2020 Research, Creativity & Community Involvement Conference

Permanent URI for this collectionhttps://scholarworks.montana.edu/handle/1/15855

The MSU Billings Research, Creativity & Community Involvement Conference (RCCIC) provides a great opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students of all majors to present their research and creative scholarship in a public forum. The conference is hosted every year on the MSUB campus, sponsored by the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs, the University Honors Program, and Montana IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research (INBRE). The RCCIC is not a competition, but a celebration of the research and creative projects currently being carried out by MSUB students. All submissions are reviewed and approved by the sponsors prior to presentation or publication to ScholarWorks.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 11 of 11
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    An Exploration into Social Media Sentiment
    (Montana State University Billings, 2020-04) Pratt, Ashley; McMullen, Matthew (Faculty Mentor)
    Background:International and United States-specific media outlets cover the same news, but do not always utilize the same language. The COVID-19 Outbreak is an opportunity to analyze the sentiments being utilized to convey information to the masses. Exploring the words used and in what context can lead to more in-depth knowledge of what is being covered and how it is being explained by the media. Aim:The goal of this project is to analyze tweets from ten major news organizations, both local and abroad, by sentiment. News organizations will then be assessed for their portrayal of the pandemic in a positive or negative light, what sentiments they are using and the frequency, and what words are being commonly written together. This project will also be able to assess the discrepancies between US coverage and that of the world. Approach:Data will be processed through RStudio, utilizing sentiment data found in the NRC Emotion Lexicon and Bing Sentiments. The results will be correlated and graphed to show the variance between news coverage and language in the United States versus coverage during the same time abroad. Custom bigrams will also be created to explore more specific word connections, i.e., “COVID,” “corona,” “pandemic,” etc., nationally and internationally. Results: Tweets will be divided into data frames and then analyzed by word by both sentiment programs. Results for each news organization will be appropriately represented. Additionally, bigrams will be run on any words of significance. Results of the analyzed data and any statistical significance will be released. Conclusion: From the results, conclusions will be drawn regarding the sentiments nation and international news outlets utilize day-to-day.
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    Food Insecurity: Hunger Amongst Senior Citizens in Our Community
    (Montana State University Billings, 2020-04) Dawes, Alyssa; Kurkoski, Taylor; Mook, Kimber; Robertus, Sari; Mermel, Virginia (Faculty Mentor)
    The Honors Capstone course, Honors 499, has been taught approximately every other year for the past six years. The course focuses on ways to help fight food insecurity among people in our community. Each class chooses to address a specific aspect of food insecurity (see Table 1). The Spring 2020 class, in particular, chose to focus on food insecurity among senior citizens. After a decade of decline, hunger is a growing problem in specific sectors of America due to the increasing income gap between service sector jobs and skilled labor, higher birth rates among the lowest compared to the highest income groups and increasing proportion of the population age 55 and above. It can be seen in any community, including Billings, Montana. This paper examines the risk factors of senior food insecurity, the physical and economic consequences of inadequate food intake, and local and federal aid programs aimed at reducing food insecurity amongst older residents. It also includes our plans to fight food insecurity by partnering college students with local food security non-profits, spreading awareness, and sharing resources through advertising, healthy recipes, and a press conference.
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    Police Stops Analysis Within the Montana State 2009-2016
    (Montana State University Billings, 2020-04) Mazel, Jeannine; McMullen, Matthew (Faculty Mentor)
    The purpose of this analysis was to uncover multiple correlations in Montana police stops occurring between the years 2009-2016. Data on the Montana police stops was obtained from The Standford Policing Project. The program Rstudio was utilized in order to calculate and reveal information and correlations surrounding the following:1) Most common race/gender/age group to be stopped; 2) Most common reasons for police stops; 3) Correlations between police stops and racial features; and 4) Geographical information and correlations for police stops across Montana roads, particularly for negligent homicide and DUIs.
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    Trend of Internet Searches Related to "Coronavirus"
    (Montana State University Billings, 2020-04) Hughes, Emily; McMullen, Matthew (Faculty Mentor)
    Very evidently, the coronavirus has become a worldwide issue that has sparked panic across many nations. This project examines how Google searches related to coronavirus have spiked and fallen within the last few months since the beginning of the pandemic. Using RStudio -a coding platform -and the specific function “trendyy,” the trend of searches will be shown in graphs, as well as tables. The results show that the searches spike around January and February, and that places such as Italy showed a larger peak in searches for the disease compared to the United States.
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    Successful Growth of RIL Arabidopsis thalianaOffspring Based on Traits Shared with Parent Plants
    (Montana State University Billings, 2020-04) Herriford, Cailen; Comer, Jason (Faculty Mentor)
    This study was primarily focused on phenotypic observation of Arabidopsis thaliana offspring from the parent cross of varieties Columbia (CS933) and Landsberg (CS20). Arabidopsis was an ideal organism to use in this study due to its array of distinctive heritable traits and its relatively short life cycle. The offspring used in this study were recombinant inbred lines (RILs), which have been allowed to self-pollinate over a series of generations in order to fix their homozygosity. The RIL offspring of the two Arabidopsis thaliana parent varieties should exhibit a combination of observable traits from both parents. Given that Columbia grows in a warmer region, at a temperature closer to the conditions found in the growth room, it was hypothesized that these parent plants would grow more successfully than the Landsberg parent plants. By this same logic, it was hypothesized that offspring which share more traits with the Columbia parent would be more successful than those offspring which share many traits with Landsberg. The traits that were measured to determine growth success include silique number per plant and number of branch points off the main inflorescence (to determine fecundity), as well as the inflorescence height at the end of the growth period. Ultimately the CS20 parents were found to be less successful at surviving under the given conditions, as they showed the lowest averages in all the categories measured. The majority of the offspring shared two of the most distinctive phenotypic traits with CS933, floppy inflorescence and pointy siliques, while only one offspring line shared the blunt siliques and erect inflorescence found in CS20. Additionally, the most successful offspring lines tended to also be those plants with the largest rosette diameters, which was confirmed to be predictive of success by a linear regression analysis.
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    Can a Conventional Deadlift Exercise Reduce Low Back Pain in Physical Therapy Patients?
    (Montana State University Billings, 2020-04) Cole, Alyssa; Shafer, Alex (Faculty Mentor)
    Low back pain is a common health condition affecting 50-80% of American adults. Traditional rehabilitation of the low back includes hip mobility/flexibility and core strengthening/stabilizing exercises. A conventional deadlift executed with proper form, promotes a neutral spine, core stabilization and hip mobility. PURPOSE:To determine the effect of performing a conventional deadlift routine on low back pain. It is hypothesized that the conventional deadlift will provide similar effects as the traditional low back rehabilitation program by reducing pain and improving function. METHODS:Forty participants seeking treatment for lower back pain at an outpatient Physical Therapy (PT) clinic will be recruited to participate in the study. Potential participants will be screened for inclusion/exclusion criterial prior to participation. Half of those who agree to participate will be assigned to the experimental group and receive the additional deadlift exercise routine incorporated into the standard PT administered therapy sessions. The other participants will be assigned to the control group (PT without additional deadlifting). Each participant will complete the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) during the initial visit, mid-point of treatment, and then again at the end of the intervention. The PT staff at the clinic have volunteered to administer the ODI assessment as well as the deadlifting intervention on behalf of the student researcher. EXPECTED RESULTS:Participant characteristics of age, sex, and injury history will be reported. ODI scores and length of treatment will be compared between groups using independent t tests. The results of this study can help to determine whether the benefits of strengthening of the core, hips and back musculature from the deadlift exercise improves patient outcomes beyond a standard low back rehabilitation program. Improving physical therapy treatment options for individuals with low back pain is a critical step in help individuals manage low back related pain and disability.
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    Walking Does Not Significantly Improve Word Recall or State Anxiety in a Single Session: A Pilot Study
    (Montana State University Billings, 2020-04) Brandon, Connor; McMullen, Matthew (Faculty Mentor)
    Research suggests that exercise can improve memory ability (Labban & Etnier, 2011; Martins et al., 2013; Shih, 2017; Standage, 2010) and decrease anxiety (Blacklock et al., 2010; Knapens et al., 2009). The current study hypothesized that an exercise condition will recall more vocabulary words and have greater reductions in state anxiety compared to the sedentary control condition. Participants were randomly divided into either a sedentary control group or an exercise group. Both groups took the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory questionnaire (STAI-AD). Both groups were then given ten minutes to learn15 vocabulary words while either sitting in a chair or walking on a treadmill at 3mph, followed by a 20-minute consolidation period. Participants were asked to recall as many words as they could remember from their task and took the STAI-AD a second time. Paired t-tests were performed for analyzing the reduction in state anxiety and amount of words recalled in both conditions. The pilot results showed the exercise group (n=4) did not remember more vocabulary words compared to the control group (n=2; t = 0.4078, p-value = 0.749). The exercise group did show greater reductions in state anxiety compared to the control group (t = 1.1847, p-value = 0.4298). However, both analyses returned statistically insignificant results due to small sample sizes. Further data will be collected to obtain statistical significance and retest the hypothesis.
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    Comparing Influenza vaccination rates before and after the H1N1 pandemic
    (Montana State University Billings, 2020-04) Brandon, Connor; McMullen, Matthew (Faculty Mentor)
    Immunizations are an important public health concern in order to help control the spread of diseases. Influenza is a particularly important seasonal vaccine, as it is updated every year and recommended that all people receive the vaccination. Unfortunately, not everyone receives the vaccine, which can make others more susceptible to contracting the disease andspreading it to others. Using data from the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Immunization Survey (NIS), the number of child and teenage influenza vaccinations were compared before and after the H1N1 (Swine Flu) pandemic of 2009. It was hypothesized that the H1N1 outbreak would lead to an increased rate of vaccinations in both children and teenagers. The data was grouped by geographic region and socioeconomic status. The comparative results show that there was not an increased number of childhoodor teenage vaccinations relative to the total amount of influenza vaccinations that were administered, indicating that the H1N1 pandemic did not cause a greater number of influenza vaccinations in the following years.
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    Studying and Teaching the Ethical Dilemma of Emily Dickinson
    (Montana State University Billings, 2020-04) Barron, Brienna; Nurmi, Thomas (Faculty Mentor)
    This essay focuses on the ethical dilemma of studying and teaching the work of American poet Emily Dickinson. Because her work was found and published after her death, studying Dickinson’s works can be viewed as an intrusion of privacy. This essay examines Dickinson’s Envelope Poems–lyrics written on envelopes, wrappers, and loose scraps of paper–to seehow Dickinson herself worked through many of the ethical issues that confront readers today. This essay also explores questions about power structures in our society, specifically within academia. Research for this essay consisted of close reading many ofDickinson’s poems, including her envelope poems and fascicles, and extensive discussion of the lyrics and the ethical questions the work raises. Due to the nature of the subject of this essay, the research process provoked ethical questions of its own. The aim of this essay is to make clear the importance of teaching Emily Dickinson’s work alongside her biography, and the importance of reading her work with the intention of studying the ethical dilemma that her work generates.
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    Who Reads More?: Comparing Book Consumption Between Various Groups
    (Montana State University Billings, 2020-05) Donnelly, Andrew J.
    In the Pew Research Center (2019) Core Trends Survey for Internet & Tech, one item asked respondents how many books they consumed during the past 12 months. Based on this data, the present research addresses five questions. How are sex and average number of books consumed related? How are generational cohort (Millennials, Generation X, and Boomers) and average number of books consumed related? How are educational attainment and average number of books consumed related? How are income and average number of books consumed related? How are political party affiliation and average number of books consumed related? Analysis (focused on graphics) shows differences across each of the five sets of comparisons.
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    State Death Penalty Analysis
    (Montana State University Billings, 2020-04) Loy, Katherine; Dr. McMullen, Matthew (Faculty Advisor)
    The United States has used capital punishment since colonization. Over time some states have abolished it and others have not. There are many databases that have collected information on each state’s policy for the death penalty. Using these databases, I will take a deeper look at the death penalty in the United States as it varies from state to state. I will be using a few different death penalty databases, such as The Death Penalty Information Center, The Condemned and End of its Rope. After I gather data, using RStudio Cloud, I will analyze the data and generate statistics, graphs, and maps. The main areas I would like to look at are: which states still impose the death penalty, when did the other states abolish the death penalty, and what are the different methods of execution that different states use and how has that changed over time.
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