CURE Examples


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Design2Data
Ashley Vater, University of California-Davis
The D2D program is centered around an undergraduate-friendly protocol workflow that follows the design-build-test-learn engineering framework. This protocol has served as the scaffold for a successful undergraduate training program and has been further developed into courses that range from a 10-week freshman seminar to a year-long, upper-division molecular biology course. The overarching research goal of this CURE probes the current predictive limitations of protein-modeling software by functionally characterizing single amino acid mutants in a robust model system. The most interesting outcomes of this project are dependent on large datasets, and, as such, the project is optimal for multi-institutional collaborations.

Discipline: Chemistry:Biochemistry, Chemistry, Life Sciences:Molecular Biology
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Planning and carrying out investigations, Using mathematics and computational thinking, Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Developing and using models
Nature of Research: Applied Research, Basic Research, Wet Lab/Bench Research
Target Audience: Non-major, Upper Division, Introductory, Major
CURE Duration: Multiple terms, A full term

Race & Incarceration in The USA Overtime: Analysis of Trends & Forecast
Shyamal Das, Elizabeth City State University
The course in Race and Ethnic Relations examines the evolving nature of America's social and cultural diversity in terms of different race and ethnic groups (Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, and American-Indians), and the issues of racial prejudice, hatred, and discrimination in the country. In so doing, students complete the final paper based on research on the relationship between race and incarceration. The research utilizes arrest data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics website. Students derive the research questions and corresponding hypotheses based on their review of literature. Based on their data analysis, they attempt to explain or interpret the arrest data on the relationship between race and the arrest rates by types of crimes. There two steps: (1) individuals complete data gathering and analysis as well as interpretation in the first place; and (2) groups will be formed by at least three students in each. The groups will prepare the final group paper and present the findings in the class. The current assignment illustrates on the Step 1 of the final project. Each student will select an assigned crime type (see the Assignment Topics) from the Bureau of Justice Statistics database, and run the graphs to show the trends by race. Assess whether students can explain the arrest rates by race. Then each student runs another analysis to forecast the arrest rates for the coming ten to fifteen years. The final group outcomes will be presented in the class. The proposed CURE incorporates a STEM component into social science as students run forecasting models for an important social problem in the USA.

Discipline: Social Sciences:Sociology, Statistics
Nature of Research: Basic Research
Target Audience: Non-major, Upper Division, Major
CURE Duration: A full term

Soil microbiome - Nematode - Plant interactions.
FESEHA ABEBE-AKELE, Elizabeth City State University
Nematodes graze/forage on bacteria, fungi, and plant tissue. Determining the species abundance of nematodes in soil and mapping their interactions with microorganisms and plants is important to diagnose soil fertility and potential of crop damage from plant parasitic nematodes. Sampling different types of soil and characterizing the microbial and nematode species will allow students to learn the ecological as well as molecular aspects of research in soil-bacteria-nematode and plant interactions.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Zoology, Life Sciences, Molecular Biology, Genetics
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Planning and carrying out investigations
State: North Carolina
Target Audience: Major, Upper Division

Community Flood Risk Assessment from Rising/Surging Seas Project
Kevin Kupietz, Elizabeth City State University
Globally 634 million people, 10% of the world's population, live in coastal areas less than 10 meters above sea level. According to 2010 census data, 123 million people, 39% of the United States population, live in coastal counties with an estimated increase to this number by 8% in the 2020 census. As natural disasters have been seen to increase in frequency and severity in the past five years coupled with expected sea rises from climate change it is important that anyone involved with the safety and resiliency planning of their organization/community have an understanding of how to scientifically assess risk from flooding in order to mitigate and recover from the effects. This project allows students the ability to develop skills to utilize computer modeling systems and to apply the data to real world communities in examining risk to structures as well as different groups in the community.

Discipline: Environmental Science:Sustainability, Ecosystems, Oceans and Coastal Resources, Land Use and Planning, Natural Hazards, Social Sciences:Psychology, Sociology, Social Sciences, Computer Science, Environmental Science:Global Change and Climate, Geoscience, Environmental Science, Geoscience:Hydrology, Ocean Science, Engineering
Core Competencies: Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Using mathematics and computational thinking, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data, Developing and using models
Nature of Research: Applied Research
State: North Carolina
Target Audience: Non-major, Major, Upper Division
CURE Duration: A full term

Animal Genome to Phenome - A CURE for food security
Mulumebet Worku, North Carolina A & T State University

Discipline: Chemistry:Biochemistry, Life Sciences:Genetics, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Life Sciences
Core Competencies: Developing and using models, Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Using mathematics and computational thinking
Nature of Research: Informatics/Computational Research, Basic Research, Applied Research
State: North Carolina
Target Audience: Introductory, Major
CURE Duration: Multiple terms

A CURE Project for STEM Education at HBCU - Surface Pattern Design for Chemical Mechanical Polishing Pad
ZHICHAO LI, North Carolina A & T State University
Chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) process is widespread employed in many manufacturing industries such as semiconductor and aerospace. The objective of the present CURE project is to introduce the specific advanced manufacturing process to sophomore and junior students at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. The CURE course will be combined and implemented through the course of ISEN324 (Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacture). Students in this CURE course will experience a basic training on how to conduct engineering research and development activities in manufacturing industry, develop skills in engineering design and precision manufacturing, and obtain capabilities in applying STEM knowledge to analyze and resolve engineering problems in real industry through modeling, simulation and optimization research steps.

Discipline: Engineering
Core Competencies: Developing and using models, Using mathematics and computational thinking, Analyzing and interpreting data
Nature of Research: Applied Research
State: North Carolina
Target Audience: Introductory, Major
CURE Duration: A full term

Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience for Aviation students
Chandra Asthana, Elizabeth City State University
In many situations, big jet airplanes encounter runway excursions upon landing that lead to accidents. These accidents have been fetal at times. This research is aimed at identifying the causes for runway excursions and making a research proposal towards finding a solution. The solution may be in terms of pilot training, refined regulations, establishing need for improved weather monitoring system, improved level of communication between control tower and pilot, development of advanced system for the aircraft etc.

Discipline: Engineering
Nature of Research: Applied Research
State: North Carolina
Target Audience: Major
CURE Duration: A full term

Fall 2020 HLTH 369 Principles of Nutrition CURE
Jennifer Brown, Elizabeth City State University
Prediabetes is a common health problem, afflicting an estimated 88 million (34.5%) of US populations (CDC, 2020). Many individuals experience disease progression, and are diagnosed with diabetes (34.2 million, 10.5% of US, CDC, 2020). In total, an estimated 45% percent of US populations is affected, making complications management, lifestyle interventions, and prevention of this disease pathway a major point of concern. Neuropathy is an associated, but often silent complication that comes in many forms, potentially affecting multiple systems in the body. Eyes, kidneys, touch perception, balance and gut metabolism are a few common, and serious issues that frequently arise simultaneously with disease onset. Because of the serious and silent nature of the onset of these disease pathways, early detection is key in order to allow the opportunity for lifestyle intervention practices. Previous research indicates higher incidence rates of prediabetes, diabetes and neuropathy in rural areas, with socioeconomic factors playing a role in the development of the disease. The purpose of this research is to determine the prevalence of prediabetes/diabetes and neurpathic symptoms in healthy weight and obese individuals, active and inactive individuals at ECSU, in Elizabeth City and in the Southeast/MidAtlantic region.

Discipline: Health Sciences
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data
Nature of Research: Field Research
State: North Carolina
Target Audience: Non-major, Major
CURE Duration: A full term

Soil health analysis at the NC A&T Student farm
Arnab Bhowmik, North Carolina A & T State University
Soil health is the capacity of soil to not only be productive but maintain ecological services. The NC A&T student farm is an excellent opportunity for students to have hands-on experience for soil science related experiential learning. This project will allow the students to develop skills to sample, test, analyse and interpret soil properties as a function of different soil mangement strategies

Discipline: Environmental Science:Ecosystems, Environmental Science, Geoscience, Soils
Core Competencies: Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data
Nature of Research: Applied Research, Basic Research, Field Research
State: North Carolina
Target Audience: Major
CURE Duration: A few class periods

Research in Agriculture
Chantel Simpson, North Carolina A & T State University; Chastity Warren English, North Carolina A & T State University
Explores research methods in agriculture including observational, correlational, survey and experimental methods. Uses the scientific method in the design, execution, analysis, and communication of agricultural investigations. Discusses the ethics of research, and evaluation methods. Students will be offered the opportunity to conduct agricultural studies using a variety of methods.

Discipline: Social Sciences, Education
Core Competencies: Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Analyzing and interpreting data, Planning and carrying out investigations
Nature of Research: Basic Research
State: North Carolina
Target Audience: Introductory
CURE Duration: A full term