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UTC Graduate Research-Scholarship Day April 14

Students from a variety of programs will present the results of their research at UTC Graduate Research-Scholarship Day, to be held Saturday, April 14, 9 a.m.-noon. Concurrent sessions will be held on the top floor of the UTC University Center. Among the presenters will be:

Justin M. Conley, M.S. Environmental Science, will present “Pharmaceutical Concentrations in the Tennessee River.” Pharmaceutical drugs are an emerging category of environmental contaminants that comprise over 3000 different chemical compounds, which are widely used across the globe in large quantities. After consumption, pharmaceuticals may be excreted in relatively unchanged form by humans and/or animals. The study seeks to detect the presence of 14 different pharmaceutical drugs from Tennessee River water samples in relation to sewage treatment plant effluent points and major tributaries and as a function of sampling depth and season.

Susan Alexander, M.A. English, will present “Bridging the Gap for Deaf Students in the Composition Classroom.” With more and more deaf students entering colleges and universities, many professors face the dilemma of how to grade the written assignments of deaf students. Sign language lacks a written form of communication. The goal of this paper is to compile examples of the methods used from various veterans in the field of first year composition classes and writing centers to bridge the cultural gap of written communication skills between the deaf and hearing world.

Michael J. Wade, M.S. Computer Science, will present “A* Sodoku Solver.” Based on observations and numerical analysis of Sodoku puzzles and their search space, a certainty-based metric is constructed to direct the A* search algorithm towards solving Sodoku grids. This metric is also useful for measuring a puzzle’s ambiguity and then using this measurement to identify thresholds within the search space that cause chaotic returns. The A* Sodoku solver will solve classic 9x9 Sodoku grids in near linear iterations, which returns a solution in under a second.

Louie Elliott, M.S. Engineering, will present “Fuel Cell Simulation and Design Improvement.” The purpose of this project is to improve existing fuel cell devices by applying advanced computer simulations to the problem. The larger goal is to further Chattanooga as an alternative energy region and help establish a fuel cell manufacturing plant here. This research is for fuel cell scientists, but the presentation will be for the general public.

For more information, please contact the Graduate School at (423)425-4666.

May 1, 2007