Santa Clara, CA, United States
Santa Clara, CA, United States

Santa Clara University is a private non-profit Jesuit university located in Santa Clara, California. It has 5,435 full-time undergraduate students, and 3,335 graduate students. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University is the oldest operating institution of higher learning in California, and has remained in its original location for 162 years. The University's campus surrounds the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asis, which traces its founding to 1776. The Campus mirrors the Mission's architectural style, and provides a fine early example of Mission Revival Architecture.The university offers bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees through its six colleges, the School of Arts and science, School of Education and Counseling Psychology, SCU Leavey School of Business, School of Engineering, Jesuit School of Theology, and the School of Law.Santa Clara's sports teams are called the Broncos. Their colors are red and white. The Broncos compete at the NCAA Division I levels as members of the West Coast Conference in 19 sports. The Broncos own a long history of success on the national stage in a number of sports. Wikipedia.

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Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.94K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: Digital binocular helmet-mounted display (HMD) systems are now available that allow high resolution wide field-of-view (WFOV) digital imagery to be displayed on high resolution microdisplays. These digital HMD systems require a low-latency embedded vision processor (LLEVS) capable of implementing the necessary image processing algorithms. An SA Photonics LLEVS will be implemented on next generation field-programmable gate array (FPGA) device for high performance as well as size, weight, and power (SWaP) savings. A next generation memory architecture will be used to achieve higher bandwidth at a much lower energy per bit. The LLEVS primary emphasis is low-latency, low power implementation of optical distortion correction, image registration, image fusion, and head tracking with high performance next generation camera and display interfaces. Next generation FPGA devices will operate at low enough power while providing enough processing capability for high frame rate throughput with sub-frame latency from sensors to microdisplays. Next generation data links will be utilized that can be used for sensor and display uplink/downlink and can also provide power.; BENEFIT: The innovative LLEVS that SA Photonics has developed has the following advantages over existing embedded video processor platforms: Implementation on next generation FPGAs for higher performance and lower power Next generation memory architecture for high bandwidth performance Low-latency warp correction, image fusion, and head tracking algorithms Multiple inputs and outputs for high bandwidth sensor and display transfer Vision and data link to platform Additional in-system functionality possible with application processor

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS | Award Amount: 206.84K | Year: 2015

Non-technical Abstract:
This study aims at investigating key electronic and optical excitation processes in cadmium
arsenide, one of the recently discovered Dirac semimetals. Its electrons behave as though they are massless and exhibit very high mobilities and velocities, so the material may be considered the bulk analog of graphene. It is very stable, has a 3-D crystal structure, and can be integrated with existing electronics. It is also a starting material from which to realize a magnetic Weyl semimetal in which, unusually, the direction of the electrons spin would be determined by the direction of their motion. This research includes the synthesis and characterization of cadmium arsenide bulk crystals and thin films, both
undoped and magnetically-doped, using chemical vapor deposition at reduced temperature. The research
measures electrons diffusion, and uses several time-resolved probes including terahertz spectroscopy and
photoemission. Improved knowledge of growth methods and electronic properties of 3-D Dirac materials,
as provided by this research, is important in realizing the materials technological promise. Applications
such as fast electronics, fast or broadband optical sensors, or actively mode-locked lasers all rely on
ultrafast and optical properties explored in this research. This work supports graduate and undergraduate
researchers (the latter at a primarily-undergraduate institution), who engage with the growth and
characterization of cadmium arsenide, operate laser experiments, handle cryogens, write computer code,
and analyze complex sets of data. Because of the scientific and industrial relevance of condensed-matter
physics, and the rapid growth of ultrafast technology, the students become prepared for a wide variety of
scientific and technical careers.

Technical Abstract:
The Dirac and Weyl materials host properties including the chiral anomaly, unusual quantum
magneto-resistance, and predicted giant diamagnetism. Their near-lack of a Fermi surface causes
anomalous transport, with the scattering rate, density of states, and diffusivity strongly dependent on
energy; the conductivity rises linearly with frequency. The materials restrictive phase-space suggests, in
analogy with graphene, that it should be possible to control their optical and transport properties on subpicosecond timescales, for instance by doping with photoexcited carriers. The investigators explore the
nature of these photoexcited carriers: their density and temperature; their effect on diffusivity and
conductivity; and their dispersion. Of particular interest is identifying the conditions under which photocarriers can exhibit the same distinctive Dirac behaviors as their host material. Selection of different pump-photon energies allow excitation of massless initial states or the higher-energy massive ones. Transient-grating spectroscopy measures photocarriers diffusivity. Terrahertz spectroscopy measures their conductivity, indicative of scattering rate, chemical potential, and massive or massless character. Time-resolved photoemission reveals the transiently-occupied states invisible to traditional photoemission. Another part of this work improves vapor-based synthesis of cadmium arsenide crystals and films, exploring methods and effects of doping with magnetic atoms and contributing toward the effort to make a ferromagnetic Weyl semimetal.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: Integrative Ecologi Physiology | Award Amount: 279.93K | Year: 2015

As the Earths climate becomes warmer and more variable, characteristics that help organisms cope with stress will become increasingly important. This research investigates beetles living at high elevation in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California to study how variation in genes coding for proteins that process energy and respond to stress affect metabolism and performance. The research seeks to discover the contrasting roles of oxygen, which is necessary to process metabolic fuel, and temperature, which changes the rate at which these processes occur. It is a synthesis of genomics, physiology, and animal natural history that will provide a unique opportunity to understand how organisms cope with environmental change. It will provide insight into the evolution of thermal plasticity and may unveil novel genes associated with temperature and oxygen stress. The work will increase research opportunities for students at two primarily undergraduate universities. Students will be trained in experimental design and analysis, proposal and paper writing, and in the presentation of research at scientific meetings, which will provide them with marketable skills for the modern work environment. Educational materials will be developed for K12 education, which illustrate the use of genomic tools for answering scientific questions. Outreach events detailing the results of this project will occur at public events in the San Francisco Bay Area and near field sites in Inyo County, California.

This project will develop and use genomic and transcriptomic tools to gain mechanistic insights into the genetic basis of adaptation to temperature and atmospheric oxygen in the Sierra willow leaf beetle Chrysomela aeneicollis. This research will test the hypothesis that interactions between mitochondrial and nuclear genomes have pervasive effects on gene expression that scale up to differences in metabolic capacity and performance. To test this hypothesis, the stress response will be investigated in larvae from populations that differ with respect to mitochondrial and nuclear genetic background and that occur along a latitudinal and steep altitudinal temperature gradients. Larvae will be reared at a high elevation laboratory in chambers where oxygen level and temperature will be manipulated. At the end of the growth period, larvae reared under these different conditions will be exposed to different temperatures and running speed measured. Genetic variation associated with fast and slow running speed after stress will be identified using whole genome sequencing of individuals in the upper and lower tails of the running speed distribution. Differences in expression of genes of interest will be assessed using RNA sequencing for these same individuals. Genes of interest (e.g. stress, hypoxia, central metabolism) that have non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variation along natural temperature or elevation gradients will be identified in whole genome sequencing experiments and used to build SNP panels in which larger numbers of individuals can be screened. Rearing conditions described above will then be used to generate larvae in which metabolic physiology will be examined. Metabolic enzyme activity, mitochondrial respiration, oxidative damage and thermal tolerance will be measured, SNP variation recorded, and differential expression of genes of interest quantified using quantitative PCR. Taken together, this research will reveal how mitochondrial and nuclear genomes interact to cope with stress in a changing environment. The project will establish a new international collaboration with world leading experts in insect genomics from Stockholm University (Sweden). International collaborators will help organize and lead a two-week hands-on workshop on genomics and bioinformatics for undergraduate and Masters students from Santa Clara University and Sonoma State University. Additionally, Masters students from Sonoma State University will travel to Stockholm University to receive training in genomics and bioinformatics. International activities and travel will be supported by funds from the International Science and Engineering section of NSFs Office of International and Integrative Activities.

Santa Clara University | Date: 2016-04-06

A wearable reminder device is provided using two different types of gestures obtained from two different types of sensors. The device outputs audio to a user but does not have a display, a keypad, or speech recognition software, therewith significantly reducing size, storage requirements and power consumption. Hence the device is suitable for use by the blind, persons with a speech impediment, visually impaired persons, and others who are unable to read small fonts.

Santa Clara University | Date: 2016-02-18

This work provides an affordable approach for detecting environmental contaminants (e.g., arsenic in groundwater). Electro-chemical analysis of a sample is performed using a disposable three-electrode sensor that can be connected to an electrochemical analyzer (which is not disposable). The disposable sensor has a sample chamber to admit a liquid sample. The sensor includes a substrate disposed within the sample chamber that includes at least one conditioning reagent to condition the sample for electrochemical analysis. Analysis results can be displayed via a mobile device application.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ARCHAEOLOGY | Award Amount: 104.75K | Year: 2016

Drs. Lee Panich, of Santa Clara University, and Tsim Schneider, of the University of California Santa Cruz, will direct a collaborative research project to understand how Native American societies persisted under Euro-American colonialism. While common understandings of colonial impacts on indigenous peoples in the Americas have focused on depopulation and loss of cultural traditions, archaeological research is uniquely positioned to offer insight into the active strategies Native Americans employed to navigate the changes of the colonial period. Archaeological data can be used to track developments that are not well represented in historical documents, such as long-term adjustments to indigenous social organization, mobility, and economic connections. By examining how Native Americans drew upon existing social and cultural patterns to negotiate increasingly complex interactions with Euro-American colonists, scholars can better understand the autonomy exercised by indigenous societies despite the challenges they faced in the colonial era. Because contemporary notions of Native American sovereignty largely hinge on the events of the colonial period, this research is directly relevant to broader debates about indigenous culture change and the popular and governmental recognition of Native American groups today. It is also relevant to understanding the nature of multi-ethnic interactions which occur in many regions of the contemporary world and how ethnic groups negotiate with and are incorporated into nation states.
The project expands the focus of archaeological studies of colonialism beyond European settlements and first contact situations to investigate how native people living outside of direct colonial control selectively engaged with different colonial institutions over time. Drs. Panich and Schneider, along with their research team, will examine these issues on the Pacific Coast of central California, where local Coast Miwok groups lived at the crossroads of the Spanish, Russian, Mexican, and American frontiers. The research is designed to evaluate Native Americans different strategies for maintaining autonomy at four politically and economically important village sites that were occupied from prehistoric times through the colonial period. Data will be drawn from targeted archaeological investigations, state-of-the-art laboratory analysis of archaeological materials collected during the mid-twentieth century, a GIS database of regional archaeological sites, and a systematic review of relevant ethnographic and historical literature. Working in conjunction with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, the researchers will provide training in archaeological methods to tribal scholars as well as university students. The investigators will work closely with the tribe and local landowners to use the results of the project to develop culturally sensitive stewardship guidelines and public interpretive materials.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: PHYSICAL & DYNAMIC METEOROLOGY | Award Amount: 109.98K | Year: 2016

This Rapid Response Research (RAPID) award is for the collection of precipitation data in California during the 2015-16 strong El Nino event. Researchers will study atmospheric rivers, which are plumes of moisture from the tropics that enhance storms and bring substantial precipitation to the west coast of the United States. This project will complement an ongoing study of these events by adding additional measurement locations for stable isotopes of precipitation data. Isotopic analysis of rainfall can provide insight into the source and the phase change history of water, which gives scientists a better idea of how and why heavy rainfall events are initiated. A better understanding of the precipitation during atmospheric river events should help improve weather and climate models. The work will also help to train the next generation of scientists by including a diverse group of undergraduate students in the collection and analysis of data.

The research team plans to quantitatively evaluate the origin and rainout of moisture with the stable isotopes of water and water vapor, and address three main scientific questions: 1) What are the relationships between aerosols and precipitation amount, efficiency and phase? 2) What are the stable isotope signatures of extreme precipitation events and which macro-and micro-scale dynamics are responsible for producing them? and 3) What are the moisture sources of extreme precipitation events and how do these sources change within storms? This RAPID project will complement an existing observational effort related to the CALWATER-2 field program by including additional measurement sites and an instrument to measure real-time stable isotopes of water vapor. After the campaign the PI team will analyze around 1500 water samples while collaborators will analyze ice and cloud condensation nuclei chemistry. Synoptic scale and backtrajectory analysis will also be performed with the WRF model.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: GEOGRAPHY AND SPATIAL SCIENCES | Award Amount: 272.56K | Year: 2015

This project will develop an integrated assessment of smallholders food and water insecurity and analyze the factors that contribute to livelihood resilience in the context of multiple hazards. In spite of their significant contributions to food supplies and resource conservation, smallholders constitute a substantial portion of the worlds food insecure population. This study focuses on the coffee-growing regions of northern Nicaragua as a case in point, where a rapidly spreading coffee pathogen (coffee leaf rust), drought, and sharp increases in food prices for several staples threaten a humanitarian crisis, while the region continues its slow recovery from decades of violent conflict and prepares for the effects of climate change. The analysis will incorporate data that will be collected from household-level surveys and interviews, governmental and non-governmental organizations, biophysical measurements, GIS (geographic information systems) mapping and analysis, and climate modeling to identify what factors strengthen smallholders food and water security. The findings will inform global efforts to link climate adaption and disaster risk reduction with sustainable development, and have particular relevance for Latin American producers as well as the coffee industry in the United States.

This study uses a livelihoods perspective to examine both food and water security within an entitlement and capabilities framework. The interdisciplinary research team will involve faculty, local residents, and underrepresented undergraduate students in a participatory process that uses focus groups, interviews, and community-based water resource monitoring to develop household-level survey tools for an integrated assessment of food and water access and responses to past and present hazards. Using a nested scales approach, longitudinal survey results will be integrated with quantitative, qualitative, and geospatial data on household coping experiences, gendered responses, local institutions, markets, international development assistance, the extent of the coffee leaf rust outbreak, variability in precipitation and water availability, and downscaled models of future climate projections. Exploiting this rich data set, the team will combine qualitative results and regression models to analyze (1) the relationships linking farmer food insecurity and water insecurity to vulnerability and livelihood resilience; (2) the relationships connecting hydro-climatic variability with the coffee leaf rust outbreak and livelihood vulnerability; and (3) the determinants of household vulnerability as well as the adaptations, food and water systems, and institutions that are more likely to advance smallholder livelihood resilience. This project will generate new methods for the integrated evaluation of household food and water insecurities that are linked to local waterscapes, climatic conditions, livelihoods, and institutions, and will inform broader theories of vulnerability and resilience in the context of risk from global change.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SCIENCE OF SCIENCE POLICY | Award Amount: 263.25K | Year: 2016

Entrepreneurship is critical for job creation, economic growth, and innovation. Given the difficulty of starting and building new firms, public and private organizations have created venture development programs to help firms survive and succeed. The programs offer services, education and access to resources. Examples of venture development programs include government innovation grants, business incubators, private accelerators, university-based incubators, and venture capital. Billions of dollars are spent each year on and by venture development programs in the U.S. alone. Work has shown that these programs generally work; however, few studies have looked at the long term outcomes of these programs or the relative performance of the participating firms. This study develops a deeper understanding of nascent firm participation in venture development programs by determining how and why entrepreneurs use these programs, examining how development programs influence firm outcomes, and identifying the most useful elements of each type of program.

This research study has three parts. The first part builds a data set of nanotechnology firms in the U.S. by integrating several sources and includes detailed information about each firm, its participation in venture development programs, and the firms? outcomes. This part of the study provides insight into the types of firms that participate in the different programs. The next part of the study statistically examines how the participation in a program influences firm success. Multiple positive and negative firm outcomes are included such as business closure, bankruptcy, liquidation, acquisition, follow-on funding, and initial public offering to develop rich insights into these programs. The last part of this study asks firm founders about their participation in venture development programs and how their engagement of the programs influenced their firms? outcomes. Thus, this research expands our understanding of how technology firm founders can influence the longevity of their firms by participating in venture development programs. Understanding how entrepreneurs choose and engage these programs can improve the offerings from both the private and public sectors. Programs that influence the success of technology ventures are important for innovation, employment, and the federal funding of related education, research and development. Thus, this study supports policy makers in their endeavors to improve the development and availability of services and economic resources that support venture growth, innovation and national competitiveness.

FutureWei Technologies Inc. and Santa Clara University | Date: 2015-06-26

A method for reducing a computational load in high efficiency video coding includes generating a full rate distortion calculation list of selected intra coding modes where the intra coding modes including intra prediction modes and depth modeling modes. A rate distortion cost is determined, with a segment-wise depth coding mode being disabled, for each intra prediction mode in the full rate distortion calculation list and a smallest rate distortion cost intra prediction mode is selected. A rate distortion cost for a particular intra prediction mode is calculated with the segment-wise depth coding mode enabled. After comparison, one of the particular intra prediction mode and the smallest rate distortion cost intra prediction mode having the smallest rate distortion cost is applied to a prediction unit.

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