quest program past quest projects

Arts

LTU SODA Presents: Arsenic and Old Lace

Leadership

Teaching Abroad in China
Al Farabi Café
Chinese Culture at LTU
Folding @ Lawrence Tech
Coaching the Classics I
Coaching the Classics II
World Masterpieces II Teaching Assistant
 

Research

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire
Mobile Multicast Communications
A Possible Air Pollution Reducer and Source of Biodiesel: The Macroalgae Cladophora Gomerata
Adventures in Carbohydrate-Based Drug Discovery
Assessing the Impact of Autonomous Robotics Competitions in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education
Wireless Network Lab Research and Development
Wireless Sensor Network
Driving a Better Battery Through Materials Science
The Use of an Injectable Hydrogel to Deliver Growth Factors in Orthopaedic Applications
LTU Alternative Energy Lab Photovoltaic panels
The role of UvrD helicase and the SOS response in Pseudomonas syringae pv. Tomato strain DC3000 pathogenesis
Green Chemistry: Preventing Waste and Pollution
Development of Methodologies to Assess the Impact of Autonomous Robotics Competitions in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education
Antibiotic Elution from PMMA Bone Cement
Development of GPS Navigation System for an Intelligent Ground Vehicle, Viper

 


 


LTU SODA Presents: Arsenic and Old Lace
Type: Arts

With the guidance of Dr. David Huntsperger in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Communications ("HSSC") departmentAshley CroftTimothy BondAndrew Yarborough and Rachel Yarborough organized, produced and performed in the LTU SODA (Society of the Dramatic Arts) production of Arsenic and Old Lace. The production timeframe was approximately four months, beginning with auditions mid-January and culminating in three performances in mid-April. The performances took place on April 17, 18 and 19 in S100. To cap the experience, the students are writing a reflective paper regarding their interpretation of the play through acting, directing and set design.

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WLTU
Type: Arts

Media Communications students Scott MaialeCourtney Bufalini and Jeff Wolka will create a series of webisodes showcasing courses, programs and events on LTU's campus. 

 

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Open Mic Night
Type: Arts

Everyone has a talent! Student Demetrius Johnson will provide at least two venues for students, faculty and staff to showcase their acting, music, poetic and other talents through the LTU Open Mic Night project. Working with guide Dr. Jason Barrett in the HSSC department, Demetrius will coordinate the planning, promotion and execution of these events.

 

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Minus Forty Games
Type: Leadership
Guide: Dr. David Bindschadler

In this project Computer Science students Richard Geyer and John Buckenmeyer will develop a video game and then sell it by creating their own business called Minus Forty Games. The game they will be developing is called Operation: Fire Rescue. This is a game they designed in a game design class at Lawrence Tech. Now they are going to take the design and make it into a fully working video game. Their goal is to release the game for the PC and the Xbox 360 home gaming console.

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Teaching Abroad in China
Type: Leadership
Guide: Ms. Melissa Grunow

Arts and Sciences students Alexander Prescott and Christopher Harris will travel to two cities in the Zhejiang Province in China to teach English and American culture to school-age students through a collaboration with Council on China Exchange in Claremont, CA. To prepare, they will develop a day-long lesson plans, activities, and vocabulary presentations centered on a particular topic of American culture (e.g., family, food and restaurants, movies and music, etc). The purpose of this project is to give Lawrence Tech students international exposure and develop teamwork and communication skills among themselves and people of different languages. Both students will create unique Quest projects out of this experience.

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Meaningful Experience Working with Network Technology
Type: Leadership
Guide: Dr. Maryam Roshanaei

In this project senior year computer science student Alexander Zarembo and junior year computer science student Glenn Davis will work on a senior project in computer science together. The purpose of this project is that senior student will mentor and lead the junior student to work on the senior project. This project has been made possible by William Wachob, the executive director of department of IT service at LTU. The Project title is "Meaningful experience working with networking technology": This project will use the low level programming tools available for a modern network component. This will include the use of "Extreme switches" (www.extremenetworks.com) OS's CLI (Command-line interface) scripting language. Zarembo and Davis will gain valuable problem solving and trouble shooting skills that will aid in solving future network issues.

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Al Farabi Café
Type: Leadership
Guide: Dr. Phil Vogt

In this project, Computer Science Graduate student Yasser Alwan, and Psychology major Christina Minta will coordinate a new LTU student organization called the Al Farabi Café. The group is inspired by the 10th century Persian philosopher Muhammad Al Farabi and draws on the principals of the Socrates Café. Al Farabi Café may guide and shape opinions using methods of reasoning. The discussion group aims to stimulate critical thinking in the areas of History, Philosophy, Theology, Religion, Current Events and other such social regards; perhaps advocating social change. As an individual, Al Farabi's perceptions were shaped through his many travels and interactions with diverse people from different lands. In many ways that is the aim of the Café, to bring together people of varying backgrounds under one umbrella, encouraging reason and social change. Globalization played a role in organizing this group, hence the international student body is significantly evident in Al Farabi members. The café will be a threshold to diverse opinions coming from varying backgrounds. The students will gather in a friendly casual environment, without the pressures of a formalized classroom. They may share their ideas and apply what they choose to their personal philosophies. It will indirectly facilitate the learning process and introduce ideas that they may not encounter in their specialized field of study or general social environment. 

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Chinese Culture at LTU
Type: Leadership 
Guide: Karen Evans

In this project, four students from Sichuan University, Cheng ZeHua TaojieJiao Weiyi and Yang Xu will introduce traditional Chinese culture to students at LTU, including Chinese Kong-fu, Chinese food, World Heritage in China and some simple Chinese dialogue. We plan to hold weekly meetings on campus. Such meetings will provide free Chinese food at the beginning, and then we will give a short lecture covering the topic of the week. After the lecture, everyone will discuss the differences between Chinese culture and the culture of his or her country. In this way, cultural differences or gaps can be eliminated and learned. At the end of the meeting, we will teach students some simple Chinese dialogues.

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Folding@LawrenceTech
Type: Leadership
Guide: Dr. Maryam Roshanei

In This QUEST project, MCS majors Christopher Thompson and Alexander Prescott will help researchers study diseases like Huntington's and many cancers through the donation of processing power on student laptops here at LTU. This is accomplished through the installation of a small program called Folding@Home and is part of a larger research effort by Stanford University along with other companies like Google, Intel, Apple and others. We will complete this project by donating our time to install and maintain the project on student's computers and also work to have to program placed on the default computer image that is used to set up the laptops so that future students will be donating processing power by default. We will also be giving a final presentation detailing the overall work completed and also presenting the amount of work units completed giving us an estimate for the amount that we have contributed to the overall fight against disease.

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Coaching the Classics I
Type: Leadership
Guide : Melinda Weinstein

In this Quest Leadership Project, Electrical Engineering major Haley Smith will coach fellow Electrical Engineering student Stephen Muigai in the fundamentals of reading, writing about, and discussing the course content in World Masterpieces I. Since English is Stephen's second language, Haley's consistent review of class discussion and reading assignments will improve Mr. Muigai's English and his comprehension and enjoyment of the texts. In twice-weekly one hour sessions over fifteen weeks, Haley will coach Stephen specifically in 1)Reading comprehension, 2)expanding vocabulary, 3) sounding out words aloud- improving articulation, 4)Reviewing class assignments, 5) reviewing the components of successful papers, 6) reviewing class discussions. These twice-weekly sessions will also be a time for Stephen to ask questions about course related issues outside of class. In keeping with the "theory and practice" requirement of all Quest projects, Haley will also review the scholarly literature on peer coaching and write a final paper gauging the effects of different coaching practices. Haley will also discuss her experiences coaching an ESL student in World Masterpieces I at LTU's "Blue Devil Showcase" in late April.

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Coaching the Classics II
Type: Leadership
Guide : Melinda Weinstein

In this Quest Leadership Project, Brandon See will coach fellow student Saimir Prenga in the fundamentals of reading, writing about, and discussing the course content in World Masterpieces I. Since English is Saimir's second language, Brandon's consistent review of class discussion and reading assignments will improve Saimir's English and their comprehension and enjoyment of the texts. In weekly two hour sessions over fifteen weeks, Brandon will coach Saimir specifically in 1)Reading comprehension, 2)expanding vocabulary, 3) sounding out words aloud- improving articulation, 4)Reviewing class assignments, 5) reviewing the components of successful papers, 6) reviewing class discussions. These two hour weekly sessions will also be a time for Saimir to ask questions about course related issues outside of class. In keeping with the "theory and practice" requirement of all Quest projects, Brandon will also review the scholarly literature on peer coaching and write a final paper gauging the effects of different coaching practices. Brandon will also discuss his experiences coaching an ESL student in World Masterpieces I at LTU's "Blue Devil Showcase" in late April.

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Liar, Liar Pants on Fire
Type: Research
Guide: Dr. Jeff Morrissette 

In this project Arts and Sciences (psychology) student Andrew Miller used the LTU library and other resources to research the history, science and legal aspects of polygraph testing. He then developed and tested a polygraph laboratory module to be used in our Forensic Summer Science Institute. At FSSI, Andrew presented his polygraph research and led the students through his laboratory exercise with each student getting the chance to record and analyze their own polygraph. As the final piece of his project, Andrew will present a seminar at an upcoming LTU symposium. Through this project, Andrew gained valuable insight into literature searches, experimental design, data analysis, and research dissemination.

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Mobile Multicast Communications
Type: Research
Guide: Dr. Maryam Roshanaei 

 

In this project computer science student Mark Avenius will prepare a paper for publication in the Journal of Visual Communication and Image Representation. The purpose of this research is to prepare a journal paper in the area of Mobile Multicast Communications (MMC). Dr. Roshanaei will work with the student to write a journal paper from two completed ITU-T X.mmc-1| ISO/IEC 24793 standardrd drafts. The title of the paper is "Mobile Multicast Communications (MMC)": Mobile Multicast Communications (MMC) is used to support a variety of multimedia multicasting services in the IP-based wireless mobile networks as well as the wired fixed networks. The MMC is targeted at the real-time one-to-many multicast services and applications over mobile communications networks. This implies that the MMC will focus on the multicast services rather than the broadcast services, and only the authenticated users could be allowed in the multicast session. The MMC will also consider the one-to-many multicast session, in which a single multicast sender is allowed in the session, rather than the many-to-many multicast services. In addition, the MMC will be targeted at the real-time multicast session rather the reliable multicast session, and the timely delivery of multicast data will be considered as a key factor.

 

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A Possible Air Pollution Reducer and Source of Biodiesel: The Macroalgae Cladophora Gomerata
Type: Research
Guide: Dr. Tony Sky 

In this project Environmental Chemistry major Johanna Dolch is seeking to improve the world by reducing pollution and by finding low cost alternative energy solutions to expensive foreign petroleum.  Excessive growth of cladophora in the Great Lakes has become a cause for concern that threatens to upset the delicate ecosystem of Michigan's Great Lakes.  Because the Midwest is heavily polluted and also reliant on fossil fuels, Johanna is studying the effects of pollution on algae growth. After consulting the scientific literature, Johanna is working with the hypothesis that algae growth may be affected by absorption of pollutants produced by combustion of fossil fuels. Furthermore, if air pollutants do feed the algae, determining the lipid content (percentage) of harvested algae will tell us whether or not macroalgae are a viable alternative fuel that can be converted to biodiesel. 

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Adventures in Carbohydrate-Based Drug Discovery
Type: Research
Guide: Dr. Shannon Timmons

Compounds derived from living organisms, called natural products, have long served as an important source of inspiration in the quest to discover new therapeutic agents. Carbohydrates are integral constituents of many natural products and are particularly useful in the development of novel anti-cancer and anti-bacterial drugs. Warfarin, a commonly used anti-coagulant, is an interesting drug that was discovered at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Recent research has shown that great therapeutic benefit is derived from adding a carbohydrate group to warfarin. In this Quest project, Ashley Croft and Joshua Wells will focus on expanding this synthetic research and testing new warfarin analogs for anti-cancer and anti-viral activity. Ashley will learn practical laboratory skills such as how to set up a synthetic reaction, characterize products, develop bioassays, and write scientific publications.

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Assessing the Impact of Autonomous Robotics Competitions in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education
Type: Research
Guide: Dr. CJ Chung

In this project, Computer Science Graduate student Emily Trudell and one or two computer science under graduate students will develop and maintain methodologies, procedures, and web-based database tools to assess the impact of autonomous robotics competitions in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. Competitions can drive students to work harder resulting in better acquired skills. We believe that students participating in robotics competitions will improve STEM skills as well as demonstrate skills they would not have gained outside of the competitions. To prove this we need measurable data to quantify the student's experiences. We can use this data to highlight successes and determine areas of improvement. The purpose of the research is to quantify and analyze students' improvements in STEM skills through autonomous robotics competitions that require computer programming as a major work. The result will also show how effective a robotics competition is at educating them. The students would be assessed before and after a competition to see if their skills change. Another group of students who did not participate in the competition would act as a control group, and also take the pre and post assessments. To accomplish these tasks, a set of web-based database tools is needed to allow for easy test creation, collecting data, and data analysis. This research will be published in a journal on educational technologies.

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Wireless Network Lab Research and Development
Type: Research
Guide: Dr. Maryam Roshanei 

The objective of this research is to develop a hands-on labs instruction for Wireless networking. Christopher Casciano will research for the development of this lab's instruction. The main area of these hands-on labs includes but not limited to the following: Comparing wired and wireless systems, exploring the differences between Bluetooth and Wi-fi, Wireless LAN devices and standards, IEEE 802.11 physical layer standards, Media access control and network layer standards, Planning and developing a wireless LAN, Wireless LAN security, Managing a Wireless LAN, Network Setting and wireless LAN troubleshooting.

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Wireless Sensor Network
Type: Research
Guide: Dr. Maryam Roshanei 

In this project, computer science student Christopher Harris will work with Dr. Maryam Roshanaei to develop a contribution on wireless sensor networks, based on Technical document of International Standard organization (ISO), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and joint technical Study Group on Sensor Networks (SGSN). The purpose of this research is to establish standards for all aspects of SN applications and services that are accepted by the international SN community and industry. In addition, this project will involve identifying and studying SN standardization need areas with industry experts, in an effort to develop the international SN standards.

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Driving a Better Battery Through Materials Science
Type: Research
Guide: Dr. Adam Timmons, General Motors Company

In this Quest research project, John Camardese, Alexandra Sowa and Alexander Prescott will enroll in Chemical Sciences Project 1 (CHM4912) or Physics Project 1 (PHY4912), and under the close supervision of GM research Dr. Adam Timmons, and Lawrence Tech faculty Dr. Anthony Sky, will use the principles and practices of materials science to develop a better understanding of electrode materials for advanced lithium-ion batteries. Students will work six hours per week on-site (at GM R & D Center and/or Lawrence Tech) and two hours per week at home. Since the preparation of materials for the Li-ion batteries and the conditions under which the batteries work affect both the durability of those materials and the performance of the battery, potential Quest projects could involve electrochemical, structural/compositional, physical or surface characterizations, or any combination thereof. As part of the Quest requirements, students will make a presentation at Lawrence Tech to faculty and students at the conclusion of the project.

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The Use of an Injectable Hydrogel to Deliver Growth Factors in Orthopaedic Applications
Type: Research
Guide: Dr. Jeff Morrissette

In this project, Tristan Maerz is working on an injectable, environmentally-responsive hydrogel for the localized and sustained delivery of proteins aimed at encouraging the regeneration of fibrocartilagenous tissues once the hydrogel is injected into the body.  This work is being performed in collaboration with the Orthopaedic Research Laboratories and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Beaumont Hospitals.  The long term goal of our research is the repair of soft tissues such as cartilage. The project entails the submission of a research proposal, the extensive research on the use of hydrogels as drug-delivery media, vast project management, the chemistry-intensive synthesis of the hydrogel, as well as the analysis of its effectiveness in an in vitro cell culture and an in vivo animal model. The cooperation between Lawrence Tech's Life Sciences Division and William Beaumont Hospital Departments makes the project a perfect example of team work in large institutions besides being a frontier-research Biomedical Engineering project.

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LTU Alternative Energy Lab Photovoltaic panels
Type: Research
Guide: Robert Fletcher 

In this project Lindsey Mitchell will research the literature on photovoltaic panels. Lindsey will record the her sources in a research journal. After being introduced to the equipment she will collect data measurements of voltage and current that is supplied to the panels. This data will be taken many times at different angles with different temperatures indoors and outdoors. The time spent working with the photovoltaic equipment will be logged on a record sheet. She will also review data that has been taken over the past several years and correlate any similarities or dissimilarities. She will complete a final portfolio summarizing her results, and then present her project at LTU's Open House in April.

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The role of UvrD helicase and the SOS response in Pseudomonas syringae pv. Tomato strain DC3000 pathogenesis
Type: Research
Guide: Dr. Julie Zwiesler-Vollick

Plant pathogens are microbes which cause diseases in plants. They are an important economic and environmental problem. Study of the basic biology of plant pathogens should help us to predict and possibly prevent large infections of crop plants. It could also reveal new targets for pesticides. Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato strain DC3000 (Pst DC3000) is a bacterial plant pathogen. It can infect both the economically important crop plant tomato as well as the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana. Although other factors may be involved, it is known that Pst DC3000 virulence is dependent upon both the phytotoxin coronatine and the proteins secreted by the type III secretion system. Neither coronatine production nor the secretion of proteins by the type III system is constitutively active. While we are beginning to understand the regulation of these important processes, many factors remain unknown. Previous work has suggested that the SOS response may be involved in regulation of virulence. In this project, Derek Waterstradt proposes to generate additional mutants which lack components of the SOS pathway. The virulence, UV tolerance and general stress response of these mutants will then be evaluated.

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Green Chemistry: Preventing Waste and Pollution
Type: Research
Guide: Dr. Shannon Timmons 

In this Quest project Anna Vantsevich and Ryan Hollingsworth will develop accessible laboratory experiments that can be easily imitated in a classroom environment to showcase the efficiency of green chemistry, while lowering the use and generation of toxins. This will be accomplished by performing four or more experiments exploring the concepts of molecular modeling, solventless reactions, chemical kinetics, recrystallization, crystal engineering, and photochemistry. The evaluation and comparison of these experiments will be done using the twelve principles of green chemistry enumerated by Paul Anastas and John Warner in 1998. These experiments are beneficial for students because the new subject of green chemistry provides an alternative career pathway to those who want to preserve the environment and improve the quality of life. This project will provide students and the Quest audience with practical knowledge about the emerging field of green chemistry.

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Development of Methodologies to Assess the Impact of Autonomous Robotics Competitions in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education
Type: Research
Guide: Dr. CJ Chung

Competitions improve students' science, technology, engineering, and math skills. To prove the unique benefit of interdisciplinary robotic competitions we need measurable data that quantifies the student's experiences. This can be acquired through short assessments given to a group of students before and after a robotics competition. Another group of students, who did not participate in the competition, act as a control group by also taking the same pre- and post-assessments. Methodologies including assessment questions, procedures and web-based database tools were developed to aid in this research. User friendliness was a key requirement. Robofest (www.robofest.net), an annual autonomous robotics competition for 5th to 12th grade students, was used to complete this research. Robofest challenges teams of students to design, build, and program robots. In this Quest Project, Emily Trudell developed a web-based assessment tool, allowing her to anonymously gather assessment data and analyze the students' performance, and integrate it into the website Robofest.org. This tool included functions for contacting competition coaches using the Robofest database, posting online assessments, gathering data, and analyzing results. The tool also generated unique codes to insure full anonymity for students.

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Antibiotic Elution from PMMA Bone Cement
Type: Research
Guide: Nicole Villeneuve 

Daptomycin and Tobramycin are antibiotics mixed into PMMA bone cement to kill bone infections. In this Quest project Tyson DeLandsheer is studying the amount of the antibiotics that elute from the bone cement over time, and whether these two different antibiotics effect elution levels. High Performance Liquid Chromatography will be used to find the amounts of antibiotic that are eluted form each bone cement sample. This information will be processed to find any trends between the different initial values of the antibiotics. The same experiments will be run under strain. This will more accurately represent a joint.

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Development of GPS Navigation System for an Intelligent Ground Vehicle, Viper
Type: Research
Guide: CJ Chung

The Intelligent Grounded Vehicle Competition is the premiere university level unmanned ground vehicle competition in the world. As part of IGVC, Navigation Challenge requires vehicles maneuver using GPS coordinates to target destinations while avoiding obstacles. Viper Team of Lawrence Tech won a 2nd place in Autonomous Challenge and completed JAUS Level 3 Challenge; however, our performance in Navigation Challenge was not quite perfect. In this project Ze Cheng with the help of Brian Koroncey and last year's member Shawn Ellison will work on improving performance in the coming IGVC competition in June 2009. Several directions are going to be worked on to improve the current program for Navigation Challenge: 1) vision detection to help with avoiding obstacles, which means the implementation of the camera 2) the implementation of Dijkstra's Algorithm to decide the order of visiting the destinations 3) we will try to transfer current path-finding algorithm A* to a dynamical algorithm B*4) A Fuzzy Logic control module will be developed to navigate the vehicle. In the end we are going to publish a paper for Unmanned Systems North America 2009 Symposium & Exhibition, Washington, DC, August 10-13, 2009.

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