Hope Again Holds Five NSF-REU
Grants for Summer Research
Posted April 29, 2002
HOLLAND -- For the fifth year in a row, Hope holds
five grants for summer student research from the National
Science Foundation's "Research Experiences for
Undergraduates" (NSF-REU) program.
Although complete national data for 2002 is not
yet available, last year Hope held more of the grants than
any other liberal arts college in the country and more than
all but 17 other institutions of any sort nationwide,
including major research universities.
Hope holds the awards in biology, chemistry,
computer science, mathematics, and physics and engineering.
It is the 11th consecutive year that at least four Hope
departments have had NSF-REU support.
Through Hope's grants, undergraduate students from
both Hope and elsewhere are conducting research full-time
with Hope faculty members for eight to 10 weeks this summer,
and are receiving stipends as well as support for housing,
travel and other expenses. They are working with students
whose summer research at Hope is supported in other ways.
Four of the departments are using their grants
this year. The fifth is deferring use of its award while it
utilizes other support.
The department of biology's grant is supporting 12
students working with nine faculty members for 10 weeks.
Some of the projects include the regulation of lipid
production in yeast, the effects of hormones on water
balance, regulation of uptake of neurotransmitters in the
brain, understanding evolutionary relationships of plants,
and the effect of hybridization on species definition in
plants. The four-year, $318,620 grant is being administered
by Dr. Thomas Bultman, who is professor of biology and chair
of the department, and Dr. Timothy Evans, who is an
assistant professor of biology.
The department of chemistry's grant is supporting
eight students working among 10 faculty for 10 or more
weeks. The research projects include Inductively-Coupled
Plasma (ICP) analysis of environmental samples, synthesis of
polymers and laser studies of biomolecules. This summer,
the three-year, $139,119 grant is being administered by Dr.
Graham F. Peaslee and Dr. Elizabeth M. Sanford, associate
professors of chemistry.
The department of computer science's grant is
supporting eight students working with four faculty for 10
weeks. The projects include "Electronic Textbooks," "Static
Analysis Tool Development for C++ Programs, "SIMD
Implementation of Computational Geometry Algorithms" and "A
Parallel Processing Platform from Networked Handheld
Computers." In addition to Hope computer science students
and faculty, students from Carnegie Mellon University,
Eastern Illinois University, Grand Valley State University
and Hendrix College will join faculty from Grand Valley and
the University of Zimbabwe on the projects. The three-year,
$143,213 grant is being administered by Dr. Herbert Dershem,
professor of computer science and chair of the department.
The department of mathematics's grant is
supporting eight students working with two faculty members
for eight weeks. The projects include "Mathematical
Modeling with Dynamical Systems" and "Bionformatics,"
looking at the probabilistic tools that biologists use to
assess the similarity between DNA sequences. The four-year,
$120,000 grant is being administered by Dr. Timothy
Pennings, associate professor of mathematics.
The department of physics and engineering is
deferring use of its grant for a year as it makes maximum
use of other support that members of the faculty have
received for their research projects. During the coming
summer, 11 students will be working with members of the Hope
faculty for 10 weeks. Research emphases include nuclear
physics, with radioactive nuclear beams; astrophysics, of
neutron stars; electrical engineering and system control;
chemical engineering; theoretical mechanical engineering;
and experimental mechanical engineering.