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National Academies seeds Nanocenter efforts

June 03, 2011


WASHINGTON – The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative announced the recipients of its latest round of Futures grants, each awarded to support interdisciplinary research on imaging science.  The 13 projects chosen represent a variety of approaches to such research, which was the subject of the eighth annual Futures conference, held last November. 
"We received far more high-quality proposals than funds available," said Farouk El-Baz, research professor and director of the Center for Remote Sensing, Boston University, and the 2010 conference chair.  "We scored the grants based on their interdisciplinarity, relevance to imaging science, riskiness/boldness, and the importance and potential impact if the grant is funded.  We believe that the group of collaborations selected will result in the most 'generative' findings."
These competitive seed grants aim to fill a critical gap in funding for research on new ideas.  Major federal funding programs do not typically provide support in areas that are considered risky or unusual.  The Futures grants allow researchers to start recruiting students and postdoctoral fellows, purchasing equipment, and acquiring preliminary data---all of which can position the researchers to compete for larger awards from other public and private sources.


TOM VOGT and PETER BINEV, University of South Carolina
WOLFGANG DAHMEN, Institute für Geometrie und Praktische Mathematik
Smart data acquisition for nanoscale imaging - $100,000
Imaging using high-energy electrons will become increasingly important in the future.  Electrons damage biological and organic matter, leading to distorted images with low signal-to-noise ratio. This project will explore new paradigms in data acquisition, nonlinear signal and image processing, more sophisticated data 'de-noising' and image analysis in combination with extensive simulation techniques.