Kalamazoo, MI, United States
Kalamazoo, MI, United States

Western Michigan University is a public research university located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States. The university was established in 1903 by Dwight B. Waldo, and as of the Fall 2014 semester, its enrollment is 23,914.WMU has one of the largest aviation programs in the United States, and it is the site of the annual International Congress on Medieval Studies. The university's athletic teams compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and are collectively known as the Western Michigan Broncos. They compete in the Mid-American Conference for most sports. Wikipedia.

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A method of testing a computer program implementation according to a predefined design model, the program implementation having at least one method under test, employs a computer to generate a post-method corresponding to the method under test. A computer is further used to automatically generate a set of test cases. Then, using the automatically generated set of test cases, the computer explores different execution paths of the computer program implementation, by applying those test cases to both the method under test and the generated post-method, to reveal behavior that is not consistent with the behavior specified by the design model.

The 'anomeric effect' is the thermodynamic preference for polar substituents to occupy the axial position in the chair conformation of various heterocycles. The most common explanation given for this effect at present is hyperconjugation from the lone pairs on the ring heteroatom to the antibonding orbital between the anomeric carbon and its linking substituent. Alternatively, the anomeric effect could be explained by intramolecular electrostatic interactions between local dipoles. Few models can provide convincing data for either theory at the quantum-mechanical level. Now, using the extended block-localized wavefunction method, which is the simplest form of valence bond theory, we have evaluated the degree of hyperconjugation in various compounds that display the anomeric effect and have interpreted their conformational preferences in terms of steric, hyperconjugation and dispersion effects. The results provide strong evidence that hyperconjugative interactions are not responsible for the anomeric effect and that it is better interpreted in terms of electrostatic interactions. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Lee H.,Western Michigan University
Applied Energy | Year: 2013

The optimum design of thermoelectric devices (thermoelectric generator and cooler) in connection with heat sinks was developed using dimensional analysis. New dimensionless groups were properly defined to represent important parameters of the thermoelectric devices. Particularly, use of the convection conductance of a fluid in the denominators of the dimensionless parameters was critically important, which leads to a new optimum design. This allows us to determine either the optimal number of thermocouples or the optimal thermal conductance (the geometric ratio of footprint of leg to leg length). It is stated from the present dimensional analysis that, if two fluid temperatures on the heat sinks are given, an optimum design always exists and can be found with the feasible mechanical constraints. The optimum design includes the optimum parameters such as efficiency, power, current, geometry or number of thermocouples, and thermal resistances of heat sinks. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ADVANCED TECH EDUCATION PROG | Award Amount: 1.60M | Year: 2016

The EvaluATE Center is an ATE Support Center dedicated to supporting and improving the evaluation practices of approximately 250 ATE grantees across the country. EvaluATE conducts webinars and workshops, blogs on evaluation practice, maintains a website with a digital resource library, develops materials to guide evaluation work, and conducts an annual survey of ATE grantees. EvaluATEs mission is to promote the goals of the ATE program by partnering with projects and centers to strengthen the programs evaluation knowledge base, expand the use of exemplary evaluation practices, and support the continuous improvement of technician education throughout the nation. EvaluATEs goals associated with this proposal are to: (1) Ensure that all ATE Principal Investigators and evaluators know the essential elements of a credible and useful evaluation; (2) Maintain a comprehensive collection of online resources for ATE evaluation; (3) Strengthen and expand the network of ATE evaluation stakeholders; and (4) Gather, synthesize, and disseminate data about the ATE program activities to advance knowledge about ATE/technician education. The Center plans to produce a comprehensive set of evaluation resources to complement other services, engaging several community college-based Principal Investigators, representatives from selected community colleges, and evaluators in that process.

EvaluATEs products are informed by current research on evaluation, the National Science Foundations priorities for the evaluation of ATE grants, and the needs of ATE PIs and evaluators for sound guidance that is immediately relevant and usable in their contexts. The fundamental nature of EvaluATEs work is geared toward supporting ATE grantees to use evaluation regularly to improve their work and demonstrate their impacts. All of EvaluATEs products are available to the public. EvaluATEs findings from the annual survey of ATE grantees aid in advancing understanding of the status of technician education and illuminate areas for additional research. Implementing a mixed methods research design the Center will investigate approaches and methods to assess the impact of activities associated with developing evaluation capacity building

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Secure &Trustworthy Cyberspace | Award Amount: 177.57K | Year: 2016

The proposed project will develop Visualization and Analysis of C Code Security (VACCS) tool to assist students with learning secure code programming. The proposal addresses the critical issue of learning secure coding through the development of a system for analyzing and visualizing C code and associated learning materials. VACCS will utilize static and dynamic program analysis to detect security vulnerabilities and warn programmers about the potential errors in their code. The research team has a significant experience in using visualization to teach computer science in such areas as parallel computing, geometric modeling and data encryption. The project will develop visualization and animation of common security vulnerabilities that can be customized for programmers with different level of programming experience. The project will evaluate the effectiveness of VACCS and instructional materials to improve students learning of secure coding.

The outcomes of this research will provide a better understanding of the visualization impact on secure programming instruction within a computing curriculum, as well as a deployable VACCS tool for faculty to adopt. This research will inform the broader community on the visualization potential for positive effects on the quality of code developed by future computer scientists. The VACCS tool and educational materials including tutorials, lectures, projects and extensive examples of teaching secure software development will be disseminated to academic computing community. In addition, this project will teach students how to perform software security audits using VACCS and will train graduate students in the art of teaching computer security.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MACROSYSTEM BIOLOGY | Award Amount: 315.00K | Year: 2016

Little is known about airborne microbial communities (AMCs), which include bacteria and fungi. The project will sample the composition of AMCs at five altitudes above four natural ecosystem types in North America that are characterized by NEON core sites. A novel combination of tethered and launched balloon-borne samplers will be used to collect samples up to 25 km in the atmosphere. Within the ecosystems, samples over urban and non-urban areas will be collected. The characterization of this little know life zone will contribute to a basic knowledge of the life around us and help to better understand biosphere function and human impacts on it.

This exploratory research will sample bacteria, archaea, and fungi in the atmosphere. Validated aerial microbial samplers using balloon technology will be employed. Atmospheric measures will be compared with surface samples. Abundances will be quantified by genetic sequencing. NEON data will be used to determine soil microbes and dominant vegetation, which will be evaluated as predictors of AMCs. Descriptions of the data and hypothesis tests on the similarity of samples by ecosystem, altitude, season, and urbanization will be carried out using statistical methods common in vegetation community studies. Broader impacts, in addition to increasing basic knowledge, will include training opportunities for undergraduate honors students, pairing biology and engineering majors and targeted at under-represented groups.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 452.40K | Year: 2016

This Major Research Instrumentation award supports the acquisition of a state of the art X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) system that will support multidisciplinary research and education in institutions throughout West Michigan. This modern XRD enables cutting edge research in nanotechnology, physics, materials science, chemistry, electrical engineering, and other areas. The knowledge generated will be used to design new materials and processes, and tailor their structure and properties to specific demands, such as materials for green energy production, medical devices, sensors, flexible electronics, and more. The XRD will help educate future researchers by providing opportunities using modern research instrumentation. In addition, the PIs university has strong outreach programs, including training and retaining science teachers and providing opportunities for high school students. The XRD instrument will greatly benefit these programs and attract students to STEM research as a career path. In addition to serving as a shared, multi-user, multi-purpose facility for the Western Michigan University and other area institutions, it will also be used by local high-tech businesses.

A modern X-ray powder and surface diffraction system is an essential tool in multiple scientific research fields. Knowledge gained from diffraction analyses is critical for the determination of crystalline structure, phases and phase transformations, thickness of thin layers, size of nano-particles, crystallographic preferred orientation, residual stresses, and as a result, is critical for the design of new materials. This instrument will enable numerous research projects, including the creation of nanostructured magnetic and thermal shape-memory smart alloys for new applications, such as developing new micro- and nano-electromechanical systems. It will also enable determination of the surface properties of thin films being developed for semiconductor gas sensors for detecting chemical species. Other studies include the properties of semiconducting films that may be suitable for low cost solar cells and determination of the nanoparticle properties in ferrogels for drug delivery purposes. The structure and degree of crystallinity of 3D printed materials will be measured to help improve the technique for printing biocompatible materials. Developing better high temperature superconductors is another goal. High tech applications include the development of machining materials, using Laser Augmented Diamond Drilling for materials that are not machinable using conventional techniques.

This project examines empirically the use of teams across the US in initiatives to successfully increase the use of evidence-based teaching practices in undergraduate STEM. It directly addresses the IUSE program goal of improving the knowledge base for increasing the use of evidence-based teaching and learning practices in undergraduate education. The background perspective for this project is the shift in the dominant theory of institutional improvement. For many years, standard practice by those practitioners in the STEM higher education community seeking to improve undergraduate instructional practices has been to seek funding for the development and dissemination of curricular materials and associated instructional practices. These practitioners have predominantly operated alone or in small groups. There is a growing consensus among STEM educators that relying on the principal investigators efforts to disseminate their own improvements often does not lead to widespread propagation among other educators. For this reason, newer STEM education improvement initiatives are moving towards change strategies focused on encouraging entire academic departments and institutions to increase their use of evidence-based teaching. Increasingly, instructional improvement projects supported by grants are doing this by engaging teams of faculty instructors, graduate student teaching assistants, and post-graduate researchers to collaboratively redesign content and instructional approaches in STEM undergraduate courses, drawing on many of the effective approaches that have been developed over the last several decades.

This project will
- Develop a national census of undergraduate STEM initiatives using team-based approaches to change;
- Synthesize survey and interview data to identify categories that distinguish among team-based approaches; and
- Conduct a meta-synthesis-- connecting the categories that emerge from this analysis with extant literature from a wide range of disciplines related to team learning, organizational team structures and processes, and models and theories supporting teams.
This project offers substantial value to the research community by exploring and testing theory from a wide range of disciplines. There is a wide range of configurations among the teams used in STEM teaching improvement initiatives. Teams vary in terms of size, composition, goals, leadership, and process. Improved understanding of how effectively teams work for particular goals and outcomes, what kind of leadership and facilitation is needed to keep them vital and on-task, and what kinds of relationships, communication, and collaborative work are necessary for them to reach their goals will bolster the effectiveness of institutional and community transformation efforts. Application of this knowledge has the potential to create improved broader impacts from NSF grants and other improvement initiatives. This project receives co-funding from NSFs EHR Core Research (ECR) program. The ECR program emphasizes fundamental STEM education research that generates foundational knowledge in the field. Investments are made in critical areas that are essential, broad and enduring: STEM learning and STEM learning environments, broadening participation in STEM, and STEM workforce development.

Western Michigan University | Date: 2016-04-06

A method and device for providing performance feedback to a user during a session of using exercise equipment including measuring user input during the session using at least one sensor to gather sensor data, and transmitting the sensor data to a processing device. The sensor data is evaluated to determine at least one of a force metric, a frequency metric, and an accuracy metric. The at least one of the force metric, the frequency metric and the accuracy metric are compared to at least one predetermined performance goal. Audio feedback is provided to the user based on the comparison of the at least one of the force metric, the frequency metric, and the accuracy metric with the at least one predetermined performance goal, wherein the audio feedback includes varying a musical playback in at least one of speed, volume, and pitch.

Western Michigan University | Date: 2016-07-11

This invention relates to the composition of a chitosan coated paper wherein the chitosan may be derived from a variety of sources. Methods of using chitosan as a surface coating or pulp additive to tune the properties of paper and paperboard products are also described. The chitosan applied is a bio-based and environmentally friendly barrier coating and/or additive material for the manufacture of functional paper and paperboard products, specifically as evaporative cooling media requiring wet strength and structural integrity, wicking, and moisture resistance as an alternative to conventional phenolic-based resins. The solid-state fermentation method to produce chitosan and its derivatives offer renewable bio-based materials towards the manufacture of functional paper products that are eco-friendly but also offer uncompromised performance levels.

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