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September 12, 2012: Student Presentations

Join us for presentations by three fellow students on the research they did this summer. Environmental science major Michael Smith and Biology major Cameron Moore will talk about a method for detecting Ephedra, using Linear Algebra. Math major Renford Alexander will tell us about measuring hurricane intensity using satellite data. Abstracts are below. 

We will also provide information about paid research internships at MEC, like the CUNY-wide LSAMP program, and the math department's summer research program.

 Wednesday, September 12, 2012
11:30am (talks will start at 11:45am)
Location: AB1-L00

Refreshments will be served

Bring a friend from math class

Analysis of Ephedrine by Headspace Gas Chromatography by Solid Phase Micro Extraction 
Cameron Moore and Michael Smith, Mentors: Dr. Wilbert Hope and Dr. Umesh Nagarkatte (Medgar Evers College)

Ephedra has been widely used by cultures for its medicinal benefits to combat breathing related disorders. In addition, the use of Ephedra has evolved to assist in helping obesity in the form of herbal dietary supplements. Despite it’s medicinal benefits, the FDA banned Ephedra for side effects leading to disorders within the circulatory system. Though banned from the U.S. Markets, a significant increase in reports pertaining to incidents showed that Ephedra still may be sold on the market. 
Inspired by these events, the Medgar Evers College research team was lead to investigate herbal dietary supplements sold in the NYC metro area suspected of containing Ephedra. As a result, we decided to employ Headspace Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GCMS) by Solid Phase Micro Extraction to design and test sound methods for the detection of Ephedra in herbal dietary supplements. Thus far, we have obtained preliminary results that we can use as a basic rubric for detecting Ephedra. The numerical data obtained by GCMS is analyzed by Principal Component Analysis of Linear Algebra.

Using CloudSat and MODIS for exploring a hurricane intensity estimation technique
Renford AlexanderMentor: Dr. Z. Johnny Luo, Co-Mentor: Jeyavinoth Jeyaratnam
Department of Climate and Atmospheric Science, CUNY City College of New York, NOAA CREST

Observing Tropical Cyclones using satellites is a common and successful endeavor. However, using satellites to accurately measure storm intensity is a more difficult and involved task. Our research aims to accurately measure hurricane intensity using only satellite obtained data. Modeling a hurricane as a balanced convectively neutral vortex, along with assumptions on the contributing factors to moist static energy, we explore techniques for estimating hurricane intensity. CloudSat cloud profiling radar was used for obtaining cloud-top height and cloud composition information, and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on-board Aqua was used to obtain cloud-top temperature. This technique requires eye or near eye overpass and simultaneous data collection and as a result we have a limited sample size. We compare our results to the best track database and analyze the validity of our estimations and thus the feasibility of our methods.