Hamilton, NY, United States
Hamilton, NY, United States

Colgate University is a private liberal arts college located in Hamilton Village, Hamilton Township, Madison County, New York, United States.Colgate has 54 undergraduate concentrations that culminate in a Bachelor of Arts degree. The student body comes from 47 states and 42 countries. In its 2013 edition, U.S. News and World Report ranked Colgate as the 18th best liberal arts college in the country. Colgate ranked 13th on the Forbes' top liberal arts colleges list in 2013, and 36th overall in the 2013 edition of "America's Top Colleges" from Forbes.com. It is also listed as one of thirty Hidden Ivies and as one of Newsweek's "New Ivies". In 2014, Princeton Review ranked Colgate as the Most Beautiful Campus in America.Colgate is located on a rural 575 acre campus in the Central New York town of Hamilton Colgate is a member of the Patriot League conference of the NCAA Division I. Wikipedia.

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There has recently been emphasis put on providing two-factor accounts of monothematic delusions. Such accounts would explain (1) whether a delusional hypothesis (e.g. someone else is inserting thoughts into my mind) can be understood as a prima facie reasonable response to an experience and (2) why such a delusional hypothesis is believed and maintained given its implausibility and evidence against it. I argue that if we are to avoid obfuscating the cognitive mechanisms involved in monothematic delusion formation we should split the first factor (1 above) into two factors: how abnormal experience can give rise to a delusional 'proto-hypothesis' and how a 'proto-hypothesis' in consort with normal experiences and background information, can be developed into a delusional hypothesis. In particular I will argue that a schizophrenic is faced with the unusual requirement of having to identify an introspectively accessible thought as one's own, and that this requirement of identification is the central experiential abnormality of thought insertion, auditory verbal hallucination, and alien control (i.e. passivity symptoms). Additionally, I will consider non-experiential factors which are required for the formation of a delusional hypothesis. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ARCTIC SYSTEM SCIENCE PROGRAM | Award Amount: 189.21K | Year: 2015

Boreal forests cover 40% of the vegetated land area above the Arctic Circle and are a critical component of arctic ecosystems. Global change models predict boreal forests will become increasingly susceptible to fire activity with climate warming. Because these forests contain a large proportion of global terrestrial carbon (C) stocks, changes in the fire regime are likely to alter global C cycling. Increased fire activity will increase C emissions to the atmosphere, with a potential positive feedback to climate warming. However, an altered fire regime may also initiate cascading effects on forest regrowth and permafrost degradation that could magnify or offset this feedback. Fire effects on these ecological mechanisms remain uncertain but will ultimately determine whether arctic ecosystems act as a C source or sink under future climate change scenarios. The primary objective of this research is to increase our understanding of post-fire C dynamics in boreal forests of the Siberian arctic by elucidating the ecological mechanisms by which increased fire severity could influence C accumulation and storage over the successional interval. The overarching hypothesis is that post-fire soil organic layer (SOL) depth regulates net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) through indirect impacts on forest regrowth and permafrost stability because of its role as a barrier to seed germination and thermal regulator. The team will: 1) link near term fire effects on SOL depth to changes in larch recruitment and permafrost characteristics in experimental burn plots created in 2012, 2) determine the relationship between post-fire stand structure and above- and belowground C pools at the local and landscape level across stands of varying age and topographic positions, and 3) test via experimental manipulations and field observations the mechanisms by which fire-driven changes in stand density indirectly affect moss growth, SOL development, and susceptibility of deeper C pools to warming, decomposition, and release into the atmosphere. This research will offer novel insights into the importance of both vegetation and soil processes within arctic ecosystems in determining the net feedback of an intensified fire regime to the climate system.

Intellectual Merit: Larch forests of the Siberian arctic comprise 20% of all boreal forest ecosystems and are distinct from other boreal forests in that they consist of a single tree genus (Larix spp.) with a deciduous growth habit and often grow on continuous, C-rich ?yedoma? permafrost. Thus, their response to warming climate and an altered fire regime is likely to differ from boreal forests in other regions. Uncertainties regarding current C pools in Siberian boreal forests remain a significant factor affecting our ability to predict climate-induced changes to the global C cycle. The proposed study will contribute to our understanding of how arctic forest fires impact global C cycling and provide essential data necessary for scaling-up arctic C pools, estimating C emissions from arctic fires, and calibrating predictive models of future global C cycling.

Broader Impacts: This project will result in the training of undergraduate and graduate students from two predominantly undergraduate institutions and one Hispanic-Serving Institution. The PI and her students will develop outreach activities with local K-12 schools in south Texas to help teachers create lesson plans involving arctic science, boreal ecology, and climate change and involve researcher presentations to science classrooms to provide real-life examples of arctic research and expose K-12 students to different career and educational paths in the sciences.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 285.50K | Year: 2015

With this award, the Environmental Chemical Sciences Program of the Division of Chemistry is funding Professor Ephraim Woods of Colgate University to study short-lived chemical species that are generated by the interaction of light with aerosol particles which are similar to those found in the troposphere. One goal of the work is to determine the conditions that promote the growth of organic aerosol particles through photochemistry. These secondary organic aerosol particles influence climate through their effects on the Earths radiation balance. In terms of broader scientific impact, this research is expected to lead to a better understanding of the processes that affect climate and help scientists to forge improved predictive models. Another impact is the professional development of the undergraduates at Colgate University who conduct this work. In participating as team members on this project, undergraduates gain experience in research methods and become better prepared for graduate work in the sciences.

Experiments in this project are designed to examine photochemically generated transient species in aerosol systems using photoionization methods. One type of experiment will probe the formation of secondary organic aerosols (SOA) through the reactive uptake of volatile organic molecules (VOCs) with particle phase triplet photosensitizers. The goal of this work is to further understand how the structure and morphology of the air-particle interface influences the kinetics of this newly identified SOA formation mechanism. Another type of experiment investigates the production of radicals from nitrate-containing particles. A third experiment characterizes solvated electrons in environments that are unexplored and not accessible through other experiments. The investigation of aerosol properties and surfaces in these studies is expected to establish an improved molecular-level understanding of these complex chemical systems.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Algorithms in the Field | Award Amount: 60.01K | Year: 2016

Computer networks play an essential role in the day-to-day operations of businesses, organizations, and governments: they facilitate access to services and information as well as help protect against some types of cyberattacks. Unfortunately, current networks require highly-skilled network operators to provide detailed specifications of how the network should behave. This is a tedious and error prone process that limits how easily a network can evolve to meet emerging business needs and opens the door for subtle errors that can have a drastic impact on network availability, performance, and security. The goal of this project is to automatically produce the detailed specifications required by networking hardware from a set of high-level security and performance objectives specified by individuals who may have limited networking background. In other words, this project aims to allow administrators to focus on what the network should do rather than how it should be achieved. The broader impact of this project is to pave the way for increased network stability and security, and also to aid in training the next generation of network professionals.

Automatically producing network configurations that satisfy a set of high-level policies and objectives (collectively referred to as intent) requires both a language for network administrators to formally specify their intents and a mechanism for generating optimal and correct configurations for various types of networking hardware. To satisfy these requirements, the PIs plan to explore how program synthesis techniques can be applied and extended to network configurations. The project will lead to the design of synthesis techniques for generating specific types of intent implementations (e.g., traditional control plane configurations), as well as introduce domain-specific refinements to the chosen synthesis algorithms to ensure the time required for synthesis is practical and the resulting data and control planes are optimal (e.g., the configurations have minimal complexity). The algorithms produced by this research will advance the state of the art of program synthesis and provide new insights into how to apply program synthesis to other domains.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 500.00K | Year: 2015

This interdisciplinary research project will evaluate the effective management of tropical forests by communities. The project will draw on and contribute to understandings of the ways that individuals, groups, and organizations collectively manage forests and other resources in the face of increasing population and changes in land-use and environmental conditions. The project will provide new insights regarding the ways effective community interactions, including communication and knowledge sharing between stakeholder groups, and strong forms of leadership can build trust and enhance the capacity of communities to undertake effective community-based land management. Project results will provide new perspectives regarding the mechanisms through which communities can effectively manage forests. The project also will provide valuable education and training opportunities for undergraduate students at a small liberal arts college as well as enhancement of international collaborative links.

The investigators will conduct a focused case study of 45 sites where the cultural significance of the site leads to shadow conservation. They will measure the changes in forest size, shape and crown closure over the last 50 years and assess the present ecological status of the forests. They will determine the elements of social cohesion that impact forest use and valuation, and they will assess how the ecological status of the forests affects social cohesion and societal customs such as religious practice. They also will determine which management strategies are most effective at maintaining healthy forest ecological status. Project findings will provide new insights and information that will contribute to a broad line of inquiry and the insights generated by this project will have practical value for community-based management of forests and other landscapes in the U.S. and elsewhere. This project is supported by the NSF Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNH) Program.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Secure &Trustworthy Cyberspace | Award Amount: 273.42K | Year: 2014

The collection and analysis of personal data about individuals has revolutionized information systems and fueled US and global economies. But privacy concerns regarding the use of such data loom large. Differential privacy has emerged as a gold standard for mathematically characterizing the privacy risks of algorithms using personal data. Yet, adoption of differentially private algorithms in industry or government agencies has been startlingly rare. This failure of adoption stems largely from a mismatch between the idealized problem settings considered to date by privacy researchers and the complex real-world workflows needed for mining personal data. This project will expand the practical usefulness of privacy algorithms, encouraging their use through technology transfer to the US Census and medical researchers at Duke University, and ultimately ensuring privacy protection with increased data sharing and transmission of knowledge.

This project aims to systematically study the complete workflow involved in mining personal data, and solve key problems that have diminished usability and prevented widespread deployment of differential privacy. Research activities include developing (i) private algorithms for data preprocessing (cleaning, imputation, and other transformations), (ii) algorithms to support parallel and iterative model selection, (iii) semantically meaningful guidelines for setting privacy policies and utility benchmarks. Results will guide the design and implementation of a novel web-based framework (DPcomp) for testing and evaluating the deployment of privacy algorithms. Broader impacts of this project include technology transfer to the US Census and medical researchers at Duke University, and incorporating privacy themes into new undergraduate courses. DPcomp will stimulate interaction between data owners and privacy researchers, and help unearth new research questions.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: AMO Experiment/Atomic, Molecul | Award Amount: 178.28K | Year: 2015

The use of beams of light, like laser beams, has been transformative in the development of modern technologies, from telephone communications where information is encoded in the light traveling through fibers, to laser surgery where high light intensity is delivered to small areas of tissue. These technologies exploit lights color or energy. Yet another property of light is its polarization, which is invisible to the unaided eye, but seen indirectly, for example, through the visual effects of some types of 3D movies or in polarizing sunglasses. This research will involve preparing light beams with polarization that varies from point to point across the beam, like in an image. This polarization will be encoded onto individual photons (the particles of light). Photons can carry a lot of information while at the same time being quantum, or whole. Technologies that harness the quantum aspects of light and matter have the potential to upgrade current communication technologies to ones with substantially increased speed and capacity. Polarization also holds promise as a tool to manipulate molecules that are chiral, or corkscrew-like. This encompasses most organic molecules, including DNA (the double helix). This research will test recent theories which predict that the polarization of light can be used to segregate chiral molecules into those that spiral clockwise or counterclockwise when viewed from a particular end (DNA always spirals one way but not the other, for example). This is an important step in the synthesis of medicines because molecules that spiral one way could cure while those that spiral the other way could cause harm. This research will involve undergraduates, introducing them to the scientific process while training them in modern photonic technologies.

States of light that have spatially variable polarization are similar to entangled quantum states in that both are non-separable. Thus, space-variant-polarization states are well suited for use in quantum information. They add higher dimensions to the quantum states of photons in the following ways: they entail non-separable superpositions of polarization (in two dimensions) and transverse spatial modes of light (in principle, adding an infinite number of additional dimensions). Thus, spatial modes add a higher dimensionality to the space in which to encode quantum information onto single photons. We have developed techniques that encode and decode these states, which due to their space-variant polarization can be diagnosed by imaging techniques. This research will investigate the space of photon pairs entangled in polarization and spatial modes and the nonlocal space-variant polarization images that those states will encode. In parallel, intense beams carrying space-variant polarization will be used to investigate a predicted but yet unconfirmed new light force, which affects chiral molecules in such a way that it segregates the molecules by their handedness. That is, the light creates a field gradient that applies a force that is of opposite sign for right and left handed chiralities. This new force, fundamentally related to optical activity, could be of importance in the chemical synthesis of complex organic molecules, where it is desirable to separate one chirality from the other.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 443.25K | Year: 2015


Realistic representations of heat exchange in permafrost ecosystems are necessary for accurate predictive understanding of the permafrost carbon feedback under future climate scenarios. This project will provide a quantitative pan-arctic assessment of the effects of vegetation and landscape characteristics on permafrost thermal regimes. By working across ecosystems, landscape characteristics, and regions, the research will identify broad trends, and intensive energy balance sites will provide a mechanistic study of ecosystem impacts on permafrost response to climate change. The impacts of this study will be enhanced through integration of research results into regional and site-specific permafrost models and synthesis activities that will examine ecosystem impacts on energy balance and permafrost vulnerability to climate change.

This work will have broad impacts on the scientific community and general public because it brings together important issues in the global environment and raises awareness of the connection between ecosystem dynamics and permafrost thaw. The proposed project will provide training opportunities for undergraduate students through collaboration between the researchers and an NSF funded field research experience for undergraduates. The researchers will mentor several students as part of this proposed work and will also teach two arctic system science courses at a predominantly undergraduate institution. This project will enhance scientific understanding through continued work with education centers, local communities and, in particular, with teachers and outreach coordinators.


Significant declines in permafrost distribution are expected as the climate warms, but large uncertainties remain in determining the fate of permafrost under future climate scenarios. These uncertainties are driven, in large part, by vegetation and ecosystem properties that modulate the effect of climate on permafrost temperatures. Long-term monitoring of permafrost temperatures demonstrates the importance of these local conditions, yet there has been no pan-arctic effort to measure ecological and landscape variables in concert with permafrost temperature monitoring. This project will use a combination of field and remotely-sensed data to address the question of how vegetation and landscape factors modulate permafrost temperature response to climate change. To address this question the researchers will couple an extensive pan-arctic assessment of vegetation-permafrost dynamics with an intensive study of shrub and tree canopy cover effects on ecosystem energy balance. The first component of this research will be conducted at long-term permafrost temperature monitoring sites in Siberia and Alaska, and the second component, the vegetation-energy balance sites that will be established as part of this proposal, will be conducted at a shrub-tree canopy cover gradient in Siberia, where most permafrost regions are located. These intensively studied energy balance sites will provide an improved mechanistic understanding of the effects of ecosystem components, and interactions among these components, on ecosystem energy balance and permafrost vulnerability to climate change. This mechanistic knowledge will, in turn, support interpretation of broad patterns observed through a pan-arctic sampling of the permafrost temperature monitoring sites.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SCIENCE OF SCIENCE POLICY | Award Amount: 128.64K | Year: 2015

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) workers are critical for the innovative activities and technological growth of US firms and local economies. Foreign-born workers are a potential source of STEM labor that might therefore be capable of generating positive dynamic effects on output, wage, and employment growth that could benefit US firms, workers, and investors alike. On the other hand, foreign STEM workers could compete with native-born workers, depress wages, and possibly discourage Americans from pursuing STEM occupations. The net effects of foreign-born STEM labor will depend upon the strength of these two countervailing effects. This project will examine these issues using data variation driven by numerical quotas on H-1B work permits -- the main channel of entry to US labor markets for skilled foreign-born workers -- that affect the distribution of foreign-born STEM workers across firms. This project produces reliable estimates of the impacts of an increase in the number of H-1B workers on US firms productivity, employment, wages, and growth. This provides a very important policy evaluation tool to assess costs and benefits of changing the H-1B quota as discussed in recent immigration reforms. Using these estimates, we will be able to simulate how changes in the number of H-1B workers can affect firm growth and outcomes for US workers under different policy scenarios.

The first phase of the project will merge various datasets. Individual H-1B application records for 2000-2012 -- including information about the employer, location, type of work permit, and year -- were obtained from the US Department of Labor and US Citizenship and Immigration Services. They will be merged with detailed firm-level information -- derived from confidential data in the US Census -- containing all relevant firm outcomes (such as revenues, wages paid, employment, profits and expenses). The resulting database will be used to produce a complete picture of the link between H-1B workers and the performance of firms in the US between 2000 and 2012. This will provide very important information on the nexus between the H-1B program and firm-level innovation and productivity. The second phase of the project will exploit the fact that lotteries were used to allocate H-1B work permits in 2007 and 2008. This random distribution allows credible estimation of the impact of foreign skilled workers on outcomes of US firms. The analysis will quantify the effect of one additional H-1B worker on firm productivity, investment, innovative activity, and profits. It will then estimate the effects of these workers on the employment and wages of native-born STEM workers. Finally, it will assess how long it takes for these effects to appear so that we can characterize the time evolution of these outcomes.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: PETROLOGY AND GEOCHEMISTRY | Award Amount: 283.64K | Year: 2014

Many of the worlds volcanic island chains, such as Hawaii or the Galápagos, are the surface manifestation of mantle plumes, one of the most important but least well understood tectonic phenomena on Earth. The dominant theory is that mantle plumes originate in the deep mantle, transporting material from the core-mantle boundary to the surface, a distance of nearly 3000 km. As such, variations in the chemical composition of lavas erupted at ocean island volcanoes may provide the only way to sample material from such great depths and, in the process, to determine the composition and structure of these otherwise inaccessible parts of the planet. The primary goal of this project is to carry out a field and geochemical study of the 3 oldest Galápagos Islands to investigate persistent questions related to ocean islands: 1) what is the nature of the material supplying the Galápagos plume, which in turn will provide information about the composition of the deep Earth; 2) how does the plumes composition vary with time; and 3) how do Galápagos volcanoes evolve as they are carried away from the plumes center? The latter question, which addresses the life cycle of ocean island volcanoes, is particularly relevant to ongoing conservation and preservation efforts at oceanic archipelagos worldwide.

These questions will be addressed in two stages. First, field studies will be carried out on the 3 oldest, most poorly characterized islands, Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, and Española, which together record almost 3 million years of the plumes history. Radiogenic isotopes, major and trace element, and Ar-Ar analyses will be applied to understand the chemical evolution. The second phase is a focused effort to define the compositions of Galápagos mantle reservoirs by applying high-resolution lead isotopic analyses to a selection of lavas from across the archipelago. Taken together, these efforts will permit evaluation of competing hypotheses for the complex geochemical variation observed in the Galápagos and insight into the origins and nature of mantle plumes. One of the most important goals of this project is the engagement of undergraduates as integral members of the research team. They will also participate in a seminar on mantle dynamics, which will be used to develop a digital repository of presentations by experts in the field that will be archived and made available online. Ecuadorian students will participate in fieldwork and spend a summer at Colgate, where they will also be trained in analytical geochemistry techniques. Finally, students will participate in an established outreach program at Colgate, working with K-12 students from across upstate NY performing hands-on science activities and developing a state-of-the-art presentation on volcanic evolution at the Colgate Visualization Lab.

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