National Science Foundation

With NSF boost, deep-space detective eyes death stars

By GREGORY ZELLER // A relatively small federal grant will propel a SUNY-Old Westbury instructor deep into the ocean of space, where he’ll track radio waves produced by the spectacular collision of two long-dead stars. The National Science Foundation has awarded Michael Kavic, an associate professor in the SUNY College at Old Westbury’s Chemistry and Physics Department, a mere $189,233 – a pittance, actually, in an age of million-dollar research grants. But the award will…


No. 534: In which batters strike out, small businesses strike gold and Henry Ford gives you your weekend

  Autumnal equalizer: Give yourself 10 seconds to forget POTUS, SCOTUS and every other fuss, dear reader, and consider this – you’ve completed the gauntlet of another busy workweek, and the first weekend of fall awaits. Aaahhh. Couldn’t do it without you: It’s Friday all right, Sept. 25 to be exact, and that’s one of Innovate LI’s favorites – National Research Administrator Day, when we honor the fiscal stewards, faculty assistants and other project managers…


No. 533: On Donkey Kong, Arctic atmospheres and Neptune – plus, Hollywood on the North Shore

  Fall for you: Rejoice, autumnal aficionados – the season of plunging temperatures, pumpkin-spice everything and full-on political dementia has arrived. Yes, it’s Sept. 23 on Long Island and around Planet Earth – not only the Wednesday midpoint of this latest busy workweek, but the first full day of Fall 2020. So grab a sweater and let’s rock. Stick it to them: Don’t be a jerky. Actually, go ahead – Sept. 23 is National Snack…


With a wing and a grant, SBU researchers set to soar

By GREGORY ZELLER // High-flying Stony Brook University researchers will take to the skies to better understand atmospheric chemistry in two very different places. Fueled by National Science Foundation grants totaling nearly $6 million, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences Dean Paul Shepson and Professor John Mak – both experienced pilots – will lead airborne studies involving scientists from across the land and a variety of sophisticated aircraft owned by the NSF, the University of…


Laugh, and your super-accelerated AI laughs with you

By GREGORY ZELLER // New York Institute of Technology computer-science researchers are pushing artificial intelligence ever closer to human norms – including efforts to help AI better understand human emotion. The National Science Foundation has signed off on two fresh New York Tech research grants, each offering a modest sum but both important to their recipients, two assistant professors in the university’s College of Engineering and Computing Sciences. Researcher Houwei Cao will use her nearly…


In space, no one checks your ID (but they do on Earth)

By GREGORY ZELLER // New examinations of the universe’s “baby photos” have confirmed what some scientists suspected all along: Existence, as we know it, began 13.8 billion years ago. That’s the word from Stony Brook University, where Associate Professor Neelima Sehgal of the Department of Physics and Astronomy has joined with a team of international researchers to shed new light on the mystery of the universe’s actual age – by studying the oldest light known…


Thanks for the Quantum Memory: DOE backs Qunnect

By GREGORY ZELLER // A red-hot “Quantum Memory” technology has secured a seven-figure federal grant for a Stony Brook startup with plans for ultra-secure global communications. Qunnect Inc., which leverages tech created by Stony Brook University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and licensed from the Research Foundation for the State University of New York, has received a $1.5 million Phase-II Small Business Innovation Research award from the U.S. Department of Energy. The Phase-II award supports…


No. 492: Surviving the great pandemic with gurus, maps, tax breaks and better-looking masks

  Midweek crisis: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, as we power through another work-from-home workweek during the great coronavirus calamity. It’s April 15 out there, and no, it’s not Tax Day. But it is the Universal Day of Culture –  celebrating a post-World War I international treaty protecting scientific institutions and historical monuments from war and other craziness, and World Art Day, a global celebration of the finer things. Loads of fun: It’s also National…


After successful seed, Qunnect set for ludicrous speed

By GREGORY ZELLER // Marking another quantum leap for cybersecure long-distance communications, a high-tech Stony Brook University spinoff has completed a key financing round. Qunnect LLC, a 2017 startup launched by a Stony Brook PhD and the head of the university’s Quantum Information Technology Group, has closed its $800,000 seed round, an oversubscribed financing cycle backed by the Accelerate NY Seed Fund, French venture-capital fund Quantonation – the first VC fund dedicated to quantum technologies…


This chief diversity officer has cleared many hurdles

By GREGORY ZELLER // Diversity continues to drive destinies at Long Island’s top universities, with another major appointment focused on inclusion. This time, it’s Stony Brook University again, announcing this week the appointment of Judith Brown Clarke – a longtime educator, respected researcher and world-class athlete – as its new chief diversity officer, effective Feb. 17. Clarke, currently diversity director at Michigan State University’s Bio-Computational Evolution in Action Consortium Science and Technology Center, will take…


At WOS, rewriting the code on workforce development

By GREGORY ZELLER // In-demand coding skills may prove to be just the ticket for three dozen under-employed college graduates, thanks to a socially minded nonprofit and a leading regional utility. New York City-based Workforce Opportunity Services – a registered 501(c)3 aiming to diversify and bolster regional workforces by preparing underserved communities to fill specific industrial gaps – has created a 15-week coding course in collaboration with PSEG, a sort of “last mile” effort designed…


No. 437: Surviving the 13th, walking the Path and watching your cholesterol – plus, the opioid war rages 

  Scary good: Welcome to Friday, intrepid innovator, and the last leg of another busy workweek. It’s Sept. 13 out there – yes, Friday the 13th – and whether or not you suffer from triskaidekaphobia (extreme superstition regarding the No. 13), there’s no doubt this date gets a bad rap. Micromanaging: This particular Friday the 13th will be brightened by a rare “micro moon,” a pretty big deal. Happy thoughts: Speaking of the bright side,…


Million-dollar grant opens FSC to less-privileged minds

By GREGORY ZELLER // A million-dollar gift from the National Science Foundation will help a classroom’s worth of science- and math-focused Long Island high schoolers enroll at Farmingdale State College. All told, 32 students from six regional high schools will enjoy four-year, $20,000 scholarships, thanks to a $1 million S-STEM grant, the largest ever issued to Farmingdale State by the NSF. Targeting academically talented, low-income students, the S-STEM awards – for Scholarships in Science, Technology,…


No. 426: Campus construction, downtown reconstruction and FEW function (also, your iPhone might be fake)

  Friday, finally: The innovation economy never rests, dear readers, but we humans do – thankfully, our latest socioeconomic sprint has brought us to the edge of another well-earned weekend. Great work. Independence Day II: It’s Aug. 2 out there, making this the actual anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. As any AP History student can tell you, the infamous up-yours to King George III was signed by a majority of Second…


NYIT at the center of food/energy/water nexus, again

By GREGORY ZELLER // The food/energy/water nexus will center once again on the New York Institute of Technology, courtesy of another chunky federal grant. Principal investigator Ziqian (Cecilia) Dong, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at NYIT’s College of Engineering and Computing Sciences, will use a $747,000 National Science Foundation grant to establish a “research coordination network” focused on food, energy and water – the trifurcated nerve center of sustainable urban development. Through…