Discovery Grant Anastasia Khadjinova

UAA Biological Sciences major, Anastasia Khadjinova, was awarded a Discovery Grant to help fund her travel to the University of William Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia in support of her research, Dynamics of the Villin Head Piece Subdomain. Her faculty mentor is Liliya Vugmeyster, Chemistry.








Discovery Grant Timothy Menard Fall 2010UAA Electrical Engineering major, Timothy Menard, was awarded a Discovery Grant for Fall 2010 to help fund his travel to the IEEE Vehicular Networking Conference in Jersey City, New Jersey. He presented his research FreeSim Mobile.  His faculty mentor is Jeffrey Miller, Engineering.


In this paper, we present a preliminary application for the iPhone™ [2] that uses the built-in GPS receiver along with the web capabilities utilizing a V2I architecture to send a continuous flow of data to a central server where FreeSim [13-15], a real-time traffic simulator, applies the proportional model algorithm [18] to determine the time to traverse a roadway in order to report in real-time the current flow of traffic. At the University of Alaska, Anchorage, we currently have vehicle tracking devices installed in 80 probe vehicles that traverse the Anchorage area. The high cost associated with vehicle tracking devices makes it difficult to penetrate a large vehicular network on limited funds, so we must look towards other available technologies, such as the constantly-expanding cellular network. In this paper we look at the iPhone™ 3G capability of reporting accurate and reliable locations by describing our sample application and comparing its reported GPS accuracy to the existing vehicle probes we have. We will then present a study of its performance of calculating an accurate traffic flow where a chosen section of roadway was driven. Drivers equipped with an iPhone™ 3G cellular phone and a vehicle tracking device manually timed how long it took to travel along the test road section. The vehicle tracking devices report speed and location every 10 seconds whereas the iPhone™ is capable of reporting the location every second, though we were receiving it every eight seconds. From this data, we calculated the amount of time to traverse the test roadway section using the proportional model algorithm and compared it to the actual amount of time it took to traverse the test roadway section. We found that the vehicle tracking device had an average error factor of 4.43% from the actual time to traverse the roadway section (as determined by the stopwatch), whereas the iPhone™ was found to have an error factor of 4.18%. The outcome of the case study is used to determine that the iPhone™ is relatively as accurate as a vehicle tracking device, though it is important to note that the iPhone™ is more limited than a device attached to a vehicle in the data it can obtain to only reporting its location. 

Discovery Grant Amanda HesserUAA Psychology Major, Amanda Hesser, was awarded a Discovery Grant for the Summer of 2011 to help fund her travel to the Association of Psychological Sciences Conference in Washington D.C. to present her research on Parental Impact on Alaskan College Student Drinking and Their Attitudes Towards Alcohol. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Robert Boeckmann.


College drinking has become a dangerous epidemic with thousands of students being injured, killed or engaging in unsafe sex practices due to their alcohol consumption. Previous research suggests that parents do influence their children in late adolescence and in college with own drinking behaviors, attitudes toward alcohol and parenting style in regards to alcohol. To date, limited research has been done on the Alaska college population’s drinking behaviors, attitudes toward alcohol and their origins. The present study was designed to fill this void. It was hypothesizes that students would engage in similar drinking behaviors and hold similar attitudes toward alcohol as their parents did while the child was a senior in high school. Furthermore, parental permissiveness in regards to alcohol during the same time frame with influence their child’s drinking behaviors and attitudes. Forty-three college students in Alaska between the ages of 18-25 and of their parents participated in an online survey that assessed the aforementioned hypotheses as well as the expectancies of the student and their perceived peer behaviors and attitudes. This study suggests that parent’s behaviors and attitudes toward alcohol do not have a relation with their college-aged child. Their permissiveness toward alcohol did however, have a significant positive relations with their child’s attitudes toward alcohol. Moreover, perceived peer behaviors and attitudes toward alcohol had significant positive relation with the college student drinking behaviors and attitudes toward alcohol.


Read about previous years' winners in the 2009-10, 2008-09, 2007-08, 2006-072005-062004-05 and 2003-04 Archive pages.