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Category: Science and Technology
What if our cars could help save the environment? At the next STEM Café, “Renewable Nation: How Hybrid Cars and Smart Grids Will Change America,” NIU assistant professor Kevin Martin will explain how technology could transform vehicles from gas guzzlers into key components of a smarter, more sustainable power system. The free talk and discussion...
Ian D. Walker
Ian D. Walker, a professor or electrical and computer engineering at Clemson University, will visit NIU at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, to talk on “Biologically Inspired Continuum Robots.” Walker’s presentation will take place in Room 354 of the Engineering Building. His research interests are in robotics, particularly novel manipulators and manipulation. His group is...
With powerful supercomputing abilities and a support team in place to help users, NIU’s new Center for Research Computing and Data (CRCD) is poised to usher in a new era of big-data scientific research on campus. Just consider some of the center’s ongoing projects: Assembling and annotating the genomes of two species of petunia. Modeling...
Reed Scherer
Reed Scherer’s doctoral research set out to test a radical hypothesis put forth in the 1970s that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet “collapsed” during the interglacial period that immediately predated the most recent Ice Age, and could again. Confirming past instability of this ice sheet would contribute to growing concerns regarding future collapse and consequent...
The April 9 tornado near Franklin Grove, Ill. Photo courtesy Walker Ashley, NIU Department of Geography
All DeKalb-area residents can remember the violent and deadly tornado that tore through Rochelle and Fairdale last April, leveling houses and trees in its path. At the next STEM Café, “Tornado Tracking: How Meteorologists Predict and Pursue Storms,” NIU associate professor Walker Ashley will tell the story of how he forecast and chased the tornado....
Mike Syphers
Michael Syphers, a senior research professor of physics at NIU, received quite a surprise when he traveled recently to the University of Texas, Austin, to teach a course for the U.S. Particle Accelerator School (USPAS). Syphers has taught similar USPAS courses for nearly three decades with little fanfare. During the school’s opening night ceremonies Jan....
Anna Quider is not only representing NIU’s best interests in Washington, D.C. She also is playing a lead role in advocating for scientific research funding to our nation’s universities. Quider, NIU’s director of federal relations, recently was elected secretary of the board of directors for The Science Coalition, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization of more...
Omar Chmaissem and Dennis Brown
Scientists from NIU and Argonne National Laboratory are reporting this week in the journal Nature Physics on the discovery of exotic magnetic structures in iron-based superconductors. Superconductors exhibit amazing properties: When cooled below certain temperatures, they conduct electricity without energy-sapping resistance. But the best known superconducting materials can operate only below 218 degrees Fahrenheit under...
Photo of a robot
For years, humankind has thought of capable, intelligent robots as the stuff of science fiction, from the friendly droids of “Star Wars” to the mechanical overlords of “The Matrix.” In fact, smart robots are already all around us – with more coming every day. The ongoing invasion of robots into our everyday lives is the...
Karen Samonds
NIU biology professor Karen Samonds has spent more than two decades piecing together a mystery. Samonds’ field research aims to shed light on the origin and evolutionary history of Madagascar’s modern fauna – and to close a gap in the fossil record. In more than 20 years of researching Malagasy vertebrate species, she has discovered...
Creating new knowledge about the subatomic world. Shedding light on how stress alters the response to stimulants. Discovering evidence that cities can spawn thunderstorms. Revealing the risks of traffic-generated air pollution. Faculty at any university would be proud of creating such diverse and impactful research. Amazingly, however, this is the work of NIU students in...
When we think of maps, we often think of the transportation variety, but maps can tell us much more than how to travel from one destination to the next. Maps hold incredible amounts of informational power and are often used in a wide variety of ways to conduct research. Today maps help identify humanitarian needs,...
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