John C. Parker Fellowship for Undergraduate Research

Sample Application

Title:

Dissection of the exact nature of widgets employing novel Parkerian technology

Abstract:

Widgetry has proven to be an area of much research in the last decade. Indeed, much of what we know about widgets has been developed through the study of whatchamacallits. Our recent studies, using whatchamacallits and thingamajigs have fortuitously demonstrated that using Parkerian technology it may now be possible to construct a novel probe to further dissect the question of exactly what a widget is. Determining the exact nature of widgets is of untold value to encyclopaedists around the world. We propose to construct a Parkerian probe to first dissect previously-identified whatchamacallits. Using these results, we plan to fine-tune our probe and eventually dissect model widgets supplied to us by SEAS.

Background and Rationale:

Since its inception, widgetry has continued to fascinate scientists and non-scientists alike. Widgets are used to facilitate discussions of economic and business concepts, used to designate parts of machinery that do not fit in any other categorical definition, etc. Yet these fascinating objects, although used universally, seem to be impossible to define in exact terms. While the study of whatchamacallits has furthered our understanding of widgetry (Coyote et al, 1991), it is clear that the exact nature of widgets are as undefined as ever. While others have proposed to explain widgets by attempting to elucidate the mechanisms by which widgets are created, we propose that it may be more instructive to define widgets by applying a novel technique pioneered by John Parker (Parker et al, 1997). The Parkerian approach consists of making a probe to define the very nature of material objects by using FORCE. FORCE, established in 1993 at KC/EH at the University of Pennsylvania is now widely being used to serve the scientific and technological community at the University of Pennsylvania. Our experience in employing Parkerian probes in studying whatchamacallits and thingamajigs has led us to propose to develop a new probe to use to dissect widgets. We plan to develop a probe, which we have designated as JORGEKRIMO (John's oscillationally-reactive gadget-enabling kit resembling an intensified matter obliterator). We plan to optimize JORGEKRIMO by using it to dissect the nature of previously-classified whatchamacallits and thingamajigs. Once optimized, we plan to employ this probe to dissect model widgets, supplied by SEAS. Ultimately, such knowledge is of untold value to encyclopaedists. More importantly, however, our experience with FORCE has shown us that such probes are quite useful in defining mechanisms by which we can ultimately achieve world domination.

Specific Aims:

1. Construction of JORGEKRIMO, using previously described Parkerian probe technology.
2. Extensive testing of JORGEKRIMO on previously-classified (dissected by using FORCE) whatchamacallits and thingamajigs.
3. Use of JORGEKRIMO to dissect uniform model widgets supplied by SEAS.

Funding Justification:

1. Construction of JORGEKRIMO will necessitate a contract with ACME corporation. Our research indicates this will cost approximately $200. $200
 
2. The first ten widgets will generously by supplied by SEAS at no cost. Our estimates indicate that we will need a total of 50 widgets. Therefore the remaining 40 widgets will cost us $400 ($10 per widget) $400
 
3. Safety equipment (use of Parkerian probes requires stringent protective equipment and appropriate lab space) $100
 
  TOTAL FUNDING SOUGHT $700

Timeline:

SEAS can supply us with widgets one week from request. The probe will take approximately two weeks to construct and two weeks to optimize with previously-classified whatchamacallits and thingamajigs. The dissection of the model widgets should only take about three weeks. Therefore our proposed timeline is as follows:

September
  • Collection of research articles / books on widgetry
  • Interviews with seas professors in the field of widgetry
October
  • Review and read through collected research
  • Construct formal thinking
  • Brainstorm experimental model
Novemeber
  • Research bibliography constructed
  • Background research completed
  • Preliminary design of experiment reviewed
December
  • Experimental design completed
  • Obtain items necessary for experiment
January
  • Construction of JORGEKRIMO
  • Preliminary optimization of JORGEKRIMO
February
  • Continue optimization of JORGEKRIMO
  • Hold event for SEAS / STWING community discussing l33tness of JORGEKRIMO
March
  • Final optimization of JORGEKRIMO
  • Dissection of model widgets using JORGEKRIMO
April
  • Analysis of results
  • Preparation of final report regarding findings
  • Presentation of results at JPF annual Forum

Preliminary Results:

Mini-JK, prototype of JORGEKRIMO has been recently constructed. This prototype has performed within expected parameters and has been able to successfully dissect the Continuum into a number of components, including (but not exclusive to) Parliamentarian, Cronos, Beeker, Neelix, and an as-of-yet un-identified member with particular resemblance to Yoda.

While we have not yet used this prototype to dissect any widgets, these experiments are being performed at the time of writing this proposal. The construction of this prototype has also been instructive in that we will have a much better understanding of 1) the caveats of our experiment and 2) the difficulties in constructing such probes, which will only help us in making a better JORGEKRIMO.

Bibliography:

  • Wile E. Coyote, Runner, R., Hanna J., and Barbara W., 1991, Understanding Widgetry, J. Of Unidentifiable Objects, 7:151-184
  • John C. Parker, Bokreta, M. K., Santiago-Aviles, J., 1997, Achieving world domination through the use of FORCE. Server Technology, 18:1854-1859