Notes for March 24, 2011  9:15-10:30am

1)    Taina presented her original idea on metamaterials for biosensors and bio-imaging. Her idea (Fabricate coated nanorods in conjunction with terahertz bio-imaging to serve as diagnosis tool.)

-       Fabrication of biosensors that can serve as diagnosis tools: identify changes in blood chemistry, hormones, etc.,  and  accelerate diagnosis

-       Enhance bio-imaging using terahertz: mammograms, cancer detection, CT-scan

-       Fabricate nobel metal that can generate SPP and localized SP.

-       Experimental Approach: Formation surface of SAMs using phosphonic and silane.  Determine oxidative and physiological stability. Binding of biological molecules. Determine detection limit.

-       She applied her research in SAMs for biomaterials to already fabricated metamaterials.

-       Her approach was to try to follow an experimental procedure that can follow FDA guidelines.

2) Help needed for planning the Retreat (June 15-17, 2011):

-       Email Taina ASAP with any suggestions about the following:

1.     Dietary Restriction: Please email Taina ASAP

2.     What experiments do we want for Wednesday and Thursday of the retreat:

materials and instruments want to use; Tasha and SAMs may also bring

their own samples.

3.     List of Instrument that are available at NSU for use needed

4.     Possible Lectures by Professors in IGERT Research areas

5.     Possible Workshop by Dr. Cox: Improving Group Dynamics; 2hr max; interactive

6.     Cornell and Purdue will handle travel from their own budget

7.     Hotel Suggestions needed with nightly rates (4 nights)

8.     Students should prepare to present a poster after the advisory committee meeting on Friday of the retreat; Tom and Tasha could possibly print their posters here at NSU

9.     Volunteers needed to help finish the retreat agenda.

10.   Taina will email everyone when the retreat agenda is completed through google calender

11.  Suggestions for a fun night (movies, night out on the VA Beach strip, etc.)

3)    Attendees: Tanya David, Taina Matos, Rabia Hussain, Amanda Harding, Mohammad Mayy, Lei Gu, Dr. Umbach, Dr. Black,


IGERT Meeting 3/17/2011, Minutes

Attendance: (trainees) Mohammad Mayy, Amanda Harding, Alex Gavrilenko, Taina Matos, Lei Gu, Rabia Hussein, Tom Swisher, Tasha Zephirin, (faculty) Dr. Umbach, Dr. Black, Dr. Noginova, (staff) Chris Witts


Rabia gave an excellent presentation on Maxwell’s Equations and Permittivity

  • how they relate to metamaterials
  • permittivity and permeability describe the interaction between matter and the electric field E and the magnetic field B
  • Maxwell’s equations tell us how E and B relate to each other
  • a simulation can be found at

Lei gave an excellent presentation on Nonlinear Materials

  • Why do we need nonlinear materials?
    • local fields in the inclusions in the metamaterials can be much larger than the average value of the field
  • linear medium: low field intensity
  • nonlinear medium: high field intensity
  • high E, B intensity is the key to nonlinear phenomena


  • next week, Taina will present with Alex (Tom is scheduled, but he will be on spring break)
  • Add minutes, slides, and notes under each date
  • have a report next time on how retreat planning is coming
  • upload short paragraph about research
  • figure out what is going to be on trainees website
  • identify chair and reporter for each committee:
    • Drupal
    • Outreach
    • Retreat
  • provide a plan and timeline for each committee, and report every week
  • take turns assisting with management
    • each trainee will serve for one month
  • work with Chris on technical issues (Mayy)
  • Dr. Umbach and Tom like to have slides in advance
    • EMAIL OR UPLOAD slides Wednesday night before you present!!
  • Due to placement of the laptop, Tasha cannot see presenter, presentation, whiteboard at the same time
  • can we send our camera feed to her?

Minutes for next week will be recorded by:

Rabia, Lei

March 3, 2011

From Mohammad Mayy


Goals of Today’s Meeting – reflect and act on: Improve students’ opportunities to contribute to project Two outcomes are expected during the training. One; small paragraph (half a page long) describing our research, and to post it on the website. Two; improve on the current proposals (power points proposals), post the proposal on the website for future IGERT students.

An outside personal will manage the website and the design.

The major outcome is the students’ developments, what do we learn and carry on to our future professional life.

The next module will be lead by Monica Cox (education module), and RCR & IP module if we have time for this module.

Taina Matos

IGERT Meeting March 3, 2011

Discussion 1: Research Presentation Outcomes Dr. Umbach Comments

  • Room for improvement
  • Structure format and organization
  • Work on better communication regarding expectations
  • Presentations should be reviewed ahead of time by faculty professors
  • Better understanding of the literature and connections most be made between the problem in the field (or need) and the proposed idea.

Trainees Comments:

  • Difficulty finding the problems proposed by the trainees in the assigned review papers
  • Literature provided was a unpublished book chapter rather than a review paper
  • Hard to fully understand the subject of metamaterials in short period of time and being able to proposed a sound idea.
  • Hard to make relevant comments: the trainees are not fully understanding the field.

Dr. Black’s Comments

  • Trainees made a connection between their unique set of skills and the proposed idea .
  • Trainees will present again the same presentation, but with an intense revision of the metamaterials field
  • Presentation will be more structure:
    • Metamaterial : Find a problem
    • How the proposed idea will fix or advance the field.

Amanda Harding

IGERT Meeting 3/3/11

(These are my notes from the entire meeting, sections 1, 2, and 3.)

Research Presentations: What We Did

Dr. Umbach:

  • room for improvement
  • ideas essentially good
  • need more direction—how to craft our proposals
  • get more background to think about how our research relates to metamaterials
  • connect better to existing literature
  • be subjected to more critical comments
    • learning to subject yourself to hard questions is important

Alex Gavrilenko:

  • no correlation between a problem from the review paper and a solution from outside the paper

Research Presentations: What To Do Next?

Dr. Black:

  • use pictures from referenced articles to back up your solution to the problem
  • use same or existing techniques/approaches in a new way to help formulate your idea
  • look at what you’ve done and improve it
  • back up your ideas from existing literature
  • better understand your problem
  • ask people in metamaterials for help
  • talk to at least one faculty member to get feedback and help with your idea

Communication Dr. Cox: What works well with communication? What doesn’t work well?

Well Not Well
email (to send presentations, etc.) Nanohub: a mess—upload doesn’t work, it doesn’t support everything we want to do

videoconference (timing, set up, etc.)



Other options for Communication:

  • Drupal
    • large time commitment, and Alex will be leaving soon
  • Facebook
    • privacy concerns
  • Blackboard
    • not as flexible
  • institutional infrastructure is not trustworthy

What is Drupal?

  • open source content management system
  • platform to shape how we want
  • templates available
  • ties together blog and wiki
  • similar to Nanohub, but under our control asha’s Contribution
  • translation of technical information to education

Major Outcomes: Skill Development

  • write a nice paragraph to put on the website regarding your research (half a page) written for a layman/the general public
  • proposals will be modeled for future students (must improve!)


  • Minutes
    • Tanya
  • Drupal
    • Alex, Tasha, Rabia, Tom
  • Retreat Planner/Coordinators
    • Amanda, Taina, Alex, Lei
  • Outreach Coordinators
    • Tanya, Olu

Action Items

  • improve presentations
  • write research paragraph, switch with others at meeting—email them to Lei.
Schedule of Presentations Who is Presenting
March 17 Lei, Rabia
March 24 Taina
March 31 Mohammad, Amanda
April 7 Tanya
April 11 Alex
April 28 Olu, Tom, Tasha, Alex (repeat)


Communication, document exchange (20 min discussion, 5 min planning)

  • nanohub
  • Facebook
  • Videoconferencing

What is working well with communication?

  • Email

What is not working well?

  • NanoHUB
    • Not structured for what we want to do
    • Ultimately need permanent storage space for future reference
    • Who controls/owns what we put up on nanoHUB
    • Other options:
      • CMR wiki? Drupal? Dropbox? Blackboard?
      • Drupal favoured
    • Videoconferencing – Purdue/Cornell interaction still needs working on
    • Takes a while to set up currently
  • Facebook – NO!
    • Privacy issues
    • Separate personal/professional
  • Blackboard
    • Institutional hurdles

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