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The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts is a public, residential, liberal arts college that offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. Located in North Adams, Massachusetts, it is part of the state university system of Massachusetts. It is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Originally established as part of the state's normal school system for training teachers, it now offers a wide variety of programs leading to Bachelor of Science and Arts degrees, as well as a Master of Education track. Wikipedia.

Spezeski W.J.,Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Technological Developments in Networking, Education and Automation | Year: 2010

A polyalphabetic cipher is one in which multiple alphabets (monoalphabets) are used to encode a plaintext message. Each letter of plaintext is encoded by selecting one of the alphabets with which to determine a substitution. A key word or phrase is often used to select different alphabets to encrypt the plaintext. This paper considers three concepts that, when combined, lead to a keyless polyalphabetic cipher. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010.

Hartung E.J.,Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Journal of Mathematical Chemistry | Year: 2014

A fullerene is a 3-regular plane graph with only pentagonal and hexagonal faces. The Fries and Clar number of a fullerene are two related parameters, and the Clar number is less understood. We introduce the Clar Structure of a fullerene, a decomposition designed to compute the Clar number for classes of fullerenes. We also settle an open question with a counterexample: we prove that the Clar and Fries number of a fullerene cannot always be obtained with the same Kekulé structure. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

Wund M.A.,The College of New Jersey | Baker J.A.,Clark University | Golub J.L.,Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts | Foster S.A.,Clark University
Animal Behaviour | Year: 2015

Changing environments, whether through natural or anthropogenic causes, can lead to the loss of some selective pressures ('relaxed selection') and possibly even the reinstatement of selective agents not encountered for many generations ('reversed selection'). We examined the outcome of relaxed and reversed selection in the adaptive radiation of the threespine stickleback fish, Gasterostues aculeatus L., in which isolated populations encounter a variety of predation regimes. Oceanic sticklebacks, which represent the ancestral founders of the freshwater radiation, encounter many piscivorous fish. Derived, freshwater populations, on the other hand, vary with respect to the presence of predators. Some populations encounter native salmonids, whereas others have not experienced predation by large fish in thousands of generations (relax-selected populations). Some relax-selected populations have had sport fish, including rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, introduced within the past several decades (reverse-selected). We examined the behavioural responses of sticklebacks from three populations of each type to simulated attacks by trout and birds to determine whether relaxed and reversed selection has led to divergence in behaviour, and whether this divergence was predator specific. Fish from trout-free populations showed weak responses to trout, as predicted, but these responses were similar to those of oceanic (ancestral) populations. Fish from populations that co-occur with trout, whether native or introduced, showed elevated antipredator responses, indicating that in freshwater, trout predation selects for enhanced antipredator responses, which can evolve extremely rapidly. Comparison of laboratory-reared and wild-caught individuals suggests a combination of learned and genetic components to this variation. Responses to a model bird flyover were weakly linked to predation environment, indicating that the loss of predation by trout may partially influence the evolution of responses to birds. Our results reject the hypothesis that the consistent presence of predatory birds has been sufficient to maintain responses to piscivorous fish under periods of relaxed selection. © 2015 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Shustack D.P.,Ohio State University | Shustack D.P.,Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts | Rodewald A.D.,Ohio State University
Journal of Avian Biology | Year: 2011

Life history theory and empirical studies suggest that early breeding confers higher reproductive success, but the extent to which this advantage can be generalized to human-dominated systems and across species is less well understood. We studied the fitness consequences of clutch initiation for 181 female northern cardinals Cardinalis cardinalis and 1228 nests in forests within urban and rural landscapes of Ohio, USA between 2004-2007. Cardinals that bred earlier made significantly more nesting attempts, but cumulative number of young fledged was similar to that of later-breeding individuals. The expected number of fledglings produced per successful nest was unrelated to date and remained ~1.8 fledglings across the season, despite the fact that nest survival rates improved dramatically as the season progressed. Because the probability of resighting breeding individuals in subsequent years was unrelated to first clutch initiation date, we have no evidence that clutch initiation affected adult survival. The absence of a clear benefit to early breeding appears to be a consequence of high rates of nest predation early in the breeding season. © 2011 The Authors.

Rodewald A.D.,Ohio State University | Kearns L.J.,Ohio State University | Shustack D.P.,Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Ecological Applications | Year: 2011

The extent to which resource subsidies affect food web dynamics is poorly understood in anthropogenic landscapes. To better understand how species interactions are influenced by subsidies, we studied breeding birds and nest predators along a rural-to-urban landscape gradient that varied in subsidies provided to generalist predators. We hypothesized that resource subsidies in urban landscapes would decouple predator-prey relationships, as predators switch from natural to anthropogenic foods. From 2004 to 2009, we surveyed nest predators and monitored 2942 nests of five songbird species breeding in 19 mature forest stands in Ohio, USA. Eighteen species were video-recorded depredating nests. Numbers of avian and mammalian nest predators were positively associated with the amount of urban development surrounding forests, with the exception of Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater). Although nest survival strongly declined with detections of nest predators in rural landscapes, nest survival and predator numbers were unrelated in urban landscapes. Thus, the strength of interaction between breeding birds and nest predators diminished as landscapes surrounding forested parks became more urbanized. Our work suggests that decoupling of predator-prey relationships can arise when synanthropic predators are heavily subsidized by anthropogenic resources. In this way, human drivers can alter, and completely disarticulate, relationships among species that are well established in more natural systems. © 2011 by the Ecological Society of America.

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