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Millersville, PA, United States

Millersville University is a public university located in Millersville, Pennsylvania, United States, offering programs embracing the liberal arts. Founded in 1855 as the first Normal School in Pennsylvania, Millersville University is one of 14 universities within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Wikipedia.

Atharifar H.,Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture | Year: 2010

A method based on a genetically optimized neural network system (GONNS) is introduced to enhance the selection of the optimum parameters for the friction stir spot welding (FSSW) process. For a given FSSW setup, an artificial neural network (ANN) is designed with three process parameters as inputs and three process variables as outputs. The outputs of the ANN are selected as the weld's tensile force, plunging load, and process duration. Preliminary experimental results are utilized in order to train the ANN. After verifying the accuracy of the trained ANN, an optimization method based on the genetic algorithm heuristic search method is used to optimize the evaluation functions that are normalized functions of the ANN outputs. Eventually, the minimization of the evaluation functions yields the optimum ANN inputs (FSSW parameters) that are verified by additional experiments. Results affirm that the analytically obtained optimums of the FSSW parameters are valid and that, by utilizing these parameters, higher weld strength, lower plunging load, and shorter process duration are obtained. © Authors 2010. Source

Felizzi M.V.,Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse | Year: 2015

A violent or unstable home life - characterized by caregivers physically or sexually abusing children, physical violence in the home, homelessness, and other factors - and disrupted parental attachment are examined in this secondary data analysis for their possible relationship to juvenile sex offending. Parent or caregiver instability is measured by a demographic questionnaire administered to participants. Parental attachment is measured by the Inventory of Peer and Personal Attachment. The population included 502 adjudicated juvenile male sexual and nonsexual offenders in a Midwest state who responded to questionnaires in order to examine juvenile offending antecedents. The highest correlated parent or caregiver instability variables to juvenile sex offending status were multiple relocations or homelessness, children placed out of the home, slapping or punching in the home, and sexual abuse victimization. The quality of parental attachment had little impact on the respondents offense status. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 140.24K | Year: 2014

This project will develop curricula for environmental/geoscience disciplines for high-school classrooms. It will teach a systems approach to problem solving through hands-on activities based on local data and issues. This will provide an opportunity for students to act in their communities while engaging in solving problems they find interesting, and require synthesis of prior learning. The Model My Watershed (MMW) v2 app will bring new environmental datasets and geospatial capabilities into the classroom, to provide a cloud-based learning and analysis platform accessible from a web browser on any computer or mobile device, thus overcoming the cost and technical obstacles to integrating Geographic Information System technology in secondary education. It will also integrate new low-cost environmental sensors that allow students to collect and upload their own data and compare them to data visualized on the new MMW v2. This project will transform the ability of teachers throughout the nation to introduce hands-on geospatial analysis activities in the classroom, to explore a wide range of geographic, social, political and environmental concepts and problems beyond the projects specific curricular focus.

The Next Generation Science Standards state that authentic research experiences are necessary to enhance STEM learning. A combination of computational modeling and data collection and analysis will be integrated into this project to address this need. Placing STEM content within a place- and problem-based framework enhances STEM learning. Students, working in groups, will not only design solutions, they will be required to defend them within the application portal through the creation of multimedia products such as videos, articles and web 2.0 presentations. The research plan tests the overall hypothesis that students are much more likely to develop an interest in careers that require systems thinking and/or spatial thinking, such as environmental sciences, if they are provided with problem-based, place-based, hands-on learning experiences using real data, authentic geospatial analysis tools and models, and opportunities to collect their own supporting data. The MMW v2 web app will include a data visualization tool that streams data related to the modeling application. This database will be modified to integrate student data so teachers and students can easily compare their data to data collected by other students and the government and research data. All data will be easily downloadable so that students can increase the use of real data to support the educational exercises. As a complement to the model-based activities, the project partners will design, manufacture, and distribute a low-cost environmental monitoring device, called the Watershed Tracker. This device will allow students to collect real-world data to enhance their understanding of watershed dynamics. Featuring temperature, light, humidity, and soil moisture sensors, the Watershed Tracker will be designed to connect to tablets and smartphones through the audio jack common to all of these devices.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: PHYSICAL & DYNAMIC METEOROLOGY | Award Amount: 289.98K | Year: 2014

The Plains Elevated Convection at Night (PECAN) field campaign is planned for the Summer of 2015 in the central Great Plains. The scientific focus of PECAN is nocturnal convection, with four separate research topics to be addressed: 1) Nocturnal convection initiation and early evolution of mesoscale convective clusters; 2) Bore and other wave-like disturbances; 3) Dynamics and microphysics of nocturnal mesoscale convective systems; 4) Prediction of nocturnal convection initiation and evolution. The observational campaign plan calls for three research aircraft, seven mobile Doppler radars, and multiple sounding systems. A main part of the experimental design is the inclusion of fixed and mobile PECAN Integrated Sounding Array (PISA) units which consists of a variety of profiling instruments. The broader societal impact of PECAN is to improve forecasts of these nocturnal events for hydrology, energy, agriculture and public safety purposes.

Given PECANs four research foci, it is clear that quantification of the nocturnal stable boundary layer (NSBL) structure is mission critical. This project is unique due to its focus on the NSBL using a suite of in situ measurements, a valuable addition to PECANs remote sensing capabilities, especially in data validation and calibration. The instrument package deployed with this project includes tethered balloon based mean and flux systems, flux towers, SODARs, a 915 MHz wind profiler, a LIDAR, a laser ceilometer, a rawinsonde system, and three near-surface flux/profiling systems. Given the spatial separation of the two sites, this research team is ideally positioned to make coordinated and detailed measurements of the characteristics of the NSBL in different locations relative to the moving Mesoscale Convective Systems and their associated NSBL disturbances (density currents and bores).

The broader impacts of this project mirror those of PECAN; that is, the advancement of our knowledge base and improvement of forecasts of critical weather phenomena. In addition, unique of this project is the planned involvement of many undergraduate students in the research. This project will thus provide extensive opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in cutting-edge research and research training, from project planning and data collection in the field to coauthoring peer-reviewed publications.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Materials Eng. & Processing | Award Amount: 291.18K | Year: 2014

Nanomaterials are advanced materials which have at least one dimension below 100 nanometers, or about one one-thousandth the width of a human hair. The most widely studied nanomaterials are based on carbon, as these materials have the potential to transform society by allowing stronger, lighter structures, more efficient computing and advanced medical applications. The drawback is that they often require specialized processing which is difficult to scale up economically. A critical transition must be made to convert their theoretical potential into real-world performance. This award enables fundamental research into a new process which efficiently produces bulk components made entirely of carbon nanofibers. This highly versatile material has the potential to broadly impact society and the economy by enabling applications in transportation, energy, environmental and medical disciplines. This research will use multi-scale analysis to understand how the fibers form (nanoscale), how they interact (microscale) and how they behave collectively as a bulk component (macroscale). Such diverse topics require a multi-disciplinary approach to holistically unite nanoscale materials science, chemical engineering and advanced manufacturing. The project will engage these diverse groups at the professional and educational levels and demonstrate the importance of preparing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students for a multi-disciplinary workplace.

The direct synthesis of bulk components comprised entirely of carbon nanofibers creates a stand-alone embodiment for the application of nanoscale carbon. Carbon nanofibers are formed during the decomposition of a carbon-containing gas over a suitable catalyst. The catalyst is placed within a constrained environment (a mold), which the nanofibers fill during growth. After sufficient growth, the fibers form a highly entangled, bulk component which is mechanically robust. There are many factors which can alter the properties of the three-dimensional fiber collection, and the objective of this research is to understand the governing factors from fiber formation at the catalyst to fiber interaction in the bulk. An important understanding of fiber growth using low-cost, bulk catalysts will be attained by uniquely controlling composition and microstructure through mechanical alloying. Foundational metrics will be established for this brand-new process in the areas of kinetics, morphology and long-range response of fiber growth to constraint. The bulk properties will also be identified as a function of those structural characteristics. This multi-scale approach is critical to accurately couple processing, properties and performance.

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