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Symposium on Science, Technology and Health

Making the World Smarter, Safer and Healthier

2023 Symposium on Science, Technology and Health

New York City  I  May 11, 2023

The 21 projects showcased during the Katz School's 2023 symposium offer a glimpse into the exciting work our graduate students are doing to advance scholarly knowledge, shape industry and transform lives.

READ THE PROCEEDINGS

Meet the Presenters

""
Anton Papa
M.S. in Biotech Entrepreneurship

Lab to Life: The Path to Successful Biotechnology Commercialization

Author: Anton Papa, M.S. in Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship

Faculty Advisor: Nilam Sinha, Ph.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine

 

Abstract: Important biotechnology inventions that promise to improve the quality of life often fail to make it to market due to stakeholders facing numerous challenges related to regulatory hurdles, funding constraints and intellectual property rights. In partnership with Albert Einstein College of Medicine's Office of Biotechnology and Business Development, this project explores the commercialization potential and requirements for three novel biotechnology inventions: 1) a storage and preservation solution that minimizes damage and prolongs function of donated biological tissue and organs (Project C-00001470); 2) a precision, small-molecule therapy for patients with Type I Diabetes (Project C-00001455); and 3) a small-molecule cancer therapeutic that targets RICTOR for brain metastasis from lung cancers and overcomes anti-EGFR drug resistance (Project C-00001352). The project includes outlining the commercialization strategy for each technology, including reviewing intellectual property and invention disclosure provided by the primary investigator, drafting of non-confidential marketing summaries, market research, identifying potential licensing partners, and drafting marketing campaigns. In addition, this project also provides valuable insights of the technology transfer lifecycle for investors and stakeholders interested in the commercialization of biotech inventions.

"Making a better world—that, in my eyes, is the goal of biotech."

—Anton Papa

""
Arielle Nyenty
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Addressing Emotional Regulation Through Interoception for Clinicians and Parents

Author: Arielle Nyenty, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Advisor: Alexandra Wagner, Ph.D., OTR/L

 
Abstract: Interoception, which describes the concept of feeling, grasping and understanding one’s internal bodily sensations, plays a vital role in defining emotional regulation (ER) in early childhood and throughout life. Current research considers interoception a foundational component of effective ER, which was a concern for parents at My Kids Therapy, an occupational therapy sensory gym for children. The purpose of this project was to provide an alternative, evidence-based method for occupational therapists at My Kids Therapy to assess and address ER in children ages 4 to 6 through measuring and developing their interoception. Outcomes included the development of an interoception accuracy (IA) screening tool for clinicians to use with their clients, resources for parents and caregivers to address IA and ER in their homes, and a body-emotion diagram visually demonstrating the effect of interoception on ER to be used by clinicians, parents and families.

 

"When you train a child to count their own heartbeat, they learn to listen to other senses in their body—which ultimately regulates their emotions."

—Arielle Nyenty

""
Avi Skidelsky
M.S. in Data Analytics

Forgive but Don’t Forget: Lessons Learned from the Paycheck Protection Program

Author: Avi Skidelsky, M.S. in Data Analytics and Visualization

Faculty Advisors: Andrew Catlin and James Topor, M.S.

 

Abstract: The United States Small Business Association launched the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to assist small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time where major retailers and corporations were able to flourish due to their online infrastructure, many small businesses suffered under quarantine rules. The PPP was intended to assist small businesses and preserve jobs by giving loans at a 1% interest rate and a maturity of either two or five years. At the time of writing, the SBA has granted forgiveness to 85% of applicants totaling over $100 billion. Focusing on two major deficiencies in the program, the high forgiveness amount and the high levels of fraud, this project sought to answer whether there is a way to predict the amount of forgiveness that a borrower will request, using sampling techniques and machine learning methods. Results show no direct correlation between the variables and the amount of loan forgiveness applied for to be able to put together a prediction process. Instead, the findings suggest that regulatory agencies like the SBA need to tighten their lending requirements and the federal government needs to apply more oversight to certain lending bodies in order to prevent fraud and decrease forgiveness.

 

"Looking back on this and other government assisted programs, they’re taking trillions of dollars in hits, but when the program was rolled out, they were doing it for the sake of helping people.

We could take this program and use it as a blueprint for when future bailouts need to happen."

—Avi Skidelsky

""
Ellie Austin
Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences

Navier-Stokes Numerical Simulation of Vortices in the Compressible Gas Flow

Author: Ellie Austin, Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences

Faculty Advisor: Antonella Marini, Ph.D.

Abstract: Compressible gas flow is of great importance for both theoretical and applied science. The aim of this study was to develop numerical modeling of the vortex structure of the Couette-Taylor flow for a compressible gas flow in a wind tunnel that depends on Reynolds numbers and cylinder surface temperatures applying the Navier-Stokes equations and using ANSYS CFX software package. The density of vortices and their structure depends on the Reynolds number and surface temperature cylinders. The Reynolds number is based on the speed of the inner cylinder, and the temperature is referred to as stagnation temperature. Calculations showed a similar dependence of the vortex density on the Reynolds number and surface temperature. With increasing Reynolds number values, the vortex density increased, reaching a certain level, then sharply decreased. A similar picture was observed for the ratio of the density of vortices and temperature. 

"I researched the applications of Navier-Stokes formulas specifically tailored to compressible gas flow, which has implications for when engineers build things like aircrafts or steam turbines.

It’s at the intersection of both math and engineering."

—Ellie Austin

""
Erin McGuire
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Evidence-Based Resources to Support Independence in Children and Young Adults with Physical Disabilities

Author: Erin McGuire, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Mentor: Alexandra Wagner, Ph.D., OTR/L

Abstract: Students with cerebral palsy (CP) and other neuromuscular disorders place higher demands on classroom staff than their typically developing peers. CP is a neuromuscular condition that may result in impaired movement that is associated with exaggerated reflexes, floppiness or spasticity of the limbs and trunk, unusual posture, involuntary movements and unsteady walking. These characteristics may make it difficult for students with CP to function independently throughout the school day, leading to high dependency on classroom staff. Many students at CP Association of Nassau County (CP Nassau), a school catering to individuals with physical disabilities, require mobility and adaptive equipment, sensory equipment and custom hand splints, and classroom staff need to be well-versed in using this complex equipment. Conducted in collaboration with the Occupational Therapy Department at CP Nassau, this project aimed to identify staff needs and develop resources to aid them in supporting their students throughout the school day. Fifteen evidence-based training videos were created using a video modeling approach that can be accessed easily throughout the school day via a scannable QR Code. This training offers an accessible model that occupational therapists can adapt to fill similar gaps in knowledge among teachers and other staff.

""
Harlee Feldman
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Play and Arts-Based Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Author: Harlee Feldman, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Advisor: Alexandra Wagner, Ph.D., OTR/L

 

Abstract: Play is a primary occupation of children ages 7 to 9 as they explore the world and themselves and gain the necessary skills to engage with peers. Additionally, art is frequently used in the school and home setting for these children because it supports the development of creativity, social-emotional, language and cognitive skills. Art is especially used for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) because it works with the strengths of this population, such as attention to detail, while helping to increase skills that are difficult for this population, such as cognitive flexibility. The project included the development of a play- and arts-based program, with the goal of increasing the self-esteem and social skills of children ages 7 to 9 with a diagnosis of ASD. Participating in a program that uses play and art mediums can help children in this age group with a diagnosis of autism spectrum attain the tools required to maintain high self-esteem and good social skills.

"There are so many types of interventions that have worked with this population, but no one has tried to incorporate all those practices into one curriculum.

I was curious: If I made something more engaging, something they would find fun and exciting, would that change the way they react?"

—Harlee Feldman

""
Jillian Rossi
M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology

Identifying the Gap: Clients Denied/Delayed Early Intervention Speech and Language Services Due to New CDC Milestones

Author: Jillian Rossi, M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology

Faculty Advisors: Marissa Barrera, Ph.D., CCC-SLP; Michaela Medved, Ph.D., CCC-SLP; Amiya Waldman-Levi, Ph.D., OTR/L

Abstract: In 2022, the Centers for Disease Control changed the developmental milestones for children from birth to 3 years old; it was the first change in over two decades. The modification included delaying selected speech and language milestones by six months. This decision yields a range of ramifications for young children and their families. The aim of this study was to determine the percentage of children whose qualification for early intervention (EI) speech and language services will be delayed or denied as a result of the new guidelines; and the length of time children would be delayed receiving EI speech and language services in order to identify contributing risk factors for communication disorders and overall development. The study involved a survey of 63 speech-language pathologists who were asked to consider EI clients who just missed or met their milestones. The survey revealed that 49% of clients qualified for services later than they would have with the older developmental milestones. This study concluded that the new developmental milestones resulted in both positive and negative outcomes for clients.

Recipient: 
Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Health Sciences

""
Julie Gurgova
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Paternal Reflective Functioning and Its Impact on Joint Play 

Author: Julie Gurgova, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Advisors: Amber Cope, Ph.D. candidate, LIU; Amiya Waldman-Levi, Ph.D., OTR/L, Katz School; Sara Haden, Ph.D., LIU

 

Abstract: Reflective functioning (RF) is the ability of a parent to understand and be more aware of their own internal mental state, thoughts and reasoning. It is unclear if RF influences joint play between fathers and sons, so the purpose of the study was to examine if fathers with higher RF are more supportive in their play with their sons compared to fathers who have both a lower RF and a higher endorsement of traditional masculine ideology. Twenty English-speaking, predominately married Caucasian fathers of typically developing sons ages 3 to 9 were recruited for the study. Videos of 15-minute, joint-play sessions recorded at home were analyzed using the Parent Support of Child Playfulness Scale. Surveys were given using the Male Role Norms Inventory-Revised scale and the Rumination-Reflection Questionnaire. An analysis revealed a significant correlation between a father's higher RF and a lower view of traditional masculinity ideology, and vice versa. Results also indicated no significant correlation between the father’s RF and support provided to his son during joint play.

""
Miriam Graham
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

A Multifaceted, Interactive, Child Development Toolkit for Jewish Parents

Author: Miriam Graham, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Advisor: Mindy Garfinkel, OTD, OTR/L

Abstract: Early detection of developmental delay is crucial for a child's development and, therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges parents to monitor developmental milestones. However, the resources available are inaccessible for certain communities, including the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, due to their insular culture. An innovative, andragogy-based method to educate young ultra-Orthodox Jewish mothers, who spend significant time caring for their children, about the CDC developmental milestones is crucial. The purpose of this project is to create a children’s book, which contains a primary story for children and a secondary narration with information and strategies for parents to support their child in achieving developmental milestones. This dual-narration style is an effective way to educate parents, since it informs them about the CDC milestones and the strategies to achieve them during their co-occupation of spending time with their children.

Recipient:
Award for Overall Impact

""
Molly Hampton
M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology

Does Increased Technology Use by Parents and Caregivers Impact the Social Language Skills of Developing Children?

Author: Molly Hampton, M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology

Faculty Advisor: Troy Dargin, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Abstract: Over the last decade, technology use and average screen time have been increasing among children and adults all over the world. This literature review examined the impact of increased technology use and screen time on the part of caregivers and parents through things like cell phones and tablets on the developing language skills and behavior of children ages 6 months to 8 years old. The methods involved examining numerous studies that evaluated the impacts of parent/caretaker behavior have on children's language skills and behavior, as well as the impact of increased technology use on children’s development in these areas. The reviewed literature indicates that parental smartphone use may be associated with changes in parental sensitivity and responsiveness. This, in turn, could negatively impact the child's social language skills. More in-depth research is needed to fully understand the effect that technology has on children’s developmental skills.

 

"There are a bunch of guidelines on how much screen time children should use. However, I’m hoping this research gives parents a guideline for their own technology use—because parents’ screen time really does affect their children.

—Molly Hampton

""
Natania Birnbaum
M.S. in Biotech Entrepreneurship

Modeling Complex Hand Grasps Using Muscle Activity of Movement Primitives

Author: Natania Birnbaum, M.S. in Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship

Faculty Advisor: Sai Praveen Kadiyala, Ph.D.

Abstract: Motor function of the hands is often lost as the result of a stroke and is difficult to restore, which has a detrimental effect on stroke survivors' ability to perform everyday tasks. Many methods exist to assist survivors in rehabilitation, but those based on surface electromyography (sEMG) hold promise due to their flexibility of placement, ease of data collection and patient comfort, and cost-effectiveness and increased patient motivation. A myoelectric exoskeleton controlled by sEMG sensors on the muscles of a patient's arm can be used in upper-limb rehabilitation therapy. In this work, we aim to model complex grasps belonging to activities of daily living (ADL) using simple movement primitives of upper arm and validate on a low-cost test bed. We collected sEMG data of five movement primitives and tried to model 10 grasps which are a part of ADL. A multiple linear regression applied on grasp and movement primitive data showed that some of the primitives had more of an impact on the model than others and that the gestures had an inconsistent effect on the model across multiple trials. Replication of both movement primitives and complex grasps on our test bed was conducted successfully.

Recipient:
Award for Outstanding Scholarship in STEM

""
Rebecca Russo-Scholssberg
M.S. in Biotech Entrepreneurship

Market Analysis of MRI Post-Processing Software MedImageMetric (MIM)

Author: Rebecca Russo-Schlossberg, M.S. in Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship

Faculty Advisor: Robert Friedman, MBA

Abstract: MedImageMetric LCC (MIM) is a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) post-processing software startup whose mission is to advance medical imaging via developing physics-informed automated quantitation tools that completely utilize clinically important image data for patient care. The MRI post-processing market is rapidly growing and evolving due to the emergence of new clinical applications for MRI and a better understanding of its benefits, thus presenting both a broad and deep opportunity for MIM through high demand from a large customer base. MIM’s innovative products, strong IP portfolio, experienced management team, strategic partnerships and regulatory clearances position the company for success in the growing medical imaging market. The goal of this project was to determine the appropriate sales strategy for MIM as they begin commercialization and marketing. The research, financial model and projections suggest that MIM has the potential to achieve sustainable growth, profitability and positive social impact if it pursues the original equipment manufacturer channel and subsequently the DTC (B) channel. With the right resources, support and execution, MIM can become a leading provider of MRI post-processing software, improving patient outcomes and healthcare delivery worldwide.

""
Samuel Akingbade
Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences

Brief Expository on Arnold Diffusion in Dissipative Systems

Author: Samuel W. Akingbade, Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences

Faculty Advisor: Marian Gidea, Ph.D.

Abstract: A Hamiltonian system is a mathematical model for mechanical systems obeying the law of conservation of energy. When a perturbation is added to the system, the energy is not necessarily conserved, for instance, it may evolve randomly or even decay. We are interested in systems for which, despite the perturbation, we can obtain energy growth. Specifically, we consider a pendulum-rotator system coupled with a small, time-periodic Hamiltonian perturbation, and with an additional damping perturbation. For this system, we prove the existence of diffusing orbits where the energy of the rotator grows by an amount independent of the size of the coupling parameter for all sufficiently small values of the coupling parameter. This work extends the celebrated Arnold diffusion conjecture to the case of Hamiltonian systems with small dissipation.

A full paper based on this work has been accepted for publication in the SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems, publication pending. 

Read the original paper on arXiv.

""
Shaye Weinstein, Sayanto Pal
M.S. in Biotech Entrepreneurship

Characterization of Targets Regulated by SUMOylation in Mouse Spermatocytes

Authors: Sayanto Pal and Shaye Weinstein, M.S. in Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship; Margarita Vigodner, Ph.D., Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University

 

Abstract: In a considerable majority of male infertility cases, the underlying component has not been discovered. SUMOylation (post-translational modification by small ubiquitin-like modifiers or SUMO proteins) has emerged as a crucial regulating event in several developmental processes, including reproduction. Previous studies have shown that inhibition of SUMOylation arrests meiosis and affects expression and phosphorylation of several proteins. In order to confirm some of the identified targets and better comprehend the mechanisms regulated by SUMO in germ cells, SUMOylation cycle was down-regulated using inhibitors like Ginkgolic acid (GA) and small interfering RNA (siRNA) technology. The effect of the inhibition on the expression level and phosphorylation status of several proteins regulating meiosis and spermatogenesis, like Nucleophosmin (NPM), heterogenous ribonucleoprotein H1 (hnRNPH1) and Valosine containing protein (VCP), were studied using gel electrophoresis and western blotting. Results confirmed the down-regulation of these proteins upon inhibition of SUMOylation, suggesting the importance of their regulation during spermatogenesis. This finding underscores the significance of characterizing new proteins and molecular mechanisms that regulate spermatogenesis.

 

""
Sheila Vousoghian
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Investigating Brain Injury in Domestic Violence Survivors and Individuals with Substance Misuse

Author: Sheila Vousoghian, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Advisor: Alexandra Wagner, Ph.D., OTR/L

Abstract: While there is ample research on the physical and psychological impacts of traumatic brain injuries and on the benefits of early identification and intervention in preventing lifelong complications from them, there is a lack of awareness of traumatic brain injury among domestic violence survivors and individuals with substance misuse. As a result, individuals who face domestic violence and substance misuse may not know they have or are not diagnosed with TBI, leading to diminished health outcomes. With the goal of increasing awareness, this project involved creating a full set of course materials that will be used as part of an online certification course to train domestic violence organizations on screening for traumatic brain injury; and creating and distributing a fact sheet on substance misuse and traumatic brain injury with the goal of early intervention. These interventions will increase awareness as substance misuse and domestic violence facilities become more familiar with the signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injury.

""
Sophia Klass
M.S.in Speech-Language Pathology

Comparing Performance of Bilingual (English-Spanish) and Monolingual Students in Math and Science Assessments

Author: Sophia Klass, M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology

Faculty Advisor: Troy Dargin, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Abstract: This literature review compares the performance of school-age bilingual (English-Spanish) speakers to their monolingual peers in science and math classes. These courses were chosen due to the specific semantics (vocabulary) required to comprehend scientific and mathematical theories. This specialized vocabulary eliminates the possibility of monolingual students using their prior English-based lexicon as an advantage. The review involved analyzing numerous studies that evaluated how school-age bilingual (English-Spanish) students performed on assessments in comparison to their monolingual peers. Due to their complex level of cognitive functioning, the reviewed studies show that English-Spanish bilingual students performed the same and, in some cases, better on classroom assessments in science compared with their monolingual peers. Further research is needed to evaluate bilingual students’ performance in math. Educators, speech-language pathologists and inter-professional collaborators who work with bilingual children may be able to leverage bilingual students’ cognitive strengths when developing educational and therapeutic interventions, as well as visual supports and prompts, for this population. 

 

""
Xingyu Liu
Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences

Constructing Triangle Method (CTM) to Solve Trigonometric Differential Equation

Author: Xingyu Liu, Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences

Faculty Advisors: Wenxiong Chen, Ph.D. and Peter Nandori, Ph.D.

Abstract: This study explored the use of the Constructing Triangle Method (CTM) to solve trigonometric differential equations. CTM is a geometric method that involves constructing a triangle to represent the given trigonometric function and its derivatives. In this study, we demonstrated the effectiveness of CTM by solving the trigonometric differential equation du/dt = cosu(t). We compared the solutions obtained by CTM with those obtained by other methods, such as separation of variables, substitution and integrating factors. Our results showed that CTM is a powerful method for solving trigonometric differential equations. It provides a clear geometric interpretation of the solution, which is easy to understand and visualize. Furthermore, it reduces the complexity of the problem by transforming it into a simpler geometric problem.

""
Yoheved Zion
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Educator Training

Author: Yoheved Zion, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Advisor: Patty Laverdure, OTD, OTR/L

Abstract: The fieldwork experience is a crucial part of an occupational therapy student’s education. However, there is a lack of occupational therapists willing to take on supervisory roles as fieldwork educators due to limited available training. Through a comprehensive literature review across many health-related disciplines, this project aimed to identify key characteristics of successful fieldwork educators and develop a corresponding educator resource for occupational therapists interested in becoming supervisors. This fieldwork educator resource, which contains informative videos, slide presentations and quizzes, will be offered free to occupational therapists interested in taking on these supervisory roles on the Virginia Occupational Therapy Educational Council’s website.

"I love the fact that I was not just able to work on program development, but that our knowledge base as a profession could expand so much. I see tremendous value in that."

—Yoheved Zion

""
Yonah Moise
B.A./M.A. in Mathematics

Numerical Explorations in the Non-Linear Schrodinger Equation

Authors: Yonah Moise and Yedidya Moise, B.A./M.A. in Mathematics

Faculty Advisor: Jeremy Schiff, Ph.D., Bar-Ilan University

Abstract: The Nonlinear Schrodinger equation is a partial differential equation (PDE) whose principal application is to the propagation of a beam of light. Saturated nonlinearity acts as a limitation on the nonlinear component of the equation to prevent it from blowing up. After reproducing initial conditions from Gatz and Herrmann (1997), which are based on certain constraints, the split-step method was applied to step forward in time and approximate the solution to this PDE for any given time. We then constructed a Gaussian function of two dimensions (with a power equivalent to the power of the solution) and ran the split-step method on this function to study it as an approximation of the solution. The observed two internal modes in the behavior of the widths, as well as other observed behavior, provide a basis for analysis of this approximate solution.

""
Yonathan Madendzo
B.A./M.A. in Physics

Magnetic Permeability Measurements in MRI

Author: Yonathan Magendzo, B.A./M.A. in Physics

Faculty Advisor: Fredy Zypman, Ph.D.

Abstract: Detection of traces of iron in the brain is useful for medical applications. Different tissues possessing different magnetic permeabilities expose themselves via small spatial variations of the magnetic field during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Data acquisition and image analysis methods that visualize spatial distributions of magnetic permeabilities are known as quantitative permeability mapping. The permeabilities are found through local distortions in all components of the magnetic field. However, most modern techniques of MRI model the brain as a collection of magnetic dipoles and, therefore, only the longitudinal component of the magnetic field is assessable to MRI. An MRI machine doesn't have enough information to map the permeabilities. To address this problem, we developed an algorithm that can map the permeabilities only needing the longitudinal component of the magnetic field.

""
Anton Papa
M.S. in Biotech Entrepreneurship

Lab to Life: The Path to Successful Biotechnology Commercialization

Author: Anton Papa, M.S. in Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship

Faculty Advisor: Nilam Sinha, Ph.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine

 

Abstract: Important biotechnology inventions that promise to improve the quality of life often fail to make it to market due to stakeholders facing numerous challenges related to regulatory hurdles, funding constraints and intellectual property rights. In partnership with Albert Einstein College of Medicine's Office of Biotechnology and Business Development, this project explores the commercialization potential and requirements for three novel biotechnology inventions: 1) a storage and preservation solution that minimizes damage and prolongs function of donated biological tissue and organs (Project C-00001470); 2) a precision, small-molecule therapy for patients with Type I Diabetes (Project C-00001455); and 3) a small-molecule cancer therapeutic that targets RICTOR for brain metastasis from lung cancers and overcomes anti-EGFR drug resistance (Project C-00001352). The project includes outlining the commercialization strategy for each technology, including reviewing intellectual property and invention disclosure provided by the primary investigator, drafting of non-confidential marketing summaries, market research, identifying potential licensing partners, and drafting marketing campaigns. In addition, this project also provides valuable insights of the technology transfer lifecycle for investors and stakeholders interested in the commercialization of biotech inventions.

"Making a better world—that, in my eyes, is the goal of biotech."

—Anton Papa

""
Arielle Nyenty
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Addressing Emotional Regulation Through Interoception for Clinicians and Parents

Author: Arielle Nyenty, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Advisor: Alexandra Wagner, Ph.D., OTR/L

 
Abstract: Interoception, which describes the concept of feeling, grasping and understanding one’s internal bodily sensations, plays a vital role in defining emotional regulation (ER) in early childhood and throughout life. Current research considers interoception a foundational component of effective ER, which was a concern for parents at My Kids Therapy, an occupational therapy sensory gym for children. The purpose of this project was to provide an alternative, evidence-based method for occupational therapists at My Kids Therapy to assess and address ER in children ages 4 to 6 through measuring and developing their interoception. Outcomes included the development of an interoception accuracy (IA) screening tool for clinicians to use with their clients, resources for parents and caregivers to address IA and ER in their homes, and a body-emotion diagram visually demonstrating the effect of interoception on ER to be used by clinicians, parents and families.

 

"When you train a child to count their own heartbeat, they learn to listen to other senses in their body—which ultimately regulates their emotions."

—Arielle Nyenty

""
Avi Skidelsky
M.S. in Data Analytics

Forgive but Don’t Forget: Lessons Learned from the Paycheck Protection Program

Author: Avi Skidelsky, M.S. in Data Analytics and Visualization

Faculty Advisors: Andrew Catlin and James Topor, M.S.

 

Abstract: The United States Small Business Association launched the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to assist small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time where major retailers and corporations were able to flourish due to their online infrastructure, many small businesses suffered under quarantine rules. The PPP was intended to assist small businesses and preserve jobs by giving loans at a 1% interest rate and a maturity of either two or five years. At the time of writing, the SBA has granted forgiveness to 85% of applicants totaling over $100 billion. Focusing on two major deficiencies in the program, the high forgiveness amount and the high levels of fraud, this project sought to answer whether there is a way to predict the amount of forgiveness that a borrower will request, using sampling techniques and machine learning methods. Results show no direct correlation between the variables and the amount of loan forgiveness applied for to be able to put together a prediction process. Instead, the findings suggest that regulatory agencies like the SBA need to tighten their lending requirements and the federal government needs to apply more oversight to certain lending bodies in order to prevent fraud and decrease forgiveness.

 

"Looking back on this and other government assisted programs, they’re taking trillions of dollars in hits, but when the program was rolled out, they were doing it for the sake of helping people.

We could take this program and use it as a blueprint for when future bailouts need to happen."

—Avi Skidelsky

""
Ellie Austin
Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences

Navier-Stokes Numerical Simulation of Vortices in the Compressible Gas Flow

Author: Ellie Austin, Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences

Faculty Advisor: Antonella Marini, Ph.D.

Abstract: Compressible gas flow is of great importance for both theoretical and applied science. The aim of this study was to develop numerical modeling of the vortex structure of the Couette-Taylor flow for a compressible gas flow in a wind tunnel that depends on Reynolds numbers and cylinder surface temperatures applying the Navier-Stokes equations and using ANSYS CFX software package. The density of vortices and their structure depends on the Reynolds number and surface temperature cylinders. The Reynolds number is based on the speed of the inner cylinder, and the temperature is referred to as stagnation temperature. Calculations showed a similar dependence of the vortex density on the Reynolds number and surface temperature. With increasing Reynolds number values, the vortex density increased, reaching a certain level, then sharply decreased. A similar picture was observed for the ratio of the density of vortices and temperature. 

"I researched the applications of Navier-Stokes formulas specifically tailored to compressible gas flow, which has implications for when engineers build things like aircrafts or steam turbines.

It’s at the intersection of both math and engineering."

—Ellie Austin

""
Erin McGuire
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Evidence-Based Resources to Support Independence in Children and Young Adults with Physical Disabilities

Author: Erin McGuire, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Mentor: Alexandra Wagner, Ph.D., OTR/L

Abstract: Students with cerebral palsy (CP) and other neuromuscular disorders place higher demands on classroom staff than their typically developing peers. CP is a neuromuscular condition that may result in impaired movement that is associated with exaggerated reflexes, floppiness or spasticity of the limbs and trunk, unusual posture, involuntary movements and unsteady walking. These characteristics may make it difficult for students with CP to function independently throughout the school day, leading to high dependency on classroom staff. Many students at CP Association of Nassau County (CP Nassau), a school catering to individuals with physical disabilities, require mobility and adaptive equipment, sensory equipment and custom hand splints, and classroom staff need to be well-versed in using this complex equipment. Conducted in collaboration with the Occupational Therapy Department at CP Nassau, this project aimed to identify staff needs and develop resources to aid them in supporting their students throughout the school day. Fifteen evidence-based training videos were created using a video modeling approach that can be accessed easily throughout the school day via a scannable QR Code. This training offers an accessible model that occupational therapists can adapt to fill similar gaps in knowledge among teachers and other staff.

""
Harlee Feldman
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Play and Arts-Based Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Author: Harlee Feldman, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Advisor: Alexandra Wagner, Ph.D., OTR/L

 

Abstract: Play is a primary occupation of children ages 7 to 9 as they explore the world and themselves and gain the necessary skills to engage with peers. Additionally, art is frequently used in the school and home setting for these children because it supports the development of creativity, social-emotional, language and cognitive skills. Art is especially used for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) because it works with the strengths of this population, such as attention to detail, while helping to increase skills that are difficult for this population, such as cognitive flexibility. The project included the development of a play- and arts-based program, with the goal of increasing the self-esteem and social skills of children ages 7 to 9 with a diagnosis of ASD. Participating in a program that uses play and art mediums can help children in this age group with a diagnosis of autism spectrum attain the tools required to maintain high self-esteem and good social skills.

"There are so many types of interventions that have worked with this population, but no one has tried to incorporate all those practices into one curriculum.

I was curious: If I made something more engaging, something they would find fun and exciting, would that change the way they react?"

—Harlee Feldman

""
Jillian Rossi
M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology

Identifying the Gap: Clients Denied/Delayed Early Intervention Speech and Language Services Due to New CDC Milestones

Author: Jillian Rossi, M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology

Faculty Advisors: Marissa Barrera, Ph.D., CCC-SLP; Michaela Medved, Ph.D., CCC-SLP; Amiya Waldman-Levi, Ph.D., OTR/L

Abstract: In 2022, the Centers for Disease Control changed the developmental milestones for children from birth to 3 years old; it was the first change in over two decades. The modification included delaying selected speech and language milestones by six months. This decision yields a range of ramifications for young children and their families. The aim of this study was to determine the percentage of children whose qualification for early intervention (EI) speech and language services will be delayed or denied as a result of the new guidelines; and the length of time children would be delayed receiving EI speech and language services in order to identify contributing risk factors for communication disorders and overall development. The study involved a survey of 63 speech-language pathologists who were asked to consider EI clients who just missed or met their milestones. The survey revealed that 49% of clients qualified for services later than they would have with the older developmental milestones. This study concluded that the new developmental milestones resulted in both positive and negative outcomes for clients.

Recipient: 
Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Health Sciences

""
Julie Gurgova
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Paternal Reflective Functioning and Its Impact on Joint Play 

Author: Julie Gurgova, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Advisors: Amber Cope, Ph.D. candidate, LIU; Amiya Waldman-Levi, Ph.D., OTR/L, Katz School; Sara Haden, Ph.D., LIU

 

Abstract: Reflective functioning (RF) is the ability of a parent to understand and be more aware of their own internal mental state, thoughts and reasoning. It is unclear if RF influences joint play between fathers and sons, so the purpose of the study was to examine if fathers with higher RF are more supportive in their play with their sons compared to fathers who have both a lower RF and a higher endorsement of traditional masculine ideology. Twenty English-speaking, predominately married Caucasian fathers of typically developing sons ages 3 to 9 were recruited for the study. Videos of 15-minute, joint-play sessions recorded at home were analyzed using the Parent Support of Child Playfulness Scale. Surveys were given using the Male Role Norms Inventory-Revised scale and the Rumination-Reflection Questionnaire. An analysis revealed a significant correlation between a father's higher RF and a lower view of traditional masculinity ideology, and vice versa. Results also indicated no significant correlation between the father’s RF and support provided to his son during joint play.

""
Miriam Graham
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

A Multifaceted, Interactive, Child Development Toolkit for Jewish Parents

Author: Miriam Graham, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Advisor: Mindy Garfinkel, OTD, OTR/L

Abstract: Early detection of developmental delay is crucial for a child's development and, therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges parents to monitor developmental milestones. However, the resources available are inaccessible for certain communities, including the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, due to their insular culture. An innovative, andragogy-based method to educate young ultra-Orthodox Jewish mothers, who spend significant time caring for their children, about the CDC developmental milestones is crucial. The purpose of this project is to create a children’s book, which contains a primary story for children and a secondary narration with information and strategies for parents to support their child in achieving developmental milestones. This dual-narration style is an effective way to educate parents, since it informs them about the CDC milestones and the strategies to achieve them during their co-occupation of spending time with their children.

Recipient:
Award for Overall Impact

""
Molly Hampton
M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology

Does Increased Technology Use by Parents and Caregivers Impact the Social Language Skills of Developing Children?

Author: Molly Hampton, M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology

Faculty Advisor: Troy Dargin, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Abstract: Over the last decade, technology use and average screen time have been increasing among children and adults all over the world. This literature review examined the impact of increased technology use and screen time on the part of caregivers and parents through things like cell phones and tablets on the developing language skills and behavior of children ages 6 months to 8 years old. The methods involved examining numerous studies that evaluated the impacts of parent/caretaker behavior have on children's language skills and behavior, as well as the impact of increased technology use on children’s development in these areas. The reviewed literature indicates that parental smartphone use may be associated with changes in parental sensitivity and responsiveness. This, in turn, could negatively impact the child's social language skills. More in-depth research is needed to fully understand the effect that technology has on children’s developmental skills.

 

"There are a bunch of guidelines on how much screen time children should use. However, I’m hoping this research gives parents a guideline for their own technology use—because parents’ screen time really does affect their children.

—Molly Hampton

""
Natania Birnbaum
M.S. in Biotech Entrepreneurship

Modeling Complex Hand Grasps Using Muscle Activity of Movement Primitives

Author: Natania Birnbaum, M.S. in Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship

Faculty Advisor: Sai Praveen Kadiyala, Ph.D.

Abstract: Motor function of the hands is often lost as the result of a stroke and is difficult to restore, which has a detrimental effect on stroke survivors' ability to perform everyday tasks. Many methods exist to assist survivors in rehabilitation, but those based on surface electromyography (sEMG) hold promise due to their flexibility of placement, ease of data collection and patient comfort, and cost-effectiveness and increased patient motivation. A myoelectric exoskeleton controlled by sEMG sensors on the muscles of a patient's arm can be used in upper-limb rehabilitation therapy. In this work, we aim to model complex grasps belonging to activities of daily living (ADL) using simple movement primitives of upper arm and validate on a low-cost test bed. We collected sEMG data of five movement primitives and tried to model 10 grasps which are a part of ADL. A multiple linear regression applied on grasp and movement primitive data showed that some of the primitives had more of an impact on the model than others and that the gestures had an inconsistent effect on the model across multiple trials. Replication of both movement primitives and complex grasps on our test bed was conducted successfully.

Recipient:
Award for Outstanding Scholarship in STEM

""
Rebecca Russo-Scholssberg
M.S. in Biotech Entrepreneurship

Market Analysis of MRI Post-Processing Software MedImageMetric (MIM)

Author: Rebecca Russo-Schlossberg, M.S. in Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship

Faculty Advisor: Robert Friedman, MBA

Abstract: MedImageMetric LCC (MIM) is a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) post-processing software startup whose mission is to advance medical imaging via developing physics-informed automated quantitation tools that completely utilize clinically important image data for patient care. The MRI post-processing market is rapidly growing and evolving due to the emergence of new clinical applications for MRI and a better understanding of its benefits, thus presenting both a broad and deep opportunity for MIM through high demand from a large customer base. MIM’s innovative products, strong IP portfolio, experienced management team, strategic partnerships and regulatory clearances position the company for success in the growing medical imaging market. The goal of this project was to determine the appropriate sales strategy for MIM as they begin commercialization and marketing. The research, financial model and projections suggest that MIM has the potential to achieve sustainable growth, profitability and positive social impact if it pursues the original equipment manufacturer channel and subsequently the DTC (B) channel. With the right resources, support and execution, MIM can become a leading provider of MRI post-processing software, improving patient outcomes and healthcare delivery worldwide.

""
Samuel Akingbade
Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences

Brief Expository on Arnold Diffusion in Dissipative Systems

Author: Samuel W. Akingbade, Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences

Faculty Advisor: Marian Gidea, Ph.D.

Abstract: A Hamiltonian system is a mathematical model for mechanical systems obeying the law of conservation of energy. When a perturbation is added to the system, the energy is not necessarily conserved, for instance, it may evolve randomly or even decay. We are interested in systems for which, despite the perturbation, we can obtain energy growth. Specifically, we consider a pendulum-rotator system coupled with a small, time-periodic Hamiltonian perturbation, and with an additional damping perturbation. For this system, we prove the existence of diffusing orbits where the energy of the rotator grows by an amount independent of the size of the coupling parameter for all sufficiently small values of the coupling parameter. This work extends the celebrated Arnold diffusion conjecture to the case of Hamiltonian systems with small dissipation.

A full paper based on this work has been accepted for publication in the SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems, publication pending. 

Read the original paper on arXiv.

""
Shaye Weinstein, Sayanto Pal
M.S. in Biotech Entrepreneurship

Characterization of Targets Regulated by SUMOylation in Mouse Spermatocytes

Authors: Sayanto Pal and Shaye Weinstein, M.S. in Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship; Margarita Vigodner, Ph.D., Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University

 

Abstract: In a considerable majority of male infertility cases, the underlying component has not been discovered. SUMOylation (post-translational modification by small ubiquitin-like modifiers or SUMO proteins) has emerged as a crucial regulating event in several developmental processes, including reproduction. Previous studies have shown that inhibition of SUMOylation arrests meiosis and affects expression and phosphorylation of several proteins. In order to confirm some of the identified targets and better comprehend the mechanisms regulated by SUMO in germ cells, SUMOylation cycle was down-regulated using inhibitors like Ginkgolic acid (GA) and small interfering RNA (siRNA) technology. The effect of the inhibition on the expression level and phosphorylation status of several proteins regulating meiosis and spermatogenesis, like Nucleophosmin (NPM), heterogenous ribonucleoprotein H1 (hnRNPH1) and Valosine containing protein (VCP), were studied using gel electrophoresis and western blotting. Results confirmed the down-regulation of these proteins upon inhibition of SUMOylation, suggesting the importance of their regulation during spermatogenesis. This finding underscores the significance of characterizing new proteins and molecular mechanisms that regulate spermatogenesis.

 

""
Sheila Vousoghian
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Investigating Brain Injury in Domestic Violence Survivors and Individuals with Substance Misuse

Author: Sheila Vousoghian, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Advisor: Alexandra Wagner, Ph.D., OTR/L

Abstract: While there is ample research on the physical and psychological impacts of traumatic brain injuries and on the benefits of early identification and intervention in preventing lifelong complications from them, there is a lack of awareness of traumatic brain injury among domestic violence survivors and individuals with substance misuse. As a result, individuals who face domestic violence and substance misuse may not know they have or are not diagnosed with TBI, leading to diminished health outcomes. With the goal of increasing awareness, this project involved creating a full set of course materials that will be used as part of an online certification course to train domestic violence organizations on screening for traumatic brain injury; and creating and distributing a fact sheet on substance misuse and traumatic brain injury with the goal of early intervention. These interventions will increase awareness as substance misuse and domestic violence facilities become more familiar with the signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injury.

""
Sophia Klass
M.S.in Speech-Language Pathology

Comparing Performance of Bilingual (English-Spanish) and Monolingual Students in Math and Science Assessments

Author: Sophia Klass, M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology

Faculty Advisor: Troy Dargin, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Abstract: This literature review compares the performance of school-age bilingual (English-Spanish) speakers to their monolingual peers in science and math classes. These courses were chosen due to the specific semantics (vocabulary) required to comprehend scientific and mathematical theories. This specialized vocabulary eliminates the possibility of monolingual students using their prior English-based lexicon as an advantage. The review involved analyzing numerous studies that evaluated how school-age bilingual (English-Spanish) students performed on assessments in comparison to their monolingual peers. Due to their complex level of cognitive functioning, the reviewed studies show that English-Spanish bilingual students performed the same and, in some cases, better on classroom assessments in science compared with their monolingual peers. Further research is needed to evaluate bilingual students’ performance in math. Educators, speech-language pathologists and inter-professional collaborators who work with bilingual children may be able to leverage bilingual students’ cognitive strengths when developing educational and therapeutic interventions, as well as visual supports and prompts, for this population. 

 

""
Xingyu Liu
Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences

Constructing Triangle Method (CTM) to Solve Trigonometric Differential Equation

Author: Xingyu Liu, Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences

Faculty Advisors: Wenxiong Chen, Ph.D. and Peter Nandori, Ph.D.

Abstract: This study explored the use of the Constructing Triangle Method (CTM) to solve trigonometric differential equations. CTM is a geometric method that involves constructing a triangle to represent the given trigonometric function and its derivatives. In this study, we demonstrated the effectiveness of CTM by solving the trigonometric differential equation du/dt = cosu(t). We compared the solutions obtained by CTM with those obtained by other methods, such as separation of variables, substitution and integrating factors. Our results showed that CTM is a powerful method for solving trigonometric differential equations. It provides a clear geometric interpretation of the solution, which is easy to understand and visualize. Furthermore, it reduces the complexity of the problem by transforming it into a simpler geometric problem.

""
Yoheved Zion
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Educator Training

Author: Yoheved Zion, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Advisor: Patty Laverdure, OTD, OTR/L

Abstract: The fieldwork experience is a crucial part of an occupational therapy student’s education. However, there is a lack of occupational therapists willing to take on supervisory roles as fieldwork educators due to limited available training. Through a comprehensive literature review across many health-related disciplines, this project aimed to identify key characteristics of successful fieldwork educators and develop a corresponding educator resource for occupational therapists interested in becoming supervisors. This fieldwork educator resource, which contains informative videos, slide presentations and quizzes, will be offered free to occupational therapists interested in taking on these supervisory roles on the Virginia Occupational Therapy Educational Council’s website.

"I love the fact that I was not just able to work on program development, but that our knowledge base as a profession could expand so much. I see tremendous value in that."

—Yoheved Zion

""
Yonah Moise
B.A./M.A. in Mathematics

Numerical Explorations in the Non-Linear Schrodinger Equation

Authors: Yonah Moise and Yedidya Moise, B.A./M.A. in Mathematics

Faculty Advisor: Jeremy Schiff, Ph.D., Bar-Ilan University

Abstract: The Nonlinear Schrodinger equation is a partial differential equation (PDE) whose principal application is to the propagation of a beam of light. Saturated nonlinearity acts as a limitation on the nonlinear component of the equation to prevent it from blowing up. After reproducing initial conditions from Gatz and Herrmann (1997), which are based on certain constraints, the split-step method was applied to step forward in time and approximate the solution to this PDE for any given time. We then constructed a Gaussian function of two dimensions (with a power equivalent to the power of the solution) and ran the split-step method on this function to study it as an approximation of the solution. The observed two internal modes in the behavior of the widths, as well as other observed behavior, provide a basis for analysis of this approximate solution.

""
Yonathan Madendzo
B.A./M.A. in Physics

Magnetic Permeability Measurements in MRI

Author: Yonathan Magendzo, B.A./M.A. in Physics

Faculty Advisor: Fredy Zypman, Ph.D.

Abstract: Detection of traces of iron in the brain is useful for medical applications. Different tissues possessing different magnetic permeabilities expose themselves via small spatial variations of the magnetic field during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Data acquisition and image analysis methods that visualize spatial distributions of magnetic permeabilities are known as quantitative permeability mapping. The permeabilities are found through local distortions in all components of the magnetic field. However, most modern techniques of MRI model the brain as a collection of magnetic dipoles and, therefore, only the longitudinal component of the magnetic field is assessable to MRI. An MRI machine doesn't have enough information to map the permeabilities. To address this problem, we developed an algorithm that can map the permeabilities only needing the longitudinal component of the magnetic field.

""
Anton Papa
M.S. in Biotech Entrepreneurship

Lab to Life: The Path to Successful Biotechnology Commercialization

Author: Anton Papa, M.S. in Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship

Faculty Advisor: Nilam Sinha, Ph.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine

 

Abstract: Important biotechnology inventions that promise to improve the quality of life often fail to make it to market due to stakeholders facing numerous challenges related to regulatory hurdles, funding constraints and intellectual property rights. In partnership with Albert Einstein College of Medicine's Office of Biotechnology and Business Development, this project explores the commercialization potential and requirements for three novel biotechnology inventions: 1) a storage and preservation solution that minimizes damage and prolongs function of donated biological tissue and organs (Project C-00001470); 2) a precision, small-molecule therapy for patients with Type I Diabetes (Project C-00001455); and 3) a small-molecule cancer therapeutic that targets RICTOR for brain metastasis from lung cancers and overcomes anti-EGFR drug resistance (Project C-00001352). The project includes outlining the commercialization strategy for each technology, including reviewing intellectual property and invention disclosure provided by the primary investigator, drafting of non-confidential marketing summaries, market research, identifying potential licensing partners, and drafting marketing campaigns. In addition, this project also provides valuable insights of the technology transfer lifecycle for investors and stakeholders interested in the commercialization of biotech inventions.

"Making a better world—that, in my eyes, is the goal of biotech."

—Anton Papa

""
Arielle Nyenty
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Addressing Emotional Regulation Through Interoception for Clinicians and Parents

Author: Arielle Nyenty, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Advisor: Alexandra Wagner, Ph.D., OTR/L

 
Abstract: Interoception, which describes the concept of feeling, grasping and understanding one’s internal bodily sensations, plays a vital role in defining emotional regulation (ER) in early childhood and throughout life. Current research considers interoception a foundational component of effective ER, which was a concern for parents at My Kids Therapy, an occupational therapy sensory gym for children. The purpose of this project was to provide an alternative, evidence-based method for occupational therapists at My Kids Therapy to assess and address ER in children ages 4 to 6 through measuring and developing their interoception. Outcomes included the development of an interoception accuracy (IA) screening tool for clinicians to use with their clients, resources for parents and caregivers to address IA and ER in their homes, and a body-emotion diagram visually demonstrating the effect of interoception on ER to be used by clinicians, parents and families.

 

"When you train a child to count their own heartbeat, they learn to listen to other senses in their body—which ultimately regulates their emotions."

—Arielle Nyenty

""
Avi Skidelsky
M.S. in Data Analytics

Forgive but Don’t Forget: Lessons Learned from the Paycheck Protection Program

Author: Avi Skidelsky, M.S. in Data Analytics and Visualization

Faculty Advisors: Andrew Catlin and James Topor, M.S.

 

Abstract: The United States Small Business Association launched the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to assist small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time where major retailers and corporations were able to flourish due to their online infrastructure, many small businesses suffered under quarantine rules. The PPP was intended to assist small businesses and preserve jobs by giving loans at a 1% interest rate and a maturity of either two or five years. At the time of writing, the SBA has granted forgiveness to 85% of applicants totaling over $100 billion. Focusing on two major deficiencies in the program, the high forgiveness amount and the high levels of fraud, this project sought to answer whether there is a way to predict the amount of forgiveness that a borrower will request, using sampling techniques and machine learning methods. Results show no direct correlation between the variables and the amount of loan forgiveness applied for to be able to put together a prediction process. Instead, the findings suggest that regulatory agencies like the SBA need to tighten their lending requirements and the federal government needs to apply more oversight to certain lending bodies in order to prevent fraud and decrease forgiveness.

 

"Looking back on this and other government assisted programs, they’re taking trillions of dollars in hits, but when the program was rolled out, they were doing it for the sake of helping people.

We could take this program and use it as a blueprint for when future bailouts need to happen."

—Avi Skidelsky

""
Ellie Austin
Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences

Navier-Stokes Numerical Simulation of Vortices in the Compressible Gas Flow

Author: Ellie Austin, Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences

Faculty Advisor: Antonella Marini, Ph.D.

Abstract: Compressible gas flow is of great importance for both theoretical and applied science. The aim of this study was to develop numerical modeling of the vortex structure of the Couette-Taylor flow for a compressible gas flow in a wind tunnel that depends on Reynolds numbers and cylinder surface temperatures applying the Navier-Stokes equations and using ANSYS CFX software package. The density of vortices and their structure depends on the Reynolds number and surface temperature cylinders. The Reynolds number is based on the speed of the inner cylinder, and the temperature is referred to as stagnation temperature. Calculations showed a similar dependence of the vortex density on the Reynolds number and surface temperature. With increasing Reynolds number values, the vortex density increased, reaching a certain level, then sharply decreased. A similar picture was observed for the ratio of the density of vortices and temperature. 

"I researched the applications of Navier-Stokes formulas specifically tailored to compressible gas flow, which has implications for when engineers build things like aircrafts or steam turbines.

It’s at the intersection of both math and engineering."

—Ellie Austin

""
Erin McGuire
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Evidence-Based Resources to Support Independence in Children and Young Adults with Physical Disabilities

Author: Erin McGuire, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Mentor: Alexandra Wagner, Ph.D., OTR/L

Abstract: Students with cerebral palsy (CP) and other neuromuscular disorders place higher demands on classroom staff than their typically developing peers. CP is a neuromuscular condition that may result in impaired movement that is associated with exaggerated reflexes, floppiness or spasticity of the limbs and trunk, unusual posture, involuntary movements and unsteady walking. These characteristics may make it difficult for students with CP to function independently throughout the school day, leading to high dependency on classroom staff. Many students at CP Association of Nassau County (CP Nassau), a school catering to individuals with physical disabilities, require mobility and adaptive equipment, sensory equipment and custom hand splints, and classroom staff need to be well-versed in using this complex equipment. Conducted in collaboration with the Occupational Therapy Department at CP Nassau, this project aimed to identify staff needs and develop resources to aid them in supporting their students throughout the school day. Fifteen evidence-based training videos were created using a video modeling approach that can be accessed easily throughout the school day via a scannable QR Code. This training offers an accessible model that occupational therapists can adapt to fill similar gaps in knowledge among teachers and other staff.

""
Harlee Feldman
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Play and Arts-Based Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Author: Harlee Feldman, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Advisor: Alexandra Wagner, Ph.D., OTR/L

 

Abstract: Play is a primary occupation of children ages 7 to 9 as they explore the world and themselves and gain the necessary skills to engage with peers. Additionally, art is frequently used in the school and home setting for these children because it supports the development of creativity, social-emotional, language and cognitive skills. Art is especially used for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) because it works with the strengths of this population, such as attention to detail, while helping to increase skills that are difficult for this population, such as cognitive flexibility. The project included the development of a play- and arts-based program, with the goal of increasing the self-esteem and social skills of children ages 7 to 9 with a diagnosis of ASD. Participating in a program that uses play and art mediums can help children in this age group with a diagnosis of autism spectrum attain the tools required to maintain high self-esteem and good social skills.

"There are so many types of interventions that have worked with this population, but no one has tried to incorporate all those practices into one curriculum.

I was curious: If I made something more engaging, something they would find fun and exciting, would that change the way they react?"

—Harlee Feldman

""
Jillian Rossi
M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology

Identifying the Gap: Clients Denied/Delayed Early Intervention Speech and Language Services Due to New CDC Milestones

Author: Jillian Rossi, M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology

Faculty Advisors: Marissa Barrera, Ph.D., CCC-SLP; Michaela Medved, Ph.D., CCC-SLP; Amiya Waldman-Levi, Ph.D., OTR/L

Abstract: In 2022, the Centers for Disease Control changed the developmental milestones for children from birth to 3 years old; it was the first change in over two decades. The modification included delaying selected speech and language milestones by six months. This decision yields a range of ramifications for young children and their families. The aim of this study was to determine the percentage of children whose qualification for early intervention (EI) speech and language services will be delayed or denied as a result of the new guidelines; and the length of time children would be delayed receiving EI speech and language services in order to identify contributing risk factors for communication disorders and overall development. The study involved a survey of 63 speech-language pathologists who were asked to consider EI clients who just missed or met their milestones. The survey revealed that 49% of clients qualified for services later than they would have with the older developmental milestones. This study concluded that the new developmental milestones resulted in both positive and negative outcomes for clients.

Recipient: 
Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Health Sciences

""
Julie Gurgova
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Paternal Reflective Functioning and Its Impact on Joint Play 

Author: Julie Gurgova, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Advisors: Amber Cope, Ph.D. candidate, LIU; Amiya Waldman-Levi, Ph.D., OTR/L, Katz School; Sara Haden, Ph.D., LIU

 

Abstract: Reflective functioning (RF) is the ability of a parent to understand and be more aware of their own internal mental state, thoughts and reasoning. It is unclear if RF influences joint play between fathers and sons, so the purpose of the study was to examine if fathers with higher RF are more supportive in their play with their sons compared to fathers who have both a lower RF and a higher endorsement of traditional masculine ideology. Twenty English-speaking, predominately married Caucasian fathers of typically developing sons ages 3 to 9 were recruited for the study. Videos of 15-minute, joint-play sessions recorded at home were analyzed using the Parent Support of Child Playfulness Scale. Surveys were given using the Male Role Norms Inventory-Revised scale and the Rumination-Reflection Questionnaire. An analysis revealed a significant correlation between a father's higher RF and a lower view of traditional masculinity ideology, and vice versa. Results also indicated no significant correlation between the father’s RF and support provided to his son during joint play.

""
Miriam Graham
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

A Multifaceted, Interactive, Child Development Toolkit for Jewish Parents

Author: Miriam Graham, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Advisor: Mindy Garfinkel, OTD, OTR/L

Abstract: Early detection of developmental delay is crucial for a child's development and, therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges parents to monitor developmental milestones. However, the resources available are inaccessible for certain communities, including the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, due to their insular culture. An innovative, andragogy-based method to educate young ultra-Orthodox Jewish mothers, who spend significant time caring for their children, about the CDC developmental milestones is crucial. The purpose of this project is to create a children’s book, which contains a primary story for children and a secondary narration with information and strategies for parents to support their child in achieving developmental milestones. This dual-narration style is an effective way to educate parents, since it informs them about the CDC milestones and the strategies to achieve them during their co-occupation of spending time with their children.

Recipient:
Award for Overall Impact

""
Molly Hampton
M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology

Does Increased Technology Use by Parents and Caregivers Impact the Social Language Skills of Developing Children?

Author: Molly Hampton, M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology

Faculty Advisor: Troy Dargin, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Abstract: Over the last decade, technology use and average screen time have been increasing among children and adults all over the world. This literature review examined the impact of increased technology use and screen time on the part of caregivers and parents through things like cell phones and tablets on the developing language skills and behavior of children ages 6 months to 8 years old. The methods involved examining numerous studies that evaluated the impacts of parent/caretaker behavior have on children's language skills and behavior, as well as the impact of increased technology use on children’s development in these areas. The reviewed literature indicates that parental smartphone use may be associated with changes in parental sensitivity and responsiveness. This, in turn, could negatively impact the child's social language skills. More in-depth research is needed to fully understand the effect that technology has on children’s developmental skills.

 

"There are a bunch of guidelines on how much screen time children should use. However, I’m hoping this research gives parents a guideline for their own technology use—because parents’ screen time really does affect their children.

—Molly Hampton

""
Natania Birnbaum
M.S. in Biotech Entrepreneurship

Modeling Complex Hand Grasps Using Muscle Activity of Movement Primitives

Author: Natania Birnbaum, M.S. in Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship

Faculty Advisor: Sai Praveen Kadiyala, Ph.D.

Abstract: Motor function of the hands is often lost as the result of a stroke and is difficult to restore, which has a detrimental effect on stroke survivors' ability to perform everyday tasks. Many methods exist to assist survivors in rehabilitation, but those based on surface electromyography (sEMG) hold promise due to their flexibility of placement, ease of data collection and patient comfort, and cost-effectiveness and increased patient motivation. A myoelectric exoskeleton controlled by sEMG sensors on the muscles of a patient's arm can be used in upper-limb rehabilitation therapy. In this work, we aim to model complex grasps belonging to activities of daily living (ADL) using simple movement primitives of upper arm and validate on a low-cost test bed. We collected sEMG data of five movement primitives and tried to model 10 grasps which are a part of ADL. A multiple linear regression applied on grasp and movement primitive data showed that some of the primitives had more of an impact on the model than others and that the gestures had an inconsistent effect on the model across multiple trials. Replication of both movement primitives and complex grasps on our test bed was conducted successfully.

Recipient:
Award for Outstanding Scholarship in STEM

""
Rebecca Russo-Scholssberg
M.S. in Biotech Entrepreneurship

Market Analysis of MRI Post-Processing Software MedImageMetric (MIM)

Author: Rebecca Russo-Schlossberg, M.S. in Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship

Faculty Advisor: Robert Friedman, MBA

Abstract: MedImageMetric LCC (MIM) is a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) post-processing software startup whose mission is to advance medical imaging via developing physics-informed automated quantitation tools that completely utilize clinically important image data for patient care. The MRI post-processing market is rapidly growing and evolving due to the emergence of new clinical applications for MRI and a better understanding of its benefits, thus presenting both a broad and deep opportunity for MIM through high demand from a large customer base. MIM’s innovative products, strong IP portfolio, experienced management team, strategic partnerships and regulatory clearances position the company for success in the growing medical imaging market. The goal of this project was to determine the appropriate sales strategy for MIM as they begin commercialization and marketing. The research, financial model and projections suggest that MIM has the potential to achieve sustainable growth, profitability and positive social impact if it pursues the original equipment manufacturer channel and subsequently the DTC (B) channel. With the right resources, support and execution, MIM can become a leading provider of MRI post-processing software, improving patient outcomes and healthcare delivery worldwide.

""
Samuel Akingbade
Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences

Brief Expository on Arnold Diffusion in Dissipative Systems

Author: Samuel W. Akingbade, Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences

Faculty Advisor: Marian Gidea, Ph.D.

Abstract: A Hamiltonian system is a mathematical model for mechanical systems obeying the law of conservation of energy. When a perturbation is added to the system, the energy is not necessarily conserved, for instance, it may evolve randomly or even decay. We are interested in systems for which, despite the perturbation, we can obtain energy growth. Specifically, we consider a pendulum-rotator system coupled with a small, time-periodic Hamiltonian perturbation, and with an additional damping perturbation. For this system, we prove the existence of diffusing orbits where the energy of the rotator grows by an amount independent of the size of the coupling parameter for all sufficiently small values of the coupling parameter. This work extends the celebrated Arnold diffusion conjecture to the case of Hamiltonian systems with small dissipation.

A full paper based on this work has been accepted for publication in the SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems, publication pending. 

Read the original paper on arXiv.

""
Shaye Weinstein, Sayanto Pal
M.S. in Biotech Entrepreneurship

Characterization of Targets Regulated by SUMOylation in Mouse Spermatocytes

Authors: Sayanto Pal and Shaye Weinstein, M.S. in Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship; Margarita Vigodner, Ph.D., Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University

 

Abstract: In a considerable majority of male infertility cases, the underlying component has not been discovered. SUMOylation (post-translational modification by small ubiquitin-like modifiers or SUMO proteins) has emerged as a crucial regulating event in several developmental processes, including reproduction. Previous studies have shown that inhibition of SUMOylation arrests meiosis and affects expression and phosphorylation of several proteins. In order to confirm some of the identified targets and better comprehend the mechanisms regulated by SUMO in germ cells, SUMOylation cycle was down-regulated using inhibitors like Ginkgolic acid (GA) and small interfering RNA (siRNA) technology. The effect of the inhibition on the expression level and phosphorylation status of several proteins regulating meiosis and spermatogenesis, like Nucleophosmin (NPM), heterogenous ribonucleoprotein H1 (hnRNPH1) and Valosine containing protein (VCP), were studied using gel electrophoresis and western blotting. Results confirmed the down-regulation of these proteins upon inhibition of SUMOylation, suggesting the importance of their regulation during spermatogenesis. This finding underscores the significance of characterizing new proteins and molecular mechanisms that regulate spermatogenesis.

 

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Sheila Vousoghian
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Investigating Brain Injury in Domestic Violence Survivors and Individuals with Substance Misuse

Author: Sheila Vousoghian, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Advisor: Alexandra Wagner, Ph.D., OTR/L

Abstract: While there is ample research on the physical and psychological impacts of traumatic brain injuries and on the benefits of early identification and intervention in preventing lifelong complications from them, there is a lack of awareness of traumatic brain injury among domestic violence survivors and individuals with substance misuse. As a result, individuals who face domestic violence and substance misuse may not know they have or are not diagnosed with TBI, leading to diminished health outcomes. With the goal of increasing awareness, this project involved creating a full set of course materials that will be used as part of an online certification course to train domestic violence organizations on screening for traumatic brain injury; and creating and distributing a fact sheet on substance misuse and traumatic brain injury with the goal of early intervention. These interventions will increase awareness as substance misuse and domestic violence facilities become more familiar with the signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injury.

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Sophia Klass
M.S.in Speech-Language Pathology

Comparing Performance of Bilingual (English-Spanish) and Monolingual Students in Math and Science Assessments

Author: Sophia Klass, M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology

Faculty Advisor: Troy Dargin, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Abstract: This literature review compares the performance of school-age bilingual (English-Spanish) speakers to their monolingual peers in science and math classes. These courses were chosen due to the specific semantics (vocabulary) required to comprehend scientific and mathematical theories. This specialized vocabulary eliminates the possibility of monolingual students using their prior English-based lexicon as an advantage. The review involved analyzing numerous studies that evaluated how school-age bilingual (English-Spanish) students performed on assessments in comparison to their monolingual peers. Due to their complex level of cognitive functioning, the reviewed studies show that English-Spanish bilingual students performed the same and, in some cases, better on classroom assessments in science compared with their monolingual peers. Further research is needed to evaluate bilingual students’ performance in math. Educators, speech-language pathologists and inter-professional collaborators who work with bilingual children may be able to leverage bilingual students’ cognitive strengths when developing educational and therapeutic interventions, as well as visual supports and prompts, for this population. 

 

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Xingyu Liu
Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences

Constructing Triangle Method (CTM) to Solve Trigonometric Differential Equation

Author: Xingyu Liu, Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences

Faculty Advisors: Wenxiong Chen, Ph.D. and Peter Nandori, Ph.D.

Abstract: This study explored the use of the Constructing Triangle Method (CTM) to solve trigonometric differential equations. CTM is a geometric method that involves constructing a triangle to represent the given trigonometric function and its derivatives. In this study, we demonstrated the effectiveness of CTM by solving the trigonometric differential equation du/dt = cosu(t). We compared the solutions obtained by CTM with those obtained by other methods, such as separation of variables, substitution and integrating factors. Our results showed that CTM is a powerful method for solving trigonometric differential equations. It provides a clear geometric interpretation of the solution, which is easy to understand and visualize. Furthermore, it reduces the complexity of the problem by transforming it into a simpler geometric problem.

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Yoheved Zion
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Educator Training

Author: Yoheved Zion, Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Faculty Advisor: Patty Laverdure, OTD, OTR/L

Abstract: The fieldwork experience is a crucial part of an occupational therapy student’s education. However, there is a lack of occupational therapists willing to take on supervisory roles as fieldwork educators due to limited available training. Through a comprehensive literature review across many health-related disciplines, this project aimed to identify key characteristics of successful fieldwork educators and develop a corresponding educator resource for occupational therapists interested in becoming supervisors. This fieldwork educator resource, which contains informative videos, slide presentations and quizzes, will be offered free to occupational therapists interested in taking on these supervisory roles on the Virginia Occupational Therapy Educational Council’s website.

"I love the fact that I was not just able to work on program development, but that our knowledge base as a profession could expand so much. I see tremendous value in that."

—Yoheved Zion

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Yonah Moise
B.A./M.A. in Mathematics

Numerical Explorations in the Non-Linear Schrodinger Equation

Authors: Yonah Moise and Yedidya Moise, B.A./M.A. in Mathematics

Faculty Advisor: Jeremy Schiff, Ph.D., Bar-Ilan University

Abstract: The Nonlinear Schrodinger equation is a partial differential equation (PDE) whose principal application is to the propagation of a beam of light. Saturated nonlinearity acts as a limitation on the nonlinear component of the equation to prevent it from blowing up. After reproducing initial conditions from Gatz and Herrmann (1997), which are based on certain constraints, the split-step method was applied to step forward in time and approximate the solution to this PDE for any given time. We then constructed a Gaussian function of two dimensions (with a power equivalent to the power of the solution) and ran the split-step method on this function to study it as an approximation of the solution. The observed two internal modes in the behavior of the widths, as well as other observed behavior, provide a basis for analysis of this approximate solution.

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Yonathan Madendzo
B.A./M.A. in Physics

Magnetic Permeability Measurements in MRI

Author: Yonathan Magendzo, B.A./M.A. in Physics

Faculty Advisor: Fredy Zypman, Ph.D.

Abstract: Detection of traces of iron in the brain is useful for medical applications. Different tissues possessing different magnetic permeabilities expose themselves via small spatial variations of the magnetic field during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Data acquisition and image analysis methods that visualize spatial distributions of magnetic permeabilities are known as quantitative permeability mapping. The permeabilities are found through local distortions in all components of the magnetic field. However, most modern techniques of MRI model the brain as a collection of magnetic dipoles and, therefore, only the longitudinal component of the magnetic field is assessable to MRI. An MRI machine doesn't have enough information to map the permeabilities. To address this problem, we developed an algorithm that can map the permeabilities only needing the longitudinal component of the magnetic field.

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