Stories tagged student research


The Purchase College School of Natural and Social Sciences announces its 27th Annual Student Research Symposium which will be held on April 26 from 8:45 AM to 1 PM at Purchase College located at 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, N.Y. This annual event represents the best of the science programs offered at Purchase, and a forum in which graduating seniors can present their yearlong scientific research.

The topics to be presented this year include research on the effects fatty acids on breast cancer cells, Christian iconography and tattoos, the Sub-Saharan economy, the correlation between asthma and income level, social networking and honesty, solving Sudoku, skateboarding as a subculture, children of the AIDS epidemic, the effects of aging on decision-making, and gender influences on preschoolers.

What makes the science programs at Purchase distinctive is that each student works closely with faculty sponsors on original research for their Senior Project, an opportunity most students don’t have at larger institutions. The Student Research Symposium is also unique in that it allows undergraduate students to report on their research in the same way scientists from major research laboratories do at national and international conferences.

This year’s Symposium has an international flavor as Purchase students from the United States, Russia, Kenya, Germany, France and Japan will discuss their research in all areas of the natural and social sciences.

The Symposium consists of concurrent sessions in anthropology, biology, chemistry, environmental studies, economics, math/computer science, political science, psychology, sociology, women’s studies, and media, society & the arts.

Students describe their research during a 15-minute oral presentation followed by five minutes of questions from the audience. Other students participate in a dedicated poster session, in which presenters display their research results with a combination of words, images and graphics.

Presentations will be conducted in both the Natural and Social Sciences Buildings. Afterward, awards will be presented to students for academic excellence, outstanding research and service to the School of Natural and Social Sciences. Lunch will be served.

Registration begins at 8:15 AM in Room 1001 of the Natural Sciences Building. Registration can also be conducted online at, where further information is also available, including directions to the campus. The Symposium is free and open to the public.


Barry Bonds: Barry Bonds and the issue of steroids in baseball are back in the news as he chases Hank Aaron's home run mark. New statistical analysis by two college students shows that steroids don't have a huge impact on hitting homers over a long period of time.
Barry Bonds, home runs and steroids. They're all in the headlines again.

We’ve debated this topic a lot since last spring – do steroids actually help a baseball player to hit a ball farther?

Now some students from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., have crunched the numbers to try to provide some statistical analysis on the matter. Their quick answer to the question is “no.”

Tyler Kramer and Dan Johnson spent their January term analyzing the home run records of all the Major League hitters who’ve had 500 or more homers in their career. They divided those players into two groups: known or suspected steroid users and non-steroid users.

According to the abstract of their research posted in a Gustavus blog: “Based on the data from players that have hit 500 or more career home runs without the assistance of steroids, it is apparent that most major league players peak in their home run production between their sixth and tenth seasons. Players who use (or are accused of using) steroids have a peak much later in their career around their 11th through 17th seasons. Even though they are able to increase the productivity later in their careers there is no statistical evidence that steroid users are able to sustain this level of productivity over an extended period of time.”

In fact, the non-steroid users had a slightly higher home run average than the suspected users. The study found that admitted and presumed steroid users averaged 41.36 homers during their best five years while non-users averaged 43.38 over their best five seasons.

But the study also shows that steroids can provide a short-term burst in home run production. The top six single season home run marks belong to the steroid suspects.

“The probability of a steroid user breaking the record for most home runs in one year is much greater than a non-user,” the students also contend.

Their findings have earned enough national attention that this month they’ll be presenting their findings at the United States Conference On Teaching Statistics at Ohio State University.

What do you think of their conclusions? Have your thoughts on steroids in baseball changed at all through all this debate? Share your thoughts here with other Science Buzz readers.