SJSU Newsroom Research Stories
July 22, 2021
What makes diamonds so valuable? Most of us would point to their brilliance, clarity and beauty. But Christopher Smallwood, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at San José State, has a different answer: He looks to diamonds as the key to unearthing the secrets of quantum physics.
What Do Recent Historic Heat Waves Mean for Us? A Q&A With SJSU Meteorologist and Climate Scientist Alison Bridger
July 13, 2021
Last month, temperatures in the Pacific Northwest reached historic and dangerous levels, like nothing the region has ever experienced before. In fact, more than 100 Oregon residents died from heat-related illnesses during the record-shattering heat wave, which drove temperatures up to 117 degrees Fahrenheit in some parts of the state. Compare that to 12 hyperthermia deaths reported statewide between 2017 and 2019, according to CNN.
July 8, 2021
California is in the middle of a severe drought that keeps getting worse. Last month, the Santa Clara Valley Water district board declared a water shortage emergency, urging the community to conserve water by 15 percent compared to 2019 levels. In May, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency in 41 counties.
June 14, 2021
Most in-person gatherings went virtual when the pandemic hit in March 2020 — including substance abuse prevention groups. Turns out, virtual meetings like these can still yield positive outcomes for the participants.
June 1, 2021
San José State Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Carolina Prado and Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Advisor of Chicana and Chicano Studies Jonathan D. Gomez have been awarded funded fellowships for the 2021-2022 academic year.
May 12, 2021
Turning months — even years — of in-depth research into a concise, engaging presentation isn’t easy. Yet two San José State students were triumphant at two recent California State University system-wide competitions that required them to do just that. Lupe Franco, ‘21 MS Environmental Studies, received the Audience Choice Award at the first-ever CSU Grad Slam on May 6, which was hosted by San José State.
May 3, 2021
Thomas Madura studies the lives of massive stars — from how they’re born to how they die a giant, explosive death. He also investigates ways to teach young blind or visually impaired students about astronomy, which Madura, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at San José State, says is usually thought of as a “visual science.” By 3D printing models of nebulae, planets, star clusters and the like, Madura’s work lets those students hold pieces of the galaxies in their hands.
April 29, 2021
When your password on an account is compromised, you change it. But what happens when your password is your fingerprint? Facial recognition, fingerprint Touch ID, iris scanning and even voice commands to Alexa or Siri are all examples of technology that use our biometric data to access personal information. Nima Karimian, assistant professor of computer engineering at San José State, recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to better understand how to keep that data as safe as possible.
April 21, 2021
We’re big fans of Earth Day here at San José State. After all, the founder of the
annual celebration is a Spartan. So we’re looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint
on April 22 and beyond.
Eugene Cordero—SJSU professor of meteorology and climate science and fellow Earth advocate has some great ideas for how we can all make a difference in protecting our environment. Whether it’s opting for chicken instead of carne asada on his burrito or choosing a bicycle as a primary mode of transportation, Cordero stresses that even the smallest changes can make a difference.
April 14, 2021
Twice a month, San José State researchers collect samples from local vegetation, or
“fuels”—and what they found for April was foreboding: Craig Clements, director of
the SJSU Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center, told KPIX 5 News last week. “This
is the time of year when the fuels should have the most moisture content of the season,
and they’re actually the lowest we’ve ever measured for April,” he said in the news
But there’s hope: Fire prediction and tracking tools are advancing—a key takeaway from SJSU’s Fire Weather Research Workshop held April 8-9—and the university is leading the effort in providing fire management agencies with state-of-the-art resources to help curb the spread of wildfires.
How Has COVID-19 Impacted the Health and Well-being of the LGBTQ+ Community?: A Q&A With Laurie Drabble
April 7, 2021
It’s known that members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning+ (LGBTQ+) community face health disparities driven by social stigma and discrimination. But what happens when you introduce a global pandemic? Laurie Drabble, associate dean for research and faculty with the San José State University College of Health and Human Sciences, explored the impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ+ community by serving as co-editor of a special issue of the Journal of Homosexuality, which was published earlier this year.
April 5, 2021
Ten years ago, two female geologists went for a hike in the Coachella Valley desert
along a southern portion of the San Andreas Fault. One of them was Kimberly Blisniuk,
now an associate professor of geology at San José State University. The pair spent
days in the desert, traversing the landscape, studying its ridges and formations.
They weren’t sure what they were looking for. The San Andreas is a well-studied fault: The roughly 750-mile geographical rift running the length of most of California is positioned to set off what’s known as the next “Big One”—a massive earthquake predicted to strike Southern California, devastating the Los Angeles area, in particular.
March 10, 2021
Researchers from San José State University have developed a first-of-its-kind online tool to help Silicon Valley businesses. The COVID-19 Economic Dashboard for Silicon Valley provides visual insight into key economic indicators for the San José Metro area, including employment trends, housing supply and demand, and business closures due to COVID-19 restrictions.
March 10, 2021
SJSU Assistant Professors of Teacher Education Luis Poza, Eduardo Muñoz-Muñoz and Tammie Visintainer partnered with Watsonville High School’s ECHO Academy to create a case study on broadband access during COVID-19 for California Assemblymember Robert Rivas, ’11 MPA.
March 3, 2021
SJSU Biological Sciences Professor Scott Shaffer and an international team of researchers tracked the movements of seabirds across the globe and found albatrosses and petrels (the world’s most threatened group of birds) spend 39% of their time in international waters where no single country has jurisdiction, so countries need to work together to protect these highly threatened seabirds. They published a paper about their research in the scientific journal Science Advances in March 2021.
February 18, 2021
Hiu-Yung Wong, assistant professor of electrical engineering at San José State University, has received a Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award, a prestigious honor bestowed by the National Science Foundation. The award supports his research of cryogenic electronics—electrical systems that operate at extremely cold temperatures—as well as his project to expand education and research opportunities while building a diverse workforce in the field.
November 10, 2020
Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning Ahoura Zandiatashbar scoured publicly available data and found that although we have limited our visits to stores, Americans are still visiting parks and beaches at near pre-pandemic rates.
September 1, 2020
San José State University has established the largest academic Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center (WIRC) in the United States with five new tenure-track faculty members and millions of dollars in new technology.
May 12, 2020
An MTI-sponsored research study titled “Crime and Harassment on Public Transportation: A Survey of SJSU Students Set in International Context” shows the SJSU narrative mirrors typical concerns that students around the world expressed when the same survey was administered in 18 cities across six continents.
April 20, 2020
Two SJSU students have been awarded prestigious National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships.
October 3, 2019
SJSU Assistant Professor of Meteorology and Climate Science Minghui Diao’s research focuses on understanding how dirty the air is that we breathe. Her latest research has been published in the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association. In the article Diao, Tracey Holloway and 15 coauthors from 14 universities and federal agencies assess state-of-art estimates for fine particulate matter. Their research is part of an overarching project funded by NASA’s Applied Science Program, and is being conducted by the NASA Health and Air Quality Applied Sciences Team (HAQAST).
Spetember 11, 2019
Emerald Publishing, a firm that has a portfolio of 300 journals, 2,500+ book titles and more than 1,500 case studies on the impact of research, recognized articles authored by two SJSU professors and one alumna.
July 17, 2019
Mohamed Abousalem, SJSU’s new vice president for research and innovation, is in the business of building things.
April 26, 2019
San José State University hosted the Fire Weather Research Workshop April 26 with emergency operations personnel, researchers, students and community members gathered to learn about the latest work around understanding wildfires in the region. Associate Professor of Meteorology and Climate Science Craig Clements, who is also the director of the Fire Weather Research Laboratory at SJSU, said the all-day workshop was the first of its kind in the state.
April 19, 2019
Despite her acceptance to graduate school at Stanford in the fall and an impressive undergraduate career, which boasts three associate degrees, internships with NASA and the Port of San Francisco, along with participation in the McNair Scholars Program, the Engineering Leadership Pathways Scholars Program (ELPS) and the Stanford Summer Undergraduate Research Programs (SURF), Andrea Coto is still a bit shocked that she was recently awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP).
April 17, 2019
SJSU’s Annual Celebration of Research on April 23, from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Diaz Compean Student Union Ballroom features a full program to celebrate student and faculty research. Students, faculty and staff are invited to watch presentations from 2018-19 Early Career Investigator Award recipients Assistant Professor of meteorology and climate science Minghui Diao and Assistant Professor of Psychology Susan Syncerski. During the event, SJSU Student Research Competition finalists will be recognized. The 12 undergraduate and graduate students will represent SJSU at the CSU Student Research Competition on April 26 and 27 at CSU Fullerton. In addition, 50 Undergraduate-Faculty Research Pairs will share posters of the work they’ve completed in the last year.
April 9, 2019
Members of San José State University’s American Occupational Therapy Foundation Student Honor Society, Phi Theta Epsilon (PTE) and the Student Occupational Therapy Association, outdid themselves this year during an annual fundraising event that supports professional research initiatives. The Spartan students raised more than $9,000, exceeding the efforts of any other PTE chapters in the nation.
April 3, 2019
For the past 18 months, Dr. Sandra Hirsh, director and professor in the School of Information, and Dr. Sue Alman, a lecturer in the School of Information, have been investigating how a revolutionary new technology could be used in libraries and universities. Their work was recently featured as a cover story in American Libraries, in an article entitled “Blockchain Reaction: How library professionals are approaching blockchain technology and its potential impact.”
March 26, 2019
Whether one is a seasoned researcher or someone just launching a scholarly agenda, San José State University’s Research Foundation has long offered administrative support to faculty members and students as they pursue intellectual exploration.
March 19, 2019
SJSU made the Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of top producers of Fulbright Scholars, master’s institutions. The list is compiled each year with information from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which runs the nation’s flagship international educational exchange program. In 2018-19, San José State University has been host to three Fulbright Scholars from other countries who are adding to their research portfolio while also teaching courses to Spartan students. The scholars include Ling Yu (Melody) Wen, whose area of expertise is human resources management and corporate training; Lela Mirtshkulava, who is engaged in computer engineering and computer science; and Monika Petraite, who worked on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial strategies.