Carroll Scholars, a service of Corette Library, centralizes, preserves, and provides access to the research, creative scholarship, and unique resources produced and deposited by Carroll College faculty, students, and staff. Carroll Scholars makes these resources easier to find, share, and use. Find out more about Carroll Scholars at https://www.carroll.edu/library/about/carroll-scholars-institutional-repository
ItemSir Gawain and the Green Knight(2023)Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a 14th century chivalric romance poem written in Middle English with a combination of alliterative and rhyming meter. Despite the poem’s popularity in recent media, this is all of what we know about The Green Knight’s history. When it comes to other popular mythological pieces such as The Odyssey, a title of distinct authorship gives these poems a defined time and style, which in turn leads to a figure of authority over the poem itself. Even many poems without an author, such as Beowulf, still manage to retain such a figure through their continued use in academic and popular spaces, as seen in the prominence of translators such as Chickering and Heaney. The Green Knight, however, not only has an absent author, but also any major figure of authority. No one owns The Green Knight in the way Homer owns the Odyssey, nor is anyone The Green Knight’s academic standard in the way Chickering’s translation is for Beowulf. This creates an immediate draw for any translator seeking to work with medieval source material, as such a lack of authority means that, through the skill and style of a talented translator, The Green Knight can be made one’s own in a way that The Odyssey cannot. In this light, I will be presenting my own translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. This translation is in modern prose and seeks to combine both medieval and modern language with the poem’s existing alliterative style. ItemA Headline is Worth a Hundred Words: An Analysis of Syrian Opposition and Government Media(2023)With about thirteen million displaced Syrians worldwide, the Syrian refugee crisis remains one of our most significant global challenges. In 2015, images of Alan Kurdi, a Kurdish-Syrian two-year-old refugee, lying dead on a beach went viral across the West and dramatically increased the media attention on the Syrian crisis. Despite extensive research on how media in receiving countries, like Canada and Turkey, discuss refugees, there is minimal research on the media representation of Syrian refugees in Syrian media. This study explores headlines from Syrian opposition and government sources and concentrates on how they frame refugees. The data highlighted the power of political alignment as a gatekeeping force as the sources framed refugee stories differently based on their ownership and political-lean. Using refugee headlines as a topic area allowed for an exploration of varying manifestations of nationalism that were shaped by issue-framing. The opposition source was more likely to tie nationalism to the value of the Syrian identity, while the government source was more likely to link it to the value of the Syrian homeland. This research has important implications for understanding how media in sending countries like Syria discusses their own refugees. ItemTime Course of Metabolic Shifts in Cartilage Explants Exposed to Short-Term Simulated Microgravity(2023)Abnormal mechanical joint loading leads to an imbalance in chondrocyte metabolism that results in cartilage degeneration – a hallmark of osteoarthritis (OA). Microgravity exposure in space significantly reduces mechanical loads applied to the joints, leading to increased catabolic activity of chondrocytes and thus increasing the risk of OA. This study assesses how chondrocyte metabolism is altered in response to simulated microgravity (SM) exposure to gain insight into the mechanisms responsible for cartilage degeneration in reduced-loading environments. Healthy post-mortem human cartilage explants were exposed to SM for one or four days using a Rotating Wall Vessel (RWV) bioreactor and compared with the control explants exposed to normal gravitational forces. A subset of the control and SM explants were analyzed for cell viability by staining and measuring relative fluorescence. Metabolites were extracted from explants and surrounding media, and data were generated by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Pathways upregulated in response to SM include the metabolism of pyrimidine, amino acids, and sugars, which may be suggestive of extracellular matrix remodeling. Changes in metabolites secreted from explants into the surrounding media mapped to lysine and vitamin E metabolism. These pathway changes have been previously detected in human synovial fluid from osteoarthritic donors, suggesting that even short-term SM exposure may induce metabolic shifts similar to that of early OA. Notably, this study is the first to map global metabolic changes in cartilage in response to short-term SM exposure to gain insight into the risk of developing OA post-spaceflight. ItemGoing Full Circle: How to Implement Circular Economy(2023)In society’s quest for progress in every single aspect of life, humanity has clearly pushed the boundaries of what can be exploited out of nature past the limit in the last few years, which has resulted in severe climate change and scarcity of resources. To avoid facing a catastrophic crisis, this thesis discusses the logic and philosophic shortcomings of our current linear economy in relation with both philosophical thinkers and ideas such as the Lockean proviso or John Rawls’ politic theory, and tools and thought processes used in the business world to talk about economics such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs or game theory. The first chapter of this thesis discusses the reasons to abandon capitalism and the current linear economy models and engages in metaphysical thought of the concept of economics to build the minimum framework of what is expected of an economic model. The second chapter addresses in depth the model of linear economy and why it fails to fulfill the minimum requirements of a desirable economic model. The last chapter talks about circular economy as the logical evolution and alternative to linear economy models. It builds a model proposed as a possible future of a global circular economy implementation. It explains how circular economy fulfills with the minimum requirements of a desirable economic model and introduces the concepts of duality of property and the attribution of life and death to objects that hold sentimental value as necessary to reach that goal. ItemBeating the Pandemic: A Reinforcement Learning Approach to Cooperative Board Game Strategy(2023)Pandemic: Hot Zone - North America is an intricate board game in which players work together to treat disease and research cures for those diseases . The game is part strategy and part luck. In this project we attempt to create an algorithm that will provide the best strategy for playing Pandemic. First, an optimization approach is taken in which we define na¨ıve strategies and analyze their effectiveness. Then, a reinforcement learning approach is taken in which we train an agent to play Pandemic in the same way humans learn to interact with our environment. The implementation of reinforcement learning in the context of this project is described in depth, including attempts to deal with a large state space and the use of hierarchical reinforcement learning. The results from this implementation are discussed and plans for future research and improvement are devised.
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