Subcategory: STEM Research
Branislav Vlahovic - North Carolina Central University
Co-Author(s): Alade Tokuta, Diane Markoff, Gordana Vlahovic, and Marvin Wu
Phase II CREST at NCCU made significant contributions in the areas of nanotechnology, nuclear physics, intelligent systems, robotics, and geophysics. These contributions enable to attain a level of excellence that makes it competitive nationally and brings it closer to the goal of establishing a National Computational Center. During the last eight years established are four exceptionally strong research programs, which are the keystones of the CREST: 1) Computer modeling, design, formation and characterization of novel nanostructured materials and nanodevices; (2) Low-to-medium-energy nuclear and hypernuclear few body physics; (3) Co-operative autonomous mobile robotic systems; and (4) Geophysical characterization of the crust and uppermost mantle in central and eastern United States. In addition to these main projects new ideas and vitality of the CREST are ensured through seed projects. The strength of the center is in interconnection of the projects achieved through faculty and students working together on: computer simulations, predictive computational modeling and design; development of new algorithms and software, modeling, design; fabrication of new materials and devices and experiments across physical science disciplines. The education is the most important part of the CREST. Each year CREST supports about 50 undergraduate and 50 graduate students (tuitions, stipends, travel, and research projects). Organized are also students’ research days, when students present their research results (oral and poster presentations) as well as multiple seminars with prominent speakers. CREST outreach for high school includes organization of competition in science for 24 local high school and ten weeks of summer research on CREST projects for 30 high school students. This year opportunities for students are expanded through collaboration with CUNY and International Theoretical Center Trieste, since both program include exchange of students. In addition established is so called bridge program toward Ph.D. in material science with NC State and the first NCCU students are already enrolled at NCSU. Established is also 3+2 program with NCSU in engineering, which also already has enrolled first students. In this program, after finishing 3 years at NCCU in physics, students will complete additional 2 years at NCSU in engineering and will receive degree in physics at NCCU and degree in engineering at NCSU. CREST also supports summer research for teams of faculty and students from local HBCUs and community colleges. Both faculty and students from these institutions participated in CREST research programs over summer months, with opportunity to continue during the academic year.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This work is supported by the National Science Foundation grant HRD-1345219
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,