Los Angeles, CA, United States
Los Angeles, CA, United States

Loyola Marymount University is a private, co-educational university in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions located in Los Angeles, California, United States. The university is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and one of five Marymount institutions of higher education.Loyola Marymount University traces its history through Loyola University, founded in 1911 as the successor to St. Vincent's College which was founded in 1865, and Marymount College, founded in 1933 with its roots in Marymount School which was founded in 1923. Loyola Marymount, which sits atop the bluffs overlooking Marina Del Rey and Playa Del Rey is the parent school to Loyola Law School located in downtown Los Angeles.As of 2010, Loyola Marymount is one of the largest Roman Catholic universities on the West Coast with just over 9,000 undergraduate, graduate and law school students. Wikipedia.


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Mureika J.,Loyola Marymount University | Stojkovic D.,State University of New York at Buffalo
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2011

Lower dimensionality at higher energies has manifold theoretical advantages as recently pointed out by Anchordoqui et al.. Moreover, it appears that experimental evidence may already exist for it: A statistically significant planar alignment of events with energies higher than TeV has been observed in some earlier cosmic ray experiments. We propose a robust and independent test for this new paradigm. Since (2+1)-dimensional spacetimes have no gravitational degrees of freedom, gravity waves cannot be produced in that epoch. This places a universal maximum frequency at which primordial waves can propagate, marked by the transition between dimensions. We show that this cutoff frequency may be accessible to future gravitational wave detectors such as the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Dowd W.W.,Loyola Marymount University
Integrative and Comparative Biology | Year: 2012

Environmental physiology, toxicology, and ecology and evolution stand to benefit substantially from the relatively recent surge of "omics" technologies into these fields. These approaches, and proteomics in particular, promise to elucidate novel and integrative functional responses of organisms to diverse environmental challenges, over a variety of time scales and at different levels of organization. However, application of proteomics to environmental questions suffers from several challenges - some unique to high-throughput technologies and some relevant to many related fields - that may confound downstream biological interpretation of the data. I explore three of these challenges in environmental proteomics, emphasizing the dependence of biological conclusions on (1) the specific experimental context, (2) the choice of statistical analytical methods, and (3) the degree of proteome coverage and protein identification rates, both of which tend to be much less than 100 (i.e., analytical incompleteness). I use both a review of recent publications and data generated from my previous and ongoing proteomics studies of coastal marine animals to examine the causes and consequences of these challenges, in one case analyzing the same multivariate proteomics data set using 29 different combinations of statistical techniques common in the literature. Although some of the identified issues await further critical assessment and debate, when possible I offer suggestions for meeting these three challenges. © 2012 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved.


Mureika J.R.,Loyola Marymount University
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2012

Several different approaches to quantum gravity suggest the effective dimension of spacetime reduces from four to two near the Planck scale. In light of such evidence, this Letter re-examines the thermodynamics of primordial black holes (PBHs) in specific lower-dimensional gravitational models. Unlike in four dimensions, (1. +. 1)-D black holes radiate with power P~MBH2, while it is known no (2. +. 1)-D (BTZ) black holes can exist in a non-anti-de Sitter universe. This has important relevance to the PBH population size and distribution, and consequently on cosmological evolution scenarios. The number of PBHs that have evaporated to present day is estimated, assuming they account for all dark matter. Entropy conservation during dimensional transition imposes additional constraints. If the cosmological constant is non-negative, no black holes can exist in the (2. +. 1)-dimensional epoch, and consequently a (1. +. 1)-dimensional black hole will evolve to become a new type of remnant. Although these results are conjectural and likely model-dependent, they open new questions about the viability of PBHs as dark matter candidates. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: RES IN DISABILITIES ED | Award Amount: 403.87K | Year: 2012

The Career and Technical Education as a Foundation to Support Postsecondary Transitions in STEM for Students with Disabilities award is a Broadening Participation Research project designed to investigate non-traditional and less formal educational pathways, specifically career and technical education (CTE) experiences, for high school students with disabilities pursuing postsecondary STEM degrees and careers.

The research team will examine three forms of CTE in high school, specifically those identified by the 2006 Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, considered critical in supporting the school-to-postsecondary transition of students moving toward STEM college majors and, ultimately, STEM careers: (1) STEM course-taking, (2) school-based employment programs, and (3) labor force participation. STEM course-taking includes both traditional and applied STEM courses that impart quantitative concepts, logic, and problem solving skills to students in a structured classroom setting. School-based employment experiences include activities organized and sponsored by schools that promote career development, such as cooperative education, internships, and career mentoring. Labor force participation includes paid work done for an employer.

There are five specific research questions.
1. What CTE experiences are provided to students with disabilities during high school?
2. Do CTE experiences in high school improve the odds of students with disabilities transitioning into a STEM field of study in college? If so, which experiences are most beneficial?
3. Conditional on having attended college, do CTE experiences in high school improve the odds of students with disabilities transitioning into a STEM profession after college? If so, which experiences are most beneficial?
4. Do answers to the preceding four questions differ by specific disability classification of the individual student?
5. Are these results generalizable to multiple nationally-representative datasets?

To address these research questions, the research will conduct secondary data analyses of two existing national datasets: the NCES Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS) and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97).

This project will be evaluated by an independent evaluator, Dr. Vi-Nhuan Le, and will include formative and summative assessments. Results are expected to advance the fields knowledge about the future CTE experiences of students with disabilities pursuing STEM at the postsecondary level.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: CROSS-EF ACTIVITIES | Award Amount: 458.47K | Year: 2013

Temperature plays a key role in setting species ranges and driving evolutionary patterns on broad spatial and temporal scales. However, interpretation of the role of temperature in ecology and evolution may be confounded by complex spatial patterns of temperature variation. Within very small coastal intertidal areas, the investigators have documented micro-scale variation in body temperature among individuals that can exceed the average range of body temperature along an entire coastline. Essentially, different organisms experience the same environment in different ways. This micro-scale variation among individuals represents a critical caveat to the conclusion that a number of species currently live close to their temperature tolerance limits; instead, only some individuals do so. It is important to understand the causes and consequences of such micro-scale variation, particularly when attempting to forecast the large-scale outcomes of climatic changes. This project uses the sea mussel as a model system for a combination of field and laboratory studies designed first to answer two mechanistic questions: (1) How does micro-scale variation in body temperature arise, and do individuals use behavioral responses to modify their body temperature based on their recent experience? (2) Is variation in thermal history, the amount of recent heating, correlated with physiological abilities of individuals to combat stress associated with extreme temperatures? The investigators will first quantify the magnitude and the temporal persistence of micro-scale variation in body temperature (a necessity before scaling up to address broad ecological and evolutionary questions) and then link specific biochemical markers of thermal stress in individuals with their unique thermal histories. Finally, the investigators will address the potential sources of micro-scale variation in thermal physiology. Is inter-individual variation a function of variation in recent thermal history, or derived from fixed physiological differences between individuals in warm vs. cool microhabitats, or is individual physiological variation masked in the field by variation in other environmental factors such as food availability or by behavior? Inter-individual variation is an important, understudied aspect of organismal biology. This research will link inter-individual variation in physiology with parallel environmental variation to deepen understanding of evolutionary potential of species to cope with global change. To accomplish this goal, the team will integrate biochemical, behavioral, and biophysical approaches in field and laboratory studies. Importantly, a new understanding will be gained of the oxidative stress mechanisms that may set thermal tolerance costs and limits among species and among populations of a single species.

Broader impacts are focused on integration of undergraduate teaching and research by forming a collaboration between Loyola Marymount University [LMU, a Primarily Undergraduate Institution (PUI) with 21% Latino/Hispanic population] and Stanford University. LMU undergraduates will be immersed in summer research at Stanfords Hopkins Marine Station, greatly enhancing their professional development and future career perspectives. A postdoctoral researcher based at LMU will receive PUI-specific professional development in research, classroom teaching, and student mentoring while enjoying access to world-class resources, expertise, and an excellent field site at Stanford. Finally, methods and findings of the research will be incorporated into several undergraduate courses at LMU.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 586.60K | Year: 2012

In this S-STEM project, Loyola Marymount University is building upon its strong infrastructure to support STEM education and achievement by creating a scholarship component within its ACCESS (A Community Committed to Excellence in Scientific Scholarship) Program. Established in 2009, ACCESS has been a summer transition program designed to support incoming freshmen in STEM majors. The ACCESS Scholarship Program expands this effort by providing up to 36 talented students in STEM fields with need-based scholarships for four years. Scholarship recipients are supported to not only obtain a bachelors degree in a STEM field, but also have adequate preparation and incentive to matriculate into a graduate program. ACCESS students are recruited from low-income communities, and typically are either the first in their families to attend college or from populations underrepresented in the sciences.

The ACCESS Scholarship Program is designed to leverage existing Loyola Marymount resources in a coordinated manner so that scholars receive the financial assistance that they need, coupled with academic support, mentoring and a continuum of professional development opportunities to enrich their educational experience. Delivered in the context of a supportive learning community, and with retention as a primary aim of the program, the ACCESS scholars participate in a three-week residential summer transitional program in order to form a peer-support community before their first semester in college. ACCESS scholars then participate in year-round academic and professional development. Further enriching the retention plan is an extensive support network designed specifically for the ACCESS students and consisting of faculty, staff and students who have pledged to support each of the students within the ACCESS community.

This academic-year and summer support is meant to ensure graduation in four years, equipping scholars with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a masters or doctoral degree in a technical discipline. When ACCESS program scholars earn graduate degrees in technical fields and become leaders in their respective professions, they will have the opportunity to affect change in STEM fields through their further studies and professional work. The ACCESS Scholarship Program is a vehicle for cultivating technical talent that often goes untapped among groups that comprise an ever-larger percentage of the Nations population.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: ANIMAL BEHAVIOR | Award Amount: 320.06K | Year: 2015

Proposal Title: RUI: Mechanisms regulating facultative migrations of the Pine Siskin
Institutions: Loyola Marymount University, and a partnership with UC-Davis
Abstract Date: 03/13/2015

Migratory behavior can be characterized by regular and predictable seasonal and directional movements, or the movements may be much less predictable with respect to both timing and direction. The less predictable movements, known as facultative migration, are much more difficult to study. This project will investigate the drivers of facultative migration in a captive species of bird, the pine siskin (Spinus pinus). The goals of the project are to assess 1) What cue(s) trigger the development of a migratory stage; and 2) What endocrine hormones mediate the migratory response? Four cues (photoperiod, food availability, population density, and mate availability) and two hormones (corticosterone and testosterone) will be investigated. Understanding how animals respond to environmental variability is critical in todays changing climate. The project will train a post-graduate researcher at a primarily undergraduate institution, and will involve large numbers of undergraduates, including those from underrepresented groups. The lead investigator is a beginning investigator.

The project will systematically and comprehensively investigate the mechanisms underlying facultative migration, a suite of behaviors that are taxonomically widespread. It is the captive avian model organism that enables this research. Four different hypotheses will be investigated as part of the first goal of the project: (i) an increasing photoperiod stimulates facultative migration in the spring; (ii) declining food availability stimulates the development
of migration; (iii) high local population density, prior to a decline in food availability, can trigger the transition to a migratory
 stage; and (iv) that a shortage of potential mates can stimulate migration around the time of breeding. Two additional hypotheses will be investigated as part of the second goal: (i) increased circulating corticosterone levels stimulate 
the development of a migratory stage; and (ii) the transition to a migratory stage is stimulated
 by increased circulating testosterone levels. Experiments will include manipulating the environmental triggers and tracking behavioral and physiological responses, and direct manipulation of the endocrine hormones. The combined approaches will provide significant opportunities for research training at a primarily undergraduate institution. The team will work with the Loyola Marymount University Center for Urban Resilience to develop and disseminate materials to be used in Los Angeles area schools.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ROBERT NOYCE SCHOLARSHIP PGM | Award Amount: 1.17M | Year: 2012

Lions Roar: LMU Noyce Scholarship Program, a Phase I Noyce Proposal, is designed to attract majors with an aptitude and passion for mathematics and science into K-12 teaching and to provide them with the skills and support they need to become effective teachers. The recruitment strategy centers on the creation of a cohort of Noyce interns that serve as the major pool for Noyce scholars. This project combines a strong internship-centered recruitment effort with sustained university-wide support throughout the students education, training and early career. The support network has been designed specifically for mathematics and science majors who are interested in teaching and will increase the number of mathematics and science faculty who interact directly with students around issues related to K-12 teaching. The aim is to create a high-profile community of potential future teachers within the academic departments in order to provide them with the support and recognition that will encourage additional talented majors into the field. The program offers 40, $3000 summer internships and 36 scholarships in the amount of $20,000 annually to approximately 18 students during their junior and senior year of study.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: DISCOVERY RESEARCH K-12 | Award Amount: 450.00K | Year: 2015

The Discovery Research K-12 program (DRK-12) seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by preK-12 students and teachers, through research and development of innovative resources, models and tools (RMTs). Projects in the DRK-12 program build on fundamental research in STEM education and prior research and development efforts that provide theoretical and empirical justification for proposed projects. This exploratory research project will examine the relationship between teacher professional development associated with newly developed modules in urban ecology and the achievement and engagement of long-term English learners (LTEL). Participants in the project will include students in grades 4-8 in a large urban school district, elementary school teachers, middle school science teachers, and middle school teachers of English language arts. Existing Urban Ecology learning modules will be enhanced to accommodate the needs of LTELs, and teachers will participate in professional development aimed at using the new materials to effectively integrate academic science discourse and literacy development for LTELs.

The project will develop two enhanced urban ecology modules (47 lessons) for English learners in grades 4-8; science language and literacy assessments for English language learners (ELLs); an ELL STEM career awareness inventory; an urban ecology for ELLs teacher knowledge scale, and an urban ecology for ELLs pedagogy observation protocol. The materials will be tested with a stratified random sample of students identified by achievement level (low, medium, and high) and linguistic background (mainstream, LTEL, and at risk of becoming LTEL). A mixed-methods research design will be used to test the hypothesis that the quantity and quality of LTEL science language and literacy achievement will increase as a result of teacher participation in implementing the newly developed transdisciplinary framework for Urban Ecology for English Learners.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: IUSE | Award Amount: 50.00K | Year: 2016

Recent decades have seen increasing attention to and progress in research in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, making it time to initiate a STEM-wide and STEM-focused researcher network. The Breaking the Boundaries in STEM Education Conference will bring together scholars in discipline-based education research (DBER) and in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) to create a hub that will enable these researchers to learn from and collaborate with each other. The project will expand on successful efforts undertaken by the Collaborative Research on Evaluating, Advancing, and Transforming Education in STEM (CREATE-STEM) group at Loyola Marymount University.

This conference will be precedent-setting and will offer a model that has the potential to be scalable. Two main research questions guide the overall scope of the conference: (1) What are the common threads across disciplines to approach the teaching and learning of quantitative skills that are relevant in STEM? (2) What are the challenges and barriers that need to be overcome in order to foster collaboration across disciplines to impact the teaching and learning of quantitative skills relevant in STEM? The inaugural conference will be organized around three themes: equity, problem solving, and computational thinking. The project will result in a conference proceedings and relevant peer-reviewed archival publications.

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