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Office of the Vice Provost for Research

Below is a list of the final proposals submitted to the Emerging Areas of Research program at IU Bloomington, grouped first by school or college and then by the lead Principal Investigator's last name. Click on a title to see an expanded view with a brief description of the proposal. PDFs of the full proposals are linked just above the brief description.


COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

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With more than 65 million refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) around the world, the forced migration crisis is acute. Yet, despite the gravity of this crisis and its obvious political urgency, there is relatively little research on governing refugee movements, providing aid to displaced people, and integrating refugees and IDPs in host societies. Although the research on the international refugee regime requires dialogue across global, regional, and local contexts, most of this research is currently based on isolated case studies because there is no US-based research hub to enable substantial externally-funded collaborative research. In fact, even though the US is the single largest funder of humanitarian aid to refugees and IDPs, it still lacks an academic institution that offers primary research about refugees, policy advice to national and international governing bodies, and research-based information and commentary to public media. In this project, we will work collaboratively to examine the global system for governing refugees at three scales: the global, regional/national, and local. By taking the notion of "governance" to mean not only formal policy, but also the informal regulatory practices that shape behavior, we will focus on how the international system to aid refugees is coordinated--and not coordinated--across institutions and scales. Our proposed research will investigate how this system affects refugees and IDPs, and will result in both scholarly research and public media. Most importantly, it will also produce the “Indiana Plan,” a set of policy recommendations that will help manage migration flows and provide aid more effectively. With its long tradition of international research, and a faculty with both substantial academic and on-the-ground experience, IU is poised to become an international leader in refugee studies.

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Following the 2014 Not Alone report by the U.S. White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault, colleges across the country were encouraged, and many mandated by Office of Civil Rights, to increase their responses to endemic issues of sexual misconduct on college campuses. Despite decades of work demonstrating sexual violence directed toward youth – particularly women and minority populations – in settings such as colleges, military, and prison, campuses across the country faced a startling problem: little to no research existed to guide these evaluations and interventions. Few published studies exist demonstrating best practices for studying and measuring issues of sexual misconduct on college campuses, efficacious educational intervention programs, practices for preventing and responding to sexual trauma, or addressing structural and sociocultural factors which reinforce sexual violence. To address these issues, we are proposing an EAR centralized at The Kinsey Institute to significantly expand this area of research, which is sorely needed and rapidly emerging in response to numerous calls to action. This EAR proposal brings together over 55 IU Bloomington faculty, across multiple schools, programs, and institutes/centers. Collectively, we have identified three research clusters at the core of our proposed program: Methods (methodological and analytical techniques and issues in sexual violence research), Intervention and Assessment (researching and assessing evidence-based interventions and education programs to stop sexual violence), and Sexual Trauma (clinical research on treatment of and responses to sexual violence). This work will begin as an expansion of the IU Bloomington Community Attitudes and Experiences with Sexual Assault Survey, which was created for the IU Bloomington campus. The percentage of undergraduate women who reported experiencing attempted or completed nonconsensual sexual penetration (17 percent) on the IU Bloomington campus is similar to the widely cited national figure of 20 percent (see stopsexualviolence.iu.edu). With a true pledge to research and evidence-based activities on sexual violence, we have the commitment, capacity, and skills to lead an intensive interdisciplinary collaboration to better understand and ultimately stop sexual violence locally and nationally.

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Providing good, clean, fair and sustainable food for 9 billion people is a critical issue for the 21st century. It is complicated by climate change, drought, mass migration, and growing inequality, challenges that go far beyond the limits of traditional disciplines and demand more than technical solutions. Producing more food is not the most difficult issue—rather, we must work on creating food systems that help people produce, provide, and consume food that is healthy, sustainable, just, and equitable. IU is already a widely recognized leader in interdisciplinary human-focused food research and training, with scholars from numerous fields collaborating to meet the challenges faced by the global food web in the face of a changing planet. Strategic investment in this emerging area will augment our strengths, making IU a world leader in Food Studies. We propose to push forward in key research areas that build on and bridge our existing expertise, including in global food trade, food distribution systems, interactions between choice and health, and food system change through time. To do so, we plan hiring top food scholars in these areas and supporting several 2-year post-doctoral fellows, as well as graduate students in specific departments. We particularly seek scholars from underrepresented constituencies in food-related fields. We will pursue sustained funding for our research and training efforts by working with foundations (e.g., Lilly, Ford, Robert Wood Johnson) to develop relationships supporting our core aims, as well as through aggressive proposal submission to the numerous granting agencies that fund research in this emerging area, including NSF, NIH, and USDA. We also will to seek collaborative relationships with local and state food businesses.

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With the ever-increasing ability to collect and store massive amounts of complex data comes the need for efficient algorithms to process and analyze that data. The data can be whole genomes of many species, streaming sound or video or text data, multidimensional data with missing values, etc. The desired object may be a network rather than a simple numerical summary. Using probability cleverly often improves the computation in addition to measuring the chances an approximate algorithm gives the correct answer. This proposal builds a connection between existing areas of expertise on campus in order to improve probabilistic approaches to computational problems. The collaboration will lead to increased opportunities for external funding and for patentable algorithms and will position Indiana University to become a world leader in this interdisciplinary area. The research questions to be investigated initially include the development of probabilistic methods for communication-efficient algorithms for distributed optimization across a network of computers, for metric embeddings and manifold learning (reducing a problem in a complicated space to a problem in a simpler space in order to facilitate its solution or visualization), and for generating random graphs that more accurately model real-world networks for use in computational algorithms./p>

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Alzheimer's disease is one of the greatest threats to personal health, societal well-being, and economic viability facing modern society. In response, Congress has steadily increased funding for Alzheimer's research (50% increases in 2015 and 2016; NIH funding alone is more than $1.35B/yr). Each increase has similarly increased expectations for innovative approaches to developing diagnostic tests and effective therapies. Among the most promising approaches of our time include molecular neuroscience, network analytics, and machine learning. Each approach has potential to revolutionize how Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed and treated. Bloomington's Gill Center for Biomolecular Neuroscience, the Indiana University Network Institute (IUNI), and the School of Informatics and Computing (SoIC) are leaders in these approaches, respectively. We propose to combine the resources and technologies of the Gill Center, IUNI, and SoIC to form a coalition dedicated to building the next generation diagnostics and therapeutic methods needed to affect early diagnosis of and treatments for Alzheimer's disease. In this proposal, faculty hires will bridge between these organizations and establish Bloomington as a leader in the fight against Alzheimer's disease. By leveraging these state-of-the-art approaches, and with access to local resources, including the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center database of patient biometrics, the Stark Neuroscience model animal production facility, and UITS High Performance Computing Systems, these faculty will be prepared to establish world-class innovative research programs on Alzheimer's disease at IU Bloomington. If successful, this proposal will: 1) establish IU Bloomington's position as a leader in the field of Alzheimer's research; 2) lead to a new generation of methods to diagnose and treat Alzheimer's patients; 3) fuel innovation in molecular neuroscience, network science, and machine learning with far-reaching implications; and 4) establish IU Bloomington as the ground zero for training in these new methodologies.

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Quantum mechanics controls the properties of atomic scale systems, and understanding its details is fundamental to most of modern technology (from mechanistic understanding of synthetic chemistry and nuclear physics, to the foundations of the semiconductor and magnetic storage industries, to name but a few examples). The development of the knowledge that led to this technology is quite rightly known as the first quantum revolution. However, the progress in these fields to date typically has not made use of the most unique aspect of quantum phenomena, the peculiar non-local correlations exhibited by particular quantum states through what is known as entanglement. We are now coming to realize that entanglement lies at the heart of some of the most perplexing problems in materials physics, and it has also led to burgeoning revolutions in computing, cryptography, and other fields. Recently, the promise for entanglement to open major new technical horizons as our ability to control and understand this most unique aspect of the quantum universe has been described as the second quantum revolution. So-called quantum computers promise to provide exponential speed-up in solving problems that are fundamentally beyond the capabilities of conventional computers, and entanglement is believed to be the key distinguishing factor separating quantum from conventional computation. This is an area in which the National Science Foundation envisions making major investments over the upcoming decades, and it is also an area that has seen increased funding from the Defense agencies over the last decade. Technology companies, such as IBM and Google, have also identified this as a key area for future development and have devoted significant resources to the field recently. IU Bloomington has a core group of faculty with overlapping interests in this field, and we are seeking to broaden and link more effectively these efforts through the EAR initiative. We have two distinct experimental groups developing novel approaches to control and characterize entanglement in systems of many particles, and faculty members in both Physics and Informatics are exploring ways to recast conventional theories of computation in light of these new developments. A small number of hires in areas complementary to our existing efforts (such as large-scale (conventional) computational approaches to simulating several-body quantum systems, studies of trapped atom systems, and quantum measurement techniques) would provide a significant boost to the international profile of our group while also providing enhanced connections to the wider Quantum Information Technology community for our future graduates. Appropriate hires should also foster links between our existing efforts and future work in the Intelligent Systems Engineering program in areas such as quantum computing and quantum measurement. The short-term goals of this effort will be to develop scalable techniques for characterizing quantum entanglement in order to push the state-of-the-art to larger systems, and to understand how the fundamentally new capabilities enabled by understanding and controlling entanglement will shape the future of materials and information processing.

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One of the most profound questions in all of science, and indeed of the entire human experience, is whether life exists elsewhere in the universe. Advances in research and technology over the past 20 years have allowed us to take the first steps toward answering this question. In 1995, astronomers detected for the first time a planet orbiting a normal star other than the Sun; today, the number of confirmed exoplanets stands at more than 3,500. The properties of these exoplanets have yielded many surprises, and suggest that our solar system is not as typical as we had once assumed; this in turn opens up new and unexpected questions in this developing field. Moreover, advances in exoplanet research occur on time scales of weeks or months, as new instrument capabilities and data sets become available. As a partner in the WIYN 3.5-meter Telescope with the newly funded $10M NASA Extreme Precision Doppler Spectrometer (EPDS), IU is poised to become a major player in exoplanet research by occupying an important niche in the complement of current and planned research facilities. Candidate exoplanets discovered by Kepler and upcoming missions like TESS need to be confirmed as real, and their properties characterized. This requires a radial velocity spectrometer with a particular observational precision that is mounted on a ground-based telescope with a sufficiently large mirror size. NASA is funding EPDS for WIYN to provide this crucial capability. EPDS will be the most precise radial velocity spectrometer in the world, achieving precision sufficient to detect the signal of an Earth-like planet in orbit around a Sun-like star. The current and future landscape of exoplanet funding and facilities, coupled with the opportunity that both WIYN+EPDS and IU’s superb computational resources provide, positions IU to become a world leader in exoplanet research. With a modest and strategic investment, IU can build a thriving exoplanet group and establish itself immediately as an influential presence in both exoplanet observations and theory.

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The pollution of lakes and coastal bays by agricultural nitrogen fertilizer runoff, causing eutrophic algal growth, is a societal problem on a global scale that is superseded only by the buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The ability to deliver pure water (e.g. for residential use), and remediate the planet’s soil and atmosphere by transformative science is an emerging area of catalytic chemical research at the most fundamental level. We will invent economical catalysts that use solar power to convert nitrogen-containing field runoff into value-added products, including the recycling of these pollutants to agrochemicals. Sustainability will be built into the construction and operation of these new catalysts by building on the scientific breakthroughs in other catalyst-based environmental remediation processes, such as carbon dioxide recycling. We will pursue two strategies in catalyst design: (1) Molecular catalysts based on sustainable, inexpensive and nontoxic elements (e.g. iron) that are encased in a bioinspired, enzyme-like periphery will efficiently use energy harvested from sunlight (sourced from existing and developing photovoltaic technologies) for selective catalysis; and (2) Nanoparticle catalysts will capture solar energy, use their sharply pointed surface features to both concentrate this energy as well as create unique reactive sites for agricultural nitrogen waste conversion. The long term goal of our research is the development of new technologies for nitrogen waste conversion that can be “deployed and forgotten,” including in developing countries that have minimal infrastructure. By solving societal environmental problems, we will impact quality of life on a worldwide scale, deliver pure water and diminish the current cost of environmental remediation. The global impact of this emerging area forms a platform for innovative hiring and attracting long-term funding from the federal government and agrochemical companies.

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Humans grow, learn, and make decisions in a sea of data. The human brain embeds the statistics of the world in its basic operations. Recently a paradigm shift has occurred in machine learning that uses powerful statistical learning algorithms to beat GO masters, drive cars, recognize common objects, direct-target individuals with advertising, and more. A new science of learning is emerging that joins machine learning, human neuroscience, and behavioral studies of human learning. This new science promises more powerful and human-like machine learning algorithms, a deeper understanding of history-dependent learning processes in humans, and the design of more effective learning experiences for people. There are exciting new insights on the horizon. For example, current machine-learning prowess often depends on data-hungry algorithms that need massive input to succeed in just one task. Yet humans often succeed with much less data in many tasks. Young humans – infants and toddlers – may be the best learning devices on earth, showing rapid robust learning across multiple domains -- language learning, social interactions, visual object recognition -- that outpace the most advanced machine learning algorithms known. Can we find the algorithms that can do this kind of learning? This is an area of new research attracting attention from national and international science organizations and is one in which Indiana has core strength in computer science, psychological and brain science, cognitive science, and the program in neuroscience. The proposed research would focus on a unified and algorithmic understanding of human learning and its neural mechanisms and in the extension of these insights to machine learning.

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Understanding the human brain represents one of the grand challenges of 21st-century science. As the birthplace of connectomics and network neuroscience, IU has the potential to become one of the global leaders in this endeavor. IU researchers have made seminal contributions to the emerging science of brain networks, especially in applying modern tools from network science to map the structural and functional connections of the human brain. Maintaining and expanding IU's leadership role requires adding to our current faculty, especially in specific research areas dealing with the design of new methods for assembling, modeling and analyzing network data. Because of the rapidly growing resolution and size of brain data, there is an urgent need to develop acquisition, processing, and analysis methods based on more rigorous statistical foundations as well as scalable algorithms and infrastructure. IU is strongly positioned to capitalize on this trend because of its world-class IT infrastructure and its strength and ongoing investment in basic network science (e.g. through the creation of IUNI). This proposal addresses two research aims: (i) improved methodology for the acquisition and processing of brain data as well as methods for network construction and inference; and (ii) sophisticated analysis and modeling of the structure and dynamics of these networks to advance scientific knowledge. The expertise required to develop novel methodologies for network neuroscience research comes from multiple disciplines including statistics, bioinformatics, health sciences, data and computer science, magnetic resonance physics and medical imaging, computational neuroscience etc. Future faculty whose research address the two main aims outlined above could be affiliated with a broad range of academic units, where they would become important "connectors" to create new synergy and collaboration in research as well as create new opportunities for training the next generation of network neuroscientists.

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Traditional accounts of the poet, fiction, or creative non-fiction writer have tended to emphasize the solitary nature of the writing work. Yet even as the artist needs solitary time and space to hone her craft, this creative activity remains always embedded in particular times and places, reaching out to particular communities and drawing on experiences formed by diversities of gender, history, culture, or language. The Creative Writing Program wants to establish a Global Writing Program that will create a novel design of internationalization by combining Creative Writing’s existing strength with programs at Indiana University’s Gateway facilities to enable a new account of the nature of creative activity and to foster a newly emerging model of the Writer in the World. The point is an increasingly urgent one, at a time when global understanding takes on powerful meaning that requires ever more international and global cooperation to solve problems that beset humankind, from global warming to inter-religious dialog. In this context, and building on both the emerging notion of the Writer in the World and upon IU’s developing infrastructure in Global outreach, our proposal seeks to facilitate an international conversation among writers and would-be writers. How do writers embedded in different linguistic and cultural contexts engage matters of mutual concern? What do writers share across such rich diversities? How will contemporary poetry (and our understanding of it) change when poets from Indiana engage in writing workshops with poets in Beijing? What difference might cultural links between communities in South Asia and those in southern Indiana make to writing itself, as well as to our understanding of the power and meaning of creative activity? An EAR grant will enable the Creative Writing Program to invest resources to accomplish three goals: 1. hire a distinguished global writer; 2. build an International Nonfiction Program; and 3. establish global presence via Gateway Residencies and online classes. Building upon the model of the Writer in the World by going fully global, we will emerge as a leader in fresh ways of thinking about the international literary arts scene, and the nature of writing in our complex, interconnected world. And all the while, we will be developing firmer sinews between the emerging global hubs and the local writing scene in Bloomington.

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New research areas involving numerical simulation and “big data” science will have a major impact on astronomical research during the next decade; the increasing capabilities of high performance computing will enable a new generation of numerical and observational studies which will address the most fundamental questions on the formation and evolution of structure in the Universe. How these structures form, the physical mechanisms that drive their evolution, and where these structures can be found form the basis for fundamental research questions that further our understanding of the nature of the Universe. To address these questions on a broad scale requires a synergy between computational predictions and observational programs that test these models. We propose to enhance IU’s current strengths in observational astronomy and high performance computing by expanding our expertise in computational astrophysics, with a focus on structure evolution in the Universe. Specific technical approaches include (1) numerical simulations with sufficient spatial and temporal resolution to trace accurately the most significant transformational processes associated with galaxy formation and evolution; (2) numerical simulations of the multi-phase turbulent interstellar medium with proper physical treatment of magnetic fields, stellar winds, and other forms of energy injection and transport within molecular clouds; (3) analysis and interpretation of data from large survey projects, such as the LSST, to trace the stellar populations and structure of the Milky Way and other galaxies. Faculty involved in the next-generation computer models will be able to take advantage of national initiatives on exascale computing, including National Science Foundation programs targeted for this purpose. Funds from the Emerging Areas Research program will also be used to support postdoctoral research fellows and graduate students working on these projects. The synergy between these computational/theory faculty and research currently underway at IU, along with the superb cyber infrastructure available at IU, will position our group as one of the top programs in computational astrophysics and will increase the impact of ongoing observational research activity. To further increase our national reputation as a center for computational astrophysics, we will present the results of our research at national and international conferences, publish in peer reviewed journals, arrange for a short-term visitor program to bring outside experts to IU so that they can interact with our group, and organize both a workshop and a conference to be held at IU to engage the broader astronomical community and to highlight the superb computational capabilities of IU.

SCHOOL OF EDUCATION

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This project will advance knowledge about the collaboration process for systematic policy change by researching the following: 1) processes that can lead to paradigm change of K-12 educational systems by working with state leaders, building on several recent initiatives, including the Ohio “Transformational Dialogue for Public Education” initiative from 2007 to 2012 and Missouri’s recent “Justice Reinvestment Movement,” 2) state-level organizational/administrative structures needed to support paradigm change efforts in their school districts, 3) state laws, policies, and regulations that can create those organizational and administrative structures, and 4) university structures that can more effectively inform, support, and collaborate with state-level educational and administrative entities. Initiatives will be undertaken in each of these four areas in Indiana and one other state to implement, evaluate, and advance existing knowledge about each, while simultaneously improving societal systems. Additional funding will be actively sought from foundations and the U.S. Department of Education.

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There is grave concern that over the next decade many Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Computing (STEM+C) related jobs will go unfilled because current schooling is not preparing students in ways to meet this growing demand for competent STEM+C professionals. Not only is the demand greater than the current and future supply, but students who have successfully navigated the STEM+C pathway often don’t have a true interdisciplinary understanding of STEM+C. Much of this problem can be traced back to how STEM+C subjects are presented in curriculum and how teachers of STEM+C subject areas are prepared to teach and collaborate using an interdisciplinary perspective. To address this problem STEM+C educators, researchers, and industry leaders must come together to create educational experiences that will promote understanding of the interdisciplinary relationships of STEM+C. We are proposing an innovative approach to interdisciplinary STEM+C learning for teachers and students through the development of a Research on Teaching and Learning Lab (RTLL)that will support both STEM+C professional development initiatives with teachers and STEM+C learning experiences for students elementary through the secondary grades. The RTLL will serve as a hub for research on STEM+C teacher cognition, which includes what they know, believe and think about effective integrated STEM+C teaching. In addition, the RTLL will serve as a shared space for cohorts of teachers and students to separately but simultaneously engage in workplace simulation projects demonstrating true STEM+C integration. In this context teachers will have the opportunity to engage as learners in a STEM+C workplace simulation project and then implement the project themselves with students; all while being supported through an innovative synchronous coaching model designed to identify aspects of teacher cognition and practices needed for successful integrated STEM+C learning. For the most part, research on STEM education has focused on student learners and their engagement and motivation for pursuing future studies or careers in STEM. The significance of this research is the potential impact it will have on identifying necessary components of teacher cognition for effective STEM+C learning to occur, and thus re-framing the conversation about what knowledge, beliefs, and practices teachers need to develop for STEM+C education to truly become a part of the K-12 landscape.

SCHOOL OF GLOBAL AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES

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SGIS has launched a program of strategic hiring in the area of international development, aid, and foreign investment. To build on this initiative, we propose a two-part project: We will create a subnational, multi-dimensional indicator of risk and then develop a conceptual framework for assessing aid and investment effectiveness based on project responsiveness to dynamic contexts and the capacity to adapt. The development community has increasingly recognized the importance of small-scale, context-specific projects given the limited success of bilateral and multilateral transfers to national governments. However, donors and practitioners still need tools for evaluating whether these projects will be effective. Effective aid and investment efforts are locally oriented, contextually specific, and temporally adaptive, which suggests that national level and static characteristics are unlikely to provide sufficient guidance on how to best adapt aid programs and delivery to local needs. Development assistance organizations have struggled to learn from past interventions that foundered either by failing to account for multi-dimensional risk, or adjusting too slowly to changing circumstances. Our research will generate an indicator of risk that includes the following dimensions: political, security, economic, environmental, and socio-cultural. This will be a subnational metric, constructed using geographic information systems (GIS) to allow levels of risk to vary over space within a country. Building on the risk indicator, our project will identify effective, adaptive projects: assistance and investment that can react and adapt to dynamic and changing contexts (reflected in the risk measure) and incorporate immediate and ongoing feedback on the ground. This program will position IU at the forefront of development research and practice, because it will reshape the ways in which international development projects are designed, implemented, measured, and assessed.

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New Media and Global Africa is a research project focused on the dramatic increase in African cultural production during the past twenty years. These expressions include film, literature, music, photography, and other visual and expressive arts that have been shaped by past practices and new media, including digital and other formats. The artists are on the continent and in Africa's many diaspora communities in the Americas, Asia, and Europe: Global Africa refers to these expressions in Africa and abroad. The research project will go beyond tired assumptions of unchanging tradition and facile understandings of the impact of technological change to produce a new, cross-disciplinary paradigm for analyzing these African expressions. This project develops three themes: mobility, de-centralized production made possible by new media, and performance. Scholars at various stages of their research will interact in various fora as they launch individual projects, analyze data, and write articles and books. We anticipate some of the research will appear in journals produced by Indiana University Press, including Africa Today and Black Camera, as well as the press's book series, including African Expressive Culture and Studies of the Cinema of the Black Diaspora. The project also will support the digitization of rare African resources at IU's many repositories, such as the Lilly Library and the Black Film Center/Archive and create a new website on New Media and Global Africa with text, podcasts, and other features, such as streaming interviews with prominent African artists whose work is the focus of scholars on this team. This research draws on both long-established methodologies in the arts, humanities, and social sciences and new, participatory research methods. The project will coordinate research in several IU units and, through a four-year plan of research and related activities, will establish IU as an international leader in cross-disciplinary studies of new media and global African cultural production. The project also will lay the foundation for a new IU center on new media and global Africa.

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The fragmentation, plurality, and exclusivity of religious authority in Islam have been among the most fiercely contested phenomena among Muslims in both Muslim–minority and –majority societies. Despite its significant implications for Muslims and non-Muslims, this subject also has been among the least studied in the West and has proven particularly baffling for outside observers, scholars and policy makers. Perceptions of fragmentation of religious authority have been exacerbated by intensifying (and typically unsuccessful) efforts by anxious religious functionaries, judges and other ‘ulama’ – widely regarded as the guardians, transmitters and interpreters of religious knowledge, doctrine and law – to regulate Islam in a religious climate that many Muslims characterize as chaotic or anarchic. In this initiative, we propose to create an Institute for the Study of Contemporary Islam, whose main purpose – through local, national and international collaborative work that includes conferences, international workshops, multiple IU working groups, multilingual publications across multiple media, and engagement with foreign scholars and national public policy experts – is to develop a novel, comprehensive, multi-lingual and global-reaching analytical framework to study the crisis of authority in Islam.

SCHOOL OF INFORMATICS AND COMPUTING

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This project catalyzes a new interdisciplinary field of study, Educational Data Science (EDS). EDS realizes the new potential of big data and advanced learning analytics for the complex, high-stakes environment of higher education. The project capitalizes on and extends existing IUB research strengths and external collaborations to perform research and development needed to understand and optimize the impact of different interventions on student success at IU and beyond. Theories and methods from Cognitive, Data, Learning, Economic, and Management Sciences will be used to develop, validate, and optimize models that capture details of key student choice points; behavioral and social factors; and the value of different types of interventions. We will set up a secure, federated precision data infrastructure that integrates student engagement and performance before, during, and after IU; inside and outside of the classroom. Precision data and custom tools will be used to validate and optimize models, study the utility of different data sources, and understand the impact of interventions. Resulting models will support data-driven decision making by students, teachers, and leadership with the overall goal of improved student engagement, performance, and success. The creation of a Collaboratory will ensure timely dissemination of results and support close collaboration between faculty, students, staff, and industry partners.

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Tens of thousands of chemicals are currently in use worldwide, hundreds more are introduced every year, and because current toxicity testing is expensive and time consuming, only a small fraction of these chemicals have been evaluated for potential human health effects. Current toxicity assessment involving short-term exposure of experimental animals to high doses (higher than expected in a human population) are too expensive and time consuming to apply to the backlog of unstudied chemicals. Worse, these approaches do not always correctly predict toxicity in humans. The large number of animals used in these studies has also become a regulatory and social concern. Our inability to rapidly and accurately determine toxicity results in human exposure to dangerous chemicals and the needless prohibition on the use of potentially useful ones. With the failure of both classical whole-animal and the newer in vitro high-throughput methods coupled with the pressing need for affordable and precise toxicity assessment and prediction, toxicity research desperately requires new approaches. Precision toxicology applies a range of novel computational and experimental techniques to solve the fundamental problems in predictive toxicology. IU Bloomington already has leading experts in approaches addressing the obstacles to toxicity prediction, including scientists developing more predictive approaches to classical whole-animal testing, improving our ability to extrapolate from animal to human, predicting population heterogeneity, mechanism-based virtual tissue computer simulations to extrapolate from molecular effects to systems effects, PhyloToxicology to extrapolate between model systems, and high-throughput-whole animal imaging to combine the cost effectiveness of molecular and cellular techniques with the greater predictivity of whole-animal techniques. IU Bloomington researchers in Informatics have developed state of the art biological big-data and chemical informatics approaches to make optimal use of the large volumes of data already available. In most of these areas, IU Bloomington is the world-leader or a best-in-class. Subsets of these faculty already collaborate on a variety of projects and have extensive funding from and collaborations with industry and with the key American and European regulatory agencies. However, so far IU Bloomington has lacked a central focus to unify these efforts to create a single world-leading approach to predictive toxicology. The EAR Predictive Toxicology Center will provide the additional faculty (with a target senior hire in integrative precision toxicology and two junior hires in modeling intracellular biochemical mechanisms or chemical structure-activity relationships or toxicology), staff (with Dr. Sluka as executive director) and shared interdisciplinary postdocs to solve this multibillion (perhaps trillion) dollar global human health challenge.

JACOBS SCHOOL OF MUSIC/SOIC

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How people experience music in their daily lives is changing. Even though access to recorded music has grown exponentially, many Americans are not satisfied simply to be “audience members of one,” passively hearing music via an electronic device. And those who participate in music want more than a seat in the audience: they want to experience music more directly by performing and engaging in the visceral process of making music. This project, a collaboration of the Jacobs School of Music and the School of Informatics and Computing, proposes the creation of an intelligent tutor to help beginners study piano or guitar, taking them through the goal of playing their first song. The project combines the strengths of Jacobs performers and educators with experts in machine learning at SoIC, and develops novel methods to teach beginners in musically sensitive and social ways. The development of the tutor also provides significant research opportunities for music education more generally, especially in the area of self regulation as a musician practices. The project provides an unparalleled opportunity for the SoIC machine learning researches to address an interdisciplinary problem involving computation in the arts where the need is acutely felt and the intellectual challenge is compelling. The creation of the tutor will help Jacobs achieve a milestone in its development: it can work at scale, permitting thousands of beginning musicians the opportunity, the access, and the convenience of bringing music into their lives, to do so with in conjunction with other beginners, and to receive the excellent instruction for which Jacobs is known worldwide.

MAURER SCHOOL OF LAW

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In recent years, a new interdisciplinary field has been emerging that studies the ways in which basic legal structures shape a society’s ability to sustain democracy, deliver economic development, and create stable and accountable government. This new field of constitutional design is working to address some of the most pressing issues in the world today: the collapse of states, internal armed conflict, structural inequality, and the challenge of ethnic nationalism and religious fundamentalism to the stability and accountability of governments. In order to design basic legal structures to address these issues, it is necessary to understand the on-going processes through which these structures shape and are shaped by political, cultural, and economic forces over time. Moreover, a comparative approach – looking both at what has failed and also at what has worked under different conditions – is necessary to develop usable models for addressing real world problems. As a result, successful production of knowledge about these issues requires the interaction of political science, anthropology, economics, and law, as well as the perspectives of interdisciplinary fields such as global studies, area studies, and gender studies. Thus, this emerging area of research is fundamentally interdisciplinary and oriented around a series of critical real world challenges. Indiana University is poised to be a global leader in this field. We have a core of faculty, across the Bloomington campus, who are working on these issues from a range of perspectives and are in conversation with each other. This proposal includes faculty from the Law School, Political Science, Anthropology, Gender Studies, Economics, and SGIS. The project will also build on the work of a series of existing Centers and Workshops at IU, including the Workshop on Political Theory, the Center for the Global Legal Profession, and the Center for the Study of Global Change. In addition to strong faculty and Centers, IU also has two particular advantages in the development of this new field. First, through the work of the Center for Constitutional Democracy (CCD), IU has an ongoing engagement in both the study and the practice of constitutional design. Over the past ten years, the CCD has advised reformers in Burma (Myanmar), Liberia, South Sudan, Libya, Vietnam, Yemen, Iraq (Kurdistan), and Cuba. And second, IU has the PhD degree in Law and Democracy, which is the only degree of its kind in the world: a law-based, interdisciplinary program on constitutional design that includes both theoretical grounding and practical experience in constitutional drafting and reform. Graduates of this program will expand the impact of the constitutional design work at Indiana University exponentially as they take their unique training in this new field out to universities, governments, and NGOs around the world.

SCHOOL OF OPTOMETRY

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Vision is a core sensation that requires massive cortical processing which almost everyone relies upon at each waking moment. The public often think of vision as a simple process associated with merely the eyes, but the eye is just the beginning of the very complex series of optical, biological, neurological, and psychological processes allowing individuals to not only "see", but process and interpret the signals received, so they can understand, make decisions, develop memories and react. The study of these vision processes at IU Bloomington has a rich history. Given its inherent cross-disciplinary nature spanning physics, biology, neuroscience, computer science, genetics, medicine, and psychology, we propose the formation of a cohesive Vision Science Program at IU Bloomington to capitalize on the existing strengths of the vision science faculty, currently operating in isolation within different departments. Many of these faculty are world-renown in their own discipline. However, by formalizing what may otherwise be informal collaborations we will further enhance the international profile of vision research at IU Bloomington by establishing an identifiable program. Simply by collecting together the current IU Bloomington scientists in this field will already establish IU as a world renowned center for cross-disciplinary Vision Science research (e.g. biology and optics of vision development). Hiring new faculty in this Vision Science program, will further bolster IU Bloomington’s area of excellence. Through this aim we plan to enhance and expand our research and education programs in this highly fundable (e.g. NIH, NSF, industry) area of scholarship, which in turn will lead to attracting more and higher quality vision science students, provide the cohesiveness grant reviewers have requested to see (e.g. NIH core and training grants), and allow the competitive submission of additional grants.

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Our plan to create a world class Concussion Research Core utilizing shared laboratory space within the soon-to-be-built Rink Institute of Sports Medicine and Technology is an exciting opportunity for IU and an ideal fit for the Emerging Areas of Research funding program. Heightened awareness of the frequency and potential seriousness of concussion has led to increased funding to better understand its causes, treatment and prevention. The stated goal of the EAR is to support a key area of research in order to enhance the overall volume, quality, and impact of research conducted at IU Bloomington. Successful proposals should involve multidisciplinary, collaborative projects that capitalize on existing IU strengths, fill gaps in the breadth of IU Bloomington faculty, and address a research barrier. A key component of the Concussion Research Core proposal is the hiring of three faculty with expertise in concussion. These multidisciplinary hires will, in collaboration with existing IU researchers and the IU Athletics Department, focus on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of concussion. This unprecedented collaboration addresses a primary barrier to concussion research, namely access to a high-risk population. Once created, the CRC will be the only academic concussion research center built into a state-of-the-art NCAA Division I athletics facility, and the only shared research lab fully integrated into a premier Sports Medicine department. With EAR funding, the support of IU Athletics, and additional resources such as IU's state-of-the-art Imaging Research Facility, we will attract leading international scientists, making IU the pre-eminent concussion research facility in the world, and bringing recognition, funding and opportunities for additional intellectual properties to IU Bloomington.

OVPIT

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The Internet and the information technology (IT) infrastructure of every organization originates from supply chains that include a variety of sources: commercial, open source, domestic, and foreign. Even large agencies such as the U.S. Department of Defense no longer build their own IT infrastructure, and instead rely on complex supply chains. These supply chains commence from design of an integrated circuit or printed circuit board, all the way through production of the chips and boards, shipments of the many subcomponents and components, to delivery and setup in its final intended location. Amplifying today’s cybersecurity challenges are the growing number of attacks on our IT infrastructure before the infrastructure even reaches our organizations: it is attacked as it transverses these supply chains. Examples exist today of technology being internationally corrupted prior to its arrival. The increasing use of technology in the transportation, electoral, and medical sectors is raising the stakes of these attacks. Attacks on these and other sectors represents an emerging multidisciplinary cybersecurity challenge that has only recently begun to be recognized by businesses and government. Our overarching research question is how to establish and maintain trust in our society’s growing use of technology through enhanced cybersecurity in the context of modern supply chains. This is a multidisciplinary research area we are calling Logistics Cybersecurity. We will initially focus on cybersecurity and integrated circuit (IC) logistics with the goal of making IU a focal point for IC supply chain cybersecurity. Logistics cybersecurity is a key challenge to both public and private sectors with a grand scope across software, hardware, and devices, from the mundane to critical infrastructure. The aim of our research is the development of technical, legal, and economic countermeasures for attacks on the supply chain of IT systems. This will be accomplished by leveraging analytics, crafting appropriate incentive structures through empirical studies, technical innovation, and governance research. Our collaboration between the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research (CACR), Kelley School of Business, the Maurer School of Law, and the School of Informatics and Computing (SOIC) leverages existing business, law, and technology expertise that are well-poised for this emergent area of research. In addition, the CACR has administrative expertise in managing large projects. We will establish the Center for Logistics Cybersecurity (CLC) at Indiana University, and in turn establish IU as a leader in the critical intersection of logistics and cybersecurity.