First Mesa, IA, United States
First Mesa, IA, United States

Coe College is a private, four-year, liberal arts college in Cedar Rapids, in the U.S. state of Iowa. Founded in 1851, the institution is historically affiliated with the Presbyterian Church . Its current president is David McInally. It is one of the smaller universities to have a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. It is one of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest . Wikipedia.

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Cottingham J.,Coe College
Proceedings of Forum Acusticum | Year: 2014

Attack transients of harmonium-type free reeds from American reed organs have previously been studied using several methods of initiating the attack, with displacement and velocity waveforms obtained using a laser vibrometer system and electronic proximity sensors. Although the fundamental transverse mode is dominant, the presence of higher transverse modes and torsional modes in the initial transient has been established. These earlier results have been augmented with the use of high-speed video, resulting in a more detailed picture of reed oscillation during the earliest part of the attack transient. This transient typically exhibits three stages. For a reed with natural frequency around 100 Hz, the motion of the reed tongue begins with a single displacement and return to the equilibrium. This is followed by a transitional period in which the amplitude of oscillation gradually increases and the frequency stabilizes at the steady state oscillation frequency. In the third stage, the amplitude of oscillation continues to increase to the steady state value. The second transverse mode and the first torsional mode are observed to be especially significant in the second stage.

Cottingham J.P.,Coe College
Proceedings of Forum Acusticum | Year: 2011

The acoustical properties of bamboo, along with its widespread availability, have made it one of the most commonly used materials for the construction of musical instruments worldwide. Bamboo has a relatively low density and elastic modulus, and a significant difference between the elastic moduli parallel to and perpendicular to the bamboo fibers. Since a wide variety of flutes and reed wind instruments employ bamboo pipes, the elastic moduli of bamboo pipes, as well as the non-uniformity of the pipe wall material are of current interest, in particular as related to pipe wall vibrations. Some recent results on measured physical properties of bamboo as used in Asian free reed wind instruments are presented, including mechanical properties of both bamboo reeds as well as pipes. Some investigations have been made of wall vibrations in the bamboo pipes of the Asian free-reed mouth organs, including both mechanically excited pipes and the blown reedpipe combinations. Measurements have also been made of changes occurring in pipe input impedance as a result of damping the vibrations of the bamboo pipe.

Cottingham J.,Coe College
Physics Today | Year: 2011

Free-reed instruments fall into two related but distinct families: Asian mouth organs of ancient origin and Western instruments that originated in Europe about 200 years ago. The Western free-reed instruments include the harmonica and the "squeezeboxes," the various forms of accordion and concertina. In their relatively short lifetime, those instruments in particular have come to be employed in almost all genres of music and, throughout the world, are among the most widely played. Yet until the late 20th century, only a small amount of acoustical research focused on free-reed instruments. During the past two or three decades, however, interest has surged, and researchers in musical acoustics have devoted a much greater amount of attention to them. To be sure, more papers are written about the trumpet, the clarinet, and the violin. But an indication of the increase in research interest in free reeds in the 1990s is the inclusion of a section in the second edition of The Physics of Musical Instruments (Springer, 1998), by Neville Fletcher and Thomas Rossing, that provides a summary of the research. The first edition of seven years earlier had no such section. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.

Hanwell M.D.,University of Pittsburgh | Hanwell M.D.,Kitware | Curtis D.E.,Coe College | Lonie D.C.,State University of New York at Buffalo | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Cheminformatics | Year: 2012

Background: The Avogadro project has developed an advanced molecule editor and visualizer designed for cross-platform use in computational chemistry, molecular modeling, bioinformatics, materials science, and related areas. It offers flexible, high quality rendering, and a powerful plugin architecture. Typical uses include building molecular structures, formatting input files, and analyzing output of a wide variety of computational chemistry packages. By using the CML file format as its native document type, Avogadro seeks to enhance the semantic accessibility of chemical data types. Results: The work presented here details the Avogadro library, which is a framework providing a code library and application programming interface (API) with three-dimensional visualization capabilities; and has direct applications to research and education in the fields of chemistry, physics, materials science, and biology. The Avogadro application provides a rich graphical interface using dynamically loaded plugins through the library itself. The application and library can each be extended by implementing a plugin module in C++ or Python to explore different visualization techniques, build/manipulate molecular structures, and interact with other programs. We describe some example extensions, one which uses a genetic algorithm to find stable crystal structures, and one which interfaces with the PackMol program to create packed, solvated structures for molecular dynamics simulations. The 1.0 release series of Avogadro is the main focus of the results discussed here. Conclusions: Avogadro offers a semantic chemical builder and platform for visualization and analysis. For users, it offers an easy-to-use builder, integrated support for downloading from common databases such as PubChem and the Protein Data Bank, extracting chemical data from a wide variety of formats, including computational chemistry output, and native, semantic support for the CML file format. For developers, it can be easily extended via a powerful plugin mechanism to support new features in organic chemistry, inorganic complexes, drug design, materials, biomolecules, and simulations. Avogadro is freely available under an open-source license from

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 390.39K | Year: 2012

This award is for an integrated Scanning Probe Microscope - Raman scattering - Scanning Near-field Optical Microscopy (SNOM) system for undergraduate research at Coe College. In addition, it will be used by researchers at Cornell College and Mt. Mercy University and two local companies. The instrument will allow for simultaneous spectroscopic and topological measurements in materials, and for the training of undergraduate students. Scientifically, the hybrid system will be used on laser modifications of amorphous materials; on measurements of phase separation and corrosion in technologically useful glasses; on studies of rare earth doping and clustering; on investigations of biocements; on the study of functionalized glass microspheres for catalysis applications; and, the bonding of polyoxometalates and surfaces.

The new integrated scanning probe system will impact over fifty-five undergraduate students, from the Physics, Chemistry, and Biology Departments, that participate in summer research at Coe College. Greater than 40% of the students are first generation college students from rural backgrounds with little access to research. The impact of the instrument will also extend to the regional Latino High School population through a new program led by the PI in collaboration with local Latino engineers, scientists, and educators.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 97.01K | Year: 2013

NON-TECHNICAL: Over the next year this project includes an ambitious and balanced mixture of basic and applied research on oxide glasses. Glass has been described as the universal solvent and as such allows itself to be made from many compounds. This research includes the formation of new glasses and the property and structural characterizations that reveal the materials potential usefulness in applications such as batteries, nuclear storage, particle physics detectors, and antibacterial biological uses. Within the field of glass science, the Coe College group has expertise in forming glasses by a number of important novel syntheses. The work is being undertaken with nine Coe College undergraduates and their students through their NSF-REU site. The key broader impact is the development of undergraduate students into professional scientists. The Coe College undergraduate training model includes multiple years of research for each student. It is this sustained research that motivates students to continue to graduate schools at a rate of 75% per year. Over 40% of Coe students are first generation college-bound with 33% of them being from low-income families (with less than 150% of the federally-defined poverty level). There are a number of other broader impacts including outreach to grade schools, extensive leadership, training, and experiences within the glass and physics communities, and involvement of high-school students and teachers in this research.

TECHNICAL: During 2013, this research includes the study of new oxide glasses prepared by novel pathways including roller quenching, laser levitation, and a solution method of glass formation. The research focuses on the determination of the glass?s physical properties, and relating these properties to the spectroscopically-determined atomic structure. The proposed research activities are divided into four main areas: 1. Preparation and study of important and novel glasses and their uses; 2. Intermediate range order (5 to 10 atom clusters) studies of glasses using 10B nuclear magnetic resonance, neutron scattering, molecular dynamics simulations of atomic structure, and time of flight mass spectroscopy; 3. Preparation of new glasses for calorimeters for future hadron collider experiments at the CERN lab; and 4. Study of a thermodynamic anomaly found at low alkali oxide contents in glasses. Within each activity there are a number of sub-projects consisting of both in-house work and research with a set of domestic and international collaborators. Glass is amongst the most practical of materials and the glasses studied are promising candidates for high energy storage batteries, nuclear waste incorporation, high-energy physics detectors, and biological/medical uses. An important aspect of the work is the substantial high-level research training of a large number of undergraduates (twelve in 2013, including nine supported directly by this project and three from Coe Colleges REU site). Many of these students are first generation college students.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 214.66K | Year: 2010

This award supports the REU site in Spectroscopy at Coe College, sponsored jointly by the Physics and Chemistry departments, which continues a tradition of strong interaction with undergraduate students pursuing high-level, publishable research. The REU students will carry out research in glass science, optics, environmental chemistry, molecular biology, acoustics, and biomaterials, all under the common focus of spectroscopy. They will be exposed and trained in a variety of techniques, including FTIR, Raman, NMR, SEM, absorption and fluorescence spectroscopies, SPM, x-ray fluorescence, calorimetry, and others. The projects are designed to be suitable for undergraduates, but also challenging and leading to results of interest to external researchers. This year the site has added a Research Experience for Teachers component to the REU site to support k-12 teachers in seven weeks of summer research. This site is supported by the Divisions of Physics and Materials Research in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and is co-funded by the Department of Defense in partnership with the NSF REU program.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS | Award Amount: 620.00K | Year: 2014

This project, submitted in response to the Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) announcement, is jointly funded by the Condensed Matter Physics and Ceramic Programs in the Division of Materials Research.

NON-TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION: This project has a number of objectives. The first objective is to involve up to 40 undergraduate students in publishable research in glass science over the duration of the project. New oxide glasses are being prepared using novel techniques such as fast cooling, laser heating and new chemical pathways. As well, they are examining the intermediate range order of glass on the level of a handful of atoms. Finally they are producing glasses that have new technical applications. For example, one family of glasses is being developed to detect neutrons for medical and national security purposes. The project has broad impact by training undergraduate students in many aspects of glass research, ~75% will continue to graduate school; running workshops to inform colleagues how to conduct high level research at small colleges, and inviting high school students to join this work and working with pre-college students of all grades in eastern Iowa on science programs at Coe College and in local schools.

TECHNICAL DETAILS: It is likely that the most transformational part of this work concerns the determination of the intermediate range order of oxide glasses of up to ten atoms or so. This outstanding scientific problem concerns such phenomena as ionic conduction, the mixed-alkali effect, and viscosity and relaxation effects. The experimental means for this study include nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) with a focus on boron using both of its isotopes separately as well as isotopic dilutions and boron Double Angle Rotation NMR, neutron scattering, dual atomic force microscopy/Raman spectroscopy, and time-of-flight mass spectroscopy. Physical property determinations complement these measurements. Simultaneous to this work is the development of novel glasses using rapid cooling, laser levitation, and alternative chemical means. One application for this is the development of semiconducting lithium borovanadate glasses for neutron detection. Broader impacts include the thorough training of up to 40 undergraduate students in research, including their daily use of many state-of-the art instruments, the involvement of high school students and their teachers in research, outreach to younger students, and leadership service within the glass science field. A new and important component of this project is the mentoring and hosting of workshops for colleagues at other colleges interested in doing high-level research with their students.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: Integrative Activities in Phys | Award Amount: 270.37K | Year: 2014

This Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site at Coe College provides eight undergraduate students each summer the opportunity to participate in research on topics in optics, glass science, acoustics, molecular biology, modeling, biomaterials, all under the common focus of spectroscopy. In addition to participating in research with an experienced and dedicated mentor, the REU students will engage in activities such as seminars and lectures and give two oral presentations, one at mid-term and then a final twenty minute talk.

This project includes a Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) site, where each summer two high school teachers from nearby school districts participate in a research project. During the academic year, the teachers are invited to bring their students to Coe College to learn about the work they carried out. The teachers will use their experience to motivate their students to better understand the physical world and prepare them to become the future generation of scientists.

This REU site will have a number of broader impacts. The site has a strong plan to recruit undergraduate students from institutions offering little or no research opportunities and first generation students. The site has an excellent evaluation plan which is designed to give feedback and to improve the project on an on-going basis. Additionally, training students and teachers in spectroscopy has relevance to national security.

Cottingham J.,Coe College
Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics | Year: 2013

The motion of air-driven free reeds used in the harmonica, accordion, and reed organ is dominated by the fundamental transverse beam mode, but higher transverse modes and the first torsional mode are usually present during steady oscillation, even at low amplitude. In addition a lateral mode has sometimes been detected, in which the reed tongue oscillation is perpendicular to the transverse oscillation. Interaction of the reed with a resonance in the instrument can result in unusual effects. In the accordion, resonances of the reed cavity can interfere with the reed self-excitation mechanism. In the harmonica, when the reed is nearly closed, a strong aerodynamic instability can in some cases lead to torsional flutter. A characteristic of some free reed instruments is a slow attack, in which the sound builds gradually and often unevenly, with the effect being greater for the longer, lower-pitched reeds. There is evidence that the first torsional mode and the second transverse mode may be significant in initiating reed oscillation, so that reed design enhancing the torsional mode may be helpful in alleviating the problem of slow attack. © 2013 Acoustical Society of America.

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