Hope Leads Liberal Arts Colleges
With Five NSF-REU Grants
Posted May 1, 2003
HOLLAND -- Hope College again holds five grants
for summer student research from the National Science
Foundation's "Research Experiences for Undergraduates" (NSF-
REU) program, more than any other liberal arts college in
Among all institutions nationwide, including major
research universities, only 24 others hold five or more of
the awards. Hope is the only liberal arts college in
Michigan to hold any of the grants, and only two
universities in the state hold as many or more.
Hope holds the grants in biology, chemistry,
computer science, mathematics, and physics and engineering.
It is the 12th 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.
Three of the departments--computer science,
mathematics and physics--are using their grants this year.
The other two--biology and chemistry--are deferring use of
their awards since their laboratory facilities will be in
transition while the college's new science building nears
competition. Each of the two programs will, however,
continue research programs using other support.
Several students will be involved in biology
research this summer. They will participate in projects
involving the evolutionary relationships among bromeliad
plants living along the Atlantic coast of Brazil, the
effects of a fungal symbiont on drought resistance in
grasses and their impact on parasites of insects that feed
on those grasses, and biochemical mechanisms operating to
regulate the function of nerve cells. Dr. Thomas L. Bultman
is administering the department's summer research program.
In chemistry, 28 Hope students will work on
projects that include the analysis of environmental samples
by inductively-coupled plasma (ICP) spectroscopy, the study
of the role of transcription factors in gene regulation, the
synthesis of organic materials with novel optical and
electrical properties, and computational studies of small
molecules and biomolecules. Dr. Graham F. Peaslee and Dr.
Elizabeth M. Sanford are administering the department's
summer research program.
The department of computer science's grant is
supporting 10 students working with five faculty for 10
weeks. The projects include "Electronic Textbook
Development," "Automated Visualization of Abstract Data
Types," "Evaluating the Effect of Text Formatting on
Software Comprehension," "Wireless Network Analysis Using
Handheld Computers," "Functional Modeling of Genes and
Cellular Processes," and "Speech and Dialog on Small
Devices." In addition to Hope computer science students and
faculty, students from Bradley University, Taylor
University, Kalamazoo College, Wheaton College and Florida
International University will be working on the projects.
The three-year, $163,213 grant is being administered by Dr.
Herbert Dershem, professor of computer science and chair of
The department of mathematics's grant is
supporting eight students working with three faculty members
for eight weeks. They will be researching quantum geometry,
and the mathematical modeling of bicycles, frisbees and
swings. The four-year, $145,000 grant is being administered
by Dr. Timothy Pennings, associate professor of mathematics.
The department of physics and engineering's grant
is supporting eight students working with nine faculty for
10 weeks. The eight projects include "Studies in Nuclear
Physics," "High Energy Phenomena in Neutron Star
Magnetospheres," "Control Analysis and Design of Magnetic
Levitation Space Launch System," "Development of Laboratory
Projects for Technological Literacy," "Physics Curriculum
Development," "Blast Damage Predictions of Flat Pressurized
Plates," "Experimental Investigations of Novel Semi-
Conducting Materials," and "Physical Property Modeling from
Equations of State." The three-year, $141,125 grant is
being administered by Dr. John Krupczak Jr., who is an
associate professor of engineering and director of the
college's engineering program.
In addition to Hope, the institutions in Michigan
with NSF-REU support currently are: Central Michigan State
University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State
University, Oakland University, the University of Michigan
at Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan at Dearborn, Wayne
State University and Western Michigan University. Only
Michigan State University and the University of Michigan at
Ann Arbor hold as many or more of the grants, with five and