PRISM Student Accepted to Premiere Universities


Lawrence,Kansas (02-20-2004)


By Michelle Ward



A Lawrence High School senior has been accepted to two of the nations most prestigious scientific universities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and California Institute of Technology (CalTech).

Ying Niu discovered her aptitude for science during her advanced-placement chemistry and physics classes at Lawrence High. Science appealed to Niu, as it explained everyday phenomena, such as the inner workings of batteries or how salt melts ice. This led her to apply to MIT and CalTech, with their strong focus on science.

"I would really like to attend MIT. It has a strong engineering program, especially in electrical engineering, which I am leaning toward," said Niu, the only child of Fenghui Niu and Zhou Wei.

Her work at a University of Kansas research center enhanced Nius interest in electrical engineering. She has been helping analyze data obtained during field experiments this past summer in Greenland. As part of the outreach program for the Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements (PRISM) project, Lawrence high schools were asked to refer students who might be interested in working on PRISM.

PRISM researchers, led by Prasad Gogineni, Deane E. Ackers distinguished professor of electrical engineering and computer science, are developing radar and rovers to measure the thickness of the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, and the conditions of the bedrock underneath them. The data will give scientists the ability to more accurately predict the rate of sea-level rise caused by the melting of the ice sheets.

The offer to work with PRISM led Niu to the Information and Telecommunication Technology Center (ITTC). Niu uses computers to trace the top and bottom of the ice sheets, which then allows her to calculate their depth. She also attends monthly PRISM meetings, learning about the latest technological advancements on the project.

"I was hesitant about becoming an engineer because of the lack of women in the field," Niu said. "I thought it would be strange sitting in a room with a bunch of male engineers. I thought it would be hard to fit it in. After coming to ITTC, I learned it was really easy to make friends. I also realized I would not be the only woman sitting in the room."

For more information, contact ITTC.


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Partner with ITTC

The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas has developed several assistance policies that enhance interactions between the Center and local, Kansas, or national companies. 

ITTC assistance includes initial free consulting (normally one to five hours). If additional support is needed, ITTC will offer one of the following approaches: 

Sponsored Research Agreement

Individuals and organizations can enter into agreements with KUCR/ITTC and provide funds for sponsored research to be performed at ITTC with the assistance of faculty, staff and students.

Licensing and Royalty/Equity Agreement

An ITTC goal is the development of investment-grade technologies for transfer to, and marketing by, local, Kansas, and national businesses. To enhance this process, the Center has developed flexible policies that allow for licensing, royalty, and equity arrangements to meet both the needs of ITTC and the company.

Commercialization Development

Companies with a technology need that can be satisfied with ITTC's resources can look to us for assistance. We can develop a relationship with interested partners that will provide for the development of a technology suited for commercialization.

ITTC Resource Access

ITTC resources, including computers and software systems, may be made available to Kansas companies in accordance with the Center's mission and applicable Regents and University policies.

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