Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Solar Tracking Interactive Kiosk

Dr. Nathaniel Greene
Nathaniel Greene, professor of physics and engineering, and Jeffrey Brunskill, associate professor of environmental, geographical and geological sciences, have published an article, “Design of a solar tracking interactive kiosk,” in the January 2017 issue of Physics Education.

Dr. Greene and Dr. Brunskill worked with an interdisiplinary team of students to design a two-axis solar tracker and an energy-themed interactive kiosk between Ben Franklin Hall and Hartline Science Center on the Bloomsburg University Campus.  The objective of the project was to "develop an infrastructure that would increase the presence of renewable energy technologies on campus and provide users with a tangible opportunity to learn about the benefits and limitations of solar energy."

Dr. Jeffery Brunskill
Solar panel output is monitored in real time and displayed to the public with lights and digits. A touchscreen display allows kiosk visitors to compare two solar panels: one panel tracks the sun automatically, while the other panel can be steered by users. This project was a capstone experience for students in physics/engineering, computer science, and instructional technology.
Energy Education Kiosk

Nathaniel R Greene and Jeffrey C Brunskill 2017 Phys. Educ. 52 015022

Monday, January 9, 2017

Undergraduate Student Coauthors a Research Paper in Mathematics

Mathematics major Devyn Lesher and Dr. Chris Lynd recently had their research paper accepted for publication in Mathematics Magazine, which is a widely read, peer-reviewed journal. The paper is titled Convergence Results for the Class of Periodic Left Nested Radicals and it appears in the December 2016 issue of Mathematics Magazine.

This research was made possible by two Undergraduate Research Scholarship and Creative Activities (URSCA) Awards from the Center for Undergraduate Research at Bloomsburg University. These awards provided stipends support for Devyn during the summer of 2014 and the summer of 2015.  

During that time, Devyn learned about an area of mathematics that is rarely taught in an undergraduate program. He used his programming skills to perform computer simulations, discover patterns, and make conjectures about his mathematical patterns. Once the mathematical conjectures were formalized, Devyn got to see first-hand how to construct mathematical proofs, how to write a formal research paper in mathematics, and how to submit a paper for publication.

 This research resulted in both Devyn and Dr. Lynd receiving an invitation to present their research at the 2014 regional conference for the American Mathematical Association in Greensboro, North Carolina. Devyn received an Undergraduate Research Student Travel Award and a food allowance from the Center for Undergraduate Research at Bloomsburg University. This gave Devyn the opportunity to experience what it’s like to interact with other mathematicians at a conference. In addition, Dr. Lynd gave a presentation of their research at the 2015 national conference for the American Mathematical Association and the Mathematical Association of America in San Antonio, Texas.

 Both Devyn Lesher and Dr. Lynd would like to thank the Center for Undergraduate Research for all their support.

DEVYN A. LESHER, and CHRIS D. LYND. “Convergence Results for the Class of Periodic Left Nested Radicals.” Mathematics Magazine, vol. 89, no. 5, 2016, pp. 319–335. www.jstor.org/stable/10.4169/math.mag.89.5.319.