Kinesiology Senior Places First in STEM Poster Presentations at LSU Discover Day 2018


April 10, 2018

School of Kinesiology senior Madison Hopper took home the first place award for her poster presentation in the STEM division on Tuesday during LSU Discover Day 2018.

Hopper’s presentation titled “The Relationship Between Hand Use and the Direction of Handwriting” examined the varying styles of handwriting in left-handed versus right-handed individuals. Her six-month study was supported and monitored by Associate Professor of Kinesiology Dr. Arend Van Gemmert, who is the director of the Fine Motor Control and Learning Laboratory on campus.

Hopper noticed a lack of research in left-handed individuals and was inspired to ensure they were accounted for. “I am left-handed and so are my dad and sister,” she said. “Left-hand dominant individuals only make up about ten percent of the world’s population, which leads to them not being used normally in studies. I wanted to make sure to include [them].”

She analyzed four different variables of handwriting in 19 left-handed and 48 right-handed participants: duration of movement, smoothness of handwriting, peak vertical acceleration, and number of peak vertical acceleration points. Hopper’s studies showed there were significant correlations between all four variables, indicating a direct relationship between the dominant hand and ease of writing. However, when asked to switch hands, the left-handed individuals were able to more easily write with their non-dominant hand than their right-handed counterparts. Hopper concluded that “the hand we use has more of an effect on handwriting than the direction we write in.”

Hopper hopes that her research will aid in understanding cultural differences in handwriting, such as English versus Arabic writing styles, but also encourage more exploration of left-handed individuals and the unique qualities they possess. She graduates in May and plans to continue her research on hand use and handwriting.

Madison Hopper posing with first place award.
Madison Hopper posing with poster presentation.


About SOK
The LSU School of Kinesiology (SOK) advances the understanding of physical activity, sport, and health to optimize the quality of life for diverse populations through excellence in teaching, learning, discovery, and engagement. SOK offers a BS, MS, Online MS, PhD, and two certificate options. Graduates go on to successful careers in the health and fitness industry, corporate wellness, sport agencies and businesses, athletic administration, and K-12 educational settings. SOK is part of the College of Human Sciences & Education.  

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About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, the School of Library & Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs, 18 graduate programs, and 7 online graduate degree and/or certificate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 1,120 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan.

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