Faculty Research Forum Held at Mount Union April 21

April 26, 2010

Mount Union College presented a Faculty Research Forum on Wednesday, April 21 at 7 p.m. in Rodman Playhouse.  Dr. John Kirchmeyer, professor of computer science and information systems, served as moderator for the evening.

Kirchmeyer first introduced Dr. Katherine Pierce and Morgan Cooper who presented “The Effectiveness of Caffeine, Nap, or Exercise on Cognitive Function and Anaerobic Performance: A Pilot Study.”  Dr. Pierce is an assistant professor of human performance and sport business, and Cooper is an instructor of human performance and sport business and athletic trainer at Mount Union.

According to Pierce and Cooper, caffeine is the most commonly abused substance in the U.S.  “We know that students are up late studying, so they consume a lot of caffeine,” said Pierce and Cooper.

Using 10 student participants, Pierce and Cooper examined the effects of a number of variables, including caffeine, nap and dynamic exercise, on anaerobic performance and cognitive functioning.  Their data proved that caffeine, nap and exercise affects power output but has no affect on cognitive functioning.

Next, Dr. Lee Gray, professor of geology, presented “The earliest skeletal secretions of a Devonian tabulate coral.”  Dr. Gray explained that corals have long geologic history, and he examined various coral colonies to determine the relationship between them. 

“One aspect of the way these have been studied was by comparing the adult colonies,” said Gray.  “We should also look at the earliest stages of coral development so that maybe we can see something different.’

The last speaker, Michael Zwilling, professor of mathematics, presented “The Pythagorean Theorem of Faculty Softball.”  The purpose of Zwilling’s research was to predict the actual wins in comparison to the expected wins of the Mount Union faculty softball team.  He looked at two variables: runs scored and runs allowed.

Zwilling explained that using a formula similar to that of the Pythagorean Theorem of triangles, he looked at 2009 game-by-game data for the Cardinals, including runs scored per game and runs allowed per game.  He then used those formulas to predict faculty softball results. 

“The degree of dependence between these variables is weak,” said Zwilling.  “But the variables are not independent.”

 
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