Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Boise State's Babinkostova Receives Three-Year Grant

Grants are now coming to Boise State on almost a weekly basis.

Assistant professor of mathematics Liljana Babinkostova was awarded a three-year, $329,000 Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site grant by the National Science Foundation yesterday afternoon.

The REU Site "Complexity in Algebra, Geometry and Applications" will introduce undergraduate students at Boise State and around the nation to information security or genome biology, using math applications.  The main objective of the program is to produce a group of researchers in the United States who will transcend the artificial boundary between mathematics and real-world applications.

“The ongoing revolution in communication technology and cloud computing is driving demand for information security tools and specialists,” said Babinkostova. “Likewise, the revolution in molecular and cell biology is driving a rapidly emerging demand to mathematize biology and for professionals competent in both mathematics and biology. The nature of computing and complexity are central themes for both.”
Beginning this summer, eight college students will be awarded research positions along with their faculty mentors to come to Boise State to engage in eight weeks of mathematics-based interdisciplinary research.  Two of those students will be from Boise State and the other six will be selected from applicants around the country.   The program will give students a broad array of professional development elements and will conclude with a symposium where students will present the results of their research.
The NSF grant provides each awarded student a summer stipend, free on-campus housing at Boise State, a meal allowance, financial assistance to out-of-state students for travel to Boise, and financial assistance for each student to travel in a subsequent national undergraduate research conference.  Boise State will host the program for three years under terms of the grant.

Boise State Economic Summit Drawing National Attention

Boise State has hosted the International Economic Summit since 1971 but up until recently, the program was mostly for students in Idaho.  Now, the Summit is going National.
Nearly 350 students from 11 Mississippi high schools took part in Boise State's Summit at Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi.  The purpose of the Summit program is to give high school and university students a practical, hand-on experience in globalization, international relations and economics.

Carolyn Jensen is now a Boise State student who once participated in the summit program.  “Before the International Economic Summit, I had no interest in international economics or global relations. That has now changed 

Funding for the Boise State's program in Mississippi was provided in part by the Council for Economic Education through an EEE (Excellence in Economic Education) Grant.

Will Walker Beat Byron Marshall to Boise State Scholarship?

We know that everyone and their brother has offered Valley Christian star running back Byron Marshall.  I did a story on Byron ("The Marshall Plan") back several months ago.

I'm looking at another back that Boise State has offered--Kenny Walker (Kennedy High School in Richmond, California).  As most of you know, Coach Chris Petersen and his staff may occasionally offer more than one recruit at the same position even though they might actually only sign one of them.  What is often the case (and Petersen is very candid and up front in his approach) is that the one who commits first is the one that gets the scholarship and the other one has to look elsewhere.  

Marshall has at last count over three dozen scholarship offers.  He may be stalling on Boise State thinking he can do better.  With the mind-blowing growth in academics and athletics at the school in Boise's capital city, not to mention the high quality of living, he can't.  But the young man has to find out for himself.

In the meantime, that scholly may just be taken by Kenny Walker.  I've watched his tape, which promotes him as having speed, vision and agility--he does, and that's a "Yes" to all three.  He finished second in California in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 7.50.  You can't teach speed.  Walker has it, plus the instincts to run to openings.  

It may be that Walker also has the intelligence to know a golden offer when he has one, and that could leave the other guy having to go elsewhere.  That one may like the school and the conference, but they won't be on as good a team as Boise State.  He might have enjoyed his season and all, but he'll be at home watching a Boise State running back score the winning touchdown in a January bowl game.

Of course, both backs may be watching Davien Payne (another Bronco offer) score that touchdown!

Would This Be Fair?

I was thinking about the possibilities regarding talent being currently recruited by Boise State (as football fans all like to do).  

I was trying to imagine what an offense would be like with Nick Patti at quarterback, with his amazing accuracy plus the ability to gain huge chunks of yardage on the ground, throwing to two receivers (the Davis brothers) with 4.37 speed.  Add to that combination a running back the caliber of Jay Ajayi.

I'm not jumping ahead or anything, but is that fair to an opposing defense?

Sexton Named WAC Field Athlete of the Week

You can't do much better than winning both the shot put and discus at the famed Oregon Relays.

That is what Boise State's Chase Sexton did, and the feats earned him the WAC Field Athlete of the Week.  Sexton set a personal best in the discus with a throw of 173-0, which elevated him to the second-best mark in the conference this season.  Sexton also won the shot with a throw of 53-3.5.

Sawyer Bosch was nominated for the Track Athlete of the Week after a fine performance in the steeplechase, but that honor went to Utah State's Armahd Lewis for winning both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes at the Cal Brutus Hamilton Invitational.

Chaz Anderson Gets Latest Bronco Offer

Loyolla, California cornerback Chaz Anderson is the recipient of the latest scholarship offer from Boise State.  

The 6-0, 175-lb. Anderson happens to be the cousin of Bronco corner Bryan Douglas.  Anderson had three interceptions last year and caught 14 passes for a touchdown as a wide receiver.  He is quick, having lettered in track.  He has run the 110-meter hurdles in 16.88 and the 300 hurdles in 42.80.  Anderson played on a losing team last year, so he had plenty of opportunities to make tackles in the secondary.  He displayed good coverage skills, good instincts, and wasn't afraid to stop a speeding locomotive (a running back at top speed) from reaching its destination.

Although Anderson was happy to receive Boise State's offer, he wants to go to both the USC and UCLA camps, which tells me that like so many others, he values a school's conference more than the school itself.  No knock on those two schools, but Los Angeles, with all its big-city problems, doesn't compare to Boise.  

More on the recruitment of Anderson as it progresses.