The University of Mississippi

    Calculating Liquefaction Potential of Northern Mississippi Using Shear Wave Data

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    The potential for liquefaction can be determined using the Liquefaction Potential Index (LPI). The LPI takes into account the thickness of the liquefiable layers and the factors of safety with respect to depth. This study creates a hybrid method for determining the LPI for different locations in Northern Mississippi. It calculates an average CSR for the region using existing borehole information. The CRR is then calculated using shear wave velocity profile data from a MASW survey. The LPI obtained from this process is compared to LPI values calculated using CPT data and borehole shear wave data. Surface shear wave velocity profiles are measured near two existing borehole locations, TNA013 and TNA012. The sites near borehole TNA013 and TNA012 areboth very highly liquefiable according to the MASW method, but are only highly liquefiable using the borehole shear wave method.The LPI value calculated using CPT data near borehole TNA013 is classified as highly liquefiable and the LPI value near borehole TNA012 is classified as having a low liquefaction potential. The hybrid method gives a more conservative estimate of the liquefaction potential in the study area than the CPT method or borehole shear wave data

    Effect of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine modifications on stability of VEGF i-Motifs

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    DNA i-motifs are a secondary structure of DNA formed at low pH by internal folding of strands rich in cytosine. This study focuses on trying to determine if the DNA from the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) promoter, which can form an i-motif, can be stabilized with the epigenetic modification to 5- hydroxymethylcytosine in four separate locations on the DNA strand, and to what extent the degree of stabilization depends on the location of the modification. Stability of the i-motif was determined by measuring pKa and melting point (Tm) of each VEGF modification using circular dichroism spectroscopy. The modified samples showed an insignificant change in pKa values but a significant increase in Tm when compared to the wild type, indicating stabilization by epigenetic modification. The ability to stabilize i-motifs has potential for using i-motif DNA in new drug delivery methods

    Towards the Synthesis of a Swallowtailed Perylene Monoimide

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    This project was initiated in conjunction with Dr. Justin Youngblood from the University of North Texas. The goal was to synthesize a molecule to be used in solar cell testing. The target molecule involved combining donor and acceptor groups to make a combination that would be able to transfer electricity in a unilateral direction to increase efficiency in solar cells. My project involved the donor portion, a perylene monoimide donor with a long alkyl “swallowtail” to impart solubility. While the final molecule was not synthesized, the proposed procedure for making such a molecule was improved upon. A perylene tetracarboxylic dianhydride was decarboxylated using an autoclave, and an amine synthesis procedure was attempted. Future research into this molecule will be greatly assisted by the findings of this project, and potential alterations are discussed

    Do You See what I See? How a Dark Triad Personality Affects Perceptions of Dark Triad Characters in Film and Television

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    The Dark Triad is composed of three related subclinical personality traits: narcissism (excessive self-love, need for attention), psychopathy (cold, remorseless), and Machiavellianism (manipulative, cynical). The present study uses Dark Triad film/television characters to examine how Dark Triad people view others like them. It was hypothesized that (1) participants higher in the Dark Triad are more interested in films/television shows with Dark Triad characters, (2) participants higher in the Dark Triad have a more positive reaction to Dark Triad characters, and (3) Dark Triad participants see themselves in Dark Triad characters. Gender differences in Dark Triad character evaluations were also examined. Participants were shown trailers for films/television shows, most of which featured a Dark Triad character, and asked questions about the films/shows and specific characters. Participants were given a questionnaire that assessed their Dark Triad characteristics. Results showed no significant relationship between Dark Triad scores and interest in films/shows with Dark Triad leads. However, participants higher in the Dark Triad viewed Dark Triad characters more positively than others. Also, Dark Triad participants saw themselves in Dark Triad characters. It was found that the ability of Dark Triad participants to see themselves in these characters mediated the relationship between participants’ Dark Triad scores and their reactions to Dark Triad characters. In conclusion, Dark Triad characters are generally disliked, but this does not affect liking of films/shows featuring them. However, people higher in the Dark Triad do like these characters more than others, likely because they see the characters as similar to themselves

    The Role of Earmarking in Modern Day Congress

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    This thesis is meant to analyze the correlation between earmarks and bi partisan voting behavior in the United Sates Congress. I collected earmarks data for the 111th Congress in order to understand how much was spent on both solo and joint earmarks. I then used this data to create a list of the top 87 bi partisan earmark partners for the 111th Congress. After creating the list of partners, I analyzed their voting behavior to see how often these bipartisan partners voted together in the 111th Congress because earmarks were present during this session. I then used the same partnerships and calculated the percentage of times they voted together in the 112th Congress following the moratorium (ban) on earmarks. I then averaged all the percentages and realized there was a 3.5% drop in bipartisan voting behavior between the two sessions. I then determined which of the 87 bipartisan earmark partners’ districts shared borders. After determining that 16 of the partners’ districts did not share a boundary and 71 did, I performed another analysis comparing the voting percentages of those with shared borders and those without. The bipartisan partners who shared boundaries only experienced a 2.6 decrease whereas those partners who did share a border experienced a 7.3 percent decrease. While these numbers did indicate that this relationship deserved more analysis, this is not enough information or proof for any definitive conclusion. I feel that the data suggests that earmarks and bipartisan voting behavior may have a relationship, but more research would be necessary to come to any definite conclusion

    Noise Reduction in the Manufacturing Environment: A Study on Small Jet Geometry Alterations

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    Noise pollution is an identified issue in manufacturing environments. While machines, motion, production, etc. are a large factor in this noise pollution, other sources exist. Often copper tubing is connected to pressurized containers as a make-shift jet stream for reorienting elements on the assembly line. These makeshift jets when working in conjunction create noise pollution. By manipulating the exit of these small jets, it is hypothesized that the noise level can be decreased. Using the National Center for Physical Acoustics (NCPA) at the University of Mississippi, three geometry alterations—deburring the end, creating a converging-diverging nozzle, and flattening the end—were tested on these small jets against a control (that still had the burrs and smaller diameter from the pipe cut) to determine the validity of the hypothesis. The results indicated minimal sound pressure level (SPL) changes for each of the alterations compared against the control. Furthermore, the control appeared to be quieter than all the variables. However, by performing an uncertainty analysis and investigating the volumetric flow rate of the control, two discrepancies were uncovered: the flow rate for the control was less than the variables and the volumetric flow readout had its own amount of uncertainty. It was found that both the deburred and converging-diverging jets eliminated a tonal frequency that occurred with the control jet. However, this difference is negligible; geometric alterations did not vastly change the SPL of the jets. More analysis should be conducted; specifically, a sound level weighting analysis and ideal thrust for part reorientation

    Delta Air Lines: A Financial Analysis and Corresponding Recommendations for Delta Air Lines, Inc.

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    This alternative thesis project is a financial analysis of Delta Air Lines, Inc. Utilizing the 10-K Financial Statements from 2009 to 2013, along with some correlating outside resources, a full business and financial analysis was completed. Starting with the business background and operations, and then working into analysis of the Financial Statements, corresponding recommendations were created for tax, audit and advisory planning strategies.. The bulk of the analysis utilized the 10-K data provided by the SEC, only using minimal other resources for background research. The research found that since filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy Delta Air Lines has improved substantially. Delta’s largest issues to overcome in the coming years are finding ways to continue growing while keeping costs low. The company has already had to file for bankruptcy once in the last decade; they do not need a repeat. Looking at the current financials, Delta is on the right track for success but needs to consider implementing strong controls for property, plant, equipment, and inventory. The company also needs to ensure that taxes remain low, seeing that right now they have a large tax benefit due to carry forward losses and other tax credits. Future tax expenses could cause a negative impact on net income, so the company should seek tax-planning strategies to ensure future deductions. Finally the company may want to consider utilizing better methods for flight times and online payments, and increasing the capacity of their fuel segment. These recommendations and corresponding financial analysis is outlined throughout the contents of the paper

    Fighting Extremism: Efforts to Defeat Online ISIS Recruitment Methods

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    The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and its sympathizers utilize social media platforms to disseminate propaganda, radicalize audiences, and recruit foreign fighters. Some Western social media users are susceptible to these efforts. Although personal privacy and freedom of speech is largely protected by complex governmental limitations, the social media use of extremists sparked a national debate on how to protect American citizens. This thesis will discuss the history of ISIS and its social media use, the terrorist group’s target audiences, ISIS recruitment strategies, and policy decisions and options aimed at reducing the effectiveness of pro-jihadist propaganda. This paper will explain what the United States can implement, already implemented, and could implement in the future. Keywords: ISIS, jihadist, social media, polic

    Financial Reporting: An Analysis of Accounting Methods and Principles

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    This paper is a compilation of several analyses of various accounting methods and practices. Each chapter takes a different area of accounting and uses a well-known company to explain the theory behind a specific method or area of accounting. Through reference to these companies, the paper attempts to simplify some complex accounting processes. The real business examples help illustrate these concepts in a reader friendly format. The goal of this paper is to convey basic accounting principles to those without prior knowledge in accounting, allowing them to grasp the main concepts and understand the theory behind the standards of this profession

    Bacteria con leche: Bacterial populations and antibiotic resistance within conventional, USDA organic, and local milk

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    Concerns over food production and processing, along with increasing outbreaks of foodborne illnesses and antibiotic resistant infections have led many consumers to seek alternative food sources in the organic and local food markets. This study compared conventional, USDA certified organic, and local “farmer’s market” milk types to determine whether there is any noticeable benefit to purchasing organic or locally harvested milk in terms of their bacterial populations and level of antibiotic resistance. Samples from various milk types were plated on Tryptic Soy Agar and Milk Agar plates to enumerate bacteria, and the cultivated bacteria tested for resistance to the antibiotics penicillin, erythromycin, tetracycline, and gentamicin. Bacterial cultures from the various milk samples were identified using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Local farmer’s market milk had the most abundant and diverse bacterial composition, containing several potential pathogens, and a high general level of antibiotic resistance. Conventional milk samples also showed considerable bacterial counts and high levels of antibiotic resistance. On the other hand, USDA certified organic milk yielded no culturable bacteria on either TSA or MA plates. This study shows that concerned with food safety should consume USDA organic milk to lessen their exposure to high numbers of antibiotic resistant and potentially pathogenic bacteria
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