Wilberforce, OH, United States

Central State University

Wilberforce, OH, United States

Central State University, commonly referred to as CSU, is a historically black university located in Wilberforce, Ohio, United States. Central State University is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Established by the state legislature in 1887 as a two-year program for normal and industrial training, it was originally located with Wilberforce University, a four-year institution devoted to classical academic education. In 1941 the college gained a four-year curriculum, independent status in 1947, and was renamed as Central State College in 1951. With further development, it gained university status in 1965. Wikipedia.

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Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: RES EXP FOR TEACHERS(RET)-SITE | Award Amount: 176.41K | Year: 2014

This award provides funding for a three year standard collaborative award to support a Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering and Computer Science Site program at the University of Dayton (UD), Central State University (CSU), and Wright State University (WSU) entitled, Collaborative Research: Collaborative RET Site-Inspiring Next Generation High-skilled Workforce in Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, under the direction of Dr. Margaret Pinnell, Dr. Leanne Petry, and Dr. Ahsan Mian. The University of Dayton will serve as the lead institution on this collaborative Site.

The Site will target teachers from Ohio Region 10 districts eligible for School Improvement Support, and from partner schools (Dayton Early College Academy (DECA) and Dayton Regional STEM School (DRSS). After participation in this RET, teachers will continue their professional development through ongoing engagement with the PIs at all three institutions and the DRSC and will be prepared for leadership roles in their K-12 setting. Participants will achieve long-term collaborative partnerships with the university research community, engineering professionals, and the DRSC.

The project will have a significant impact on the Dayton area and the engineering community nationwide by promoting engineering in K-12 STEM curriculum and recruiting teachers from high-needs and urban schools. It will also strengthen regional partnerships and collaborative relationships that support both STEM education at all levels and advanced manufacturing and materials development.

The new era of manufacturing will require highly skilled STEM professionals. As such, educators need to inspire youth to pursue STEM disciplines. This collaborative RET Site will leverage and sustain a prior UD RET Site and provide a total of 54 in-service and pre-service middle and high school STEM teachers, 18 per year over three years, with an intensive and transformative six week real world research experience that is thematically centered on materials and advanced manufacturing, a regional strength and economic cluster. The Site will facilitate this immersion by placing teachers teachers with research mentors at one of the three participating universities to work on projects that connect with regional strengths in advanced manufacturing and materials. The RET experience will be enhanced through a materials boot camp, industry and laboratory tours and extensive interaction with a wide variety of STEM professionals through the Dayton Regional Stem Center (DRSC).

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 199.43K | Year: 2011

Central State Universitys Research Initiation Award entitled - Computational Study of Molecular Interactions and Catalysis - proposes to investigate the hydration thermodynamics of protonated 1,2- and 1,3-propanediols and 1,3- and 1,4-butanediols, as well as protonated amino acids with sequential addition of water molecules by computational methodologies based on both wave function and density functional theory calculations. In particular, the binding enthalpies, entropies, and free energies, as well as the structures of protonated diols and amino acids with one, two, and three water molecules in the gas phase will be determined. Additionally, the project will investigate the potential energy surfaces of dispersion bound systems of He-CH4 and Ne- CH4 with CCSD(T) calculations using medium-sized basis sets and bond functions. Combined quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics Monte Carlo statistical mechanics computer simulations will be performed to investigate the origin of acetone catalysis of the decarboxylation reaction of aminomalonate in solution.

This research aims to provide an in-depth understanding of experimental observations and solvent effects on chemical activities, validate theoretical methods, establish an undergraduate computational chemistry research program at Central State University, attract underrepresented minority students to STEM fields, enhance students research experiences, improve and integrate research and teaching at CSU, establish collaborations, and generate high quality publications. The research activities will help attract and retain students in STEM areas and prepare them for admittance into graduate or professional schools, as well as for future scientific careers.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 390.97K | Year: 2013

The project at Central State University will infuse shale gas extraction principles into an integrated geosciences curriculum; engage faculty in providing innovative research experiences for undergraduates in the application of environmental engineering principles on shale gas production; and develop a certification program in shale gas technology. The projects focus on teaching and training students in shale gas technology is consistent with the needs of the state of Ohio and its shale gas economy. In collaboration with partner universities, Central State University will expand instruction and research in different facets of shale development such as site development, preparation for drilling, drilling, fracturing, well completion and fracturing fluids management. The certificate program will require an internship in the industry in addition to courses in cognate areas. The project will enhance institutional research capacity in the areas of geophysics, hydraulic fracturing fluids treatment and management, and air quality.

The project will impact the participation of underrepresented groups in the geosciences field and the shale gas industry. The project has an important emphasis on environmental impact in its educational and research program plan specifically integrating green engineering principles, optimization of water resources allocation, and other environmental solutions and conservation. Research experiences for undergraduate students will involve their participation in finding solutions to some of the major environmental challenges associated with fracturing for shale oil, in particular, the techniques for addressing treatment and cleaning of caustic flow water backflow. The curricular and research enhancements of the geoscience program will position Central State University as a regional leader at the forefront of geoscience research and instruction.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ROBUST INTELLIGENCE | Award Amount: 219.76K | Year: 2011

This project addresses open questions and challenges in search theory, energy-efficient networked robotics, and fish biology. A network of robotic boats which can track many fish in shallow waters over extended periods of time are deployed in invasive carp infested waters. Provably correct cooperative search and tracking algorithms are developed, energy efficiency is studied at multiple levels including navigation, sensing, communication and complete system, communication protocols for controllable mobile entities are studied, and data analysis algorithms are developed.

The project provides a means to sustainably reduce invasive carp populations in US lakes without impacting other wildlife, thus solving a major environmental problem. Robots are shown to serve as a major scientific instrument for environmental scientists. The educational activities promote the results of this research to high school, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as educators across the country. A summer research experience is offered which blends mathematics, computer science and biology. Participation of students from under-represented groups is ensured through collaborations with predominantly Native American schools, as well as Central State University which has a 96% African-American student population. The project simultaneously raises awareness of environmental issues and attracts students to science and engineering.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 299.21K | Year: 2016

Research Initiation Awards provide support for junior and mid-career faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities who are building new research programs or redirecting and rebuilding existing research programs. It is expected that the award helps to further the faculty members research capability and effectiveness, improves research and teaching at his home institution, and involves undergraduate students in research experiences. The award to Central State University has potential broader impact in a number of areas. The project seeks to employ a Bayesian framework on Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) for forecasting flows of the spatial distribution of subsurface properties, such as permeability and porosity. Undergraduate students will be involved in the project and a new course in high performance computing will be developed.

In oil recovery, carbon dioxide sequestration, or monitoring and remediation of aquifer contamination, it is often required to forecast quantities such as the fraction of oil in the produced fluid, carbon dioxide concentration, or concentration of contaminants, using subsurface fluid flow models with limited data. In this work, a Bayesian framework on Graphics Processing Units for forecasting flows will be employed. The main objectives of the project are to: expand the subsurface characterization in an existing Bayesian framework that employs a flow simulator on GPUs; improve experimental data fitting using the Bayesian statistical framework; and extend the improved framework to include a three-dimensional flow simulator on GPUs. To improve the characterization, a huff-puff technique will be employed, which consists of injecting a tracer for a short period of time into the subsurface during the huff phase, and monitoring the tracer during the puff phase. Additionally, an ensemble Kalman filter for integrating permeability and porosity data at different spatial scales for reconstructing fine-scale spatial distributions of permeability and porosity will be used. Through collaboration with industry, the proposed Bayesian framework can be used to detect contaminants in water aquifers equipped with sensors.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 683.91K | Year: 2012

The project entitled - A Design Proposal: The Center for Cyber Sensors Networks for Human and Environmental Applications - aims to increase the research capacity of Central State University (CSU) with the goal of developing a focused research center in two years. CSU is a mostly undergraduate Historically Black University where 95% of the students are African American. The work will strengthen the research credentials of the universitys faculty as well as the resources and facilities of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) departments, thereby creating the foundation for the university to become an institution more competitive in research. The ultimate goal is for CSU to develop the research infrastructure to establish a research center in the area of cyber sensor networks. In order to establish such a center, the institution must have an established research focus with integrated educational initiatives; demonstrate a long-term plan for research infrastructure improvement; and develop a comprehensive plan to achieve and maintain national competitiveness in a defined research area. The outcomes produced by this work will position CSU to accomplish the following over the next two years: increase the institutions research capabilities, increase faculty research capacity, improve the research infrastructure, and increase the research capabilities of undergraduate students.

The project will develop a sharable self-optimizing and cooperative control cyber sensor network platform for sensor-oriented applications such as persistent surveillance on human behavior and the tracking of environmental phenomena. As a multidisciplinary research collaboration, the project involves image/video processing, algebraic techniques, statistical physics, data fusion, cooperative control, and optimization. The educational activities are integrated through an interdisciplinary undergraduate seminar course in cyber sensors networks. The course will increase awareness of national problems in the environment, as well as current studies in human performance, attracting students to research and continued study in STEM. The research will enhance the institutions efforts in recruiting and retaining minority students by engaging them in undergraduate research.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 1.11M | Year: 2014

Implementation Projects provide support to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to design, implement, study, and assess comprehensive institutional efforts to increase the number of students receiving undergraduate degrees in STEM and enhance the quality of their preparation by strengthening STEM education and research. The project at Central State University seeks to build on previous successful efforts to increase participation of African-American students in STEM disciplines. The institution seeks to address low first year retention and persistence in the STEM areas. Central State University recognizes that the need to improve learning practices must be addressed. To address the issue of high unemployment levels for veterans in the state of Ohio, Central State University will increase educational opportunities for veterans in STEM fields.

The goal of the project is to improve retention and persistence rates by adopting evidence-based strategies to include: enhancement of the universitys cyber-infrastructure for anytime, anywhere, anyone learning; development and assessment of innovative teaching and learning techniques in STEM curricula; enhancement of undergraduate student research experiences; faculty professional development in effective STEM teaching pedagogy and research; and the creation of new approaches to recruitment and retention of undergraduate STEM students. Through the evaluation plan, the impact of infusion of cyber-pedagogy and integration of experiential learning on traditional students and veterans will be studied and disseminated.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 650.00K | Year: 2016

The Undergraduate Scholarships for Education Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Water Resources Management (USE4WRM) project will provide scholarships to the academically talented and low-income Water Resources Management (WRM) and Environmental Engineering (ENE) undergraduate students at Central State University (CSU). The USE4WRM project will utilize targeted enrollment of academically prepared students to improve retention and graduation rates. The project aims to address the wide gap in enrollment of high school graduates into college in the STEM fields between low-income and underrepresented communities and the general population. Traditionally CSU has attracted large numbers of underrepresented minorities and the program will lead to the matriculation of a more diversified set of graduates in environmental sciences.

The USE4WRM program will recruit 14 high school students into the ENE and WRM programs in two cohorts. Scholars will receive scholarships, mentoring, advising, tutoring and personal development services for four years. Under the guidance of faculty, each cohort will form a learning community in which curricular and experimental learning experiences through internships are shared. Academic performance indicators of the cohorts and the scholar surveys will be used in program assessment. An external evaluator team will evaluate the success of the program and will utilize data mining techniques to analyze academic performance indicators of the cohorts and responses from the surveys by students and faculty mentors. The research team will use this data to answer the research questions, Are the support systems planned, fully effective for the average profile of the student in the program? and Are there differences in the use of support systems based on the gender of the student? Results from this research will generate evidence regarding the efficacy of existing recruitment and retention techniques. Knowledge gained within the ENE and WRM programs will be extended and applicable to other STEM fields.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2013

Wright State University (Lead)
Miami University Oxford Campus
Central State University

This effort is building on a previous NSF supported CCLI project Evolvable wireless laboratory design and implementation for enhancing undergraduate wireless engineering education, in which the team developed and demonstrated lower cost, software defined radio (SDR) based laboratories for three undergraduate courses. The collaborating team is now extending and expanding the software defined radio based laboratories throughout the communication and networking curriculum at multiple institutions. The project is developing a suite of experiments and laboratories for insertion in a sequence of courses (ranging from freshmen year introductory course - to senior year elective courses and capstone design projects) that vertically integrates the SDR-based experiment approach.

The three largest sub-disciplines within electrical and computer engineering (ECE) are computers, communications and power. Wireless technology requires all three to be addressed in a related engineering degree program. The recent availability of inexpensive software radio platforms makes it possible to create a hands-on educational experience for all ECE undergrads. The team is producing a scalable and transferable model for redesigning undergraduate electrical engineering and computer science courses to include lab-based learning opportunities for students in more classes.

The project is evaluating and comparing the teaching effectiveness of the SDR approach to that of traditional hardware equipment approach. The SDR approach and laboratory suite are being implemented and institutionalized at the three participating institutions - Wright State University, Miami University (a mostly undergraduate serving institution), and Central State University (an HBCU) - to study the potential for enhancing student learning and adaptation by other institutions.

The project is positively impacting STEM education in the state of Ohio. It is also helping recruit high school students into STEM fields and benefiting a diverse population of students. The participation of Central State University (a HBCU) is helping to recruit and train minority students and serving as an example for other minority institutions in the nation. The cutting-edge technology on which the proposed course lab development is relatively inexpensive; while the software used is GNU software radio, which is free and has a large supporting community.

The project materials and the results of evaluation & assessment are being broadly disseminated and made freely available via a course website, publications, and potential books. Results from the effort are informing the development of a national model for wireless communication & networking courses. The project is helping to develop and produce a workforce with the skills necessary to meet the societal demand of the new wave of wireless IT.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: CHEMICAL & BIOLOGICAL SEPAR | Award Amount: 58.68K | Year: 2012

The proposed project focuses on the development of a mathematical model that describes the binding equilibria of large biological macromolecules. It is anticipated that our work will lead to a robust model capable of simulating single and multicomponent isotherms for biomolecules interacting with a variety of adsorbents. The Gillespie stochastic algorithm is proposed to simulate multi-component biomolecule isotherms. This method has been successfully used to simulate reversible protein binding onto DNA active sites. The Gillespie approach was selected because it has the needed flexibility to model multi-component protein isotherms on a variety of adsorbents. In this proposal the colloidal model will be used in conjunction with the Gillespie algorithm to calculate the probability of binding interactions. Specifically the colloidal model (CM) will be used to model single component isotherms. Successful modeling of single component isotherms using the CM approach requires accurate knowledge of the free energy contribution associated with adsorption. Once the free energy is known the relative probability of adsorption for each biomolecule in a multicomponent mixture can be estimated, thus facilitating the simulation of a multicomponent isotherm with the Gillespie approach.

The adsorption of large biological macromolecules onto ion-exchange surfaces is traditionally assumed to be driven by electrostatics. In prior publications we have presented data showing that the release of water from the contact surface of the protein and the ion-exchange adsorbent is also a key driving force. This conclusion is further supported by endothermic heats of adsorption. Endothermic heats of adsorption are an indication that the adsorptive driving force is not solely comprised of simple electrostatics. We have incorporated this data into a colloidal model and successfully simulated single component protein adsorption isotherms using an ion-exchange adsorbent. We are proposing to expand our investigation of this phenomenon by incorporating a larger selection of biological macromolecules and adsorbents in this study. We will use both cation exchange adsorbents, anion exchange adsorbents and hydrophobic interaction adsorbents in this study. Chromatographic adsorbents provide a convenient platform because we have the capability to synthesize materials with different functionalities. Surface characteristics such as charge density and hydrophobicity can be varied. We intend to calculate the free energy contributions of the various adsorptive mechanisms such as electrostatics, van der Waals interactions, water-release and repulsive interactions. Moreover we will incorporate these effects into a colloidal model to simulate single component isotherms. It is also proposed to simulate multi-component isotherms using the Gillespie stochastic algorithm. We anticipate the development of a flexible, user friendly model that can be used to simulate multi-component equilibria involving large macromolecules such as proteins or supercoiled DNA. Moreover the ability to model the adsorption equilibria of macromolecules is important because successful simulations are an indication that we have a fundamental understanding of the adsorptive/binding process. It is anticipated that a breakthrough in our mathematical understanding of protein adsorption onto functionalized surfaces will have a transformative effect in the areas of chromatographic separations and material development for biomedical applications. Moreover since we will develop these mathematical modeling tools using desktop applications such as Matlab, a secondary transformative effect is also anticipated because chemists and biologists will have access to the same set of modeling tools as engineers to construct models for their specific application.

This project will support two undergraduate students each year during the life of the grant. The outreach component of this proposal includes research opportunities for undergraduates from underrepresented groups. Moreover a new course that covers the adsorption and purification of proteins will also be offered. The course will be open to graduate students and undergraduates with the proper prerequisites. The models and teaching materials developed from this project will be made available to the public through the Miami University website.

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