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Grants bring in over $200,000 for math, physics, business
Jun 13, 2014 | 533 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Northwestern State University has received funding for five grant proposals totaling $196,754 for classroom and academic program enhancements from the Louisiana Board of Regents.

Faculty receiving the grants were: Dr. Chris McMullen, “Enhancement of Physics Labs,” $32,000, Dr. Begona Perez-Mira, “School of Business Lecture Capture System,” $30,000, Dr. Mary Reeves, “Navigating Undergraduate Mathematics Engagement and Learning,” $103, 520, Dr. Jack Russell, “Mobile Applications Development Laboratory,” $16,673, Dr. Mark Thompson/Russell, “Data and Communications Networking Laboratory,” $14, 561.

Russell’s grant was the top ranked proposal in the state in business while the one by Thompson and Russell was fourth. Reeves authored the second ranked grant in the state among traditional enhancement proposals for mathematics.

McMullen’s grant involves integrating a variety of hands-on experiments and demonstrations into the general physics curriculum to illustrate fundamental physics concepts that apply to amusement parks. This includes a loop-the-loop roller coaster that works with a standard physics car and photogates, a modern free fall experiment, a hovercraft for students to experience motion concepts firsthand and a centrifuge to mimic the rotating ride where passengers stick to the wall after the floor is removed.

Perez-Mira’s grant will fulfill a need created by technological requirements used in the majority of all the School of Business face to face classes and online offerings. Faculty have expressed a strong desire to enhance their electronic content with multimedia video recording of their lectures but have found it difficult to create multimedia content for a variety of reasons. The grant will help faculty create multimedia recordings for use online and face to face classes. Currently, faculty teach the same class both face to face and online. By enhancing two classrooms with a lecture capture smart classroom, faculty will be able to record their face to face lecture with little or no effort on their part and with little technical knowledge. Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne was co-principal investigator for the grant.

Reeves’ grant will equip faculty in the Department of Mathematics and Engineering Technology with the technological tools and skills to incorporate the Texas Instruments NSpire Navigator system into effective instruction in core mathematics courses. The Navigator permits in-class, real-time teacher-student interaction via wireless handhelds and the instructor’s computer, and is specifically designed for use in mathematics classrooms. No other university in Louisiana is using the Navigator for undergraduate mathematics instruction. Dr. Leigh Ann Myers was co-principal investigator for the grant.

The grant by Thompson and Russell will set up a data and communications networking laboratory. Russell said the CIS area seeks to develop real-world, hands-on laboratory experiences that would support the theoretical treatments in networking while complementing the design skills and conceptual understanding gained from computer simulations. These hands-on investigations will allow students to demonstrate the application of core principles directly through experimentation with physical materials that will enable the assessment and improvement of a range of student competencies. Sarah Wright and Barbara Russell were co-principal investigators for the grant.

Russell’s grant will enable the computer information systems area to equip a mobile applications development laboratory in Russell Hall. Russell said the CIS area is including courses in the curriculum addressing mobile application development for Apple iOS, Android, and Windows phone.

The laboratory will be shared with the data and communications networking laboratory. With this computing equipment the instructor will be able to teach students significant skill sets in Apple iOS, Android and Windows. Wright and Barbara Russell were co-principal investigators for the grant.

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