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Le Colbertisme Dissertation Topics

Former Students and Dissertations


NameDissertation Title
Olivia Blunn
After the Gap: how the gap year affects individuals’ entry into the labour market and their perception of ethnic communities
John Clarke Conflict Theory and the Construction and Governance of Urbanisation in Soacha, Bogota
Tressa Erickson
Gaawiin Indoodemisiin: Non-Indigenous Learners of Indigenous Languages
Layli Foroundi
Class wars or ethnic conflict? Urban gentrification discourses: Brixton
Goto Hirofumi
The attitudes of local German residents towards Syrian refugees in Munich
Amrine Keegan Reindeer in the Tundra: Representations of the Sami in the Norwegian Tourism Industry
Gemma Kentish We'll Keep a Welcome? An Examination into Migrant Integration into Welsh Language Society
Jason Michael McCann
Israel's most hated friend: Analysing the Thinking behind Christian Zionism
Calen Olesen The Campaign for a Neutral Race in World of Warcraft and the Community's Response: An Exploration through Autiethnography and Discourse Analyses of Forum Discussions
Ashleigh Payne Life on Lesvos: An Exploration of the Networks Responding to the 'Migrnat Crisis'
Ivana Pericin
The portrayal of the Syrian refugees in the Irish print media
Coralie PerinetThe French Socialist Party's discourse on immigratino following the 2015 Refugee Crisis and Paris Attacks
Enis Porat Reciporcal Perceptioins of Turkish-Cypriots and Turkish-Migrants Towards Each other in Northern Cyprus
Xinyue Qin Multiculturalism, Mariage Migration and China
Casey Schell 'But Where Are You From?' A Qualitative Examination of Transracial Adoption
Rachel Taylor 'Asylum Seeker Destitution in the United Kingdom: The Impact of British Immigration Policy and the Responses of Third Sector Organisations'.
Margaret Whelan Are there Difficulties within the Traveller Community Regarding Their Acceptance of Members who are LGBT
Rachel Whitbeck Endorsing the Vision of our Forefathers: Political Discourses in Ireland's Marriage Equality Referendum




NameDissertation Title
Munir Al AkariShaping the European Neighbourhood: A Comparative Analysis of EU Democratisation Policies in Libya and Ukraine
Bashayer Al-AliLiving States: The Case of Qatar
Robert BarnesInclusive Ireland? An Examination Into How The Irish State Has Dealt With Increased Migrant Related Diversity
Michael Daniel Currivan The Ummah in the Irish Press: a Study of the Portrayal of Muslims in an Irish News Publication
Gareth Aled DaviesImperial (Imagi)nations: The Discursive Construction of Russian Nationhood during the Annexation of Crimea
Gabriela De Carvalho BezerraOrder, Progress, Discipline and Tutelage: An exploration on indigenous penal colonies and nation-building in Brazil
Chiara De CesarisThe Role of Violence and Art in the Building of Palestinian Identity: Palestinian Political Posters’ Representations of Palestinian Violence.
Robert Francis ForanThe discursive construction of migrants and migration in Ireland, and how these discourses inform and condition perceptions of newcomer students, their cultural capital and their academic outcomes.
Kelsey Elizabeth Gonzalez Teaching Locality: A Comparative Analysis Of The Promotion Of Local Culture in Postcolonial State Curricula
Liam Ezekial Gormley Emigration: Stagnation and Change
Aidan Thomas KellyOrganizing in Dunnes Stores: A Qualitative Study on Migrant Worker Participation in the Decency for Dunnes Workers Campaign
Aleksandra KubiakReconstruction of pathways into homelessness among Polish nationals living in Dublin
Pranav KohliDenial Within Nostalgia: An Oral History of the Partition Accounts of the Indian Derawal Community
Chiara Maria MizzoniDirect Provision as Spaces of Resistance: Contesting Institutional Living and the Asylum Seeker 'Identity'
Breifne Lynch O'RourkeResponses by Activists to Tensions within Practices of Transnational Solidarity: The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign and its Non-Leadership Members
Kate Cecilia O'ConnellCultural Clash at 40,000ft: A Study of Cultural Clashes experienced by Western Cabin Crew in the Gulf through the lens of Emotional Labour
Darwesh ObeidThe Aftermath of Anfal Campaign, Survivors’ Memories and Trauma
Barry John PriceSovereignty, Biopolitics, Truth: Expert Knowledge in the CIA Torture Program


Name Dissertation Title
Alexandra Camacho Tweeting Hate: Social Media as Recruitment and Propaganda for White Supremacists
Cormac Durkin Contesting the facts: A discourse analysis of the ‘will to truth’ surrounding Peter Harts ‘The IRA and Its Enemies’
Kristin Einarsdottir The Role of Art and Culture Experiences: Exploring issues of importance to young people, living in an Irish estate, through culture peace programmes in Beirut and Istanbul
David Finn Anti-Racism Campaigns: A case study of an anti-racism campaign in League of Ireland football
Anna Gwiazda The invocation of genocide in justifying humanitarian intervention: An analysis of discourse on the Bosnian War
Alexandra Hoffman Surveillance and revolution: A panoptic perspective on Egyptian graffiti from 2011 to the present
Marion Lieutaud ‘He’s my bonus’: French-Irish Relationships as Millieu and Token of Movility Capital
Claudia Pelagatti Privacy and Surveillance in the Digital Era: A comparative study of students’ and academics’ level of privacy awareness on social media platforms
Nancy Roe ‘Saving’ Girls from Prostitution: A Case study of Social Constructions regarding Children’s involvement in the Sex Industry in the Philippines
Jessica Ryan Disavowed Whiteness and the Politics of Power and Privilege in the Irish Service Industry
Ciaran Sammon Dragged Up: Pantigate, Wedding Bands & the Requirements for Inclusion in Ireland


Name Dissertation Title
Baptiste Alfano-GiacomettiAn analysis of the state support structures for Muslim communities in France and Ireland
Paul BerminghamA search for the Terrorist Subject in a Domestic Counterterrorism Practice: The Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative
Thomas Delaney Conceptualising the ‘Other’: A case study of teachers and students in two British schools
David DunneThe trouble with tribe: social science intervention and expert knowledge
Peter GardnerUlster Scots victimhood discourse in Ullans magazine
Malte HergadenReinventing the ‘Native’ in Discourses of Genocide Prevention: An Analysis of Representations of Rwanda, Darfur and Congo
Kayla MackayDole skaggin': An analysis of white appropriation, authenticity and regional identity in the Irish hip-hop scene
Derek MorrisOf Monomyth and Melancholia: Reflections on regimes through the journey of autoethnography and veterans' narratives
Robert O'KeeffeThe discursive construction of Nigerian taxi drivers in Dublin
Tolulope Omoyele, Nigerian sartorial behavior
Molly OnuferParallel Societies: An exploratory case study og high skilled migrants in Dublin
Laura SimockoRacialisation and the construction of deportability in Ireland
Tina SmedegaardLanguage identity and colonialism: a case study of Greenlandic students at Aarhus University
Aya TakomoriHealthcare provision for refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland: An Exploration of Voluntary Sectors
Paloma Viejo OteroThe role of South American migration within the Spanish social movement


NameDissertation Title
Mara AchetrariteiContinuation or mitigation of conflict by other means? A study of the murals of West Belfast
Nivelton Alves De Farias Negotiating Social Capital: An analysis of the experiences of Brazilian language students in Dublin
Daniel BertoliPharaohs on the Emerald Isle: How an ethno-religious group mobilizes social capital in times of hardship. A case study of male Egyptian Muslims in Ireland
Alexandra BoylanEffects of Intergroup Contact on Conceptualisations of Race and Ethnicity: A Comparative Study of Varied Demographics
Jade BradySpecific hegemonic understandings surrounding the nation, Irish presidency and sexuality in Ireland are analysed to discover how such understandings are articulated and diffused in the media coverage of Senator Norris’s bid for President of Ireland
Michelle CarpenterResponding to Racism: The Attitudes and Practices of Westerners in Dubai
Naomi Clear-VekinisRacism in English Football: A Prevailing Issue
Julianne CoxIntegrated education in Northern Ireland
Michael DonohoeDoes Radicalism beget Radicalism? Perspectives on the Neoliberal Academic Industrial Complex
Ismay DunneNigerian ‘wives’: Conceptions of polygamy and family practices from the perspective of Nigerian immigrants living in Ireland
Kate GoodrichJim Bro Laws: A study of Racism in Southern Fraternities
Luisa KuhlmanConfounding Freedom: On the costs of Intra-European Mobility
Fiona MarkeyFalling between the cracks of forced labour: A study of contemporary slavery in Ireland
Vanessa SheridanDevelopment Education: How development education at senior primary level in Ireland affects children’s attitudes to ‘poorer countries through an examination of the Trocaire 2012 Lenten campaign
Vanessa StoutYour Place or Mine: The experiences of Nigerian immigrants in Dublin’s cityspace
Selma TooheyFrom Home Rule to Independence: A study of the political opinions of urbanised Greenlanders regarding political autonomy from Denmark
Veronika VitkovaLimits of external state-building: The case of the International Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina


NameDissertation Title
Lejla AbdulahovicPopulation censuses in transitional societies: A case study of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Anita BeloiuThe architecture of the Criminal court of Justice in Dublin and is impact on those present in court
Siobhan BeaverJesus and the White Man: Tea Party Conservatism in Post-Racial America
Maria Elena BottiglieroEU politics of 'partnership' and 'cooperation': Managing migration in Ghana?
Yaqoub, Jemil BouaynayaPerceiver Irishness: An exploration of the superficiality of identity using a reflexive social experimental approach
Laura CallaghanAccess to disability services for children living in direct provision in Ireland
Mark Chahine-WarringtonA critical review of the welfare policy of a weak state, Lebanon
Benjamin Ives HammondHistory, culture, development and the meaning of graffiti
Tiffany HearseyEmbodying monstrosity: Irish representations and agency
Barry HollywoodExperience of Self-Identified Atheists from Lower Socio-Economic Backgrounds
Kathryn Ann KingThe Heart of Doha? The Narrative of Qatari National Identity offered by the Msheireb Urban Development Project
Diliyana Kiryakova-RyanThe Human Right to Food and Asylum Seekers in Ireland: Between Freedom from Hunger and the Right to Adequate Life
Melanie Nicole LaborLife on the threshold: Finding ways of resistance within the Irish direct provision system
Shamal MirzaSocial integration of young Kurdish refugees in Ireland
Katryn MudrickTroubled museums: The exploration of contested history displays in museums and their impact on healing and reconciliation
Courtney WalkerIllumination of the discourse of power structures between the United States and Palestine within the Israeli-Palestinian peace processes as seen through the language of the Palestinian Papers


Name Dissertation Title
Judy BrownContesting citizenship in the Baltic States: an analysis of the evolving status of Rusian-speaking minority in Estonia from independence to accession and beyond
Diarmaid WardCounter-space and counter-hegemony: Palestinian narratives of resistancce (distinction)
Niamh McTiernanIs the foregrounding of Traveller culture and identity a problematic phenomenon or a comforting answer in explaining violent conflict within Traveller society?
Robert BoydEconomic versus Lifestyle migration: A case study of the motivating factors for migration of young Irish graduates and professionals to Canada during and after the 'Celtic Tiger' era between 2000 and 2010
Sarah LambertWe have made Europe, now we must made Europeans: The construction and negotiation of European identity in the 'Talk to EU' campaign
Paul PetersonLeashing the dragon: Seeking 'clarity' in the construction of national identity in Bhutan


Name Dissertation Title
Shiree Nicole AcostaVoices in the classroom: Exploring teachers’ and students’ discourse on diversity
Shannette BudhaiHow separated children become missing children: Uncovering factors that contribute to their disappearance in Ireland
Catherine Anne DelaneyAn exploration of Irish soldiers’ experiences on overseas peace building missions
Jacqueline Marie HansomQuestioning the dichotomy of ‘us’ versus ‘them’: A case study with a Memphis lawyer
Orla Marie McAndrewFrom Asylum to Belonging: Reflections on New Irish Citizens on their Pathways to Irish Citizenship
Kieran McGraneGood relations Policy in Northern Ireland: Identity, individuality and ethnicity
Lra Maria Pohjolainen‘Talking specifically about Roma gypsies - the race whose culture it is to rob and make money from others’: Netnographic inquiry into understanding and representing Roma beggars and begging
Lisa-Maria Reilly‘An oasis of poverty in a desert of wealth’: A case study of education and power in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland
Jorge Vega PerezDiscursive representation of Spanish Muslims before and after the Terrorist Attach on 11th of March 2004 in Madrid


Name Dissertation Title
Johanna Elisabeth BeersStill the ‘Ugly American’?: The Cultural Understanding and Intercultural Competencies of Global American Executives in one Multinational Corporation
Donald Alexander BellAdaptation of Indian and Filipino Nurses to Hospital Based Working life in Northern Ireland
Martina ByrneAn examination of the attitudes of the professional and managerial social classes towards immigrants and immigration in Ireland
Agnes KakasiInterculturalism and Anti-Racism in Irish Public Service Broadcasting: Policies and Television Programming
Robert Burns MacKennaIrish vote No: The beginning or end of Pan-European democracy
Faith Yvonne MatrangaWomen Ruggers: Using Sport as a Means of Integration
Margaret O’ConnorLanguage Maintenance in Immigrant Communities in Ireland. Case Study: The Muslim Community of Ballyhaunis Co. Mayo
Anna BatesEmergency Schools and Crisis Racism: Ireland and “Emergency Schools” 2007-8
Wanjiku Migunda-Greene“A Sense of Belonging”: Stories by mixed “race” Irish Women


Name Dissertation Title
Catelin Blowers‘Just like other crimes’: Irish policy and procedure for racially motivated incidents
Brenden Cavlan“No Se Si Se Puede”: San Franscisco Print Media Discourse on the 2006 Day Without an Immigrant
Angeliki GeorgileaThe Side Effects of Counter-Terrorism on Civil Liberties of Minorities - The Case of Greece
Siphathisiwe MaphosaNegotiating exclusion: Experiences of African women in the asylum process
Ariene FaralisModern diaspora and the example of the Polish language in creating and influencing social networks on the Irish website
Pierangela Contini Constructing ethnic boundaries: A fieldwork among the Gitanes in Fuente Vaqueros
Katherine WalshSymbolic Gender Separation in context: Islamic gender performance of female members within Clonskeagh Mosque, Dublin
Vivien RuppOutside the gated community: Geduldete and ‘Illegal’ migrants in Berlin
Dimma Van Dulmen“Cultural Celebration in Ireland? An examination of the discourses surrounding the 2006 Festival of World Cultures in Dun Laoghaire
Tara Sheena Wakely‘Duidelike Kleurlinge’: The migratory experiences of Cape coloured South Africans in London
Diren Valayden‘Integrating’ Muslims: Irish media discourses and the development of a doxa
David ZeliffKeepin’ it real: Constructions of Whiteness Expressions of Irishness in the Dublin Hip-Hop scene


Name Dissertation Title
Slavka KrizalkovicovaImmigration to ‘the new Europe’: Case study of public attitudes towards asylum seekers and refugees in Eastern Slovakia
Jonathan LaceyTransnational Engagements of the Turkish-Irish Educational and Cultural Society (TIECS)
Sarah McNallyAsylum Seekers and residency: One year on
Nicola YauCeltic tiger, hidden dragon: Exploring identity among second generation Chinese in Ireland
Valentina Verardo‘Gorgeous butterflies in the greenhouse of global culture’: An auto-ethnographic study on Italian post graduate students and young professionals living in Dublin
Laura HakalaFinnish Equality Discourse - Myth or reality?
Nel SungExperiencing the other and the memory of imperialism: South Korean attitudes and perceptions towards non-Koreans
Brid Ni Chonnail‘There’s a hell of a lot of immigrants in Dublin 15’: An exploratory study of the views of Irish people working and living in the Blanchardstown area on migrants and their impact on the area
Nadine CosgroveThe Dublin street riots of February 2006: A complex and irreconcilable amalgam of nationalist conflict, misplaced multicultural definition and socio-economic disaffection
Charles AketchMental health and wellbeing of asylum seekers and refugees in hostel accommodation in Ireland
Aoife TitleyPaddy ethnic-man: Representations of race in stand-up comedy
Arthur SealyAsylum and Sexuality in Ireland


Name Dissertation Title
Greg O’ReillyWhy white men skank! White appropriation of Black Popular culture:  A socio-historical look at reggae in Ireland
Kirsten Fjoser(De) Constructing Canadian identity through humour
Emily RauscherAdding 'colour' to the town: Boundaries and social capital in the lived experiences of asylum seekers dispersal in Ireland
Noel Casey’Do me justice, treat me fair’: An examination of racialization in the taking of statement by Gardai­ from women survivors of domestic violence
Raluca MunthiuEuropean borders and local boundaries: A Study of the boundaries between Roma and Romanian communities in a village in west Romania, in the post Communist era
David LandyThe Role of Zionism in the production of Irish-Jewish Identity
Anna TruchardGlobalisation and the nation state: A discourse analysis of the Swedish media
Jessica Kirk-BowmanWho’s the man? Primary print media discourse on the Cincinnati 2001 Riot
Chu Chun YuImagining Taiwanese Identity, Translation and Transition: A cultural analysis of the contemporary development of Taiwanese consciousness
Mary QuigleyHas Ireland as a nation-state facing the pressures of a European and globalised environment, anything to learn from the pre-independence experiences of Constance Markievicz, a prominent Irish female social nationalist of the early twentieth century?
Elena MoreoVamos Jogar Capoeira! Migrant women’s narratives of belonging, home, sameness and difference
Ama PetersEthnic minorities strategically seeking recognition: Theoretically exploring the ‘lived experiences’ of the Ogoni
Nora CaseyThe print media as an influence on attitudes to Travellers: An example from rural north Tipperary
Itayi ViririThe racial state and asylum seekers
Sam Olinger‘Guarding the Peace’ and the construction of ‘Difference’ in today’s ethnically diverse Dublin: an exploration of Gardai’s discursive constructions of the ‘Others’ they police
Charlotte Woods‘They couldn’t see that I could ever leave the Englishness behind’: A study of British born residents of Ireland


Name Dissertation Title
Marguerite BourkeThe visual and the invisible: Reinstating African American women back into the frame through the photography of Lorna Simpson.
Anne Marie CampbellScientific racism and the construction of HIV/AIDS as an African disease
Sheenagh D’ArcySocial work and the racial state
Emma Louise DunphyQuestioning queer nationalism in Ireland
Rebecca FelicianoAn exploration of mixed heritage identity
Oonagh HoganUnaccompanied minors seeking asylum and their sexuality/sexual health: The service they receive and the perception of the service providers to these minors
David McInerneyIntercultural Ireland: Developing the role of ethnic liaison officers within An Garda Siochana
Alysson MillsThe visibility and invisibility of Hispanic migrants in Oxford, Mississippi
James NortonPre-gendered, post-modern, or in-between
Joe O’BrienInstitutional racism in Irish post-primary education and prospects of anti-racism in teacher education
David SchwartzExploring the ethnicity of Irish Travellers through interviews with five Traveller activists
Martina SmythThe ‘other white’: White Irish Catholic legal immigrants in the United States of America and the issue of stereotyping at the dawn of the millennium
Wayne StanleyClass racism: The Citizenship Referendum in context
Lauren SwiftManaging ‘Third World’ through Longly Planet: A categorization of ethnic tourism’s sense-making procedures
Elish Tansey‘Designers wake dead’: Ethnography of what happens to a dead body in an Irish Christian funeral, the site where the interaction between religion, society and practice converge
Elizabeth ToalExclusion through recognition
Sarah Van NormanUnder the blanket of whiteness: Autoethnograpic confessions of a young Canadian knitter
Claire WilliamsMisplaced, mistreated, misunderstood: The reality of living in direct provision for asylum seekers and their children


Name Dissertation Title
Stephen ColbertThe extreme right in Ireland: No room to grow?
Deirdre CoghlanThe (un)deserving refugee/asylum seeker?Racism and the Irish state
Matteo CullenPositive vibrations: Musical communities in African Dublin
Elvy DaCostaIs the economic contribution of immigration in Ireland Ignored by the state and the media?
Estibaliz ErrazquinHybridity and migrant women artists
Chizu FukuokaThe Irish language and post colonial Irish identities
Maja Halilovic-Pastuovic‘Going home for the summer’: Bosnian refugee women in ‘intercultural’ Ireland
Marthe HamranLatvian nationalism
Aoife HaydenSpeech therapists as service providers to refugee Clients
Torben Krings'Putting our people first': The new-racism discourse and right-wing populism in Western Europe
Nicola JordanThe views of female community workers on integrating issues facing married refugee women in the Republic of Ireland
Cristina Santa Maria Ethnicity and schooling in Ireland: (re)Representing separated children asylum seekers in primary and post-primary education
Chinedu OnyejelemHow black people feel about media representations
Ruairi Quinn,The roots of assimilation and related anti-migrant sentiments in rural Irish communities: with County Donegal as a case study
Marie RobinsonDependency on misfortune: A case study of Latvian agricultural migrant labourers in Ireland
Almut Schlepper‘They don’t really want to know us’: Experiences of international students at the Dublin Institute of Technology
Alain SpitzerAnalysis of Israeli-Jewish identity formation


Name Dissertation Title
Angelique Kelly BellYoung Boundaries: An Overview of Opinions and Views of 'Sameness' and 'Otherness' within a Disadvantaged Youth Population
Niamh CampbellChildren of refugees in settled white Irish foster families: An exploratory study
Marna CarrollFemale Genital Mutilation: Legitimate Cultural Practice or Violation of Human Rights?
Alessandra FantiniThe Management of Ambiguity: tensions and challenges in the management of voluntary organisations
Siobhan Catherine MaloneThe Migration Experience of Filipina Nurses
Ciara O'HaraMen in Nursing: A Gendered Experience?
Freda QuinlanIdentity Politics versus Strategic Essentialism: A Case Study of African Women's Mobilisation in Ireland
Gabriele SantiStigmatisation in the Context of the Impact of HIV/AIDS in Relation to Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Ireland
Elisabeth Dreier Sorvik'Norwegian-ness' and 'The Others': Racism, Nationalism and the Media
Brendan TobinAntiracist Space in Dublin: Towards a Best Practice


Name Dissertation Title
Ernesto Alejandro AbrahamMinority Language Rights: The right to be different (regarding the Basque language)
Svetlana DrakulicWhen Neighbours Turn Into Enemies: Ethnic nationalism and genocide in the former Yugoslavia as the outcome of the silenced past
Christine Fox‘Common Sense’ Racism: A discourse analysis of the Mississippi vote over the State Flag in the Sun Herald
Christian GheorghiuMedia discourses on Roma in Romania: How does it affect public and political opinion?
Declan HaydenHomosexuality and Human Rights
Adrian LanganThe construction of ethnicity: A study of international workers in Bosnia
Rachel MageeThe discursive construction of asylum-seekers and refugees in the Irish press
Joshua MoonThe DC Quartet: ‘race’, ethnicity and the city
Emer McCarthyReforging Social Networks: African businessmen in Dublin
Rosaleen McDonaghGender, ethnicity and racism: The construction of gender and ethnicity in novels and its relation to the Traveller experience
Gabriel OkenlaThe contemporary meaning of Pan-Africanism and its relevance to the anti-racism struggle in Ireland
Remba OsengoCode Switching: A conversational ethnic style used by Lingala speaking refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo
Inbal SansaniThe provision of health services in Ireland to refugee women who have survived gender-based torture


Name Dissertation Title
Glikera ArapiGreekness and Europeanness in and through language: the intellectuals’ discourse
Jenny DalyConfronting and challenging whiteness in the identity of white Irish development workers
Tomas DeBrunMasculinity and Irishness: emerging identities, diverging trajectories
Carla De Tona‘We are trees with roots in the sky’: Italian women in Dublin telling the diaspora
Christine DibeliusLone but not alone: A case study of the social networks of African refugee women in Ireland
Patrick GuerinPersonal narratives of people involved in anti-racism in Ireland
Thomas KilloranAdrift in the New World: Displacement and transformation in the writings of Michael Ondatje, Salman Rushdie and V.S. Naipaul
Therese MaddenA critical review of the introduction of racial awareness training to the local authority, Dublin Corporation
Natalie McDonnellDublin Says No: Responses to the proposed Orange Order Parade in Dublin
Louise McElduffRe-membering Cissy: A legacy of Russian-Jewish roots
Siobhan McKennaFirst nation narratives
Elaine MoriartyA critical consideration of the role of intellectuals in interrupting, perpetrating or subverting hegemonic discourses of Irishness and ‘otherness’ in Ireland
Kathryn O’ DonnellComing home? Returning Irish emigrants: An experiential account of return and re-entry
Simon O’ DonnellTackling cultural difference: sports and community relations in Northern Ireland
Annemarie O’ MearaThe role of religion in ethnic identity maintenance and adaptation: An example of a sample of Vietnamese people in Ireland
Vibeke WaltherPakistani women in Norway


Name Dissertation Title
Petra AignerRacism in Austria: continuities and change
Derek ByrneMisguided masculinities: renegotiating masculinities in a changing Ireland
Correa ClintonMarketing: Satisfying the postmodern consumer
Anne DonaghyEthnic representation in Irish second level school textbooks from the 1960s to the 1990s
Roxanne IssurdattMinority women in Ireland: Their views on integration
Karla KellyA maze in stories: deconstructing and confronting identity
Anna Fiona KeoghTalking about the other - discourse analysis of secondary school pupil's attitudes to refugees and asylum seekers
Kevin MorleyAttitudes towards refugees in Dublin
Don NiallOur significant 'other': unfolding new antisemitism in Ireland
Richard TomkinFrom normalisation to stigma: approaches to providing health care to refugees in Ireland
Marshall TracyRacism and immigration in Ireland: a comparative analysis


Name Dissertation Title
Niamh BerminghamMedia Representation of Refugees
Breda CassIrish women's identity and religious adherence (other than Roman Catholic)
Tara Coogan'Be a mountain or lean upon me': Finnish multiculturalism and the Somali experience
Imelda DyasNationalism, ethnicity and sexuality in the trials of Oscar Wilde
Mary Harvey-LingInterethnic marriage: building cultural bridges
Amy HordeLiving in Northern Italy: A case study of Southern Italian Migrants
Niamh HumphriesAccommodation Provision for Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Dublin
Michael J. McAuleyImprisoned Irish Masculinities
Marie O'DonnellThe changing English perspectives on race and racial image with particular emphasis on the Irish and Jewish communities at the close of nineteenth century
Kim S. RolleThe Experience of Single Black Women in Northern Ireland
David WalshPolicing Multiculturalism: An examination of the need for anti-racism and cultural diversity training in An Garda Siochana

April 2017

Math/Stats Thesis and Colloquium Topics




The degree with honors in Mathematics is awarded to the student who has demonstrated outstanding intellectual achievement in a program of study which extends beyond the requirements of the major. The principal considerations for recommending a student for the degree with honors will be: Mastery of core material and skills, breadth and, particularly, depth of knowledge beyond the core material, ability to pursue independent study of mathematics or statistics, originality in methods of investigation, and, where appropriate, creativity in research.


An honors program normally consists of two semesters (MATH/STAT 493 and 494) and a winter study (WSP 031) of independent research, culminating in a thesis and a presentation. Under certain circumstances, the honors work can consist of coordinated study involving a one semester (MATH/STAT 493 or 494) and a winter study (WSP 030) of independent research, culminating in a “minithesis” and a presentation. At least one semester should be in addition to the major requirements, and thesis courses do not count as 400-level senior seminars.


An honors program in actuarial studies requires significant achievement on four appropriate examinations of the Society of Actuaries and giving a second colloquium talk. Written work is a possible component.


Highest honors will be reserved for the rare student who has displayed exceptional ability, achievement or originality. Such a student usually will have written a thesis, or pursued actuarial honors and written a mini-thesis. An outstanding student who writes a mini-thesis, or pursues actuarial honors and writes a paper, might also be considered. In all cases, the award of honors and highest honors is the decision of the Department.




Here is a list of faculty interests and possible thesis topics.  You may use this list to select a thesis topic or you can use the list below to get a general idea of the mathematical interests of our faculty.  There is also a list of possible colloquium topics that different faculty are willing and eager to advise. You can talk to several faculty about any colloquium topic, the sooner the better, at least a month or two before your talk. For various reasons faculty may or may not be willing or able to advise your colloquium, which is another reason to start early.


Colin Adams


Research interests:  Topology.  I work in low-dimensional topology.  Specifically, I work in the two fields of knot theory and hyperbolic 3-manifold theory and develop the connections between the two.  Knot theory is the study of knotted circles in 3-space, and it has applications to chemistry, biology and physics.  Hyperbolic 3-manifold theory utilizes hyperbolic geometry to understand 3-manifolds, which can be thought of as possible models of the spatial universe.


Possible thesis topics: 

Investigate n-crossing number of knots. An n-crossing is a crossing with n strands of the knot passing through it. Every knot can be drawn in a picture with only n-crossings in it. The least number of n-crossings is called the n-crossing number. Determine the n-crossing number for various n and various families of knots.


An übercrossing projection of a knot is a projection with just one n-crossing. The übercrossing number of a knot is the least n for which there is such an übercrossing projection. Determine the übercrossing number for various knots, and see how it relates to other traditional knot invariants.


A petal projection of a knot is a projection with just one n-crossing such that none of the loops coming out of the crossing are nested. In other words, the projection looks like a daisy. The petal number of a knot is the least n for such a projection. Determine petal number for various knots, and see how it relates to other traditional knot invariants.


Investigate the stick number of knots, which is the least number of sticks glued end-to-end to make a given knot. Still unknown for two twisted strands.  Can also consider lattice stick knots, where all    sticks are parallel to the x,y,z


Investigate superinvariants, which are related to the standard invariants given by bridge number, unknotting number, crossing number and braid number.


Generalize concepts known for knots to virtual knots.


Determine how many knots must exist in a given graph, no matter how that graph is placed in space.


Investigate knots in a thickened surface. When are they hyperbolic?


Investigate which knots have totally geodesic Seifert surfaces.


Investigate the width and cusp thickness of quasi-Fuchsian surfaces in hyperbolic 3-manifolds.


Quasi-Fuchsian surfaces generalize totally geodesic surfaces.  Show that many surfaces in knot complements are quasi-Fuchsian.


Investigate geodesics on hyperbolic surfaces. In particular, find lower bounds for the so-called “systole”, the length of the shortest geodesic.

Explore how cusp diagrams determine a hyperbolic 3-manifold.

Other related topics.

Possible colloquium topics:
  Particularly interested in topology, knot theory, graph theory, tiling theory and geometry but will consider other topics as well.



Julie Blackwood

Research Interests:  Mathematical modeling, theoretical ecology, population biology, differential equations, dynamical systems.


My research uses mathematical models to uncover the complex mechanisms generating ecological dynamics, and when applicable emphasis is placed on evaluating intervention programs. My research is in various ecological areas including (I) invasive species management by using mathematical and economic models to evaluate the costs and benefits of control strategies, and (II) disease ecology by evaluating competing mathematical models of the transmission dynamics for both human and wildlife diseases.


Possible thesis topics:


1) Mathematical modeling of invasive species


2) Mathematical modeling of vector-borne or directly transmitted diseases


3) Developing mathematical models to manage vector-borne diseases through vector control


4) Other relevant topics of interest in mathematical biology


Each topic (1-3) can focus on a case study of a particular invasive species or disease, and/or can investigate the effects of ecological properties (spatial structure, resource availability, contact structure, etc.) of the system.


Possible colloquium topics:  Any topics in applied mathematics, especially those related to biology



Andrew Bydlon

Research interests:  Commutative algebra and algebraic geometry.


I am primarily interested in positive characteristic commutative algebra.  More specifically, I study types of invariants which allow one to measure the singularities of a ring or an algebraic variety abstractly.  These techniques include the multiplier and test ideal, tight closure, F-signature, and the Hilbert-Kunz Multiplicity.  In addition, I often use these tools to relate the singularities of a variety to a general hypersurface and vice-versa (for example, studying a surface by studying ‘most’ of the curves contained within it).


Possible thesis topics:


  • How do singularities restrict to a hypersurface? g. F—injective or F-rational singularities


  • Behavior of singularities in flat families.


  • Open questions pertaining to the test ideal and non-F-pure ideal.


  • Measuring the smallest degree hypersurfaces through a given collection of points.


  • Questions over finite fields.


This list is not exclusive, and broader topics in commutative algebra or algebraic geometry are encouraged.


Possible colloquium topics:


Any topics in algebra and especially commutative algebra or algebraic geometry.



Cory Colbert

Possible colloquium topics:

Any topic in abstract algebra or number theory.


Richard De Veaux (On Leave 2017-2018)

Research interests: Statistics.

My research interests are in both statistical methodology and in statistical applications.  For the first, I look at different methods and try to understand why some methods work well in particular settings, or more creatively, to try to come up with new methods.  For the second, I work in collaboration with an investigator (e.g. scientist, doctor, marketing analyst) on a particular statistical application.  I have been especially interested in problems dealing with large data sets and the associated modeling tools that work for these problems.


Possible thesis topics:

  • Human Performance and Aging. I have been working on models for assessing the effect of age on performance in running and swimming events.  There is still much work to do.  So far I’ve looked at masters’ swim data and a handicapped race in California, but there are world records for each age group and every events in running and swimming that I’ve not incorporated.  Masters’ events in running would be another source for data.


  • Social Networks and unstructured data. Classical statistics deals with quantitative and categorical variables, but what happens when the variables have even less structure?  Using text mining and other recent work from statistics and machine learning can we figure out how people feel about a topic by analyzing what they say as well as their actions?


  • Variable Selection. How do we choose variables when we have dozens, hundreds or even thousands of potential predictors?  Various model selection strategies exist, but there is still a lot of work to be done to find out which ones work under what assumptions and conditions.


  • Text Mining. Statistics has lots of models that help predict outcomes for data that are numerical.  But what if the data are text?  What can we say about documents based only on the words they contain?  Can we use comments in surveys to help answer questions traditionally modeled only by quantitative variables?


  • Problems at the interface. In this era of Big Data, not all methods of classical statistics can be applied in practice.  What methods scale up well, and what advances in computer science give insights into the statistical methods that are best suited to large data sets?


  • Applying statistical methods to problems in science or social science. In collaboration with a scientist or social scientist, find a problem for which statistical analysis plays a key role.


Possible colloquium topics:


Topics in statistics, such as:

  • Human Performance and Aging


  • Social Networks and unstructured data




  • Problems at the interface


  • Applying statistical methods to problems in science or social science.



Thomas Garrity

Research interest:  Geometry and Number Theory.


I work in algebraic and differential geometry and in number theory.  I am interested in the geometry of functions (polynomials for algebraic geometry and differentiable functions for differential geometry) and in the Hermite problem (which asks for ways to represent real numbers so that interesting algebraic properties can be easily identified).


Possible thesis topics:


  • Generalizations of continued fractions.


  • Using algebraic geometry to study real submanifolds of complex spaces.


Possible colloquium topics:  Any interesting topic in mathematics.


Leo Goldmakher (On Leave Fall 2017)

Research interests:  Number theory and arithmetic combinatorics.


I’m interested in quantifying structure and randomness within naturally occurring sets or sequences, such as the prime numbers, or the sequence of coefficients of a continued fraction, or a subset of a vector space. Doing so typically involves using ideas from analysis, probability, algebra, and combinatorics.


Possible thesis topics:

Anything in number theory or arithmetic combinatorics.


Possible colloquium topics:  I’m happy to advise a colloquium in any area of math.



Pamela Harris

Research interest and possible thesis topics: Representation theory, enumerative and algebraic combinatorics, graph theory, and poset theory.


Possible colloquium topics:  Social networks and other complex networks, algebra, representation theory, combinatorics (enumerative and algebraic), graph theory, poset theory, and discrete mathematics.



Brianna Heggeseth

Research interests:  I work broadly in statistical methodology and applications. My current work involves the study and development of statistical models that can uncover structure and patterns in data specifically in longitudinal and spatial data that have inherent dependence.  Additionally, I work in collaboration with scientists in a variety of fields such as epidemiology and environmental science to apply statistical methods to answer scientific research questions.


Possible thesis topics:


  • Cluster analysis for longitudinal data and functional data


  • Regression trees for longitudinal data


  • Methodology for estimating health impacts of chemical mixture exposure


  • Applying statistical methods to real data sets in innovative ways, usually in collaboration with a scientist or social scientist.


Possible colloquium topics:


Any topics in statistics, such as


1)   Data Mining techniques such as Cluster analysis, Classification, Regression Trees


2)   Longitudinal or spatial methodology


3)    Applying statistical methods to real data sets in innovative ways



Stewart Johnson

Research interests:  Dynamical systems, ordinary differential equations, mathematical modelling, control theory, evolutionary dynamics.


Possible thesis topics: 


  • Mathematical modelling using dynamical systems and differential equations.






Possible colloquium topics:


Any topics in mathematics, dynamical systems, mathematical models in life sciences, engineering, and other fields, applied mathematics in general.



Bernhard Klingenberg

Possible thesis topics:

Methods for Categorical Data Analysis

Possible colloquium topics:


Any topic in statistics, such as:


  • Bootstrap and permutation tests


  • Exact methods for categorical data


  • Simultaneous Inference and Multiple Comparisons



Haydee Lindo

Research Interests: Commutative and Homological Algebra.  Homology and cohomology groups are used to measure the size and shape of algebraic objects like commutative rings or topological spaces.  Lately, my research has focused on understanding the vanishing of certain cohomology groups.  As a result I also have a growing interest in algebraic topology and the representation theory of finite dimensional algebras.


Possible Colloquium topics:   I’d be happy to advise any topics in Algebra.



Susan Loepp

Research interests: Commutative Algebra.  I study algebraic structures called commutative rings.  Specifically, I have been investigating the relationship between local rings and their completion.  One defines the completion of a ring by first defining a metric on the ring and then completing the ring with respect to that metric.  I am interested in what kinds of algebraic properties a ring and its completion share.  This relationship has proven to be intricate and quite surprising.  I am also interested in the theory of tight closure, and Homological Algebra.
Possible thesis topics:


Topics in Commutative Algebra including:

  1. What prime ideals of C[[x1,…,xn]] can be maximal in the generic formal fiber of a ring? More generally, characterize what sets of prime ideals of a complete local ring can occur in the generic formal fiber.

2. Characterize what sets of prime ideals of a complete local ring can occur in formal fibers of ideals with height n where n ≥1.

3. Characterize which complete local rings are the completion of an excellent unique factorization domain.

4. Compute the tight closures of specific ideals in rings.

5. Explore the relationship between the formal fibers of R and S where S is a flat extension of R. For which ideals in excellent rings does tight closure and completion commute?


Possible colloquium topics:  Any topics in mathematics and especially commutative algebra/ring theory.


Steven Miller

For more information and references, see


Research interests:  Analytic number theory, random matrix theory, probability and statistics, graph theory.


My main research interest is in the distribution of zeros of L-functions.  The most studied of these is the Riemann zeta function, Sum_{n=1 to oo} 1/n^s.  The importance of this function becomes apparent when we notice that it can also be written as Prod_{p prime} 1 / (1 – 1/p^s); this function relates properties of the primes to those of the integers (and we know where the integers are!).  It turns out that the properties of zeros of L-functions are extremely useful in attacking questions in number theory.  Interestingly, a terrific model for these zeros is given by random matrix theory: choose a large matrix at random and study its eigenvalues.  This model also does a terrific job describing behavior ranging from heavy nuclei like Uranium to bus routes in Mexico!  I’m studying several problems in random matrix theory, which also have applications to graph theory (building efficient networks).  I am also working on several problems in probability and statistics, especially (but not limited to) sabermetrics (applying mathematical statistics to baseball) and Benford’s law of digit bias (which is often connected to fascinating questions about equidistribution).  Many data sets have a preponderance of first digits equal to 1 (look at the first million Fibonacci numbers, and you’ll see a leading digit of 1 about 30% of the time).  In addition to being of theoretical interest, applications range from the IRS (which uses it to detect tax fraud) to computer science (building more efficient computers).  I’m exploring the subject with several colleagues in fields ranging from accounting to engineering to the social sciences.

Possible thesis topics: 


  • Theoretical models for zeros of elliptic curve L-functions (in the number field and function field cases).


  • Studying lower order term behavior in zeros of L-functions.


  • Studying the distribution of eigenvalues of sets of random matrices.


  • Exploring Benford’s law of digit bias (both its theory and applications, such as image, voter and tax fraud).


  • Propagation of viruses in networks (a graph theory / dynamical systems problem). Sabermetrics.


  • Additive number theory (questions on sum and difference sets).


Possible colloquium topics: 

  • Theoretical models for zeros of elliptic curve L-functions (in the number field and function field cases).


  • Studying lower order term behavior in zeros of L-functions.


  • Studying the distribution of eigenvalues of sets of random matrices.


  • Exploring Benford’s law of digit bias (both its theory and applications, such as image, voter and tax fraud).


  • Propagation of viruses in networks (a graph theory / dynamical systems problem). Sabermetrics.


  •  Additive number theory (questions on sum and difference sets).


Plus anything you find interesting.  I’m also interested in applications, and have worked on subjects ranging from accounting to computer science to geology to marketing….



Ralph Morrison

Research interests: I work in algebraic geometry, which is the study of solution sets to polynomial equations.  Such a solution set is called a variety.  In particular, I focus on tropical geometry, which is a “skeletonized” version of algebraic geometry.  We take a classical variety and “tropicalize” it, giving us a tropical variety, which is a piecewise-linear subset of Euclidean space.  Tropical geometry combines combinatorics and discrete geometry with classical algebraic geometry, and allows for developing theory and computations that tell us about the classical varieties.  I also study computational algebraic geometry, which uses various algorithmic tools to better study the geometry of varieties.  I’m especially interested in this area when working over non-Archimedean fields, like the p-adics.


Possible thesis topics: Anything related to the fields of tropical and algebraic geometry, or non-Archimedean fields.  Here are a few example questions/topics.


  • Given a subset of Euclidean space that “looks” like a tropicalization, when does it actually arise as the tropicalization of an algebraic variety?


  • Given the equations for an algebraic variety, find a tropicalization that preserves the most

information about the curve.  (Such a tropicalization is called “faithful”.)


  • A tropical curve is a finite graph with lengths on each edge. Which such graphs arise as tropical

curves, under various restrictions?  For instance, with the tropical curve being embedded in the Euclidean plane.


  • Study the combinatorics of higher-dimensional tropical varieties. For instance, a tropical surface of

degree 4 contains a distinguished polyhedron with at most 63 facets.  Which polyhedra are possible?


  • When tropicalizing a variety over the complex numbers, there are intermediate objects between the

variety and the tropical variety called amoebas.  What can we say about their geometry?


  • Many results in classical algebraic geometry have analogs in tropical geometry that do not trivially follow from the original result. Prove such results in the tropical world, and study how the classical and tropical results interact.


  • An algebraic variety is defined by an ideal in a polynomial ring. How can we find nice sets of

generators for this ideal?  What do these generators tell us about the associated tropical variety?


  • Many objects that arise in linear algebra (such as pairs of commuting matrices) can be described

using polynomial equations.  How can we find nice collections of generating polynomials?  What do they let us compute about the varieties?


  • Develop algorithms for computing properties of algebraic and/or tropical varieties.


Possible Colloquium topics:  I’m happy to advise a talk in any area of math, but would be especially excited about talks related to algebra, geometry, or number theory.  For instance, there are many results in classical algebraic geometry (about the geometry of plane curves, for instance) that would be perfect for a colloquium.


Allison Pacelli (On Leave Spring 2018)

Research interests:  Algebraic Number Theory and Math Education

The Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic states that the ring of integers is a unique factorization domain, that is, every integer can be uniquely factored into a product of primes.  In other rings, there are analogues of prime numbers, but factorization into primes is not necessarily unique!

In order to determine whether factorization into primes is unique in the ring of integers of a number field or function field, it is useful to study the associated class group – the group of equivalence classes of ideals.  The class group is trivial if and only if the ring is a unique factorization domain.  Although the study of class groups dates back to Gauss and played a key role in the history of Fermat’s Last Theorem, many basic questions remain open.

I am also very interested in the beautiful analogies between the integers and polynomials over a finite field and between number fields and function fields.

Possible thesis topics:

1)  Investigating the divisibility of class numbers of quadratic fields and higher degree extensions.

2)    Investigating the structure of the class group.

3)    Exploring polynomial analogues of theorems from number theory concerning sums of powers, primes, divisibility, and arithmetic functions.

4)    Topics in math education.

Possible colloquium topics:  I’m interested in advising any topics in algebra, number theory, or mathematics and politics, including voting and fair division.



Cesar Silva

Research interests:  Ergodic theory and measurable dynamics; in particular mixing properties and rank one examples, and infinite measure-preserving and nonsingular transformations and group actions.  Measurable dynamics of transformations defined on the p-adic field.  Measurable sensitivity.  Fractals.  Fractal Geometry.

Possible thesis topics:Ergodic Theory.  Ergodic theory studies the probabilistic behavior of abstract dynamical systems.  Dynamical systems are systems that change with time, such as the motion of the planets or of a pendulum.  Abstract dynamical systems represent the state of a dynamical system by a point in a mathematical space (phase space).  In many cases this space is assumed to be the unit interval [0,1) with Lebesgue measure.  One usually assumes that time is measured at discrete intervals and so the law of motion of the system is represented by a single map (or transformation) of the phase space [0,1).  In this case one studies various dynamical behaviors of these maps, such as ergodicity, weak mixing and mixing.  I am also interested in studying the measurable dynamics of systems defined on the p-adics numbers.  The prerequisite is a first course in real analysis.

Topological Dynamics. Dynamics on compact or locally compact spaces.

Probability. Markov shifts, information theory.


Possible colloquium topics: 

Topics in mathematics and in particular:

  1. Any topic in measure theory.  See for example any of the first few chapters in “Measure and Category” by J. Oxtoby, possible topics include the Banach-Tarski paradox, the Banach-Mazur game, Liouville numbers and s-Hausdorff measure zero.

2.   Topics in applied linear algebra and functional analysis.

3.   Fractal sets, fractal generation, image compression, and fractal dimension.

4.   P-adic dynamics. P-adic numbers, dynamics on the p-adics.

5. Banach-Tarski paradox, space filling curves.

6. Random walks



Chad Topaz

Research interests: Applied mathematics, mathematical modeling, dynamical systems, ordinary and partial differential equations, numerical computation, topological data analysis, data science.


My research uses diverse mathematical tools to examine complex systems in the natural and social sciences. I am most interested in systems that form patterns or display other sorts of collective behavior. Examples include: biological aggregations such as insect swarms and fish schools; chemical reaction-diffusion systems; fluid surface waves; spatial vegetation patterns in ecology; gender representation in STEM fields; and much more.


Possible thesis topics:


1) Topological data analysis of agent-based models. Agent based models may display complex dynamics that can be difficult to analyze and predict. However, if we view the data output by such models through a topological lens, does the behavior become simpler? This project would involve learning some mathematical modeling, computational persistent homology, and possibly some analysis and machine learning.


2) Modeling vegetation patterns. Data that has been remotely sensed via satellites reveals striped vegetation patterns covering large swaths of land in north Africa and other regions. This project would involve learning about and possibly creating mathematical models for these patterns, tying the models closely to large data sets, and using the models to assess the factors most responsible for the formation of the patterns.


3) Locust swarms. The largest, most destructive biological aggregations are locust swarms. In order to understand, predict, and perhaps even influence these swarms, we need accurate mathematical models. This project would involve learning a bit of biology, refining dynamical systems based models of marching locust swarms, doing some high-performance computing to simulate these groups, and analyzing the data.


4) Data science, gender, and STEM. Women are underrepresented at nearly every level of the profession in STEM fields. In this project, we will use data science tools to assess patterns of gender representation in various subfields and at various levels of professional development.


Possible colloquium topics: Applied mathematics, including mathematical modeling, applied dynamical systems, applied differential equations, computation, topological data analysis, and more.


Mihai Stoiciu

Research interests: Mathematical Physics and Functional Analysis. I am interested in the study of the spectral properties of various operators arising from mathematical physics – especially the Schrodinger operator. In particular, I am investigating the distribution of the eigenvalues for special classes of self-adjoint and unitary random matrices.


Possible thesis topics:


Topics in mathematical physics, functional analysis and probability including:

  • Investigate the spectrum of the Schrodinger operator. Possible research topics: Find good estimates for the number of bound states; Analyze the asymptotic growth of the number of bound states of the discrete Schrodinger operator at large coupling constants.
  • Study particular classes of orthogonal polynomials on the unit circle.
  • Investigate numerically the statistical distribution of the eigenvalues for various classes of random CMV matrices.
  • Study the general theory of point processes and its applications to problems in mathematical physics.


Possible colloquium topics: 


Any topics in mathematics, mathematical physics, functional analysis, or probability, such as:

  • The Schrodinger operator.
  • Orthogonal polynomials on the unit circle.
  • Statistical distribution of the eigenvalues of random matrices.
  • The general theory of point processes and its applications to problems in mathematical physics.



Laura Tupper

Research interests:  Statistics, both application and methodology.  I work with scientists and engineers in a range of areas on data sets of interest to them, adapting and developing statistical methods to answer research questions.  Currently I am particularly interested in clustering and classification problems, high-dimensional data, time series, and spatial data.


Possible thesis topics:

  • Clustering and distance. When clustering a dataset, both the clustering algorithm and the measurement of dissimilarity between observations are important.  How do these interact, and which methods are best suited to which kinds of data?
  • Spatial/spatio-temporal analysis with non-Euclidean distance. In a transportation network or a city, distances aren’t “as the crow flies.”  How can we analyze dependence between points in this context?
  • Concise expressions of complicated data. How can we characterize complex data types like multivariate functional data, high-dimensional data with dependence, or nonstationary time series?
  • New combinations of statistical methods and real data sets, in collaboration with a scientist or social scientist.


Possible colloquium topics:  Statistical methodology, application, and education, including but not restricted to subjects related to the topics above.



Daniel Turek

Research Interests:  Bayesian statistics.  My research involves studying and designing efficient algorithms for Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling of hierarchical (graphical) models.  How can we optimally assign samplers based upon model structure?  Under what circumstances are different sampling strategies advantageous?  The larger goal is to design an automated procedure for producing a highly efficient, problem-specific, MCMC algorithm.


Possible thesis topics:

  • Implementation of existing MCMC sampling algorithms into new, flexible MCMC software, to make them easily usable and testable.
  • Testing a variety of discrete-valued sampling algorithms in different hierarchical modeling scenarios, to determine decision criteria for when different algorithms are the most efficient.
  • Designing a decision-rule system for MCMC algorithm creation. This would involve designing a framework to define rules based upon model and algorithm properties (e.g. continuous or discrete? conjugate or non-conjugate? univariate or multivariate? etc.), and incorporating this into flexible MCMC software to allow a higher-level of customization for MCMC algorithm creation.
  • Parameterization of a (finite and well-defined) set of valid MCMC algorithms. A formal mathematical definition of such a set will allow for application of discrete optimization algorithms to automate algorithm selection.
  • Application of simulated annealing to such a parameterization (described above) to produce a valid exploratory algorithm. A first such algorithm has been created, but we will generalize this further, and broaden the space of MCMC algorithms considered.

Possible colloquium topics:

  • Any applied statistics research project
  • Testing various Bayesian sampling algorithms
  • Model uncertainty and model averaging



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