2014 Undergraduate Research Showcase
Concordia’s first-ever Undergraduate Research Showcase featured research projects from students across all faculties. Browse through the different student projects, listed by faculty.
Research by Faculty
Project title: Retelling Os sertões
Project description: This research-creation project examines Euclides da Cunha's Os sertões [trans: Backlands: The Canudos Campaign](1902)—a journalistic and historical epic of the War of Canudos (1896-1897, Northeastern Brazil)—through its retellings in fiction, poetry, “cordel" literature (popular printed pamphlets of folk stories, poems and songs), graphic novels, theatre, film, art, music and opera. The project analyzes diverse modes of interpretative retelling in order to trace the impact of Os sertões on collective memory of this war. It is presented as an annotated bibliography, organized chronologically according to six periods of Brazilian political history that reflect restrictions and relaxations of censorship laws.
Project title: In Dreams Awake: The Ontological Structure and Limitations of Lucid Dreams
Project description: As a distinct form of “hyperreal” self-awareness, which may occur throughout all sleep cycles, lucid dreaming is an inherently paradoxical phenomenological reality (Hobson et al. 2010, 40). In this presentation I will show that lucid dreaming is a unique form of consciousness that emerges out of the phenomenological structure of non-lucid dreams. In addition, this paper will propose future directions for lucid dream research and its possible contribution to the scientific understanding of subjective self-awareness.
Department of Exercise Science, Faculty of Arts and Science
Supervisor for Stepahie Fallone: Robert Kilgour
Project title: The reliability and precision of OsiriX® imaging software in the assessment of psoas muscle surface area from computed tomography scans in advanced cancer patients
Project description: The purpose of this research project was to quantify skeletal muscle surface area using computed tomography (CT), since it is considered to be important in determining sarcopenia (degenerative muscle loss with aging) and cachexia (skeletal muscle wasting with disease) in advanced cancer. Specifically, OsiriX, a medical imaging software program was assessed in its ability to quantify a paraspinal skeletal muscle (e.g., psoas) from CT scans. Our findings have demonstrated that OsiriX is both reliable and precise and can be used by multiple raters to assess the psoas muscle surface area in axial CT scans at the 4th lumbar vertebra.
Stefanie Fallone*1,4, Noor Mady*2,3,4, Robert D. Kilgour1,4, Leonard Rosenthall5, Sarah Khan4, Antonio Vigano4
1Department of Exercise Science; 2Department of Psychology; 3Science College, 4McGill Nutrition and Performance Laboratory, McGill University Health Centre;
5Department of Radiology, McGill University. *Both authors contributed equally to this study.
Project title: Brain Structural Abnormalities Associated with Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behaviour Disorder (RBD) in Parkinson’s disease
Project description: Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) patients are at high risk for developing α-synucleinopathies such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). In fact, few data have reported brain structural alterations associated with RBD in PD patients. In order to verify these phenomena, by using deformation-based morphometry (DBM) analysis, we compared brain morphometric changes between 74 PD patients with RBD (PD+/RBD+) and 260 PD patients without RBD (PD+/RBD-).
In comparison to PD+/RBD-, smaller volumes were found in the following areas of PD+/RBD+: the pontomesencephalic tegmentum (PMT), medullary reticular formation, hypothalamus, thalamus, putamen, and amygdala. Additionally, PD+/RBD+ showed larger volumes in the olfactory cortex, and prefrontal cortex.
In this study we highlighted the neural abnormalities associated with RBD in PD patients. Decreased volume in PMT of PD+/RBD+ is in line with the role of PMT nuclei in controlling the muscle tone during the REM sleep. In addition, other identified structures might also provide neural correlates for some of the clinical characteristics presented by PD+/RBD+ patients.
Project title: Video Games as Cooperative Performance: Composing for Meaningful Play in Laptop Orchestras
Project description: Laptop orchestras have much in common with video games, such as utilization of networked play, singular (solo) and cooperative (ensemble) modes of play, and hardware that is multipurpose and widely available. The goals of this research-creation project were to explicitly link musical parameters to rules of a new video game created for the Concordia Laptop Orchestra; to play-test ongoing versions and updates of a video game-composition to discover aspects that are fun to play and prompt meaningful experiences among participants; and to modify the game through an iterative process according to the findings.
This iterative design process led to the creation of Stethoscope Hero, a science fiction, multiplayer, choose-your-own-adventure video game-composition for networked laptop orchestras. Its story is set on a remote planet with laboratories that provide the only breathable air. The game’s story begins with an earthquake, causing the machines of the laboratories to fail. Players create and control perceptual superheroes who, through their special powers to repair machinery through advanced diagnostic listening, have been tasked with saving their civilization by exploring the laboratories, listening to the machines, and attempting to make repairs based on what they hear.
Supervised by Dr. Eldad Tsabary under his Interdisciplinary Networked, and Telematic Laptop Orchestra Project (INTLOP), this research-creation project is part of ongoing research on the social and design parameters that contribute to meaningful play and fun in the context of networked laptop orchestras, and has since been presented internationally, most recently at the Network Music Festival in Brimingham, UK.
Project title: Last Dace on the Main: The Research
Project description: This is the research undergone for the creation of the film Last Dance on the Main. An animated documentary on the demolition of a row of historic buildings on Montreal's St Laurent boulevard, also known as 'The Main', by politicians and building developers, and the resistance put up by the burlesque artists and local community. An architect, a cultural historian, a local activist and a local bar owner tell the story of the Main, how it began, how it evolved and what challenged it faces today.
The film was part of the Animation III course at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema.
The technique used is an experimentation of mostly under lit opaque, or translucent surfaces, all of them animated by hand and captured with a digital camera.
Project title: The Possible: Landscapes, Genders, Publics in Canada 1915-2015
Project description: "Architectural history in Canada has largely ignored women architects, while the treatment of landscape architecture by women has had even less attention. The most recent scholarly book dedicated to Canadian architecture, while making excellent contributions to the study of architectural objects through considerations of vernacular architecture, cultural landscape, and material culture theory, does not address landscape design or women architects at all (Windsor Liscombe 2011); even when a landscape design by Cornelia Hahn Oberlander is mentioned; she is not (Canadian Chancery in Washington, DC, 1986). Given that women registrants dominate in schools of landscape architecture (Hammond 2009), this is a significant double erasure. The longstanding association of women with nature (Fuss 1989; Gatens 1991) serves to render invisible the cultural work that women do with living landscapes. Several key archives hold, however, crucial material that has the potential to radically revise the historical and contemporary emphasis, in architecture, on buildings rather than gardens, and to aid in illuminating - as several recent publications on American architecture have done (Wright 2008) - the role of women in the creation of the designed environment.
Land, however, is always territory. Changing a given piece of land, or site, is thus an occupation. Two stances drive the proposed research. The first is historical: 1) "landscape" in Canada is always-already politically contested. "Canadian" landscape design has taken place on unceded aboriginal land, or land obtained through coercion. The second stance is theoretical: 2) the gender binary that has tended to mark feminist interventions into architectural history is insufficient, conceptually, to encompass the many ways in which designed landscapes are used. Landscape use can, if carefully researched and analysed, reveal potent moves against the very power structures in which their design or creation operate. One example would be the work of Edmonton architects and lesbian couple, Jean Wallbridge (1912-79) and Mary Imrie (1918-88), who designed heteronormative houses and gardens for others and an entirely different sort of space for their shared life and work. Their bequest of large tracts of land to the Alberta government, with the purposes of conserving it, has special significance today as Alberta moves relentlessly towards environmental destruction and the ongoing negation of treaties and land claims. This research looked into several important archives that illuminate women's contributions the landscape architecture in Canada while contributing to larger feminist, queer, and postcolonial critiques of landscape representation and practice.”
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science (Laboratory for Cardiovascular Fluid Dynamics)
Supervisor: Lyes Kadem
Project title: Blunt Traumatic Aortic Rupture and the Aortic Response to High Speed Impact
Project description: A look into the effects of blunt traumatic aortic rupture on the cardiovascular fluid dynamics of the human aorta.
Project title: Business Students’ Receptiveness to Career Advice
Project description: During the process of transition from late adolescence to young adulthood, people usually need to make significant decisions, like choosing a proper major in university and selecting a suitable career path to pursue. Such decisions can increase people’s anxiety level; consequently, it will trigger their advice seeking behaviours.
The current research aims to identify which factors and how those factors influence people’s receptiveness to career advice by studying a group of business students. It was found that the desire of being excellent makes the student be more receptive to career advice. In addition, students who want to have a clear career plan have high levels of receptiveness. We also found that closeness to the advisor, rather than the advisor’s expertise appeared to be more related to younger generations’ receptiveness to career advice. Considering the fact that many schools are offering career management service; thus, the results could help them improve the service quality.