Student Research




2015 SpF Awardees

Twenty-two Kean University students have received a 2015 Students Partnering with Faculty (SpF) summer research award. Through the SpF program students and faculty work collaboratively to make a significant contributions to their fields of study. Students will be working on eight separate teams, each headed by a faculty mentor. During the summer the students will spend six to eight consecutive weeks in intensive work on their projects, which will then be followed by continued activity during the academic year.

2015 SpF projects

How do changes in state laws affect teenage risky behavior
Connie Hassett Walker (Faculty),  Lawrence Owens, Angelina Calafiore (Students)

In Service of their Country: The Digitization and Annotation of the Newark State Teachers College World War II Letter Collection in the Kean University Archives
Elizabeth Hyde (and) Jonathan Mercantini (Faculty) , Kevin Fette, Laura Hurley, Gabriel Kissoon (Students)

Making Current Spaces of Liberty Hall Museum Accessible through Augmented Reality
Edward Johnston (Faculty),  Erica Whyte, Christina Galera, Eric Vita (Students)

Notification Service Attack Detection and Shielding (NSADS)
J. Jenny Li (Faculty) , Myles McHugh, Peter Abbate, Brian Vega (Students)

Synthesis of Novel, Brain-Penetrant CCR1 Antagonists
James Merritt (Faculty) , Katherine Thomas, Amanda Sona, Kyeara Mack (Students)

Secure Mobile App Design: Vulnerability Assesment and Analysis

Patricia Morreale (Faculty) , Krishan Perera, Benjamin Purbrick (Students)

Life cycle assessment of bottled water from Green2O

Dongyan Mu (Faculty), Dylan Essex, Alison Tulli, Jessica Frago (Students)

Lets Go: Promoting Community Mobility for Older Adults in Urban Environments Claire Mulry (Faculty),  Mark Ravinsky, Julian De Martinis, Christina Papetti (Students)

2014 SpF Projects

Thirteen Kean University students have received a 2014 Students Partnering with Faculty (SpF) summer research award. Through the SpF program students and faculty work collaboratively to make a significant contributions to their fields of study.
This year's awardees represent different majors including:  Applied Mathematics, Computational Mathematics/Physics, Computer Science, Criminal Justice and Biotechnology. Students have been assigned to five separate teams, each headed by a faculty mentor.

Click here for more photos

"An Examination of Health Issues among Women in the Criminal Justice System"
Connie Hassett-Walker (Faculty)
Erica Schwartz (Student), Nia Noziere (Student)


Towards the end of June, Erica and Nya had the opportunity to discuss their ideas with advisor Dr. Hassett-Walker’s NIH grant co-investigators – Dr. Gilbert Gee of the University of California at Los Angeles and Dr. Katrina Walsemann of the University of South Carolina – at the investigators’ annual site visit at Kean University. Nya and Erica have moved onto the next phase of the SpF study, which includes taking the NIH online training course in ethical human subjects research; and then submitting the first of two IRB applications (one for existing data; the other for original data collection). Once they obtain IRB approval, Nya and Erica will select and run analyses on variables from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY97) that tap into key concepts relevant to their research question, including peers, self esteem, childhood running away, and experiencing child abuse. The study will continue through the fall 2014 semester, when the student researchers plan to interview women offenders to see whether the results from their original data collection match those from the analyses of the existing NLSY97 data. 

"Mobility by Design: Information Visualization for Constraint-driven Navigation"
Pat Morreale (Faculty)
Shruti Mishra (Student), Jeremy McAllister (Student), Thejasri Dowluri (Student)


Effective, persuasive information visualization in support of changing user behavior was investigated.  Drawing from research areas such as data science (“big data”), sensor networking, sustainability, and human computer interface, approaches to information visualization in support of energy conservation were examined, and a user survey was conducted to determine which approach was more likely to result in the desired outcome.
“Smart grid” research aimed at determining practical methods to reduce carbon dioxide output has not focused on giving residential consumers a way to visualize their energy usage, enabled by the deployment of smart grid meters. Encouraging the sustainable, preventative behavior of reducing energy usage has several major factors motivating research and development processes:
(1) human side of behavioral and motivational psychology using various factors to influence adoption and participation in an energy visualization system, (2) environmental concerns of rising levels of “normal” electricity usage every year (3) technical aspects of smart grid deployment and home energy monitor implementation.
One challenge is how to engage home users and encourage them adopt behaviors which will conserve energy.  This research explored the questions influencing factors for adoption of and participation in a home energy monitoring system (HEMS) using a persuasive design of a mobile application. 

"Validation of Exoplanet Models for Multi-planet Systems with Application to HD10180"
David Joiner (Faculty)
Kimberly Shanks (Student), Roger Garcia (Student)


During Summer 2014 Kimberly Shanks (graduate student, NJCSTM, Math Education) and Roger Garcia (graduate student, NJCSTM, Computational Math) worked with me on a project related to investigating planets around the star HD10180. HD10180 is a sun-like star, and scientists think there are between 6 and 9 planets orbiting it.

Shanks investigated the radial velocity curve of HD10180 to search for evidence of orbiting planets, and was able to locate orbital fits for both the 6-7 planet model published by Lovis et al as well as the 9 planet model published by Tuomi. Shanks performed statistical tests to determine the false alarm probabilities of each planet, and determined that the 6-7 planet model published by Lovis et al was the most likely, with a significant false alarm probability for the 7th planet. Additionally, Shanks performed N-Body gravitational calculations, using a quadrupole moment for the central star to mimic the effects of general relativity and tidal damping on the planets' orbits, and found that there were no significant changes required to orbital predictions for the 6-7 planet model, but that there were major concerns with regards to gravitational stability in the 9 planet model.

Garcia is implementing a modified Laplace-Lagrange model in MATLAB that include the effects of general relativity and tidal damping, as described by Laskar and Robutel. This will allow for a validation of our technique of using a quadrupole moment in our N-Body calculations to mimic general relativity and tidal damping. The MATLAB code has been completed, and validated against published results. Garcia will move on to applying the code to a detailed analysis of HD10180 in the Fall semester. Garcia is continuing this work as part of his Masters thesis in computational mathematics.