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April is Undergraduate Research Month at W&M!

Your guide to Week 1

Our April showcase of undergraduate student research features live events, videos, visual and written research abstracts – and more. Browse this week's research projects, and visit again next week for more projects to come. Don't forget to check out the calendar of live events!

This week's Departmental Honors videos

Seniors in the Departmental Honors Program pursue an intensive, yearlong research project. This month they present their work in 3-minute videos. Check out the example video below and click through to see all of this week's videos.

{{youtube:medium|K812Y8OyzfI, Beau Nardo '21: Andalusia in layers: Reconciling Andalusian Identity with Spanish and European Influence}}

More student videos this week

Students across Arts & Sciences completed 3-minute videos describing their research projects. Check out the example video below and click through to see all of this week's videos.

{{youtube:medium|NWLa45Nr6ho, Alexis Reece '22: Fluctuating Asymmetry in Sea Star Larvae}}

Written abstracts from first-year Monroe Scholar projects

Students prepared abstracts describing their research in 250 words. Check out the sample abstract below and click through to see all of this week's abstracts.

Elizabeth Germain '24: Have Americans Become Desensitized to Mass Shootings? (Computer Science)
 
An Exploration of Twitter Responses to Five Major U.S. Mass Shootings from 2016-2020: Have Americans Become Desensitized to Mass Shootings?
Mass shootings are occurring in the United States with increasing frequency, yet little research has examined the effect of mass shootings on the psyche of the American people. My research aimed to explore if Americans are becoming desensitized to mass shootings, as evidenced by changes in Twitter responses to mass shootings, and to determine if the amount of gun control discussion occurring in the wake of mass shootings has changed over time. I measured desensitization based on magnitude of discussion, longevity of discussion, and presence of negative emotions in the language of discussion. I used a list of hashtags to gather tweets for the fifteen days following the five deadliest shootings in the past five years. I measured magnitude based on the distribution of retweets, likes, replies, and overall impressions; longevity based on the simple moving average of the number of impressions; and negative affect based on the percentage of negative, neutral, and positive words in the tweets as measured by Valence Aware Dictionary and sEntiment Reasoner (VADER), as well as the average proportion of each tweet that expressed fear, disgust, anger, sadness, and anxiety as measured by Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC). I found a stable magnitude and longevity of discussion, a general increase in negative emotion, and a decrease in the amount of gun control discussion over time. My findings suggest that desensitization has not occurred, but people may be tiring of the gun control conversation, which could have negative implications for gun control activism. 
Faculty advisor: Professor Dana Willner
 Visual abstracts

 Click through the slide show to view a selection of this week's Visual Abstracts. See all of this week's visual abstracts

  • The Art of Protest: Curation and Display of Art from the Civil Rights Movement

    Kristen Lauritzen '21; The Art of Protest: Curation and Display of Art from the Civil Rights Movement

  • Predicting Major League Baseball Athlete Salaries with the WAR Statistic: Are MLB Players Compensated Fairly?

    Ashley Easter '22; Predicting Major League Baseball Athlete Salaries with the WAR Statistic: Are MLB Players Compensated Fairly?

  • Impact of Public Libraries on Their Communities

    Kimberly Ferguson '22; Impact of Public Libraries on Their Communities

  • Gait Parameter Changes with Parkinson's Disease

    Emma Guidash; Gait Parameter Changes with Parkinson's Disease

  •  A Systemic Review of Single-sided Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Data Matrix Pencil Processing

    Mackenzie Christie '21; Creating a paleontological inventory for Colonial National Historical Park in Virginia, U.S.

  • "China Shock": Local Trade Exposure and Education Investments

    William Anderson '22; "China Shock": Local Trade Exposure and Education Investments

  • Community Health Workers As A Solution To Gaps In Health Access And The Va Medicaid Expansion

    Allí DiPietro '22; Community Health Workers As A Solution To Gaps In Health Access And The Va Medicaid Expansion