The University of South Dakota is a public coeducational research university located in the small town community of Vermillion, South Dakota. USD was established by the Dakota Territory legislature in 1862, 37 years before the establishment of the state of South Dakota , USD is the oldest public university in the state.On a 286-acre campus, USD is situated in the southeastern portion of South Dakota, approximately 63 miles southwest of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 39 miles northwest of Sioux City, Iowa and north of the Missouri River.The University of South Dakota is home to South Dakota's only medical school, law school, and accredited business school. It is also home to the National Music Museum, with over 15,000 American, European, and non-western instruments. USD is governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents, and its current president is Jim Abbott. The university has been accredited by the North Central Association of College and Schools since 1913.The athletic teams compete in the NCAA's Division I as members of The Summit League, except football which competes in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Wikipedia.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: Particle Astrophysics/Undergro | Award Amount: 241.95K | Year: 2015
Dark matter and neutrino properties are among the most compelling problems to be studied in modern physics. Dark matter particles may be detected through the observation of nuclear recoils produced when they scatter with nuclei in a target. Nuclear recoils can also be created when neutrinos coherently scatter with nuclei. This process, if ever observed, would help in probing non-standard neutrino interactions, searching for sterile neutrinos, and understanding the explosion mechanism of core-collapse supernovae. Both scattering rates increase dramatically as the energies of nuclear recoils go down. The lower the energy threshold of a detector, the more events can be detected.
Recent activity in the SURF underground laboratory stimulated support from the South Dakota state to the expansion of PhD programs at state universities. The activity planned with this award provides an opportunity for a PhD student to take part in research related to underground science. The activity may also pave the way for practical applications of undoped NaI/CsI at 77 K in civil uses. For example, un-doped NaI at 77 K has a much faster scintillation signal than NaI/CsI(Tl) at room temperature. It can be used to improve the time and position resolution of PET, resulting in more precise imaging of the concerned tissue of a patient.
A straight forward way to lower the energy threshold of a scintillation detector is to increase its light yield. This award is focused on optimizing the light readout from un-doped NaI/CsI at 77 K. Both sodium iodide and cesium iodide doped with thallium, NaI/CsI(Tl), are excellent scintillators at room temperature. The PI plans to couple un-doped NaI/CsI directly to the photomultiplier tubes (PMTs), cool them down to 77 K to maximize the light readout. Low temperature properties of the PMTs will be compared; dimensions and various surface treatments of un-doped NaI/CsI crystals will be examined to optimize the light collection efficiency. The goal is to verify whether it is possible to lower the energy threshold by a factor of two by increasing the light yield by a factor of two, compared to existing experiments utilizing NaI/CsI(Tl) at room temperature. The decay times of scintillation light from un-doped NaI/CsI at 77 K are quite different from those of NaI/CsI(Tl) at room temperature. Their effect on signal and background discrimination will also be examined.
University of South Dakota | Date: 2016-07-13
Fluorinated aromatic materials, their synthesis and their use in optoelectronics. In some cases, the fluorinated aromatic materials are perfluoroalkylated aromatic materials that may include perfluoropolyether substituents.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: RSCH EXPER FOR UNDERGRAD SITES | Award Amount: 323.86K | Year: 2016
REU Site: Sustainable RIVER (Remediating InVasives to Encourage Resilience)
This REU Site award to the University of South Dakota, located in Vermillion, SD, will support the training of 10 students for 11 weeks during the summers of 2017-2019. REU students participating in the Sustainable RIVER project will examine the functioning and management of the Missouri River as a lens through which to study complex, interdisciplinary systems. Through individual research projects with faculty mentors from USDs multi-disciplinary Missouri River Institute, students will address the question of how invasive elements in the Missouri River and its uplands affect the sustainability of the river and the humans who depend on it. Students will also meet as a team weekly to integrate knowledge gained from the individual projects to create a team project to address the question of how a more resilient Missouri River, which meets the needs of multiple stakeholders and sustains diverse, functioning ecosystems, can be cultivated.
It is anticipated that a total of thirty students will be trained in the program. Active recruitment efforts will focus on Native American students, students in sustainability programs across the US, and students attending 2- and 4-year institutions in South Dakota. There will be an explicit focus in the Sustainable RIVER project on the critical pedagogy of place, where students learn how to live sustainably in places that have been disrupted while learning to recognize and address the causes of such disruptions. The Sustainable RIVER project will create student scientists who will become leaders in interdisciplinary research and leaders in creating a more sustainable society through their development of a multi-perspective, systems-thinking approach to understanding and addressing complex challenges.
A common web-based assessment tool used by all REU programs funded by the Division of Biological Infrastructure (Directorate for Biological Sciences) will be used to determine the effectiveness of the training program. Students will be tracked after the program in order to determine student career paths. Students will be asked to respond to an automatic email sent via the NSF reporting system. More information about the program is available by visiting http://SustainableRIVER.org or by contacting the PI (Dr. Meghann Jarchow at Meghann.Jarchow@usd.edu). This REU site is co-funded by the Division of Biological Infrastructure (Directorate for Biological Sciences), and the Division of Earth Sciences (Directorate for Geosciences).
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: Macromolec/Supramolec/Nano | Award Amount: 650.00K | Year: 2014
Dr. Zhenqiang Wang of the University of South Dakota aims to develop effective approaches to assemble complex functional architectures from small molecular building blocks. Inspired by the structure of spherical viruses, which feature an endo (internal) cavity for storage of genetic materials and exo (external) cavities for recognition of targeted hosts, Dr. Wang designs a new class of synthetic container molecules by linking cup-shaped structures to create a new enclosed hollow space while retaining the free voids of the cup-shaped building blocks. He develops a general approach to synthesize a family of these container molecules and investigates their properties. A fundamental understanding of the properties of this new class of containers could lead to the development of novel materials with applications in many different fields, such as gas separation and water remediation. This research is integrated with educational and outreach initiatives that specially aim to promote scientific literacy among underrepresented students including Native Americans.
Under the support of this CAREER award from the Macromolecular, Supramolecular and Nanochemistry Program of the Division of Chemistry, Dr. Wang develops a general synthetic approach to structurally and functionally diverse metal-organic super-containers (MOSCs), a new class of synthetic receptors, from sulfonylcalixarene-based building blocks, metal ions, and organic carboxylate linkers. This novel synthetic approach utilizes the largely unexplored lower rim of calixarenes to construct hierarchical supramolecular assemblies that contain both endo and exo cavities potentially suitable for selective and allosteric binding of different guests. Another objective of this research is to investigate the structure-property relationship and the guest-binding behavior of functionalized MOSCs in both solution phase and the solid state.
University of South Dakota | Date: 2015-03-31
Fluorinated aromatic materials, their synthesis and their use in optoelectronics. In some cases, the fluorinated aromatic materials are perfluoroalkylated aromatic materials that may include perfluoropolyether substituents.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) | Award Amount: 2.94M | Year: 2016
The environment facing todays graduate students in STEM fields is changing rapidly. The number of STEM PhD students obtaining tenure-track jobs in academia is decreasing, and consequently, STEM graduate degree holders are increasingly finding jobs in non-academic fields. This means that the model for training STEM graduate students needs to change to accommodate the potential career paths that current and future generations of these students may enter. These include training in topics such as science policy, project management, finance, entrepreneurship, understanding intellectual property rights and technology transfer, and how to work in interdisciplinary teams. This National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) award to the University of South Dakota will develop a training plan that incorporates a truly interdisciplinary vision of research with the development of professional skills to enhance students preparation for and success in careers inside and outside of academia. The project anticipates training forty (40) MS and PhD graduate students, including twenty (20) funded trainees, from the departments of Chemistry and Basic Biomedical Sciences.
Students will receive interdisciplinary research training that will focus on the development and application of nanotechnology-based tools to better understand brain function and develop treatments for brain disorders. Graduate students engaged in these projects will receive both classroom and laboratory training in nanotechnology-based chemistry and neuroscience research skills. What is novel about the STEM training in this program is that the student trainees will themselves be developing interdisciplinary expertise as part of their training, as opposed to the traditional, discipline-specific approach. The research will be complemented by the development of professional skills that include training to improve communication to both scientific and general audiences, sessions with scientists representing non-academic careers, and a series of classes (microtracks) from the University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business. These microtrack courses will be in themes such as finance, product development, entrepreneurship, and intellectual property rights. Finally, students will have the opportunity to participate in internships with both regional and national companies that utilize STEM expertise. This training program will develop a cadre of STEM graduate students with both the research and professional skills to better address current and future STEM workforce requirements.
The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new potentially transformative models for STEM graduate education training. The Traineeship Track is dedicated to effective training of STEM graduate students in high priority interdisciplinary research areas, through the comprehensive traineeship model that is innovative, evidence-based, and aligned with changing workforce and research needs.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT | Award Amount: 96.67K | Year: 2016
The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, along with its partner organizations, the University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University, will offer an innovative Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) Site focused on interdisciplinary research dedicated to Security Printing and Anti-Counterfeiting Technology (SPACT), for a diverse group of undergraduate students, targeting Tribal Colleges and other institutions with limited STEM research opportunities. The SPACT research theme is of great societal importance. Counterfeiting is a growing issue in the U.S., posing serious economic, safety and national security concerns and impacting a wide variety of industries (e.g. pharmaceutics, semiconductors). In this REU Site students will conduct research on transformative anti-counterfeiting technology. SPACT is a field which demands development in four key areas: advanced materials, advanced manufacturing/patterning technologies, detection and encryption technology, and software and database infrastructure. The SPACT REU will implement a unique undergraduate research program to curb the economic losses and health and safety risks associated with counterfeiting.
The key objectives of this 10-week summer REU Site are to: 1) conduct transformative research in a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment, and 2) provide STEM professional development opportunities to a diverse group of 10 undergraduate students, each year for three years. A team of faculty mentors from the three partner institutions, all with demonstrated experience in mentoring undergraduate researchers, will implement a program in SPACT by applying research methods from various fields of science and engineering. Participants will develop collaborative research skills via carefully designed research projects and training seminars. Students will participate in a highly integrated professional development and technical communications program. The faculty, alongside industry leaders, will deliver training seminars to broaden the students existing academic training in the necessary SPACT areas. The long-term goal of this REU Site is to provide a diverse group of STEM researchers with the training and skills needed to pursue graduate studies at the highest levels and to advance the developing field of SPACT.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: I-Corps | Award Amount: 50.00K | Year: 2016
This proposal will establish an I-Corp team for seeking an experiential learning opportunity to help in determining the commercial readiness of the developed technology for the state-of-the-art germanium detectors, which will improve the detection of radiation from objects including human diseases (cancer), personal travel items and cargos at the gate of airports and harbors for the applications of diagnosis in nuclear medicine, materials screening, monitoring of decommissioning of nuclear power plants, and homeland security. An imaging camera has two detection planes, which will be made of high purity germanium crystals with excellent energy resolution. The imaging camera has a bright future as a screening detector or medical imaging device considering its portability, compactness, low patient dose, multiple-radioisotope tracing capability, inherent three dimensional (3D) imaging capability at a fixed position. Currently, however, the image resolution of the Compton camera is not sufficient for medical imaging. In this project, the I-Corps team intends to improve imaging system using germanium detectors with high sensitive energy resolution and position resolution. The developed technology can be especially helpful for detecting abnormal growth in body tissue or the growth of lymph nodes, which use gamma-ray sources as diagnostic radiation tools. Similar, tumor growth or cancer, such as breast cancer, in the human body can be detected by this technology because gamma-ray sources are often used for cancer treatment as well as diagnostic purposes. Recently, cancer has become one of the most devastating diseases worldwide. One of the techniques used for treating cancers is nuclear medicine with radiation tracers, which can emit gamma rays. Philips, GE and Siemens are some of the leading companies in the domain with scanning technology for cancer treatment. The proposed detector technology is based on a dynamic read-out that provides both excellent energy resolution and position resolution as a camera can be commercialized through either through licensing, establishing a joint venture or establishing a standalone company.
The goal of the project is to develop and commercialize an imaging camera using germanium detectors that will improve the detection of radiation from objects including human diseases (cancer), personal travel items, and cargos at the gate of airports and harbors. The scope is to develop the technology in two phases within three years. The Phase I project is to develop a large germanium detector with 23 × 23 dynamic read-out system for proof-of-concept in a year. A dynamic read-out system will be accomplished by measuring the charge induced on electrodes with multiple channels that are positioned close but not electronically connected to the detector materials. The multiple electrodes will be fabricated on a circuit board that is positioned 0.5 mm from the detector surface onto which charge is collected. A dynamic read-out system with multiple channels will adopt the proximity read-out technique developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory by utilizing its advantages of simplified detector fabrication, expanded electrode geometry options, and greatly improved position resolution through simple signal interpolation. In Phase II, the team will fabricate a germanium orthogonal dynamic read-out detector (GODD) for testing new detector technology innovations as an imaging system in two years. The GODD will then be tested on passengers travel items and cargos, mimicking airport and harbor nuclear and non- nuclear imaging tests. The simulated airport and harbor tests will be performed at The University of South Dakota (USD) under a subcontract and compare the relative merits of the GODD in airport or harbor situations with modern imaging systems. GODD response to realistic test objectives will be established. With a dynamic read-out system that greatly improves position resolution of a germanium detector, which can detect small, low contrast objects, including position of the source of radiation and even tumors in human body. New fabrication methods for contacts, improved electronics and experience with long term stability of germanium detectors, make them important for national security tasks.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 504.91K | Year: 2016
The University of South Dakota (USD) will acquire, deploy, and maintain a cluster supercomputer to be named after Nobel Laureate and USD alumnus E. O. Lawrence. As a campus-wide resource available to all USD faculty, staff, postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates as well as researchers across South Dakota, the Lawrence Clusters key objectives are to 1) Accelerate scientific progress and reduce time to discovery, 2) Enable and accelerate scientific results not previously possible, and 3) Increase student engagement in computationally assisted research.
Initially, the Lawrence Cluster will support 12 STEM projects across 7 departments at 3 institutions in North and South Dakota, including 21 faculty, 26 postdocs, and 307 students. The system will support multidisciplinary research and research training in scientific domains such as high energy physics, the human brain, renewable energy, and materials science. It will help answer questions of considerable public interest and societal value, including the nature of dark matter, and the elusive links between the human brain and human behavior. Moreover, advances in both optical properties of nanomaterials and in design of organic functional materials are relevant to a broad range of material science and engineering problems. Results will help lay the foundation for the efficient fabrication of novel materials.
The Lawrence Cluster will have a peak theoretical performance of more than 60 TFLOPS. The system architecture includes an XSEDE-compatible software stack, general-purpose compute nodes, large memory nodes, GPU-accelerated nodes, interactive visualization nodes, a high speed InfiniBand interconnect, and a high-capacity parallel filesystem. In additional to a traditional command line interface, the Lawrence Cluster will also include a browser-based user portal for job submission and management.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS IN CHEM | Award Amount: 265.02K | Year: 2015
This project funded by the Chemistry Division at the National Science Foundation (NSF) creates a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Site at the University of South Dakota (USD), led by Professor Andrew G. Sykes. The REU Site program is specifically designed to serve the research needs of students at regional tribal colleges, local primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs), and USD. Eight students will be hosted at USD each summer for three years. This REU site includes four major project elements: 1) onsite hosting of undergraduate students from regional tribal colleges, PUIs and USD conducting intensive research for ten weeks during the summer; 2) a two week computational chemistry workshop involving all participants; 3) communication of research results during and following the research experience; and 4) select social activities characteristic of the region. The research opportunities offered at USD fall under the theme of materials chemistry that involves non-covalent interactions to control structure and function. Non-covalent interactions (hydrogen bonds, van de Waals forces, halogen bonds, coordinate-covalent bonding, dipole-dipole interactions, to name a few) are linked to a variety of material applications that are associated with all the research projects conducted by participating chemistry faculty at USD.
Recognizing, understanding and controlling weak intermolecular forces is critical to modern chemical and materials research. In addition, students will learn about the use of single-crystal and powder XRD; NMR spectroscopy; fluorescence and optical techniques; SEM and TEM imaging; and other chemical characterization methods during their research experience. Computational chemistry is also of growing importance, where almost every communication in the literature offers some computational component. Students will benefit from an immersive learning experience in computational methods as linked to their individual research projects. The broader impact of this REU program includes increased access to the chemical sciences for students attending Tribal colleges and PUI institutions in the area. The University of South Dakota (USD) is ideally situated geographically to serve both Native American and small PUI student populations in the region.