Long Beach, CA, United States

California State University, Long Beach

Long Beach, CA, United States

California State University, Long Beach is the second largest campus of the 23 school California State University system and one of the largest universities in the state of California by enrollment, its student body numbering 36,279 for the Fall 2012 semester. With 5,148 grad students, the university enrolls one of the largest graduate student populations across the CSU and in the state of California alone. The university is located in the Los Altos neighborhood of Long Beach at the southeastern coastal tip of Los Angeles County, less than one mile from the border with Orange County. The university offers 137 different Bachelor's degrees, 92 types of Master's degrees, 5 Doctoral degrees including two Doctor of Education, a Ph.D in Engineering, a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Doctor of Nursing Practice, as well as 29 different teaching credentials.Long Beach State is one of the West Coast's top universities in student body racial diversity, being named the 5th most diverse university in the West by U.S. News & World Report. It is also home to the largest publicly funded art school west of the Mississippi. The university currently operates with one of the lowest student fees in the country at US$6,738 per year for full-time students having California residence. As a result, CSULB has been recognized repeatedly as one of "America's Best Value Colleges" by the Princeton Review. Wikipedia.

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Morris R.E.,University of St. Andrews | Bu X.,California State University, Long Beach
Nature Chemistry | Year: 2010

In many areas of chemistry the synthesis of chiral compounds is a target of increasing importance. They play a vital role in biological function and in many areas of society and science, including biology, medicine, biotechnology, chemistry and agriculture. Many pharmaceutical molecules, like their biological targets, are chiral and it is therefore easy to understand the growing demand for efficient methods of producing enantiomerically pure compounds. This is equally true for the preparation of chiral solids, which have potential applications in asymmetric catalysis, chiral separations and the like. In this Review we will consider recent progress and future potential in the development of methods for the preparation of chirally pure solids, in particular where the building blocks of the structure are achiral themselves. We will discuss strategies for the synthesis of both inorganic (for example, zeolites) and inorganic-organic hybrid (for example, metal organic framework) chiral porous solids. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: NUCLEAR THEORY | Award Amount: 60.00K | Year: 2016

The recent discovery of gravitational waves from Black Holes by the NSF-funded US-based LIGO observatories has captured the public imagination and opened a new observational window to our Cosmos, much like the discovery of the telescope did in Galileos time. There is broad consensus in the scientific community that LIGO will soon detect gravitational waves from numerous neutron stars in our Galaxy, which were first observed by radio pulses in the 1960s. Unlike radio waves however, gravitational waves carry information about the interior of neutron stars, which will reveal new insight into nuclear physics at high density and temperature. This project is focused on improving the odds of detecting the gravitational waves from neutron stars by constructing accurate mathematical models of neutron stars and the signals they emit. Integrating nuclear physics and astrophysics, the PI will use modern computational algorithms to estimate key parameters that affect the spectrum of gravitational waves emitted by neutron stars. Results from this research will reduce the computational cost of searching for gravitational wave signals, refine existing models of nuclear physics, and train several graduate students from CSU Long Beach in the methods of scientific research.

In this project, the PI will calculate the non-radial oscillation modes of compact stars made in part or entirely of strange quark matter and will study their relevance to gravitational wave signatures. The goal is to discover trends in the mode spectrum that can be used as gravitational wave fingerprints of the inner structure of neutron stars. Using theoretical principles of fluid dynamics and general relativity, supplemented by numerical routines, this research will advance the understanding of nuclear physics at high density and its implications for compact star oscillations. Novel aspects of this research include investigating the impact of composition gradients, superfluidity, and mixed phases in quark matter on the oscillation spectrum of multi-component strange/hybrid stars. The proposed methods for this research involve numerical coding to solve coupled equations of fluid dynamics in strongly gravitating spacetime inside compact stars. Through these tasks, this project will help quantify the non-radial oscillation modes for realistic quark matter equations of state, identify robust and model-dependent features of the oscillation spectrum and propose distinguishing features between neutron stars and strange stars that can be tested by gravitational wave detectors.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: APPLIED MATHEMATICS | Award Amount: 182.70K | Year: 2016

Conservation laws are fundamental laws of nature that govern many phenomena observed in physics and fluid mechanics, as well as in engineering applications. The first part of this research project addresses the mathematical modeling and analysis of systems of multidimensional conservation laws that mostly relate to problems in dynamics of gases and liquids. It focuses on change of type (transonic) problems, from supersonic to subsonic, or mixed type problems with discontinuities, such as vortex waves and shock waves. The commonly known manifestation of the latter is generation of a sonic boom when an airplane exceeds the velocity of sound. This project aims at developing systematic theories to understand the solution structures of these transonic problems in multidimensional conservation laws. The second part of the project aims to investigate the feasibility of various wildfire spread models with sparse data, and develop efficient algorithms to perform simulations for the model problems. In recent years wildfires have become an all too frequent occurrence, especially in the Western United States. The research on the wildfire spread models will enable effective fire-fighting planning, and thus have a direct impact on the welfare of society. The project will take place at a large, urban, Hispanic-serving institution and involve undergraduate/master students in simulations of the proposed problems, preparing them for further work in the design, implementation, and development of the algorithms.

This project addresses long standing open problems in multidimensional conservation laws, such as Mach shock reflections to resolve the von Neumann paradox, slip line discontinuity propagation to understand vortex waves, and the transonic flow to study a flow passing an airfoil. The investigator will focus on these nonlinear transonic problems to gain new physical insights, to develop novel analytical tools, and to find the correct mathematical framework in which to pose the nonlinear conservation laws and to perhaps develop efficient numerical methods. This research aims to provide more efficient and effective methods for applications, including compressible gas dynamics, thermodynamics, multi-phase flow, and porous medium flow. A part of this research will be devoted to modeling wildfire spread with reaction-advection-diffusion systems. The investigator will investigate the feasibility of various wildfire spread models with sparse data and develop efficient algorithms to solve the model problems. Results will be tested on realistic data. Some aspects of this project will be conducted in collaboration with early career researchers, and in communication with the USDA Forest Fire Lab in Riverside, CA.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Geotechnical Engineering and M | Award Amount: 98.21K | Year: 2015

The recent tendency in urban excavations for high-rise buildings is the use of cofferdams which at times are responsible for the majority of the resulting ground movements. As a result of these projects, the allowable ground movements imposed by underground regulatory agencies have been drastically reduced, calling for improvements in the observational and analytical methods used in movement control plans. This award supports fundamental research on the methods of analysis and design of urban cofferdams and presents an opportunity for advances in soil-structure interaction behavior of deep excavations. Design recommendations considering the proposed effects in the performance of cofferdams do not currently exist in the United States. Two urban cofferdams serve as the test bed of this research: the first was built for a structure projected to be the tallest building in the United States, and to have the deepest basement ever built in the city where the structure was proposed; the second was built for the One Museum Park West building in Chicago, Illinois. The fundamental knowledge developed in this research will inspire new methods of analysis and design of offshore structures, deep foundations, wharfs, and retaining structures, and will advance the understanding of the soil-structure interaction in other types of geotechnical projects.

Knowledge will be produced on the behavior of sheet pile interlocks in urban cofferdams under compression loading, the concrete material time-dependent effects on the behavior of cofferdams braced with reinforced concrete ring beams, and slippage and rotation at sheet pile interlocks for urban cofferdams braced with segmental steel ring beams. Three-dimensional fully-coupled flow-deformation numerical analyses of urban cofferdams using advanced constitutive soils models and incorporating the small strain behavior of soils will be used in the analyses. New design methodologies oriented for practice will be developed to incorporate the following factors into the design process: the material time-dependency of reinforced concrete ring beams, the structural compliance of steel ring beams and sheet piles, the slippage and rotation at sheet pile interlocks, and the installation of deep foundations and other structures inside of cofferdams. The ultimate goal of this research is to create more sustainable and resilient urban environments by preserving and protecting existing infrastructure, which is often compromised when excessive deformations occur.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Engineering for Natural Hazard | Award Amount: 360.00K | 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: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: RES ON GENDER IN SCI & ENGINE | Award Amount: 1.14M | Year: 2014

One explanation for the underrepresentation of some ethnic minority groups in STEM education and STEM careers is that cultural barriers are perceived to exist that render integration of a cultural identity incompatible with an emerging identity as a scientist. In particular STEM careers appear to be disconnected from being able to serve ones community or give back to the place where one grew up. This research will examine how this communal cultural orientation along with some perceptions of science in general might influence how engaged students are in STEM courses and how interested they are in STEM careers. The researchers propose a mixed methods study including interviews, focus groups, a longitudinal survey study and randomized experimental classroom activities to examine how underrepresented minority students cultural and career purpose orientations influence their perceptions of science careers and whether that perception could be altered through targeted activities. Such activities, if proven effective, might have the potential to be more broadly included in STEM curricula and pedagogy to encourage greater participation of underrepresented groups in STEM. Student participants will be recruited from the California State University, Long Beach campus which is a Hispanic Serving Institution (the Hispanic population on the campus is approximately 33%). About 46% of incoming freshmen indicating an interest in the physical or life sciences are identified as underrepresented minorities.

The theoretical framework includes goal congruity theory (person-environment fit) and interest theory. The main hypothesis is that underrepresented minority students struggle to maintain an interest in and develop a strong identity with science if they do not see a career in science that would allow them to fulfill culturally connected communal purpose goals. The researchers model emphasizes the critical role of goal congruence (or fit) in predicting interest in and motivation for science careers, with mediating roles for science class interest and engagement and science identity.

The researchers will engage three phases of work: interviews and focus groups; longitudinal survey study; and a large randomized experimental classroom study. Interviews will commence in year one and include 100 undergraduate freshman students with declared STEM majors and 50 additional students recruited in year two. Data analysis will be done using qualitative content analysis and descriptive analysis of demographic data. The longitudinal survey phase will involve recruiting a sample of freshmen and sophomore students (approximately 250 of each) followed for the three years of the study. Six categories of variables will be included in the data gathering beginning with background variables and moving on to communal goal endorsement, science and communal goal affordance perceptions, science class interest and engagement, science identity, and science career interest and motivation. Data analysis will follow linear growth curve modeling with multivariate repeated measures. Finally, the randomized experimental study will be administered across six classes over three academic semesters to a total of about 6,000 students in experimental and control groups. The intervention is a writing assignment administered for credit approximately every four weeks in the semester with different foci for experimental and control groups. Data analysis will include multilevel linear regression.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: GEOGRAPHY AND SPATIAL SCIENCES | Award Amount: 249.63K | Year: 2015

This research project will focus on determining the mechanisms through which everyday land-management practices create conditions conducive to the establishment and growth of highly valued trees in savannah environments. The project also will seek to improve capabilities for predicting how shifts in management practices will impact future environments. Savannas long have posed a conundrum for scientists, with uncertainty remaining regarding how trees and grasses coexist in the same parkland landscapes and what factors prevent one vegetation form from dominating the other. This project will address fundamental questions of savanna science pertaining to competition between grasses and trees at different life-cycle phases in a mesic savanna. It will integrate new theories of disequilibrium ecology and human land-use practices to determine the long-term impacts of human actions on tree establishment and growth in parklands, and it will provide valuable historical data about how parklands form over time. The project will enhance understanding of how savanna parklands are created through human-environment interactions, thereby providing critical information for foresters and land managers seeking to improve parkland management and to reverse trends that have seen the parklands decline. The project will inform the development of models of carbon sequestration, and it will provide information to improve economic livelihoods for those who rely on savannah environments, especially the products of highly valued trees, for their well-being. The project also will help assess the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, often known as drones) as an inexpensive means for gathering data at local scales in the study area and in other parts of the world.

Explaining the mechanisms that determine the ratio of trees to grasses within landscapes has long been of interest to geographers, ecologists, and others interested in the basic functioning and distribution of the Earths ecosystems. Recent scientific developments have increased the importance of this task, because in mesic areas that receive intermediate amounts of rainfall, both forests and savannas persist, which indicates that savanna is a different stated from a tropical forest. These alternative states cover vast areas, including large parts of Africa as well as parts of the Americas. Tree cover now is thought to be largely determined by fire and other disturbance regimes, including human land management. This project will consist of a focused case study of the role of human practices in determining disturbance regimes in savannas where people set nearly all fires and are responsible for rotational agriculture and animal grazing. The investigators will work in the western African nation of Mali. The investigators will test hypotheses that manipulation of woody environments has been both conscious and unconscious in savanna and that it has been a factor in the selection of specific valued tree species, such as shea trees (Vitellaria paradoxa), which yield a fruit that consists of a nutritious pulp and an oil-rich seed from which shea butter can be processed. The investigators will pursue three interconnected sets of activities. They will conduct field experiments to test the hypothesis that specific human practices differentially affect specific tree species at different times in the lives of the trees. They will analyze a natural experiment, combining field and remote sensing methods to test the hypothesis that disturbance history determines current vegetation cover more so than biophysical conditions, and they will conduct ethnographic research to learn how people occupying savannas understand human-plant interactions and dynamics.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 381.07K | Year: 2016

This Major Research Instrumentation Award supports the acquisition of an immersive virtual reality (VR) environment with synchronized full-body motion tracking system to facilitate interdisciplinary research in human-machine interactions and enhanced teaching and student research training. This room-size virtual reality system provides multiple computer-generated displays that allow users to fully immerse and collaboratively interact with the simulated environment in real-time while the motion tracking system captures the users physical movements. The VR system will enable several research studies across multiple disciplines to gain a better understanding of human-machine interactions and human motor skills and learning. This will lead to the development of technologies that enhance human mobility and function and foster collaborative operations between robots and humans. The research activities envisioned to be impacted by the acquisition of this system include those in rehabilitation, sports training, advanced manufacturing, and design of human-machine interfaces such as intelligent cockpits. The activities have a strong potential for technology transfer that can directly improve the quality of life for individuals in the community. Additionally, the instrumentation will provide an attractive resource for several outreach activities to motivate students to pursue a college career in STEM disciplines.

The instrument is a turnkey, well-integrated CAVE virtual reality environment with a four-wall projection system, eight-camera real-time motion capture system with finger tracking capability, and a control software suite for customized software development and additional hardware integration. The instrumentation will enable fundamental research activities in several key areas. Researchers will investigate interaction models between humans and robots in a dynamic environment to develop effective control strategies for human-robot collaboration. Additional projects will study human perception, biomechanics of human movement under various stimuli, and development of assistive technologies and training protocols to enhance motor skills and learning. The instrumentation will also enable researchers to develop models and evaluation metrics for human interactions in complex environments that include multisensory feedback, perturbations, advanced modes of display, and multiple users. The VR system provides a cost-effective design solution that can be adapted, utilized, and evaluated to fit the needs of different projects that require a rich visual display that captures the dynamic variation in the real world.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: SOLID STATE & MATERIALS CHEMIS | Award Amount: 203.02K | Year: 2016


Magnetic materials have been the subjects of scholarly research for many years. This project will focus on the investigation of a particular class of magnetic systems having triangular arrangements of magnetic ions, which display unusual and little-investigated behavior. The proposed parent materials will also be subjected to chemical modification, and the resulting systems will provide a great opportunity to elucidate the role of crystal symmetry and quantum aspects on determination of the resultant magnetism. A major focus will also be devoted to synthesis of magnetic materials and study of the effects of geometrical and low-dimensional structural contributions. Some of these systems are particularly important as they are expected to exhibit interesting electronic transport properties.

The interdisciplinary nature of the project is attractive from an educational perspective for many scientific communities, i.e. chemistry, physics, electronics, materials, etc. Undergraduate and graduate students will be exposed to a large variety of synthetic methods, characterization techniques, and physical properties measurements in the field of solid-state materials chemistry. Some of the research will be conducted in national laboratories, offering valuable opportunities for students to collaborate with other scientists and benefit from hands-on research experience in world-class research facilities. Also, magnetism and magnetic materials are at the basis of many components of daily human life (electric motors, data storage devices, medical imaging technologies, etc.) and this project will advance public awareness of the field of magnetic materials. It will also include development of new courses and programs, attracting students to pursue academic studies in STEM fields, organizing outreach programs in local high schools, and presenting results at scientific conferences.


In antiferromagnetic (AFM) materials with triangular arrangements of magnetic ions, all the spin constraints cannot be satisfied simultaneously and conventional static magnetic ordering is inhibited. This results in a phenomenon, which is known as geometric magnetic frustration (GMF) where exotic ground states with enormous degeneracies are present. Nonetheless, this condition may be violated when the exchange interactions of different strengths lift the degeneracy and the dominating interaction results in low dimensional magnetism (LDM). This project aims to develop a profound insight into both structural and electronic variables that determine the criteria for the two above-mentioned regimes, LDM vs. GFM. The goals will be achieved by exploratory syntheses, characterizations, and physical properties measurements of rationally designed materials. These will include novel 4d and 5d transition metal oxides in ordered NaCl structure type or in B-site ordered double perovskite structure type, which are composed of triangular magnetic sub-structure. Moreover, the successfully synthesized and characterized parent compounds will undergo further systematic chemical modifications, by which the oxidation states of magnetic ions and/or structural features will be altered. This in turn, will change the degree of frustration and will enable understanding of the interplay between the variables and the ground state magnetic structure. An essential component of the program is the high level of undergraduate and M.S.-level graduate students participation, particularly those from underrepresented groups, in the societally important area of materials science.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: CONDENSED MATTER & MAT THEORY | Award Amount: 141.16K | Year: 2015


This award supports theoretical and computational research and education on new electronic states of matter in two-dimensions. Electrons can be confined to two-dimensions within specially made semiconductor devices and in some two-dimensional materials. When a high magnetic field is applied to that electron system at very low temperatures, the fractional quantum Hall effect emerges. In the magnetic field the electrons interact strongly and forgo their individuality: the electron system collectively behaves as if it is comprised of other particles, called anyons, with exotic properties. For example, anyons can appear carrying only a fraction, e.g. one-third of the electron charge. This strange behavior, which fundamentally relies on the cooperation of all the electrons in the system, is a hallmark of a topologically ordered state of matter; their study is currently at the forefront of physics, materials science, and mathematics. A particular type of anyon, called a non-Abelian anyon, has been proposed as a building block for the construction of a quantum computer, a type of computer that is particularly efficient for problems ordinary computers would take an unacceptably long time to solve. Using computer simulations and new theoretical techniques, the PI will address fundamental questions about the experimental realization of non-Abelian anyons in topologically ordered phases.

The educational elements will involve modern and exciting research opportunities for the ethnically, culturally, and economically diverse graduate and undergraduate students at the California State University Long Beach (CSULB). The award will aim to recruit more high school students from the greater Los Angeles area to attend CSULB and major in physics or other STEM fields, educate high school teachers about the many interesting facets of condensed matter, and recruit and retain physics majors already enrolled at CSULB.


This award supports theoretical and computational research and education focusing on numerical studies of topologically ordered phases emerging in realistic condensed matter physics models. The research will concentrate on two canonical physical systems: the fractional quantum Hall effect (FQHE), and quantum spin models. Using computationally intensive numerical techniques and advanced theoretical concepts on realistic models, the PI will address central and important questions about the realization of non-Abelian anyons in the FQHE in semiconductor heterostructures and graphene, and the possibility of topologically ordered states in low-dimensional quantum spin models. The PI will resolve questions and stimulate future research in the search for topologically ordered states in realistic systems, contributing to a foundation of knowledge from which to construct a quantum computer. The research questions being addressed in this project are: Do non-Abelian anyonic quasiparticle excitations exist in the FQHE under realistic conditions? Are there topologically ordered phases in realistic low-dimensional quantum spin models, and if so, what is their nature?

The educational elements will involve modern and exciting research opportunities for the ethnically, culturally, and economically diverse graduate and undergraduate students at the California State University Long Beach (CSULB). The award will aim to recruit more high school students from the greater Los Angeles area to attend CSULB and major in physics or other STEM fields, educate high school teachers about the many interesting facets of condensed matter, and recruit and retain physics majors already enrolled at CSULB.

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