Home Campus Directory | A-Z Index
»FACULTY PARTICIPANTS
»Dr. Pavel Azalov
Computer Science
»Barbara Brazon
Information Sciences and Technology
»Dr. Peter Crabb
Psychology
»Dr. Carl Frankel
Biology
»Dr. Maggie Gordon Froehlich
English
»Dr. Christopher Goguen
Biology
»Dr. Wes Grebski
Engineering
»Dr. Yusuke Hayashi
Psychology
»Dr. J. Alfredo Jimenez
Math
»Dr. Zugang (Leo) Liu
Business Administration
»Dr. Eric Lu
Information Sciences and Technology
»Dr. Kathy Maxwell
Kinesiology
»Dr. Daniel Mansson
Communications
»Dr. David Miller
Physics
»Dr. Justin Nordstrom
History
»Dr. Frank Novak
Chemistry
»Dr. Dinesh (Dan) Patel
Chemistry
»Dr. Michael Polgar
Sociology
»Dr. Joe Ranalli
Engineering
»Dr. Sherry Robinson
Business
»Dr. Tom Smialek
Music
»Dr. David Smith
English and History
»Dr. David Starling
Physics
»Dr. Lisa Goguen
Psychology
»Dr. Molly Wertheimer
Communication Arts & Sciences
»Dr. Liz Wright
English
»Amie Yenser
Biology
»Dr. Xingguo Zhang
Physics
 

FACULTY PARTICIPANTS

Penn State Hazleton faculty who are interested in working with undergraduate student research projects are listed here. Most faculty will present a brief overview of their research at the Undergraduate Research Evening in the Fall semester. Click on the name of each faculty to learn more about their research interests and projects.

 

Dr. Pavel Azalov
Computer Science

Office: M 101
Phone: 570-450 3542
Email: pka10@psu.edu

Research Interests:

  • Educational Technology: Web-Based  Educational Systems, Problem-Based and Project-Based Teaching, Computer Science for the High School  
  • Design and Analysis of Algorithms: Synthetic Data Generation, Structural Similarity of Informational Objects 
  • Database Technology: Web Databases and Information Systems, Information Retrieval, Semistructured Data and XML Databases, Object-Oriented Databases

Student Involvement:

  • Writing computer programs.
  • Programming languages: C++ or Java

Recent Projects: 

  • Azalov, P. Synthetic Exercises on the Web. IEEE Computer Society Press, 2005, Volume 1.
  • Azalov, P. Equivalent Variables. Mathematics and Informatics, No. 1, 2005, pp. 3-12 
  • Azalov, P. and F. Zlatarova. Synthetic XML Data. Proceedings of the 33rd UMB Conference, 2004
  • Azalov, P. and F. Zlatarova. An Instructor’s Environment for Automatic Generation of Problem Sequences. IEEE Computer Society Press, 2004, Volume 1
  • Azalov, P. and F. Zlatarova. Teaching Programming through Successive Problem Transformations. The Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 2003, Volume 18, No. 4
  • Azalov, P. and F. Zlatarova. SDG - A System for Synthetic Data Generation. IEEE Computer Society Press, 2003
 

Barbara Brazon
Information Sciences and Technology

Office: K 116
Phone: 570-450-3089
E-mail: bxb30@psu.edu  

 

Dr. Peter Crabb
Psychology

Office: M102
Phone: (570) 450-3547
E-mail: pbc1@psu.edu   

Research Interests:

My research program examines various ways that technology/material culture insinuates itself into social behavior and personality processes.

Student Involvement:

Up to 2 students may participate in a new environmental psychology project examining littering behavior.

Recent Projects: 

  • Crabb, P., and Elizaga, A. (in press). The adaptive value of tool-aided defense against wild animal attacks. Aggressive Behavior. 
  • Crabb, P. B. (2005). The material culture of suicidal fantasies. Journal of Psychology, 139, 211-220. 
  • Crabb, P. B. (2003). Technology and self-regulation: The case of alarm clock use. Social Behavior and Personality, 31, 343-348.

 

 

Dr. Carl Frankel
Biology

Office: Kostos 107
Phone: (570) 450-3080
E-mail: csf1@psu.edu  

Research Interests:

I am willing and eager to supervise research projects on almost any aspect of biology in which I feel reasonably competent. Students may do reading research on a wide range of topics. They may also choose laboratory or field research, but opportunities for those are limited by available equipment and expertise. My particular area of training is genetics/molecular biology, but I would also welcome projects related to medicine, botany, biochemistry and other fields.

This year I am looking for a student to do simple statistical analysis and research on questionnaires collected by one of my classes. They looked at common misconceptions about health and medicine, comparing responses of people with college education and those without. The question is whether those with college education are any better informed.

 

Dr. Maggie Gordon Froehlich
English

Office: Library 5 
Phone: (570) 450-3134
E-mail: mgf10@psu.edu

Research Interests:

  • After graduate school, my interest in the issues that drove my dissertation project -- of women, religion, gender, spirituality, and myth in contemporary women's poetry -- developed in a variety of ways.  Most broadly, my work in the field of cultural studies has me focusing on issues of diversity (particularly with regard to gender, sexuality, race, and class) in late-19th and early-20th century American literature and culture.

Student Involvement:

  • I'd be delighted to supervise students pursuing independent research projects in literature, film studies, popular culture, race, gender, and sexuality studies.
  • I also welcome students' interest in assisting me in the professional work of literary scholarship; this sort of mentoring relationship might be of particular interest to students pursuing (undergraduate or graduate) degrees in the humanities.

Recent Projects: 

  • My dissertation, "(Re)Conceiving the Sacred:  Postmodern Spirituality in the Poetry of Louise Gluck" (University of Mississippi, 2000) examines the ways in which female bodily experience (such as maternity and anorexia) influence contemporary American poet Louise Gluck's poetics, particularly her use of Classical mythology.
  • The "Slayer" in the 1990s:  Images of Female Heroism in Contemporary Literature and Culture.  Throughout American high and popular culture in the 1990s -- in novels, memoirs, 'zines, comics, popular music, film, and television -- adolescent female rebellion is depicted as heroic, rather than, as is so often the case, hysteric.
  • Intersections of race and (homo)sexuality in F. Scott Fitzgerald's *The Great Gatsby."  I'm interested in examining *Gatsby* within its cultural and historical context -- a time historians of both sexuality and of race look to as crucial in the development of discourses of identity.
 

Dr. Christopher Goguen
Biology

Office: Kostos 115
Phone: (570) 450 3088
E-mail: cbg10@psu.edu  

Research Interests:

My general research area is wildlife ecology with a particular emphasis on birds and mammals, but I enjoy working on projects on all aspects of the natural world. I particularly enjoy getting students outdoors to collect data, and have often worked on projects either on the grounds of our campus or at a local state park. I currently have a couple ideas for possible independent projects analyzing data from my current research in a local state park. First, a student could work with me to start to analyze radiotelemetry data related to habitat use of fledgling Veeries (a songbird). Second, I could use assistance in developing a photo database for identifying individual Wood Turtles encountered in the park.

Student Involvement:

I have three main research interests currently that would lend themselves to independent student projects or short-term volunteer opportunities:
1) an inventory of the mammal species of Nescopeck State Park;
2) assessment of population status of the state endangered Allegheny Woodrat in Lehigh Gorge State Park, 
3) songbird breeding success in a bison-grazed landscape in New Mexico, with an emphasis on cowbird parasitism.

Recent Projects: 

  • Goguen, C. B. and G. J. San Julian.  2007.  Effect of artificial brushpiles on small mammal abundance and diversity in forested habitats in central Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania Chapter of The Wildlife Society, State College, PA.
  • Goguen, C.B., D. R. Curson, and N. E. Mathews.  2005.  Behavioral ecology of the brown-headed cowbird in a bison-grazed landscape in New Mexico.  Ornithological Monographs 57:71-83
  • Goguen, C.B., and N.E. Mathews.  2000.  Local gradients of cowbird abundance and parasitism relative to livestock grazing in a western landscape. Conservation Biology. 14:1862-1869.
 

Dr. Wes Grebski
Engineering

Office: Kostos 111
Phone: (570) 450-3087
E-mail: wxg3@psu.edu  

Research Interests:

Sustainable forms of energy, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, and hands-on sustainable energy activities for K-12 students.

Student Involvement:

My research interest is optimization of the design as well as applied research projects which are done for local industry.

Recent Projects: 

"K-12 Outreach for Teaching Engineering Concepts." International Conference on Engineering Education.

 

Dr. Yusuke Hayashi
Psychology

Office:  Memorial 101
Phone: (570) 450-3431
Email:  yuh26@psu.edu

 

Research Interests:

Generally, I am interested in knowing what makes people behave in the way they do. Based on this interest, I am currently developing two laboratory-based research projects. One is aimed at understanding decision-making processes underlying safe behavior (e.g., wearing a helmet). The other is aimed at developing computer-based instructional programs for teaching various academic skills (e.g., reading, solving math problems, and critical thinking).

 

Dr. J. Alfredo Jimenez
Math

Office: G113
Phone: (570) 450-3117
E-mail: jaj4@psu.edu

Research Interests:

Uses of technology to gain a deeper understanding of mathematics either in education, art, or producing animations.

Student Involvement:

Students interested in education willing to see how to use technology to help students gain a better understanding of math. Students interested in the intersection of math, art, and technology. Purely students interested in math.


Recent Projects: 


I could show some current work with computer algebra systems or with producing interactive math lessons, but none of this has been published yet.

 

Dr. Zugang (Leo) Liu
Business Administration

Office: Administration 208
Phone: (570) 450-3096
E-mail: zxl23@psu.edu

Research Interests:

My general research area is management science which is a scientific approach of using quantitative techniques to aid in management decision-making. Currently, I manage two tracks of research: supply chain networks, and quantitative analysis for financial investment decisions. Some of the topics I did with students include: A study of the energy industry in Norway, A study of the moving average investment strategy, socially responsible mutual funds, are the best companies for employers also the best companies for investors?

Student Involvement:

Student can get involved in literature review and data collection. I also would like to help students conduct research on their own interested topics.

Recent Projects

  • An Integrated Electric Power Supply Chain and Fuel Market Network Framework: Theoretical Modeling with Empirical Analysis for New England (with A. Nagurney), Naval Research Logistics, forthcoming..
  • Stock Market Crashes, Firm Characteristics, and Stock Returns (with J. Wang, G. Meric, and I. Meric), Journal of Banking and Finance, forthcoming.
  • Financial Networks with Intermediation and Transportation Network Equilibria: A Supernetwork Equivalence and Reinterpretation of the Equilibrium Conditions with Computations (with A. Nagurney) (2007), Computational Management Science 4, 3, 243-281.
 

Dr. Eric Lu
Information Sciences and Technology

Office: Graham 110
Phone: (570) 450-3024
E-mail: yul14@psu.edu

Research Interests:

Social Networks Theory and Dynamic Network Analysis for studying complex socio-technical systems, such as virtual communities, web bloggers, and online trader groups.

Student Involvement:

Students can get involved in many aspects of my research, such as new security technology experiment/test, data collection, and data analysis. But I would also like to let students explore a topic of their own choosing, with me acting as a coach and support.

Recent Projects: 

  • Lu, Y., Ma, H., Turner, S., and Huang, W. "Wireless Internet and student-centered learning: A partial least squares model," Computers & Education (49:2) 2007, pp 530-544. 
  • Lu, Y., Quan, J., and Cao, X. "The perceived attributes of Wi-Fi technology and the diffusion gap among university faculty members: A case study," Communications of the Association for Information Systems. (24: ) 2009, pp 69-88.
  • Lu, Y., and Korukonda, A.R. "Exploratory investigation of student attitudes toward technology based on Wi-Fi usage," International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation (2:3) 2008, pp 283-300.
 

Dr. Kathy Maxwell
Kinesiology

Office: A-9
Phone: (570) 450-3566
E-mail: kmm7@psu.edu    

Research Interests:

I am interested in studying the supposed benefits of "virtual" exercise. Does using a Wii provide the physiologial benefits of traditional exercise?

Student Involvement:

Recruiting participants, monitoring perceived exertion rate, taking vital signs after a Wii session.

Recent Projects:

  • Interest in health and exercise stems primarily from teaching Kinesiology courses.
  • Prior research relates to stress and individual's perceptions of stressors.
 

Dr. Daniel Mansson
Communications

Office: Memorial 108
Phone:  (570) 450-3540
E-mail:  dhm14@psu.edu

Research Interests

  1. Interpersonal communication with a focus on the effects of grandparents’ expressions of affection for their grandchildren.
  2. Instructional communication with a focus on the doctoral student-advisor relationships and undergraduate students’ motives for communicating with their instructors.
  3. Intercultural communication with a focus on cross-cultural comparisons of undergraduate students’ communicative attributes.
 

Dr. David Miller
Physics

Office: K 110
Phone: (570) 450-3083
E-mail: om0@psu.edu

Research Interests:
The main interest is in various areas in physics and astronomy. It would be helpful if students had taken courses in
these fields of study.

Student Involvement:
I leave it to the student's interest in the areas of theoretical physics or astronomy.

Recent Projects:
I have finished a long work in theoretical physics published in the journal Physics Reports 443, 55-96 (2007).

 

Dr. Justin Nordstrom
History

Office: A208
Phone: (570) 450-3037
E-mail: jan13@psu.edu

Research Interests:

I study American history, emphasizing the time period from 1877 (the end of the Civil War) through 1919 (the end of World War I).  My specific focus is the overlap between religious, literary, and immigration history, though I feel comfortable advising students in all aspects of American history.  Most recently, my research has focused on American utopian writing--how authors tried to imagine perfect communities during the transitions of the Industrial Revolution.

Student Involvement:

I feel that students' interests, and not my own projects, should guide the independent study experience.  I would love to work with students in directed readings on utopian studies, my latest research, or inter-religious conflict, the subject of my book.  But I would also like to let students explore a topic of their own choosing, with me acting as a coach and support.

Recent Projects: 

  • Book--Danger on the Doorstep: Anti-Catholicism and American Print Culture in the Progressive Era (University of Notre Dame Press, 2006)
  • Article--“Beyond Bellamy: What a (Mostly) Forgotten Utopian Novel Can Teach Scholars about Interdisciplinary Perspectives,” The Journal of Interdisciplinary Twentieth Century Studies (February, 2006).
  • “Looking Backward’s Utopian Sequels: ‘Fictional Dialogues’ in Gilded-Age America.”  Utopian Studies, September 2007.
 

Dr. Frank Novak
Chemistry

Office: Kostos Building
Phone: (570) 450-3112
E-mail: fxn4@psu.edu

Research Interests:

I am interested in statistical mechanics and dynamical systems and their relation to both physical and biological problems. An example of this is an attempt to construct mathematical models that display features associated with biological evolution.

Student Involvement:

Students could work on constructing computer simulations related to dynamical systems. They may also help me with literature research and thereby gain knowledge of some sophisticated subjects like theotetical physics and biology.


Recent Projects: 


On the Relationship between Statistical Independence, Large Deviations, and Thermodynamic Behavior, to be submitted for puplication.

 

Dr. Dinesh (Dan) Patel
Chemistry

Office: Kostos 120
Phone:  (570) 450-3078
E-Mail: dgp15@psu.edu

Research Interests

I work on the synthesis and characterization of organic materials that are useful in organic electronics such as solar cells and sensors. The main push behind my research is the idea that organic materials will eventually surpass conventional inorganics and metals in terms of performance while being manufactured at a fraction of the cost. Currently my interests lie in exploring light absorbing helical polymers that may have interesting structural and electron transport properties as well as polymers containing photo-responsive molecules for sensors and transistor type devices.

 

 

Dr. Michael Polgar
Sociology

Office: 110 Graham
Phone: (570) 450-3103
E-mail: mfp11@psu.edu

Research Interests:

My current research interests include sociology, service-learning, families, gender, poverty and homelessness, disabilities and health care. I have recently worked with students to analyze four years of data summarizing service learning experiences that we share during new student orientation. I will gladly share a brief presentation on this topic, linking gender with college student attitudes towards service learning.

Student Involvement:

Students get involved by reading and writing about social research topics.  I would like students to help me explore organizations in our area that help homeless people.

Recent Projects: 

  • Polgar, Michael, & Leo Cabassa, “Helping young adults with mental health problems: Providers evaluate a regional system of care,” Sociological Viewpoints, Fall 2007. 
  • Polgar, Michael, David Pollio, and Carol North, Family support for individual homeless adults, Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless 15(4), 273-293, November 2006.
  • Polgar, M. “Three Views of Homelessness,” Presentation to Penn State Division of Social Sciences and Education, November 2006. 
  • Polgar, M. and Morrissey, J. “Mental Health Services and Systems,” in C. Aneshensel and J. Phelan, eds., Handbook of the Sociology of Mental Health, New York, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Press, 461-480, 1999
 

Dr. Joe Ranalli
Engineering

Office: S-102 Laurel Building
Phone: 570-450-3065
Email: jranalli@psu.edu

Research Interests:

Dr. Joe Ranalli's research addresses a variety of topics related to energy and engineering. Previous topics include: Design of Electronic Sensors for Quantum Optics research, Development of Android-based Applications for Solar Site Analysis and Planning and Design of a Zero-Utility Housing Installation

 

Dr. Sherry Robinson
Business

Office: 3rd Floor Administration Building
Phone: (570) 450-3559
E-mail: skr12@psu.edu

Research Interests:

Dr. Sherry Robinson conducts research on entrepreneurship and small business, with a focus on networking and women business owners. She also conducts research on learning games and the use of mobile devices for business and education.

Student Involvement:

I would be happy to help them study a topic related to self-employment.


Recent Projects: 

  • Business Start and Termination Rates in Rural and Non-rural Areas
  • Carrying on the Family Business: A Norwegian Case Study
  • A Study of Rural Small Business Owners' Internet Usage
 

Dr. Tom Smialek
Music

Office: Administration Building Room 207
Phone: (570) 450-3058
E-mail: tws4@psu.edu

Research Interests:

My personal research interests are varied:   I do historical research on North American saxophonists in the early 20th-century.  I create multimedia music listening software for non-musicians.  Most recently, I have done experimental research studies on the effectiveness of teaching methods such as group learning and Internet-based testing.

Student Involvement:

As the campus representative to the College of Arts & Architecture, I advise students who wish to pursue one of its majors.  The portfolios of creative work required for entry into the various Arts & Architecture majors can serve as the basis of creative projects that can be exhibited at PSU, Hazleton's annual research fair.  Portfolio creation is also suitable creative activity for an independent study course.

Recent Projects: 

  • Smialek, Thomas, producer. The Saxophone Craze: Early Twentieth-Century North American Concert Saxophonists. North American Saxophone Alliance, Compact disc recording NASA 101, 2005.
  • Smialek, Thomas, and L. A. Logrande. Active Listening Tools for Listening to Music, 5th ed. Belmont, Calif.: Thomson Schirmer, 2008.
  • Smialek, Thomas and Renee Boburka. "The Effect of Cooperative Listening Exercises on the Critical Listening Skills of College Music Appreciation Students." Journal of Research in Music Education 54 (Spring 2006): 57-72.
 

Dr. David Smith
English and History

E-mail: djs46@psu.edu

 

Dr. David Starling
Physics

Office: Kostos 112
Phone: (570) 450-3081
E-mail: starling@psu.edu

Research Interests:

Have you ever wondered what is so fascinating about quantum mechanics? Well, my research digs into the peculiarities of quantum measurement in the context of optics. Students interested in working with me will have an opportunity to work in a laser lab and/or on computational work (Mathematica, C or Python).

 

Dr. Lisa Goguen
Psychology

Office: Memorial 104
Phone: (570) 450-3023
E-mail: lms42@psu.edu

Research Interests:

Broadly speaking, my interests are in social and cognitive development among adolescents and young adults. More specifically, I focus on the impact of friendship and gender on development, and on factors that impact outcomes such as academic achievement or adjustment to college.

Student Involvement:

I am working on the early stages of a new study (literature searching; study design), with a possible focus on social development among individuals who involve themselves in activities such as the Boy/Girl Scouts. Students could help me brainstorm ideas and find relevant literature on this topic.

Recent Projects

  • Swenson, L.M., Hiester, M.A., & Nordstrom, A.H. Associations among peer relationships, academic achievement, and persistence in college. Manuscript to be published August 2010 in the Journal of College Student Retention.
  • Swenson, L.M., Nordstrom, A.H., & Hiester, M.A. (2008). The role of peer relationships in adjustment to college. Journal of College Student Development, 49 (6).
  • Swenson, L.M., & Strough, J. (2008). Adolescents’ collaboration in the classroom: Do peer relationships or gender matter? Psychology in the Schools, 45, 715-728.

 

Dr. Molly Wertheimer
Communication Arts & Sciences

Office: M109
Phone: (570) 450-3051
E-mail: mmw9@psu.edu     Research Interests:   My interest is in women's persuasive messages that are designed to achieve change. I've focused on historical women, from ancient Egypt to contemporary times. My ongoing research examines the speeches and activities of American First Ladies.
Student Involvement:
Students who are interested in politics, communication, public relations or other areas would use online research tools to find and analyze newspaper articles on the activities of potential first ladies who might be ushered into office after the 2008 election. Specifically, I am looking for someone to collect material on Bill Clinton's summit with Laura Bush. Is he jockeying to become the first male first lady?

Current Projects:

  • Inventing a Voice: The Rhetoric of American First Ladies of the Twentieth Century (Rowman and Littlefield).
  • Leading Ladies of the White House: Communication Stategies of Notable Twentieth-Century First Ladies (Rowman and Littlefield).
  • Listening to their Voices: The Rhetorical Activities of Historical Women (University of South Carolina Press).
 

Dr. Liz Wright
English

Office: M 102
Phone: (570) 450-3503
E-mail: ejw12@psu.edu

Research Interests:

I study twentieth-century women writers who focus on war and disability.

Student Involvement:

Typically, students work with me to devise a project of their choosing.


Recent Projects: 

  • Mapping War:  Dorothy Canfield Fisher’s The Deepening Stream and the Politics of the American Abroad during World War I
  • ‘An Able-Bodied Man’: Disability and Masculinity in Dorothy Canfield Fisher’s The Home-maker”
  • “She and I Are Molecules”: The Disabled Body in Denise Chávez's The Last of the Menu Girls
 

Amie Yenser
Biology

Office: Kostos 107
Phone: (570) 450-3063
E-mail: alv10@psu.edu

Research Interests:

My research interests are in the field of anatomy and physiology.  The specific design of body structures to fit their function in mammals, reptiles, and amphibians is fascinating to study.  I am willing to work with students in any biologically related topic.  Please come to me with your idea! Past student research has involved the negative side effects of over-the-counter drugs, consequences of steroid use in canines, advances of defibrillators, and the effects of pain in humans.

Student Involvement:

Past student research has involved the negative side effects of over-the-counter drugs and the consequences of steroid use in canines. 

Recent Projects: 

  • The effect of genetic distance on female mate preference in the redback salamander (Plethodon cinereus).   Presented at the Towson University Research Expo, and at the National meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.
  • Predation of Hydrotea aenescens on Drosophila melanogaster.  Presented at the Pennsylvania Academy of Science
 

Dr. Xingguo Zhang
Physics

Office: Kostos 110
Phone: (570) 450-3082
E-mail: xqz@psu.edu

Research Interests:

  • Critical damped harmonic oscillator for automobile suspension and door opening system
  • Ratio of electron charge over the electron mass(e/m). Using strong magnetic field
    and very high voltage and special big coils and complicated adjustment.
  • Time control by using RC circuit

Student Involvement:

These are the student research topics, the participated students will do either the first project(build the receiver) or the second project(do the measure using  advanced equipment).