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COEN Online News 7/25/16

COEN Online News 7/25/16

CS Program Hatching New Ideas | Graphene Flexes its Muscles in Study | From High School Intern to Undergrad Researcher | New Ph.D. in Computing | Wind Team Places Third Nationally | Boise State Team Tests Astronaut Tool at NASA | Engineering in Action | ITS News | COEN News | Funding Opportunities

Computer Science Program Hatching New Ideas for Education

By: Kathleen Tuck

Image of Computer Science StudentsBoise State University’s Department of Computer Science is one of seven engineering and computer science departments across the country to receive a five-year, $2 million Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) award from the National Science Foundation. The project is titled “Computer Science Professionals Hatchery: An Ecosystem for Nurturing the Next Generation of Computer Science Professionals.”

NSF RED awards focus on transforming engineering and computer science departments in order to stimulate revolutionary improvements in engineering education.

View the full “Computer Science Program Hatching New Ideas for Education” article.

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Graphene Flexes its Muscles in Boise State Study

By: Kathleen Tuck

Image of C2C12 myoblasts on graphene foamA team of researchers from Boise State University, led by Eric Krueger and David Estrada, have published an article in the American Chemical Society’s Biomaterials Science and Engineering journal.

Titled “Graphene Foam as a 3-dimensional Platform for Myotube Growth,” it focuses on a study demonstrating the suitability of graphene foam as a scaffold for growing functional muscle tissue. Graphene foam is an emerging 3D version of graphene, a layer of carbon so thin it is considered 2-dimensional.

Ultimately, researchers hope that the unique properties of graphene and graphene foam can be used to regenerate 3-dimensional tissues and organs for implantation into the human body. Past studies have confirmed bone and cartilage growth on graphene foam, but this is the first known study of its compatibility with muscle growth.

View the full “Graphene Flexes its Muscles in Boise State Study” article.

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The Journey from High School Intern to Undergraduate Researcher

By: Kathleen Tuck

image of Eric Jankowski and Kendra NonemanKendra Noneman doesn’t officially start as a full-time Boise State student until fall semester, when she’ll attend on a track and field scholarship and study materials science. But not the type to let any moss grow under her feet, she’s already tucked away almost of year of experience as a researcher in a university lab.

Just before the start of her senior year at Eagle High School, Noneman approached professor Eric Jankowski about the possibility of working in his Computational Materials Engineering Lab. Although she didn’t have any experience, and in fact knew only a little bit about what his lab did, she did know she was interested in materials science, she really liked working with computers, and she was willing to learn.

View the full “The Journey from High School Intern to Undergraduate Researcher” article.

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New Programs Reflect Commitment to High-Tech Industry

By: Sherry Squires

Boise State University will roll out a new doctoral program in computing aimed at providing local and regional high-tech industry and agencies with a highly prepared workforce. The Ph.D. in computing was unanimously approved by the State Board of Education on June 16, along with a master’s degree in biomolecular sciences and two new online degree-completion programs aimed at creating new opportunities for Idaho adults seeking to boost their education and employability. All four programs will begin this fall.

The new Ph.D. in computing will combine computer science, computational science and engineering, and cybersecurity.

“The state of Idaho and local industry have invested in computer science at Boise State University, and we expect this new Ph.D. program to offer a great return on that investment,” said Boise State President Bob Kustra. “Industry leaders have told us that the strength and growth of Idaho’s tech companies still rely too much on recruiting talent from outside of the state. This Ph.D. in computing will allow employees of local and regional high-tech companies to pursue an advanced degree right here in Idaho, and create a larger candidate pool for a growing number of technology jobs.”

View the full “New Programs Reflect Commitment to High-Tech Industry” article.

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Boise State Wind Team Places Third Nationally

By: Kathleen Tuck

Image of members of the Boise State team at the Collegiate Wind Competition A team of Boise State University students placed third in the Collegiate Wind Competition sponsored by the Department of Energy. The team beat out nine other colleges selected to compete from around the country, and fell to Pennsylvania State University in first and University of Massachusetts Lowell, second.

The competition coincided with the American Wind Energy Association’s annual WindPower conference held in New Orleans, Louisiana. Students were able to attend the premier trade show in the wind industry and gain exposure to global firms. More than 100 students participated in the competition from across the country, including Alaska and Puerto Rico.

The competition requires teams to investigate innovative wind energy concepts. Undergraduate students are challenged to offer a unique solution to a complex wind energy problem, create a viable business plan, and design and build a wind turbine that meets those needs.

View the entire “Boise State Wind Team Places Third Nationally” article here

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Boise State Team Tests Astronaut Tool at NASA

By: Kathleen Tuck

Image of Boise State Team Testing Astronaut Tool at NASA

A team of Boise State students recently returned from NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, following the successful test of a tool designed to help astronauts collect samples from an asteroid.

They were accompanied by team mentor Steve Swanson, a former NASA astronaut and current distinguished educator in residence at Boise State, Christine Change Gillespie, project manager with the Institute for STEM and Diversity Initiatives, and Gus Engstrom, lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering.

View the entire “Boise State Team Tests Astronaut Tool at NASA” article here

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Engineering in Action

Image of Steve SwansonSteve Swanson Joined Journey of Space Shuttle Tank.

The last intact space shuttle external tank, dubbed ET-94, is on its way to the California Science Center in Los Angeles, California.

The 66,000-pound, 15-story-tall tank will be displayed with the space shuttle Endeavour and a pair of booster rockets obtained earlier. This is the same shuttle that Barbara Morgan, former Boise State distinguished educator in residence, flew on in 2007 for STS-118.

View the entire “Steve Swanson To Join Journey of Space Shuttle Tank.” article here

Image of Will HughesWill Hughes and his wife, Diane, were featured in a KTVB news story about Diane’s fight with cancer and Hughes’ related cancer research. Hughes and his team have been looking for biomarkers that signal cancer for several years. Hughes is one of five Boise State cancer researchers featured on a poster for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure happening this weekend. Jeunghoon Lee, Elton Graugnard, Hughes, Bernard Yurke and Cheryl Jorcyk are depicted as superheroes.

See the full story on the KTVB website here

Screenshot of the Bike Idaho AppJosh White, a student studying Computer Science at Boise State, was recently awarded the grand prize and the best of tourism award in the Idaho Tech Challenge. The contest, organized by AT&T, the Idaho Technology Council and the office of Idaho Gov. Butch Otter urged university students across the state to create an education software app focused on agriculture, health care or tourism.

White’s app, titled Bike Idaho, displays the 32 scenic byways throughout Idaho. Users can view the byways either as pins on a map or in a list with an accompanying picture.

View the full “Student Wins Idaho Tech Challenge with Bike Idaho App” article here

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COEN IT Services News – Summer Addition

View the COEN IT Services Summer Edition newsletter (pdf)Image of the cover of the COEN IT Services Newsletter Summer Edition



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Fall Forum

College of Engineering Faculty and Staff: Please mark your calendars to attend the College of Engineering Fall 2016 Welcome Back Meeting which will take place on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 from 1:30-3:00 p.m. in ENGR 110.

Fall TA Orientation

The Center for Teaching and Learning will be hosting the annual teaching assistant orientation on Monday, August 15, 2016. This day-long workshop is intended for graduate students who have any teaching responsibility (whether that’s full course responsibility, teaching a lab, hosting help sessions, or supporting the instructor).  This year’s workshop features breakout sessions and a track for experienced TAs.  Please encourage your graduate students to join us (even those who might not be serving as TAs until the spring semester)!

Registration will begin at 8:30 AM (coffee provided) and the program will conclude at 4:00 PM.  Lunch is included!  The current agenda is attached and provides more information about the schedule of activities. Students AND coordinators/faculty/staff MUST RSVP individually using the link below.
RSVP for the Graduate TA Orientation here.

If you have questions, please contact Megan Frary (, 208-426-1061) or Thomas Atkins (, 208-426-4610).

To All Adjunct Faculty New to Boise State University

Welcome to your new role as an adjunct professor at Boise State! Hiring faculty is one of the most important investments the University makes on behalf of our students, and we are delighted that you are joining our academic community this fall. Hiring faculty is one of the most important investments the University makes on behalf of our students, and we are delighted that you are joining our academic community this fall.

Boise State University’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has a variety of Adjunct Faculty Orientation events planned for the fall semester. We think these events will provide you with beneficial information about the Boise State community and helpful strategies to use when planning your course(s). Please feel free to join us at one or ALL of the following events!

New Adjunct Faculty Orientation – Tues, 8/16, 6:00PM – 9:00PM

This event will introduce you to the Boise State community, give you an overview of our student body, and provide you with some valuable tips for teaching your course. The first half of the evening will include a welcome from Vice Provost Sharon Paterson and information about the student body at Boise State. The second half will be in a workshop format covering some just-in-time teaching best practices and tips. The evening will include hors d’oeuvres and beverages and an opportunity for casual conversation and networking with your colleagues. We hope that you will feel warmly welcomed, get to know your university better, and come away with new friends and useful teaching resources at Boise State. This event will take place in the Student Union Building in the Bishop-Barnwell room (closest garage: Lincoln).

Jump Start! – see RSVP Form link for dates, times, and locations

These flexible work sessions are designed to help prepare you for your first day of class. Drop in anytime during the scheduled events, stay for as long as you want! Bring your textbook and any course materials you have and the CTL staff will help answer your questions about preparing to teach. In addition, representatives from Learning Technology Solutions will be available to help you set up your Blackboard Course site. Also on hand will be representatives from the Library, the Help Desk, eCampus and Human Resources to help answer a wide variety of  questions. Laptops will be available for you to work on, or feel free to bring your own.

Teaching Workshops  – Mon, 8/15, see RSVP Form link for topics and times.

New adjuncts are invited to attend workshop sessions being held as part of the Teaching Assistant (TA) Orientation on August 15. Workshops will cover such topics as leading effective discussion sessions, alternatives to office hours, and fostering positive interactions with students.

Faculty Resource Fair – Tues, 8/16, 2:30-3:45pm

Over 30 campus departments attend this event to meet and show faculty the available resources, services, and programs at Boise State. Attend for 10 minutes, or for 45. It doesn’t matter, we guarantee that you’ll find an indispensable resource. The fair will be held in the Student Union Building, Simplot Ballroom (closest garage: Lincoln).

Free parking for these events  is available in the Brady and Lincoln Street Parking Garages by clicking here. Be sure the permit is displayed on your vehicles dashboard  Here is an Interactive Campus Map Here to help you get around the campus.

RSVP for all or any of these orientation sessions here or by contacting Thomas Atkins in the Center for Teaching and Learning at or 208-426-4610.

Please know that you should never hesitate to contact the Center for Teaching and Learning if you have any questions or ideas that you wish to share regarding programs, course design, and consultation services for faculty. Visit our website or check out and enroll in the Center’s Workshops for faculty.

RSVP for the orientation here.

Again, welcome to Boise State. We look forward to meeting you soon!

Upcoming Events

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Funding Opportunities

NSF PIRE: Limited Submission Opportunity

Please reply to Linda Georgiev  by July 29, 2016 if you plan to submit an application to this limited submission. You will be notified if an internal review process is necessary.

Title: Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) Pre-proposal
Sponsor:  National Science Foundation
Sponsor Deadline:  September 14, 2016 (pre-proposal); April 24, 2017 (invited full proposals)
Link:   NSF PIRE

Synopsis:  supports high quality projects in which advances in research and education could not occur without international collaboration. PIRE seeks to catalyze a higher level of international engagement in the U.S. science and engineering community.

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