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Welcome to my blog. It contains new and archived messages that I have sent to the campus. Feel free to browse!

Matthew A. Tarr PhD
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This is the list of all contributions published in this section, in chronological order.

By Dr. Whittenburg (on 6/23/2011 @ 15:08:30, in Vice President Ramblings, read 1026 times)
Drs. Germain-McCarthy and Jensen’s grant proposal to the state for the 2011- 2012 LaSIP mathematics professional development for teachers in grades 4 – 8 will be funded! The project includes 12 days of workshop from July 5- 20 and 5 follow-up days during the academic year. The project will use the lesson study process to promote inquiry learning in the numbers and relations strand. Teachers who complete the project will receive a stipend of $180 per-6hr-day, $100 to purchase materials and three UNO graduate credits. For more information and an application, contact Dr. Germain McCarthy at (504) 280-6533 or ygermain@uno.edu.
 
By Dr. Whittenburg (on 6/10/2011 @ 09:56:19, in Vice President Ramblings, read 945 times)
A recent study by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) reports that the United States is falling behind its peers in the amount of government- and business-funded university research. In 2008, the United States ranked 18th out of 30 in terms of growth in government-funded university research as a percentage of GDP. Sweden was ranked the highest. ITIF suggests that the private sector often under-invests in innovation. As a result, university research plays a key role in filling in the gap. Moreover, in the last three decades, the trend has been for large corporations to heavily downsize or repurpose their central research laboratories. Therefore, university-based research has become increasingly important in low TRL (see earlier post on Technology Readiness Levels), as ITIF notes, to expand “the knowledge pool from which the private sector draws ideas and innovation.” UNO through it's research efforts, the UNO Research and Technology Park and the UNO R&T Foundation are working to help fill the gap.
 
By Dr. Whittenburg (on 5/30/2011 @ 16:22:20, in Vice President Ramblings, read 941 times)
In order to better "advertise" the research being done at UNO we have recently created a UNO Research web page which will soon be the landing page from the Research button on the UNO home page. The Office of Research and Sponsored Program page will be a link from that web page. If you would like to check it out it can be reached from http://research.uno.edu.
 
By Dr. Whittenburg (on 5/26/2011 @ 09:12:22, in Vice President Ramblings, read 1058 times)

In a recent interview, MIT president Susan Hockfield said: “What’s missing in the United States is a deficit of ambition. I think, as a nation, we hardly celebrate the achievements that one can attain if one has a college education. We are a nation that happily celebrates athletes and entertainers — and I think that’s great… But we do not have heroes that come out of a different kind of life.”

While Dr. Hockfield was referring to a shifting change in the kinds of achievements that the public seems to label as heroic, her phrase "deficit of ambition" struck a nerve.  UNO students, staff, faculty and administators have been through a tumultuous half-decade, starting with Hurricane Kartrina, budget cuts, threatened budget cuts, proposed mergers and system changes, we have continued to demonstrate the overriding characteristic that has always been UNO's trademark, perserverance. As a result, our research enterprise has continued to increase as well as our contribution to local economic development.  At some point, however, we will unable to do "more with less".  I believe that now is the time that we need a little "good news".  Someone needs to step up and say that UNO is vital to the New Orleans region and back up those words with true support.  Otherwise I believe that we may eventually suffer a "deficit of ambition".

 
By Dr. Whittenburg (on 5/25/2011 @ 08:46:51, in Vice President Ramblings, read 1049 times)

The IEEE Magnetics Society Summer School started today in the Lindy Boggs Conference Center at UNO in our Research Park.  Hosting this prestigious international program is a real plus for the University.  It will run from May 22 - 28.  Congratulations to Dr. Leonard Spinu from the UNO Physics Department and AMRI for bringing this event to UNO.

Attached File:  IEEE_summer_school_NOLA_2011.pdf

 
By Dr. Whittenburg (on 5/24/2011 @ 12:57:20, in Vice President Ramblings, read 1021 times)

You may not have seen the article in New Orleans City Business by Ben Myers titled "Talk of UNO system switch reveals faith in research funding".  Here is a link to the story:

http://neworleanscitybusiness.com/thenewsroom/2011/05/23/talk-of-uno-system-switch-reveals-faith-in-research-funding/

 

The article seeks to answer the question "what will happen to research funding at UNO with the switch to the UL System?".  I believe the answer to that question depends on how our institution is treated in the new system and how our faculty react to the switch.   If the UL System is supportive of our research efforts then we will continue to thrive.  As I have pointed out in the past, our federal research expenditures grew by 27% this year.  A bigger challenge is the changing federal landscape.  Decreasing federal budgets and bans on earmarks will make it tough on all research universities.  If we modify our approach and work more closely with program officers and if our faculty continue seeking local, state and federal research grants, the research enterprise at UNO will continue to support our vision of the university as a graduate, research institution.

 
By Dr. Whittenburg (on 4/11/2011 @ 14:56:48, in Vice President Ramblings, read 1195 times)

A good source for funding opportunities that is often overlooked by faculty is FedBizOpps. Many federal agencies post opportunities there. To locate potential opportunities, follow these steps:

  1. Log on to FedBizOpps at www.fbo.gov
  2. Click on the “advanced search form” link roughly 1/3 down home page.
  3. Set Opportunity/Procurement Type: to Presolicitation and Combined Synopsis/Solicitation and Sources Sought
  4. Set NAICS Code to 541711 and/or 541712 and/or 541720
  5. Hit Search button at bottom of screen

The site will automatically post opportunities in reverse chronological order (most recent on top of list).  To read one of the opportunities click the link under the Opportunity column.

If you have any questions, please contact me at  vcresearch@uno.edu

 
By Dr. Whittenburg (on 2/24/2011 @ 14:18:48, in Vice President Ramblings, read 1234 times)
My earlier browsing of the NSF Webcaspar database of research expenditures was prompted by an email one of our programs received that suggested it was in the top 100 of federal research expenditures for its discipline in 2009. That prompted me to search the database. According to that database and our NSF Expenditure Survey for 2009 UNO has three programs in the sciences and social sciences in the top 100 of their discipline: Sociology (#58), Chemistry (#59) and Earth & Environmental Science (#61). These three programs had more research expenditures last year than any other Louisiana university (by discipline). We also had two other programs that were in the top 200 and had more research expenditures than any other LA university: Psychology and Electrical Engineering. Congratulations one and all.
 
By Dr. Whittenburg (on 2/24/2011 @ 09:01:34, in Vice President Ramblings, read 1144 times)

I was analyzing the federal research expenditures by discipline for 2009 which is available from the NSF Webcaspar database.  The expenditures in medical and bio-medical related fields is an order of magnitude more than the other disciplines.

 
By Dr. Whittenburg (on 2/23/2011 @ 14:03:34, in Vice President Ramblings, read 1231 times)

There has been increasing use of technology readiness levels (or TRLs) in conversations with funding agencies and in solicitations for funding.  There are several definitions of TRLs, but in the US the most common is the DoD definition, which is given below.  Typically at a university we do basic research (or research and development) which is TRL 1-2.  As we begin to develop more projects that are related to economic development or the new SPAWAR contract, we'll begin to see more projects at TRL 5-6.

 

Technology Readiness Levels in the Department of Defense (DoD)(Source: DoD (2006), Defense Acquisition Guidebook)
Technology Readiness LevelDescription

1. Basic principles observed and reported

Lowest level of technology readiness. Scientific research begins to be translated into applied research and development. Example might include paper studies of a technology's basic properties.

2. Technology concept and/or application formulated

Invention begins. Once basic principles are observed, practical applications can be invented. The application is speculative and there is no proof or detailed analysis to support the assumption. Examples are still limited to paper studies.

3. Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept

Active research and development is initiated. This includes analytical studies and laboratory studies to physically validate analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology. Examples include components that are not yet integrated or representative.

4. Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment

Basic technological components are integrated to establish that the pieces will work together. This is "low fidelity" compared to the eventual system. Examples include integration of 'ad hoc' hardware in a laboratory.

5. Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment

Fidelity of breadboard technology increases significantly. The basic technological components are integrated with reasonably realistic supporting elements so that the technology can be tested in a simulated environment. Examples include 'high fidelity' laboratory integration of components.

6. System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment

Representative model or prototype system, which is well beyond the breadboard tested for TRL 5, is tested in a relevant environment. Represents a major step up in a technology's demonstrated readiness. Examples include testing a prototype in a high fidelity laboratory environment or in simulated operational environment.

7. System prototype demonstration in an operational environment

Prototype near or at planned operational system. Represents a major step up from TRL 6, requiring the demonstration of an actual system prototype in an operational environment, such as in an aircraft, vehicle or space. Examples include testing the prototype in a test bed aircraft.

8. Actual system completed and 'flight qualified' through test and demonstration

Technology has been proven to work in its final form and under expected conditions. In almost all cases, this TRL represents the end of true system development. Examples include developmental test and evaluation of the system in its intended weapon system to determine if it meets design specifications.

9. Actual system 'flight proven' through successful mission operations

Actual application of the technology in its final form and under mission conditions, such as those encountered in operational test and evaluation. In almost all cases, this is the end of the last "bug fixing" aspects of true system development. Examples include using the system under operational mission conditions.
 
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