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 Lunch Lectures

This semester there have been 3 lunch lectures organized on the topic of applied quantitative research methods including statistics. These lectures were open for all UCR-students but especially students interested in research and that are following introductory and intermediate statistics courses. All lectures were very well visited by the students and the organizational team would like to thank all of the instructors for all effort and enthusiasm:

1.Lecturer: dr. Snežana Stupar-Rutenfrans (ACC/SSC)

Title: Applied quantitative research methods: Virtual Reality in Mental Health -> Does the 360° video VRET reduces public speaking anxiety?

With this lecture, dr. Stupar-Rutenfrans aimed to increase the understanding of how mobile virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) can help reduce public speaking anxiety in students. Using the results of her longitudinal study (published in 2017 in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/cyber.2017.0174?journalCode=cyber), she explained how she examined the effect of a new VRET strategy (Public Speech Trainer, PST), that incorporates 360 live recorded VR environments, on the reduction of public speaking anxiety. The PST was developed as a 360  smartphone application for a VR head-mounted device that participants could use at home. As expected, speaking anxiety significantly decreased after the completion of all PST sessions, and the decrement was the strongest in participants with initially high speaking anxiety baseline levels. Conclusively and in line with habituation theory, the results supported the notion that VRET is more effective when aimed at reducing high-state anxiety levels. Further implications for future research and improvement of current VRET strategies were discussed. Moreover, students were led step-wise through complete process of conducting research and analyzing data by using SPSS-software.

 

2.Lecturer: dr. Helle Hochscheid (A&H)

Title: Skewed data, skewed images: statistics in art and archaeology research

Dr. Hochscheid presented her study into the asymmetry of sculpture investigated why idealized faces of classical Greek statues are characterized by small asymmetries. Statistics were used to investigate whether these asymmetries are systemic in any way; since this was answered negatively, explanations have to be found not in preconceived design, but in hand-eye coordination of sculptors and crystalline structure of marble. More information on this research can be found on:  http://www.artofmaking.ac.uk/content/essays/conference-chapter-shaping-space-facial-asymmetries-in-fifth-century-greek-sculpture-helle-hochscheid-and-ronald-hamel/

 

3.Lecturer: Prof. dr. Cees Cornelisse (SCI)

Title: Reading and rewriting our DNA, challenges  and concerns

Prof. Cornelisse focused in his lecture on one of his key-projects, a collaboration with the Depts. of  Ear Nose and Throat Surgery and Human Genetics, involving the identification of a gene causing hereditary tumors (head and neck paragangliomas) but only when it was passed maternally. In collaboration with an American group they succeeded in finding the gene. They also developed a model explaining the remarkable paternal transmission by genomic imprinting. This concept was introduced only shortly before they started our study. It was also the first example of mutation in a gene of  a complex of the mitochondrial Krebs cycle causing cancer.  Subsequently mutations in other complexes have been found and  presently the role of oncometabolites resulting from Krebs cycle gene mutations is a hot topic in cancer research.