Skip to main content

Poster session

Digital posters from all institutions will also be shown.

Victorian prisons as social institutions have been widely debated in historiography, however, historians have failed to investigate the experiences of those within these institutions and have instead provided an essentialist and shallow history of prisons as institutions of punishment, social control, and nothing more. Recently there has been an attempt to reclaim the voices of prisoners in order to complicate this analysis, however those who worked within the prison walls still remain largely silent, spoken for by prison authorities. That the prison ever had a medical component is often completely forgotten.

Exploring the role of the Prison Medical Officer allows us to investigate both the mechanisms and limits of the prison as a punishing institution by exploring if prisoners were entitled to health care and if so whether its provision was constrained by a loyalty to the prison services punishing ethos. Asking these questions not only widens the picture painted of the prison and complicates arguments of social control and unquestioned authorities, but also expands our understanding of the experiences of the prisoners themselves. Yet reclaiming the views, opinions, and experiences of these individuals is no easy task. Many documents penned by prison doctors have been lost or destroyed and what remains was generally mediated by an authoritative hand within parliamentary papers. This project aims to reveal, through documentary analysis of Parliamentary reports, officer, and prisoner accounts the benefits of reclaiming these voices as well as the limitations which are inherent in researching a marginalized area of the medical humanities.

The work of Ash and Rudolph (1979) and Ash (1986) allows us to establish a relationship between the study of the cohomology of congruence subgroups of SL(3,Z) ( the group of three by three matrices with integer entries having determinant one) and a certain class of maps called ‘modular symbols’. This link is essential in obtaining information about modular forms, an interesting class of functions satisfying some transformation property and growth condition, which is intricately connected to areas of number theory, combinatorics, algebraic geometry, etc.

The goal of this project is to compute modular symbols using an extension of a modular symbol algorithm developed by Ash-Rudolph in 1979 and refined in the 80’s by other authors. The secondary objective is to make possible improvements to the basic algorithm using modern computers. By implementing the said algorithm in the mathematical software system Sage, this will allow experimental study of systems of Hecke eigenvalues in the resulting cohomology spaces, with applications to number theory and the Langlands program.

The nervous system is used to transmit signals to the different parts of the body. Neurons form the building blocks and these are coupled by synapses. A gap junction is where the neural synapses meet to communicate through electric signals. Experimentally it is very hard to verify the position and strength of the gap junctions. The project aims to establish methods for inferring the spatial and strength parameters of gap junctions in a given coupled Neural network, a network of neurons connected through synapses. We will build on recent results (Yihe, Timofeeva 2016) which constructs a function for where these gap junctions can be found in time and space in neural networks coupled by gap junctions. We will consider simple morphologies and realistic cell structures if time permits. Development of this method of estimating the strength and location of gap junctions will allow us to create models of neuronal networks with complex dendritic structures and biologically realistic gap-junctional coupling. At the moment the neuroscience community lack such spatially-extended neuronal models due to the difficulties in estimating gap-junctional parameters. Such detailed models can lead to a better understanding of the role of gap junctions in different mental conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and impact the further development of drug treatments. Incorporating realistic gap junction models in artificial neural networks would also increase the predictive power of such networks.
The loss of quality and performance of a workpiece due to machining damage is of major concern in aerospace applications. When milling a carbon fibre composite, attempts to minimise issues that impact the integrity of a workpiece have meant unconventional machining methods have been investigated. One such method, Ultrasonic Assisted Machining (UAM) has shown promising results. Consequently, this work investigated the ability of UAM to mill a carbon fibre composite and compared results to conventional machining (CM). In this research, a 5-axis machining centre has been used, with four aspects of machining performance measured: temperature, tool wear, surface roughness and cutting force. Analysis of performance data collected during machining gave inconclusive results compared to previous literature on UAM. A lower maximum temperature was recorded with UAM highlighting the improvement ultrasonic assistance can have when milling a carbon fibre composite. However, there was inconclusive evidence to suggest the ultrasonic assistance reduced forces during machining. Tool life was reduced when milling with ultrasonic assistance, this has negative implications for industry as cutting tools represent a significant cost. Finally, in contrast to previous research, UAM produced a higher surface roughness compared to CM. This is undesirable as a defect free machined workpiece is critical for aerospace components. The results analysed highlight the difficultly in machining safety critical aerospace carbon fibre composites. Overall, conclusions were that more work needs to be done to optimise UAM before it can be used in the aerospace industry.
I have noticed that scholars often overlook works of art of smaller scale produced during the reign of Augustus Caesar, such as gems and cameos, and tend to concentrate on the works either of monumental scale or wider presence in the Early Roman Empire. My project aims to fill this gap in current scholarly research as it investigates the culture of early Roman Imperial cameos executed in the court of Augustus Caesar with a particular focus on the Gemma Augustea and the Blacas Cameo - privately owned objects and small-scale. Considering the aspects of patronage, iconography, technique and precious materials the project attempts to explain the initial function of ancient cameos and to explore the imperial values they projected. In addition to this, the project introduces a unique interdisciplinary approach, which investigates how these objects were collected and are displayed in their current locations, the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna) and the British Museum (London), and explore their modern receptions.

My URSS research project tackles an issue shared by most post-communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe including Czech Republic, my home country, where communist-era political elites often become prominent businessmen closely linked to states’ key institutions. Prime example of this problem is the Czech finance minister Andrej Babiš, who will be the focus of my research. He is the 737th richest person in the world (Forbes), has a controversial communist past and owns e.g. the major Czech agricultural conglomerate and three newspapers. Moreover, recently he has even been accused of “cheating” the funds from the EU, and this affair is now being investigated in Brussels. Using qualitative methods, I shall examine how, in the eyes of experts, these dynamics put the democratisation process in Czech Republic in danger. I will ask the politicians and civil society representatives about whether they think the Minister’s conflict of interests hinders democracy and democratization of our country. I will do my best to get in touch with the Czech European Commissioner Vera Jourova, who used to be in the same political party as Babiš and knows him well. I will also analyse one of Babiš’s newspapers for potential political bias and conflict of interest going back to 2013.

I shall cooperate with three Czech organisations (Initiative for European Values, Prague Security Studies Institute and EUROPEUM), which expressed their interest in assisting me and I will get in touch with them in the second half of June.

Zwitterionic polymers - molecules with both positively and negatively charged regions - have thermally responsive properties and promising compatibility with biological tissue making them suitable for use in personal care products. Thus the development of more accessible routes in the synthesis of novel materials is paramount. Direct polymerisation of zwitterionic monomers can be difficult. Therefore, amine containing polymers will be modified, using a specific group of elements –halides - in halide transfer, as a route to allow access to a variety of these macromolecules. Any new approaches discovered will allow polymer chemists a more efficient synthesis for zwitterionic polymer species. Postpolymerisation modification is a novel method of synthesis allowing the expansion of the possibilities stemming from these polymers, so that the functionality and properties of these zwitterionic polymers can be investigated. These molecules seem especially promising as delivery vessels in biological uses; thus their solution temperature response properties are of particular interest. We hope that when finished, this work will be published for use by professionals in the field to enhance the contribution of industrially useful zwitterionic polymers in both the personal care industries and in biological applications.

This study will first highlight the increasing literature that states the benefits of standing desks. Moreover, the physiological and cognitive benefits that the literature states clearly align with the goals of organisations, such as schools. However, the fact that statistical evidence shows that the usage of stand-up desks in organisations has only increased notably in the last decade suggests that the evidence from the literature has not been enough to compel organisations to use stand-up desks, and thus make them as popular as they have become. Rather, the statistical evidence suggests that the popularity of stand-up desks has actually coincided with the literature and empirical evidence which highlights the negative, deleterious effects of sitting. This study will infer that this suggests the popularity of stand-up desks is as much due to a change in how it is perceived as well as the evidence that supports this. As a result, this study will interview 3 organisations (including a school) who have taken up stand-up desks in order to determine what made them decide to incorporate stand-up desks. The answers the organisations give will be weighted equally against 5 particular criteria.

The purpose of this study is to attempt to provide a future marketing blueprint for other tools (e.g. future technology) that aims to help organisations. This is important because even strong, supporting literature and empirical evidence is insufficient to enable a product to be implemented.

The correlation between Malaria and a lack of development is well established and the eradication of malaria features in the World Health Organisations Millennium Development goals. What is not clear is how the eradication of malaria changes incentives for family size. This presentation exploits a concise and successful malaria eradication campaign in Brazil in the 1950s to examine how family size is affected by malaria. Considering both the mechanical mortality effect of malaria as well as the incentives imposed by living in a disease endemic environment, provides an uncertain and as yet unexplored question about the complete impact of malaria on family size. The exogenous nature of the campaign, coming from a World Health Organisation directive, creates the potential to examine a natural experiment due to variation in malarial intensity at a state level within Brazil prior to the campaign. The performance of a difference-in-difference analysis suggests that for states where malaria was endemic pre eradication, family size was constrained. Consequently the national decline in family size over the time period was less pronounced in malarious states following the removal of malaria as a constraint to family size. This implies that a malarial environment suppresses family size and this suggests need for complementary social policy to any eradication campaign that addresses the impact of increased family sizes.

Bovine tuberculosis is a bacterial disease that can spread between many different animals ranging from humans, badgers, as well as livestock. The main concern for Britain is its effect on cattle, with a predicted cost of £1 billion over the next decade to control it. Currently the badgers need to be captured to find out how many are infected. This is unreliable as often the same badger is caught multiple times, its costly, has a small sample size, and could be considered inhumane. I wanted to find a relationship between the number of badgers infected within a population and the amount of bacteria in their faeces. This would provide an alternative method for finding the scope of infection without any of the above issues.

A system of differential equations was solved that demonstrates a cyclic behaviour; initially a large increase in bacteria, which then decreases linearly as a function of the number of infected badgers. This matches the empirical data remarkably well. One of the key features of the theory is that this increase in bacteria is in part a spread of the disease as one would expect, but also to a significant degree a random fluctuation due to periodic bacterial shedding. This idea helps explain why the percentage of faeces infected is not a good predictor of the percentage of badger infected - previously a mystery in this research field.

A new mathematical model for the growth of the bacterial cells was also developed, which may have application in medicine.

Without a full appreciation of why violence occurs, it is impossible for policymakers to prevent it before it happens, or end it once it has begun. Without this causal understanding, policy efforts to reduce violence are flawed, leading to wasted money, resources and ongoing strife. This empirical paper examines the impact of racial income inequality on the homicide rate in the United States, using panel data from 2003 to 2013. Fixed effects estimation is used on STATA, with sources including the US Census Bureau, FBI and National Center for Health Statistics. The contribution of this paper is to change the measure of income inequality to a comparison of income at the top of the distribution, rather than at the mean. This captures the reference-dependent aspect of the utility of income, where individuals are less (more) happy to earn less (more) than those they compare themselves to. The ‘new consumerism’ since the 1990s consists of emulating the consumption patterns of high income groups, epitomized by the conspicuous consumption fêted in celebrity culture, justifying the new measure of income inequality. Drawing on theories of rational choice, political grievance and strain theory, the findings of this research show a positive impact of racial income inequality on homicide at the 1% significance level. The policy implications behove redoubled efforts to boost black representation in America’s highest-paying occupations.
The policy-making principle of austerity, pursued in Britain under the Conservative government since 2010, implies significant cuts in public welfare spending. As a result, private welfare providers such as charities are increasingly taking over the task of social support, playing a key role in ameliorating austerity - my project will analyse this change from public- to private welfare from a political-economic perspective.Firstly, I will examine austerity reforms with an impact on social welfare since 2010 on a national level. I then seek to find out through statistics and contact to policy-makers how the lives of the 'economically disadvantaged' in Coventry are affected by these national policies. Secondly, I will focus on the case study of Coventry Foodbank. I will analyse how and to what extent this charity, as a provider of the most fundamental support, can ameliorate the impact of reduced public welfare spending. I intend to gain insight to its role and activities through interviews with its management, its users and its supporters. As far as possible within my project period, I will connect my findings to Adam Smith's work on social sympathy as improving the socially fragmenting impact of free market exchanges.By merging a micro- and macro-level analysis, my project implements holistic methodology not only in a horizontal, or interdisciplinary, but also in a vertical dimension. It aims to contribute to the relevance of academic research for local policy-making by deepening the understanding of a current issue in Coventry through a holistic approach to Social Science.
From an Economic point of view, extrinsic rewards such as money manage to incentivise optimal behaviour and are often used as motivation devices. Many studies in Psychology disagree, pointing out that different underlying motivation can be stimulated or crowded out by specific incentives. The following study examines the motivation between types of jobs and how that should change the incentive structure at the workplace. This paper has paid close attention to the difference between two groups of students, their underlying motivation and preference for autonomy with respect to a wage increase. The data was collected via a survey and after applying t-tests, matching and ordered probit a statistically significant difference between the motivations of the two samples was found. There was no difference in the preference for autonomy (an intrinsic reward), intuitively, because everybody would prefer to have more flexibility at the workplace. However, higher preference for autonomy was correlated with underlying intrinsic motivation and there is a suggested difference in the effect of this reward. Possible policy implications of these results can be found in industrial organization, human resource management and reward policies.

This report analyses the effect that tripotassium citrate (TPC) has on the hydration of Portland cement at different dosages. The research has been supported by Normet UK Ltd. Normet are interested in the chemical's unique properties which can retard and accelerate cement hydration at different dosages. This property could be highly beneficial for tunnelling applications which require strong retarders to prevent setting during lengthy transportation periods, and accelerators to promote rapid setting at the work point. Research on the chemical is limited so the purpose of the report is to explore the fundamental properties which the chemical exhibits. Experiments including compression strength testing, heat of hydration testing, and SEM imaging were completed to demonstrate the admixture's effects on the hydration of cement. Compression strength results at 7 days indicated that mortar mixes containing dosages of TPC between 0 and 1.5% retarded the cement hydration, whereas dosages of TPC between 3.5 and 5% accelerated the setting. The compression testing conclusions were reinforced by heat of hydration results which displayed increased setting times for dosage between 0 and 1.5% caused by a delay to the hydration of C3S, and decreased times for the dosages between 3.5 and 5% mix. Furthermore, SEM images taken across the hydration of a retarded cement paste showed a delay in C-S-H crystal formations signifying the delay of the C3S hydration.

From the obtained results, equations were derived to model dosage as a function of compression strengths and setting times. These equations are useful for industrial application.

Multicellular organisms are made up of many different cell types with various functions, therefore understanding the responses of specific cell types to environmental signals has wide reaching implications. Of particular interest to crop researchers are how all of the cells in a plant can coordinate responses as different as attacks from pathogens, to nodulation, a symbiosis between plant roots and ‘friendly bacteria’ that supply nitrogen. To increase our understanding of these areas, this project worked to generate plants that had specific cell types marked with a fluorescent protein known as GFP. These cells were then separated using a method called Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS). Through this process, specific cell types can be extracted from larger tissues for analysis. This is useful because the specificity of this data enables us to more precisely understand plant-environment responses at the cellular level. This understanding will allow us to produce new crop varieties, which might be resistant to virulent diseases, or have new abilities such as being able to produce their own fertiliser through making use of friendly microbes. The tools and methods here produced will move us further towards these goals, increasing scientific understanding in the field, and acting to strengthen global food security

This paper proposes a novel specification to examine the effects of breaks – defined as “a period of at least 1 year without an appearance (win or loss) on tour” – on the performance of male and female tennis athletes across 1968-2015. Empirical analysis using Pooled OLS and Random Effects models revealed the significance of breaks on win %; and these were largely robust to Tobit estimation as well. Moreover, it was shown that these break effects were increasing in both the number and years of breaks, impacting the ‘experience’ effects of tournament wins, finals matches and ranking. Data and model issues cast into doubt the validity of conclusions, but this paper remains an important first step in the study of breaks on performance.

The paper is structured as follows: Section 1 introduces the topic and provides context behind the study of breaks on performance within the framework of Sports Economics; Section 2 presents the theoretical background, literature review and research goals of this paper; Section 3 derives the model and methodology; Section 4 outlines results and diagnostic tests and Section 5 concludes.