Mathematics, Computer Science, & Physics, 2012
  • Modeling the Spread of White Nose Syndrome in Hibernating North American Bats
    Sarah C. Bogen, Isaac Ressler
    Mentor: Paula Federico

    North American bat populations are currently being threatened by an emergent infectious fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) which causes mass mortality in hibernating colonies. First detected in New York in 2006, WNS has since spread rapidly in North America, including Ohio, and killed over 5.5 million bats. Control of WNS is of major concern to both the scientific and caving communities, and the disease and mechanisms of transmission are still not well understood. In an effort to better understand the temporal and spatial spread of the disease, we have developed an individual-based model at county level. We assume the probability of infection for each county in a given year is a function of the density of caves, the cave temperature, and relative proximity to other infected counties. The modeling framework allows incorporating other factors not considered at this time that may affect susceptibility and transmission of the disease such as bat population densities, migration patterns, and bat habitat availability. We defined an error index to compare model predictions with infection data from 2006 until 2011 and to adjust the model parameters. Once the model is validated, predictions can inform ongoing conservation efforts and management strategies.

    Capital University Students’ Perceptions of the Relationship between Mathematical Achievement and Music Participation
    Melanie Cousins
    Mentor: Leigh Slauson

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the perceptions Capital University students have of the relationship between mathematical achievement and music participation, regardless of major. This study is based on similar studies that have looked at the relationship between math achievement and musical ability. An online survey was sent by email to 150 randomly selected Capital University students. The survey asked the students if they perceive a relationship between music and math, their age range, gender, major(s) and/or minor(s), if the student has participated in any music programs, and, if so, what type of music programs. Chi-Square analyses were used to identify a relationship between mathematical achievement and music participation. This project will help researchers understand the normal college student’s perception of the relationship between mathematical achievement and music participation.