Fullerton, CA, United States
Fullerton, CA, United States

California State University, Fullerton is a public comprehensive university located in Fullerton, CA. With a total enrollment of 38,325, it has the largest student body out of the 23 campus California State University system, is the largest comprehensive university in the State of California, and is the second largest university overall , in terms of enrollment. At 5,349 students, the university also enrolls the largest graduate student class in the CSU and one of the largest in all of the state. The Orange County university offers over 240 degrees including 120 different Bachelor's degrees, 118 types of Master's degrees, 3 Doctoral degrees including a Doctor of Nursing and two Doctor of Education, and 19 teaching credentials.CSUF is designated both as a Hispanic-serving institution and an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution . The university is nationally accredited in art, athletic training, business, chemistry, communications, communicative disorders, computer science, dance, engineering, music, nursing, public administration, public health, social work, teacher education and theater. Spending related to CSUF generates an impact of around $1 billion to the California and local economy, and sustains nearly 9,000 jobs statewide.CSUF's athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the CSUF Titans. They are members of the Big West Conference. Wikipedia.

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Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Integrative Ecologi Physiology | Award Amount: 300.00K | Year: 2016

Scientists first proposed in 1895 that water transport in plants often occurs under negative pressure, which is generated though surface tension in the cell walls of leaves and which causes water to flow from the soil into the roots and as sap up towards the leaves. Much evidence has accumulated since then to support this hypothesis, known as the cohesion-tension theory, but it is still unknown how plants can move water under negative pressure without constantly creating bubbles in their hydraulic system, the xylem. The question how negative pressure transport works in plants has achieved new urgency with the recent discovery of surfactants in the sap. This finding contradicted the assumption that sap is essentially pure water, and that the high surface tension of water prevents bubbles from forming or from entering the hydraulic system through small pores in xylem walls. This research will determine the chemical composition of xylem surfactants, characterize their physical properties, including surface tension, locate surfactant micelles and their cellular origin in the xylem, and survey a number of plant species from different evolutionary backgrounds to determine if xylem surfactants are ubiquitous in vascular plants. Broader impacts of the project include involvement of several undergraduate and graduate students in the research, including many from groups underrepresented in science. The research has the potential to result in biomimetic applications, such as solar-powered microfluidic devices that transport liquids under negative pressure.

Previous findings have shown that xylem sap of woody angiosperms contains insoluble surfactants, including numerous proteins, glycoproteins, and phospholipids. The proposed research is motivated by a new hypothesis that insoluble surfactants enable water transport under negative pressure by controlling bubble sizes to remain smaller than a critical threshold size, below which bubbles do not expand to form embolisms. Such a mechanism could explain how it is possible to transport large amounts of gas-saturated or super-saturated water under normal, non-stressed conditions, down to several MPa of negative pressure, a feat that human engineers have been unable to replicate. The aim of the research is to characterize xylem surfactants and determine how common they are in vascular plants, including angiosperms and gymnosperms, because this information is needed before any hypotheses about their functions in plants can be tested. Methods will include lipidomic and proteomic studies of xylem sap, constrained drop surfactometry of xylem surfactants, and electron microscopy of xylem sap and xylem to locate surfactant micelles and their origin in the xylem.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: PETROLOGY AND GEOCHEMISTRY | Award Amount: 186.61K | Year: 2016

Detailed knowledge of magma plumbing systems beneath continent-margin volcanoes is crucial for understanding the evolution and growth of continental crust and the associated effects on crustal deformation and ore deposit formation. Understanding the time and length scales of processes in the magma plumbing system sheds light on the spatial distribution, type and frequency of volcanic eruptions and associated hazards. Although our understanding of continent-margin magmatism at depth is vastly improving, debate continues as to the dimensions, and even existence, of large magma volumes in sub-volcanic magma reservoirs, the interconnectivity between magma bodies through the thickness of the continental crust, and the importance and extent of processes that modify the chemistry of such magmas. The aim of this study is to investigate these missing, but critical pieces of the puzzle through study of plutons - ancient magmatic rocks formed at depth - as exposed in Yosemite National Park, California. Traditional bulk-rock element and isotope analyses have left too many fundamental questions about the architecture of crustal magmatic systems, resolution of which is a goal of this study through a new approach of utilizing micro-scale geochemical analysis of individual crystals in plutons. This research will also provide better data for numerical modeling efforts and has great potential to guide future studies of plutonic rocks.

This study will use texturally-constrained, element and isotope geochemical analysis of compositionally heterogeneous rock-forming and accessory minerals from strategically selected sites of the Tuolumne Intrusive Complex ? which was once a composite, mid-crustal arc magma reservoir - to test the following hypotheses. (1) Mineral zoning and inclusion relationships in plutonic rocks record distinct, decipherable magmatic histories. (2) Interconnected magma mush zones exist in mid-crustal reservoirs. (3) Mixing of crystal-rich magmas occurs between magmas injected from deeper levels and coexisting mush zones. (4) Crystal-liquid separation is an important process in the middle crust; consequently, many plutonic rocks are cumulate and do not represent liquid compositions. Testing these hypotheses will allow assessment of two models for mid-crustal arc plutons. A dike model predicts that magmas attain their chemical signatures in deep-crustal ?hot zones? and rise rapidly to sub-volcanic reservoirs without producing large magma bodies. A magma mush column model predicts that magmas form vertically-extensive reservoirs and undergo compositional modification at many crustal levels. Mineral analysis will allow identification of distinct mineral populations, interpretation of prevalent magmatic processes, assessment of the presence or absence of coeval magmas and their dimensions, and the ability of such magmas to chemically ?communicate?.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: IUSE | Award Amount: 275.79K | Year: 2016

This project will investigate and improve instruction in one of the fastest growing and most important areas of contemporary physics: quantum mechanics (QM). QM is the physics of extremely small systems (e.g. the size of an atom). Advances in engineering have led to an increased number of technologies that manipulate matter on this scale, leading to an increasingly critical need for a quantum-literate STEM workforce in both industry and research. This project leverages research into student learning and the challenges associated specifically with learning quantum physics. The outcomes of this work will have a significant impact on the education of STEM majors across the country, and will better prepare students for the growing number of careers in quantum technologies and research.

The project will develop new research-based educational materials that are easily adoptable by faculty from a diverse range of institutions and student populations. This will be done by answering four questions: what must students learn, what are students currently learning, how can their learning be improved, and how can faculty be helped to effectively utilize the resources developed? Thus, the key goals of this research project are to: 1) develop a set of learning goals for undergraduate quantum mechanics instruction by collaborating with a broad spectrum of faculty, industry, and research leaders; 2) improve understanding of student learning and student difficulties in QM with a focus on student learning in different instructional settings; 3) develop educational materials and assessments for quantum mechanics instruction suitable for use in multiple instructional paradigms, that are easy for faculty to modify and use in a diverse range of institutions; and 4) widely disseminate these materials, support new users, and evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum. The scope of the research and curriculum development will target a diverse population of students so the results and curricular materials will be broadly applicable.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: GRAVITATIONAL THEORY | Award Amount: 45.93K | Year: 2016

A century after Einstein predicted their existence, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has made the first observation of gravitational waves--ripples of warped space and time. The waves came from a pair of merging black holes over a billion light years away. This award will help scientists to observe as many gravitational waves as possible while learning as much as possible about the waves astronomical sources. Specifically, this award supports a research program that uses supercomputers to predict the gravitational waves from merging black holes and neutron stars and to study the most important source of noise limiting LIGOs reach. Through their participation in this program, students at California State University Fullerton, a primarily undergraduate-serving and Hispanic-serving institution, will learn transferable skills in research and computing while playing important roles in the inauguration of a new era in astronomy. The imminent gravitational-wave discoveries could dramatically change our understanding of the universe.

This award renews support for California State University Fullertons computational gravitational-wave research program. The PI and undergraduate and masters-level researchers will address two crucial challenges in computational gravitational-wave physics using high performance computing. First, they will use the Spectral Einstein Code (SpEC) to model merging black holes and neutron stars--the most promising sources for Advanced LIGO--focusing on the challenging but astrophysically important case of rapid black-hole spins. The resulting simulated gravitational waveforms will help maximize LIGOs reach, in part by leading to better approximate waveform models for future LIGO searches; the simulations will also reveal how warped spacetime behaves under extreme conditions never before modeled. Second, the PI and student researchers will use high-performance computing to model thermal noise--one of the most significant fundamental limits to detectors astrophysical sensitivities--focusing on a highly promising avenue for improvement, crystalline mirror materials. Leveraging these highly sophisticated techniques will allow for breakthroughs in the understanding of the fluctuations in complex elastic structures, including mirrors with crystalline coatings. These new insights will allow for substantial improvements in the thermal noise of high precision measurements, currently a limiting noise source for gravitational-wave detection, atomic clocks, and inertial sensing.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Engineering for Natural Hazard | Award Amount: 160.00K | Year: 2016

Urban areas are experiencing significant increase in construction of tall buildings to meet the demands of their rapidly increasing population. It is projected that 70 percent of the worlds population will live in urban areas by 2050. The resiliency of tall buildings during and after a natural hazard event plays a vital role in maintaining economic and social stability of an urban region. In the case of earthquake hazard, current design methodologies for tall buildings focus only on preventing loss of human lives and building collapse, whereas damage-impaired losses are not being considered nor limited through the design. Recent earthquakes in Chile, Japan, and New Zealand highlighted that due to the great number of building occupants, seismic impacts would not be constrained within tall building footprints, but would also affect the community as a whole. To alleviate such earthquake consequences, this research will investigate an integrated system-level framework and metrics essential for understanding and modeling the earthquake-resilient design of tall buildings (e.g., repair losses, downtime, resiliency index, and expected annual loss). The research will focus on the development, validation, and integration of novel simulation tools and loss/recovery models that will envelope interaction between soil, foundation, structural, and nonstructural building components to provide a methodology for identifying engineering design requirements that will enable resiliency. Given the diverse student body of the participating universities, this project will enhance student experiences, particularly those of underrepresented groups, by active participation in a multi-campus interdisciplinary research project and collaborations with researchers and engineers in the U.S and globally.

This research will focus on tall buildings that utilize reinforced concrete core walls as the lateral load-resisting system, as it is currently the preferred system in construction of tall buildings. To develop the system-level framework, the research program will target four major areas that are essential to addressing the critical gaps in current simulation, assessment, and damage/loss/recovery estimation capabilities: 1) development and validation of a novel, three-dimensional, analytical model for reinforced concrete structural walls that integrates shear-flexural interaction and failure mechanisms, 2) evaluation of available soil models for simulating soil behavior and soil-foundation-structure interaction effects of tall buildings, 3) development of functionality limit states, downtime, and recovery models for tall buildings, and 4) integration of all framework components into a robust innovative tool for resilient-based design. The framework components will be validated based on test data available in the literature and archived in the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure data repository or in other data bases, and on data collected through earthquake reconnaissance reports and interviews with engineers, public officials, contractors, owners, and insurers. The framework will be demonstrated on a tall reinforced concrete core wall building located in an urban region with high seismicity. The framework will be applicable to all types of lateral-load resisting systems for tall buildings, including new and existing construction. The developed framework components will tackle the aforementioned critical gaps and provide valuable data sets to advance the natural hazard mitigation of civil infrastructure. This project will contribute to research and engineering communities by implementing the framework components into widely available computational platforms, disseminating research results using web-based tools, involving professionals and researchers in earthquake engineering during the project, and disseminating educational materials.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: GRAVITATIONAL THEORY | Award Amount: 25.49K | Year: 2017

A century after Einstein predicted their existence, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) discovered gravitational waves--ripples of warped space and time---from a pair of merging black holes. Imminent discoveries in the dawning era of gravitational-wave astronomy could dramatically change our understanding of the universe. This project will help scientists observe as many gravitational waves as possible while learning as much as possible about the waves sources. Using supercomputers, the PI and students will calculate the gravitational waves from merging black holes and neutron stars, to expedite and respond to LIGOs observations; they will also model the most important source of noise limiting LIGOs reach. By teaching students from local community colleges about supercomputing and gravitational-wave science, the PI and students will help train the next generation of Americas STEM workforce. This project will have a substantial positive impact on students from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM, who will learn transferable skills in research and computing while playing important roles in gravitational-wave science. The PI and student researchers will broadly disseminate their results to other scientists and the public.

This award supports an integrated research and education program at California State University, Fullerton. The PI and students will simulate merging black holes and neutron stars, including those with rapid black-hole spins. They will use results from these simulations to help gravitational-wave astronomers extract the most interesting and surprising scientific results from LIGOs observations, including properties of merging black holes and tests of general relativity under the most extreme conditions. The PI and students will also model thermal noise in gravitational-wave detector optics, leveraging the sophisticated techniques used in numerical relativity to model merging black holes. This will help improve the thermal noise of high precision measurements and will increase gravitational-wave detectors reach and sensitivity to properties of observed gravitational waves. The PI and students will integrate methods and results from their research into an annual, week-long workshop, where STEM majors from local community colleges will gain hands-on experience using a high-performance computing cluster to simulate and visualize merging black holes.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: NSF INCLUDES | Award Amount: 299.26K | Year: 2016

This project will address broadening participation challenges concerning underrepresented minority students seeking STEM degrees at institutions of higher education in Southern California. Data show that Latino students in particular are well-represented at local two-year colleges (TYC) but less well-represented among STEM bachelors degree recipients. In order to promote success for TYC students with an interest in STEM, the project will build upon and expand the model for strengthening transfer pathways from TYC to four year STEM degree programs developed through the current program Strengthening Transfer Education and Matriculation in STEM at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). The pilot will focus on replicating the most effective components of the CSUF model at California Polytechnic State University Pomona (CPP). The pilot project will target STEM students at Citrus College, a two-year college (TYC) in Glendora, CA that feeds both CSUF and CPP. If the pilot is successful, it could be expanded to additional Southern California campuses of the CSU system and regional TYCs whose students transfer to these campuses. Once the most effective elements of the model are identified, the model could be adopted by all twenty-three campuses in the CSU system.

This project targets students who have already expressed interest in STEM careers, seeking to improve the rates at which they persist in higher education, transfer to four-year institutions, and eventually enter the STEM workforce. The project builds upon a proven model, seeking to examine the conditions under which this model can be replicated at institutions with different cultures and constraints, to develop better understanding of the elements of the model most essential for success, and to establish partnerships and create a pilot of the model at another institution. This project will increase the reach of an intervention model with a proven track record and documented positive outcomes. These interventions include an undergraduate research experience for the TYC students, peer mentoring at both the TYC and the four-year institution, a transfer support program at both the TYC and the four-year institution, and required advising and co-curricular activities.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: PETROLOGY AND GEOCHEMISTRY | Award Amount: 85.53K | Year: 2016

Continental margin volcanic arcs are locations of vast crustal growth factories, sites of extensive ore deposit formation and areas of widespread mountain building. They are also locations of dangerous volcanic eruptions that can disrupt the lives of millions of people at any time and over large regions. Although a basic understanding of volcanic eruptions exists, the different behaviors of eruption such as location, volumes and frequency are not well understood. Part of the problem is that volcanoes are only the surface expression of the complex physical and chemical processes that occur below the Earths surface in vertically extensive magma plumbing systems that feed the volcanoes. One important but poorly understood type of volcanic behavior is the spatial and temporal focusing of these systems best documented in volcanic fields, as expressed through the change from initially low volume, compositionally heterogeneous and spatially spread-out volcanism to high volume, homogeneous and spatially focused volcanism often leading to large volcanic eruptions. If magma focusing begins at deeper crustal levels, what processes control this phenomenon, and how does it manifest itself in style, location, volume, and the frequency of volcanic eruptions? To answer this, it is essential that we understand the mechanisms by which magmatism is focused during vertical transport through the crustal column and how volcanic and deeper magmatic systems are linked to one another. Understanding the processes causing magma focusing will also help us understand ore deposit formation and aspects of mountain building and the growth of continents.

Preliminary research in the central Sierra Nevada, California, has led to three important discoveries: (1) a clear pattern of spatiotemporal and geochemical magmatic focusing in a field of Cretaceous plutons with the large 95 to 85 Ma Tuolumne Intrusive Complex (TIC), in Yosemite National Park occurring at the center of the focus; (2) a number of host rock pendants in this area preserve volcanic rocks that mimic the same temporal and geochemical focusing as the plutons; (3) a number of subvolcanic porphyry volcanic feeder systems occur in this area, linking volcanic and plutonic fields of the same age. These discoveries provide the opportunity to investigate the potential causes and processes facilitating magma focusing in the mid-upper crust that leads to the generation of focused volcanic systems, like those established in the San Juan volcanic field in Colorado or the Aucanquilcha volcanic cluster in Chile. The proposed study will examine two scales: 1) Studying the broad spatiotemporal geochemical pattern of volcanic and plutonic units at the peripheral boundaries of a large silicic pluton; 2) Targeting key plutonic-porphyry feeder-volcanic triads to examine volcanic-plutonic links during the focusing. The proposed research will use field mapping, geochemical analyses and geochronology to explore spatial/temporal/compositional focusing of magmatism at 6-11 km depths in an ancient arc, and compare to similar phenomena established in modern volcanic systems. This project supports two early career women, PhD student Ardill at USC and assistant professor Memeti at CSU Fullerton, and professor Paterson from USC. Several undergraduates and one graduate student from Hispanic-Serving CSU Fullerton will be involved. A free mobile application will be developed in collaboration with CSU Fullerton assistant professor Dr. Natalie Bursztyn that will enhance student learning in the geosciences and engage the general public by taking them on a virtual field trip back in time through the Sierra Nevada magmatic arc. The project emphasizes training in analytical methods at home and at collaborating facilities. Paterson and Memeti will continue a >12 yr collaboration with Yosemite National Park.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: AMO Experiment/Atomic, Molecul | Award Amount: 402.41K | Year: 2016

Electrons scattering from matter are responsible for a host of phenomena, including the light emitted from planetary atmospheres (including that of the Earth), the sparks in gasoline engines, and the fragmentation of DNA in biological tissues exposed to radiation. These processes can be understood by the theory of quantum mechanics. The present experimental project involves setting up controlled collisions between a well-defined beam of electrons and gas atoms or molecules placed in their path. The aim is to carefully investigate how these electrons are deflected by the target gas atoms or molecules and how they change the physical and chemical state of these targets for a given energy of the electrons. The experiments are conducted for a wide range of electron energies and will look at the dynamic interaction between the electrons and the targets and delve into the physics which controls how the electrons are scattered in various directions at these controlled energies. The targets include simple atoms such as neon, argon, krypton, and xenon, molecular hydrogen and nitrogen, and more complex molecules such as water, alcohols and benzene-type aromatic molecules. The experimental results are used to test detailed quantum scattering models to promote our understanding of the interaction of these electrons with targets. The project continues prior work in the same lab which has advanced the modeling of industrial processes. A benefit from this project will be the exposure of undergraduates to world-wide PhD programs as a result of their engagement in this project.

A new electron time-of-flight spectrometer will be able to handle very slow electrons emerging from scattering events. The electron beam is pulsed and the scattered electrons are separated in velocity by the amount of time they take to reach the detector. The scattering of low energy electrons with kinetic energies ranging from 0.5 eV to 100 eV is studied using electron energy loss spectroscopy where the incident energy of a 1 mm collimated beam of high energy resolution crosses a tenuous beam of pure atoms or molecules in a vacuum chamber. The energy separation of electrons (produced from a tungsten filament source) is made at high resolution (30-50 meV full-with at half maximum) using electrostatic lenses combined with hemispherical analyzers. The measurements consist of differential scattering cross sections and polarization correlations for electron scattering from rare gas atoms and simple diatomic molecules (H2 and N2). The data provide tests for models of electron scattering and shed light on the quantum dynamics of the scattering process which involves details of Coulomb interactions, electron spin processes (spin-exchange, spin-orbit), and resonant interactions. Models to date have been evolving to handle more complex targets as computational power is rapidly increasing. The present project will look at the polarization of emitted vacuum ultraviolet radiation and, perpendicular to the scattering plane, in coincidence with differentially scattered electrons whose energy loss coincides with the excitation energy of the radiation. Importantly, it will measure the circular polarization of the radiation in the vacuum ultraviolet, a parameter which is related to the angular momentum imparted to the target by the scattered electron, and provides valuable physical insights to the collision process. In addition, the development of a new time-of-flight spectrometer (using a fast 1 nanosecond pulsed electron beam) will enable absolute calibration of scattering cross sections as well as be able to handle slow emergent electrons in the energy range of 0.5eV to 20eV, and add to the range and accuracy of the overall ongoing measurements. This project aims to continue its productive supply of accurate collision data involving undergraduates in laboratory research.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: PAARE | Award Amount: 937.37K | Year: 2016

California State University Fullerton (CSUF) and Syracuse University (SU) will expand their partnership to significantly increase the number of students from underrepresented groups participating in gravitational-wave astrophysics. Gravitational waves will be a powerful new tool for probing the most violent astrophysical events. With support from NSFs Partnerships in Astronomy and Astrophysics Research and Education (PAARE) program, the team will significantly advance undergraduate education and research on the Fullerton campus and expand the diversity in physics and astronomy graduate education at Syracuse University. More broadly, this partnership will significantly increase the number of Hispanic and Latino astronomy and physics Ph.D. students nationally.

CSUF is a primarily undergraduate and teaching-focused Hispanic Serving Institution, while SU is a Ph.D.-granting university with a strong research program in gravitational-wave astrophysics. They will develop a clear pathway for CSUF students to enter the Ph.D. program at SU, including financial and academic support as they transition. This will double the number of students CSUFs gravitational-wave research group sends to Ph.D. programs.

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