Four UNLV students were recently honored as winners of the inaugural UNLV Student Veteran Scholarship Symposium.
Top Graduate Presentation
Jacklynn DeLeon, Environmental and Occupational Health
“Associations Between Opioid-Related Hospitalizations and Intravenous Drug Users”
Abstract: The opioid epidemic has led to a chain reaction of public health concerns, including an increase in heroin usage, injection drug abuse, incidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV), and HIV transmission. There have been few population-based studies investigating the clinical and sociodemographic data associated with opioid use in Nevada (Feng et al., 2016; Frank, 2000) and few studies investigating the intravenous drug user (IDU) population in Clark County. On February 2017, Clark County’s first syringe exchange program (SEP) opened its doors to the IDU population. This study provides an updated analysis of opioid-related injuries within Nevada and provides a first-time analysis of the IDU population within Clark County. According to the 2017 Center of Health Information Analysis (CHIA), there were 9,064 opioid-related injuries in the state of Nevada. The most common comorbidities associated with opioid-related injuries were chronic bodily pains (50.2%), malnutrition (47.3%), nicotine dependence (44.7%), affective disorders (32.4%), and hypertension (28.8%). There was a higher proportion of 18-35 year olds who used SEPs as compared to 18-35 year olds who used hospitals. One Clark County zip code had both high frequencies for opioid-related hospitalizations and injection drug use. In order to implement interventions and programs to battle the opioid epidemic and the consequent public health effects, we must first understand the associations between opioid-related hospitalizations and the IDU population.
Top Graduate Poster
Zachary Laney, Computer Science
“Private Communication Channel on Ethereum Blockchain With Diffie-Hellman Algorithm and IPFS”
Abstract: Sharing private information on the blockchain to a specific group of people has been a challenging task in the past due to transparency. With the advancement of processing power and the evolution of programming languages the solution exists within a browser client such as Google Chrome. DiffieHellman is an algorithm used to establish a shared secret between two parties thereby creating a private channel. This process can be performed multiple times to effectively create a private encryption channel with a group of any size in a perfectly secure way. The asymmetric encryption process begins with a browser client generating a private key and a public key and then anonymously sending the public key to a smart contract along with a cryptocurrency wallet address and an email address. The smart contract allows anyone to see the information without revealing the identity of the sender. However, storing information on the Ethereum Blockchain is an expensive problem that has been solved with the use of a new technology called Interplanetary File System (IPFS) that allows any size of information to be stored and retrieved using a small hash-phrase. Data is encrypted with the private channel and stored on IPFS and the locator is delivered to the email addresses of the selected group via the smart contract. The combination of private channels and IPFS has unlocked the power of smart contracts by enabling the distributed anonymous sharing of encrypted information to a group of any size in a cost effective way.
Top Undergraduate Presentation
Jimmy Salazar, Physics & Astronomy
“Inferring Lake Mead's Evaporation Rate Through Use of a Water Balance Method”
Abstract: Since 2000, Lake Mead has been affected by a drought, which has put into question the ability to meet water demand for approximately twenty million water users. We have analyzed all major sources of inflow and outflow into Lake Mead's system. We use a water balance equation to determine Lake Mead's rate of evaporation from 2000 to 2017. We compared this data with official data reported by the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR). We find evaporation losses computed by the water balance method to be substantially larger than those computed by USBR using an evaporation model scaled by the Lake surface area. If we are correct, predictions for future Lake Mead elevations may be overly optimistic.
Top Undergraduate Poster
Christina Bonner, English
“Neuroscience and The Mind”
Abstract: The focus of my research was the close examination of two widely held views regarding the role Neuroscience has within the philosophical debate of the Mind-Body Problem. Careful reasoning was used when considering various arguments that support each view, as well as deep discussions with my philosophy professor. It is interesting to note that there are some limitations currently to neuroscience that philosophy does not have. It is easier to imagine the immaterial substance of human beings as subjective and abstract as opposed to correlated data since that data cannot view ‘the inner’ of someone. Mainly, the two widely held views are Materialism and Substance Dualism. Materialism appeals to neuroscience in their view that humans are only their material substance, or their bodies, and not an immaterial substance, or non-physical substance. Substance Dualism opposes this view by maintaining that humans are both an immaterial substance, or soul, as well as a material substance, or body, and maintain the two-way causal interaction between mental states and bodily states.
The celebration of research by UNLV Rebel Vets was sponsored by the UNLV University Libraries, UNLV Military & Veteran Services Center, Academic Success Center, Graduate College, UNLV Writing Center, UNLV Office of Undergraduate Research, and the Intersection. Each of the winners was recognized at the Rebel Veteran Engage Breakfast.