The Jefferson Fellows Symposium takes place during the Jefferson Fellows Selection Weekend in February at the Foundation's Fellows Center. It is a chance for Jefferson Fellow candidates and members of the University community to attend research presentations delivered by second-year Fellows and it allows second-year Jefferson Fellows the unique opportunity of gaining experience in preparing and delivering academic talks early in their careers.

14th Annual Jefferson Fellows Symposium


Friday, February 26, 2016

Schedule

Click on a Fellow's name to review their abstract.

1:00-1:35 pm

Alicia Nobles – School of Engineering and Applied Science

Can Machine Learning Identify Communication Patterns Indicative of Heightened Suicide Risk?

Christopher Leonard– Department of Mathematics

Two Combinational Algorithms Concerning Young Tableaux

Andrea Pauw – Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese

The History of a History: Moriscos in Nineteenth-Century Spain

Robin Costello – Department of Biology

The Evolutionary Importance of Early-Life Conditions

Lily van Diepen – Department of History

The Treaty Between Rome and Lycia of 46 B.C.: The Law of Caesar

Rachel Devorah Trapp – Department of Music

Recognition in Overmorrow: No Attack in Progress (2015)

 

1:45 – 2:20 pm

Jeffrey Braun – School of Engineering and Applied Science

Heating Up and Moving Down: Understanding the Nature of Heat at the Nanoscale

Eloísa Grifo – Department of Mathematics

Put a Ring (Structure) On It

Mark Dombrovskiy – Department of Biology

Emergent Synchronized Behavior in Drosophila: A Tool to Understand Processes of Memory Formation and Learning

Erick Romig – Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese

Amor Hereos and What it Means in El Abencerraje

Rebecca Frank – Department of Classics

Ghostly Statues: The Barren Statue Bases in the Forum of Pompeii

 

2:30 – 3:05 pm

James Darcy – Department of Philosophy

Proportionality and Self-Refutation in Plato's Theaetetus

Rowan Johnson – Department of Environmental Science

Nutrient Flux in a Changing Climate: The effect of Sea-Level Rise On Nitrate Removal In Sediments of a Low-Relief Coastal Stream

Michael Nilon – Department of Religious Studies

The Ethics of Heating and Harming in Cuban Brujeria

Kevin Angstadt – School of Engineering and Applied Science

Self-Healing Autonomous Vehicles: Increasing System Resiliency with Automated Program Repair

Eli Stine – Department of Music

A Discussion of Sound and Image

Reedy Swanson – School of Law

Decentering or Decentralizing? Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in Federal Systems

Abstracts

Alicia Nobles
Olive B. and Franklin C. Mac Krell Fellow
School of Engineering and Applied Science
Can Machine Learning Identify Communication Patterns Indicative of Heightened Suicide Risk?
1:00 - 1:35 pm, Room C101
Suicide is a serious and ongoing public health issue. However, the primary method for assessing acute suicide risk relies on a patient’s self-report and clinicians’ judgments, which has been shown to be inaccurate. In this talk, I will discuss a collaborative study to collect personal communication data (emails, texts, and social media) directly from individuals with a past suicide attempt and apply text analytic techniques to identify features indicative of heightened suicide risk.

Christopher Leonard
Trey Beck Fellow
Department of Mathematics
Two Combinatorial Algorithms Concerning Young Tableaux
1:00 - 1:35 pm, Room C102

In 1900, Alfred Young introduced Young Tableaux, arrangements of boxes containing numbers, as a tool to understand certain important collections of symmetries. His work was augmented by the creation of two combinatorial algorithms later in the 20th century. Although they have a simple, visual definition involving the bumping and sliding of boxes, these algorithms exhibit surprising and remarkable properties and have since been studied for their own sake. This talk will give a pictorial definition of the algorithms, describe some of their striking properties, and indicate their wider significance.

Andrea Pauw
James H. and Elizabeth W. Wright Fellow
Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
The History of History: Moriscos in Nineteenth-Century Spain
1:00 - 1:35 pm, Room C201

After a century of increased intolerance, forcible conversions, and violent uprisings, in 1609 Philip III issued a decree to expel all Muslims and their descendants from Spain. Known as moriscos, many of these recently converted Christians maintained a distinct Muslim identity despite pressures to assimilate. Spain’s diverse population of crypto-Muslims resisted cultural hegemony by secretly practicing Islam and diffusing controversial ideologies in aljamiado texts—works written in Spanish using the Arabic alphabet. The history of the moriscos and their literature is an essential—and often distorted—reality of Spain’s past and present. In particular, motivated nineteenth-century intellectuals, artists, and politicians reframed the catastrophe in response to pervasive contemporary anxieties. An examination of various nineteenth-century written and pictorial renditions of the expulsion will illuminate not only the events of 1609, but will also invite critical reflection on the hazards of historiography and religious intolerance.

Robin Costello
Laura S. Bailey Fellow
Department of Biology
The Evolutionary Importance of Early-Life Conditions
1:00 - 1:35 pm, Hoteling Space

In sexual species, only genes of individuals that successfully mate experience future evolutionary change. The reproductive success of an individual depends on 1) the traits expressed and 2) the environment experienced by that individual. While evolutionary research aims to understand the factors that underlie reproductively advantageous traits and environments, studies typically only analyze the adult life stage. My research, however, explores how the juvenile life stage affects both adult traits and environments. In this talk, I will discuss empirical tests proposed in a wild population of beetles to explore the reproductive and evolutionary consequences of early-life conditions.

Lily van Diepen
Eric P. and Elizabeth R. Johnson Family Fellow
Department of History
The Treaty Between Rom and Lycia of 46 B.C.: The Law of Caesar
1:00 - 1:35 pm, Foundation Hall

In 46 B.C., during the third dictatorship of Julius Caesar, a treaty was ratified between Rome and Lycia, a region in southwestern Asia Minor. The treaty was inscribed on a bronze plaque, which describes its terms and the oath that was sworn in the Roman comitium to confirm the alliance, in accordance with the law of Caesar. This bronze plaque, on which the treaty has been preserved, is the longest surviving inscribed Roman treaty. In this paper I will examine the text and language of the treaty itself, with particular focus on its unique clauses, as well as the wider tradition of Roman treaty-making with the Greek East in the second and first centuries B.C., and I will attempt to determine the extent to which this treaty adheres to the convention form, style, and language of Roman foedera (‘treaties’). I will then discuss Julius Caesar’s role in the process of creating this treaty, from the initial proposal of an alliance between Rome and the Lycian koinon through to the drafting of the document, and, finally, to its confirmation by the Senate and ratification. This paper will attempt to determine the nature of Caesar’s power and authority in the political uncertainty following Caesar’s victory of Pompey, and will demonstrate how this treaty may provide a glimpse of the first stirrings of what was eventually realized under Augustus, namely, a world-dominating empire consolidated under one man.

Rachel Devorah Trapp
Edgar Shannon Fellow
Department of Music
Recognition in Overmorrow: No Attack In Progress (2015)
1:00 - 1:35 pm, Reading Room

Overmorrow: No Attack In Progress (2015) for percussion duo and video sonifies the 257 fatal shootings incidents of civilians by American on-duty police officers in 2015 where The Washington Post reported no attack was in progress or the threat level was undetermined at the time of the shooting. My talk will explore the ethics and aesthetics of my compositional decisions in creating the relational work of sound art and will attempt to analyze those decisions along with the work through two critical frameworks.

Jeffrey Braun
Peter and Crisler Quick Fellow
School of Engineering and Applied Science
Heating Up and Moving Down: Understanding the Nature of Heat at the Nanoscale
1:45 - 2:20 pm, Room C101

In the rapidly evolving world of nanotechnology, where devices continue to become smaller and more powerful, the buildup of heat can severely limit performance and prevent innovation in new devices. The key to optimizing design for such devices is a fundamental understanding of size effects on thermal transport. My research focuses developing methods to experimentally measure thermal properties of materials at nanometer scales in order to understand how device size limits heat dissipation. Moreover, the goal of this research is to translate this physical understanding into a set of design parameters to allow the engineering of novel devices to meet specific needs. This presentation will explore the nature of thermal transport at the nanometer scale and discuss techniques to measure physical properties of materials at this scale.

Eloísa Grifo
William and Carolyn Polk Fellow
Department of Mathematics
Put a Ring (Structure) On It
1:45 - 2:20 pm, Room C102

There is a field in Mathematics called Commutative Algebra. Commutative algebraists like me study a type of objects called rings, their ideals, and modules over those rings. A ring is an abstract formulation that models familiar creatures like the integer numbers but that also includes some other very strange monsters. Understanding these is crucial to understanding certain geometric constructions like curves and surfaces, and all their singularities.

Mark Dombrovskiy
John A. Blackburn Fellow
Department of Biology
Emergent Synchronized Behavior in Drosophlia: A Tool to Understand Processes of Memory Formation and Learning
1:45 - 2:20 pm, Room C201

Many spectacular examples of collective synchronized behavior are known in the animal world. Although these behaviors have been observed and studied by naturalists for centuries, no experimental model that fully describes the emergence of synchronicity has been proposed yet, and particular neural and molecular mechanisms underlying collective behavior still remain unknown. To address this question we suggested an experimental model featuring Drosophila larvae dynamic aggregations which allowed not only to manipulate the behavior of an individual in relation to overall group stability, but also took advantage of accessing genes and neural circuits important for emergent social behavior. This allowed us to examine the mechanisms responsible for larval synchrony and identify a molecular and anatomical basis underlying for emergence of collective behavior. Current presentation summarizes the key points of our work suggesting that emergent synchronized animal behavior largely relies on processes of memory formation and learning.

Erick Romig
Terrance D. Daniels Family Fellow
Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Amor Hereos and What It Means In El Albencerraje
1:45 - 2:20 pm, Foundation Hall

The canonical novella El Abencerraje y la hermosa Jarifa (1565) centers on the friendship between a Christian hero of the Reconquest, Rodrigo de Narváez, and his Moorish captive, Abindarráez. While the latter is on his way to see his lady (Jarifa), Rodrigo captures him, only to free him moments later so he can reunite with his lover. Does Rodrigo free him because he is sympathetic to the Moor, or does he have an ulterior motive? Most critics address this question by focusing on the depiction of the Moorish characters in light of the 16th-century sociopolitical reality. This presentation, however, explores these concerns by anchoring the novella in its contemporary medical discourse of amor hereos (love sickness). Rather than detracting from the theme of cultural conflict, the medical discourse in the novella highlights the ethical and ideological concerns that are at stake. Indeed, what is of greater concern is not Rodrigo's control over his captive, but rather his control over himself.

Rebecca Frank
Harrison Family Foundation Fellow
Department of Classics
Ghostly Statues: The Barren Statue Bases in the Forum of Pompeii
1:45 - 2:20 pm, Reading Room

The Forum in Pompeii contains nearly seventy statue bases and niches, but only seven retain their dedicatory inscriptions and no statues have survived. Largely ignored by modern scholars, these barren and nameless bases hint at the Forum’s former splendor and offer a medium through which to analyze the shifting social and political hierarchies in Pompeii from the late Republican era up to the eruption of Vesuvius, if we are able to identify their former occupants. In this talk, I will analyze the clusters of bases in the northwest corner and at the southern end of the Forum, proposing an internal chronology for the erection of the statues as well as demonstrating the impact of this chronology on our understanding of the reconstruction and reshaping of the Forum between the devastating earthquake of 62 CE and the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE.

James Darcy
John S. Lillard Fellow
Department of Philosophy
Proportionality and Self-Refutation in Plato's Theaetetus
2:30 - 3:05 pm, Room C101

The self-refutation argument (170a-171d) presented in the Theaetetus is one of Plato’s most important and widely discussed arguments. In particular, much ink has been spilled on the part of the argument that Plato dubs ‘the exquisite feature’ (171a-171d). In this paper I argue for an extensive reinterpretation of the self-refutation argument. First, I will show that the ‘exquisite feature’ cannot fully account for the conclusion that Plato takes the self-refutation argument to show. Instead, I argue, an earlier passage in the argument, 171a2-6, is meant to account for this conclusion. In this passage Plato makes a striking claim about the proportional relationship between truth and belief that is often overlooked. Understanding this claim, I argue, is essential for understanding the conclusion of the self-refutation argument. Second, I will show that traditional interpretations of the self-refutation argument, which focus on the ‘exquisite feature’, cannot offer an adequate interpretation of the central passage at 171a2-6. Since these interpretations are inadequate a wider rereading of the argument is needed. I offer a brief sketch as to how this rereading should proceed.

Rowan Johnson
Paul T. Jones Fellow
Department of Environmental Science
Nutrient Flux in a Changing Climate: The effect of sea-level rise on nitrate removal in sediments of a low-relief coastal stream
2:30 - 3:05 pm, Room C102

While nearly all ecosystems on our planet are impacted by human activities, the threat facing coastal ecosystems are twofold: anthropogenic nutrient pollution, and climate change. The unconfined aquifer on Virginia’s Eastern Shore is contaminated by high concentrations of nitrate (20-30 mg NO3--N L-1), a nutrient that is necessary for plant growth, but at excessive concentrations, it can also cause eutrophication (or nutrient pollution) in coastal bays and lagoons. In the Virginia Coastal Reserve, the coastal lagoons seem to be protected from eutrophication by denitrifying bacteria, organisms that live in streambed sediments and that convert nitrate into inert nitrogen gas which is released back into the atmosphere before it can pollute the downstream ecosystems. Unfortunately, these organisms also produce nitrous oxide (N2O), a greenhouse gas about 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2). Therefore, any increase in denitrification has the potential to decrease the severity of eutrophication, but increase the severity of global climate change. This preliminary research explores the possibility that rising sea levels could, in fact, lead to increases in denitrification in the sediments of the small coastal streams that drain agricultural areas.

Michael Nilon
Gregory L. and Nancy H. Curl Fellow
Department of Religious Studies
The Ethics of Healing and Harming in Cuban Brujeria
2:30 - 3:05 pm, Room C201

Recent literature in the anthropology of ethics recommends approaching the evaluations, actions, and interactive dimensions of human behavior from the perspective of conversation partners in the field. Exploring diverse forms of behavior, assessments of value, and models of social structure has always been a relative strength of anthropologists from E. E. Evans-Pritchard to Michael Lambek, who thickly describe local worlds in their ethnographic research. In explicit recognition of the enmeshment of human subjects in social networks, recent theoretical insights posit that the ethical is an interactive dimension of semiotic exchanges between humans dialogically reflecting and acting on criteria aimed to achieve virtue and express value. Interactive practices afford the potential for taking action to achieve esteemed goals—healing being foremost among many others—in the interaction between multiple stakeholders. In Cuba, current practices to heal clients and harm their adversaries grow out of a social history of violence and predation beginning with the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and remembered in the present moment and genres of African-inspired healing. This presentation will explore how relatively empowered human actors such as priests (paleros and santos) interact with nonhuman actors—spirits, the dead, mystical power—in the African-inspired religions of Palo Monte and Regla de Ocha to transform the fates of clients in need of desperate interventions to escape misfortune in the context of contemporary Cuba.

Kevin Angstadt
Olive B. and Franklin C. Mac Krell Fellow
School of Engineering and Applied Science
Self-Healing Autonomous Vehicles: Increasing System Resiliency with Automated Program Repair
2:30 - 3:05 pm, Hoteling Space

Autonomous vehicles, such as quadcopters and rovers, perform critical tasks for government agencies and emergency services. Missions often take place in locations where communication with human operators is infrequent or delayed, such as distant planets, war zones, and remote crash sites. Consequently, humans may not be able to take manual control to recover the vehicle if the software begins to malfunction. How can an autonomous vehicle fend for itself when such a problem occurs? This talk will discuss our research group's experience with autonomous vehicles and explore how automated program repair techniques can be used to increase system resiliency in the face of software defects.

Eli Stine
Edgar Shannon Fellow
Department of Music
A Discussion of Sound and Image
2:30 - 3:05 pm, Foundation Hall

Frequently in the context of film, animation, music video, and dance image and sound are discussed with a privilege for image, and rightly so, as it is our most dominant sense. However, one can create intriguing and unique combinations of image and sound by setting image and sound on an equal footing or even privileging sound over image. In my work I experiment with relationships between image and sound as composer, video artist, animator, and film sound designer. In this multimedia presentation I will discuss some of the many relationships between sound and image and show examples of films I have designed sound for, video art I have animated, and dance pieces I have composed music for.

Reedy Swanson
Schenck Fellow
School of Law
Decentering or Decentralizing? Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in Federal Systems
2:30 - 3:05 pm, Reading Room

Myanmar has recently joined a host of other countries to adopt a raft of economic, social, and cultural (ESC) rights in its Constitution following its transition from military dictatorship. But realities on the ground demonstrate that these rights are largely aspirational for now. Drawing on field research in Myanmar and a critical survey of literature on rights enforcement, I argue that part of the problem may be giving the central government primary control, rather than leaving the issue up to the states and regions. This project expands on recent constitutional design thinking by recognizing a potential role for federalism in ESC rights.

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Fellowship

The Jefferson Fellowship is the premier graduate fellowship offered at the University of Virginia. Based solely on merit, the Fellowship seeks to attract Ph.D. and M.B.A. candidates.

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The Jefferson Scholarship is the premier undergraduate scholarship at the University of Virginia. Scholars are selected through a rigorous selection process that is based on exceptional performance in the areas of leadership, scholarship and citizenship.

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Legacy

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation, like its namesake, knows that virtue and talent come from all walks of life. Indeed it is this knowledge that drives the Foundation to search the world over for its recipients.

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