LTU wins $440,000 grant for summer programs for community college scholars 

SOUTHFIELD—Lawrence Technological University has won a six-year, $440,000 Michigan College-University Partnership Research Scholars program grant that will bring community college students to LTU in the summers to study a wide variety of topics.

Principal investigator on the grant is Sibrina Collins, executive director of STEM education in LTU’s College of Arts and Sciences.

The grant furthers existing partnerships between LTU and Henry Ford College, Macomb Community College, and Oakland Community College. It will provide 15 talented community college students with four-week summer immersive learning experiences at LTU as MICUP Research Scholars. They will study diverse technologies such virtual reality, applications of physics, chemistry, mathematics, AI and the humanities, culminating in a research seminar and poster presentation. MICUP Research Scholars will also be provided with an opportunity to begin research experiences with faculty during the fall semesters.

Called “Exploring the Impact of STEM and Humanities Innovations in Metro Detroit,” the projects include:

  • Applications of Generative Artificial Intelligencewith C.J. Chung, LTU professor of computer science: ChatGPT (where the “G” stands for generative) is a popular topic within higher education. This project will explore improving AI art technologies as well as addressing ethical AI issues impacting our society. Number of Students: 2 MICUP Research Scholars.
  • Detroit Working Class Literature with Paul Jaussen, associate professor and chair of the LTU Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Communication. This project will focus on archival research to examine and explore the way Detroit’s unique culture of factory labor served as a backdrop to literary production. Number of Students: 2 MICUP Research Scholars.
  • Virtual Reality and Societal Impactswith Franco Delogu, assistant professor and director of the psychology program in the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Communication. This research area will provide students with experiences with installing a VR system and focus on both theory and practical applications in society. Number of Students: 2 MICUP Research Scholars.·
  • Chemistry and the Development of a Catalystwith Meng Zhou, associate professor of natural sciences. This project focuses on the synthesis and characterization of a metal catalyst to produce urea fertilizer from carbon dioxide. Number of Students: 2 MICUP Research Scholars.
  • Physics in the Communitywith Bhubanjyoti Bhattacharya, associate professor of natural sciences. This research project is computer-based and focused on theoretical particle physics. The scholars will receive hands-on training in the mathematical and programming software to conduct research. Number of Students: 2 MICUP Research Scholars.
  • Mathematical Biology in the Community, with Matthew Johnston, associate professor of mathematics and computer science, and Bruce Pell, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science. This experience will include two weeks of instruction followed by two weeks of research focused on mathematical biology. The professors have used mathematical modeling to investigate the impact of COVID-19 within our communities. Number of Students: 5 MICUP Research Scholars.

“I am passionate about this LTU initiative because I started my college career as a community college student,” Collins said. “The LTU MICUP STEM initiative provides unique opportunities for community college students to engage in cutting-edge research with our amazing LTU faculty. These students will be able to engage in diverse research projects such as artificial intelligence, mathematical modeling, literature, and physics.”

And LTU President Tarek M. Sobh said: “This grant is another example of the many ways in which Lawrence Tech extends educational opportunity and a promising future to the entire community.”

Lawrence Technological University is one of only 13 private, technological, comprehensive doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, Mich., LTU was founded in 1932 and offers more than 100 programs through its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Engineering, and Health Sciences, as well as Specs@LTU as part of its growing Center for Professional Development. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal rank LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report list it in the top tier of the best Midwest colleges. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

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