Vassar College


Faculty members submitted 63 research proposals to external agencies in 2006-2007. Of these, 26 proposals were funded, an additional proposal has been recommended for funding, and 16 are still pending. The total amount awarded so far is over $1,935,000. Congratulations to all who submitted proposals last year! The following were recently funded:

In connection with their ongoing multidisciplinary study of the Casperkill watershed, Stuart Belli (associate professor of chemistry), A. Marshall Pregnall (associate professor of biology), David P. Gillikin (visiting assistant professor of earth science), Kirsten M. Menking (associate professor of earth science), and Mary Anne Cunningham (assistant professor of geography) received a grant from the National Science Foundation's major research instrumentation program to acquire an ion chromatograph. The instrument will be used to analyze nutrient and ion levels in water samples taken from 21 sampling sites on the Casperkill.

Debra Elmegreen, Professor of Astronomy on the Maria Mitchell Chair, received a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute to study an unusual nearby colliding galaxy, NGC 922, 100 million light years away. Elmegreen is part of a team who will be observing the galaxy with the Hubble Space Telescope to determine the ages and masses of star-forming regions distributed in a ring around the center. According to Elmegreen, "The galaxy suffered a bull's eye collision with another galaxy, which caused gas in its disk to be pushed out into a ring, and the resulting shocks triggered new star formation."

Nancy Ide, professor of computer science, is the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant to explore and implement methods to automatically add syntactic, semantic, and discourse-related linguistic information to a large corpus of contemporary American English texts. According to Ide, "The result will provide an unprecedented resource for linguistic studies and the development of language models to enable language understanding by machine."

Jennifer Walter, assistant professor of computer science, received an award from the National Science Foundation that will enable her and her students to conduct summer research with the Parasol Robotics Group at Texas A&M University on the development and simulation of motion planning algorithms for self-reconfigurable robots.

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Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

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