Tracking Spatial Inequality in Africa by Mapping Coal Plants

This project will look at global coal usage in a spatial context. For the research team working with Professor Maliniak and Professor Harish, one topic of interest is understanding why coal plants are located where they are. Some plausible explanations are proximity to coal sources, proximity to transport lines, or other political factors. Another topic this research project will explore is the effects coal plants have on communities. They are touted as having both positive (e.g. jobs and power generation) and negative (environmental and health) effects. Understanding the trade-off will help to determine the extent to which building and maintaining coal plants even makes sense. The project will use the global coal plants database together with spatial economic data from night lights and environmental data from air pollution models to better determine the trade off. Finally, this project will explore the political effects of coal plant construction by combining the global coal plants database with existing political data, such as the voting patterns of communities affected by these coal plants. Understanding the political ramifications of coal plant construction are important in building sustainable environmental policies. Specifically, this research project will explore these questions related to political economy, spatial inequality, and ethnic inequality in Africa. This will inform a narrative of ethnic inequality and spatial political power in Africa. The results of this study will contribute to the existing literature on spatial inequality, environmental justice, regulation and political accountability.

[Read more…]

Mechanism of Flower Patterning in Plants

Complex patterning traits such as speckling and spotting offer a great opportunity to explore fundamental principles of plant evolution and development. In our system, the hybridization between two inter-fertile sister species from the Chile Mimulus luteus complex, M. l. variegatus (lavender color) and M. cupreus (orange color) yield a novel, highly patchy distribution of red anthocyanin pigment on flower petal lobe in both F1 and F2 generations. Back crossing and phenotype segregation have suggested a strong genetic basis behind this complex patterning trait, and several transcriptional regulators of the luteus anthocyanin pathway (such as pla1 and pla2 from the R2R3 MYB superfamily) have already been identified. To further address the genetic mechanism and inter-genomic interactions responsible for anthocyanin patterning in the hybrids, we develop a digital image analysis system to investigate the complexity of petal lobe traits, such as the pigment intensity and spatial variation. The quantifiable phenotypical information will be combined with population-wide genome sequencing data (using RAD-Seq) to enable genetic mapping and analysis. These advances in understanding the regulatory networks allows us to conjecture a mathematical model based on a reaction-diffusion dynamics of the interaction between the activators (a Myb5 and a Myb2b) and the repressor (presumably a R3 MYB). Taken together, our findings will reveal the genetic architecture of hybrid anthocyanin patterning, in a system that is ideal for future evolutionary, molecular, and developmental studies of underlying mechanisms.

[Read more…]


The question I am hoping to answer in my research is “Is there a higher mortality rate for Black incarcerated women compared with non-incarcerated Black women?” The maternal mortality rate for black women is extremely high and it is important to determine if it is higher in the subset of black women in prison. The rate of incarceration for women is rising, although women still make up a minority of incarcerated persons in the U.S. (less than 10%). Black women make up about 25% of incarcerated women and it is important to know if their rates of maternal mortality is higher than that of black women in the general population given that the rate of black women is already higher than that in many developing countries. Maternal mortality in the US has been found to increase slightly and finding out if women giving birth in prison is contributing to the increasing rate is part of my research. A major social justice issue in incarcerated women is shackling during delivery and it will be important to understand how this factor affects delivery outcomes for both the mother and child.

Sungbum Hong research blog

My research would primarily focus on performance and security improvement in GPU.

Unlike CPU that has been core compartment of the computer for very long time, GPU recently became crucial processing unit for the computer.

[Read more…]

Risk and Resilience in College Students

Eligible participants will be chosen from the William and Mary campus as undergraduate students. Data will be collected through a series of questionnaires starting with a baseline session. The baseline questions asked should focus on family background and demographic information as well as behavioral information, beliefs, and opinions. Aspects about current and past mental health and physical health are also important to note in measuring risk over time and will also be asked in questionnaires. Follow-up studies should be conducted with the same participants. Qualitative studies will be assigned to specific participants who qualify. This includes more in depth interviews and questions about personal experiences and relationships. Other specific factors that will be measured are social support, help seeing behavior, college preparation, GPA, academic functioning and other variable aspects of the participants life that may be relevant at this time. This information will have to be analyzed using a series of models to show how the intersection of different factors affect each other. The analysis of further qualitative results should be used in conjunction with the quantitative analysis interpretation and to discuss common issues and phenomena that may be hard to quantify.

[Read more…]