Hampton, VA, United States
Hampton, VA, United States

Hampton University is a historically black university located in Hampton, Virginia, United States. It was founded in 1868 by black and white leaders of the American Missionary Association after the American Civil War to provide education to freedmen. In 1878 it established a program for teaching Native Americans, which lasted until 1923. Wikipedia.

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Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 1.20M | Year: 2015

****Non-technical Abstract****
The Hampton Partnership for Research & Education in Materials (PREM) is a collaboration between Hampton University and the Brandeis University Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC) that includes collaborative research, education, training and outreach activities. Hampton is a primarily undergraduate HBCU with a large representation of women and African-American students. There is a persistent disparity in the rate at which HBCU alumni receive doctorates in STEM compared to their African-American counterparts who obtain their undergraduate degrees at research intensive institutions. The Hampton PREM is committed to further enhancing the quality of undergraduate materials science education and research at Hampton and other HBCUs as a means to reduce the PhD-attainment disparity and ultimately broaden African-American and women participation in the nations STEM workforce. We will develop and implement evidence-based innovative models and approaches to improve the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduates so they pursue materials science-related graduate programs and/or careers. The Hampton PREM will increase the number of Hampton undergraduates who annually pursue doctorates from the 1997-2006 rate of less than 2 doctorates per 100 bachelors to the level of 4.2 doctorates per 100 bachelors over the next 10 years. The proposed research will directly engage trainees from high school students to post-doctoral fellows in cutting-edge materials research and result in these trainees being co-authors on publications and presenters at research conferences.

****Technical Abstract****
The research component of the Hampton-Brandeis PREM includes three primary research projects which serve as the central unifying activities for the education, training and outreach components. The three research projects are: (1) examination of the dynamics of polyelectrolytes at the surface and within nanoscale polymer thin films fabricated using layer-by-layer technique and the create novel hybrid colloidal rod-polyelectrolyte multilayer drug delivery systems, (2) the fabrication of drug-delivery micelle containing light-sensitive amphiphilic block copolymers , and (3) a research project to be added via a PREM Pilot Project Program which will provided an exciting opportunity to nurture and cultivate new materials science research faculty at Hampton University. Particular emphasis will be placed on the recruitment of underrepresented minority and/or women early career faculty at Hampton University. Each research project requires substantial collaboration between the Hampton PREM research teams and the Brandeis MRSEC, specifically leveraging its strengths in microfluidics and high-resolution single-molecule fluorescence (SMF) microscopy. The experiments associated with each project will be undertaken by a PREM Research Unit, which is a team of materials science researchers that spans the education and training continuum (High School, undergraduate student, graduate student and Path-to-Professorship post-doctoral fellow and PREM Faculty).


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: OFFICE OF MULTIDISCIPLINARY AC | Award Amount: 128.23K | Year: 2016

The understanding of the strong interactions, the force that determines the structure of atomic nuclei, is one of the most challenging problems in the Standard Model of particle physics, which describes the number and properties of all the elementary particles. The fundamental theory of the strong interactions, based on the theory of quarks and gluons known as Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), has a very complex dynamics which gives rise to the rich properties of hadrons (baryons, including protons and neutrons, and mesons and their excitations) and also to the complexity observed in nuclear interactions and structure. The challenges are therefore many and very complex. Those challenges require a variety of experimental efforts, as well as theoretical efforts. In this context, this project will further develop the connection between the fundamental theory of QCD and hadronic/nuclear physics. It is expected that tools and methods developed in that context may have a broader domain of applications. The PI is a joint appointee in the Theory Group at Jefferson Lab, providing him with the opportunity to focus on Jefferson Lab related physics. An important mission of the project is the education and training at Hampton University of graduate and undergraduate students. An additional broader impact of the project will be the PIs interaction with scientists involved in Jefferson Lab experiments.

This project focuses on low and intermediate energy strong interactions in single hadron and few nucleon problems, as well as some fundamental aspects of QCD. The methods used are based in rigorous descriptions of the strong interactions known as effective theories, which are consistent with QCD, and make use of experimental as well as lattice QCD calculations results. The aim is to advance the theoretical knowledge of QCD and the develop theoretical methods. More specifically, in single hadrons, two main lines of research will be pursued: 1) Development and applications of an improved chiral effective theory in baryons, where the combination of the low energy and the 1/Nc expansions (Nc is the number of color degrees of freedom in QCD) is implemented; applications to baryon observables, and in particular to results obtained in Lattice QCD for those observables will be pursued, where in particular the quark mass dependencies accessible through Lattice QCD will be utilized for analyzing issues of convergence of the effective theory. Particular emphasis will be on the applications to baryons involving strangeness, where there are still unresolved issues with the implementation of effective theories due to the relatively large mass of the strange quark. In particular, these studies have impact in for improving the accuracy of the extraction of weak interaction parameters from hyperon decays. 2) Study of excited baryons in the framework of the 1/Nc expansion, which has as main aim the use of that fundamental expansion of QCD to organize the description of baryon resonances; this work has an impact in the analysis of current experimental results on baryon resonances from various facilities, in particular Jefferson Lab, and it can also be applied to the current Lattice QCD calculations of the excited baryon spectrum. In few body physics, the research is focused on applying the combined chiral effective theory and 1/Nc expansion to study the nucleon-nucleon interaction. Among the fundamental aspects of QCD, the project will focus on pure glue-dynamics, studying its fundamental non-perturbative quantities, namely gluon condensate and topological susceptibility using methods of holographic QCD.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: OFFICE OF MULTIDISCIPLINARY AC | Award Amount: 259.16K | Year: 2016

The National Science Foundation uses the Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) funding mechanism to support exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. This EAGER project was awarded as a result of the invitation in the Dear Colleague Letter NSF 16-080 to proposers from Historically Black Colleges and Universities to submit proposals that would strengthen research capacity of faculty at the institution. The project at Hampton University aims to detect flashes caused by small objects impacting the giant planet Jupiter. As demonstrated by recent impacts recorded by amateur astronomers, the intensity of impact flashes indicates the size of the impactors; if enough flashes are observed, the measurements will reveal the size distribution of those impactors. This in turn can help understand how the outer solar system has evolved since its formation. The project will facilitate installing a roof-top observatory, in which a telescope will be operated by a team of undergraduate students who will take charge of conducting the Jovian impact survey. The roof-top observatory will also enable the university to host outreach events for local students from elementary and high schools as well as the general public.

The projects objective is to measure the size distribution of Jovian impactors, which are thought to be members of the Jupiter Family Comets (JFC) that originate beyond Neptunes orbit. Most JFCs are too dim for direct telescopic observation from Earth, so the project will observe Jupiter impacts to measure the sizes of objects that are otherwise impossible to observe. If the JFC size distribution shows signs of numerous collisions in the past, it would be consistent with the hypothesis that Uranus and Neptune violently migrated outward early in the solar system history and scattered primordial planetesimal objects. If the JFC population contains more small fragments than expected from collisions, it would reveal that most comets eventually break up during their repeated close encounters with the sun. If the JFC population contains few small objects, it would indicate that at least some JFCs have been left undisturbed since the formation of the solar system. The main technical challenge here is to detect a sufficient number of impacts to build a statistically significant size distribution. The goal of the current exploratory project is to reduce uncertainties regarding the number of impacts per year to enable a larger impact survey in the future.

This EAGER project is co-funded by the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 255.73K | Year: 2015

Abstract


The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program has identified STEM teacher preparation as one of its priorities and is committed to funding innovative models to support STEM teacher preparation and professional development. With support from the National Science Foundation, the professional development program at Hampton University will implement comprehensive strategies designed to transform STEM teaching and learning in an effort to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM fields. The one-year pilot study, designed to assist high school science teachers with developing inquiry-based learning activities, will impact a large population of minority students and provide opportunities for collaboration and career advancement for teachers. This project has the potential to be a model for increasing the number of minority students pursuing STEM degree programs and careers.

The goal of this project is to enhance the abilities of teachers to provide inquiry-based learning activities for their students by: 1) augmenting curriculum offerings to increase teachers inventory of teaching activities, materials and tools; 2) increasing teachers knowledge of STEM education; and 3) establishing collaborative networks with HU professors. It is expected that this project will enhance the teachers content knowledge and expose them and their students to new concepts using materials related to their lives, history and culture. The inquiry-based activities manual, a product of this program, will be disseminated widely and thus benefit a large population.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: OFFICE OF MULTIDISCIPLINARY AC | Award Amount: 298.45K | Year: 2016

The National Science Foundation uses the Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) funding mechanism to support exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. This EAGER project was awarded as a result of the invitation in the Dear Colleague Letter NSF 16-080 to proposers from Historically Black Colleges and Universities to submit proposals that would strengthen research capacity of faculty at the institution. The project at Hampton University aims to study the merits of using monofiliment carbon wires in drift chambers, and to develop a low recoil proton detector. If this project succeeds, the resulting knowledge can be used to develop future carbon nanotube wire chambers, which would be a possibly transformative development in experimental nuclear and particle physics. The project involves training of the next generation of physicists at Hampton University.

As part of the project, the investigation into the usage of carbon mono lament wires for construction of the cathode layer and/or an additional inner wire chamber for the BONuS12 detector will be carried out in parallel with development work on the currently planned, but lower risk, design. The current project is one of the first to investigate usage of such wires in an cylindrical detector. More generally, the usage of carbon mono laments could be a boon for experiments requiring detection and tracking of low momentum protons and nuclei due to the potentially significant reduction in energy lost over traditional metal wires. The technology for producing carbon nanotube wires offering conductivity surpassing that of copper wires has just now become available, with mass production likely available over the next few years.

This EAGER is co-funded by the Directorates for Education & Human Resources and Mathematical & Physical Sciences.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 359.97K | Year: 2016

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) Research Initiation Awards (RIAs) provide support to STEM junior faculty at HBCUs who are starting to build a research program, as well as for mid-career faculty who may have returned to the faculty ranks after holding an administrative post or who need to redirect and rebuild a research program. Faculty members may pursue research at their home institution, at an NSF-funded Center, at a research intensive institution or at a national laboratory. The RIA projects are expected to help further the faculty members research capability and effectiveness, to improve research and teaching at his or her home institution, and to involve undergraduate students in research experiences. With support from the National Science Foundation, Hampton University (HU) will conduct research aimed at understanding the ecology of microbial communities in relation to red deep-sea crabs and their surrounding environment. This study will provide academic and experiential opportunities for undergraduate students in an effort to encourage them to pursue post-graduate study and careers as STEM research scientists. The project will help to enhance the universitys research infrastructure and expand HUs ability to access advanced, innovative resources through collaborative partnering arrangements. Thus, HU will be positioned to educate the future members of STEM workforce with the knowledge to conduct innovative research and to enhance local, state, national, and global competitiveness. In addition, this study is aligned with HUs current strategic initiative to raise its research profile and competitiveness in the STEM sciences as well as to become a High Activity Research University.

The goal of the proposed study is to understand the microbial ecology of decapods inhabiting the slope of the mid-Atlantic Ocean. The specific aims of this project are to: 1) characterize the in situ midgut microflora of the red deep-sea crab and the microbiome in the in situ benthic ocean environment of the red deep-sea crab; and 2) characterize the stability of microbial communities after exposure to surface water microbiome in a controlled closed system. This study will contribute to our understanding of: a) the effect of dispersal on microbial communities by comparing datasets from three geographic locations; b) the role of environmental microbial flora in establishing the stable symbiotic communities within the crab; c) the effect of seasonal variation on the microbial communities from benthic environment and those associated with crabs. It will also set a biological reference point for future research. Findings from this study will contribute to our understanding of microbial ecology specifically: microbial dispersal, the effect of seasonal variation and how the crab gut communities are influenced by their environment. This project will be conducted in collaboration with the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), University of Delaware and Atlantic Red Crab Company (local fishing industry).


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: OFFICE OF MULTIDISCIPLINARY AC | Award Amount: 300.00K | Year: 2016

The National Science Foundation uses the Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) funding mechanism to support exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. This EAGER project was awarded as a result of the invitation in the Dear Colleague Letter NSF 16-080 to proposers from Historically Black Colleges and Universities to submit proposals that would strengthen research capacity of faculty at the institution. The project at Hampton University aims to pursue the task of beam particle tracking with a Gas Electron Multiplier detector system for the MUon Scattering Experiment (MUSE) at the Paul-Scherrer Institute in Switzerland. The project outcome can have significant impact in the field of nuclear and particle physics and may lead to basic new knowledge in that field. Graduate students are involved in this activity.

The Muon Scattering Experiment (MUSE) will provide key insights to the so-called proton radius puzzle - the seven-standard deviation discrepancy between proton charge radius measurements with electronic and muonic probes, respectively. Possible explanations also include new physics beyond the Standard Model. The MUSE experiment aims to address one of the most pressing questions in nuclear and particle science to date. MUSE uses mixed muon and electron beams of either charge to make precise measurements of the lepton-proton elastic scattering cross sections and proton form factors, with the goal to extract the proton charge radius for each probe. This requires precise measurements of the scattering angles necessitating the tracking of individual beam particles in a way not done before at low beam energies. This project focuses on the challenging task of high-resolution beam particle tracking at MUSE with Gas Electron Multiplier detectors in a high-rate environment.

This project is co-funded by the Directorates for Education & Human Resources and Mathematical & Physical Sciences, as well as the Office of International Science and Engineering.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 360.00K | 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 Hampton University has potential broader impact in a number of areas. The goal of the project is to investigate how possible changes in ocean acidification may affect visual and auditory neurobiology in marine fishes. Undergraduate students will gain research experiences. The projects interdisciplinary approach ensures that the principal investigator and the undergraduate scholar-researchers will make significant impacts in this rapidly emerging field that will be of broad interest to the marine science community.

The goal of the project is to apply electrophysiological techniques and morphological analyses to assay the effects of increased carbon dioxide concentrations that are representative of projected changes over the next century on the form and function of marine fish visual and auditory systems. The effects of both acute and chronic aqueous carbon dioxide exposure will be studied on the morphological development of visual and auditory sensory structures, the functional performance of auditory and visual systems, and the capability of a gamma-aminobutyric acid A receptor antagonist to alter potential sensory deficits during acute and chronic acidification using fishes from diverse phylogenies, geographic regions, and life histories. While resulting behavioral changes have been documented, the extent to which the physiological function of fish neurosensory systems is altered as a consequence of ocean acidification, and the morphological changes and functional deficits it may cause, remains largely unknown.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 622.48K | Year: 2015

The Department of Computer Science at Hampton University is creating the Workforce Preparation through Computing Scholarship (We-Prep-CS) Program. It will support up to 20 undergraduate students and up to 18 graduate students. Each student will be awarded up to $10,000 per year based on their financial need. We-Prep-CS will be part of Hampton Universitys continuing efforts to enhance undergraduate education and research in computer science as well as to increase the number of women and African-Americans who pursue advanced degrees and careers in computing. These additional technical workers will help increase the nations economic competitiveness.

The Department of Computer Science at Hampton University has a legacy of contributing to the diversity of the computer science workforce and works closely with a number of industry, academic, and government partners. The proposed project adds to the comprehensive student support services within the department and supports efforts by the Graduate College to ensure the success of students seeking masters degrees in computer science. Scholarships will enable undergraduate and graduate students in computing programs to study full-time, while project activities will engage students academically and socially by providing research and internship opportunities, social cohort building activities, career counseling, and graduate school and workforce preparation. The project will demonstrate a creative, sustainable model for recruiting, engaging, retaining, and graduating historically underrepresented students in computing programs that can guide other institutions in efforts to diversify the STEM workforce. Student support activities developed through the proposed project will be sustainable and scalable, and an integrated evaluation plan will identify which activities should be expanded to meet the needs of all HU Computer Science majors in the future. The project will contribute to the scholarly understanding of STEM student perceptions of financial aid and need. Best practices in preparation, recruitment, retention and engagement strategies will be made available to other institutions via publications, conferences, and workshops. This will assist them with their efforts to broaden participation and to facilitate the progression of students through the pipeline from undergraduate through graduate degree programs in computing majors and/or into technical areas of national need. Data from this project will be collected through extensive evaluation processes and disseminated among the academic and workforce communities, organizations, and conference attendees.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: OFFICE OF MULTIDISCIPLINARY AC | Award Amount: 250.00K | Year: 2016

The National Science Foundation uses the Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) funding mechanism to support exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. This EAGER project was awarded as a result of the invitation in the Dear Colleague Letter NSF 16-080 to proposers from Historically Black Colleges and Universities to submit proposals that would strengthen research capacity of faculty at the institution. The project at Hampton University aims to explore ternary metal halides for multi-functional applications, in particular for nuclear radiation detection and infrared solid-state gain media. If this project succeeds, it will result in the development of novel materials with improved functionalities for various applications and lead to significant industry impact. This project is co-funded by the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

The development of wide-gap compound semiconductor crystals based on ternary metal halides is proposed for applications in nuclear radiation detection and infrared (IR) photonics. In this EAGER project, exploratory research will be performed on the material preparation and bulk crystal growth of metal halides. The proposed semiconductors will also be grown with rare earth dopants for applications in IR solid-state gain media. The work includes: the synthesis of candidate materials; purification studies and bulk crystal growth experiments; rare earth doping of purified crystals; and material characterization and modeling for applications in nuclear radiation detection and long-wavelength IR gain media. The exploratory and untested aspect of the proposed EAGER project lies in trying to combine the unique material properties of metal lead halides for two important applications with different physical mechanisms. Detailed studies on the role of defects and impurities on the optical and electrical properties of these materials will be performed as a function of temperature and elemental composition. Material purification and control of defect/impurity levels within the grown bulk crystals will be critical for deriving structure-property relations impacting possible device performance.

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