9 different subcellular locations for proteins in this dataset. The method used for representing proteins in the study is the pseudo-amino acid composition (PseAA composition) adapted from earlier studies. The predictors used to predict the subcellular location of proteins in animal and human include Random Forest, Adaptive Boosting (AdaBoost), and Stage-wise Additive Modeling using a Multi-class Exponential loss function (SAMME), Support Vector Machines (SVMs), and Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs). The results from this study establish that the SVMs classifier yielded the best overall accuracy for predicting the subcellular location of proteins. Most of the computational classifiers used in this study produced better prediction results for determining the subcellular location of proteins in the nucleus, the secreted, and the cell membrane. The secreted and the cell membrane locations had high specificity values with all of the classifiers used in this study. The nucleus had the best prediction results, including a high sensitivity and a high MCC value by using the Bagging method.

Committee:

Andy Chang, PhD (Advisor); Jay Kerns, PhD (Committee Member); Jack Min, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Biology; Statistics

Keywords:

Protein; Subcellular location; Computational predictors

Neal, Timothy A.Perceptions of Administrators: Improving Student Attendance in Urban, Suburban, and Rural Public Schools
Doctor of Education (Educational Leadership), Youngstown State University, 2015, Department of Educational Foundations, Research, Technology and Leadership
Improving student attendance is an issue discussed nationwide. There are many policies and interventions that are used by public high school principals in order to help achieve increased attendance rates in their schools. This study was designed to compare the perceptions of public high school principals in Ohio concerning students’ attendance. A questionnaire was administered to public high school principals in Ohio (N=110, 18% response rate). The responses were compared using the following demographic variables: location of high school, years of administrative experience, gender, and ethnicity. The results were compared for similarities and differences. Significant findings were discussed. Principals, regardless of the typology of their high schools, have similar perceptions about attendance and students’ absences. The results show the top three factors that affect students’ attendance are: academics, climate/environment, and parents/home life. Further research should address all high schools in Ohio.

Committee:

Robert Beebe, EdD (Advisor); Jane Beese, EdD (Committee Member); John Hazy, PhD (Committee Member); Joseph Mosca, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Educational Leadership; School Administration; Secondary Education

Keywords:

Principal;Rural School;Suburban School;Truancy;Urban School

Mohd Faseeh, FnuProbabilistic Smart Terrain Algorithm
Master of Computing and Information Systems, Youngstown State University, 2016, Department of Computer Science and Information Systems
Smart Terrain is an algorithm that is used to find the object that meets the needs transmit signal to the non-player character with those needs influencing the character to move towards those objects. We describe how the probabilistic reasoning can be implemented on it deploying the object that it may meet a need with a given probability. The expected distance can be measured in terms of probability and distance that meet the needs, allowing the non-player character to follow the route in the game. This algorithm can be used to manage a character’s need to direct them which objective has a priority or which objectives are profitable to them. With a smart terrain, this algorithm defines how to find the goal in terms of probability and distance. This algorithm defines how the character is behaving as Human for making decisions. We implement the algorithm as a Unity 3D Game using Waypoint and Navigation Mesh where the objective is to find and collect some valuable objects and stay away from the guards guarding the objects, while navigating in a maze like game world. The algorithm finds a path based on the concept of adjacent routes in the game such that it makes it difficult for the player to stay away from the guards. The player on the other hand is controlled by the user. The algorithm searches for possible paths and then makes a decision based on the calculations on probabilities and distances as discussed in detail in the paper. Several features other than path finding such as ray casting and navigation mesh are also implemented to make the game feel life like. The guards behave intelligently and the algorithm changes the probabilities of player being in a particular area of the game world with time. This makes the game even tough to win.

Committee:

John Sullins, Ph.D. (Advisor); Alina Lazar, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Abdu Arslanyilmaz, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Computer Science; Educational Technology; Information Technology; Web Studies

Keywords:

smart terrain, waypoints, navigation mesh, ray cast

Adkins, Christopher J.Examining the X and Y Generations' Motivation for Choosing Law Enforcement: My How Things Have Changed?
Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Youngstown State University, 2015, Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science
The topic of motivation has been researched extensively, including where it affects job satisfaction and performance. Current research suggests that motivating factors may be evolving with younger generations entering the work force. This research was designed to compare current generation law enforcement recruits to recruits from earlier research in terms of preference in self-serving motivations over altruistic motivations. Current police academy cadets (N=176) were surveyed in northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, and were asked about their motivation for choosing a law enforcement career. Statistical analysis of the data included comparisons between groups in the sample and against previous research. This research suggests that law enforcement motivation has remained stable over the past 30 years. The results reflect few significant variations in motivation based on year of birth. Additionally, few significant differences were seen by gender, race, social class, educational levels, and law enforcement and military experience. However, significant variances were present between Ohio and Pennsylvania academies. Future research should focus on comparisons of motivation between states and evaluating motivation changes over time.

Committee:

John Hazy, PhD (Advisor); Richard Rogers, PhD (Committee Member); Gordon Frissora, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Public Administration; Sociology

Keywords:

Law enforcement motivation; Police; Hiring; Recruiting; Motivation; Job satisfaction; Law enforcement

Bascom, Patrick A.Political Discussions and the Media: How Hostile Media Effects Affect Political Discussions
Master of Arts in Professional Communication, Youngstown State University, 2016, Department of Communicaton
This study looked to expand on previous research on the hostile media effect. Looking at the predictors of perceived hostility and effects of partisanship and perceived hostility to determine the implications for political engagement. Unlike other studies on the hostile media effect, this study was a qualitative one. The methodology provided very interesting results on the perception of bias, political engagement, and also a unique look at the perception of bias by Republican women. The study found that there are specific decisions strong partisans make when deciding whether or not to discuss politics. It was found that identification with a group and anticipating third person effects leads people to engage differently in face-to-face and on social media, and that these differences were evidence of the hostile media effect. Although future research is suggested, this study is a great start to expanding the knowledge of political engagement in a political climate that is perceived to be hostile and biased.

Committee:

Rebecca Curnalia, Ph.D. (Advisor); Adam Earnheardt, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Julia Gergits, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Mass Media; Political Science

Keywords:

political discussion and the media, arguments on social media

Billeck, Jillian L.Investigation of Empathy-like Behavior in Social Housing
Master of Science in Biological Sciences, Youngstown State University, 2016, Department of Biological Sciences
The sensation of pain in the human body has been very well defined. Emotional loci in the brain have also been researched and uncovered. Literature and observed human behavior strongly suggests a link between the neural mechanisms of pain and emotion. The perception of pain to an individual is unique to a specific set of circumstances, with regards to environmental, genetic, and social factors despite the concise sensory system. This phenomenon combined with the expanding comprehension of mirror neurons leads to the conclusion that emotion plays an important role in the perception of pain. Specifically, empathy, or the ability to relate to the emotional experiences of another, may alter the perception of pain. Because recent literature has shown that rodents are able to demonstrate empathy, and knowledge that rats and humans exhibit high similarity in neural structures pertaining to emotion and nociception, an experimental model assessing the influence of empathy on pain-related behavior was created. Empathy was hypothesized to influence nociception in socially-housed versus isolated rats, through the use of a localized inflammatory model. Animals were randomly housed in isolation or socially, in cages of 4. Depending on treatment group, each animal was injected with Complete Freund’s Adjuvant or sterile saline in the left hindpaw. Three parameters were measured- body weight to quantify overall well-being, paw thickness to measure edema, and paw withdrawal latency, as a quantification of pain-like behavior. Behavior was also qualitatively reported. Data were collected weekly for 8 weeks following injection and a series of inferential analyses were conducted. No significant difference between any isolated or socially housed group was found, although many trends were uncovered to suggest value in the original hypothesis.

Committee:

Jill Tall, Ph.D. (Advisor); Mark Womble, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Jeffrey Coldren, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Behavioral Sciences; Biology; Neurosciences

Keywords:

Empathy; Pain

Neupane, KamalBacterial Inhibition in Waste-Water/Fracking Water Using Copper Ion Solution
Master of Science in Engineering, Youngstown State University, 2016, Department of Civil/Environmental and Chemical Engineering
Natural gas serves as a major energy supply in United States. Hydraulic fracturing is the process of extraction of unconventional natural gas from the tight sandstones, and shale's bed. Hydraulic fracturing uses fracking fluid which consists of large volumes of fresh water, proppants (e.g. Sand), slicking agents, and antimicrobial solutions. These flow back water carries a large amount of bacteria which are responsible for the biofilm formation that can eventually clog the fissures (source) and inhibit gas extraction during down-hole production. Numerous toxic chemicals are used as biocides to eliminate the biofilm. These biocides are toxic and can deteriorate the subsurface environment. There has been exploration of alternative products for viable bacterial control but none are without any human health and/or environmental impacts. To replace these biocides, the potential use of copper solution was examined as a safer alternative to traditional biocides. Copper ions or copper compounds have been used to inhibit bacteria in many forms like solid and, liquids for centuries. Copper solutions can impede the bacterial growth while reducing the harm to the environment. This research was mainly focused on two objectives: i) to test the effectiveness of copper solution against gram positive and gram negative bacteria and ii) to explore the efficacy of copper ion solution as comparison to flow back biocide solutions.

The bacteria Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus were used to represent gram negative and gram positive cells. The Staphylococcus epidermis is an aerobic bacteria present in some fracking wells which can also be experimented on in the culture. The experiment was performed using 30mL copper ion solution (250ppm Cu+2) and equivalent volume of flow back water, which were added to bacteria cultured vials at 4-6 hours to investigate the ability to inhibit bacterial strains. The growth with copper treatment was impeded for approximately 12 hours for gram negative bacteria and approximately 8-10 hours for gram positive bacteria. However, flow back water was found to inhibit all bacteria growth for up to 48-56 hours as concluded using both turbidity and viable cells count test results. To mimic the flow back water antimicrobial properties, copper ion solution may need to be added at 10-12 hours interval to replace the toxic chemicals used in fracturing fluids. It is not clear what chemicals, concentrations of the chemicals or the cost of the chemical are used in flow back water. Future studies should investigate and optimize the cost and economic viability of the copper solution. Copper and its compound are considered to be benign to the environment and they can also be toxic to deleterious bacteria, this property of copper would not only help fracking industries to remove biofilm problem but also help to preserve the subsurface environment.

Committee:

Anthony Vercellino, PhD (Committee Chair); Felicia Armstrong, PhD (Committee Member); Suresh Sharma, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Environmental Engineering

Keywords:

hydraulic fracturing; biofilms; flowback; copper solution; turbidity; viable cell count; bacterial inhibition

Friedrich, Brian KarlAn Experimental Study of Volumetric Quality on Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer Characteristics for Two Phase Impinging Jets
Master of Science in Engineering, Youngstown State University, 2016, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
This study further expands the current knowledge of the relationship between heat transfer and fluid mechanics. Fluid flow and heat transfer characteristics of air-assisted water jet impingement was experimentally investigated under a fixed water flow rate condition. Water and air were the test fluids. The effects of volumetric quality (ß = 0 – 0.9) on the Nusselt number, hydraulic jump diameter, and pressure were considered. The results showed that stagnation Nusselt number, hydraulic jump diameter, and stagnation pressure increased with volumetric quality to a maximum value at 0.8 of the volumetric quality, and then decreased. The stagnation Nusselt number and hydraulic jump diameter of the air assisted water jet impingement are governed by the stagnation pressure. Based on the experimental results, a new correlation for the normalized stagnation Nusselt number and hydraulic jump are developed as a function of the normalized stagnation pressure alone. This research can be applied to further enhance the cooling of industrial applications, such as, cooling of electronics and processing of materials.

Committee:

Kyosung Choo, PhD (Advisor); Guha Manogharan, PhD (Committee Member); Jae Joong Ryu, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Experiments; Fluid Dynamics; Mechanical Engineering

Keywords:

impinging jet; Hydraulic Jump; two phase; two-phase; fluid flow; Heat transfer; jet impingement; Volumetric quality;

Sinha, VinayakSentiment Analysis On Java Source Code In Large Software Repositories
Master of Computing and Information Systems, Youngstown State University, 2016, Department of Computer Science and Information Systems
While developers are writing code to accomplish the task assigned to them, their sentiments play a vital role and have a massive impact on quality and productivity. Sentiments can have either a positive or a negative impact on the tasks being performed by developers. This thesis presents an analysis of developer commit logs for GitHub projects. In particular, developer sentiment in commits is analyzed across 28,466 projects within a seven-year time frame. We use the Boa infrastructure’s online query system to generate commit logs as well as files that were changed during the commit. Two existing sentiment analysis frameworks (SentiStrength and NLTK) are used for sentiment extraction. We analyze the commits in three categories: large, medium, and small based on the number of commits using sentiment analysis tools. In addition, we also group the data based on the day of week the commit was made and map the sentiment to the file change history to determine if there was any correlation. Although a majority of the sentiment was neutral, the negative sentiment was about 10% more than the positive sentiment overall. Tuesdays seem to have the most negative sentiment overall. In addition, we do find a strong correlation between the number of files changed and the sentiment expressed by the commits the files were part of. It was also observed that SentiStrength and NLTK show consistent results and similar trends. Future work and implications of these results are discussed.

Committee:

Bonita Sharif, PhD (Advisor); Alina Lazar, PhD (Committee Member); John Sullins, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Computer Science; Information Technology; Organizational Behavior

Keywords:

Sentiment Analysis; Emotions; Commit logs; Java projects; Large Software Repositories

Afeke, Cephas OfoeChemistry of Acyl Nitrenes in the Synthesis of Carbamates and Complex Heterocycles
Master of Science in Chemistry, Youngstown State University, 2015, Department of Chemistry
The synthesis of carbamates via Curtius rearrangement utilizing aryl acyl azides together with a wide range of alcohol-containing complex organic molecules was explored through the use of heat. Additionally, the intramolecular insertion of oxycarbonyl nitrenes generated from thermally decomposed azidoformates was studied with several high and low boiling solvents to observe behavior. The insertion of these thermally generated nitrenes into the solvents used may serve as a new way of functionalizing some stable organic compounds and solvents that may originally appear inert in many reaction systems.

Committee:

Peter Norris, PhD (Advisor); John Jackson, PhD (Committee Member); Sherri Lovelace-Cameron, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Chemistry; Organic Chemistry

Keywords:

Decomposition of azidoformates; Acyl nitrenes; Azidoformates, nitrene insertion

Dempsey, Stephen EWe Can’t Get No Satisfaction!: An Evaluation of Prison Programs
Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Youngstown State University, 2015, Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science
The self-reported rates of satisfaction from inmates enrolled in correctional treatment programs, is a relatively new field of study. This study is a secondary research analysis that examines predictors of satisfaction using Gerald Melnick’s study, “Client Perceptions of Prison-Based Therapeutic Community Drug Treatment Programs” (Melnick 2004, pp. 121). Melnick researched the overall satisfaction rates of inmates in treatment programs. The present study examines what may predict higher rates of satisfaction. This thesis proposes that inmate participation and program characteristics influence satisfaction. Results show that four variables were strongly related to higher levels of satisfaction: I enthusiastically participate in program activities, I feel an investment, attachment and ownership in the program, my counselor supports my goals, and my counselor is sincere in wanting to help me. These findings supported Hirschi’s Social Bond Theory. While researching the inmates satisfaction on their enrolled programs, correctional facilities can improve their programs so that the inmate can fully benefit from the program.

Committee:

Christopher Bellas, Ph.D. (Committee Chair); John Hazy, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Jeff Ervin (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Counseling Psychology; Criminology

Keywords:

satisfaction, drug treatment program

Pugh, Thomas AndrewAn American Family
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Youngstown State University, 2015, Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts (Creative Writing)
An American Family is Tom Pugh's collection of creative nonfiction essays about growing up in a family with four sisters and his parents. The collection spans decades from the 1990s through 2012. Pugh uses humor in his essays to discuss some of the hardest aspects of growing up in a large family. His essays are about life, love, death, and everything else involved in family life.

Committee:

David Giffels (Advisor); Christopher Barzak (Committee Member); Phillip Brady (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Fine Arts; Literature

Keywords:

Family;An American Family;Essays About Family

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