• The Search for the BMPl Gene in a Salamander Gene Library and the identification of Several Genes from the Library.

      Feygin, Alex Z. (2013-01-11)
      Bone Morphogenetic Protein 1 (BMP 1) functions in normal embryological development. The goal of this research was to obtain the sequence of salamander BMPl. Following sequence determination, an in situ probe for BMPJ activity would be generated to ascertain if this gene plays similar roles in Salamander limb regeneration, a system that has been demonstrated as comparable to normal embryological limb development. A Salamander eDNA library was obtained as a potential source for salamander BMPl. No BMPI sequence from this eDNA library was detected. This led to the pursuit of alternative gene sequences that could be of potential interest in the study of salamander limb regeneration. Two library recombinants were generated containing genes of potential interest to the study of salamander limb regeneration as determined by their sequence similarity to established genetic sequences. Rec9 contained an insert most similar to the Gallus gallus chondroitin sulfate N-acetlygalacosylaminyltransferase 2 gene. Rec21 most closely resembled Xenopus (Silurana) tropicalis oncomodulin.
    • Seasonal movements of Paddlefish (Polyadon spathula) in the Allegheny Reservoir.

      Budnik, Richard Raymond (2013-01-25)
      We used radio telemetry to determine the distribution and movements of paddlefish Polyadon spathula in the Allegheny Reservoir. Thirty-one adult and subadult paddlefish collected from spring congregation areas in the Allegheny Reservoir, New York and Pennsylvania, were implanted with radio transmitters and relocated from 29 May to 29 October 2008 and 10 March to 29 September 2009. Paddlefish showed a significant increase in average size and little variation in condition from 2008 to 2009. In both pre-spawning and spawning periods, paddlefish moved upstream and congregated near predicted spawning areas where the Allegheny River widens and becomes the Allegheny Reservoir. During the post-spawning period paddlefish moved downstream into lower reservoir regions. Forty-five percent of individuals tracked ended up below the dam of the Reservoir by the end of the study. Restoration and stocking efforts may now need to focus on determining if natural spawning is taking place and how individuals traveling through the dam may be affecting the paddlefish population.
    • Seeing Oneself: A Contextual Analysis of Diversity in Commonly Read Young Adult Literature

      Carson-Davis, Jessica (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2018-07)
      The purpose of this study is to observe the quality and variance of the representations of culturally and linguistically diverse populations within commonly read young adult literature. This study was conducted through the use of qualitative and quantitative contextual analysis methodologies, and consisted of a sample of nine commonly read young adult novels. The literature were analyzed through the theoretical lenses of critical race theory, the transactional theory of reading, and multicultural pedagogy. The literature were coded for representations of race, ethnicity, language, gender, sexuality, disability and illness, and socioeconomic status. These themes were then coded and analyzed based on varying emerging sub-themes, such as tokenized race representations, the use of accents to represent language, and various other subthemes. The main findings included the frequency of the representations of the previously stated populations. Out of the 1,195 coded representation samples found within the literature, race was present in 48 samples, ethnicity in 128 samples, language in 149 samples, gender in 282 samples, sexuality in 279 samples, disability and/or illness in 201 samples, and socioeconomic status in 108. The quality of the samples were also analyzed, and are contained within this study.
    • Selecting Instruments for beginners.

      Dangler, Anthony G. (2014)
      This study investigated how music teachers in Western New York State prepare beginning instrumental music students to select a musical instrument. Participants comprised music teachers in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara Counties. Eighty-one participants completed an online questionnaire or adaption of the online questionnaire relating to their instrumental selection process. The purpose of the study was to explore the factors that determine the instrument selection process for beginning band students. Additional explored areas included educational setting, professional background, specific instrument selection procedures, the effects of gender on instrument choice, the role of testing in the instrument selection process, and influences of the instrument selection process. Most participants in the study earned their master’s degrees and had an average of 16 years of teaching experience. Participants reported that the instrument selection process was briefly mentioned in their pre-service education and that personal experience had the most influence in their selection procedure. Participants also reported that students preferred instruments that coincided with traditional gender roles. The findings of this study indicate that more emphasis on the instrument selection process is needed by music teachers and pre-service programs to address important issues such as gender bias.
    • The SHAPE of an IRES: Secondary Structure Determination of the Internal Ribosomal Entry Site in the 5’UTR of the gurken mRNA Using SHAPE Chemistry

      Martin, Allison (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2017-05)
      Internal Ribosomal Entry Sites (IRESs) are conserved secondary structural elements present in the 5’ untranslated regions (UTR) of some essential eukaryotic mRNAs and many viral RNA genomes. IRESs allow the mRNA or viral RNA to bypass canonical cap-dependent translation initiation and entice the ribosome to assemble directly onto the RNA strand and initiate translation. Viruses utilize this method of translation initiation to hijack cellular translation machinery and eukaryotes utilize this to maintain levels of critical proteins when most translation is shut down due to cellular stress. Gurken (Grk) protein is an EGFR ligand essential for determining polarity and eggshell patterning in Drosophila melanogaster development. The gurken mRNA is believed to have an IRES for several reasons, including steady regulation of grk translation under nutrient limited conditions when canonical cap-dependent translation is repressed and the necessity of a RNA helicase for cap-dependent translation to occur under non-starvation conditions. Here we are interested in finding structural features corresponding to a potential internal ribosomal entry site (IRES) in the 5’ UTR of the gurken mRNA from D. melanogaster. Selective 2’-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension (SHAPE) chemistry is a powerful tool used to investigate secondary structure in RNA molecules. We used this procedure to probe the grk 5’ UTR secondary structure and then compare the predicted structure to known IRES structural motifs. In collaboration with in vitro translation Luciferase assays and selective deletion or mutation of structural features, individual secondary structural features can be selectively analyzed and included or excluded as a potential IRES. Here I present the wild-type structure of the gurken 5’ UTR and correlations between the structural elements present there and known IRES structural features.
    • ‘Sign’ing the Nation’s Contract: Constructing the Walls of American Citizenship

      Drzewiecki, Margaret (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2017-08)
      This paper investigates the way language constructs and reinforces national identity. In other words, I am examining how the role of the “citizen” is defined within the confines of language. Using a primarily sociolinguistic lens, my thesis analyzes the language used in political speeches and legal documents (including U.S. legislation; judicial opinions of Associate Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson; and speeches of former Lieutenant Governor of New York Stanley N. Lundine). In doing so, I explain how the American “citizen” has been constructed through language utilized in various formats and contexts. Overall, my thesis is a reflection on what it has meant and currently means to be “American” alongside an examination of how citizenship status is attained.
    • Simplifying structurally comparable expressions.

      Humbert, Michael P. (2013-01-24)
      This study explores the connection between student understanding of arithmetic and algebra through the evaluation of numeric expressions and the simplification of structurally comparable algebraic expressions. It is hypothesized that non-major college mathematics students are more likely to correctly simplify an algebraic expression than to correctly evaluate a numeric expression of comparable structure. One hundred students from four non major mathematics courses were given a six-problem assessment to test this hypothesis. The results suggest that students are more successful at evaluating numeric expressions than algebraic expressions. Possible correlations between the two subject areas are discussed in the findings.
    • SPEEDY 3-D.

      Maiorana, Sara A. (2014)
      This research investigates how college students’ spatial skills vary by age, gender, college major and additional factors. Specifically, it explores students’ abilities to visualize two-dimensional air nets corresponding to two-dimensional illustrations of three-dimensional cubes. Also, this study examines how the use of a tangible air net manipulative affects performance. During this study, students answered a five-problem quiz involving matching and creating two-dimensional air nets for a given cube and vice versa. The results of the assessment were compared to those from a survey on the students’ age, gender, college major, ethnicity, and students’ perceptions of which problems were the most difficult and least difficult. It was hypothesized that male mathematics majors with access to a manipulative would perform best on the given spatial skills problems. The results of this study indicated that gender and college major had no statistical significance in spatial ability test score. Additional results revealed that there was a significant difference in test score by class, particularly with the use of a manipulative, and that the most difficult problem and least difficult problem on the assessment were both of the unfolding-type spatial ability task. These findings have noteworthy implications for in-service and pre-service mathematics teachers, particularly at the secondary level, regarding lesson planning and implementation when teaching spatial reasoning.
    • Student choice in continuing to study high school science.

      Al Mutir, Arwa (2015)
      This study implemented a quantitative approach to examine the factors that affect whether students continue to study science at the high school level. Data was collected through closed-ended surveys to answer the research questions: 1) “What factors impact a female student’s choice to continue to study science at the high school level in Saudi Arabia?” This research took place in Najran City in Saudi Arabia. The sample for this research study consisted of 148 female high school students, aged 16 to 18. Stratified sampling was appropriate for the nature of the study because it aimed to include female survey respondents. The participants in this research study were 26% first-year students, 52% second-year students, and 22% third-year students. The research instrument that was utilized was the "ROSE (The Relevance of Science Education), which is a questionnaire mostly consisting of closed questions with Likert scales" (Schreiner & Sjøberg, 2004, p. 35). After data was gathered, the responses of each participant were analyzed and given a point value based on a scale from 1 to 5. The obtained data was translated into graphs and tables in order to provide a comprehensive and easy-to-understand presentation of the data for in-depth analysis. This study concluded that the main factors that contribute to the female students' desire to continue studying science in high school are interest, attitude, and motivation. Also, it can be seen clearly that effective factors influence students' learning. Lastly, the researcher suggests recommendations for future research.
    • Students' visual estimation of angles and their proficiency with angular measurement tools.

      Brydges, Courtney E. (2013-10-21)
      This study examines students' perceptions of and skill with angular measurement. Its underlying purpose is to analyze students' level of proficiency and appropriate understanding of angular measurement and associated measurement tools. It was hypothesized that eighth grade students would more accurately determine the measurement of a given angle to the nearest degree using visual estimation as opposed to using a protractor. The remainder of this study compares eighth grade students' assessments with university students' assessments. It was further hypothesized that neither age nor gender would influence a student's estimate despite the size or position of the angle. Subsequently, it was proposed that students, regardless of their age or gender, would have the most difficulty estimating acute angles within 10° of 0° and obtuse angles within 10° of 180°. The results of this study indicate that eighth grade students do not have sufficient knowledge in using angular measurement tools. Additional results revealed that both gender and age were found to have statistical significance in the visual estimation of angles and overwhelming evidence suggested that the least difficult angles to estimate were those close to 90 degrees.
    • A study aimed at reducing cognitive and somatic anxiety levels among collegiate drivers' performance in a meet setting

      Fuller, Ryan (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016)
      An experiment was conducted on seven Division III collegiate divers to investigate the levels of cognitive and somatic anxiety and their impact on performance. Divers were given three tests, the CSAI-2, SCAT, and Likert-type survey to further understand anxiety levels and possible causes of anxiety. The participants were presented with five interventions that aimed at reducing levels of anxiety: visualization, imagaletics, thought stoppage, coping statements, and relaxation. These interventions were introduced throughout the final two months of the swimming and diving season in the meets leading up to the divers' championship meet. Performances were also tracked and compared to pre and post intervention period to see the difference in score. The results indicated that while performance scores increased among all divers, anxiety levels were not identical. Each diver responded differently to the interventions, lowering half of everyone's anxiety, while raising anxiety among the other half. Each diver wrote in journals over the course of the intervention period in order to give a narrative and description of their thought processes when facing a stressful situation. There was no definitive link between the intervention's effectiveness on the divers due to the conflicting results. There does appear to be a link between self-confidence levels, anxiety levels, and performance levels. In conclusion, the results find that each person responds differently to anxiety, either positively or negatively, therefore, levels of anxiety will ultimately be dete rmined by one's perception of the anxious situation. [from author's abstract]
    • A study of college students' accuracy in measurement estimation.

      Melinski, Ashley J. (2014)
      This study examines how accurate college students are in measurement estimation. It expands on the current research and compares students’ skills to estimate using the U.S. customary system and the metric system. The study compares college students from various countries and various STEM and non-STEM majors. The purpose of this study is to identify which group of students performed the best, whether it was international students compared to American students or if it was STEM majors compared to non-STEM majors. This study also compared students’ skills in different types of measurement estimation and to address the areas in which students performed the best. During the study, students completed a 16-question assessment containing different types of measurement estimation problems, including lengths, volumes, and temperature, using both the customary units and the metric system. Students were not allowed to use rulers or any devices to help improve their accuracy. For the volume and weight/mass problems, students were able to see actual containers filled with water to estimate the amount and weight. Students then had to complete a demographic survey of major, country they were raised in, and which units they were most comfortable using. Later in the survey, students had to rate each question based on their confidence level of their accuracy. The results showed that there was no statistical significance in scores and country of origin and also no statistical significance in scores and college major.
    • A study of college students' estimation skills with mathematical computations.

      Morgan, Jerica (2013-10-21)
      This research examines students’ capability to perform computational estimations as well as strategies used in doing so. There were a total of 59 participants and each was given an assessment and a survey to collect data to answer the questions: “How familiar are non-mathematics major college students with computational estimation?” and “What strategies are often implemented in performing these estimations?” Results showed that these participants were not proficient at estimating the answers of the problems in the study, implying that there is a need to further develop students’ skills of estimation in earlier stages of their education.
    • A study of college students' misconceptions about fractional expressions.

      Tydings, Shannon M. (2014)
      This study investigates the possible reasons why students struggle with the concept of fractions. During this study, college students from both a mathematics course required for their major and students in a basic core curriculum mathematics course completed a 10- problem test containing different types of problems involving fractions. These participants were not allowed to use a calculator. The number of correct responses for each problem was recorded. The scores were then compared to a survey that students answered, specifically looking at which problems they felt were the easiest/hardest to solve, and the method which they used to solve each problem. The results of this study indicated that all students struggled to solve word problems and had greater success with symbolic questions. The results indicated that there was an issue with conceptual and procedural knowledge levels. Also, the research showed that students resorted to traditional ways of solving problems. Additional results revealed that the students enrolled in the course required for their major were more successful than those in the core curriculum course. There was also no significant difference between performance on the test and gender.
    • A study of college students' misconceptions of radical expressions.

      Erlandson, Kyle M. (2013-10-21)
      This study examined the common misconceptions exhibited by college students regarding the topic of radical expressions. It was hypothesized that the majority of students in the study would lack a geometric understanding of radical expressions. A total of 49 students from two undergraduate non-mathematics major courses participated in this study. Each class was given an identical ten-problem assessment and a short survey which were both completed in one class period. Results from the assessment confirm that the majority of students participating in the study were unable to solve problems which required a geometric understanding of radicals. Only one of the students in the study was able to construct an exact length of √5 using the Pythagorean Theorem. A pedagogical implication of this study is to allow students to discover geometric interpretations and algebraic properties of radicals through student-centered, guided exploration activities. This pedagogical implication is demonstrated in the five-day unit for teaching radicals which is included in the study. This unit is aligned to the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and was created based on the results obtained from the study.
    • A Study of Middle School and College Students' Mental Mathematics Abilities in Real-World Contexts

      Brion, Elizabeth (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2016-06)
      This study examines the thought processes employed by middle school and undergraduate college students to mentally solve situational mathematics problems. It was hypothesized that non-major undergraduate students would use more efficient mental strategies than middle school students to solve in-context arithmetic problems, though both undergraduate students and middle school students would have equal accuracy. The study also compared age and strategy choice, as well as indicated perception of mathematical abilities and accuracy. It was further hypothesized that both undergraduate students and middle school students would lack confidence in their mental computation abilities, possibly affecting their accuracy. The results of this study were in partial support of the hypothesis; it was indicated that college students were more efficient than middle school students (p-value = 0.019), but there was no statistical significance in accuracy between middle school and college students when solving in-context mathematics problems mentally. In-context problems consisted of calculating change, percent tip, percent discount, and gas mileage. Furthermore, there was no statistical significance between confidence in mathematical abilities and accuracy on the assessment (p-value = 0.298). Overall confidence in mathematics skills (on a Likert scale of 1-5) for middle school students (.......=4.3) and college students (.......=4.0) was not statistically significant (p-value = 0.306). Additional results indicate that the use of efficient strategies had statistical significance on accuracy when solving these problems.
    • A study of middle school and college students' misconceptions about solving multi-step linear equations.

      Powell, Amber N. (2013-01-11)
      This study examines the types of mistakes that students make solving multi-step linear equations. During this study, students completed a 15-problem test containing different types of multi-step linear equations appropriate for 8th graders according to the state and national mathematics standards. Students were not allowed to use a calculator. The instrument was generated by using past state tests and by polling professors of mathematics. The number of mistakes made for each mathematical property was recorded. The scores were compared to a survey that students answered reporting their confidence in solving these types of problems. The results of the study indicated that problems containing negative numbers and moving terms to the opposite side of the equal sign were incorrect most frequently among all student participants. Additional results revealed that eighth graders made more mistakes than college-level students, the types of mistakes made were different based on the grade level of the participants, males made fewer mistakes than females and there was a difference in the types of mistakes made based on gender.
    • A study of primary sources and Special Education.

      Delcamp, Aaron (2014)
      In this study, special education high school students were exposed to different examples of types of primary sources and were surveyed with their experiences with them. These students are not in a general education setting. The subjects are within a Boces district where they are in a high school rotation and are assessed by New York State Regents exams. These students were surveyed on if primary sources were useful in helping them understand the perspective of a soldier during World War II. Generally, students had a positive experience and considered that using primary sources was a learning experience.
    • A study of students' estimation skills with shaded areas.

      Whitney, Kaitlyn E. (2014)
      This study examined high school and college students’ skills to estimate area. During this study, students completed a ten-problem assessment which contained ten different geometric figures that were partially shaded in. Students were instructed to estimate what percentage of the area of the shape was shaded and to explain how they made their predictions for three problems. Each problem was scored on how far off their estimation was from the actual percentage. After completing the assessment, students were also asked to complete a five-question survey. The results of the study indicate that students are much more likely to overestimate than underestimate. Additional results revealed that problems that had a slanted shade line and problems with multiple pieces shaded were the most difficult for students. Other findings showed that there was no significant difference based on gender, but there was a significant difference based on what course students were enrolled in.
    • A study of students' interpretations of geometric language.

      Nickerson, Brenda J. (2014)
      This study examines college students’ comprehension of formal geometric language as opposed to general informal language. The research consisted of a set of assessments in which students needed to draw a compilation of geometric figures, given in the two separate language formats. The study also examined the aspect of whether students were more successful in their drawings when given instructions in oral form as opposed to instructions in written form. Assessments were given on two separate occasions, each consisting of two drawings. The first assessment included one drawing describing figure 1 given with informal language and oral instructions. The second drawing was of figure 2 with descriptions given in informal language and written instructions. The second set of assessments included figure 1 with formal language and written instructions, while figure 2 was described with formal language and oral instructions. The drawings were scored with a rubric that analyzed the accuracy of the figures in regards to size, shape, placement, and understanding of geometric vocabulary. The overall results indicated students draw a more accurate figure using informal language and written instructions. The results also indicated that students are not comfortable with geometric language and would benefit from more instruction in that discipline.