Academics: Research Programs

Student Research

Charniece Huff
Soraya Mekerta, Ph.D.
Machine Guns vs. Spears Was Never A Fair Fight

Using Aime Césaire’s Discourse on Colonialism and the author’s impassionate criticism of the European colonization of Africa, this paper investigates further the motives behind colonialism, as well as its manifestations and impact. Huff's research also examines the implicit and explicit role of the United States in the continued exploitation of Africa, beginning with the Transatlantic Moment and transitioning to capitalism. She outlines how  these two world players enforced what Césairre characterized as an “indefensible” practice and used claims of Christianity, education, and peace efforts to mask and pursue their real intent.

Norrisa Williams
Jerry Wever, Ph.D., and  The Honorable Shirley Franklin
The Atlanta BeltLine: Impact on the Homeless Community

Williams' ethnographic research examines the Atlanta BeltLine and its impact on Atlanta’s homeless community. The methodology combines participant observation as well as qualitative interviews conducted with former Atlanta mayor, The Honorable Shirley Franklin. Williams identifies how homeless people who currently reside on or around the Atlanta BeltLine might be displaced by this up and coming project. She also suggests ways in which the Atlanta BeltLine can communicate with local governmental organizations, non-profit organizations and media to create the best outcome for these persons.

Alice Story
Other Researchers:
Akia Blackmon, Bathsheba Richards
Advisor: Aditi Pai, Ph.D

Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetles) are used as model organisms for sexual selection.  Red flour beetles mate with the same or with different partners. The male red flour beetles usually approach the female to initiate copulation. The average duration of copulation ranges from a few seconds to thirty minutes.  Male red flour beetles prefer to mate with virgin females compared to females that have had multiple partners.  We hypothesize that beetles benefit from exercising mate choice and predict that they will produce more offspring when they are able to choose their mates.  The mating pattern of each male will be analyzed by recording the beginning of copulation, duration of copulation, and the number of offspring produced by the female.  Understanding mating preference can illuminate the basic evolutionary concepts of sexual selection.

Chanel Johnson
Andrew Williams, Ph.D. (no longer a Spelman College faculty member)

Recycling reduces the use of non-renewable resources, landfills, and pollution.  In the future, personal service robots may assist humans in recycling material. In this project, we present a particle filter based localization method for a humanoid robot capable of identifying recyclable items in complex indoor environments using active sensing.  Using active sensing strategies allows a robot to collect information that is useful for its tasks and reduce uncertainty in determining its location relative to its environment.  We describe an approach for utilizing humanoid service robots that have the ability to locate recyclable items in the home.
Funding: National Science Foundation, HBCU-UP Grant HRD-0714553, Broadening Participation in Computing Grants CNS-1042454, SpelBots Grant CNS-0742252