University Libraries Award for Undergraduate Research
2014 - 2015 Award Winners
Top Prize, $500
Du Ponceau and the Ideograph
South Carolina Honors College Senior Thesis
Supporting Faculty Member: Dr. Gregory Patterson
A mathematics and philosophy major from Dallas, TX, Auerbach became interested in early European views of the Chinese language. His library journey took him to Peter Stephen Du Ponceau’s A dissertation on the nature and character of the Chinese system of writing in the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. Published in 1838 by a former translator for the Continental Army and then president of the American Philosophical Society, the library’s copy is inscribed to Thomas Cooper by Du Ponceau. Auerback’s thesis addresses Du Ponceau’s background, examines his methodology and arguments, and places the work in its cultural and historical context.
Top Prize, $500
Following the Crumbs Back From Music to Orality
Paper for SCHC 350, The Birth and Death of the Book
Supporting Faculty Member: Dr. Leon Jackson
A piano performance major from Irmo, SC, Leaman launched into her project after a class discussion about how fairy tales reflect aspects of oral culture. She began exploring how music based on fairy tales also makes use of oral patterning, but her paper eventually developed into a discussion of oral culture techniques within music in general. Leaman wrote in the essay about her research process: “If I had only been able to access online articles; if I had not been able to use the library’s shelf system to manually search for books; if I had not been able to access books that the library did not physically hold, my research would have fallen short and been unsupportable, let alone developed in the first place.”
Carl Garris and Aaron Sanders
Top Prize, $500
Medieval Identity Theft: Using X-Ray Polarization to Read an Erased Ownership Inscription in a Thirteenth-Century English Pocket Bible
Supporting Faculty Member: Dr. Scott Gwara
Sanders, a history major and Garris, who designed his own major in medieval studies teamed up with Dr. Scott Gwara on a Magellan project. Sanders and Garris applied to the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource facility to be able to have the erased inscription made visible. The inscription mentioned two people and three place names. Consulting numerous sources, Sanders and Garris set out to identify these names. They eventually determined the bible was once owned by Adam of Asford, a Franciscan friar in England. The finding is significant. Fewer than 100 medieval manuscripts with monastic provenance exist in North America.
Jake Tyler Smolinsky
Honorable Mention, $200
The Effects The Role of Experiencing Psychoticism in the Relationship between Somatization and Aggressive Behavior Among Adolescents with Anxiety Problems
Poster session for an independent study
Supporting Faculty Member: Dr. Mark Weist
Smolinsky, an experimental psychology major from Clinton, NJ won top prize in the Black Track last year, but this year faced some new challenges in his independent study in the School Mental Health lab at USC. Smolinsky was conducting his own study and the variables he was investigating weren’t heavily researched. He was able to do all his research online from accessing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to searching numerous article databases on his topic and other online resources for information on the measure he used in his study.
Top Prize, $150
Análisis de la traducción de Harry Potter: Traducción de elementos distintos de un mundo ficticio = Analysis of the Translation of Harry Potter
Paper for SPAN 515, Introduction to Spanish Linguistics
Supporting Faculty Member: Dr. Nina Moreno
A French and Spanish major from Summerville, SC, Coker wrote about the choices made by translators by comparing Spanish translations to American English editions of the Harry Potter series. Originally written in Spanish, Coker translated her paper into English before she submitted it to the review panel. She compared the treatment of proper names, use of formality, representation of how different characters speak, cultural aspects, and magical elements. To complete her paper Coker searched literature, language and linguistic article databases, found call numbers for books by using the library catalog and then scanned the books in the same area, and used PASCAL Delivers to request Spanish editions from USC Beaufort’s library.