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Spearfish, SD, United States

Black Hills State University is the U.S. state of South Dakota's third largest comprehensive public university, offering both undergraduate and graduate programs. The 123-acre campus is located in Spearfish. Close to 5,000 students attend classes at this campus, as well as sites in Rapid City, Pierre, Yankton, Sioux Falls, and through distance offerings. Enrollment comes from nearly every county in South Dakota, 44 states, and 13 countries. BHSU is governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents. Wikipedia.

Barrus M.D.,Black Hills State University
Information Processing Letters | Year: 2010

An antimagic labeling of a connected graph with m edges is an injective assignment of labels from {1, ..., m} to the edges such that the sums of incident labels are distinct at distinct vertices. Hartsfield and Ringel conjectured that every connected graph other than K2 has an antimagic labeling. We prove this for the classes of split graphs and graphs decomposable under the canonical decomposition introduced by Tyshkevich. As a consequence, we provide a sufficient condition on graph degree sequences to guarantee an antimagic labeling. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: Integrative Activities in Phys | Award Amount: 76.10K | Year: 2016

Black Hills State University (BHSU) will host a 10-week Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program centered on underground science at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF). This program will recruit 6-8 undergraduate students each year to participate in exciting underground research projects as well as professional development, social and outreach activities. Underground science offers possibilities for research across a variety of disciplines including physics, chemistry and biology. Recruitment efforts of the BHSU REU site will be especially focused on American Indian, female and community college students.

Some of the most important physics experiments of our time are currently in operation at SURF, searching for dark matter and investigating properties of the neutrino. Students will be offered the opportunity to engage in research related to these experiments by assaying materials for radiopurity measurements, using Monte Carlo simulations to investigate the effect of those materials on detectors and testing the chemical purity of noble gases. Additionally, research at SURF is being carried out in the study of life deep underground, with applications to medicine and astrobiology, in particular in the diversity of microbial environments and in the isolation of novel microbes. Complementary chemistry research will also be performed to determine the local environment in which these microbes live.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: EVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGY | Award Amount: 143.79K | Year: 2014

Nearly all animals are diploid, i.e., they have two sets of chromosomes. In contrast, many plants are polyploid and have four or more sets of chromosomes, yet the role of polyploidy in speciation remains sharply debated. Polyploid plants that cannot interbreed with diploid plants are rarely recognized as different species, in large part because it is uncertain whether diploids and polyploids are ecologically distinct. This project combines field observations and transplant experiments to investigate reproductive barriers between diploid and polyploid populations of wild yarrow, a native perennial wildflower, and rigorously test the nature of polyploid speciation. The project will use naturally-occurring polyploid lineages and new polyploid mutants that arise spontaneously within diploid populations to separate the effects of ecological divergence and ploidy-based barriers on reproductive isolation.

This project has broad implications for the interpretation of global biodiversity patterns. Taxonomic recognition of polyploids, which are common at high latitudes, could double the number of flowering plant species and fundamentally alter understanding of species diversity, which is generally thought to be greatest in tropical regions. This project will involve faculty and graduate students not only in the laboratory and field research, but also in development of a public education and outreach program on urban forests and their conservation. Urban forests provide critical habitat for wildlife as well as recreational opportunities for urban and suburban citizens, yet are increasingly threatened by habitat fragmentation and invasive organisms. The project will develop urban forests as sites of formal and informal biology education and as a public resource.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 65.32K | Year: 2012

This award supports the continuing research program at Black Hills State University in underground astrophysics research. The focus is mainly on dark matter and neutrinoless double-beta decay experiments planned for the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) at Homestake, SD. For the dark matter experiments, DARKSIDE and MAX, BHSU is designing, building, and optimizing a continuous wave custom cavity ring-down spectroscopy (cw-CRDS) system for measuring the level of impurities in argon gas. This is important for the success of the depleted argon-based dark matter detectors. With this award the BHSU group expects to improve upon the sensitivity of commercial CRDS systems by at least an order of magnitude. The BHSU group will setup the facilities needed to clean the ancient lead bricks to be used for shielding the double-beta decay experiment, MAJORANA.

Broader impacts: Every summer the BHSU group involves South Dakota undergraduates in hands-on research. The BHSU QuarkNet Center, established in 2009, is one of the most active QuarkNet Centers in the country. Last year five teachers brought about 30 students to participate in an LHC Masterclass held at Homestake. As the group enters their 4th year, they expect to add about four new teachers to the Center. In addition, the BHSU group is working with representatives from Oglala Lakota College, in an effort to establish the first QuarkNet Center at a Tribal College or University (TCU).

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: DISCOVERY RESEARCH K-12 | Award Amount: 2.97M | Year: 2011

Technology educators from Black Hills State University (SD) and Purdue University partner with science educators from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and Stevens Institute of Technology to determine the viability of an engineering concept-based approach to teacher professional development for secondary school science teachers in life science and in physical science. The project refines the conceptual base for engineering at the secondary level learning (previously developed by the PIs) to increase the understanding of engineering concepts by the science teachers. In a pilot test of two weeks of professional development with ten teachers from each discipline, teachers become familiar with engineering concepts and study the process of infusing engineering concepts into science curricula so that they can develop modules in their discipline to be taught during the following in the school year. The following summer the teachers debrief the process and develop additional modules for their discipline. The process is revised and repeated with 22 teachers from each discipline. Teachers are explicitly provided strategies to help them meet the needs of diverse learners. The outputs of this project include: 1) a preliminary framework for secondary level engineering education to be published in both research and practitioner journals; 2) a pilot tested and validated Engineering Concept Assessment; 3) engineering-infused curriculum modules in life and physical science; and 4) a professional development model to prepare science teachers to infuse engineering in their teaching.

The project compares student learning when particular concepts in physics and biology are taught through engineering design with learning the same concepts taught an earlier group of students with present reform techniques used in the discipline. The hypothesis is that when teachers and students engage with engineering design activities their understanding of science concepts and inquiry are also enhanced. The research component of the project employs an iterative design with the design of activities followed by development and implementation. An engineering concept assessment is developed and tested to examine teacher learning and to determine how engineering concepts can be infused into the science curricula for life and physical science. Other quantitative and qualitative instruments are developed to assess the teachers? understandings of the engineering concepts and their pedagogical implications.

There is increasing emphasis on integrative STEM education. New national and international assessments are developing engineering strands and emphasizing non-routine problem solving. The framework for the Next Generation Science Standards includes engineering as one of four strands. Stand alone engineering course are not likely to be widely used. This project develops engineering infused science units and determines the professional development needed to use them effectively.

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