Decorah, IA, United States
Decorah, IA, United States

Luther College is a private coeducational liberal arts college located in Decorah, Iowa, United States. Established as a Lutheran seminary in 1861 by Norwegian immigrants, the school is today an institution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, enrolling about 2,500 students. Wikipedia.

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Patrignani C.,University of Genoa | Pedlar T.K.,Luther College at Decorah | Rosner J.L.,University of Chicago
Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science | Year: 2013

Great strides have been made in the understanding of bound states of the bottom quark, b, and its antiquark, , since the discovery of the first Ψ resonances in 1977. These bound states, known as bottomonium, have a rich spectrum whose masses and transition amplitudes shed valuable light on the strong interactions. We review some recent developments in bottomonium physics, including the discovery of the spin-singlet states and , the first D-wave states, one or more candidates for spin-triplet excitations, and above-threshold states with strong transitions to states below threshold. We also present information about transitions, production, and signatures of new physics. © Copyright ©2013 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Bazylevych M.,Luther College at Decorah
Medical Anthropology Quarterly | Year: 2011

Vaccination anxieties grew into a public health issue during the 2008 failed measles and rubella immunization campaign in Ukraine. Here I explore how health care providers bend official immunization policies as they navigate media scares about vaccines, parents' anxieties, public health officials' insistence on the need for vaccination, and their own sense of expertise and authority. New hierarchies are currently being renegotiated, and I follow health care providers as they attempt to parcel out their new position in the Ukrainian society and beyond. Public health control is reframed in a postsocialist context as a condition of acceptance into the European community as a sanitary democracy, and a contestation point between citizens and state. I untangle how relationships between citizens and states shape the construction of medical risk. © 2011 by the American Anthropological Association.

Toussaint L.L.,Luther College at Decorah | Owen A.D.,Duke University | Cheadle A.,Harvard University
Journal of Behavioral Medicine | Year: 2012

This study examined multiple types of forgiveness as predictors of mortality and potential psychosocial, spiritual, and health mechanisms of the effects of forgiveness on longevity. Data from a nationally representative sample of United States adults ages 66 and older assessed forgiveness, health, religiousness/spirituality, and socio-demographics (N = 1,232). God's unconditional forgiveness and conditional forgiveness of others initially emerged as statistically significant predictors of mortality risk. However, only conditional forgiveness of others remained a significant predictor of mortality after controlling for religious, socio-demographic, and health behavior variables. Mediators of the association between conditional forgiveness of others and mortality were examined, and a statistically significant indirect effect was identified involving physical health. These findings suggest that conditional forgiveness of others is associated with risk for all-cause mortality, and that the mortality risk of conditional forgiveness may be conferred by its influences on physical health. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Smulders T.V.,Northumbria University | Gould K.L.,Luther College at Decorah | Leaver L.A.,University of Exeter
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2010

Understanding the survival value of behaviour does not tell us how the mechanisms that control this behaviour work. Nevertheless, understanding survival value can guide the study of these mechanisms. In this paper, we apply this principle to understanding the cognitive mechanisms that support cache retrieval in scatter-hoarding animals. We believe it is too simplistic to predict that all scatter-hoarding animals will outperform non-hoarding animals on all tests of spatial memory. Instead, we argue that we should look at the detailed ecology and natural history of each species. This understanding of natural history then allows us to make predictions about which aspects of spatial memory should be better in which species. We use the natural hoarding behaviour of the three best-studied groups of scatter-hoarding animals to make predictions about three aspects of their spatial memory: duration, capacity and spatial resolution, and we test these predictions against the existing literature. Having laid out how ecology and natural history can be used to predict detailed cognitive abilities, we then suggest using this approach to guide the study of the neural basis of these abilities. We believe that this complementary approach will reveal aspects of memory processing that would otherwise be difficult to discover. © 2010 The Royal Society.

Park Y.,Kansas State University | Sprung J.M.,Luther College at Decorah
Journal of Occupational Health Psychology | Year: 2013

This study extends prior college student employment research by examining health as an outcome variable. Using 2-wave data from a sample of 216 student workers, this study examined work-school conflict as a predictor of psychological and physical health among working college students. Additionally, 3 resource-providing variables-work-school facilitation, supervisor work-school support, and personal fulfillment at work-were tested for buffering effects in the relation between work-school conflict and health. Results demonstrated that work-school conflict was a significant predictor of psychological health but not physical health. All 3 resource-providing variables ameliorated the negative relation between work-school conflict and psychological health, whereas only personal fulfillment weakened the positive relation between work-school conflict and physical symptoms. These findings suggest the benefits of work-school facilitation, supervisor work-school support, and personal fulfillment in minimizing the detrimental effects of work-school conflict on health outcomes. Theoretical and practical implications for researchers, educational institutions, and organizations are discussed. © 2013 American Psychological Association.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: IUSE | Award Amount: 36.69K | Year: 2014

Integrating computer science into the high school curriculum can enhance the preparation of students interested in a broad range of careers. To accomplish this goal, it is essential that high school teachers be well prepared to teach their students and have effective tools and resources available for instruction. In this project the collaborative team, from Georgia Tech and Luther College, will adapt their existing Computer Science Principles eBook for high school teachers to become a general purpose Computer Science Principles (CSP) eBook for students. They will compare the usability of the eBook on the different populations and compare learning outcomes of students who learn at a distance to those who use the eBook in a face to face environment. Their general research question is: What can be learned about CS in a low-cognitive load, principles-based eBook format? The long term impact of this work is to create a new model for online learning that helps adults complete computer science learning and also helps traditional students.

The ebook incorporates findings from educational psychology such as worked examples, multiple modality presentations, low cognitive load exercises, social supports from small group activities, and frequent testing interleaved with examples. The eBook utilizes contextualized approaches which have been successful in engaging and retaining female and under-represented minority students. The project team will conduct two studies: Study #1: CSP face-to-face class vs eBook: The project team will provide the CSP eBook to a face-to-face CSP class (both high school and undergraduate) and to a set of students interested in studying CSP on-line (most likely in rural Georgia). They will compare these students for learning outcomes. They are also interested in the drop-off in use of features within the book. When students stop engaging in the on-line materials, is that because of the materials, or is it because of the on-line course delivery mechanism? Study #2: Teachers vs Students: The project team is creating two eBooks for CSP content, one for teachers and one for students. By comparing these populations, they can develop a better understanding of how non-traditional and traditional students use e-books differently. They will do comparisons based on content knowledge (using a new validated measure they will develop as part of the project) and usability (do teachers and students use different features, or at different rates?). They will also use interviews and surveys to understand differences in motivations to use and complete the eBook.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 120.20K | Year: 2011


This Major Research Instrumentation grant supports acquisition of an accelerated solvent extraction system (ASE) and a gas chromatograph with flame ionization detector (GC-FID). The equipment will support PI and undergraduate student research in paleoceanography and paleoclimatology that relies on analysis of lipid biomarkers preserved in marine sediments and terrestrial sequences. In particular the PI seeks to focus on the use of the GC for isolation and analysis of alkenones from complex organic mixtures found in marine sediments and rock outcrops as a proxy for estimating past sea surface temperatures. The technique can offer new information for the study of Cenozoic global climate, its relationship to orbital forcing and the effects of past atmospheric CO2 levels on Earths climate system and implications for glacial and interglacial transitions. Luther College is an undergraduate liberal arts institution and the PI is a female early career geoscientist (Ph.D. 2009).


Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: ELEMENTARY PARTICLE ACCEL USER | Award Amount: 102.72K | Year: 2015

One of the major intellectual achievements of the 20th century was the development of the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics. This model succeeded in classifying all of the elementary particles known at the time into a hierarchy of groups having similar quantum properties. The validity of this model to date was recently confirmed by the discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the CERN laboratory near Geneva Switzerland. However, the Standard Model as it currently exists leaves open many questions about the universe, including such fundamental questions as to why the mass of the Higgs boson has the value it has. To answer these questions it is necessary to go beyond the present picture of the Universe described by the Standard Model to the next phase of development, Beyond the Standard Model (BSM). Investigations in BSM physics probe such questions as why matter dominates over anti-matter in the Universe, the values of the masses of the fundamental constituents of matter, the quarks and the leptons, the size of the mixings among the quarks, and separately among the leptons, and the properties of dark matter. This project will focus on the study of the properties of special types of particles, mesons, whose nature can reveal information about fundamental physics beyond the Standard Model.

The work in this award will use data collected at the Belle experiment at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) laboratory in Japan. Belle is built around the interaction region of an asymmetric electron-positron collider. The main goal of Belle is to detect particles made of a quark-anti-quark pair, so called mesons. In particular those mesons made of charm quarks (charmonium) and bottom quarks (bottomonium). These mesons are described in the SM by the theory of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD). By studying these mesons, one can probe for BSM fundamental physics processes such as Charge Parity (CP) violation, rare meson decays and possible exotic particles which could indicate the presence of Dark Matter.

The Belle Experiment at KEK in Japan has the worlds largest data samples recorded at the bottomonium resonances in the mass range of 10 GeV, the so-called Upsilon resonances. At these resonant energies the electron positron beam particles have a much higher probability of producing B mesons, allowing experimenters to acquire large statistics and observe rare phenomena . The central aim of this RUI program of research by the Luther College group is to study the spectroscopy of bottomonium and related states, with a focus on resonant states that probe the limits of our understanding of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) and improving the theoretical understanding in lattice QCD (the techniques used to make computer predictions of QCD calculations). The Luther College program provides an unusual opportunity for undergraduate students to become meaningfully involved in a world-leading experiment, taking part in every aspect of Belle data analysis, and in the development of software tools for the upgraded experiment, Belle II.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MARINE GEOLOGY AND GEOPHYSICS | Award Amount: 135.24K | Year: 2013

Researchers from Lafayette and Luther Colleges, together with their undergraduate students, will investigate southern hemisphere climate change over the last six million years in order to better understand key linkages and feedbacks within the Earths climate system. This research focuses on a region of the world -- the southern hemisphere -- whose climate history has been largely unexplored previously, but that is known to play a critical role in important climate and oceanic processes related to carbon cycling, deep ocean ventilation, and tropical heat exchange dynamics. Additionally, this project will include a detailed investigation of climate dynamics during an interval in Earths history when global temperatures were a few degrees warmer than todays and the size of the Greenland ice sheet was much reduced. Thus, this study will provide a clearer understanding of climate conditions during an interval that represents a potential analog for future climate conditions given current patterns of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, the researchers will examine the symmetry of climate evolution between the northern and southern hemispheres and the evolving response of the climate system to changes in climate forcing due to cyclic changes in the position and orientation of the Earth in its orbit relative to the Sun.

Beyond the scientific questions addressed in this research, this project will also advance the early preparation of future Earth scientists who will have the skills to face both the scientific and societal challenges presented by climate change. Undergraduate student researchers involved with this project will gain hands-on experience in the nature and process of scientific research, direct training in the field of paleoclimatology, critical thinking skills related to scientific research and a deeper introduction to the systems thinking skills that distinguish the Earth scientists approach to understanding the world. In addition, outreach to local K-12 students and educators by the principle investigators and their research students will further disseminate the results of this work as well as the broader contributions of paleoclimatic research and climate science.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 134.59K | Year: 2012

The Belle Experiment at KEK in Japan has the worlds largest data samples recorded at the bottomonium resonances: upsilon (5S), upsilon (2S) and upsilon (1S). The central aim of this RUI program of research by the Luther College group is to study the spectroscopy of bottomonium and related states, with a focus on the study of the important spin-singlet states of bottomonium. The Luther College program provides an unusual opportunity for undergraduate students to become meaningfully involved in a world-leading experiment, taking part in every aspect of Belle data analysis, and in the development of software tools for the upgraded experiment, Belle II.

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