Student Academic Conference Features More Than a Hundred Unique Presentations

Minnesota State University Moorhead’s Andrew B. Conteh Student Academic Conference (SAC) provides student researchers with an opportunity to present their work to faculty, administration, peers, and the community in a formal academic setting. There are more than 170 presentations this year, from nearly every facet of MSUM’s diverse list of majors. From history to computer science based video games, and health to inclusivity, here are four unique presentations at the 2024 Student Academic Conference.

The Plague of Athens presented by Cameron Drylie

This study uses historical analysis, biology, and linguistics to find the reason why one of humanity’s greatest and most influential civilizations fell. The ancient war between Athens and Sparta changed when a mysterious, deadly plague spread through the Athenians, even causing Spartans to flee. This plague helped the Spartans eventually dominate the Athenians and win the war.

Cameron, after analyzing the works of Athenian general Thucydides, DNA analysis, and pathology, has used his research alongside theories to identify the plague that turned the tide of the war, and changed the course of history.

“This war was a turning point for world history, and while the plague can be blamed for Athens losing, the plague also gave Hippocrates a platform to show his medical theories, and his model of medicine which has been seen as fact for almost 2000 years,” Cameron said.

Exploring the Association Between Caffeine and Tinnitus presented by Jenna Johnsrud and Kylie Lambrecht

“Caffeine is a lot like other substances: awesome short-term, but harmful long-term,” Kylie said.

Tinnitus is a common condition characterized by ringing, buzzing, or humming in one or both ears, and can have many causes, including irregular blood flow within the body. Caffeine has been proven to affect blood flow in adverse ways, which lead Jenna and Kylie to research and determine through data if long-term caffeine consumption could cause Tinnitus and have an effect on one’s health.

Adaptive Sports: A Game Inclusive for All presented by Maci Walz, Mara Schommer, and Makenzie Halvorson (Seen in the photo above)

Adaptive sports are modified competitive activities designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities. These activities promote inclusivity and provide opportunities for enhancing physical and emotional well-being.

“The community's size is amazing: encompassing coaches, athletes, and organizations working together to ensure that everyone belongs in sports,” Maci said.

Maci, Mara, and Makenzie want to use their presentation to educate others on what adaptive sports are and how they positively impact all of the lives that participate, through research and personal stories.

“My younger brother has cerebral palsy, and he competes in adaptive sports… there are opportunities out there,” Mara said.

“Everyone deserves to be a part of a team in sports and compete at their level,” Makenzie said.

Implementing procedural level generation and population methodologies within Godot for use with 3D “dungeon crawler” video games presented by Robin Edens

“I want people to know that game development has a lot of different facets… it’s more accessible and easier to learn than any other point in history,” Robin said.

In this presentation, Robin will be educating people on the history and methodology of procedural generation in video games. Robin has also applied the research, methodologies, and skills to create a procedurally generated “dungeon crawler” video game to emulate the style of other popular video games, like Bloodborne. This will be presented alongside the research.

Andrew B. Conteh Student Academic Conference

MSUM’s Andrew B. Conteh Student Academic Conference (SAC) provides student researchers with an opportunity to present their work to faculty, administration, peers and the community in a formal academic setting.

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