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Vol 56 No. 14 | Nov. 2004
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Engineering Prof Receives $100,000 Grant from NSF to Develop Nanosciences Classes

Tulin Mangir, a professor of electrical engineering at CSULB, received a $100,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a project titled "NUE: A Tour in Nano-land and Understanding the Nano-landscape: Developing Multidisciplinary NUE Courses." The purpose of the project is to develop lower division classes at CSULB in the nano-sciences and nanotechnology, fields of study that focus on manufacturing tools, materials and machines at the molecular and atomic particle level.

Together with CSULB colleagues Chuhee Kwon, associate professor of physics and astronomy, and Andrew Z. Mason, professor of biological sciences, Mangir plans to expand and develop curricula for undergraduate major and non-major students, and they plan to add a teacher-training component to increase general awareness and promote career options to fill jobs in this rapidly growing discipline.

"As part of the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area, CSULB is located in the largest concentration of high technology industry in the nation," said Mangir, who has worked with researchers from Xerox PARC, Boeing, IBM, Northrup Grumman (TRW), UCLA and USC in the areas of sub-micron devices, VCSELs (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers), biosensors, sensor networks, robotics and nano-fluids. "This grant puts us on the map as one of a handful of undergraduate programs in the United States that have a program in nanotechnology."

Specific goals of Mangir's work will include development of an interdisciplinary survey course on nanotechnology designed for engineering and science majors in their sophomore and junior years, development of a junior/senior course with a combination of lecture and laboratory time that provides students with an in-depth understanding of the techniques used in nano-scale science and engineering, and the creation of Web-based resources and interaction modules designed for distance learning aimed at science and engineering teacher preparation classes.

The courses, which will cover applications in life sciences, biotechnology and medicine, physics, materials, electronics and environmental monitoring, will expose students to the use of instrumentation such as atomic force microscopes, X-ray microscopes, remote monitoring of robots (tele-robotics) and nano-robots, and materials with very special properties that can only be produced in the nanotechnology realm.

In addition, societal and business implications of nanotechnology will be explored, and students will become more aware of the issues in the development and applications of nanotechnology in a planned follow-up program.

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