Anderson University STEM professors win two $15,000 grants

Students in a computer lab.

Anderson University professors Dr. Lee Van Groningen and Dr. Josiah Kunz have been awarded with two $15,000 grants by Indiana Space Grant Consortium (INSGC).

INSGC is part of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, a program funded by NASA, which pursues to carry out education, research, and public outreach activities in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. AU has been its member since 2011.

“Anderson University is one of the 25 organizations within the Consortium, which includes both universities and other outreach partners such as the Indiana State Museum and the Indianapolis Children's Museum,” explained Dr. Jennifer Coy, AU’s INSCG affiliate director and associate professor of computer science and physics.

Each year, AU faculty write grant proposals targeted to the specific areas that INSGC aims to fund within STEM education. AU has received three grants in 2015 and one in 2016 from this program.

Dr. Lee Van Groningen, assistant professor of mathematics, proposed to fund three AU undergraduates in an interdisciplinary research project studying the eigenvalues of low rank centrosymmetric matrices.

Three mathematics students, Ashley King, Emily Miller, and Christina Coats, will be working as a team under the guidance of Van Groningen. They will be introduced to original mathematical research and learn what the process entails.

“The women working on this project with me have all demonstrated capability,” said Van Groningen. They will be studying eigenvalues, a key property of matrices, which deliver valuable applications such as Google PageRank or facial recognition software.

Dr. Josiah Kunz, assistant professor of physics, proposed to work with two AU undergraduates to develop Beamline Architect, a software for building 3D simulation of a particle accelerator. The fund will be used for students to develop the software, licensing, and travel cost to the International Particle Accelerator Conference in Vancouver in 2018.

“I am ecstatic about my project coming to fruition,” said Kunz. “The real prize is working with some great students.”

Students awarded INSGC scholarships include:

  • Hayley Bower, Senior, Physics major
  • Christina Coats, Senior, Math Education and Dance Complementary major
  • Brianna Beer, Senior, Biology major
  • Erin Eberly, Sophomore, Psychology Major
  • Brenden Jones, Sophomore, Computer Science and Information Security major
  • Ashley King, Senior, Mathematics major
  • Ian Leatherman, Sophomore, Mechanical Engineering major
  • Abrielle Moyer, Senior, Accounting and Business Information Systems major
  • Lizette Romero, Senior, Information Systems major
  • Ally Wallace, Junior, Computer Science major

– JooRi Choi is a senior from South Korea, majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing. Choi is an associate with Fifth Street Communications ® , writing on behalf of Anderson University Office of Communication and Marketing.

Anderson University is a private Christian university in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, Colleges of Distinction, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), Anderson University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business and theology.

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