Weighted Correlation Network Analysis Python Library

Along with recent shifts in the Sociology of Culture towards relational techniques is the use of the correlation network. Instead of examining the answers to survey responses themselves, these approaches look at relationships between questions and try to take meaning from structural properties of the whole. I also used some of these techniques for the GHTC 2016 conference [1] with Lee exploring USAID data from Guatemala. The results appear in our paper [1], but the true inspiration comes from the work on statistical methods for gene co-expression [2]. One particularly exciting work in sociology [3] also tries to explain the structure of political beliefs using these networks.

I plan to do further work using these techniques, so I created a python library for anyone interested.

WCNA Python Library GitHub

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IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference 2016

Lee Voth-Gaeddert and I have been working on methods to explore and analyze health data to tackle stunting in Guatemala. Our technical paper was titled “Improving Health Information Systems in Guatemala Using Weighted Correlation Network Analysis”. This paper is an early-stage effort to look at weighted correlation network analysis as a potential tool.

Download my presentation or view the transcribed version below.

slide1

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A System for Change: USAID Critical Process Improvements

In summer of 2015 I participated in a program called Washington Internship for Students of Engineering. I was sponsored by IEEE-USA to live in Washington DC for two months and write a paper on a topic of my interest related to engineering and policy. Because I’m interested in the Social Sciences, I chose to focus on operating procedures of USAID: the primary government organization for international development. This is an area which may be more closely associated with engineering management or business, but it provided a good transition project for me coming from an electrical engineering background. While I was in DC I was able to attend numerous events by the Washington Chapter of the Society for International Development. Because I’m new to the world of international development, the ability to meet with and learn from experts was instrumental in my ability to complete this paper. As a future social science researcher I found international development to be a really fascinating topic, and I hope that at some point I can get involved with this kind of research again!

This presentation and paper were the result of my work in DC that summer. You can also find papers written by other WISE interns on the WISE Journal of Engineering and Public Policy.

A System for Change Presentation

A System for Change Executive Summary

A System for Change Document

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Light Stimulation and Humidity Measurement in the Optogenetics Laboratory

Senior Design Poster Presentation

Senior Design Demo 2 Poster

My group and I worked with Dr. Matthew Thimgan in the Missouri S&T biology department to create a light stimulation apparatus to support sleep research on drosophila flies. The apparatus stimulates electrical channels in a genetically modified fly to induce sleep, a type of research called optogenetics. In addition, we also created a humidity measurement apparatus to ensure the flies are breeding in an environment that is not too dry.

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Active Compression-Decompression CPR in Microgravity

One of my most exciting research experiences at Missouri S&T was getting to fly aboard NASA’s Weightless Wonder (also known as the Vomit Comet) to test Active Compression-Decompression CPR for long-term space travel. For three years I was on a team called Miners in Space where we would design and propose an experiment to the NASA Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program. We were accepted into the program three times, and I flew aboard the Weightless Wonder for two of those years. We successfully demonstrated that this form of CPR could in fact be used on a spacecraft if the need arose. I created an outreach program that reached over one thousand students in five states each of the three years that I was on the team. I also performed electrical engineering design and fabrication, post-experiment data analysis, and helped write the proposals, safety reports, and final reports every year.

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