Washington, DC, United States

University of the District of Columbia

www.udc.edu
Washington, DC, United States

The University of the District of Columbia is a public university located in the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. UDC is one of the few urban land-grant universities in the country and a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. It is also the only public university in the District of Columbia. Wikipedia.

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Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 224.96K | Year: 2015

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) project will be to develop an automated high-intensity food production system that can be operated in urban neighborhoods to provide fresh food to urban populations. This innovation, through the development and testing of the automation technology, will enhance scientific and technical understanding of how computer science and information technology can be used for urban food production. Food systems address not only the environmental/physical dimensions of urban sustainability, but they are also intensely cultural. Food creates communities. Food systems can, therefore, address both the social/cultural and the environmental/physical aspects of urban sustainability. The goals are to make disruptive and innovative contributions to urban food security, and to improve the state of the food-related illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension in urban neighborhoods. This STTR Phase I project proposes to develop an "automated and continuously optimized" aquaponics system that can be operated in urban neighborhood for high-intensity food production. This system builds on the symbiotic relationship of animal farming and growing vegetables. The waste produced by the animal supplies nutrients for the plants. Yet, such a symbiotic relationship is not simple. The main research objective is to control the symbiotic nutrition flow in order to maintain the optimal balance of the delicate ecosystem in a continuous and maximally automated manner. This project will develop an urban neighborhood aquaponics automation package that consists of sensor-actuator technologies and an automated controller based on Big Data and Internet of Things technologies. This will enable research that will determine if linear control theory with perturbation theory or nonlinear time-domain state-space methods can be effective in the automation. This research and development will redefine the state-of-the-art in the area of high-tech aquaponics using control theory, Internet of Things, cyber-physical computing, and Big Data technologies at the juncture of human and nature intersection.


Obiorah I.,University of the District of Columbia
Molecular pharmacology | Year: 2014

Development of acquired antihormone resistance exposes a vulnerability in breast cancer: estrogen-induced apoptosis. Triphenylethylenes (TPEs), which are structurally similar to 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4OHT), were used for mechanistic studies of estrogen-induced apoptosis. These TPEs all stimulate growth in MCF-7 cells, but unlike the planar estrogens they block estrogen-induced apoptosis in the long-term estrogen-deprived MCF7:5C cells. To define the conformation of the TPE:estrogen receptor (ER) complex, we employed a previously validated assay using the induction of transforming growth factor α (TGFα) mRNA in situ in MDA-MB 231 cells stably transfected with wild-type ER (MC2) or D351G ER mutant (JM6). The assays discriminate ligand fit in the ER based on the extremes of published crystallography of planar estrogens or TPE antiestrogens. We classified the conformation of planar estrogens or angular TPE complexes as "estrogen-like" or "antiestrogen-like" complexes, respectively. The TPE:ER complexes did not readily recruit the coactivator steroid receptor coactivator-3 (SRC3) or ER to the PS2 promoter in MCF-7 and MCF7:5C cells, and molecular modeling showed that they prefer to bind to the ER in an antagonistic fashion, i.e., helix 12 not sealing the ligand binding domain (LBD) effectively, and therefore reduce critical SRC3 binding. The fully activated ER complex with helix 12 sealing the LBD is suggested to be the appropriate trigger to initiate rapid estrogen-induced apoptosis.


Tyagi P.,University of the District of Columbia
Journal of Materials Chemistry | Year: 2011

Molecular electronics devices have potential to miniaturize the computational devices down to few nm and can be highly versatile. The realization of any molecular electronics device critically depends on the methods of connecting functional molecule(s) to electrical leads. This review mainly focuses on the recently developed versatile multilayer edge molecular electronics device (MEMED) approach. To produce MEMEDs molecular conduction channels are bridged across the ultrathin insulator, along the exposed vertical edges of a tunnel junction. This paper explains how the MEMED approach effectively addresses the major roadblocks encountered in the realization of practical molecular electronics devices. MEMED can be produced by widely available microfabrication tools. The tunnel junction used in a MEMED can have any combination of metallic electrodes. Additionally, the tunnel junction's insulator thickness can be precisely tailored to utilize a vast variety of molecules as a device element. A MEMED approach enables an unprecedented number of control experiments to reveal the true behavior of molecular conduction channels. The tunnel junction used in a MEMED can be characterized before establishing molecular conduction channels. The MEMED approach makes it straightforward to reverse the molecule's effect and then retrieve characteristic of the parent device. This design offers a unique opportunity to transform highly matured magnetic tunnel junctions into futuristic molecular spintronics devices, a potential candidate device for quantum computation. Besides the application in computational devices, MEMED design can also be used for biosensing by enabling the interaction between MEMED's active molecular channels with the target bio-analytes. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2011.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 772.57K | Year: 2016

Implementation Projects provide support to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to design, implement, study, and assess comprehensive institutional efforts to increase the number of students receiving undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and enhance the quality of their preparation by strengthening STEM education and research. The project at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) seeks to build on previous successful efforts to increase participation of African-American students in STEM disciplines. A STEM Center will be established and focus on the recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of STEM students, as well as provide additional pedagogical training and upgrading of research skills to faculty. The goals of the project are to: provide STEM students with active support designed to highlight learning as an active and ongoing process and with enrichment as a complement to heighten students academic performance beyond their current level of achievement; and provide faculty with activities that will expand their teaching and research skills so they will be better prepared to impart knowledge and assist in the development of students skills as they forge successful mentor/mentee relationships and productive collaborations.

The following activities and strategies are designed to meet the projects goals: development of a discipline-specific Journal Club; workshops focusing on critical thinking skills to aid students in understanding the principles involved in the theory and practice of reasoned decision-making; STEM career explorations through activities that create opportunities for internships and employment; development of an Individual Development Plan to assist each student in determining educational paths that will eventually lead to her or his long-term career goal; a program for Near Completers for STEM students returning to the university requiring thirty or fewer credits to graduate; establishment of Academic Advancement Partnerships to create interactions between students and faculty at UDC and faculty and administrators at PhD granting institutions; utilization of the Advance Research Techniques Corp to teach research techniques; creation of a paradigm shift in pedagogy by utilizing the flipped classroom and collaborative learning; empowerment of faculty through mentor training; and support for faculty to conduct individual and collaborative research. The project strategies supporting these objectives are evidence-based and will be monitored and evaluated for effectiveness.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 200.00K | Year: 2015

Research Initiation Awards provide support for junior and mid-career faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities who are building new research programs or redirecting and rebuilding existing research programs. It is expected that the award helps to further the faculty members research capability and effectiveness, improves research and teaching at his home institution, and involves undergraduate students in research experiences. The award to the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) has potential broader impact in a number of areas. The expansion of data availability in many large-scale, complex, and networked systems leads to a need to advance the understanding of learning from unbounded size and imbalanced data to support decision-making processes. An effective imbalanced learning system developed for the highly overlapped imbalanced classes involving rare diseases, abnormal behavior, or even trace explosive, can save money and human life. The knowledge developed from this project will contribute to improved clustering and classification algorithms. This project will also enhance the research experience and training of undergraduate students at UDC.

The proposed research will develop a computationally cheap context-sensitive intra-class clustering approach to overcome class overlapping problems by generating non-overlapping sub-clusters using context class data as a boundary. This novel algorithm can separate an arbitrary data distribution into non-overlapping unimodal clusters, while utilizing intervening context data distributions to further separate the clusters. A new swarm intelligence-based hybrid global optimization learning model will be developed to simultaneously optimize the feature subset and the tuning parameters of the least square support vector machine. Moreover, a novel particle swarm optimization self-organizing algorithm will be created to improve the classification performance through obtaining useful knowledge from the limited and underrepresented minority class data.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 398.35K | Year: 2014

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) through Targeted Infusion Projects supports the development, implementation, and study of evidence-based innovative models and approaches for improving the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduate students so that they may pursue STEM graduate programs and/or careers. The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) will implement a project entitled: Course Development for a 21st Century Smart Grid Workforce. The Smart Grid courses to be developed at the certificate and the bachelor degree levels will provide students the cross-disciplinary knowledge and skills required to design, implement, deploy and manage Smart Grid technologies and fill the gaps between the utility workforce of today and the Smart Grids workforce needs of tomorrow. Senior engineering students will develop an educational Smart Grid Simulator with the functionality and attributes typical to renewable energy resources. This simulator will be made available to benefit other educational initiatives on Smart Grid technology.

This proposal aims to address the shortage of qualified workforce and Smart Grid specialists by focusing on three objectives: 1) to develop introductory to advanced Smart Grid courses and experimental resources to prepare students with interdisciplinary knowledge and skills for preparing the future Smart Grid technology workforce, 2) to develop short courses to help to address the knowledge gap of the current utility workforce, and 3) to inform citizens and educators about Smart Grid technology and its impact on society, the environment, the economy, and career opportunities. The courses will be an integral part of a renewable energy minor at UDC. The project aims to establish the University as a premier training center for the energy workforce in the area of Smart Grid technology.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 399.99K | Year: 2015

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) through Targeted Infusion Projects supports the development, implementation, and study of evidence-based innovative models and approaches for improving the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduate students so that they may pursue STEM graduate programs and/or careers. The project at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) seeks to provide new learning experiences in biomedical engineering to undergraduate students. The recruitment efforts include reaching out to high school students and students from community colleges to get them interested in the field of biomedical engineering. This project will ultimately diversify and contribute to the biomedical engineering workforce aimed at solving medical related problems through engineering techniques.

The project seeks to enhance the existing academic infrastructure at UDC by developing four new courses in biomedical engineering and integrating them into existing engineering curricula; by preparing prospective students at area community colleges towards the pursuit of a BS degree in biomedical engineering; and by educating high school students, undergraduate students, and faculty in current trends and research in biomedical engineering. The activities and strategies are evidence-based and the project is guided by a strong plan for formative and summative evaluation.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ROBERT NOYCE SCHOLARSHIP PGM | Award Amount: 2.15M | Year: 2015

In response to research that shows that high quality science education in the middle grades is crucial to the national goal of increasing interest in STEM, this Teaching Fellowship (TF) project will strengthen middle science teaching and learning in the District of Columbia by training 20 new science teachers and providing them with a variety of professional development opportunities. Key project elements include (a) a twenty-week Practice of Science internship directed by Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE), (b) a Master of Arts in Teaching degree that emphasizes foundations of urban education, content area pedagogy, and field experiences, and (c) three years of new teacher mentoring after graduation. The project will be done in partnership with the DC Public and Public Charter Schools.

Recognizing that university-based teacher preparation must be aligned with the needs of the school districts, this project will use a constructed understanding of the high-needs K-12 teaching environment as a context for training teachers in STEM content and pedagogy. Thus as part of their coursework in science and science teaching, the TFs will have training on academic science language (through the Center for Applied Linguistics) and differential instruction for culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Formative and summative evaluation will address the extent to which the project has met its goals to retain and place TFs in high-needs middle schools, align curricula and pedagogy to Next Generation Science Standards, and lead to effective secondary science teaching practices and education of diverse learners. The results of the project will be disseminated at the Association for Science Teacher Education International Conference and the National STEM Conference.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 299.93K | Year: 2016

Research Initiation Awards provide support for junior and mid-career faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities who are building new research programs or redirecting and rebuilding existing research programs. It is expected that the award helps to further the faculty members research capability and effectiveness, improves research and teaching at his home institution, and involves undergraduate students in research experiences. The award to the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) has potential broader impact in a number of areas. The goal of the project is to investigate multiscale thermal transport and energetics of phase change inside self-assembled nanoemulsions in a non-invasive way through characterization of thermophysical properties and structural dynamics at precisely controlled interfacial structure, surface chemistry and external fields. Undergraduate students will gain research experiences and high school students are involved in the project. The principal investigator also offers tutorials at conferences, conducts a research symposium and workshop on multiscale thermal transport at UDC, and invites collaborators to give talks to students and faculty.

The work is expected to reveal the fundamentals of intermolecular thermal transport and interfacial thermodynamics inside self-assembled nanoemulsions. The following questions will be addressed: How can different surface effects such as wettability be separated from roughness on boiling heat transfer? Can the highly disordered nucleate boiling process including bubble dynamics be precisely controlled? and What are the mechanisms behind boiling in micro/nanosized confined space and how do they affect phase change heat transfer? The questions will be answered by obtaining high spatial- and temporal-resolution data of boiling heat transfer and bubble dynamics of the phase changeable self-assembled nanoemulsions on a customized heater via a synchronized high speed camera and infrared thermography. A simulation model that can predict the multiscale and multiphase thermal transport processes of colloidal fluids on micro/nanostructured surfaces will be developed. The knowledge obtained from this project will contribute to a better understanding of multiscale and multiphase thermal transport, provide critical technical and simulation solutions to enable rational design of advanced thermal management systems, and promote further development of next-generation communication, medical and energy technologies.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 350.00K | Year: 2015

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities -Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) provides support to design, implement, and assess strategies that can lead to comprehensive institutional efforts to increase the number of students receiving undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and enhance the quality of their preparation by strengthening STEM education and research. The project at the University of the District of Columbia seeks to establish the foundation for a STEM Center for Research and Development - Increasing Minority Students in STEM Disciplines. The goals of the project are: to provide STEM students with information and active support designed to retain them and prepare them for graduate school or the workforce; and to provide faculty with support that will expand their teaching and research skills so that they will be better prepared to impart knowledge and assist in the development of students skills as they forge successful mentor/mentee relationships.

Activities that are part of this project are: support for students in such areas as study skills, academic scoping skills, graduate school and fellowship application preparation, research opportunities during the academic year, as well as summer internships; one-year mini-grants to faculty members to give them the support needed to initiate and advance research and curricular reforms, train students, and promote professional development. The project will be guided by an on-going evaluation and by external and internal steering committees.

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