Lancaster, PA, United States
Lancaster, PA, United States

Haverford College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college located in Haverford, Pennsylvania, United States, a suburb of Philadelphia. All students of the College are undergraduates, and nearly all reside on campus.The college was founded in 1833 by area members of the Orthodox Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends to ensure an education grounded in Quaker values for young Quaker men. Although the college no longer has a formal religious affiliation, the Quaker philosophy still influences campus life. Originally an all-male institution, Haverford began admitting female transfer students in the 1970s and became fully co-ed in 1980. Currently, more than half of Haverford's students are women. For most of the 20th century, Haverford's total enrollment was kept below 300, but the school went through two periods of expansion after the 1970s, and its current enrollment is 1,190 students. As of the 2012–2013 academic year, Haverford College's tuition is $43,310; room and board, $13,290; activity fee, $392; and orientation fee, $210. This amounts to a total of $57,202.Haverford is a member of the Tri-College Consortium, which allows students to register for courses at both Bryn Mawr College and Swarthmore College. The college engages in an especially close relationship with Bryn Mawr College. It is also a member of the Quaker Consortium which allows students to cross-register at the College of General Studies and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. The college was ranked 11th among all colleges and universities in the 2014 edition of Forbes' "Top Colleges", and 9th among national liberal arts colleges by the 2013 edition of U.S. News and World Report. A 2012 Forbes ranking on the colleges which produce the most entrepreneurs per capita placed Haverford first among liberal arts colleges and tenth overall . Wikipedia.


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Schrier J.,Haverford College
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces | Year: 2011

The physisorption of gases on surfaces depends on the electrostatic and dispersion interactions with adsorbates. The former can be tuned by introducing charge variations in the material, and the latter can be tuned by chemical substitution. Using atomistic Monte Carlo calculations, the Henrys law constants, and isosteric heats of adsorption of CH 4, CO 2, N 2, O 2, H 2S, SO 2, and H 2O on graphene, two-dimensional polyphenylene (2D-PP), fluorographene, and fluoro(2D-PP) surfaces are used to demonstrate the tunability of these two types of interaction. With the exception of H 2O, fluorination and nanoporosity-induced charge variations reduce the binding of the adsorbates. Gas separations relevant for CO 2 sequestration, biogas upgrading, SO 2 pollution control, and air dehumidification are considered, and in most cases, the nanoporosity and fluorination reduce the selectivity of adsorption. The exceptions are separations involving adsorption of H 2O and the SO 2/N 2 separation, where the large dipole moments of the adsorbed species leads to enhanced binding relative to the nonpolar species. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Schrier J.,Haverford College
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces | Year: 2012

Carbon dioxide gas separation is important for many environmental and energy applications. Molecular dynamics simulations are used to characterize a two-dimensional hydrocarbon polymer, PG-ES1, that uses a combination of surface adsorption and narrow pores to separate carbon dioxide from nitrogen, oxygen, and methane gases. The CO 2 permeance is 3 × 10 5 gas permeation units (GPU). The CO 2/N 2 selectivity is 60, and the CO 2/CH 4 selectivity exceeds 500. The combination of high CO 2 permeance and selectivity surpasses all known materials, enabling low-cost postcombustion CO 2 capture, utilization of landfill gas, and horticulture applications. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY | Award Amount: 115.92K | Year: 2015

What differentiates the individuals from under-represented backgrounds who persist in STEM-related educational pathways in college from those who opt out? The proposed research examines whether identity development is key to understanding these educational and developmental trajectories. Although research has shown that the establishment of a clear and positive identity during emerging adulthood is associated with a variety of optimal outcomes, many questions remain regarding how identity is formed, particularly with regard to developing a positive science identity and a sense of belonging with ones STEM field. The overarching goal of the current project is to better understand how identity forms during college by applying a narrative approach, in which identity is understood as developing through a subjective process of integrating life experiences into a personal and self-defining story. Specifically, the unique vantage point of narratives will be used to better understand why some students -- especially women, underrepresented minorities, and those with disadvantaged backgrounds -- disengage from pursuing STEM-related careers while others persist. By combining objective markers (e.g., gender, ethnicity, SES, educational background) with coded narratives that emerge in response to relevant experiences (e.g., in the science classroom), this study may contribute to solutions for the persistent lack of diversity in the sciences. More broadly, by examining how students engage in meaning-making about the critical transitions (e.g., leaving home, choosing a major) and contextualized experiences (e.g., academic, social, romantic) that are central to college life, the proposed research will identify the identity pathways that contribute to increases over time in other important outcomes, including maturity, happiness, and clarity of career goals.

The Identity Pathways Project is a five-year, two-campus longitudinal study that utilizes a quantitative narrative approach. The longitudinal design involves three surveys annually for four years and a final survey one year after graduation. The surveys will include repeated assessments of both narratives (transition to college, academic and relational high and low points, experiences related to major choice and future career) and standard scales of the outcomes of interest. With this design, the proposed research will be able to test the extent to which identity processes operate as mechanisms of developmental change, and more specifically, whether narratives reflecting a positive science identity are a key factor in persistence along a STEM-related career path. The two-campus design, which includes a private liberal arts college and a state university, increases the demographic diversity and allows for a more inclusive examination of identity development, especially as it pertains to career identity and STEM participation. The narrative approach to career identity has important implications for designing career counseling programs, especially those promoting STEM-related career paths among women and minorities.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Big Data Science &Engineering | Award Amount: 172.74K | Year: 2016

Data-driven modeling has moved beyond the realm of consumer predictions and recommendations into areas of policy and planning that have a profound impact on our daily lives. The tools of data analysis are being harnessed to predict crime, select candidates for jobs, identify security threats, determine credit risk, and even decide treatment plans and interventions for patients. Automated learning and mining tools can crunch incredible amounts and variety of data in order to detect patterns and make predictions. As is rapidly becoming clear, these tools can also introduce discriminatory behavior and amplify biases in the systems they are trained on. In this project, the PIs will study the problems of discrimination and bias in algorithmic decision-making. By studying all aspects of the data pipeline (from data preparation to learning, evaluation, and feedback), they will develop tools for analyzing, auditing, and designing automated decision-making systems that will be fair, accountable, and transparent. As specific goals to broaden the impact of this research, the PIs will develop a course curriculum to educate the next generation of data scientists on the ethical, legal, and societal implications of algorithmic decision-making, with the intent that they will then take this understanding into their jobs as they enter the workforce. Initial efforts by the PIs have attracted students from underrepresented groups in computer science, and they will continue these efforts. The PIs will also explore the legal and policy ramifications of this research, and develop best practice guidelines for the use of their tools by policy makers, lawyers, journalists, and other practitioners.

The PIs will explore the technical subject of this project in three ways. Firstly, they will develop a sound theoretical framework for reasoning about algorithmic fairness. This framework carefully separates mechanisms, beliefs, and assumptions in order to make explicit implicitly held assumptions about the nature of fairness in learning. Secondly, by examining the entire pipeline of tasks associated with learning, they will identify hitherto unexplored areas where bias may be unintentionally introduced into learning as well as novel problems associated with ensuring fairness. These include the initial stages of data preparation, various kinds of fairness-aware learning, and evaluation. They will also investigate the problem of feedback: when actions based on a biased learned model might cause a feedback loop that changes reality and leads to more bias.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: COGNEURO | Award Amount: 274.18K | Year: 2016

The ability to shift attention rapidly under highly demanding performance conditions is critical for many occupations, such as driving, aviation, military, and medical personnel. The human mind has evolved a capacity to continually self-monitor, checking ongoing performance against goals, maintaining alertness to possible errors, and rapidly adjusting attention when performance shows signs of slipping. The present research project will investigate the processes by which performance errors are detected, leading to heightened physiological arousal and adaptive changes in cognition that momentarily refocus attention on task-relevant information in the environment. Using both EEG measures of brain activity and measures of pupil diameter to quantify physiological arousal, the research will test the hypothesis that arousal elicited by performance errors leads to enhanced attention. In addition to its scientific goals, the project will strengthen the research environment in cognitive neuroscience at a highly selective liberal arts college that sends disproportionate numbers of graduates on to doctoral-level research in STEM fields.

Effective control of cognitive performance depends on noticing and responding to performance errors in ways that are behaviorally adaptive. The proposed research tests a novel model of error-reactivity that focuses on error-related alpha suppression (ERAS), which refers to the reduction in EEG alpha-band activity in the inter-trial interval following an error compared to a correct response. The model posits that ERAS reflects transient arousal resulting from norepinephrine projections that ascend from the brainstem locus coerulus to activate cortical regions in response to salient events. The arousal model predicts that ERAS should covary with error-related pupil dilation, which is mediated by the norepinephrine system. In addition, based on adaptive gain theory, the model predicts that error-related arousal leads to enhanced attention to task-relevant cues, which will be measured both behaviorally and with EEG measures. Finally, using current time-frequency analysis techniques, the research will directly compare ERAS to other error-related oscillatory phenomena that are present in different EEG frequency bands (i.e., error-related theta and gamma effects). Results will provide novel information to inform theories of error-related cognitive control by detailing how performance mistakes lead to momentary arousal responses and by examining the relationship between error-related arousal and behavioral performance.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 541.08K | Year: 2013

The Principal Investigator and collaborators in this project will combine three sophisticated computer codes in order to simulate the properties of galaxies at redshifts around 2 (approximately 10 billion years ago). These codes are (1) Arepo, an unstructured-adaptive-mesh hydrodynamics code based on Voronoi tessellations; (2) Sunrise, a Monte Carlo radiative transfer code that calculates spectral energy distributions from ultraviolet to millimeter wavelengths for galaxies with stellar and nonthermal sources modulated by scattering and absorption; and (3) Turtlebeach, a similar radiative transfer code that calculates molecular spectral line emission. The team will use these coupled codes to create a library of hydrodynamic simulations of isolated, evolving, and merging galaxies. They will then fold the resulting models through estimates of cosmological merger rates and merging histories obtained through semi-analytic and numerical methods. This strategy will make it possible to connect physical mechanisms operating on scales of tens of parsecs to observations from large-scale galaxy surveys. The goals of the project are (1) to construct a physically motivated unified model for the diverse zoo of high redshift galaxies, including galaxy populations expected to be discovered in deep surveys by the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, the James Webb Space Telescope, and the Herschel Space Telescope; (2) to assess the cosmological significance of the various high redshift galaxy populations, and determine the dominant contributors to cosmic stellar mass assembly and the far infrared background; and (3) to develop tools for observers based on a physical understanding of high-redshift galaxies and a critical assessment of the applicability of locally-calibrated diagnostics. The project will support a postdoctoral researcher and a graduate student, who will be mentored and trained by the Principal Investigator. The proposers will make public for the community expected luminosity functions for ALMA, JWST and Herschel deep fields in advance of these surveys. They will also conduct a series of 1-hour lectures as part of a continuing education program for senior citizens.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Chemistry of Life Processes | Award Amount: 560.68K | Year: 2017

With this award, the Chemistry of Life Processes Program in the Chemistry Division is funding Dr. Louise Charkoudian from Haverford College to engage undergraduates in the discovery of new routes to chemical diversity by learning and applying lessons from nature. Nature has evolved remarkably simple routes to make very complicated molecules, many of which are too complex to be readily synthesized in the laboratory. The funded research focuses on characterizing the chemistry of the most ancient and unique biosynthetic pathways, which have yet to be explored by scientists. The experimental procedures lead to the identification of new compounds and enzymes encoded by nature, as well as new tools to enable the engineering of natural pathways to build molecules of novel structure and function. This project also integrates a professional development series to expose undergraduate students to post-graduation career opportunities in the chemical sciences, as well as BioArt outreach activities that employ pigmented bacteria to illustrate fundamental concepts of chemistry and biology.

The research engagees undergraduates in the discovery of new biosynthetic routes to chemical diversity through the characterization of unexplored polyketide synthase (PKS) gene clusters and enzymes. Orphaned type II (polyaromatic) polyketide gene clusters from diverse phyla are characterized to elucidate the chemical diversity encoded by ancient non-actinomycete species. These bacterial species are evaluated as a source of PKS enzymes that can be expressed in tractable heterologous hosts to enable in vitro characterization of poorly understood type II PKSs. Finally, acyl carrier proteins (ACPs) representing diverse stages of PKS evolution are characterized using a combination of traditional and innovative biochemical and biophysical methods. Results will lead to the identification of new chemical diversity encoded by nature, as well as new tools to enable the biosynthetic engineering of hybrid PKSs. The work also includes the student-led annotation of uncharacterized biosynthetic gene clusters, a professional development series to expose students to post-graduation career opportunities in the sciences, and BioArt outreach activities that leverage the pigmented nature of polyketide-producing bacteria. The outreach activities introduce concepts of chemistry and biology to young students from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: GEOMETRIC ANALYSIS | Award Amount: 143.19K | Year: 2014

Symplectic topology is a rich field of mathematics with roots in classical physics that has blossomed into a central mathematical field that combines features of geometry (the science of measurement) and topology (the study of the shape of space). This field has a variety of applications including fluid mechanics, differential equations, and the study of the possible shapes of the 3-dimensional space and the 4-dimensional space-time in which we live. The goal of this project is to achieve a better understanding of how symplectic and contact topology sit between geometry and topology, thereby strengthening the foundation for the aforementioned applications. The projects research activities will increase participation and mentoring of students from undergraduate institutions in the critical STEM pipeline. The projects activities will also encourage the exchange of ideas between faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates, thereby providing additional means of bringing undergraduates into the research process. Research with undergraduates will also serve as a pedagogical laboratory for integrating ideas arising in mathematical research into the PIs courses at all levels of the curriculum.

Approaching symplectic topology (and its sister field contact topology) through a topological lens has given rise to a young and thriving discipline with interesting questions that explore the boundary between flexibility (when the symplectic world behaves topologically) and rigidity (when the symplectic world behaves geometrically). This project sets forth a program to answer fundamental flexibility and rigidity questions about Legendrian and Lagrangian submanifolds. A number of the projects are concrete and easy to explain, and hence appeal to the imagination of a wide mathematical audience. The proposed research is framed by three themes. The first is a focus on the global properties of the space of Legendrian submanifolds, with specific goals of introducing new quantitative techniques into the study of Lagrangian cobordisms and beginning the study of homotopy groups of spaces of higher dimensional Legendrians. The second theme seeks to link Legendrian and smooth topology, using the Lagrangian cobordism relation to give meaning to certain quantum knot invariants and the conormal construction to connect Legendrian and smooth invariants. The final theme emphasizes investigations into the scope and structure of Legendrian invariants, with one project, in particular, poised to uncover a new type of algebraic pattern for Legendrian Contact Homology.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Macromolec/Supramolec/Nano | Award Amount: 281.61K | Year: 2016

Hydrogels are materials with a tremendous capacity to absorb water, which makes them useful for a variety of every-day applications such as baby diapers, contact lenses and drug encapsulation. Hydrogels consist of polymer networks and new types of hydrogel polymers are continuously being developed. There is a considerable interest in learning what the detailed structure of a hydrogel looks like and how the structure of the network influences the hydrogel properties as well as how the hydrogel polymers can be modified at will. The aim of this research is to investigate the formation of a hydrogel from natural proteins. This hydrogel, because it is of natural origin, is non-toxic, biocompatible, biodegradable and environmentally friendly. This research involves an international collaboration between research groups at Haverford College, US; Lund University, Swede; and the University of Cambridge, UK. The project provides interdisciplinary and international research opportunities to undergraduate students. The project also includes participation by students from underrepresented groups, preparing them for graduate studies in a variety of chemically related fields, as well as for careers in industry. The undergraduate participants of this project gain direct hands-on experience and training in state-of-the-art methodologies for solid-phase protein synthesis and purification.

This research aims to understand gel formation by peptide scaffolds. The oligopeptide under investigation self-assembles to form fibrils consisting of extended beta-sheets. This short 10-residue peptide forms a hydrogel with properties that are particularly well suited for systematic investigations. This project probes the sequence-specific determinants of hydrogel formation by studying a series of mutants and truncated versions of the oligopeptide, employing predominantly circular dichroism and ourier transform infrared spectroscopy for their characterization The research interrogates the self-assembly process by incorporating isotopically labeled residues into the sequence. Finally, the researchers follow the kinetics of fibril formation using a thioflavine-based assay, which is also used as a tool to assess the effects of external variables, such as pH, on aggregation.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ALGEBRA,NUMBER THEORY,AND COM | Award Amount: 128.00K | Year: 2016

This research project addresses problems in algebraic geometry, which studies solutions to systems of polynomial equations, and in representation theory, which aims to explain the basic building blocks of symmetry in mathematics and natural science. The central objects of study in this project are groups of invertible matrices with power series entries. Such algebraic groups over local fields have an especially beautiful decomposition into cells indexed by elements of a group of transformations that is generated by reflections across hyperplanes in Euclidean space. This cell decomposition permits an approach to understanding the algebraic geometry and representation theory of the matrix group by employing combinatorial and geometric techniques that exploit the abundant symmetry featured in the arrangement of the reflecting hyperplanes. The project also provides involves undergraduate students in mathematical research through summer research programs, year-long thesis projects, and participation in local colloquia, regional seminars, and national conferences.

The investigator will utilize and extend surprising relationships among p-adic representation theory, affine flag varieties in positive characteristic, the quantum cohomology of complex Grassmannians, and the homology of the affine Grassmannian. Concrete goals of the research include explicit type-free formulas for dimensions of affine Deligne-Lusztig varieties, values of p-adic orbital integrals, and products of quantum and affine Schubert classes. The primary tool in most projects is the alcove walk model for the affine flag variety, a uniform combinatorial platform that connects the study of affine Hecke algebras, crystal bases, Mirkovic-Vilonen cycles, quantum and affine Schubert calculus, and geodesics in the building of Kac-Moody groups.

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