Research, reports or recitals: A look at senior projects

Kendal Schreier, Reporter

For freshmen at SDSU, senior year and final projects seem too far away to consider. However, seniors believe it’s never too early to start thinking about your final projects. 

Jason Hasse is a senior mathematics and data science major currently in a capstone class. Even though they are still in the early stages, they are learning how to tackle this big of a project together. 

Currently, Hasse is starting a research paper on Frame Theory about finding lines through the origin in Euclidean space so that the smallest interior angle is as large as possible. 

The paper is still in its early development. The challenging part so far has been picking the project. Hasse has always had a fascination with Linear Algebra and Frame theory. Luckily for Hasse, his professor and advisor, John Jasper, specializes in Frame Theory. 

Jasper has been a big part of the research. Although Hasse’s courses lay the foundation for understanding Frame Theory, the curriculum does not delve directly into the concept. Hasse has spent a lot of time discussing research with Jasper after class. 

A large amount of preparation and planning goes into the research, including working with Jasper and developing an understanding of what problems need to be solved. 

Hasse is planning to put in two to three hours of work a week to help alleviate stress, especially before the end of the year when finals are just around the corner. 

This is a good way to let students get their hands dirty and get into an area they are interested in. 

“This has been a good learning experience, especially since you can explore topics you wouldn’t find in your course work before,” said Hasse. “Not only is the research important, but researching methods you learn are beneficial for the careers ahead.” 

Natalie Swanson, an exercise science major, is writing a research paper on how exercise helps your body’s resistance to blood loss known as ischemic preconditioning. Not only is she doing an independent study, but she will also be taking an internship at Brookings Health Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation. 

Swanson has worked very closely with her professor Gary Van Guilder, who has a doctorate in Integrative Physiology. She began researching during her sophomore year, and by the summer of her junior year, Swanson was finishing her research, leaving only her research paper. 

After posting advertisements, talking to businesses and contacting people who have been involved with the Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences, Swanson got her six participants for a six-week program she designed.

For four weeks, Swanson met with her participants three times a week for 45 minutes. After several weeks of training and exercise, the participants’ ischemic condition had improved, proving Swanson’s hypothesis positive. 

Toward the beginning of her experiments, Van Guilder oversaw and helped construct the program and was present for all the ischemic and lactate threshold tests. 

For Swanson, her professor has been an important part of her research. 

“This research has been his baby,” Swanson said. “I trust him more than I trust Google for information.” 

Once Swanson is done with her paper, Van Guilder will continue with their studies, increase the experiment to more participants and publish the results.