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«Strengthening the Nation through Diversity, Innovation & Leadership in STEM San Antonio,Texas · October 3-6, 2013 Get Connected! Connect with the ...»

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1 Commercial electric-powered wheelchairs lack stability when driving on slippery and non-slippery surfaces, and they lack features to maintain control in adverse conditions. The goal of this project was to implement a low level control algorithm that prevents electric-powered wheelchairs from slipping. The key idea for the algorithm was to indirectly reduce torque applied to the wheels by reducing desired acceleration when slip occurs. It was believed that less slip would occur when the wheelchair used the slip reduction algorithm than when it used a normal electricpowered wheelchair control algorithm. The control algorithm was initially developed in simulation for different slippery coefficients and user’s mass; this was followed by its implementation into the wheelchair’s controller. Then, the algorithm was validated by running the wheelchair on a flat surface, with one wheel on a rough surface, and the other wheel on a slippery surface. In this test, the wheelchair attempted to go forward using normal control on one trial, and slip reduction control on another trial. Future experimentation involves implementation of the control algorithm for change in the center of mass and disturbance in free caster wheels. The over-riding goal of this project is to prevent slippage and provide electric-powered wheelchair users increased mobility while maintaining safety.



Sylmarie Davila-Montero, Domingo Rodriguez.

University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Mayagüez, PR.

This ongoing research deals with the problem of designing a hearing aid system using digital signal processing techniques in order to address important issues such as providing algorithmic solutions with ease of programmability and reduced computational complexity. In particular, my research participation in this area centers on the design of signal processing algorithms to treat acoustic signals in order to reduce unwanted noise interference, enhance spectral characteristics, and improve precision of modeled electro-acoustic parameters. This work presents preliminary results in the area of digital filter implementations using the Open Media Application Platform (OMAP) developed by Texas Instruments. For algorithm implementation, we are using the OMAP-L138 C6-Integra DSP+ARM processing unit. The types of filters being implemented are causal finite impulse response (FIR) filters. These filters were selected due to the fact that they are always stable and can be implemented indirectly using fast Fourier transform (FFT) algorithms. Special attention is being given to the analysis, design, and implementation of FFT algorithms used in hearing aid signal filtering techniques. The language of Kronecker Signal Algebra (KSA) is being

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used as a mathematical language to formulate the FFT algorithms and to assist in the overall signal processing algorithm development effort.



Joshua Hicks, Natalia Villanueva-Rosales.

University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX.

According to the United States Federal Government web site USASpending.gov, in fiscal year 2013 there are $216.8 billion dollars budgeted across its various agencies for research grants, representing not only a great resource for locating research funding, but also a challenge: how to match up grants with qualified potential applicants. In this project, we use modern Semantic Web technologies to help search for appropriate grants. The federal government’s current center of aggregation for grant data is the website grants.gov’s RDF Site Summary (RSS) feeds. Within these RSS feeds, information is encoded and then exchanged across platforms using the Semantic Web languages Resource Description Framework (RDF) and the eXtensible Markup Language (XML). A custom-made parser built with Java parses the feed and creates an instance of our in-house developed ontology “Grants_by_Category” (GGC), available at http://cybershare.utep.edu/ontology/Grants_by_category.owl. An ontology is a formal description of concepts and their relationships in a domain that allows the use of a “reasoner” to infer implicit knowledge. Using GGC along with 2 other ontologies named “Expertise”, containing all areas of expertise, and “Person”, containing all potential applicants, a reasoner can then be used to match grants with potential applicants in UTEP based upon their areas of expertise. This data mashup aims to automate the process of keyword searching through grant information released by funding agencies, which is currently done manually. This application is being integrated with UTEP’s Expertise System which aims to provide individuals and organizations easy access to innovation, knowledge, technologies, and know-how.



Juan Torres, Nayda Santiago.

University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Mayagüez, PR.

The antigen-antiserum relationship detection is one of the most important aspects in immunology. The Ouchterlony double immunodiffusion technique is extensively used in the field to study this relationship. The problem with this method is that a few days are required to see and analyze the results until precipitates are formed between wells that have been filled with proteins serving as antigens and antiserums. The purpose of our project is to develop a simulator to aid in obtaining results from the Ouchterlony technique without having to wait days until the precipitates form. There is one simulator that also tackles this problem; however, it not always available for use. In this simulator, a select number of proteins working as an antigen or an antiserum may be selected. When running, the simulator creates the precipitates if the proteins are fully detected in the form of a straight line (both proteins have the same components) or partially detected (the proteins have at least 1 similar component). The simulator allows the user to put one or two proteins in the same well. The simulator runs as a Java applet on a local server. The list of antiserum and antigens will be called from a database. For future work we are extending the list of proteins in the database and adding more functionality to the simulator such as adding factors to the environment of the simulator (temperature, humidity, etc.).



Wilmarie Cosme Blanco, Juan Valera.

University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Mayagüez, PR.

This work presents the formulation of a time-frequency acoustic signal analysis framework for the modeling of speech production systems in order to contribute to the study of the clinical assessment of vocal pathologies. The work concentrates on the mathematical modeling of the diverse-coupled physiological subsystems that contribute to the generation of human speech, from lungs, larynx, and pharynx, to nose and mouth. Special attention is given in this work to the time-frequency modeling of the vocal tract which includes a linear, randomly time varying subsystem in its overall transfer function. Our work deals with the use of time-frequency signal analysis tools for the modeling of speech production systems. Time-frequency tools are gaining much attention in the study of speech production systems due to enhanced computational techniques, such as parallel computing, developed to implement of these types of tools. Our particular work centers on the use of novel cyclic time-frequency representations as time-frequency


signal analysis tools and the efficient parallel implementation of these tools for processing very large-scale voice data sets. The MATLAB software package is being utilized as a starting algorithm development environment for this proposed time-frequency computational framework. Parallel implementation techniques are being studied using the Computer Science pMatlab parallel programming environment.




Adrian Ildefonso-Rosa, Gladys Ducoudray, Jose Gonzalez, Julio Garcia, Yair Cabrera, Hector Fonseca.

University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Mayagüez, PR.

Radiation adversely affects MOSFETS by ionizing its isolating material and increasing the conducting carrier concentration underneath the gate. In n-channel devices, this significantly reduces their threshold voltage, shorting out the transistor channel. Annular MOSFETs have been shown to be tolerant to the effects of total ionizing dose, which is the accumulated dosage of radiation across time. However, these devices have the disadvantage that the width of the channel cannot be easily determined and varies with the length drawn. This research focuses on obtaining an automatized industry rated model by measuring and comparing experimental data of monolithic annular and standard geometry MOSFETs and extracting the parameters required for said model. The final product is an automated parameter extractor that has the potential to create a BSIM3 model from a dataset of predetermined test benches. Currently, our work has focused on extracting the threshold voltage, body effect coefficient, and channel length modulation parameter. Experimental data for these parameters are extracted from characteristic curves of drain current vs. gate voltage and drain current vs. drain voltage. Test benches for these measurements have been designed using LabView along with Keithley sources and meters. Both annular and standard geometry transistors were fabricated through MOSIS® using 0.5 micrometer technology. They had a fixed length of twice the minimum size, and the width was varied. Their threshold voltage, body effect coefficient, and channel length modulation parameter were successfully extracted with results within the acceptable limits for the current technology node.




Andrew Hansen, Carol Redfield.

St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX.

Iterated function systems (IFSs) are within a diverse family of fractal and chaotic systems, among the most commonly observed in nature. Readily recognizable examples of such systems include plant limb and crystal growth, animal patterning, river/liquid flow paths, and neuronal and capillary tissues. The basis for IFSs is that of scalable recursive affine transformations, in which spatial patterns are repeated while changes in length, area, rotation, and/or skewing remain proportional or scalably factorable throughout iterations. As a group, fractals are difficult to reduce by any single specific method; theoretically an infinite number of fractal forms and variants exist. Thus we have reduced our scope to the aforementioned IFSs in attempt to circumvent this issue. This project involves the use of C programming language enmeshed with CLIPS, a language developed by NASA for use in the development of expert and AI systems. Our ongoing approach utilizes image recognition/manipulation, artificial neural networks (ANNs), and graphical analysis to extract IFSs from images and translate them into mathematical/algorithmic representations of fractal structure. From such formulae, fractals can then be replotted as images and compared to their originals, using ANNs to correct the fractal translation algorithm until they are within relatively low margins of error.



Nelson Reyes Ciena, Nayda Santiago, Anthony Llanos Velazquez.

University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Mayagüez, PR.

The focus of this project is to develop a software-as-a-service (SaaS) time scheduling system based on cloud technologies that help students manage their time efficiently. This system takes into account time management studies to intuitively generate schedules that are easy to follow, and offers the capabilities to make changes to the current arrangement. In the scheduling process, our scheduling algorithm takes into consideration user preferences such as productivity, eating, and sleeping preferred times. The structure of the application consists of a web-based user interface where users log in, add events, and customize their preferences and submit them to have their


managed scheduler generated for them. These schedules are stored on a database and can be exported as an iCalendar file (.ics), a protocol compatible to almost all calendar desktop and web applications or directly to previously existing calendar applications such as Google Calendar. Events are divided into 2 main categories: static and dynamic events. Static events consist of elements such as classes and meetings that are already scheduled. Dynamic events are those events that need to be generated on the scheduling process such as study or project work time.

The scheduling process occurs on the server-side Java implementation where events go through an algorithm based on a combination of the Pareto and the Eisenhower Method time management techniques. In addition, the user can choose to have the Pomodoro Technique applied to his or her schedule.



Eric Santos, Albert Maldonado, Jose Ortiz.

University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, San Juan, PR.

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