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College of Arts and Sciences research

Scholarships for faculty-mentored research

College of Arts and SciencesSeven students and six faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences are among this year’s 27 recipients of two selective scholarships offered by the WSU Office of Undergraduate Research for students pursuing mentored research, scholarly activity or creative projects at WSU.

“Our ability to support students in their research is made possible thanks to generous donors who envision the contributions these students will make in the future to Washington, the United States, and » More …

Benedict honored by WSU Libraries for student engagement

award winner with two colleagesLeah Benedict, clinical assistant professor of English, received 2018 WSU Libraries’ Excellence Award for her dedication to introducing students to the many facets of library research.

Through assignments based on everything from reels of mircrofilm to special archive materials to modern sales brochures, Benedict regularly challenges her students to look more deeply at the constructed nature of knowledge and » More …

Dear Dr. Universe: Why does hair turn gray?

Dr. Universe examining a hair follicleHair comes in lots of different colors. There’s black, medium brown, auburn, light brown, strawberry blonde, and copper, to name just a few. But in the end, almost everyone will have hair that’s gray or white.

I decided to visit my friend Cynthia Cooper, a biologist and researcher at Washington State University, for help answering this question from Darae, age 10.

Ever since you were born, different cells have been working on your hair. Each hair sprouts from a follicle, a sort of little hair-making factory under your skin. Here, some of your cells are making your hair and others are coloring it. » More …

Psychology course partners with clinic for real-world learning

Grace Clinic CEO Mark Brault presents to WSU Tri-Cities psychology students about the clinic and the services they offerAn elementary statistics in psychology course at WSU Tri-Cities partnered with Grace Clinic, a free health clinic in the Tri-Cities, to assess the mental health of its diabetic patients. The clinic now plans to use the data to maintain and improve its methods in meeting patient resources and health needs.

Throughout the fall semester course, the students analyzed the clinic’s diabetic patient A1C score data, which indicates the degree to which patients have their diabetes under control, and used a range of statistical » More …

Discovery for modifying diamonds could change computing

Marc WeberPULLMAN, Wash. – A group of WSU researchers has discovered a way to modify diamonds that opens up important applications in the field of quantum computing and in radiation detection.

Kelvin Lynn, professor of physics and of mechanical and materials engineering, and his team were using very thin strips of diamond inside a particle accelerator when they made an intriguing scientific discovery — by accident. » More …

Sustainable farming pioneer wins Bullitt Environmental Prize

Student research in the field, holding a stalk of rhubarb Cornelius Adewale, doctoral student and sustainable agriculture pioneer in WSU’s School of the Environment, is the winner of the 11th Annual Bullitt Environmental Prize.

The Bullitt Prize recognizes people with extraordinary potential to become powerful and effective leaders in the environmental movement.

Adewale’s research focuses on improving the environmental impact of agriculture. He is developing tools farmers can use to evaluate farming practices, so they can store more carbon, reduce chemical fertilizers, and produce more food. » More …

Sex that moves mountains: Spawning fish can influence river profiles

Alex FremierIt turns out that sex can move mountains. A Washington State University researcher has found that the mating habits of salmon can alter the profile of stream beds, affecting the evolution of an entire watershed. His study is one of the first to quantitatively show that salmon can influence the shape of the land.

Alex Fremier, lead author of the study and associate professor in the WSU School of the Environment, said female salmon “fluff” soil and gravel on a river bottom as they prepare their nests, or redds. » More …

WSU developing innovative technology to improve policing, public safety

As the nation grapples with policing and security issues, criminal justice experts at WSU are developing innovative technology to improve police–community relations, officer training and public safety.

Researchers in the new Complex Social Interaction laboratory at WSU are using body-worn cameras and advanced scientific tools and techniques—such as data analytics, biometrics and machine learning—to examine the complex factors that shape interactions between police and community members. » More …

WSU professor turns world travel into art, education, research, service

Malaysia to Morocco, New Mexico to the Netherlands—WSU fine arts professor Dennis DeHart is globetrotting with a purpose, weaving his world travels into art, education, research and community service.

An interdisciplinary artist and photographer, DeHart is on one-year sabbatical from teaching at WSU to work on three distinct projects, including an innovative, arts-based examination of water rights issues in the U.S. and abroad. Discrete aspects of place and time figure prominently into each project. » More …

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