National Science Foundation

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…


No. 402: A Machiavellian mashup featuring NYIT grants, Farmingdale State fairs and ‘Breezy’ Bob Catell

  You made it: Welcome to Friday, friends, and the finale of another busy workweek. It’s May 3 out there, and as full-blooded advocacy journalists, we’re proud to come to you on World Press Freedom Day, wherein the United Nations recognizes that no democracy is complete without a free and transparent information flow. Creepy and kooky: Here in the States, it’s also the seventh-annual National Paranormal Day. Mysterious: It’s also National Two Different Colored Shoes…


No. 397: In which the shrew fits, SBU grad students soar and Northwell knuckles down at the NUMC

  Half full: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, and the clubhouse turn of another exciting week of socioeconomic progress. Checking in: It’s April 17 out there, and first off we’d like to welcome new newsletter subscribers Zachary, Estelle, James, Brian, Lisa and Francesco. If any of you had two sons of Chulabi nobleman Kiya Afrasiyab murdering Hasan II in his bathtub – effectively ending Mazandaran’s Bavand dynasty – on this date in 1349, well done!…


Stony Brook grad students soar in NSF nominations

By GREGORY ZELLER // Stony Brook University dominated the field Tuesday as 18 SUNY graduate students were named candidates for prestigious National Science Foundation fellowships. All told, five State University of New York campuses were represented in this year’s NSF Graduate Research Fellowship nominees. The University at Albany, Binghamton University and the University at Buffalo each posted two nominees, and the SUNY Polytechnic Institute in upstate Oneida County added one. But SBU ruled the SUNY…


No. 380: On Coach K, ‘foodpreneurs’ and Donna Drake’s new digs – plus, introducing our 2019 Innovators of the Year!

  Middle march: Onwards and upwards, dear readers, as this latest week of socioeconomic progress plows ahead. It’s Feb. 13 out there, and if you had boozing brawler Guo Wei leading a military coup and declaring himself emperor of China’s short-lived Later Zhou dynasty on this date in 951 A.D., nice work – here’s a voucher for 100 copper Ban Liang coins. Dial it up: Before we dive in, a peaceful World Radio Day –…


No 379: Tuning in at Hofstra, soaring high at JFK and music by John Williams (plus: a new origin story for the universe)

  Finishing touch: And down the stretch we come, dear readers, with the end of another busy workweek and the promised land of another well-earned weekend coming up fast. It’s Friday out there, Feb. 8 to be precise, and good luck to all our readers in India preparing to pop the question on this romantic Propose Day 2019. The pickings are slim (Scout’s honor): Here in the States, it’s National Opera Day (just two years…