Dr. John T. Williams, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, is researching the effects on changing the speed of a chemical separation pump through using a non-aqueous coating that is applied onto a chemical capillary. The chemical separation pump is created through electric forces, and as a result changing the pump’s speed will change the electric current. The coating allows the pump to change speed without changing the electric current. Williams’ research will study how the coating affects the capillary electrohporesis.

John Williams
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
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Marietta Wright, Assistant Professor of Biology, and Elizabeth Wang, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, are partnering together to build learning software to help students understand the concept of Mendelian Genetics. In this branch of genetics, alleles are used to define the genetic make-up of an organism. There are many combinations of alleles that create the traits of the organism.

Statistical analysis, through the use of software, helps genetic scientists and students understand genetic concepts and aids in the understanding of probabilities and likelihoods of obtaining a particular trait. Wang and Wright are collaborating to develop a learning tool for introductory biology students to learn the statistical analysis, or the Chi-square test, associated with Mendelian Genetics. The researchers are studying the effects of the software on student learning goals and will submit a paper for publication with the results at the conclusion of the project. The software will be introduced to advanced high school biology classes especially for those students who want to learn genetics but without statistics background.

Baoying (Elizabeth) Wang
Assistant Professor of Computer Science
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Marietta F. Wright
Assistant Professor of Biology
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Elizabeth Wang, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, developed a new clustering method for market-basket data analysis termed the WC-clustering method. This type of data mining analysis is used by corporations and has made the difference between becoming the world’s biggest corporation and filing for bankruptcy. Wang along with student researchers, Erik Murphy, David Patton, Rich Janicki, and Dustin Yoder, have implemented the WC-clustering method on parallel machines at the Pittsburgh Supercomputer Center speed up the clustering process. This method generates finer and hierarchical clustering results more efficiently than the traditional Association Rule Mining method or the traditional partitional clustering method.

Baoying (Elizabeth) Wang
Assistant Professor of Computer Science
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Chad Sethman, Assistant Professor of Biology, is beginning to research the factors that increase the risk of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) among college students. Sethman, along with undergraduate student researchers, Ryan Kitzninger and Leigh Nelson, are studying the factors that predispose college students to the MRSA bacteria. Little research has been conducted with this population group. This project will also study the genetic characterization of the MRSA strains that will allow the researchers to track the prevalence of strains over time.

Chad Sethman
Assistant Professor of Biology
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Chad Sethman, Assistant Professor of Biology, has partnered with professors at six other colleges and universities in Pennsylvania along with the PA department of Health to research the acceptance level of the H1N1 vaccine among college students. Undergraduate student researcher Brittany Spitznogle will also be directly involved with the research. The 2009 Pandemic A/H1N1 influenza virus has disproportionately affected children and young adults in the 5 to 24 years age group. Vaccines represent an important strategy for the control of influenza but are only effective if accepted by the public. Unique mindset issues may affect acceptance of the Pandemic A/H1N1 vaccine among college students. Sethman’s study will examine the factors that may influence acceptance of the 2009 influenza A/H1N1 vaccine with this specific population.

Chad Sethman
Assistant Professor of Biology
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