John Moustakas, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics and astronomy, was awarded a $15,398 grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute to analyze the deepest and sharpest observations of the sky ever obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope. In addition, he was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Spitzer Science Center to analyze extremely deep infrared observations of the sky obtained using the Spitzer Space Telescope. These observations are part of his broader research program to discover and understand the formation of the very first galaxies to form in the 14-billion year history of the Universe.
Sharon Small, Ph.D, assistant professor of computer science and director of the Siena College Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and Larry Medsker, Ph.D., professor of physics and computer science, have been awarded a prestigious Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Other senior personnel on the grant include James Booker, Ph.D., professor of economics, Vera Eccarius-Kelly, Ph.D., professor of political science and Darren Lim, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science. Titled “REU Site: Undergraduate Research on Artificial Intelligence and Text Analysis,” this grant for $359,923 will provide a unique opportunity for undergraduates to develop research expertise in the field of Artificial Intelligence under the guidance of the Siena College Institute for Artificial Intelligence (SCIAI). Students from across the nation will apply to participate in this ten-week program as REU Scholars. The NSF REU grant is typically awarded to large research institutions and highly selective liberal arts colleges. Of the 70 existing REU programs under NSF’s Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering, only three take place at undergraduate institutions. As such, this grant acknowledges the high level of excellence of Siena’s undergraduate research programs. More information about the program can be found at www2.siena.edu/reu.
Larry Medsker, Ph.D., professor of physics and computer science, Sharon Small, Ph.D, assistant professor of computer science and director of the Siena College Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Jon Bannon, Ph.D, associate professor of mathematics, Michele McColgan, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics, Jodi O’Donnell, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Lucas Tucker, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, have been awarded a $618,689 "Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics" (S-STEM) grant from the National Science Foundation to support students majoring in STEM fields. Other program personnel include Mary Anne Egan, Robin Flatland, Darren Lim, Jim Matthews and Scott Vandenberg. In addition to providing scholarships of up to $10,000 per year for over 40 talented students with financial need, the program will provide faculty mentoring, expanded undergraduate research opportunities and expanded advising services. This program builds on the success of our previous S-STEM grant, which supported 45 talented undergraduates and accomplished a graduation rate of higher than 90%.
The School of Science has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the George I. Alden Trust to support the Siena Advanced Instrumentation and Technology (SAInT) Center. The grant will be used toward the purchase of a Scanning Electron Microscope, which uses an electron beam to obtain high resolution images. This microscope, which has wide-ranging applications across chemistry, biochemistry, physics, biology, materials science and engineering, will be integrated into the curriculum. In addition, several faculty research groups will utilize the microscope and involve undergraduate researchers in hands-on use of the instrument. Beyond enhancing educational and research opportunities for our students, the grant will foster job placement by helping students gain key skills that are needed in the region's growing semiconductor industry.
In strategic partnership with the Office of International Programs at Siena College, a grant for $25,000 has been awarded to FAE Centro Universitario, a Franciscan university in Curitiba, Brazil. The grant comes through the100K Strong in the Americas program sponsored by the US Department of State. With this grant, FAE Centro Universitario will implement a four-week summer program in Brazilian Portuguese for Siena students, scheduled for mid-May to mid-June 2015. Interested students and faculty may contact the Office of International Programs for more information.