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  1. Desire for Speed and Equality: Women's Olympic Swimwear in the Early Twentieth Century [Download]

    Title: Desire for Speed and Equality: Women's Olympic Swimwear in the Early Twentieth Century
    Author: Durgin, Rebecca
    Description: Women's fashion during the years 1912-1936 developed along with advances in gender equality and women's participation in competitive sports. During this time, changes in the design of women's swimwear allowed female athletes to assert their emerging independence and enhance their aquatic performance. Referenced in this work are historical photographs, documents, books, articles, and consultation with representatives of the United States Olympic Committee to obtain information from their archives. Ultimately, this research investigates how the design and materials of early women's swimwear impacted aquatic performance and influenced acceptance of new fashions. This parallel between performance and popular fashion has not been fully examined by scholars. The intended audience for this thesis is able to refer to this work for studies in the history of fashion, sports, and the Olympic Games.
    Keywords: Fashion, Sports history, Women's rights, Twentieth century, Textile Research Day 2018
    Date Uploaded: 03/02/2018
  2. Shielded by Text: The Exploration of an Islamic Talismanic Shirt in the Collection of The GWU Museum/The Textile Museum [Download]

    Title: Shielded by Text: The Exploration of an Islamic Talismanic Shirt in the Collection of The GWU Museum/The Textile Museum
    Author: Castaneda, Alison
    Description: This poster explores an Islamic Talismanic shirt in the collection of the GWU Museum/Textile Museum, including historical context, technical analysis, and potential treatment options. The shirt is inscribed with sacred text, and is part of a long Islamic tradition of God's-word-as-shield. The shirt suffers from multiple sharp creases, indicative of long-term folded storage. Although it is debated amongst scholars whether talismanic shirts were worn, due to similar creases on so many extant examples, it was determined in consultation with the curator that this shirt would be best displayed with the creases relaxed. As the ink is fugitive, it was decided that humidification should take place through a semipermeable membrane, which provides gradual humidification over a longer period of time. Potential membranes include Tyvek, Gore-tex, and Sympatex. Testing was undertaken to determine which membrane provided the most gradual humidification, and subsequently used.
    Keywords: Textile conservation, Islamic, Talismanic shirt, Textile, Museum, Textile Research Day 2018
    Date Uploaded: 03/02/2018
  3. Migration as Ritual and Identity: The Cultural and Material Significance of Bakhtiari Mal Bands [Download]

    Title: Migration as Ritual and Identity: The Cultural and Material Significance of Bakhtiari Mal Bands
    Author: Hopkins, Michele
    Description: Tablet weaving is one of the oldest significant textile traditions. Its practice spans centuries, continents and cultures. Tablet woven bands explore the intersection of cultural memory, ritual practice, and technical skill passed from generation to generation. In 2017, Sarah B. Sherrill donated an important collection of textiles, field material, and weaving/spinning tools to the Textile Museum. Ms. Sherrill conducted field research from 1974-1976 among the semi-nomadic and village tribal confederations of western Iran. As professor at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Ms. Sherrill was uniquely suited to document what she called "The Twilight of a Tradition." Migration is the bedrock of Bakhtiari cultural identity. The study of the Textile Museum's only Bakhtiari Mal Band is, therefore, significant in increasing our understanding of this tribal confederation's political and social power.
    Keywords: Bakhtiari, Mal bands, Iranian textiles, Tribal textiles, Anthropological textiles, Textile Research Day 2018
    Date Uploaded: 02/23/2018
  4. "I'm Just Using Everything at My Disposal": A Qualitative Analysis of the Narratives Surrounding Prescription Stimulant Misuse [Download]

    Title: "I'm Just Using Everything at My Disposal": A Qualitative Analysis of the Narratives Surrounding Prescription Stimulant Misuse
    Author: Bauermeister, Gretchen
    Description: A recent spike in the misuse of prescription stimulant medication among young adults has raised cause for concern on many college campuses, as this growth has been attributed to an increasing number of prescriptions being written by physicians as well as individuals turning away from 'street drugs' in favor of 'study drugs', or stimulants. This research study uses a narrative lens to investigate how college students create meaning for this phenomenon. The findings of in-depth interviews and focus groups revealed that college students base their validation of prescription stimulant misuse on the social norms they perceive on campus, as well as by constructing different narratives derived from their personal experiences.
    Keywords: Stimulant, Public health, Prescription drugs, Communication, Research Days 2017
    Date Uploaded: 09/25/2017
  5. Study Abroad Promotional Tactics: Program Providers in Critical Language Host Countries [Download]

    Title: Study Abroad Promotional Tactics: Program Providers in Critical Language Host Countries
    Author: Kardos, Lauren
    Description: As rationales of United States (U.S.) national security interests are cited as reasons to increase the number of U.S. students studying abroad, it is useful to understand how providers of study abroad programs are reacting to perceived demand. U.S. agencies including the Department of Defense and the Department of State emphasize increasing the number of speakers of critical languages in the country through funding study abroad initiatives. This thesis seeks to understand how study abroad providers define a target student audience and conduct outreach campaigns to attain enrollment for critical language programs. Specifically, providers of programs to countries that speak Arabic, Chinese, and Russian are examined through online survey, website review, and phone interviews. Findings suggest that providers target high-achieving students from particular academic concentrations and conduct an array of outreach activities in conjunction with university partnership-building. These targeting and outreach practices are in response to real and perceived challenges in the market for critical language study abroad programs. A secondary aim for this study was to catalog marketing processes used by providers and share these resources as best practices in the field.
    Keywords: study abroad, promotion, providers, critical languages, higher education, international education
    Date Uploaded: 06/29/2017
  6. Predictive Collaborative Robots via Deep Reinforcement Learning [Download]

    Title: Predictive Collaborative Robots via Deep Reinforcement Learning
    Author: Barnes, Scott
    Description: In recent years, advances in the field of collaborative robotics have enabled people and robots to work in a shared environment. However, the complexity of modeling human-robot interaction and difficulty of automating many tasks has restricted the application range of collaborative robots. This research introduces a model free reinforcement learning-based framework capable of learning to perform new tasks, as well as learning the human behaviors associated with those tasks, enabling a robotic system to work directly with people to complete a shared objective. By utilizing data captured from a camera mounted above the workspace, this framework acts as an adaptive control system that enables a collaborative robot to adjust to changes in its environment in real time. First, a classification neural network is trained to model the probability distribution of human behaviors associated with a specific task based on data collected on that task being performed. Then, a Deep Q Network is trained in simulation, converging to an optimal decision policy based on the rewards it receives for the outcomes of actions it selects. In contrast to traditional approaches to programming robots, this system 'learns' generalizable policies that allow it to adapt to dynamic environments, enabling high levels of performance in scenarios it has never encountered before. This system was implemented on a collaborative assembly task both in simulation and in physical space, in which the objective was to assemble a series of parts in a specific order in collaboration with a person. This resulted in an average efficiency increase 21.6% over the person working alone while maintaining a high standard of safety. This novel approach to addressing human-robot interaction enables collaborative robots to become predictive rather than reactive, resulting in safer and more efficient collaboration.
    Keywords: Research Days 2017, Collaborative robotics, Deep reinforcement learning, Human-Robot interaction
    Date Uploaded: 05/18/2017
  7. Contradection - Detecting Contradictions in Text [Download]

    Title: Contradection - Detecting Contradictions in Text
    Author: Houssami, Rami
    Description: Language structures may come in a variety of forms, but are always received sequentially as meaning unfolds to the interpreter. Large bodies of text can create a myriad of relationships and concepts, often making it difficult to detect contradictions between elements that are far apart. This work explores the combination of deterministic and non-deterministic solutions for detecting relationships within syntactic structures, mapping those relationships, and determining if a negation in those relationships is 'decidable'. Using word vectors, one goal is to optimally map object-attribute relationships such that we may apply the Kullback-Leibler divergence to an attribute plane in the vector space. A proper divergence will allow give value to a cosine similarity function of object-attribute pairs whereby negative cosine will suggest a possible contradiction. Different parsing methods are expected to affect mapping and evaluation outcomes. The work aims to compare deterministic parsing, such as based on lexical and grammar structures, along with multinomial logistic regression in language modeling and stochastic semantic analysis for deriving relationship values; and to furthermore experiment using logical deductions to create predicate logic, through which the system may re-deduce to determine a logical coherence level. High coherence levels may be used to isolate confident relationships between objects and attributes to be compared with qualities inferred on those objects throughout the input text.
    Keywords: Research Days 2017, Detecting contradiction, NLP, NLU, Natural language understanding, Word vectors, Contradiction, Vector space
    Date Uploaded: 05/02/2017
  8. Reinforcement Sensitivity Moderates the Relationship Between Stressor Exposure and Anxiety [Download]

    Title: Reinforcement Sensitivity Moderates the Relationship Between Stressor Exposure and Anxiety
    Author: Adom, Kelvin
    Description: According to the American College Health Association (2014), anxiety disorders affect 21.8% of college students, surpassing depressive disorders as the most widespread mental health concern in this population. Exposure to stressful life events (SLE) can greatly exacerbate the chances for the development of anxiety symptoms. However, this is not a pathognomonic association, and much more likely constitutes a diathesis-stress response. The Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory of Personality (RST) provides one potential diathesis-stress explanation for understanding the underlying mechanisms of anxiety disorders. In RST, individual's' response to threatening or aversive stimuli are facilitated by the Fight-Flight-Freeze System (FFFS). Based on the RST theory, it was hypothesized that FFFS and SLE scores would positively predict symptoms of anxiety.
    Keywords: Research Days 2017, Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory, Anxiety, Stressful Life Events
    Date Uploaded: 04/28/2017
  9. Out-of-Flatness Plate Tolerances for Steel Tub Highway Bridges [Download]

    Title: Out-of-Flatness Plate Tolerances for Steel Tub Highway Bridges
    Author: Asadnia, Mahdi
    Description: Steel tub (box) girders are widely used for highway bridges. The slender plate components of these structures are subject to local buckling. This compressive limit state is particularly consequential in webs, midspan top flanges, and continuous-over-support bottom flanges during construction. There have been multiple incidents of bridge collapse failures in the past due to thin plate instability. In the United States, there are currently no out-of-flatness tolerances for bottom flanges of steel tub girders in governing codes. This study uses Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to better understand the effect of initial out-of-flatness on girder yield-strength. This extends previous studies to include co-existing imperfections in webs and bottom flanges as well as both 50 ksi and 100 ksi yield steel plate. Code adoption of bf/200 is recommended for the bottom flange out-of flatness tolerance, where bf represents the bottom flange width, based on this research and previous studies.
    Keywords: Research Days 2017, Box girder, Tub girder, Steel, Out of flatness, Imperfection, Tolerance
    Date Uploaded: 04/28/2017
  10. Increased Internal Risk-Taking and Competitiveness in Biotechnology Organizations [Download]

    Title: Increased Internal Risk-Taking and Competitiveness in Biotechnology Organizations
    Author: Baxter, Hannah
    Description: This paper examines differences in risk-taking and competitiveness among biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms. It has been argued that biotechnology firms, in contrast to pharmaceutical firms, face higher levels of competitiveness and must pursue higher levels of risk-taking as a result. Using a sample of 40 biotechnology firms and 40 pharmaceutical firms, we analyze financial data, particularly research and development (R&D) expenditures, to assess the impact of levels of competitiveness and risk-taking. We discuss our results and implications for the literature on the management of R&D.
    Keywords: Research Days 2017, Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical, Risk-taking, Competitiveness, Startup
    Date Uploaded: 04/26/2017