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to SPS chapters throughout the nation to use in their communities to
heighten interest in science. We were able to test the kits with middle
school science teachers who were attending the Summer Institute for
Middle School Teachers at NIST and integrate their feedback.
SPS16: 8-10 p.m. Stratospheric Thermal Wake
Poster – Mara Blish,* St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN 55105;
Rachel Hedden, Amanda Grove, Erick Agrimson, St. Catherine Univ.
James Flatten, University of Minnesota
We present data characterizing the thermal wake that trails below
ascending high-altitude balloons (AKA weather balloons) as they as-
cend into the stratosphere. This wake, which is warmer than the ambi-
ent air during the day but colder during night flights, is reported to
be significant within 25 feet of the base of the balloon. We have built
and flown a “wake boom” that hangs below latex weather balloons
with a 1-D array of temperature sensors that extends horizontally
from directly beneath the balloon to outside of the predicted width
of the thermal wake. We present analysis of the temperature profiles
collected utilizing this apparatus.
Sponsored by Erick Agrimson
SPS17: 8-10 p.m. Undergraduates Building a High-
Performance Cluster
Poster – William E. Dixon,* Francis Marion University, Florence, SC
Chad Garland, Larry Engelhardt, Ginger Bryngelson, Francis Marion
Galen Collier, Clemson University.
High-performance computing is becoming a necessity to universities.
Setting up such a device requires money and patience. First, figure out
the hardware that the university would make use of. GPUs are great
for simple algorithms, but CPUs are better for heavy programming.
Once hardware is figured out, then networking and configuration is
yet another task. Configuring takes most of the time tweaking the
cluster for administrators ease and for the user’s use. This project is
supported by the NSF EPSCoR RII Track 1 cooperative agreement
awarded to the University of South Carolina.
*Sponsored by Larry Engelhardt
SPS18: 8-10 p.m. GPUs: What Language Do You Speak?
Poster – Tiffany Prosser,* Francis Marion University, Florence, SC
Larry Engelhardt, Francis Marion University
We present the results of an undergraduate research project that
explores the use of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) for scientific
computing. In recent years GPUs have become popular for scien-
tific computing due to their ability to provide massive parallelism
(with thousands of cores) at a reasonable price. Since GPUs are still
relatively foreign to most people, we present a comparison of a few
basic GPU programming languages. These languages includes CUDA
and OpenACC. CUDA C is an extended version of C/C++. OpenACC
(accULL and PGI) is a programming standard that allows FORTRAN
and C/C++ programmers to easily take advantage of CPU/GPU
*Sponsored by Larry Engelhardt.
1. This project is supported by the NSF EPSCoR RII Track 1 cooperative agree-
ment awarded to the University of South Carolina.
SPS19: 8-10 p.m. Analyzing Images of 2010ih
Poster – Dorothy A.Dickson-Vandervelde, Francis Marion University,
Florence, SC 29506;
Ginger Bryngelson, Francis Marion University
SN 2010ih is a type Ia supernova, which is thought to come from a
binary star system in which at least one of the stars is a white dwarf.
The white dwarf gains mass until it reaches the Chandrasekhar limit,
where the pressure and temperature set off a runaway thermonuclear
explosion. We plan to analyze the light curve of the supernova to
characterize the late-time behavior of the supernova and also to figure
out the distribution of the different radioactive isotopes. I reduced
and combined images of the Supernova 2010ih and then analyzed it
for brightness and began the formation of a light curve, which is a
graph of magnitude verses time. SN 2010ih was observed on January
10 and 11, 2011, about five months after it was discovered, at Kitt Peak
National Observatory with the 4m Mayall Telescope in the visible
light bands B, V, R, and I. I used the software Image Reduction and
Analysis Facility (IRAF) to analyze and reduce the images. I removed
bad pixels and crosstalk, subtracted the darks and the zeros, divided
out the flats, fit the image to a world coordinate system, and then
combined the images into a final image, for each filter; B, V, R, and I.
After achieving the four final images, I found the magnitude for the
supernova and thirty field stars using a standard star field.
SPS20: 8-10 p.m. STEM Education and Federal Government
Poster – Dayton J. Syme, Florida State University, Tallahasse, FL
On April 14th, 2013 the President of the United States put forth an
aggressive budgetary plan for fiscal year 2014 that included changes
in funding and a reorganization of programs that support STEM (Sci-
ence, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education. The proposed
changes drew support and harsh criticism from both parties. Togeth-
er, the American Physical Society and American Institute of Physics
supported a Society of Physics Students undergraduate intern to work
at the Department of Education for the summer of 2013. I spent the
summer researching and helping to develop STEM education policies,
laying the groundwork for a new APS/AIP/AAAS fellow position that
has since been approved. In this poster I will describe my work, the
events that led up to what was called the STEM Reorganization, and
preview what can be expected with regard to STEM education from
the Department of Education and beyond .
SPS21: 8-10 p.m. Assessing Social Deficits in Two Mouse
Models of Disease
Poster – Christopher Hollingsworth,* Randolph College, Lynchburg, VA
Zahra Adahman, Alex Kwakye, Katrin Schenk, Randolph College
Lily Y Jan, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Many neuropsychiatric diseases are associated with communica-
tion or social deficits. Here we report on the usefulness of an adult
ultrasonic vocalization (USV) paradigm as an assay of social com-
munication. This paradigm consists of recording the USVs of adult
male mice in response to sexual/social stimuli. Solitary male mice are
recorded in a baseline condition for a fixed time . Then either a female
mouse or female urine soaked bedding is added to the chamber and
the male mouse’s responses are recorded. The recorded vocalizations
are analyzed for number of calls before and after the stimuli, latency
to first call, and other spectral and timing parameters. We present
preliminary results from the application of this paradigm to assay
for social communication deficits in two mouse models of disease, a
fragile X syndrome (FXS) model mouse with altered Kv4.2 expression,
and a mouse model of childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI).
*Sponsored by Peter Sheldon
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