Faculty Research Topics

Clever Camera

Clever Camera

Dr. Magdy Attia has been leading the development of a prototype camera that uses new technology called passive millimeter wave imaging.

The camera can be used to detect hidden weapons and is now being used in airport security in the United States. The technology can also aid navigation during storms. This research was funded by two grants from NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration).

Parasites and National Security

Pesky Parasites

Dr. Alexa Rosypal is studying the muscle tissues of various raptor species to see how often they are infected with Toxoplasma gondii, a potentially fatal parasite in the U.S.

Warm-blooded animals, including humans and birds, can be affected by toxoplasmosis, so Dr. Rosypal is trying to learn more about the causes and prevalence of the disease in birds. She is working with scientists at Virginia Tech and the Carolina Raptor Center, a facility about 12 miles from campus that rehabilitates injured or orphaned owls and other raptors.

Studies have expanded to include the prevalence of other protozoan parasites such as Neospora caninum and Sarcocystis species in addition to Toxoplasma gondii among raptors from the Carolinas.

In addition, the group is planning to start another project to find the definitive host of Sarcocystis calchasi. This parasite has recently emerged among wild birds in the United States and its lifecycle is unknown. 

Probing Presidential History

Probing Presidential History

Dr. Brian Jones captured the key role of American President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, in our Nation’s stance on nuclear energy for peaceful and wartime use.  He involved his student in this very timely research project and Smith Institute financially supported their quest to the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas for gloves-on primary source research, a rare undergraduate opportunity.

His book, Abolishing the Taboo, explores Eisenhower's approach and attitude toward nuclear weapons and technology.