Developing Descriptive and Predictive Causal Models to Study the Impacts of Highway Construction on Ambient Air Quality in the Front Range

Date: 10/1/2020
Principal Researchers: Farnoush Banaei-Kashani

Unit: Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Project Abstract:
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), building on a collaboration with Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE), is initiating a multi-year Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funded project to document and understand impacts of typical highway construction activities on air quality in the Front Range. As part of this project the team is deploying a variety of environmental monitoring sensors along the I-270 corridor, collecting multimodal environmental data including PM2.5, PM10, NOx, and total tVOC (Total Volatile Organic Compounds), to name a few. The existing collaboration has similar suites of sensors along the central I-70 corridor. With our proposed project, in partnership with the aforementioned team we will (1) obtain air quality data from the location targeted by the FHWA sponsored project, (2) augment and fuse the air quality data with publicly available construction, traffic, and weather datasets, and finally, (3) use the fused data to develop descriptive and predictive causal models that can quantify the impact of highway construction projects on air quality.

View project updates from the 2021 Fall Research Showcase [PDF]

Understanding How EdD Students View Educational Research

Date: 9/28/2020
Student Researcher:Dara Marin Prais

In this study, four types of qualitative data analysis methods were used to explore EdD student views of educational research. The findings indicated that although EdD students were able to identify the attributes of research, and understand the importance of research within their own educational practices, they lacked the necessary knowledge of research methodology. Recommendations for EdD research course designs were identified based on the research findings.

More Information: Video

Rasch Analysis of the COI Questionnaire

Date: 9/28/2020
Student Researcher:Janice Thorpe

This presentation focused on the principal questionnaire used to examine online learning known as the Community of Inquiry (CoI) questionnaire (Caskurlu, 2018; Diaz, Swan, Ice, & Kupczynski, 2010; Shea et al., 2014) using Rasch model analysis.  Ensuring high quality online education requires confirmation that the instrument used to examine online courses is composed of valid indicators of the construct being studied.  Examining the characteristics of students who enroll in online courses and how they engage with the CoI questionnaire, is critical to high quality online instruction.

The Importance of Cultural Validity

Date: 9/28/2020
Student Researcher:Crystal Luce

Multicultural and cultural validity are newer concepts that address the role of culture in the evaluation and assessment and thus not routine in analysis. The Structured Trauma-Related Experiences & Symptoms Screener (STRESS), is an instrument used to measure PTSD in children and though it is used to measure PTSD in children from multiple cultures, it was not validated with the various populations.  Thus, when a factorial ANOVA was completed on the STRESS, on refugee and immigrant children participating in the TRYP program, children from Asian countries scored significantly different than children from the rest of the world.  The presentation will explore the analysis and implications.

More Information: Video

Confirming LGBTW+ Minority Stress Theory with Structural Equation Modeling

Date: 8/16/2020
Student Researcher:Ngoc Phan

This study explored the relationship between the LGBTQ+ community’s personal characteristics to mental health stress based on the Meyer’s (2003) model of Minority Stress. College students, faculty, and staff were surveyed to examine if each of the construct and overall theoretical framework of the Meyer’s model was supported with structural equation modeling. Although the results did not support every data proxy representing a construct, findings did support the overall theoretical model.

More Information: Video

The Development and Validation of Teen Beliefs on Relationship Abuse Measure (TBRAM)

Date: 8/16/2020
Student Researcher:Chen Zong

The purpose of this study was to validate an original and innovative survey focused on both teens’ personal beliefs and how they perceived their peers’ beliefs regarding relationship abuse. Two confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) models were examined with 591 high school students’ responses: The first CFA model was created based on the exploratory factor analysis (EFA) results, and the second CFA model was created based on the theoretically hypothesized model of six types of relationship abuse.

More Information: Video

Analysis of the Intensive Parenting Questionnaire Using Rasch Modeling

Date: 8/16/2020
Student Researcher:Shani O’Brien

This video discusses the use of IRT and Rasch modeling to validate the Intensive Parenting Attitude Questionnaire (IPAQ). Exploratory factor analysis, dimensionality, misfitting items, scale use, item difficulty and Differential Item Functioning (DIF) are discussed.

More Information: Video

The Differentiated Impact of Distributed Leadership for Novice and Experienced Teachers

Date: 8/16/2020
Student Researcher:Miriam Howland Cummings

Using a statewide survey administered to K-12 teachers in public schools, two structural equation models were developed to examine distributed leadership and its relationship to novice and experienced teachers’ job satisfaction. The first model indicated a direct path between distributed leadership and job satisfaction; the second model introduced satisfaction with leadership as a mediator. Group comparison showed significant differences between novice and experienced teachers, suggesting that distributed leadership has a more direct effect on job satisfaction for experienced teachers, while for novice teachers, the effect of distributed leadership is mediated more strongly by satisfaction with leadership.

More Information: Video

Amache Japanese American Confinement Site Grant – Phase 2

Date: 7/18/2019
Principal Researchers:

Kat Vlahos (P.I.)
Mike Nulty
Kim Carpenter

Location: Amache Japanese American Confinement Site – Granada, CO

The Amache Japanese American Confinement Site or Granada War Relocation Center was located in southeast Colorado near the town of Granada. Amache was named after a Cheyenne chief’s daughter, wife of John Prowers.

The relocation center was in operation from August 27, 1942 and closed in 1945. The maximum population was 7,300. Most of the internees were from southern California including Los Angeles. The central section of Camp Amache was 640 acres (one square mile), made up primarily of 29 blocks of Army-style barracks. Each block had a mess hall, laundry, toilets, and a shower room. There were also shared administrative facilities such as a hospital, school, recreation buildings, a public library, dry goods store, barber shop, sewage plant, and post office. The internees were encouraged to make improvements to the center and responded by constructing three koi ponds and gardens, and planting trees between rows of barracks. A barbed wire fence surrounded the central section of the center with six watch towers along the perimeter. As in most of the relocation centers, armed military police manned the towers.

This site was documented using LiDAR, 3D laser scanning for the purpose of generating a highly accurate 3D model of the square mile site. In the first phase of this effort, buildings and structures were documented using the same technology. The scanning and post processing was completed by The Center of Preservation Research’s Mike Nulty and Student Research Assistant Kim Carpenter.

This effort was completed in partnership with the National Park Service’s Japanese American Confinement Site Grants Program and the University of Colorado Denver, College of Architecture and Planning.

Amache II 001

Amache II 002

Kim Carpenter with a Leica P50 Scan StationLeica P50 Scan Station

Precision-cut Lung Slices for Engineering ex vivo Models of Lung Cancer

Date: 7/1/2020

Precision-cut lung slices are very thin slices of lung tissue that can be kept alive in culture outside of the body and studied as a model for a variety of chronic pulmonary diseases. Unfortunately, slices alone are only viable for about a week, which is not enough time to study disease mechanisms and treatment. The Magin Lab has used a hydrogel embedding process to maintain precision-cut lung slice viability ex vivo for up to 21 days.

In collaboration with Dr. Meredith Tennis, we aim to use this technology to engineer ex vivo models of lung cancer to study treatment options.

Lab members working on this project:
Rachel Blomberg, PhD (Bioengineering Postdoctoral Fellow)

Meredith Tennis, PhD, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus
Lori Nield, PhD, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus
Jeff Jacot, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus
Steven Lammers, PhD, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus

Funding sources:

Hybrid-Hydrogels Comprising Clickable Decellularized Extracellular Matrix

Date: 7/1/2020

Fibrotic disorders, including pulmonary fibrosis, account for over one-third of mortalities worldwide. Strong evidence indicates that cell-matrix interactions drive the progression of fibrosis - the formation of scar tissue. Yet it is not clear whether changes in matrix composition or the subsequent alterations in mechanical properties of the tissues are the more potent driver of fibrosis, i.e., the best target for therapeutics.

The Magin Lab in collaboration with Dr. Darcy Wagner at Lund University has invented a method for incorporating proteins from decellularized lung tissues into dynamically tunable hybrid-hydrogels to recreate this remodeling and study it in vitro.

Lab members working on this project:
  • Rukshika Hewawasam, PhD (Bioengineering Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Pete Serbedzija, PhD (PRA)
  • Darcy Wagner, PhD, Lund University, Sweden
  • Daniel Weiss, MD, PhD, University of Vermont
  • Kurt Stenmark, MD, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus
  • Ginger Ferguson, PhD, University of Colorado, Boulder

Funding sources:

3D-Printed Models of Human Pulmonary Vascular Disease

Date: 7/1/2020

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a type of high blood pressure that affects your heart and lungs. It is a progressive and incurable vascular disease characterized by remodeling of and narrowing of the blood vessels. Female patients are four times more likely to be diagnosed with PAH than male patients.

Our lab has developed a new class of phototunable biomaterials and 3D bioprinting techniques that allow us to mimic PAH blood vessels in vitro. This advanced platform provides the foundation for models of increasing complexity that reveal novel mechanistic insights into sex-specific disease prevention and intervention.