The Capstone Project is one of the culminating experiences for all students at NYU Abu Dhabi.
Every student at NYUAD will conduct Capstone research in their fourth year, a demanding, year-long endeavor aiming at a significant piece of research or creative work; an historical narrative, musical composition, performance, invention, documented experiment, scholarly thesis, or other form appropriate to the student’s goals.
No matter what form the Capstone takes, each student will have a faculty mentor and participate in a Capstone seminar that serves as a collaborative learning forum to discuss the research process and present work in progress. At the end of the school year, the students will present their Capstone work at a university-wide celebration of their creative achievements.
I translated (my) interest into my Capstone project, and it has given me a chance to delve into a subject that I deeply care about: Understanding why some countries are more willing to find solutions to climate change than others.
Unlike other courses in which faculty establish the structure and set assignments, the Capstone Project puts the student in charge. The fundamental challenge is to enter unmapped terrain and to extend oneself in making knowledge, reframing conventional approaches to an issue or creating something new.
We share some of the write-ups from our students' Capstone projects.
This Capstone attempts to reconceptualize the Gulf of Mannar and the Persian Gulf as shared spaces, specifically focusing on the pearl fisheries in both gulfs.
In doing so, it hopes to highlight the importance of eschewing national heritage studies of pearling, in favor of histories of pearling outside of the nation.
By placing the ecological landscapes, key actors and institutions, and contested ideas of territoriality in both gulfs in conversation with each other, this Capstone emphasizes a history that is at once connective and comparative.
Composed from interviews with students in New York and Abu Dhabi, On Our Borders is a verbatim performance about Third Culture Kids and the questions their between-cultures experiences pose.
In a world still catching up with the profound shift in quotidian experience globalization has brought, are we defining identities and communities in ways that further the global circulation of ideas?
Is it possible to create a world where everyone can be part of a greater whole? What does it mean to be a global citizen, not fully belonging to any one nation? And is it viable to reconcile our desire for cross-border communities with rising nationalist governments, parties, and polices?
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a disease rising exponentially across the globe, but there is gaping lack in effective pharmaceuticals or therapeutics.
One of the principal factors contributing to the prevalence of depression throughout the population is extended exposure to light. Humans had evolved in the natural solar-light cycle, but we are now inundated with artificial light well into the evening.
My Capstone project would use shifting light-cycles in a controlled setting to induce different simulations of jet lag in a mouse model. The purpose of my research would be to experimentally test a realistic example of the current human condition in which light affects natural rhythms which subsequently correlates with mood disorders.
Tracing neural circuits in baseline and experimental mice provides a neurobiological basis for the observed differences and contributes to the discovery of treatments for mood disorders by identifying environmental triggers.
Tropical coral reef fish are under extreme thermal stress in the Persian/Arabian Gulf (PAG), with annual thermal fluctuations from winter lows of 12°C to summer highs of 36°C.
Coral reef fish are exclusively ectotherms, so their physiological performance is directly tied to environmental temperatures and behavioral modulation is critical for ectotherms to regulate internal body temperatures.
This study examined the effects of temperature and time of day on fish behavior in model fish from PAG, Lutjanus ehrenbergii and Scolopsis ghanam, at 18°C, 27°C, and 35.5°C between morning (07:15), noon (12:55), and evening (18:35) times of day on five ecologically important behaviors: relative swimming speed, activity, exploration, sheltering, and sociability.
Results showed significant interactions with temperature and time of day, where notably relative swimming speed, activity, and exploration all increased as temperature increased with peak values in the evening.
The stories of young expatriates, those who emigrate with their families to the UAE is a complex one. However, it is narrative often assumed or set aside.
This qualitative research project hopes to provide integral insight by understanding the nuances in the individual stories of young foreign nationals living in the UAE. The paper investigates and explores whether, how, and to what extent the intersection of an expatriate way of living – contained within expectations about what it means to a ‘good’ expat – conflicts with a restrictive nature of adolescent development.
The social phenomenon is called Expatriate Adolescence. The process involves foreign teenagers toiling with the central question of how they come to navigate their new home in Abu Dhabi - be it social, familial or cultural, what unique challenges does this populace encounter?
Given the changing ethnoscape of this country, there is much variance in the degree to which the young expatriates experience a ‘curated’ adolescent life in the UAE. Hence, the studying of this population is vital in filling a lacuna in the scholarship on Gulf migration, as well as in adolescent development theory.
Recently, Babcock et al. (2017) claims that one cause for gender differences in labor market outcomes may be that women are more likely than men to receive and accept tasks with low promotability.
Using a lab coordination game similar to the game of chicken, they argue that women have higher probability of volunteering than men and that such behavior is influenced by subjects’ belief that women are more likely to volunteer.
The experimental design labelling the volunteering task as “invest in a group account” raises questions on whether framing affects gender differences in the game and whether the conclusion is robust in a more diverse population.
We applied three frames to the chicken game and conducted an online experiment. Our results show that framing increases volunteer rates for both genders but does not affect gender gaps. We also find that women indeed volunteer more than men across treatments and that women are more likely than men to expect their female colleagues to volunteer.
Class of 2017 summarize their creative and intellectual discoveries on camera. Each student explains his or her Capstone Project in just 10 seconds while standing in front of a green screen constructed from an image, video, or keyword related to their project.
Conducting my Capstone research in Greece was one of the most transformative experiences of my life, and I am thankful beyond words to have the opportunity to return to Greece with the Fulbright program next year.
Senior Ahmed Meshref's Capstone project clinched the top prize in the Accounting, Economics, and Finance category at the seventh annual Undergraduate Research Competition held in Abu Dhabi.
"Conducting my Capstone research in Greece was one of the most transformative experiences of my life..."
Social science Capstone research examines management styles in diverse workplaces.