Clinton, NY, United States
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Oswald A.J.,University of Warwick | Wu S.,Hamilton College
Science | Year: 2010

A huge research literature, across the behavioral and social sciences, uses information on individuals' subjective well-being. These are responses to questions - asked by survey interviewers or medical personnel - such as, "How happy do you feel on a scale from 1 to 4?" Yet there is little scientific evidence that such data are meaningful. This study examines a 2005-2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System random sample of 1.3 million U.S. citizens. Life satisfaction in each U.S. state is measured. Across America, people's answers trace out the same pattern of quality of life as previously estimated, from solely nonsubjective data, in one branch of economics (so-called "compensating differentials" neoclassical theory, originally from Adam Smith). There is a state-by-state match (r = 0.6, P < 0.001) between subjective and objective well-being. This result has some potential to help to unify disciplines.


Grysman A.,Hamilton College
Consciousness and Cognition | Year: 2014

This study examined strategies employed to support a positive self-image in the face of dissonant self-related memories, especially focusing on the role of gender. Participants (N= 498) were recruited online and identified a self-descriptive trait. They then reported a memory of a time when they did or did not act according to that trait. Participants distanced themselves from dissonant, self-related memories by downplaying the event's importance and relevance to identity and by emphasizing their lack of agency and the degree to which they had changed. Additionally, participants reported dissonant events from further in the past than consonant events, a tendency displayed more strongly amongst women than men. Women also rated events as more pertinent to the self on questionnaire measures. Findings demonstrate ways that autobiographical memories are reported and organized to support a positive self-image, and deepen an understanding of the role of gender in this process. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Pearle P.,Hamilton College
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2015

A model is discussed where all operators are constructed from a quantum scalar field whose energy spectrum takes on all real values. The Schrödinger picture wave function depends upon space and time coordinates for each particle, as well as an inexorably increasing evolution parameter s which labels a foliation of spacelike hypersurfaces. The model is constructed to be manifestly Lorentz invariant in the interaction picture. Free particle states and interactions are discussed in this framework. Then, the formalism of the continuous spontaneous localization (CSL) theory of dynamical collapse is applied. The collapse-generating operator is chosen to be the particle number space-time density. Unlike previous relativistically invariant models, the vacuum state is not excited. The collapse dynamics depends upon two parameters, a parameter Λ which represents the collapse rate/volume and a scale factor ℓ. A common example of collapse dynamics, involving a clump of matter in a superposition of two locations, is analyzed. The collapse rate is shown to be identical to that of nonrelativistic CSL when the GRW-CSL choice of ℓ=a=10-5 cm, is made, along with Λ=λ/a3 (GRW-CSL choice λ=10-16s-1). The collapse rate is also satisfactory with the choice ℓ as the size of the Universe, with Λ=λ/ℓa2. Because the collapse narrows wave functions in space and time, it increases a particle's momentum and energy, altering its mass. It is shown that, with ℓ=a, the change of mass of a nucleon is unacceptably large but, when ℓ is the size of the Universe, the change of mass over the age of the Universe is acceptably small. © 2015 American Physical Society.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 114.31K | Year: 2012

The aCORN collaboration intends to measure the beta-neutrino asymmetry, a, in neutron decay with a relative uncertainty of 1%. The decay of the free neutron provides a nearly ideal system where we could probe the limits of the Standard Model of the electro-weak interaction because the decay coefficients can be accurately calculated in the standard model. Some current tests of the self-consistency of the Standard Model are limited by the 4% experimental uncertainty in a. The aCORN experiment relies on separating neutron decays into two classes; one in which the beta and neutron are emitted nearly parallel, and one in which they are nearly anti-parallel. A set of electric and magnetic fields guide the particles to detectors at opposite ends of a 3m long vacuum vessel. With this apparatus, the determination of a is reduced to counting the numbers of protons in the two classes. The apparatus has been designed to reduce systematic errors below 0.5%. The experiment will begin its first physics run on neutron guide NG-6 at NIST in the spring of 2012, and will move to the new guide NG-C when it becomes available in 2013. Hamilton College will be involved in several aspects of the experiment throughout the operations phase. We will manage the distributed data analysis effort including both front end data reduction software at NIST and final analysis software distributed throughout the collaboration. We will continue to model magnetic and electric field geometries as inputs to a Monte Carlo simulation and as a way to improve the physical apparatus. Toward the end of the run we will implement an alignment check using electrons from a hot filament. We will also continue to maintain magnetic field alignment equipment including power supplies and a field mapping robot.

Including undergraduates in research is a vital part of the culture at Hamilton College. We see research as crucial to attracting strong students to the sciences, producing scientifically knowledgeable graduates, and inspiring them to continue in science after they graduate. We have a history of including undergraduates in research, and about half of our research students go on to further education in physics or engineering. Furthermore, the nurturing environment at Hamilton is especially important for attracting women to physics. A quarter of the students that have come through our group are women, and six of these eight women have gone to graduate school in science or education. The proposed work will continue to involve significant numbers of undergraduates, both at Hamilton and at NIST. Our students can own a manageable piece of the project under close faculty mentoring Hamilton, and later integrate their piece into the final system in the environment of a national lab.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: IRES | Award Amount: 63.06K | Year: 2011

1030224/1030230
Tewksbury/ Hogan
Hamilton College/ Missouri University of Science and Technology

IRES: U.S.-Egypt Collaborative Research Desert Eyes- Origin and Evolution of Enigmatic Domes and Basins in the Stable Platform of Egypt

This is a collaborative activity for student research lead by US PIs Barbara Tewksbury, Hamilton College and John Hogan, Missouri University of Science and Technology. They will launch a 3-year international research experience for 22 US graduate and undergraduate students in geological and geophysical field research in the Western Desert of Egypt in partnership with Egyptian faculty and students. The objectives are 1) to involve students in hypothesis-driven, original research on fold and fault structures in the Stable Platform of Egypt, and 2) to provide multi-faceted experiences and training that increase students? capacities to undertake collaborative international research in the future.

Intellectual Merit High resolution satellite imagery reveals extraordinary and largely unstudied fold and fault structures in the Western Desert of Egypt over a distance of nearly 600 km between 23.0° and 27.7° N. The reconnaissance work shows that these structures define fields of small domes separated by narrow synclines in the north and elongate domes and basins that are commonly, but not always, aligned along discreet fault zones in the south. Structures that are a hybrid of both end member types occur between the two regions.

The research hypotheses are: 1) dome fields in the north resulted from selective diagenesis of silica in limestone above a polygonal fault network, as suggested for structures previously studied only in the North Sea, and 2) elongate domes and basins along faults in the south resulted from a complex interplay among slip along reactivated basement faults, fault-related folding, and existing folds initiated by processes that produced the dome fields in the north. US and Egyptian students and faculty will engage in multidisciplinary research to test these hypotheses and to constrain possible models for origin and evolution of these structures.

Prior to working in the field, US and Egyptian students and faculty will collaborate to conduct detailed structural mapping using high resolution satellite imagery at visible and infrared wavelengths. In the field in Egypt, the project will consist of targeted detailed geologic field mapping and sample collection for fabric and chemical analysis, and acquisition of both seismic reflection and refraction data to constrain the 3D geometry of the folds and faults. The project will use wikis and web video conferencing to enable participants in the U.S. and Egypt to collaborate effectively on satellite image analysis before going into the field and to sustain discussion and analysis of the data well beyond the field experience.

Broader Impacts The northern dome fields are a good candidate for the only on-land example of North Sea-style dome fields, and the extraordinary, unvegetated bedrock exposures in the Western Desert over thousands of square kilometers offer a unique opportunity to add to the literature on the geometry and kinematics of fault-related folds.

The project will develop permanent collaborations between US and Egyptian faculty and students by integrating collaborative investigative activities via wikis and web video conferencing into courses taught at the collaborating institutions. Outstanding examples of structural interpretation using remote sensing that emerge as research on the project progresses will be used to develop these activities, and students from other institutions will benefit as well, because all activities developed will be submitted to the online collections of the NSF-funded project On the Cutting Edge for teaching undergraduate geoscience. The project will also hold a workshop at the annual national meeting of the Geological Society of America in Year 3 of the project focused on best practice in international collaboration and preparing students for international work. The outcomes of this workshop will be submitted to the Cutting Edge collections.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 217.28K | Year: 2011

Cognitive science is a cross-disciplinary effort to understand the mind and brain. Neuroimaging is a central tool in this effort but has been limited to equipment capable of achieving either high spatial or temporal resolution of brain activity. Recent electroencephalography (EEG) equipment and associated software advances, however, allow for both high spatial and temporal (i.e., 4-D) resolution through source localization of the electrical EEG signal as measured noninvasively (and inexpensively) through the scalp. The resulting data could put scientists and clinicians in the position to understand brain function as it occurs in the real-world if there were established methodological approaches to analyze such data. The Principal Investigators are developing a procedure that is capable of analyzing brain data resulting from naturalistic stimuli that could be applied to 4-D EEG data. This award provides an upgrade of existing EEG equipment, additional equipment, and software that, when combined, will achieve high source localization accuracy and allow them to test their approach on source localized 4-D EEG data. It will permit the purchase of a 256 EEG system.

A goal of cognitive science is to understand the brain under conditions in which it is thought to have evolved, typically develop, and normally function. That is, under ecological, natural, or real-world conditions. This has not yet been possible with existing equipment and methodological techniques. This is in part because of spatial or temporal limitations of neuroimaging equipment have necessitated the use of tightly controlled and usually reductionist stimuli that do not always resemble anything one might encounter in the world. By applying the aforementioned analysis method to 4-D data resulting from naturalistic stimuli, the investigators will be able to understand how the brain realistically yields behavior for the first time. Thus, cognitive science will have a new and transformative tool to understand mind and brain.

The requested instrumentation will be used in a cross-disciplinary effort at Hamilton College. Specifically, the equipment will advance research in laboratories in the Departments of Psychology and Neuroscience pertaining to the organization of language and the brain and in Computer Science pertaining to human computer interaction. Both labs make use of real-world stimuli or situations to understand mind and brain in more realistic terms. The advocated approach will also serve to create other collaborations that will be facilitated by the students at Hamilton who have the an exceptional opportunity to participate in lab-based curricula. It will be easier for these students to conduct experiments using naturalistic stimuli and will make research more accessible to them and, therefore, enhance their educational experience. Validations of the described methods using the acquired equipment will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and all software will be made publicly available. This will ultimately have a broad impact outside of Hamilton college: Allowing physicians to use naturalistic stimuli will ultimately improve retention in therapeutic programs if patients can do something they enjoy while brain data is collected (e.g., watching television). Furthermore, the high spatial and temporal resolution data acquired under these natural conditions could lead to better predictors, diagnosis, and treatment of disease.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ANTARCTIC INTEGRATED SYS SCI | Award Amount: 166.28K | Year: 2012

This project will investigate the marine component of the Totten Glacier and Moscow University Ice Shelf, East Antarctica. This system is of critical importance because it drains one-eighth of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and contains a volume equivalent to nearly 7 meters of potential sea level rise, greater than the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet. This nearly completely unexplored region is the single largest and least understood marine glacial system that is potentially unstable. Despite intense scrutiny of marine based systems in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, little is known about the Totten Glacier system. This study will add substantially to the meager oceanographic and marine geology and geophysics data available in this region, and will significantly advance understanding of this poorly understood glacial system and its potentially sensitive response to environmental change.

Independent, space-based platforms indicate accelerating mass loss of the Totten system. Recent aerogeophysical surveys of the Aurora Subglacial Basin, which contains the deepest ice in Antarctica and drains into the Totten system, have provided the subglacial context for measured surface changes and show that the Totten Glacier has been the most significant drainage pathway for at least two previous ice flow regimes. However, the offshore context is far less understood. Limited physical oceanographic data from the nearby shelf/slope break indicate the presence of Modified Circumpolar Deep Water within a thick bottom layer at the mouth of a trough with apparent access to Totten Glacier, suggesting the possibility of sub-glacial bottom inflow of relatively warm water, a process considered to be responsible for West Antarctic Ice Sheet grounding line retreat. This project will conduct a ship-based marine geologic and geophysical survey of the region, combined with a physical oceanographic study, in order to evaluate both the recent and longer-term behavior of the glacial system and its relationship to the adjacent oceanographic system. This endeavor will complement studies of other Antarctic ice shelves, oceanographic studies near the Antarctic Peninsula, and ongoing development of ice sheet and other ocean models.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ANTARCTIC INTEGRATED SYS SCI | Award Amount: 182.45K | Year: 2012

This project aims to identify which portions of the glacial cover in the Antarctic Peninsula are losing mass to the ocean. This is an important issue to resolve because the Antarctic Peninsula is warming at a faster rate than any other region across the earth. Even though glaciers across the Antarctic Peninsula are small, compared to the continental ice sheet, defining how rapidly they respond to both ocean and atmospheric temperature rise is critical. It is critical because it informs us about the exact mechanisms which regulate ice flow and melting into the ocean. For instance, after the break- up of the Larsen Ice Shelf in 2002 many glaciers began to flow rapidly into the sea. Measuring how much ice was involved is difficult and depends upon accurate estimates of volume and area. One way to increase the accuracy of our estimates is to measure how fast the Earths crust is rebounding or bouncing back, after the ice has been removed. This rebound effect can be measured with very precise techniques using instruments locked into ice free bedrock surrounding the area of interest. These instruments are monitored by a set of positioning satellites (the Global Positioning System or GPS) in a continuous fashion. Of course the movement of the Earths bedrock relates not only to the immediate response but also the longer term rate that reflects the long vanished ice masses that once covered the entire Antarctic Peninsula?at the time of the last glaciation. These rebound measurements can, therefore, also tell us about the amount of ice which covered the Antarctic Peninsula thousands of years ago. Glacial isostatic rebound is one of the complicating factors in allowing us to understand how much the larger ice sheets are losing today, something that can be estimated by satellite techniques but only within large errors when the isostatic (rebound) correction is unknown.

The research proposed consists of maintaining a set of six rebound stations until the year 2016, allowing for a longer time series and thus more accurate estimates of immediate elastic and longer term rebound effects. It also involves the establishment of two additional GPS stations that will focus on constraining the bulls eye of rebound suggested by measurements over the past two years. In addition, several more geologic data points will be collected that will help to reconstruct the position of the ice sheet margin during its recession from the full ice sheet of the last glacial maximum. These will be based upon the coring of marine sediment sequences now recognized to have been deposited along the margins of retreating ice sheets and outlets. Precise dating of the ice margin along with the new and improved rebound data will help to constrain past ice sheet configurations and refine geophysical models related to the nature of post glacial rebound. Data management will be under the auspices of the UNAVCO polar geophysical network or POLENET and will be publically available at the time of station installation. This project is a small scale extension of the ongoing LARsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica Project (LARISSA), an IPY (International Polar Year)-funded interdisciplinary study aimed at understanding earth system connections related to the Larsen Ice Shelf and the northern Antarctic Peninsula.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 323.54K | Year: 2010

This project is expanding the work of the award-winning On the Cutting Edge program, and is continuing to provide a comprehensive, discipline-wide professional development program for current and future geoscience faculty. It is attempting to engage, through participation in face-to-face or online Cutting Edge workshop experiences, about half of the total number of US geoscience faculty in order to achieve a widespread and sustainable impact. It is expanding the segment of the faculty population who have had a first workshop experience, and is also providing geoscience faculty with advanced opportunities for learning that are also encouraging repeated participation in Cutting Edge activities, enabling ongoing learning, and resulting in increased changes in teaching practice among participants. The project is continuing an annual series of face-to-face workshops and is adding six virtual or hybrid workshops or other virtual events. It is introducing a number of new elements including 1) a stronger focus on improving introductory geoscience courses and increasing participation of faculty from two-year colleges, 2) revising the project website to include expanded community-authored and community-reviewed resources as well as improved methods for searching and obtaining previously submitted materials, 3) developing structured activities aimed specifically at enlarging and improving accessibility to the website, 4) incorporating a full research and evaluation program that not only is providing formative feedback to improve the program, but also is extending evaluation to assess the effect that the program has on teaching practice and student learning among the broader geoscience community. In particular, the project is attempting to determine what impact repeated participation in geoscience professional development has on individual teaching practice and on geoscience education nationwide, and what impact participation in an innovative and research-based community of geoscience educators has on faculty teaching effectiveness. The project is developing and disseminating best practices for the geosciences, however, many project activities are also being transferred to other STEM disciplines through publications, presentations, workshops, and through collaborations developed with SENCER and other organizations.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ANTARCTIC INTEGRATED SYS SCI | Award Amount: 31.73K | Year: 2013

This award supports a dedicated workshop devoted to synthesizing the data from a multi-year interdisciplinary field and laboratory study into the complex interaction of earth systems in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula. The Larsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica (LARISSA) is an International Polar Year-supported project devoted to furthering our understanding of a vulnerable region of the Earth that is undergoing rapid changes of climate and ecosystem function. This 3 day workshop will unite all participating Principal Investigators (PIs), post-docs and students in one venue to provide an effective forum to discuss the integration of the various results and plan the next steps for dissemination and peer review publication. The complexities of field work logistics and difficult sea ice conditions have forced the team to adapt to varying field sampling strategies and, because of this, an extra amount of synergy is required in order to harvest the scientific outcomes of the various disciplines which include: physical oceanography, glaciology, marine and Quaternary geology, marine biology, geodesy, and climatology. The efforts of the LARISSA program included four marine expeditions and numerous field visits to the Antarctic Peninsula in the past three years, and there is a tremendous amount of data that needs to be presented and discussed amongst the members of the collaborative research team.

This workshop will involve both senior and junior PIs, as well as PhD to undergraduate students. The workshop will convene a critical mass of researchers with a diversity of contributions, which will benefit all participants. The long-term results of this workshop will be to expand and disseminate the impact of LARISSA results beyond the PI community of scholars. The data distribution plan has directives to make the results available to the broader community.

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