• Fire and ice: a memoir on grief and self-discovery

      Cassone, Kelsea (2018-05)
      A collection of poems and nonfiction combined in three parts that work to understand the grief that comes with losing my father to suicide and how to overcome it. Separated in three parts, the first part works to define grief in a personal matter. Most poems simply circle around the feeling of depression. The two nonfiction pieces describe memories of the last time I saw my father and when I was told he had passed away. The second part takes place within a few years after the loss, trying to understand what happened and working through depression and grief so I can move on with my life. Poems typically work with confusion and a feeling of loss, while nonfiction pieces are recounts of lucid dreams. Third part works through moving on and what that means. Poems are more centered around myself and how I feel up to current date, six years later. One nonfiction piece is a memory of realizing my father will always be with me. The second nonfiction piece is a meditation-like piece in which I work through my thoughts, understanding what I have been through and coming to understand that life goes on whether I want it to or not and so I should do my best to live up to my expectations. While there was no closure found in doing this project, I do feel relieved to have gotten such strong emotions released onto paper.
    • Flow and productivity: a pilot study

      Casey, Allisen (2019-12)
      Flow Theory (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975) describes the phenomenon of the ‘optimal experience ’; the experience in which individuals report feeling ‘in the zone’ . When it was found that flow occurred more at work than in leisure (Csikszentmihalyi & LeFevre, 1989), the positive psychological benefits of flow seemed appropriate to apply to organizational environments. Although, individual differences play a large role in one’s likelihood of experiencing flow during a task (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975, Fullagar & Kalloway, 2009, Ullen, 2012). Creating a work-setting that successfully leads to flow for the majority of employees can prove to be complicated and this is perhaps why many organizations are not moving toward such implementations. Using a between-groups design, the current study investigated whether a flow-related cue would influence an individual to experience a flow-like state as opposed to an individual who only experienced a neutral cue. Further, if their experience with flow had any effect on their productivity, measured by number of sentences in response to a neutral essay topic. Flow-like symptoms were measured through the short FSS-2 (Jackson, 2008) and their written responses were analyzed using an online readability analyzer (Taylor, 2013). Participants also received the Autotelic Personality Questionnaire (Tse, 2018) and the Ten Item Personality Measure (TIPI) (Gosling, 2003). The manipulation did not yield any significance, although those who reported experiencing a flow-like state did write more sentences than those who did not experience a flow-like state. Significant correlations between flow and extraversion and conscientiousness , and autotelic personalities were also found.
    • Forecasting US GDP: assessing the quantity theory of money as a device

      Chang, Daphne Miyagawa (2021-12)
      We revisit Friedman’s Quantity of Money Theory and analyze the ability to forecast US real GDP using lagged M2 money supply. The Granger Causality Test indicates that M2 money supply Granger causes real GDP. However, we find that the causality is one-way, from M2 to real GDP, as real GDP fails to Granger cause M2. We surveyed a range of ARIMAX models to ascertain whether M2 money supply still forecasts economic activity, both before and during the global COVID pandemic. While economic theory suggests that money is neutral, we found that hybrid models that combine both standard ARIMA parameters plus M2 money supply growth as an exogenous regressor(s) actually improve forecast accuracy. Both before, during, and in the full sample, a hybrid model combining money supply and autoregressive parameters outperform atheoretical Box Jenkins models as well as the naïve model. Our results suggest that, while money supply has fallen off the radar screen of many economists, employing M2 in a hybrid model still improves forecasting ability.
    • Functional analysis of Paramecium genes responsiveness to Holospora infection

      Bright, Lydia; Weiler, Jared (2021-05)
      Paramecium caudatum is a single-celled ciliate that sweeps food into its oral groove to acquire nutrients. The cells become infected through this feeding apparatus by Holospora undulata, an obligate endosymbiont that occupies the micronucleus of P. caudatum in two morphologically distinct forms, the infectious and reproductive forms. Once the P. caudatum cells begin to starve, the reproductive forms of the parasitic bacteria consume most of the food in the micronuclei and differentiate into infectious forms. The bacteria eventually break out of the cell and seek other hosts to infect. To better understand the mechanism by which H. undulata successfully infiltrates their host’s defense systems, P. caudatum strains were infected and varying levels of susceptibility to infection were identified. Whole genome RNA sequencing found that certain proteins are significantly upregulated upon uptake of the H. undulata. By cloning the significantly up-regulated genes into E. coli, feeding this silencing media to naïve stocks of P. caudatum, and analyzing the infection phenotype of each, we hoped to characterize the genes that function in the infiltration of H. undulata. Varying levels of infection prevalence were seen amongst the gene knockdowns and across replicates of each infection. However, five knockdowns show significant resistance compared to their respective controls, revealing a possible involvement of 5 genes in H. undulata susceptibility. After finding which genes are capable of inducing resistance, we plan to identify the associated proteins and track the gene’s evolutionary divergence in P. caudatum strains with varying infectability.
    • Gabe teaches his classmates to speak

      McCullagh, Julia; Gaetano, Morgan (2019-05)
    • Gillette's controversial advertisement: a content analysis on commercializing social issues

      Ohlhoff, Emily (2019-05)
      On January 13 th , 2019 Gillette released an advertising campaign highlighting the responsibility men have to stand up against bullying, sexual harassment, and sexism. The campaign aligns with the #MeTooMovement, by exposing the toxic masculinity present in their previous advertisements as well as in other media. Gillette currently dominates the male personal-care product industry, holding over half of the global market share for razors (Tiffany, 2018). Is Gillette recognizing their social responsibility or are they catering to Millennials to stay competitive?
    • ‘God Never Talks': alternative interpretations of the rhetoric used in William Friedkin and William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist

      O’Keefe, David (2021-05)
      Competing explanations have been brought forward regarding the rhetorical implications of the 1973 horror film, The Exorcist. This paper aims to argue against those which insist that the film is meant to be viewed as endorsing a solely theistic interpretation. An opposing argument as such alienates and disregards a number of credible explanations and integral pieces of evidence, from both outside sources and the film itself. Therefore, this paper will utilize several of such sources, which include, but are not limited to film analyses and reviews, rhetorical analyses, and comparative writings with other works in the field. Ultimately, this paper will compare its own explanations and arguments with opposing ones, with the goal of illustrating that The Exorcist’s rhetoric is far more ambiguous and secular than many interpret it to be.
    • Gross motor development and the implications for learning

      Obergh, Rachel (2019-12)
      The purpose of this thesis is to identify the acquisition of developmentally appropriate gross motor and physical skills and to investigate the effects of incorporating physical activity into the classroom environment. I have explored current and foundational research literature to meet this goal with the intention, and hope that my findings will initiate further discussion and research work in this increasingly important area of development and curriculum for children. As an elementary and middle school student at the Progressive School of Long Island, I became intrigued by the high success rate of the students. I began to look for a common reason and immediately recognized the potential correlation between movement and learning. Every morning at the Progressive School, the entire student body gathered in the gym for a yoga inspired movement period. Throughout the day, movement was encouraged through classroom housekeeping, and running errands. The students also had outdoor recess every day, except in severe weather conditions. We brought boots, hats and gloves and played in the snow, helped rake the leaves and maintained our own garden. Play was so ingrained that we automatically created recess games combining physical and mental challenges.
    • A growing American identity within a Jewish community: Kingston, New York, 1880-1960

      Ehrlich, Miriam (2018-05)
      In the 19th and 20th centuries, many Jewish people immigrated to America to escape anti-semitism in Eastern Europe. Frank Reher was one of these immigrants. He opened up a successful Jewish bakery in Kingston, New York, where there was a growing Jewish population. His family provides a case study of one family who developed an American identity, largely through Americanizing events in their synagogues. However, they never lost touch with their Jewish identities.
    • Growing Rhythm

      Hummer, Alyson (2019-12)
      The ethnographic film Growing Rhythm depicts the Burmese master percussionist, Kyaw Kyaw Naing, leading students, faculty, and community members of SUNY New Paltz in the first Hsaing ensemble in the United States. This ensemble provided an environment in which to learn the musical traditions of another culture while examining and challenging the norms which Western musicians have accepted. The students of Naing learned the music using the traditional instruments of the Hsaing ensemble: chauk lon bat, kyi-waing, maung-hsaing, si do, hne, sandaya, pat-waing, si and wa, and lin quin. The rehearsal technique and experience developed into a community with a shared mission to spread this music and educate the public.
    • Halo orbit

      Buchanan, Wes D. (2021-05)
      The title of this work, Halo Orbit, from a specific type of orbit in space. The pattern comes from an interaction between the gravitational pull of two planetary bodies and the Coriolis and centrifugal force on a spacecraft. Now, I could lie and say I understand 100%, from the science end, exactly what that means, but the shorthand version is that it is a consistent orbital pattern, shaped like an infinity loop. WIND, the older of my two siblings, is in a halo orbit around the L1 Lagrange point in our Sun-Earth-Satellite system. A Lagrange point is a place in space where the gravitational pull of two celestial bodies balances the centripetal force of a satellite. I am caught in my own halo orbit, my two planetary bodies being art and science. Halo Orbit explores my placement in that orbit and focuses on my relationship to WIND and POLAR.
    • Hasbrouck explained or (how I learned to be an individual)

      Vasquez, Jason F. (2019-05)
      Hasbrouck Explained is a documentary exploring the controversy behind the names of the residence hall on Hasbrouck Quad at SUNY New Paltz.
    • Hawk Dogs: a business venture

      Barqawi, Abdelrahman G. (2018-05)
      Being a student of the business school at SUNY New Paltz has provided many experiences and knowledge which not only has helped develop skills as a student, but also as a entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, the eye is trained to see a problem or a need as an opportunity. This was experienced through venturing on Main street in New Paltz on a Friday night, where a problem was spotted. The problem was the lack of food options late at night for college students who went to the bars throughout the week. While Main street has a plethora of restaurants, the only place open near by late at night to cater the needs of inebriated college kids was a pizzeria. Convenient Deli was also an option, however, the trek from the bars to the deli was lengthy, and the deli stopped making sandwiches by 2 AM. Thus, the gears began turning to introduce a late night eatery which would be easily accessible and affordable to college students at the bars. While the intention of a business is to be profitable and fill a need, the primary motivation behind building this business was to earn real world experience in terms of being a business owner. For a student, obtaining first hand experience of running a business was far valuable than the monetary reward that comes with the business. The social aspect of running a business was also very rewarding. The connections that were made by meeting different customers every night was immense. Learning about the lives and aspirations of others through conversation provided a sense of empathy which helped in developing skills of rapport. These social interactions were not exclusively limited to students, but also other business owners in New Paltz. Conversing and establishing a connection with other business owners provided knowledge which was inaccessible by only being a student. Overall, the experience of owning and running a business proved to be a rewarding experience.
    • The healing project: journey from self doubt to self discovery

      Graham, D-Amini (2020-11)
      When first starting this project, so many thoughts ran through my head. I wanted to create a project that documented people’s views on love, life, and happiness, while traveling to Bali, North Carolina, and New York City. Unexpectedly, life changed for all of us in March. March marked the beginning of the global pandemic known as COVID-19. Despite the positive outcomes of the pandemic like spending time with family or healing one’s inner child, it is extremely important to take note of the countless lives lost to COVID-19 and the simple fact of the matter, not everyone lives in an open and welcoming environment. Therefore, COVID-19 brought as much pain as it did joy. All of that to say, when I thought of creating this passion project, I knew my focus and direction changed and wanted to focus on the importance of healing one’s self. This important, yet vital, step is what leads to happiness, love, and long-term self-fulfillment. The goal and intention put behind every video and word is to inspire the next person to heal. There are three compact stages to healings: self acceptance stage, action stage, and the putting it into practice stage. Remember that nothing comes easy, anything that's great takes time and dedication. May this journey be as fruitful, unique, and healing.
    • Heterogeneous implementation of an artificial neural network

      Carvino, Anthony; Coppola, Thomas (2018-05)
      Reconfigurable logic devices, such as Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA), offer ideal platforms for the dynamic implementation of embedded, low power, massively parallel neuromorphic computing systems. Though somewhat inferior to Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) with regard to performance and power consumption, FPGAs compensate for this small discrepancy by providing a versatile and reconfigurable fabric that is capable of implementing the logic of any valid digital system. Using the Xilinx ZYNQ 7 Series All Programmable System on Chip, as actuated and exposed by the PYNQ-Z1 Development Environment, the present work aims to provide a demonstration of the efficacy of the heterogeneous approach to neuromorphic computing. We expose a hardware implementation of a configurable neural layer to the processing system as a software module and handle its data and parameter flow at the productivity level using Python. Results indicate a nearly negligible increase (3%) in dynamic power consumption over that consumed by the processing system alone. Further, by specifically utilizing the embedded Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and memory blocks of the ZYNQ device, we employ a relatively large percentage of these resources (13% and 11%, respectively), but consume only 5% of the Lookup Table (LUT) fabric, preserving the vast majority of resources for the implementation of other, perhaps complementary systems. Although the successfully completed heterogeneous system demonstrates that it possesses the capacity to learn, the proper training of neuromorphic systems such as this Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is a project in and of itself, and so the focus herein is more on the heterogeneous system engineered than on the prototypical application selected, which is text-independent speaker verification using Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC) and log-filterbank energies as features. Fast, low power, small footprint neuromorphic systems are desirable for embedded applications that might improve the state of their art by exploiting applied artificial intelligence. Systems such as the configurable neural layer developed herein – which make use of the naturally versatile, low power, and high-performance FPGA in conjunction with a microprocessor control system – seem not only technologically viable, but well suited for handling intelligent embedded applications.
    • A historical analysis of U.S. imperialism on women in Puerto Rico

      Jordan-Smith, Ella (2019-05)
      This paper examines how US imperialism has historically affected the reproductive rights of women in Puerto Rico. As a commonwealth of the US, Puerto Rico has been the subject of considerable domination through programs of population control and as a testing lab for forms of birth control. I argue that the US support for the sterilization of women and the experimental testing of contraceptives during the 20th century has made a large contribution towards the consolidation of American control over the island. In other words, US imperialism required not only the physical invasion of land but also the invasion of Puerto Rican women’s bodies.
    • HON 393-04: History of holidays

      Mercurio, Jessica (2021-05)
      What is a holiday? Why is one holiday more important than another? This class examines the history of many American holidays. We will dive into the origins of where these holidays come from. We will explore how these holidays expanded to what they are today. Some holidays have variations in them. For example, Columbus Day and Indigenous People’s Day. Then there are holidays celebrated around the same time of year but have no direct connection to each other. Students will be able to differentiate between the two. In this class, traditions will be explored, both traditions from society and from classmates.
    • How did we get here? A systems thinking approach to meritocracy and neoliberalism in schooling

      Greco, Jaclyn (2018-05)
      The ideological underpinnings of educational policy mirror the socio-politics of the time in which the policy was implemented. In current educational debates, neoliberal ideals of rolling back government involvement and increasing privatization in education have a strong connection to the voucher system that is receiving some support. The voucher system allows individuals to use public school tax dollars to be used for tuition in private schools, and seeks to increase competition amongst schools. Neoliberal ideas support the free market model in education that would create competition amongst schools themselves. It has been argued that free markets are successful for creating innovation in the private sphere because some business fail and are forced to close, while critics of the voucher system question if it is ethical to leave schools-and their students-behind. These issues are especially timely considering that Betsey DeVos, the current Secretary of Education, supports the voucher system. In a speech in 2015 DeVos said that education is “a closed system, a closed industry, a closed market. It’s a monopoly, a dead end,” supporting neoliberal ideas of increasing free markets within the public education system. This research will apply a systems thinking approach to understanding the ideological underpinnings of past and present models of public schooling in the United States. This approach will investigate the interactions between ideology, historical context, and educational policy. This research project is focused on understanding how these interactions developed over time to result in the neoliberal ideology of the present and the current educational policy debate around vouchers.
    • How do you feel about birth? A study on basic birth beliefs

      Thaler, Dalia (2021-05)
      The following study investigates the effect of reading one of two birth stories on opinions relating to birth philosophies. This study incorporates an experimental design to evaluate whether reading a birth story that takes place in a home correlates to participants leaning towards a Natural birth philosophy more than the Medical model of birth. There were 337 participants in the study (N=337) randomly assigned to one of two groups. The Version 1 group read a birth story that took place in a home and the Version 2 group read a birth story that took place in a hospital. The hypothesis was that reading the Home birth story would show a positive relationship with a Natural birth philosophy. The survey following the birth stories included items from the Birth Beliefs Scale from Yael Benyaminito and Heidi Preis created in 2016 at the Bob Shapell School of Social Work, Tel Aviv University. In the experimental study, the independent variable is having read the Home birth story. The dependent variable is the extent to which participants' numerical scores from their survey responses follow the Natural birth model on the Birth Beliefs Scale. The results show that participants who read the Home birth story reported scores aligned slightly closer with the Medical model, showing the results were not in line with the hypothesis.