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  • Summer Research Program 2018

    Faculty Research Mentors and Projects


    BIOLOGY

    Dr. Jason Adolf

    Endowed Associate Professor of Marine Science

    Email: jadolf@monmouth.edu

    RESEARCH PROJECT:

    Harmful Algal Blooms in Monmouth County Coastal Lakes, Estuaries, and Ocean

    Phytoplankton are an essential component of aquatic ecosystems, transforming sunlight and inorganic nutrients to food for numerous species at higher trophic levels. However, a handful of the ~25,000 species of phytoplankton can cause troubling ‘Harmful Algal Blooms’ (HABs) that affect human health, sicken or kill aquatic organisms and disrupt aquatic ecosystems. Marine, estuarine and freshwater systems have seen an increase in HABs in recent decades, with significant ecological and economic impacts. Monmouth County, New Jersey has experienced HABs in its coastal ocean, estuaries, and coastal lakes and provides an excellent location for researching HABs in varied aquatic environments. This SRP project will focus on HABs in aquatic environments of Monmouth County, including the Navesink / Shrewsbury river estuaries; Deal Lake (coastal lake); and the near shore ocean off Monmouth County beaches. Students will work as a team with their professor, with individual students taking lead responsibility for HAB research in different environments. Students will learn to characterize the physical and chemical environments where HABs occur, and to analyze water samples for the presence of HAB species using microscopy and flow cytometry. Projects will be coordinated with activities of the NJ DEP HAB monitoring program. This research will provide students with hands on field and laboratory experience in a real-world field of marine science, improve our understanding of HAB formation, and will aid prediction and management of HAB events.

    PLEASE NOTE: High school students are encouraged to apply for this project.


    Dr. Pedram P. Daneshgar

    Associate Professor, Biology/Marine and Environmental Biology and Policy Program

    Email: pdaneshg@monmouth.edu

    RESEARCH PROJECT:

    Impacts of Plant Invasions on Diamondback Terrapin Nesting

    Northern diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin terrapin) populations in New Jersey face consistent pressures, both natural and anthropogenic. Anthropogenic pressures include fisheries, bycatch, and road mortality, while biotic pressures include predation and invasive species. The impacts of invasive species have not been well studied, but understanding their impacts is essential for conservation of the remaining terrapin populations. Native dune plant species have been shown to crowd terrapin nests and destroy eggs. Imagine the damage a highly aggressive fast growing plant species like Phragmites australis could do!

    Our primary goals are to examine nesting site choice and to determine how vegetative communities affect diamondback terrapin nesting. We will assess what types of plant communities are associated with the nests and examine how these vegetative communities impacts the nest by monitoring nest temperature and hatching success.

    PLEASE NOTE: High School students are encouraged to apply for this project


    Dr. Keith Dunton

    Assistant Professor, Biology/Marine and Environmental and Policy Program

    Email: kdunton@monmouth.edu

    RESEARCH PROJECT:

    Conservation and Demographics of New Jersey Coastal Sharks and Sturgeon

    Worldwide, species with k-selected life history traits (long live, late maturing) are of great conservation need due to the drastic declines in populations from various anthropogenic threats. The coast of New Jersey has been shown to be a migratory corridor for many of these species including sturgeons, coastal sharks, and rays. By collecting information on their population demographics (size, age, sex, species) and spatial/temporal habitat uses along the New Jersey Coast, we can gain a greater understanding of their population ecology, which is essential for both the conservation and management issues. This year’s SRP project will focus on 2 objectives:

    1) Atlantic Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhinchus) population demographics and spatial/temporal habitat use of Atlantic sturgeon in Sandy Hook/Raritan Bay
    While, Atlantic Sturgeon, have been historically documented to occur in Sandy Hook Bay/Raritan Bay, no formal surveys have been conducted to identify their presence/absence. Using acoustic receivers over the last 2 years, we have been able to detect numerous Atlantic sturgeon within this region. This project will build off current and previously funded UCI research to focus on looking at the population demographics in this regional as well as spatial and temporal habitat use. This is essential for the conservation and recovery of the species.

    2) Demographics (species, sex, spatial/temporal changes in structure) of land-based recreational hook-and-line shark fishery
    In recent years, the land-based recreational hook-and-line fishery has increased in popularity along the coast. Although prohibited from harvest, coastal sharks, Sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus) and Sand Tiger (Carcharias taurus), occupy shallow coastal waters and sometimes are incidentally captured within this fishery. We will work directly with this recreational community to collect information of population demographics as well as tag sharks with conventional and acoustic tags to monitor movements after release.



    Dr. Martin Hicks

    Assistant Professor, Biology

    Email: mhicks@monmouth.edu

    RESEARCH PROJECT:

    Engineering, synthesis and evaluation of gene transfer vectors for the Delivery of RNA therapeutics to the tumor cell microenvironment

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common central nervous system (CNS) malignancy with a median survival of only 14 months. It is characterized by increased activation of one or more tyrosine kinase receptors, particularly epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). This receptor is dysregulated in about 60% of GBM tumors. EGFR amplification, over-expression and constitutive activation leads to uncontrolled growth and proliferation of GBM. Although a great deal is known about the aberrant biology exhibited by EGFR-activated GBM, the application of therapies against the biologic processes is limited by the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which restricts systemically administered therapies from reaching the brain.

    Although anti-sense RNAs and small interfering RNAs can be used to target and silence gene expression, exogenously expressed RNAs are susceptible to extracellular nucleases as well as activation of cellular immunity against foreign nucleic acids. To bypass the BBB and other degradatory mechanisms, we are developing a gene therapeutic approach that takes advantage of a natural noncoding RNA gene architecture and the miRNA expression pathway along with an anti-sense targeted approach to alter EGFR expression. In addition, we make use of a polycistronic delivery system to express RNAs targeting splicing and alternative poly-A signals as well as G-rich elements of the EGFR transcript.

    In our approach, we are developing and testing the direct delivery of DNA encoding RNA therapeutics in three manners using 1) a miRNA cluster with polycistronic anti-GBM siRNAs to reduce mRNA expression of tyrosine kinase receptors in human GBM. 2) RNA anti-sense gene transfer to induce synthesis of a soluble and therapeutic tyrosine kinase receptor decoys to reduce GBM growth, vascularization and metastasis. 3) Antisense guided pre-mRNA trans-splicing of an early stop-codon into the overexpressed EGFR transcript.

    PLEASE NOTE:  High school students are encouraged to apply for this project.


    Dr. Cathryn Kubera

    Assistant Professor, Biology

    Email: ckubera@monmouth.edu

    RESEARCH PROJECT:

    The role of GABA in Cerebellum Development and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) create significant social, economic, and medical burdens for the several million Americans that have these conditions. In addition to having mental disabilities, individuals with FAS often have motor impairment and coordination deficits that are due to cell death-related abnormalities in the cerebellum. This project will examine the role of alcoholism-related genes like the GABA receptor subunits during cerebellum development. A chicken embryo model will be used to study timing of gene expression in relation to alcohol exposure, and determine patterns of cell death in the cerebellum. Part of the approach will entail using the CRISPR-Cas9 system to genetically engineer cells and initiate knockdown of gene function. This project will facilitate understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the progression of FAS.


    Dr. Dorothy Lobo and Dr. James P. Mack

    Professors, Biology

    Email: dlobo@monmouth.edu

    Email: mack@monmouth.edu

    RESEARCH PROJECT:

    Effects of Essential Oils and Methylglyoxal on the Growth and Proliferation of a Variety of Human Cancer Cell Lines and Specific Multidrug Resistant Bacteria

    One project to be addressed is the influence of essential oils and methylglyoxal on the proliferation and survival of normal and cancerous cells grown in culture. The effects of essential oils on cancer cells are just beginning to be explored. Here at Monmouth, there has been work performed to characterize the anti-bacterial role of essential oils, but we have the ability to expand this work to determine the effects on human cells. The proliferation and rate of apoptosis of normal human cells and cancerous cells exposed to essential oils will be measured. This work may lead to further evaluation of signaling pathways influenced by essential oil treatment.

    We will also address the effects of specific essential oils (Cassia, Oregano, Cinnamon and Manuka Oil) and Methylglyoxal on the growth of multidrug resistant bacteria including: MRSA, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and ESBL-E.coli.

    Students new to research are encouraged to apply including freshmen and sophomores. Preference will be given to Monmouth University students.


    Dr. Megan Phifer-Rixey

    Assistant Professor, Biology

    Email: mphiferr@monmouth.edu

    RESEARCH PROJECT:

    Evolutionary Genetics in the Wild

    Genetic tools can provide insight into wild populations—everything from species’ ranges and distributions to specific adaptations to local environments. This summer, my lab will use genetic tools to investigate two distinct research areas 1) environmental adaptation in wild house mice (Mus musculus domesticus) and 2) local marine and estuarine community composition. While these two systems are very different, they are united by common research methods and by a common research goal—using an evolutionary perspective to better understand wild populations of ecologically important species. The house mouse is one of the most widely distributed mammals and one of the most widely used genetic model organisms. Nevertheless, relatively little is known about genetic variation in natural populations. Recently, house mice have expanded their range in association with humans establishing populations in a variety of novel habitats, including most of the Americas. While this expansion has made them notorious as exotic, invasive pests, it also provides an exceptional opportunity to study the genetic basis of evolutionary change over short time scales. As part of the summer research program, we will be establishing colonies of live mice to investigate the traits, like body size, that have enabled house mice to adapt to so many different climates. To better understand local marine and estuarine communities, my lab will be part of collaborative projects using eDNA (environmental DNA) to survey the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers and using genetic markers to survey local populations of striped bass (Morone saxatilis). Both of these projects will help characterize commercially and ecologically important systems.


    Dr. Jeffrey H. Weisburg

    Specialist Professor, Biology

    Email: jweisbur@monmouth.edu

    RESEARCH PROJECT:

    Use of Pomegranate Juice Extract and Apple Extract to Treat and to Inhibit Chronic Inflammation in Cancers of the Oral Cavity

    Oral cancer (OC), a type of head and neck cancer, has an annual worldwide incidence of 274,000 cases. Besides tobacco and alcohol, another risk factor for OC is chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation can genetically alter normal cells resulting in the activation of oncogenes and the inactivation tumor-suppressor genes. This leads to the evolution of tumor cells by inducing cell proliferation and promoting prolonged cell survival.

    Nutraceuticals are defined as any products derived from food sources with extra health benefits in addition to the basic nutritional value found in foods. One of the most powerful nutraceuticals is pomegranate juice extract (PJE). PJE has been shown to have anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic properties in some cancers. Apple extract (AE) has been also shown to induce apoptosis in certain cancer. In these experiments, we want to see if PJE and AE could selectively target and kill cancers of the oral cavity, using the human squamous carcinoma cells, HSC-2 and CAL-27, as compared to normal gingival fibroblast cell, HF-1. The transcription factor NF-kB is a key element in inflammation, and its activation has been shown to upregulate gene expression of other pro-inflammatory cytokines. Increased NF-kB activation is thought to be one of the links between cancer and inflammation. Research has shown that NF-kB activation can occur in most cell types. Treating the cells with PJE and AE, we want to observe if these nutraceuticals could inhibit or decrease the activation of NF-kB, preventing the inflammatory process. One of the cytokines produced as a result NF-kB activation is interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β). Secretion of IL-1β further amplifies the immune response. We want to examine if treating the cells with the individual nutraceutical can also inhibit the secretion of IL-1β.


    CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS

    Dr. Davis Jose

    Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Physics

    E-Mail: djose@monmouth.edu

    RESEARCH PROJECT:

    A Spectroscopic Approach to Understand the Structural Intricacies on Non-Canonical Nucleic Acid Conformations

    Human and other eukaryote genomes are composed of multiple chromosomes, each containing a linear molecule of DNA. A variety of non-canonical DNA structures in addition to the Watson–Crick B-form, are known to play vital roles in biological processes such as replication, recombination, repair and transcription. Non-canonical DNA structures that have been widely studied in vitro and in vivo includes A-form, Z-form, hairpin, G-quadruplex, T-loop and i-motif to name a few. Many of these structures are linked with aging, cancer and genetic disorders such as Bloom and Werner syndromes. This makes them a potential target for structure-specific drug designing and therapeutic applications. In the proposed project my main focus will be to elucidate the structural complexities of these unusual DNA conformations at single base resolution using fluorescent base analogues. Undergraduates will be introduced to non-canonical nucleic acid conformations and their significance in important biological functions. They will be assigned to prepare the samples, acquire and analyze the biochemical and spectroscopic data.


    Dr. Yana Kholod

    Instructor, Chemistry and Physics

    E-MAIL: ykholod@monmouth.edu

    RESEARCH PROJECT:

    Oxazole-Based Macrocycles Binding to DNA: A Computational Insight

    Toxicity of anti-cancer drugs is an urgent problem in the field of cancer research. Inhibition of cancer cell growth can be achieved with binding of small organic ligands to DNA macromolecules in telomeres. Such ligands have been suggested as potential anti-cancer drugs. Cytotoxicity of those potential drugs can be estimated based on the selectivity of their binding to specific DNA conformations. The current research is focused on computationally-aimed selection of small organic molecules – ligands – that have shown a potential as anti-cancer drugs with low toxicity. Specifically, various oxazole-based macrocycles will be considered. Different molecules of this class, depending on their structure and substituents, bind highly selectively to certain DNA forms (e.g., double-helix, parallel, anti–parallel, G-quadruplex and mixed–type hybrid structures). Therefore, such oxazole-based macrocycles can be selected for optimal binding to specific DNA forms, and subsequent targeted inhibition of telomerase in cancer cells. Computational chemistry tools, including quantum chemical, molecular docking and molecular dynamics methods will be used for a comprehensive survey of interactions of a set of oxazole–based macrocycle molecules with various DNA forms.



    Dr. Dmytro Kosenkov

    Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Physics

    Email: dkosenko@monmouth.edu

    RESEARCH PROJECT:

    Modeling Impact of Intermolecular Interactions of LPG - Alcohol Mixtures on Stability of Phyllosilicates: Towards Improvement of Drilling Fluids

    A recently introduced technology of waterless fracking for natural gas and oil that employs liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)-alcohol mixtures as drilling fluids (DF) is advantageous over traditional water-based DFs that cause borehole failures due to shales instability. The proposed project focuses on proving the concept that the stability of shale minerals is preserved by using drilling fluids with the certain balance between polar (e.g. Coulomb, polarization, etc.) and non-polar (e.g. dispersion) intermolecular interactions of DF components (e.g. LPG and polyhydroxyl alcohols) with shale minerals (e.g. phyllosilicates). The main goal of the proposed project is to develop a computational strategy to reveal the key intermolecular interactions for various DF formulations and therefore to facilitate the development of waterless drilling fluids that minimize negative effects of waterless fracking.



    Dr. Greg Moehring

    Associate Professor, Chemistry and Physics

    Email: gmoehrin@monmouth.edu

    RESEARCH PROJECT:

    Preparation and Physical Studies of Potential Cytotoxins

    Cytotoxins are chemicals that cause cell death. Some cytotoxins are important agents in chemotherapy. Currently the most effective class of cytotoxins for chemotherapy are platinum-based inorganic molecules such as cis-Platin. While platinum-centered cytotoxins are important and effective, drawbacks of these agents include possible substantial side effects and the development of platinum-resistant cell lines. Interest in using other inorganic molecules for cancer treatment is based on the potential of these other agents to ameliorate some of the side effects of platinum-based therapeutics and to slow the development of platinum-resistant cell lines. One small class of inorganic cytotoxins is built around rhenium metal centers in their +1 oxidation state supported by three carbonyl ligands, a single bidentate diimine ligand, and a single alkyl carbonate ligand. Aside from the alkylcarbonate ligand, these complexes have similar sizes and shapes to a second class of molecules built around rhenium in its +5 oxidation state which makes us particularly interested in the role that the alkyl carbonate ligand plays, if any, in the cytotoxicity of these compounds. The goal of this work is to explore the role of the alkyl carbonate ligand in the cytotoxicity of a small class of rhenium(I) tricarbonyl complexes supported by bidentate diimine ligands. Our objectives will include the preparation of complexes with different alkyl substituents on the alkyl carbonate ligand, the preparation of analogous complexes in which the alkyl carbonate ligand is substituted by isoelectronic groups such as nitrate or carboxylate anions, and studies of the physical, chemical, and cytotoxic properties of the new complexes that are prepared. We will be working from the notion that the alkyl carbonate serves to assist in the migration of the molecule into the cell and then is likely hydrolyzed before interchalating with the DNA complex.


    Jonathan Ouellet

    Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Physics

    Email: jouellet@monmouth.edu

    RESEARCH PROJECTS:

    Project 1 - Developing an RNA aptamer binding Glucose

    Type-1 diabetes is afflicting more than 1 million Americans where their body synthetize little to no insulin, preventing the glucose molecules to enter cells to be metabolized. This research project aims to lay the foundations for an automated synthetic biology solution to diabetes, where the glucose levels are measured by an RNA aptamer. This is a continuation project initiated 4 years ago by Danielle Barbieri and Emma Stowell. The glucose aptamer have currently been optimized for 11 SELEX cycles. The core of this summer’s project is to further the selection process by SELEX to finally isolate the various RNA aptamers by cloning their DNAs into plasmids. The project started with a pool of 1 x 1024 unique DNA sequences that was transcribed in vitro into random RNA sequences. Those randomized nucleotides are localized into the stem II of the hammerhead ribozyme (a self-cleaving RNA molecule). In presence of glucose, some of the RNA molecules adopt the proper ribozyme structure and cleave the RNA into a shorter fragment that is purified on acrylamide gels. The selected RNA are then reverse-transcribed into DNA and amplified by PCR to complete a cycle of SELEX (Systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment). Moreover, we included a negative selection cycle where cleaving RNA molecules were discarded in the absence of glucose (since they would be false positives).. After 2 new cycles where a constant progress of positive self-cleaved RNAs occurs, the aptamers will be isolated by cloning.

    Project 2 - Ratiometric fluorescence measurements to monitor riboswitch activity in bacteria

    Gene regulation is crucial and central in biochemistry. The gene expression is turned ON and OFF in an autonomous fashion. To measure gene expression efficiently, this research project is for the development of a novel reporter system with two fluorophores. We recently cloned a plasmid where a promoter is followed by the mCherry gene, a riboswitch and finally, a green fluorescence protein (GFP) gene. The task is to now measure the fluorescence in bacteria under different conditions. We are expecting that upon induction in bacteria, red fluorescence will be measured. The presence of the riboswitch allows the novelty of this reporter where the quantity of the ligand will proportionally increase the amount of green fluorescence as it will activate the riboswitch. Growth condition of bacteria, induction strength and ligand concentration are the various elements that will be varied to test the new ratiometric riboswitch reporter.

    COMPUTER SCIENCE AND SOFTWARE ENGINEERING

    Professor Gil Eckert and Professor Jim Nickels

    Specialist Professor, Computer Science and Software Engineering

    Marine Scientist for the Urban Coast Institute, a Monmouth University Center of Distinction

    Email: geckert@monmouth.edu

    Email: jnickels@monmouth.edu

    RESEARCH PROJECT:

    Classification and Measurement of Aerial Imagery with TensorFlow
    Image recognition is one of the hottest technologies. From self-driving cars to autonomous robots, quick, accurate identification is key. Identifying aerial images is more challenging than identifying those taken at ground level. Summer researchers will develop techniques and methodologies to analyze and classify aerial images provided to the team. The project will seek to recognize and measure images using machine-learning processes available in TensorFlow. TensorFlow is an open source software library for machine learning released by Google in 2015 and has quickly become one of the most popular machine learning libraries used by researchers and practitioners all over the world. This research will expose students to an exciting technology and provide a real-world problem solving experience. Researchers will develop and compare aerial image classification techniques for accuracy and reliability. Optimally, the research will yield algorithms and/or methodologies that are worthy of publication, are commercially attractive, or both. Researchers will be provided with a set of tools to solve a problem. It is expected that they work as a team to employ these tools for the best results using trial and error. It is also expected that they learn how to think out of the box for solutions. Finally, researchers are expected to discuss their experiences and solutions with peers, industry and the research community. Researcher requirements: Python programming knowledge, some knowledge of the Github code repository.


    Professor Katie Gatto

    APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR THIS PROJECT IS APRIL 16, 2018

    Specialist Professor, Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering

    Email: kgatto@monmouth.edu

    RESEARCH PROJECT:

    Simulating the Effects of Waterway Pollution

    Undergraduate Student:
    Monmouth University is seeking a motivated student to work on Virtual Reality development research team primarily in a Unity environment. Student will assist in the development of an educational simulation focused primarily on the impact of dumping on local marine ecosystems, with a team of high school students. The simulation would trace the path of dumping through the environment, leading to the water body sites (for example Barnegat Bay or the Atlantic Ocean) and show the impact of the introduction of these chemicals on marine life.

    Experience with VR/ Unity required. Completion of AR/VR coursework preferred.

    Familiarity with 3D models preferred.

    Willingness to work with a variety of personality types and work independently preferred.

    Project will run for six weeks, for roughly 20 hours a week. Work will begin last week of June or first week in July.

    ********************************************

    High School Students
    Monmouth University is seeking motivated, mature high school students to work on Virtual Reality development research team primarily in a Unity environment. Students will assist in the development of an educational simulation focused primarily on the impact of dumping on local marine ecosystems. The simulation would trace the path of dumping through the environment, leading to the water body sites (for example Barnegat Bay or the Atlantic Ocean) and show the impact of the introduction of these chemicals on marine life.

    Experience with programming in an object oriented language is essential.

    Experience with VR/ Unity preferred. Experience with Blender or Maya software preferred.

    Willingness to work with a variety of personality types and work independently preferred.

    Project will run for six weeks, for roughly 20 hours a week. Work will begin last week of June or first week in July.

    ********************************************

    Teachers
    Monmouth University is seeking a high school teacher with interest in programming, Virtual Reality development and/or Unity to assist in the supervision of high school students and development of an educational simulation focused on the impact of dumping on local marine ecosystems. The simulation would trace the path of dumping through the environment, leading to the water body sites (for example Barnegat Bay or the Atlantic Ocean) and show the impact of the introduction of these chemicals on marine life.

    Experience with programming in an object oriented language is essential.

    Desire/willingness to work with students in a supervisory capacity for research purposes is essential.

    Experience with VR/ Unity preferred.

    Project will run for six weeks, for roughly 20 hours a week. Work will begin last week of June or first week in July.


    Dr. Raman Lakshmanan

    Adjunct Professor, Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering

    Email: rlakshma@monmouth.edu

    RESEARCH PROJECT 1:

    Use of Regression Models to Analyze Anomalies in Prescription Medication Costs

    Cost of drugs in the marketplace is influenced by various factors – manufacturers cost of the drug, coverage provided by insurers, pricing agreements between manufactures and pharmacies/insurers, regulatory policies set by individual states on insurers operating in the state, etc. This research will use multivariate regression models to detect anomalies in pricing and how it could affect the cost of the drug to patients and possible effects on treatments.

    RESEARCH PROJECT 2:

    Customer Relationship Management in Healthcare Services

    More and more services in healthcare are considered as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) where customers are healthcare providers and patients. Large pharmaceutical companies are looking at deploying systems under the CRM umbrella for integrated marketing and distribution of products to healthcare providers and to understand how those products are used in patient treatments.

    RESEARCH PROJECT 3:

    Mobile App to Assist Addiction Recovery and Promote Clean Living

    More than 23 million individuals in the United States are addicted to a substance and a recent study published in The Evaluation and The Health Professionals estimate that in a given year, 47% of Americans suffer from some sort of addiction. Furthermore, the relapse rate for those in recovery is 40-60% and major triggers that increase this rate are boredom loneliness and isolation.

    Designed by a clinical therapist, The Clean Living Community (The CLC), is mobile application created to revamp recovery, remove the stigma of addiction and support individuals who have chosen to live a clean lifestyle. This project will involve developing the mobile application and bringing it to the market. The CLC focuses on socialization and provides support to those who chose recovery and wish to live a clean lifestyle. We provide members the ability to forge significant connections and to "celebrate a clean lifestyle”.


    Dr. Jiacun (Jay) Wang

    Professor, Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering

    Email: jwang@monmouth.edu

    RESEARCH PROJECT:

    Analyzing the Differences between NoSQL and SQL; Compare Benefits and Drawbacks of Each

    There is a growing interest in and use of maintaining unstructured data in a "NoSQL" database. Most companies have historically employed a relational database such as SQL to maintain data in a structured environment. Analyze the differences between these two approaches, and compare the benefits and drawbacks of each. Create a NoSQL database environment and bring into it both structured and unstructured data and demonstrate query capability.


    MATHEMATICS

    Dr. Richard Bastian

    Lecturer, Mathematics

    Email: rbastian@monmouth.edu

    RESEARCH PROJECT

    Statistical Consulting Projects will include:

    1. Marine Ecology in the Bahamas (Collaboration with Dr. Pedram Daneshgar in Biology).
    Statistical design, data collection & analysis (types of tests, sample sizes, power, effect sizes, etc.) needed to answer research questions about the marine ecology in the Bahamas.

    2. Catch and Release on the NJ Shore (Collaboration with Assistant Dean Tiedemann)
    Analysis of catch and release data as a measure of the health of various species.

    3. Comparing Essential Oils with Antibiotics (Collaboration with Dr. James Mack in Biology)
    Analysis of inhibition zones for both antibiotics and essential oil combinations as a way to compare their effectiveness.

    4. Educating Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Implementation of Professional Development within the State of New Jersey (collaboration with Dr Stacy Lauderdale, Monmouth University School of Education)
    Exploration & Implementation of statistical analysis techniques for these data.

    5. Variations in Violent Crime (Collaboration with Dr. Kristin Mele Thomas in Criminal Justice).
    Analyzing violent crime data from the city of Trenton to gauge possible associations with other variables (e.g., police force size).

    6. State-Level Higher Education Funding And Societal Outcomes (Collaboration with Dr. Stephen Chapman in Political Science)
    Analysis of state-level funding for higher education across the US.

    7. Anthropological Conclusions Drawn From Skeletal Collections Across The Centuries. (Collaboration with Dr. Hillary Delprete in Anthropology)
    Implications of Differences in Skeletal Measurements on the Society of Origin of the Skeletons.

    8. Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate (Hmb) In Athletic Populations (Collaboration with NJ based Physical Therapist).
    Meta-analysis of several datasets and previous published articles on the effectiveness of Hmb in athletics.

    9 Analysis of Dog-Owner Behavior in Play Park (Collaboration with Dr. Lindsay Mehrkam in Psychology)
    Analysis of play park data involving animal to animal and human to animal behaviors.

    10. College Soccer Player Satisfaction as Related to Team Leadership Behaviors (Collaboration with Kristine Turner - MU Women’s Soccer Coach)
    Analysis of Division 1 player’s responses to nationally validated questionnaires on player satisfaction.