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  • richardmitnick 11:46 am on May 25, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Astronomers develop ‘decoder’ to gauge exoplanet climate", , , , Cornell Chronicle,   

    From Cornell Chronicle: “Astronomers develop ‘decoder’ to gauge exoplanet climate” 

    From Cornell Chronicle

    May 18, 2020
    Blaine Friedlander
    bpf2@cornell.edu

    1
    In this artistic rendering, different kinds of suns are shown as they interact with various Earth-like surfaces in distant solar systems. The combinations create an array of climates. Thus, in the search for exoplanets, astronomers can be guided by color for possible habitable planets. Jack Madden/Cornell

    After examining a dozen types of suns and a roster of planet surfaces, Cornell astronomers have developed a practical model – an environmental color “decoder” – to tease out climate clues for potentially habitable exoplanets in galaxies far away.

    “We looked at how different planetary surfaces in the habitable zones of distant solar systems could affect the climate on exoplanets,” said Jack Madden, Ph.D. ’20, who works in the lab of Lisa Kaltenegger, associate professor of astronomy and director of Cornell’s Carl Sagan Institute.

    “Reflected light on the surface of planets plays a significant role not only on the overall climate,” Madden said, “but also on the detectable spectra of Earth-like planets.”

    Madden and Kaltenegger are co-authors of “How Surfaces Shape the Climate of Habitable Exoplanets,” released May 18 in The Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

    In their research, they combine detail of a planet’s surface color and the light from its host star to calculate a climate. For instance, a rocky, black basalt planet absorbs light well and would be very hot, but add sand or clouds and the planet cools; and a planet with vegetation and circling a reddish K-star will likely have cool temperatures because of how those surfaces reflect their suns’ light.

    “Think about wearing a dark shirt on a hot summer day. You’re going to heat up more, because the dark shirt is not reflecting light. It has a low albedo (it absorbs light) and it retains heat,” Madden said. “If you wear a light color, such as white, its high albedo reflects the light – and your shirt keeps you cool.

    It’s the same with stars and planets, Kaltenegger said.

    “Depending on the kind of star and the exoplanet’s primary color – or the reflecting albedo – the planet’s color can mitigate some of the energy given off by the star,” Kaltenegger said. “What makes up the surface of an exoplanet, how many clouds surround the planet, and the color of the sun can change an exoplanet’s climate significantly.”

    Madden said forthcoming instruments like the Earth-bound Extremely Large Telescope will allow scientists to gather data in order to test a catalog of climate predictions.

    ESO/E-ELT, 39 meter telescope to be on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. located at the summit of the mountain at an altitude of 3,060 metres (10,040 ft).

    “There’s an important interaction between the color of a surface and the light hitting it,” he said. “The effects we found based on a planet’s surface properties can help in the search for life.”

    The Brinson Foundation and the Carl Sagan Institute supported this research.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:23 am on May 4, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Long-dead stars can yield clues to life in the cosmos", , , , Cornell Chronicle,   

    From Cornell Chronicle: “Long-dead stars can yield clues to life in the cosmos” 

    From Cornell Chronicle

    April 30, 2020
    Blaine Friedlander
    bpf2@cornell.edu

    1
    Astronomers may one day decipher the atmospheres of Earth-like rocky exoplanets, shown here in an artistic rendering by Cornell doctoral candidate Jack Madden ’20. The planet’s accompanying white dwarf sits at the planet’s horizon. Jack Madden/Cornell University.

    The next generation of powerful Earth- and space-based telescopes will be able to hunt distant solar systems for evidence of life on Earth-like exoplanets – particularly those that chaperone burned-out stars known as white dwarfs.

    The chemical properties of those far-off worlds could indicate that life exists there. To help future scientists make sense of what their telescopes are showing them, Cornell astronomers have developed a spectral field guide for these rocky worlds.

    “We show what the spectral fingerprints could be and what forthcoming space-based and large terrestrial telescopes can look out for,” said Thea Kozakis, doctoral candidate in astronomy, who conducts her research at Cornell’s Carl Sagan Institute. Kozakis is lead author of “High-resolution Spectra and Biosignatures of Earth-like Planets Transiting White Dwarfs,” published April 30 in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

    In just a few years, astronomers – using tools such as the Extremely Large Telescope, currently under construction in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert, and the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in 2021 – will be able to search for life on exoplanets.

    ESO/E-ELT, 39 meter telescope to be on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. located at the summit of the mountain at an altitude of 3,060 metres (10,040 ft).

    NASA/ESA/CSA Webb Telescope annotated

    “Rocky planets around white dwarfs are intriguing candidates to characterize because their hosts are not much bigger than Earth-size planets,” said Lisa Kaltenegger, associate professor of astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences and director of the Carl Sagan Institute.

    The trick is to catch an exoplanet’s quick crossing in front of a white dwarf, a small, dense star that has exhausted its energy.

    Planet transit. NASA/Ames.

    “We are hoping for and looking for that kind of transit,” Kozakis said. “If we observe a transit of that kind of planet, scientists can find out what is in its atmosphere, refer back to this paper, match it to spectral fingerprints and look for signs of life. Publishing this kind of guide allows observers to know what to look for.”

    Kozakis, Kaltenegger and Zifan Lin ’20 assembled the spectral models for different atmospheres at different temperatures to create a template for possible biosignatures.

    Chasing down these planets in the habitable zone of white dwarf systems is challenging, the researchers said.

    “We wanted to know if light from a white dwarf – a long-dead star – would allow us to spot life in a planet’s atmosphere if it were there,” Kaltenegger said.

    This paper indicates that astronomers should be able to see spectral biosignatures – such as methane in combination with ozone or nitrous oxide – “if those signs of life are present,” said Kaltenegger, who said this research expands scientific databases for finding spectral signs of life on exoplanets to forgotten star systems.

    “If we would find signs of life on planets orbiting under the light of long-dead stars,” she said, “the next intriguing question would be whether life survived the star’s death or started all over again – a second genesis, if you will.”

    Funding for this research was provided by Cornell and the Carl Sagan Institute.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:37 pm on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Researchers use ‘hot Jupiter’ data to mine exoplanet chemistry", , , , , Cornell Chronicle,   

    From Cornell Chronicle: “Researchers use ‘hot Jupiter’ data to mine exoplanet chemistry” 

    From Cornell Chronicle

    April 23, 2020
    Blaine Friedlander
    bpf2@cornell.edu

    1
    Atmospheric gases recede from a “hot Jupiter,” which is a Jupiter-size, egg-shaped planet that orbits close to its own sun, in this artistic rendering. Cornell astronomers have developed a new mathematical model for determining temperatures on different parts of exoplanets, rather than averaging a planet’s temperature. Matthew Fondeur/Cornell University

    After spotting a curious pattern in scientific papers – they described exoplanets as being cooler than expected – Cornell astronomers have improved a mathematical model to accurately gauge the temperatures of planets from solar systems hundreds of light-years away.

    This new model allows scientists to gather data on an exoplanet’s molecular chemistry and gain insight on the cosmos’ planetary beginnings, according to research published April 23 in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

    Nikole Lewis, assistant professor of astronomy and the deputy director of the Carl Sagan Institute (CSI), had noticed that over the past five years, scientific papers described exoplanets as being much cooler than predicted by theoretical models.

    “It seemed to be a trend – a new phenomenon,” Lewis said. “The exoplanets were consistently colder than scientists would expect.”

    To date, astronomers have detected more than 4,100 exoplanets. Among them are “hot Jupiters,” a common type of gaseous giant that always orbits close to its host star. Thanks to the star’s overwhelming gravity, hot Jupiters always have one side facing their star, a situation known as “tidal locking.”

    Therefore, as one side of the hot Jupiter broils, the planet’s far side features much cooler temperatures. In fact, the hot side of the tidally locked exoplanet bulges like a balloon, shaping it like an egg.

    From a distance of tens to hundreds of light-years away, astronomers have traditionally seen the exoplanet’s temperature as homogenous – averaging the temperature – making it seem much colder than physics would dictate.

    Temperatures on exoplanets – particularly hot Jupiters – can vary by thousands of degrees, according to lead author Ryan MacDonald, a researcher at CSI, who said wide-ranging temperatures can promote radically different chemistry on different sides of the planets.

    After poring over exoplanet scientific papers, Lewis, MacDonald and research associate Jayesh Goyal solved the mystery of seemingly cooler temperatures: Astronomers’ math was wrong.

    “When you treat a planet in only one dimension, you see a planet’s properties – such as temperature – incorrectly,” Lewis said. “You end up with biases. We knew the 1,000-degree differences were not correct, but we didn’t have a better tool. Now, we do.”

    Astronomers now may confidently size up exoplanets’ molecules.

    “We won’t be able to travel to these exoplanets any time in the next few centuries, so scientists must rely on models,” MacDonald said, explaining that when the next generation of space telescopes get launched starting in 2021, the detail of exoplanet datasets will have improved to the point where scientists can test the predictions of these three-dimensional models.

    “We thought we would have to wait for the new space telescopes to launch,” said MacDonald, “but our new models suggest the data we already have – from the Hubble Space Telescope – can already provide valuable clues.”

    With updated models that incorporate current exoplanet data, astronomers can tease out the temperatures on all sides of an exoplanet and better determine the planet’s chemical composition.

    Said MacDonald: “When these next-generation space telescopes go up, it will be fascinating to know what these planets are really like.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:51 pm on February 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cornell Chronicle, Cornell co-leads effort to use big data to combat catastrophes", PRISM-Predictive Risk Investigation System for Multilayer Dynamic Interconnection Analysis   

    From Cornell Chronicle: “Cornell co-leads effort to use big data to combat catastrophes” 

    From Cornell Chronicle

    January 30, 2020 [ Just now in social media ]
    Melanie Lefkowitz
    mll9@cornell.edu

    In March 1989, a tripped circuit in the Hydro-Québec power grid left 6 million people without electricity.

    1
    A map of Quebec, with generating stations and main transmission lines and substations (735 kV and ±450 kV DC) in separate layers. Claude Boucher (Bouchecl)

    A week earlier, an unusually harsh snowstorm had strained the region; the day before, a solar flare and accompanying release of plasma and magnetic field sent a mountain of energy propelling toward Earth at a million miles an hour.

    The complex interactions of these interconnected systems – environmental science, space weather and solar activity – pushed the electric power grid to a tipping point that could not be understood within any single one of those systems.

    The Predictive Risk Investigation System for Multilayer Dynamic Interconnection Analysis (PRISM), funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and co-led by David S. Matteson, associate professor of statistics and data science, aims to harness data in order to identify risk factors across domains for catastrophic events such as the 1989 blackout – which impacted transportation, food, water, health and finance and racked up costs exceeding $2 billion.

    With a team of experts in fields including data science, statistics, computer science, finance, energy, agriculture, ecology, hydrology, climate and space weather, PRISM will integrate data across different areas to improve risk prediction.

    “We want to focus our attention on these worst-case scenarios and the risks associated with them, and how we might measure their likelihood,” said Matteson, who is a principal investigator on the two-year, $2.42 million grant, which emerged from the NSF’s Harnessing the Data Revolution Big Idea activity.

    “Our hope,” he said, “is that by identifying systemically important critical risks – those that tie together different domains and have the biggest spillover potential – we will have the most widespread impact in terms of controlling those risks.”

    If systems had been in place to recognize the heightened risks caused by the snowstorm and the solar flare, the 1989 power outage may have been averted or at least minimized, Matteson said. Similarly, understanding the ways it affected systems such as health care and transportation could help policymakers plan a more effective response.

    The multidisciplinary approach is essential, Matteson said, because today’s world is composed of highly interconnected and interdependent systems, and no single expert is equipped to identify the signs of risk or the full impact of catastrophes. Using data science – which is one of the provost’s Radical Collaboration initiatives – will help integrate information to find patterns.

    “We want to pull information from these diverse domains and put them together, to quantify when critical systems are stressed and strained, and figure out how to prepare,” Matteson said.

    The researchers plan to assemble large datasets across sectors such as agriculture, climate and energy to create an interactive data library. Once they’ve developed this library, they’ll use cutting-edge data analysis to identify what they’ve called critical risk indicators – quantifiable information associated with risk exposure, particularly for potential catastrophes. They’ll also employ machine learning to look for anomalies in the data that might lead to new insights.

    The researchers will then focus their efforts on identifying risk interconnections, and systemically important risk indicators across the different domains, in order to both predict potential hazards and to lessen the possible system-wide losses once they’ve occurred. They plan to examine known risk indicators and apply data science to identify new ones, Matteson said.

    As part of the project, the researchers will work with stakeholders in the relevant fields, in hopes that policymakers would incorporate their findings. Their goal is to help create early warnings for catastrophes and improve preparedness for devastating events worldwide.

    “Ultimately we hope to use this information to identify systemically important risk indicators as holistic targets for risk mitigation,” Matteson said, “and in identifying these we hope that policymakers would incorporate them into their planning.”

    The collaborators on this project are: Judy Che-Castaldo of the Lincoln Park Zoo; Rémi Cousin of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society; Rajesh Gupta of the University of California, San Diego; Ryan McGranaghan of Atmosphere Space Technology Research Associates; Wei Ren of the University of Kentucky; Chaopeng Shen of Pennsylvania State University; Mila Getmansky Sherman of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Isenberg School of Management; Deborah Sunter of Tufts University and Lan Wang of the University of Minnesota.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:15 pm on January 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Wild tomatoes resist devastating bacterial canker", , Among tomatoes traditionally grown for market there are none with genetic resistance to bacterial canker., , , Cornell Chronicle, Recently plant breeders have identified wild tomatoes that seem to be less susceptible to bacterial canker and are resistant to other pathogens., This pathogen – Clavibacter michiganensis – is economically devastating.   

    From Cornell Chronicle: “Wild tomatoes resist devastating bacterial canker” 


    From Cornell Chronicle

    January 16, 2020 [Just now in social media.]
    Krisy Gashler
    cunews@cornell.edu

    1
    Martha Sudermann, right, and Chris Peritore-Galve, graduate students in the lab of plant pathology and plant microbe biology professor Chris Smart, examine tomatoes growing in a greenhouse at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva. Allison Usavage/Cornell University

    Many New York tomato growers are familiar with the scourge of bacterial canker – the wilted leaves and blistered fruit that can spoil an entire season’s planting. For those whose livelihoods depend on tomatoes, this pathogen – Clavibacter michiganensis – is economically devastating.

    In a new paper published online in November in the journal Phytopathology Cornell researchers showed that wild tomato varieties are less affected by bacterial canker than traditionally cultivated varieties.

    Co-authors were Christine Smart, professor of plant pathology and plant-microbe biology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; F. Christopher Peritore-Galve, a doctoral student in the Smart Lab; and Christine Miller, a 2018 Smart Lab undergraduate summer intern from North Carolina State University.

    “Bacterial canker is pretty bad in New York,” Peritore-Galve said, “but it’s distributed worldwide, everywhere tomatoes are grown.”

    The pathogen causes wounding and is spread by wind-blown rain; if one tomato gets infected, it can spread from plant to plant.

    “Bacterial canker certainly can cause the complete loss of a field of tomatoes, and we see outbreaks of the disease every year,” Smart said. “Growers use disease management strategies, including spraying plants with copper-based products; however, once there is an outbreak it’s difficult to control bacterial canker.”

    To combat diseases, plant pathologists and breeders often look for varieties that are resistant, but among tomatoes traditionally grown for market, there are none with genetic resistance to bacterial canker. So Peritore-Galve, Miller and Smart went back to the beginning.

    Tomatoes are native to the Andes Mountains region of South America, where wild species have been free to evolve for thousands of years. Recently, plant breeders have identified wild tomatoes that seem to be less susceptible to bacterial canker and are resistant to other pathogens.

    The team wanted to understand how bacteria spread and colonize in wild tomatoes versus cultivated ones. They zeroed in on the plants’ vascular systems – specifically their xylem vessels.

    2
    A cultivated tomato infected by bacterial cankers. Chris Peritore-Galve/Provided

    Like individual veins in a human, xylem vessels transport water and nutrients from soil throughout the plant. The team found that in cultivated species, bacterial canker spreads everywhere, while in wild species the bacteria remain confined to certain xylem vessels without moving much into surrounding tissues.

    “The wild tomatoes, for some reason, impede the ability of the bacteria to move up and down through the plants, which reduces symptoms – in this case, leaf wilt,” Peritore-Galve said.

    This is the first study ever confirming that wild tomatoes are susceptible to bacterial canker, though the infection is less severe than in cultivated varieties. But while a severe infection causes fewer symptoms in the wild plant, it can still cause lesions on the fruit.

    Even so, a tomato variety with resistance to the bacteria could still be very helpful for tomato growers, said Chuck Bornt, vegetable specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture program. Bornt works extensively with New York tomato growers.

    “Many times, it’s not the fruit symptoms that cause the issue,” Bornt said, “it’s the wilting of the plants or the plugging of the xylem cells that cause the plant to lose foliage, which then exposes the fruit to sun scald and other issues. … [I]nfected fruit are also an issue, but in my opinion it’s these other issues that have more impact.”

    This work was supported by funding from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:09 pm on January 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Satellite constellations harvest energy for near-total global coverage", A four-satellite constellation to maintain nearly continuous 24/7 coverage of almost every point on Earth., , , , , Cornell Chronicle, , The Aerospace Corporation, The company’s expertise in cutting-edge astrophysics operational logistics and simulations.,   

    From Cornell Chronicle: “Satellite constellations harvest energy for near-total global coverage” 

    From Cornell Chronicle

    January 10, 2020
    David Nutt

    1
    Patrick Reed collaborated with researchers from The Aerospace Corporation to determine the right combination of factors that would enable a four-satellite constellation to maintain nearly continuous 24/7 coverage of almost every point on Earth. The Aerospace Corporation.

    Think of it as a celestial parlor game: What is the minimum number of satellites needed to see every point on Earth? And how might those satellites stay in orbit and maintain continuous 24/7 coverage while contending with Earth’s gravity field, its lumpy mass, the pull of the sun and moon, and pressure from solar radiation?

    In the mid-1980s, researcher John E. Draim proposed what is generally considered to be the ideal solution: a four-satellite constellation. However, the amount of propellant needed to keep the satellites in place, and the ensuing cost, made the configuration unfeasible.

    Now, a National Science Foundation-sponsored collaboration led by Patrick Reed, the Joseph C. Ford Professor of Engineering, has discovered the right combination of factors to make a four-satellite constellation possible, which could drive advances in telecommunication, navigation and remote sensing.

    And in an ingenious twist, the researchers accomplished this by making the forces that ordinarily degrade satellites instead work in their favor.

    “One of the interesting questions we had was, can we actually transform those forces? Instead of degrading the system, can we actually flip it such that the constellation is harvesting energy from those forces and using them to actively control itself?” Reed said.

    Their paper, Low Cost Satellite Constellations for Nearly Continuous Global Coverage, published Jan. 10 in Nature Communications.

    The AI-based evolutionary computing search tools that Reed has developed are ideally suited for navigating the numerous complications of satellite placement and management.

    For this project, Reed collaborated with researchers from The Aerospace Corporation, combining his algorithmic know-how with the company’s expertise in cutting-edge astrophysics, operational logistics and simulations.

    In order to sift through the hundreds of thousands of possible orbits and combinations of perturbations, the team used the Blue Waters supercomputer at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

    NCSA U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Blue Waters Cray Linux XE/XK hybrid machine supercomputer

    Blue Waters compressed 300 or 400 years’ worth of computational exploration into the equivalent of roughly a month of actual computing, Reed said.

    They winnowed their constellation designs to two models that could orbit for either a 24- or 48-hour period and achieve continuous coverage over 86% and 95% of the globe, respectively. While 100% performance coverage would be ideal in theory, the researchers found that sacrificing only 5%-14% created greater gains in terms of harvesting energy from the same gravitational and solar radiation forces that would normally make a satellite constellation short lived and difficult to control.

    The tradeoff is worth it, Reed said, especially since satellite operators could control where the gaps in coverage would occur. Outages in these low-priority regions would last approximately 80 minutes a day, at most, in the worst-case scenario.

    “This is one of those things where the pursuit of perfection actually could stymie the innovation,” Reed said. “And you’re not really giving up a dramatic amount. There might be missions where you absolutely need coverage of everywhere on Earth, and in those cases, you would just have to use more satellites or networked sensors or hybrid platforms.”

    Using this type of passive control could potentially extend a constellation’s lifespan from five years to 15 years. These satellites would require less propellant and would float at higher elevations, removing them from the risky high-traffic zone of low Earth orbit. But perhaps the biggest selling point is the low cost. Commercial interests or countries without the financial resources to launch a large constellation of satellites could attain near-continuous global coverage very economically, with reduced long-term technical overhead.

    “Even one satellite can cost hundreds of millions or billions of dollars, depending on what sensors are on it and what its purpose is. So having a new platform that you can use across the existing and emerging missions is pretty neat,” Reed said. “There’s a lot of potential for remote sensing, telecommunication, navigation, high-bandwidth sensing and feedback around the space, and that’s evolving very, very quickly. There’s likely all sorts of applications that might benefit from a long-lived, self-adapting satellite constellation with near global coverage.”

    The paper’s lead author is Lake Singh with The Aerospace Corporation. Researchers from the University of California, Davis, also contributed.

    “We leveraged Aerospace’s constellation design expertise with Cornell’s leadership in intelligent search analytics and discovered an operationally feasible alternative to the Draim constellation design,” said Singh, systems director for The Aerospace Corporation’s Future Architectures department. “These constellation designs may provide substantive advantages to mission planners for concepts out at geostationary orbits and beyond.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:51 am on December 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Looking for exoplanet life in all the right spectra", , , , Cornell Chronicle,   

    From Cornell Chronicle: “Looking for exoplanet life in all the right spectra” 

    From Cornell Chronicle

    December 4, 2019
    Blaine Friedlander
    bpf2@cornell.edu

    1
    While astronomers don’t know what the Earth-like exoplanet Proxima b looks like, this artistic impression presents a view of the possible surface. New, upcoming large telescopes on Earth will soon explore atmospheres on exoplanets – like Proxima b – for signatures of life. ESO/M. Kornmesser

    A Cornell senior has come up with a way to discern life on exoplanets loitering in other cosmic neighborhoods: a spectral field guide.

    Zifan Lin ’20 has developed high-resolution spectral models and scenarios for two exoplanets that may harbor life: Proxima b, in the habitable zone of our nearest neighbor Proxima Centauri; and Trappist-1e, one of three possible Earth-like exoplanet candidates in the Trappist-1 system.

    Centauris Alpha Beta Proxima 27, February 2012. Skatebiker

    A size comparison of the planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system, lined up in order of increasing distance from their host star. The planetary surfaces are portrayed with an artist’s impression of their potential surface features, including water, ice, and atmospheres. NASA

    The paper, co-authored with Lisa Kaltenegger, associate professor of astronomy and director of Cornell’s Carl Sagan Institute, published Nov 18 in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

    “In order to investigate whether there are signs of life on other worlds, it is very important to understand signs of life that show in a planet’s light fingerprint,” Lin said. “Life on exoplanets can produce a characteristic combination of molecules in its atmosphere – and those become telltale signs in the spectra of such planets.

    “In the near future we will be seeing the atmosphere of these worlds with new, sophisticated ground-based telescopes, which will allow us to explore the exoplanet’s climate and might spot its biota,” he said.

    In the search for habitable worlds, “M dwarf” stars catch astronomers’ eyes, since the local universe teems with these suns, which make up 75% of the nearby cosmos, according to Lin.

    Throughout the Milky Way, our home galaxy, astronomers have discovered more than 4,000 exoplanets, some in their own suns’ habitable zone – an area that provides conditions suitable for life.

    To explore the atmosphere of these places, scientists need large next-generation telescopes, such as the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), currently under construction in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert;

    ESO/E-ELT,to be on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. located at the summit of the mountain at an altitude of 3,060 metres (10,040 ft).

    it is expected to be operational in 2025. Scientists can aim the mammoth eyepiece – with a flawless primary mirror about half the size of a football field – at Proxima b and Trappist-1e. The future telescope will have more than 250 times the light-gathering power of the Hubble Space Telescope.

    Lin and Kaltenegger said the high-resolution spectrographs from the ELT can discern water, methane and oxygen for both Proxima b and Trappist-1e, if these planets are like our own pale blue dot.

    About 4 light-years from Earth, Proxima b can be resolved by new ground-based telescopes, giving astronomers an edge in observing this close-by world.

    “Assuming these worlds could be like a young or modern Earth, with similar or eroded atmospheres,” Kaltenegger said. “Zifan has generated a database of light fingerprints for these worlds, a guide to allow observers to learn how to find signs of life, if they are there.

    Said Kaltenegger: “We are providing a template on how to find life on these worlds, if it exists.”

    Funding for this research was provided by the Carl Sagan Institute and the Breakthrough Foundation.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:20 pm on August 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BioSAXS/HP-Bio Biological Small Angle X-ray Solution Scattering and High-Pressure Biology beamline., Cornell Chronicle, FlexX-Flexible Protein Crystallography beamline, MacCHESS Macromolecular X-ray science at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source., MacCHESS-Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), NYSTAR program will augment the award with up to $2.5 million over the next five years.   

    From Cornell Chronicle: “NIH awards $17.4 million to Cornell for CHESS subfacility” 

    From Cornell Chronicle

    August 15, 2019
    Rick Ryan
    cunews@cornell.edu

    1
    Richard Gillilan, MacCHESS staff scientist, loads a biological sample in preparation for X-rays. Cornell University

    A single human cell contains thousands of proteins that perform a vast array of functions, from fighting off viruses to transcribing DNA. By understanding the structure of these proteins, researchers can interpret their functions and develop methods for turning them on and off.

    To understand these biological processes, researchers have been using the high-energy X-rays at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS). These intense beams of light are critical to solving the structure of these proteins, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will help ensure that this research continues.

    2
    Irina Kriksunov, MacCHESS research support specialist, loads a sample of protein crystals in preparation for X-rays.
    Cornell University

    On Aug. 15, the NIH awarded Cornell $17.4 million for MacCHESS (Macromolecular X-ray science at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source), a subfacility of CHESS that attracts hundreds of biomedical researchers each year.

    As part of its Empire State Development Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) program to promote jobs in the state, New York state will augment the award with up to $2.5 million over the next five years.

    By using the X-rays and emerging technology at MacCHESS, researchers are able to observe cellular functions and analyze molecular interactions, yielding important insights into the most fundamental biological processes. This research is critical to understanding antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the development of cancer-fighting drugs, for example.

    “MacCHESS provides cutting-edge instrumentation and techniques to some of the most challenging questions confronting structural biologists,” said Rick Cerione, principal investigator for MacCHESS. “We are excited about working at the frontiers of structural biology to develop new technology that will provide long-term benefits to the biomedical research community as a whole.”

    Two experiment stations at MacCHESS are supported by this funding: the Flexible Protein Crystallography beamline (FlexX); and the Biological Small Angle X-ray Solution Scattering and High-Pressure Biology beamline (BioSAXS/HP-Bio).

    Researchers at the FlexX beamline will broadly focus on macromolecular crystallography (MX) and related methods that help determine the structures of proteins, viruses and nucleic acids, offering high-resolution 3D imaging that is needed for applications such as drug design.

    The BioSAXS/HP-Bio beamline will support researchers studying biomolecular structures in solution; high-pressure studies in biophysics; the structural biology of organisms living under high pressure and temperature (known as “deep life”); and food science. This beamline also will help researchers working on improved sterilization and processing methods in the food and pharmaceutical industries.

    CHESS recently completed a $15 million upgrade, solidifying the lab’s standing as a world-leading X-ray source. Earlier this year, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul came to CHESS to celebrate the successful completion of the upgrade, which was funded by New York state through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

    With this award, the NIH joins the NSF as a major contributing partner for user operations at CHESS. The NSF is funding the Center for High-Energy X-Ray Sciences at CHESS, or CHEXS, which consists of four beamlines and staff to support high-energy X-ray science user operations, X-ray technology research and development, and CHEXS leadership.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:32 pm on July 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chess- Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source, CHEXS @ CHESS, Cornell Chronicle, , While other synchrotron laboratories are traditionally located at national labs Cornell is the only U.S. university still operating a large accelerator complex.   

    From Cornell Chronicle: “Cornell announces $54M from NSF for new CHESS subfacility” 

    From Cornell Chronicle

    The Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source, more commonly known as CHESS, entered a new era April 1.

    1
    Guebre Tessema, right, NSF materials research program director, tours the CHESS facility June 3 with CHESS director Joel Brock. Jason Koski/Cornell University

    A national research facility that annually attracts more than 1,200 users – who conduct X-ray analysis and collect data for research in materials, biomedical and other science fields – CHESS has been funded exclusively by the National Science Foundation since its commissioning in 1980. That changed in April, with Cornell transitioning to a new funding model in which multiple partners will steward facilities at CHESS.

    The NSF remains the largest of these contributing partners, and the science agency on July 18 announced that it will provide $54 million in federal funding over the next five years for a research and education subfacility at Wilson Laboratory, the home of CHESS.

    The NSF funding will be provided by its Division of Materials Research, the Directorate of Biology and the Directorate of Engineering.

    The newly funded NSF portion of the facility will be known as the Center for High-Energy X-ray Sciences at CHESS (CHEXS @ CHESS), and will include four beamlines and staff to support high-energy X-ray science user operations, X-ray technology research and development, and CHEXS leadership. In addition to research, CHEXS will support education and training, particularly of researchers in biological sciences, engineering and materials research.

    3
    Figure 1: New beamline sectors shown on the expanded floor space created by removing the CLEO detector (white rectangle), the CHESS West beamlines, power supplies in the west flare (shown occupied by sector 4 on left) and the west RF area (shown occupied by hutch ID3B).

    “The renewal of NSF funding for CHESS will ensure America and Cornell University remain at the the cutting edge of innovation in high-energy X-ray applications,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. “CHESS is a unique training ground for the scientific workforce we need to keep the U.S. competitive, and is part of the lifeblood of our scientific community, enabling researchers to make advancements in everything from clean energy technologies to stronger, more resilient infrastructure. I have been proud to fight and deliver funding to support CHESS and the NSF, and will continue to do so.”

    “CHESS is a groundbreaking facility that provides world-class scientific research to upstate New York and the nation, including our military,” said Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand, D-N.Y., ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee. “This federal funding will be used to support the Center for High-Energy X-ray Sciences, which will advance the state’s research and high-tech manufacturing sectors. CHESS continues to be a leader in upstate New York’s innovation economy.”

    “By supporting CHEXS, NSF is furthering new, unique, experimental capabilities for emerging research in materials, engineering and biology,” said Guebre X. Tessema, NSF materials research program director. “The new funding model unleashes a reinvented CHESS to pursue new partnerships with other federal agencies, universities and industry.”

    “We are always excited to continue our relationship with the NSF,” said Joel Brock, CHESS director and professor of applied and engineering physics. CHESS’s most recent grant renewal from the NSF came in 2014.

    “This support goes a long way in already securing funding from additional partners,” Brock said, “and ensures that this vital X-ray facility will remain productive into the future.”

    On June 4, CHESS held its annual users’ meeting, where Brock and Tessema toured the CHEXS research facility, showcasing the expansive space available to researchers.

    CHESS recently completed a $15 million upgrade, solidifying the lab’s standing as a world-leading X-ray source. Earlier this year, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul came to CHESS to celebrate the successful completion of the upgrade, which was funded by New York state. This project improved the infrastructure of the storage ring and CHESS’s X-ray beamlines, while also creating jobs by helping to expand the advanced manufacturing sector of central New York.

    After the installation of new undulator sources in all of its X-ray beamlines, CHESS is now considered a true third-generation (state-of-the-art) light source, and is equipped for studies of materials at the macroscopic level.

    With the recent upgrade and CHEXS’s new five-year cooperative agreement from the NSF, the lab is taking the opportunity to engineer a major transition in its funding model and organizational structure.

    For more than 30 years, the NSF has been the sole steward of CHESS, providing the funding needed to operate the large facility. CHESS will now transition from sole stewardship by the NSF as a national user facility and into a partner-funded laboratory.

    According to Brock, this funding reconfiguration presents a rare opportunity to redistribute the nation’s synchrotron resources among research communities.

    “Diverse groups including plant biology, structural materials and advanced manufacturing are eager to utilize a much larger fraction of the nation’s available synchrotron resources,” said Brock. “Using X-rays is a highly desirable technique that can transform your research, and this new NSF funding will help us reach a wider user base.”

    While CHESS attracts in excess of 1,200 users from around the world to perform research at the facility, roughly half of the submitted research proposals are denied due to a lack of beamtime availability. By diversifying the funding sources, CHESS hopes also to diversify and expand the research of the lab.

    “Since the facility owns the equipment, the responsibility for beamlines can be reassigned among the funding partners quickly without having to transfer assets,” Brock said. “By enabling partners like the NSF to align their support with evolving research needs, CHESS is able to offer its new partners access to the synchrotron radiation facility more rapidly.”

    While other partners contribute money for research at the X-ray facility, the NSF will remain CHESS’s largest funding member of these partner organizations. This allows researchers to focus on using the high-flux X-rays at CHESS that are optimized for time-resolved, high-energy applications. These types of X-rays are ideal for researching quantum materials, fuel cells and high-pressure biological processes.

    While other synchrotron laboratories are traditionally located at national labs, Cornell is the only U.S. university still operating a large accelerator complex. The university graduates roughly 20 percent of the nation’s Ph.D.s trained in accelerator science and advanced X-ray technology, and approximately 60 undergraduates participate in CHESS laboratory research every year.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:24 pm on February 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Active Learning Initiative funds nine projects, Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell Chronicle, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Entomology, In all 70 faculty members will work on substantially changing the way they teach in more than 40 courses to over 4500 students. The work will be supported by 17 new teaching innovation postdoctoral fe, Information Science, , Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Natural Resources, Psychology, The School of Integrative Plant Science   

    From Cornell Chronicle: “Active Learning Initiative funds nine projects” 

    Cornell Bloc

    From Cornell Chronicle

    February 6, 2019
    Daniel Aloi
    dea35@cornell.edu

    1
    Students work together in Introduction to Evolutionary Biology and Diversity, an Active Learning Initiative course. Cornell Brand Communications File Photo.

    Cornell’s Active Learning Initiative (ALI) will nearly double in scope and impact with a new round of funding for innovative projects to enhance undergraduate teaching and learning in nine departments.

    In the first universitywide ALI grant competition, about $5 million has been awarded in substantial new grants ranging from $195,000 to almost $1 million, spread over two to five years. The funded projects will affect courses at all levels, including sequences aimed at majors, survey courses for non-majors, and introductory, online and lab courses.

    In all, 70 faculty members will work on substantially changing the way they teach in more than 40 courses to over 4,500 students. The work will be supported by 17 new teaching innovation postdoctoral fellows across the projects.

    The initiative aims to improve teaching and learning in groups of courses by introducing active learning and other research-based pedagogies drawn from a variety of disciplines. Two previous grant cycles in 2014 and 2017 focused on projects within the College of Arts and Sciences.

    Undergraduate teaching departments across the university received a call for proposals last fall. The Departments of Mathematics and of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology won their second ALI grants, and large projects in information science and engineering are among those funded this cycle.

    “We received many excellent and thoughtful proposals,” said Vice Provost for Academic Innovation Julia Thom-Levy, who supervises the initiative with support from the Center for Teaching Innovation. “Over the three competitions, we have already or will work with more than 100 faculty in 16 departments and four colleges, putting Cornell at the cutting edge of innovation in undergraduate education. This is an extremely exciting development, and many people have worked hard to get us to this point.”

    The grants have so far supported projects in the natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, mathematics and the humanities. Projects are jointly funded by ALI and the respective colleges, with support for the initiative coming from the Office of the Provost and a donor.

    The departments and projects funded:

    Information Science will transform six core courses over the next three years. Faculty and postdocs will incorporate innovative techniques for activities in and out of the classroom, including live-coding collaborations and group data visualization projects. The project explores how to facilitate student learning and implement collaborative classwork and peer feedback with increasingly large class sizes. Impact: more than 1,500 students over three years.

    Mathematics will redesign two linear algebra courses providing foundational math knowledge for many fields, with a target of improving students’ conceptual understanding and ability to model real-life situations; and the department will continue to develop instructor training. Impact: more than 400 students a year. The department received a three-year ALI grant in 2017 to transform two introductory calculus courses and a proofs course, together serving more than 900 students a year.

    Biological and Environmental Engineering: Three existing courses and one new course will focus on developing problem-solving skills that span disciplines, allowing students to transfer skills and knowledge across courses and contexts, and identify and develop solutions to complex problems. Overall impact of the three-year grant: About 200 students will take these courses every year.

    Ecology and Evolutionary Biology faculty will take active learning a step further following a five-year ALI grant in 2014 that transformed two core introductory courses. A new, online active learning version of one, Evolutionary Biology and Diversity, will launch to run parallel to the classroom course during the academic year and on its own in the summer. Goals of the three-year project include reaching a broader, more diverse group of students without increasing an already large class size; and establishing a model for designing online courses and assessing their effectiveness in comparison to the in-person course that is already offered on campus.

    Entomology faculty will redesign three popular classes for non-majors with a three-year grant. Active learning modules will be incorporated to prompt students to practice thinking and communicating like scientists, and learn to critically evaluate and interpret scientific information. Impact: more than 300 students a year.

    Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering faculty have developed a plan to transform six courses and combine the best elements of project teams and coursework through case-based learning. The courses are taken simultaneously by nearly all MAE students as juniors, allowing for projects and assignments spanning multiple courses, focusing on different aspects of the same engineering challenge. Impact of the project, funded by a four-year grant: “a richer and more applied engineering experience” for more than 130 students a year.

    The School of Integrative Plant Science plans to further transform its core 10-course undergraduate curriculum with a five-year grant. SIPS revised the curriculum when it was established in 2015, and enrollment in the major has since more than doubled in size. The grant will support the work of 14 faculty members and four postdocs, developing in-class activities to improve student learning and targeting the laboratory components of the program by moving away from observational labs and toward experimental labs.

    Natural Resources: Faculty teaching in the multidisciplinary Environmental and Sustainability Sciences (ESS) major will redesign an online course on Climate Solutions and a Field Biology course, and develop new courses aimed at collaboratively solving complex environmental problems, such as improving water resource management and assessing environmental policy. Climate Solutions students on campus can engage in discussions with students from around the world taking a parallel MOOC version of the class. Natural resources faculty will lead these efforts over three years; the rapidly growing ESS major involves 75 faculty members from 22 departments across the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Arts and Sciences.

    Psychology: Introduction to Psychology, one of the largest courses at Cornell with more than 800 students, will be transformed as part of an ALI-funded, three-year project to implement active learning strategies in several undergraduate courses. Faculty aim to introduce polling questions and student discussion in the large course and more inquiry-driven group work in smaller classes. The project will target learning outcomes established by the American Psychological Association.

    “The new projects build on impressive results from previous competitions within the College of Arts and Sciences,” said Peter Lepage, the Goldwin Smith Professor of Physics and director of ALI. “Research shows that student learning can be improved dramatically through active learning, and that is what we are finding at Cornell.”

    ALI, together with the Center for Teaching Innovation, works with departments throughout the grant period, helps train staff in active learning and helps departments design assessments to measure impacts.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
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