Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards (JCURA)

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This UVic award encourages undergraduates to pursue innovative and original research and enhance learning while providing a valuable preparatory experience towards graduate studies or a research related career.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 405
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    Three-Phase PWM Schemes and Impacts on Motor Condition Monitoring
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Sivakumar, Anish
    Electric motors are susceptible to various faults over time, compromising their performance and reliability. Common issues include rotor eccentricity, magnet faults, and faults in stator windings such as open circuits and short circuits, as well as overheating. Detecting and monitoring these faults is crucial to prevent costly downtime and equipment damage. Current signature analysis provides a non-intrusive method for detecting abnormalities in motor operation. However, most current monitoring methods are studied and developed using three-phase sinusoidal pulse-width modulation (PWM) to control the power fed to the motor. Different PWM techniques influence factors such as harmonic distortion, torque ripple, efficiency, and motor performance under varying conditions. This project investigates the impact of different three-phase PWM schemes on motor condition monitoring techniques reliant on inverter and motor current data. The study involves simulating various PWM techniques in Simulink and implementing them on a microcontroller.
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    From the Ground Up: A Comparative Analysis of Virtual Reflectance Transformation Imaging and Traditional RTI in the Context of Cemetery Conservation
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Bell, Cooper
    Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) is widely used in archaeology to reveal eroded inscriptions invisible to the naked eye but falls short in providing metric data critical for monument preservation. This project investigates Virtual RTI (vRTI), a novel approach that marries RTI's detailed imaging with the metric precision of 3D scanning, offering the best of both worlds. I compared vRTI's effectiveness against traditional RTI in uncovering inscriptions and potential for long-term preservation. Findings indicate that vRTI delivers on its promises, but that widespread adoption of vRTI is hindered by high costs, extensive processing requirements, and the technical complexity of 3D modeling, posing significant challenges for many institutions. This research underscores the transformative promise of vRTI while acknowledging the realities of its implementation, allowing traditional RTI to retain its high status in the field of cemetery conservation.
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    The Politics of Pedagogy
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Duggan, Mackenzie
    This study investigates the knowledge gaps in high school education regarding residential schools and climate change, specifically in Alberta and British Columbia. The research employs qualitative interviews with university students from both provinces to understand how these gaps influence university students' understanding of social justice issues in differing ways, exploring what students learned, or failed to learn, about residential schools and climate change—two pressing and timely social issues. A key focus is on understanding how students fill these educational gaps post-high school, whether through university courses, individual educators' efforts, or alternative sources like social media. The findings reveal significant differences in the effectiveness of high school education between the two provinces, particularly in teaching about residential schools, with British Columbia generally outperforming Alberta. Moreover, both provinces show a substantial deficiency in climate change education. Notably, students often rely on individual initiatives rather than structured curriculum to bridge these knowledge gaps. The study highlights the potential of empowered students in driving social change, once equipped with the necessary knowledge. This research underscores the importance of comprehensive education on critical social issues at the high school level, supporting reforms to ensure students have early access to this vital knowledge. It contributes valuable insights into the necessity of enhancing curriculum and teaching methods for a more informed, mobilized and socially conscious student body.
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    Generation of Novel Wavelet Transformations towards applications in Tensor Network Algorithms
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Dayton, Aaron
    Wavelets can be formulated in a pyramidal gate structure of unitary rotation matrices which satisfy a set of vanishing moment equations. The vanishing moment equations can be satisfied by passing them into a cost function and minimizing with the Nelder-Mead algorithm. Barren plateau-like features exist in the solution-space of the vanishing moment equations which make it difficult to solve for greater circuit depths. The basins of these barren plateaus can be widened by introducing a parameter, β, in the exponent of each vanishing moment equation for a given circuit. Wavelets up to depth 3, β=1, are generated to high precision and shown to match the known Daubechies wavelets. Solutions to the altered vanishing moment equations are shown to exist on a continuum for a domain of β-values for the depth 2 circuit. An improved algorithm for solving for wavelet circuits of greater depths is proposed. These wavelets will be used in the multi-scale entanglement renormalization ansatz (MERA) tensor network algorithm to solve for the ground state energy of gapless systems.
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    Trans+ people’s experiences of in-hospital gender-affirming surgery: An interpretive description
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Gawne, Adi
    Trans+ people (an umbrella term encompassing Two-Spirit, transgender, gender non-conforming, agender, gender-diverse, gender queer, or non-binary people) routinely face discrimination and transphobia while accessing health care resources, significantly underusing health services with negative impacts on health and well-being. Despite extensive evidence of discrimination across diverse care settings, there is a concerning gap in research examining Trans+ people’s experiences of acute care. This lack of academic literature upholds normative practices that contribute to the perpetuation of inequity within our health systems. Our research focuses on exploring Trans+ experiences interacting with the health care system when seeking gender-affirming surgery– Gender-affirming surgery is an opportunity for health care providers to facilitate a joyous occasion for Trans+ patients, and yet the interaction with health services is often fraught with increased experiences of discrimination. This qualitative research study aims to examine the pre-surgical and post-surgical acute health care experiences of Trans+ people who have experienced gender-affirming surgery in Victoria or Vancouver within the last 5 years through semi-structured interviews, utilizing interpretive description methodology to develop our thematic analysis. It is hoped that our research will contribute to systemic health care improvements by amplifying Trans+ voices and their experiences in our collective solutions to inequitable access.
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    Shoulder Arthroplasty: Experimental Validation of Computer Generated Patient Specific Guides
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Ellis, Adriel
    In a previous study done by J. Mackey, Patient Specific Guides (PSGs) were analyzed for their stability using a MATLAB tool called OrthoGrasp, and stability metrics were generated using Grasp Theory. Initial comparison tests were done with 3D printed glenoid models derived from CT scans, and PSGs altered from an original guide designed by an orthopaedic surgeon. This study sought to further compare an additional six glenoid models and their PSGs, created by M. Parmer, to their stability metrics generated by OrthoGrasp. The results showed that the average correlation between the two data sets was 0.57, lower than the 0.66 in the original study. Removing the two glenoid and PSG sets with extremely low correlation brought the average correlation to 0.70. On average, OrthoGrasp predicted the most stable PSG of the set 50% of the time. OrthoGrasp also predicted a 31.1% difference between the A-type and B-type guide models, where experimental data showed a 47% average difference between the two types of PSGs. These results show that OrthoGrasp could be a useful tool to help surgeons confirm the stability of a PSG, but likely can not be used as the sole tool for generating PSGs.
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    Thirteenth-Century Echoes Today: 'Le Roman de Silence' and Queer Medieval Studies
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Wolffe, Alexander J.
    'Le Roman de Silence' is a thirteenth-century French Romance written by Heldris de Cornuälle, which survives today in a single manuscript. The text follows the life of a disinherited child named Silence and explores tensions between Nature and Nurture through their unstable gender. I examined this story for its Queer representations which directly counter the idea that the Middle Ages were entirely straight or cisgender and opens opportunities for Queer scholars to recontextualize our own histories. I am using the term ‘Queer’ however, contemporary labels cannot be accurately applied to history (fictional or otherwise) as we do not know how individuals would have described themselves; these labels are products of specific sociocultural circumstances, and the modern conception of Queerness as an identity did not exist in the Middle Ages. Nonetheless, a lack of language or larger community does not negate the existence of people we would now call Queer, or transgender, in the past.
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    School-based educational programs, cultural identity, and mental health among urban Indigenous youth
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Joyce, Allison
    This study aimed to examine the association between school-based cultural connectedness programs in the public school system and mental health outcomes in urban Indigenous youth. Past research shows that school-based programs increase cultural connectedness. Additionally, cultural connectedness predicts positive mental health in Indigenous populations. However, little research has examined the link between school-based programs and mental health, especially in urban Indigenous populations. The researchers volunteered and attended events at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre (VNFC) to foster a positive rapport with the urban Indigenous community. Participants aged 13-18 were recruited to participate in focus groups. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in the focus groups, and the data was analyzed using thematic analysis. Anticipated themes included community belonging, cultural identity and pride, overall mood, and life satisfaction. Preliminary results indicated two main themes 1) Lack of guidance (uncertainty about how to access programs and resources) and 2) Cultural pride (increased cultural pride and connectedness upon program participation). In summary, this study focuses on the mental health and well-being of urban Indigenous youth in relation to cultural connectedness programs in the public school system. Preliminary results show that programs increase cultural pride, and youth desire more guidance for accessing cultural connectedness programs.
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    Curiosity Killed the Cat: Vivisections in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century England
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Fill, Amber
    'In eighteenth century England, there was a rise in empirical experimental methodology that coincided with the growing interest in human anatomy. A roadblock in this was the lack of both human volunteers and human cadavers available to experiment on. Thus, the trend of animal experimentation became the backbone of scientific discoveries. A primary vessel for vivisections was the Royal Society of London for Improving of Natural Knowledge. Opening in 1660 as an enlightened establishment for scientific research, it brought together the virtuosi of science to expand natural knowledge. Early members of the Royal Society included Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke, whose experiments laid the groundwork for the practices and values of vivisections. Public reactions to these experiments varied from satirical to sentimental, with others condemning the Royal Society for wasting resources on inferior species. Overall, the transactions, personal correspondences, newspapers, and artwork of the era all work to reveal the English populace's attitudes towards vivisections in the eighteenth century.
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    Exploring Language Availability, Understandability, and Readability of Patient Medication Information
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Wang, Amelie
    Many Canadians use prescription medications and need information to support informed decision making as well as maximizing the benefits and minimizing potential harms of taking medications. Patient Medication Information (PMI)—the paper leaflets provided with prescriptions—helps disseminate information. However, the availability of PMI in a consumer’s preferred language and how it is written can impact its effectiveness. Thus, this study explored 1) the availability of PMI in English, French, and Mandarin and 2) the patient-centredness of PMI in terms of its understandability and readability. PMI was available in English from all five chosen pharmacies. However, only two pharmacies provided PMI in French, and none offered it in Mandarin. For the PMI obtained, the French PMI was easier to read and understand than the English PMI. There were differences within the English PMI depending on the pharmacy source, demonstrating three areas of improvement that limit PMI’s value to the public. First, PMI should be standardized so that people receive the same information regardless of the pharmacy they use. Second, the content of PMI could be improved to make it easier for people to read and understand. Third, PMI in a person’s preferred language should be easy to obtain from pharmacies.
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    Counting Codes via the Container Method
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Penney, Amy
    The container method is a technique used to upper bound the number of independent sets in a graph. The technique originated from Kleitman and Winston, and Sapozheko. It was developed in full generality and extended to hypergraphs independently by Saxton and Thomason, and Balogh, Morris and Samotij. This technique has been used by Balogh, Treglown and Wagner to prove an upper bound on the number of t error correcting codes, as well as a bound on the number of r-(n,k,d) codes when r=2. The goal of this project is to extend these results to upper bound the number of r-(n,k,d) codes for general r.
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    Open Worlds or Linear Paths: Exploring English-as-an-Additional-Language Oral Production Mediated by Minecraft
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Tarves, Amy
    As digital games continue to gain popularity in learners’ everyday life, it is increasingly pertinent that educators be informed about ways to utilize them in the classroom. This pilot study investigated how, in a digital game like Minecraft, the quantity and quality of oral language production changed in the type of game design implemented: An ‘open world’ design that allows player agency in deciding goals and tasks, or a ‘linear’ design that provides pre-designed tasks and target achievements. Two participants, both English-as-an-additional language learners, were given a free 2.5 hour English lesson that contained both types of gameplay. Analysis of the transcript from the recording session was done primarily using LexTutor (Version 8.5), with other means, along with observations, the survey completed by the players. Results show that ‘open world’ play had more turn-taking and higher lexical density, and ‘linear’ design produced longer exchanges with more lexical variety. The results of this preliminary study will inform future research looking into the use of pre-existing online games to promote vocab and language learning, and will aid teachers in deciding how to incorporate digital games into their language classes in order to enhance learning outcome.
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    Proper Rainbow Saturation in Graphs
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Lane, Andrew
    This project explores graph theory, which is the study of networks (called “graphs”) with nodes called “vertices” and “edges” between pairs of vertices. A proper edge-colouring of a graph is an assignment of values to each edge of a graph such that edges that share a vertex receive different colours. This project specifically investigates the proper rainbow saturation problem, which is defined as follows: for a larger graph G and a smaller graph H, we say that G is properly rainbow H-saturated if G can be properly edge-coloured with no copy of H that has all different colours, but if any edge is added to G, then G always contains a copy of H with all different colours in any proper colouring. We seek to determine the proper rainbow saturation number, which is the minimum number of edges for G given a fixed graph H and a number of vertices for G. We improve on others’ results by finding exact values for the proper rainbow saturation number for specific graphs and proving general bounds for classes of graphs. This connects proper rainbow saturation to related graph saturation problems and reveals general patterns in the behaviour of these networks.
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    Solving Computationally Hard Problems Using Quantum Computing
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Singh, Angadh
    Some problems are computationally solvable but to complexity of nature of problem, they take a long time to solve. Quantum computers (QC) offer the ability to solve these problems in reasonable time using principles of quantum mechanics. One such hard problem is MaxCut, with various applications like portfolio optimization, drug discovery, and inventory management. This poster dives into solving these problems on QC with introduction to how problems are encoded mathematically (QUBO); converted into quantum language (Hamiltonian) and solved using quantum algorithm (QAOA).The goal of research was to run MaxCut problem on different variants of a quantum algorithms to analyze results.
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    Bridging the Great Divide: Integrating Experiential Learning into the Academic Study of Religion, Culture, and Society
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Nesbitt-Bottoms, Ash
    Utilizing spiritual health resources located in the University of Victoria’s Multifaith Centre, this project will explore how to better integrate experiential learning into an interdisciplinary, religious studies academic unit. My goal is to bridge the divide that some regard as separating “secular” scholars of “religion” from people engaging in religious practice. The project aims to bolster a decolonized and experiential pedagogy counterbalancing modern, Western ways of knowing tending toward reductive and objectifying depictions of religion and spirituality. By drawing on UVic’s Multifaith resources, which provide a supportive environment for a diverse body of students through various religious and spiritual programs such as yoga, meditation, and call-and-response singing, I wish to illustrate how religious studies students can benefit from engaging with activities that are analogous to, but not identical with religious practice. I will foreground a variety of textual, material, and embodied religious studies methodologies to foster richer learning practices. By underscoring community-centered and participatory approaches to religious studies research, resulting curricular innovations can help shift the pedagogical focus from colonially-framed, delimited conceptualizations of religion, to a more capacious and inclusive approach.
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    A Time for Recollection: Exploring the Temporality of Victoria‘s Sea-to-Sea Green Blue Belt Campaign
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Lefort, Audrey
    From 1988 to the early 2000s, the Sea-to-Sea Green Blue Belt campaign successfully protected the lands connecting Tod Inlet, Sooke Basin and Sooke River as a way to promote urban containment and wildlife protection. Within the frameworks of future orientations and social ecology, this study explores the timeline of the campaign, as well as the temporal experiences of environmental activists. This was accomplished by interviewing nine individuals from the Sea-to-Sea Greenbelt Society, the Sierra Club, the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, The Land Conservancy, the Capital Regional District, and a former MLA of the Province of British Columbia. Catalyzed by the 1988 algae bloom in the Greater Victoria drinking watershed, the campaign worked to protect the Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park in 1997 and the purchase of nearby private lands. The participants’ temporal experiences during the campaign were shaped by how they remembered their past and valued their future, as themes of home and legacy were emphasized in conversation. It was concluded that the Sea-to-Sea Green Blue Belt has become a timeless tribute to the passionate individuals dedicated to preserving the natural world. Embodying a success story, this landscape can act as a source of inspiration for future environmental activists.
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    The Metaverse
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Tompkins, Ava
    The emergence of the Metaverse presents a powerful shift in human socialization. In a hypothetical fully digital society, how individuals choose to represent themselves, interact with others, and go about their daily lives will be confined to the dimensions of the internet. However, as the technologies that encompass the Metaverse become more sophisticated, human resilience is pushed to its boundaries, and there will be vast alterations to human behaviour. This research project delves into the intricacy of social relations within the Metaverse, which presents a myriad of theoretical challenges as humans attempt to navigate an ever-changing digital landscape. This project draws upon an analysis of the literature and applies a lens of 'affordances' to analyze the hypothetical social behaviours and opinions of the users who will engage with the Metaverse once it is realized. Key areas of analysis include the possible benefits and risks of a fully digital society, as well as concerns regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion within the Metaverse. By providing insight on these core areas, this research delineates a comprehensive guide to assist in the development of the Metaverse.
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    Molly Molly Oxenfree: Uncovering Queer Poets of the 19th Century
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Lowey, Braedon George
    This project surveyed periodical poetry published in journals, newspapers, and magazines written by a small cohort of LGBTQ writers from the Victorian era in order to discover how queer poetry developed during the decade, and how more historical queer writers could be discovered. The project concluded that Victorian periodicals allowed for the establishment of a public-facing outlet in which poets of non-normative sexualities and gender identities could integrate with an oppressive culture to form a discoverable queer space and community in mainstream media by the end of the nineteenth century. Queer culture began to form in periodical poetry, peaking as it became more pronounced during the decadence and aestheticism movements, which enabled queer expression through their mode of cultural resistance. Decline of anonymous publication correlates with decadence and aestheticism, suggesting unity between public, artistic, and private identites. Queer poets become discoverable to historians through letters, diaries, and professional affiliations, all of which can continue to surface more voices.
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    Finding Particles in MATHUSLA Using Timing Information
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Aitken, Branden
    The MATHUSLA detector is a proposed large volume detector that specializes in detecting long-lived particles above the CMS detector at the Large Hadron Collider. The detector uses scintillating material in order to detect charged particles. At UVic, a prototype is being constructed to test the materials and methods intended for the MATHUSLA detector. At the forefront of these studies is using timing information to locate particles within the detector. We are testing methods that allow us to locate particles using timing delays in our signal. This project demonstrates that finding location based on this information is feasible, but also shows some of the challenges associated with the apparatus. The largest success of the project was showing the temperature dependence of the apparatus and how it affects timing measurements.
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    Beyond the Surface: Exploring the Relationship Between Body Image and Perceptions of Physical Skill Competence in Female Adolescents
    (University of Victoria, 2024) Mann, Caitlin
    The purpose of this preliminary cross-sectional analysis is to explore the relationship between body image and perceived lack of physical skill, which have been shown to be barriers to female adolescents’ continuation in PA and sport. Female participants (n=9, age=14.33) were recruited from the Adolescent Daily Lives study sample. Participants completed the Experience of Embodiment Survey (EOES), where the Resisting Objectification (RO) subset of six questions were used to quantify participants’ body image rating. Participants completed two test trials of each movement assessment, squat and one-hand catch (OHC), using the Baseline Movement protocols. Following movement completion, participants answered three Self-Reflective questions, using a Likert scale, to quantify participants’ perception of physical skill competence. Pearson correlation was used to identify an association between the two variables, where a strong positive correlation was found between body image and perception of physical skill competence (Fig. 1)(r= 0.808, p = 0.015). There exists a strong relationship between body image and individuals’ perceptions of their physical skill competence. In the second phase of this study, this relationship will be considered in its impact on participants' daily minutes of MVPA.
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