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  1. Massachusetts defined K-12 Digital Literacy/Computer Science (DLCS) standards in 2016 and developed a 5-12 teacher licensure process, expecting K-4 teachers to be capable of teaching to the standards under their elementary license. An NSF CSforAll planning grant led to the establishment of an NSF 4-year ResearchPractice Partnership (RPP) of district and school administrators, teachers, university researchers, and external evaluators in 2018. The RPP focused on the 33 K-5 serving schools to engage all students in integrated CS/CT teaching and learning and to create a cadre of skilled and confident elementary classroom teachers ready to support their students in learning CS/CT concepts and practices. The pandemic exacerbated barriers and inequities across the district, which serves over 25,000 diverse students (9.7% white/nonHispanic, 83.7% high needs). Having observed a lack of awareness and expertise among many K-5 teachers for implementing CS/CT content and practices and seeing barriers to equitable CS/CT teaching and learning, the RPP designed an iterative, teacher-led, co-design of curriculum supported by equity-focused and embedded professional learning. This experience report describes how we refined our strategies for curriculum development and diffusion, professional learning, and importantly, our commitment to addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion beyond just reaching all students. The RPP broadened its focus on understanding race and equity to empower students to understand how technology affects their identities and to equip them to critically participate in the creation and use of technology 
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  2. Triply periodic minimal surface lattices have mechanical properties that derive from the unit cell geometry and the base material. Through computation software like nTopology and Abaqus, these geometries are used to tune nonlinear stress–strain curves not readily achievable with solid materials alone and to change the compliance by two orders of magnitude compared to the constituent material. In this study, four elastomeric TPMS gyroids undergo large deformation compression and tension testing to investigate the impact of the structure's geometry on the mechanical properties. Among all the samples, the modulus at strainεvaries by over one order of magnitude (7.7–293.4 kPa from FEA under compression). These lattices are promising candidates for designing multifunctional systems that can perform multiple tasks simultaneously by leveraging the geometry's large surface area to volume ratio. For example, the architectural functionality of the lattice to bear loads and store mechanical energy along with the larger surface area for energy storage is combined. A compliant double‐gyroid capacitor that can simultaneously achieve three functions is demonstrated: load bearing, energy storage, and sensing.

     
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  3. Abstract

    Elastomer‐granule composites have been used to switch between soft and stiff states by applying negative pressure differentials that cause the membrane to squeeze the internal grains, inducing dilation and jamming. Applications of this phenomenon have ranged from universal gripping to adaptive mobility. Previously, the combination of this jamming phenomenon with the ability to transport grains across multiple soft actuators for shape morphing has not yet been demonstrated. In this paper, the authors demonstrate the use of hollow glass spheres as granular media that functions as a jammable “quasi‐hydraulic” fluid in a fluidic elastomeric actuator that better mimics a key featur of animal musculature: independent control over i) isotonic actuation for motion; and ii) isometric actuation for stiffening without shape change. To best implement the quasi‐hydraulic fluid, the authors design and build a fluidic device. Leveraging this combination of physical properties creates a new option for fluidic actuation that allows higher specific stiffness actuators using lower volumetric flow rates in addition to independent control over shape and stiffness. These features are showcased in a robotic catcher's mitt by stiffening the fluid in the glove's open configuration for catching, unjamming the media, then pumping additional fluid to the mitt to inflate and grasp.

     
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  4. Abstract

    The 25–26 June 2015 nocturnal mesoscale convective system (MCS) from the Plains Elevated Convection at Night (PECAN) field project produced severe winds within an environment that might customarily be associated with elevated convection. This work incorporates both a full-physics real-world simulation and an idealized single-sounding simulation to explore the MCS’s evolution. Initially, the simulated convective systems were elevated, being maintained by wavelike disturbances and lacking surface cold pools. As the systems matured, surface outflows began to appear, particularly where heavy precipitation was occurring, with air in the surface cold pools originating from up to 4–5 km AGL. Via this progression, the MCSs exhibited a degree of self-organization (i.e., structures that are dependent upon an MCS’s particular history). The cold pools eventually became 1.5–3.5 km deep, by which point passive tracers revealed that the convection was at least partly surface based. Soon after becoming surface based, both simulations produced severe surface winds, the strongest of which were associated with embedded low-level mesovortices and their attendant outflow surges and bowing segments. The origin of the simulated mesovortices was likely the downward tilting of system-generated horizontal vorticity (from baroclinity, but also possibly friction) within the simulated MCSs’ outflow, as has been argued in a number of previous studies. Taken altogether, it appears that severe nocturnal MCSs may often resemble their cold pool-driven, surface-based afternoon counterparts.

     
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  5. Abstract

    This case study analyzes a nocturnal mesoscale convective system (MCS) that was observed on 25–26 June 2015 in northeastern Kansas during the Plains Elevated Convection At Night (PECAN) project. Over the course of the observational period, a broken line of elevated nocturnal convective cells initiated around 0230 UTC on the cool side of a stationary front and subsequently merged to form a quasi-linear MCS that later developed strong, surface-based outflow and a trailing stratiform region. This study combines radar observations with mobile and fixed mesonet and sounding data taken during PECAN to analyze the kinematics and thermodynamics of the MCS from 0300 to 0630 UTC. This study is unique in that 38 consecutive multi-Doppler wind analyses are examined over the 3.5 h observation period, facilitating a long-duration analysis of the kinematic evolution of the nocturnal MCS. Radar analyses reveal that the initial convective cells and linear MCS are elevated and sustained by an elevated residual layer formed via weak ascent over the stationary front. During upscale growth, individual convective cells develop storm-scale cold pools due to pockets of descending rear-to-front flow that are measured by mobile mesonets. By 0500 UTC, kinematic analysis and mesonet observations show that the MCS has a surface-based cold pool and that convective line updrafts are ingesting parcels from below the stable layer. In this environment, the elevated system has become surface based since the cold pool lifting is sufficient for surface-based parcels to overcome the CIN associated with the frontal stable layer.

     
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  6. Abstract

    The thermoelectric properties of semiconducting polymers are influenced by both the carrier concentration and the morphology that sets the pathways for charge transport. A combination of optical, morphological, and electrical characterization is used to assess the effect of the role of disorder on the thermoelectric properties of thin films of poly(3‐hexylthiophene) (P3HT) doped with 2,3,5,6‐tetrafluoro‐7,7,8,8‐tetracyanoquinodimethane (F4TCNQ). Controlled morphologies are formed by casting blends of regioregular (RR‐P3HT) and regiorandom (RRa‐P3HT) and then subsequently doped with F4TCNQ from the vapor phase. Optical spectroscopy and X‐ray scattering show that vapor phase doping induces order in the disordered regions of thin films and increases the long‐range connectivity of the film. The thermoelectric properties are assessed as a function of composition and it is shown that while the Seebeck coefficient is affected by structural ordering, the electrical conductivity and power factor are more strongly correlated with the long‐range connectivity of ordered domains.

     
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