MCubed

Mcubed 3.0 is underway! The first funding distribution took place in November 2018, and additional opportunities to request cubes will occur in January 2019. Check out the Mcubed 3.0 Essentials webpage for all the important information you need to know.

The MCubed program distributes real-time seed funding ($15K or $60K) to multi-unit teams of faculty engaged in innovative research and scholarship, enabling them to keep pace with the rapid information flow of today's dynamic research environment.

Links to all of our campus profiles are available on the Mcubed website. We're excited to see Dearborn faculty members' innovative ideas emerge once again!

MCubed 2.0 Projects at UM-Dearborn

  • Green Organization Community Database

    Cube Members: Christopher J F Burke (Education), Terri Laws (Public Health), Donald Bord (Public Health)

    Amount: $15,000 Mini Cube

    Cycle: MCubed 2.0

    About this project: 

    Who is working on environmental education and ecojustice issues in Detroit? The proposed project will develop an open source database that identifies and documents the individuals and organizations involved in projects related to environmental issues in public health and education in Southeast Michigan. The proposed database will identify and catalog partnering relationships among groups and individuals, types and breadth of collaborations, levels of involvement with local residents, organizations, and the skills, social and cultural assets that are embedded among the different groups/organizations. The database will be made publically accessible and searchable in order to facilitate interested individuals and groups seeking to identify and develop synergistic relationships that can extend, enhance, and support existing and emergent collaborative projects. The database will also be used as a model with other focus areas that emerge from the Center for Disparity Solutions and Equity.

  • Humility in the Age of Self-Promotion

    Cube Members: Rebekah Modrak (Art & Design), Aaron Ahuvia (Business), Jamie Vander Broek (Libraries)

    Amount: $60,000 Classic Cube

    Cycle: MCubed 2.0

    About this project:

    What does it mean to “walk humbly” in this time of billionaire entrepreneurs, reality television, social media, and Donald Trump? This October, our group will host a colloquium on the nature of humility, its benefits and costs and its role “in the age of self-promotion.” The colloquium will be held on the Michigan campus from October 20-21, and will be primarily a closed event with twenty-six individuals from within and outside the academy participating; invited guests include a philosopher who studies how students acquire values, a lawyer arguing for apologies to replace the “defend and deny” paradigm, a farmer who reflects on adaptive management to unpredictable circumstances, and an educator and writer organizing spaces to celebrate Black girlhood. On Friday evening, October 20, 2017, NY Times Op-Ed columnist Charles M. Blow will present a lecture on the topic of Donald Trump, arrogance/price, and American democracy. After the colloquium, an anthology of essays from colloquium presentations will be published. Essays will be accompanied by graphic illustrations directed by Nick Sousanis, award-winning author of Unflattening, who completed his doctoral dissertation at Columbia University in comic book format.

    MCubed Minute Video

  • Automotive Applications of Augmented Reality Glasses

    Cube Members: Samir Rawashdeh (Engineering), Jun He (Business), Philipp Rauschnabel (Business)

    Amount: $15,000 Mini Cube

    Cycle: MCubed 2.0

    About this project:

    This project explores the use of augmented reality (AR) glasses, such as the Sony SmartEyeglass and Microsoft Hololens, in automotive applications. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and vehicle autonomy, in the long term, will allow drivers to direct their attention away from the road to perform other tasks, such as work, reading, writing emails, etc. Even with high levels of autonomy, the driver will be required to take over control in emergency scenarios. AR glasses can help the driver maintain situational awareness and improve their reaction response, as demonstrated in recent work by BMW. The take-over challenge is an open problem and a significant piece of the vehicle autonomy puzzle. Another aspect of interest is the use of AR in an educational context, such as learning to perform basic vehicle maintenance. The research spans various engineering, usability, human factors, and customer acceptance questions.

  • Virtual Test Bed for Connected and Automated Vehicles

    Cube Members: Jie Shen (Engineering), Kiumi Akingbehin (Engineering), Yulia Hristova (Natural Sciences)

    Amount: $15,000 Mini Cube

    Cycle: MCubed 2.0

    About this project:

    Each year there are 5.5 million vehicle crashes in the U.S., resulting in over 33 thousand fatalities and 2.2 million injuries. Connected and automated vehicle technology will potentially reduce 81% of all-vehicle target crashes, 83% of all light-vehicle target crashes, and 72% of all heavy-truck target crashes annually. A full-scale testing of connected and automated vehicles is financially expensive and potentially harmful to test drivers in the worst driving cases. The main goal of this project is to establish a virtual test bed for connected and automated vehicles, which will provide a complementary way to investigate different plans for the design and control optimization as well as the accident analysis and minimization. This virtual test system will contain four main modules: a) modeling, b) simulation, c) analysis, and d) optimization. The modeling is based on Google Map and NASA elevation data, while the analysis module is linked to Mcity data.

  • Metal Nanoshell Heating

    Cube Members: Krisanu Bandyopadhyay (Natural Sciences), Ben Li (Engineering), Kalyan Kondapalli (Natural Sciences)

    Amount: $15,000 Mini Cube

    Cycle: MCubed 2.0

    About this project:

    The main objective of the present research project is to generate silica-metal core-shell nanostructure by in situgeneration of metal seeds on silane functionalized silica core surface. These nanostructures are capable of absorbing electromagnetic radiation and can be used in photo-thermal therapeutic application. It is possible to locally heat cancer tissues and destroy them by using appropriate electromagnetic radiation in combination with specific core–shell nanoparticles.

  • Investigating Oral History By Interviewing Audiences

    Cube Members: Camron Amin (Social Sciences), Elif Izberk-Bilgin (Business), Sally Howell (Social Sciences)

    Amount: $15,000 Mini Cube

    Cycle: MCubed 2.0

    About this project:

    About this project: What happens when we encourage oral history interviewees to recall what they saw, heard, or touched. Does tapping into sensory memory produce simply more vivid recollections or, also, more accurate recollections? One way to get at this might be to systematically interview (or survey) members of an audience about their experience of a play or concert at different intervals of time after the performance. Do we get a different account if we ask, “What did you see or hear,” rather than if we just ask, “What happened”? How should we refine oral history methodology based on what is learned?

  • Engineering Microenvironments to Regulate Mesenchymal Stem Cell Secretome

    Cube Members: Gargi Ghosh (Engineering), Gary Luker (Medicine), Joerg Lahann (Engineering)

    Amount: $60,000 Classic Cube

    Cycle: MCubed 2.0

    About this project:

    While the microenvironmental cues play an important role in orchestrating the commitment decisions of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), not much is known how they influence the secretory profile of MSCs. The goal of this project is screening of cell-matrix and cell-cell interactions that guide secretion of biomolecules of MSCs. The improved mechanistic understanding of the role of MSC microenvironment on angiogenic activity of MSCs will have direct relevance to wound healing and cancer.

  • Improving Environmental Decision-Making through Multisensory Simulation: The Contribution of Sound to 3D Landscape Visualization

    Cube Members: Mark Lindquist (Natural Resources and Environment), Bruce Maxim (Engineering), Jennifer Proctor (Humanities)

    Amount: $60,000 Classic Cube

    Cycle: MCubed 2.0

    About this project:

    3D digital visualizations are a robust tool for supporting environmental decision-making, however they lack multisensory real world experience. Sustainable technologies (e.g. wind farms or high-speed rail) have a multisensory impact. This project aims to fill a perceptual and procedural knowledge gap for using multisensory environmental simulation tools in environmental decision-making processes. Using a mixed methods research approach (experimental psychology and transdisciplinary action research) the aims are to a) determine how the combination of sound and 3D visualizations contributes to our perception of environmental change with a focus on biodiversity and b) identify strategies to better integrate multisensory environmental simulation into environmental decision-making. The goal is to provide evidence on how we understand and interact with the world around us, thereby contributing to more robust decision-making processes.

  • Develop Novel and Affordable Water Purification for Rural India

    Cube Members: Gargi Ghosh (Engineering), Krisanu Bandyopadhyay (Natural Sciences), Anish Tuteja (Engineering)

    Amount: Diamond Cube

    Cycle: MCubed 2.0

    About this project:

    Providing clean drinking water at an affordable cost is one of the grand challenges for developing countries. The goal of this project is to develop an affordable hydrogel based membrane filtration device capable of producing purified water by removing a broad spectrum of pollutants including metals, arsenic, fluoride, nitrate, pesticides, pathogens and emerging pollutants such as pharmaceutical residues. The MCubed team is collaborating with the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (IITR) for product development. This cube is generously funded by Mr. and Mrs. Ranvir Trehan (Trehan Foundation).

  • Organizational Recruitment Websites, Diversity Messages, and the Development of Psychological Contracts

    Cube Members: Marie Waung (Social Sciences), Joy Beatty (Business), Jung Hyun Lee(Business)

    Amount: $15,000 Mini Cube

    Cycle: MCubed 2.0

    About this project:

    Organizations commonly use employee recruitment websites to attract diverse applicant pools. This research examines the effects of applicant personality and recruitment message content on new employee expectations and on the subsequent development of (and potential violation of) psychological contracts.

    Link to poster

  • Coding Instruction for Students with Disabilities

    Cube Members: David Hill (Education), Stein Brunvand (Education), Mahesh Agarwal (Natural Sciences)

    Amount: $15,000 Mini Cube

    Cycle: MCubed 2.0

    About this project:

    Students with disabilities encounter many challenges academically compared to their non disabled peers. One such challenge is universal access to technology and STEM related learning experiences. This is partly because teachers lack the requisite knowledge and training to teach and integrate STEM content into their curriculum. To address this lack of knowledge, and ultimately increase access to technology-enhanced learning opportunities for students with disabilities, we plan to create a coding professional development program for teachers. Utilizing students in conjunction with faculty from the College of Education, College of Arts, Sciences, & Letters, and the College of Engineering and Computer Science we will design and implement a summer workshop focusing on teaching K-12 educators how to program/code using tools such as Scratch and Alice. Fidelity of implementation and efficacy of these activities will be monitored throughout the school year.

    Link to poster

  • Food Insecurity and the Role of Food Pantries on College Campuses

    Cube Members: Natalie Sampson (Public Health), Harmony Reppond (Social Sciences), Karen Thomas-Brown (Education)

    Amount: $15,000 Mini Cube

    Cycle: MCubed 2.0

    About this project:

    Since 2000, the costs of college for undergraduate degrees in the U.S. rose approximately 40%, resulting in increased food insecurity among students. Many students are having to make difficult decisions, for example, should they buy books or food. Consequently, college, which is thought to be the great equalizer, often escalates inequality. In response, colleges across the U.S. have created campus food pantries to serve their hungry students. There is a dearth of scholarship, however, studying food insecurity among students and the campus pantries that serve them. Our work fills that gap. This study will: 1) analyze patterns of food insecurity on U.S. campuses and how pantries affect student outcomes; and 2) identify effective related interventions to address cross-cutting socioeconomic issues faced by students.

    Link to poster

  • Unobtrusive Pressure Monitoring System to Enhance Brace Wear Compliance in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

    Cube Members: Omid Dehzangi (Engineering), G. Ying Li (Medicine), William Grosky(Engineering)

    Amount: $60,000 Classic Cube

    Cycle: MCubed 2.0

    About this project:

    Our specific aim is to develop a method to monitor proper brace wear and compliance in idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliosis develops in 3% of children. Curves measuring 25-45 degrees are treated with a brace. The number of hours of brace wear correlates with lack of curve progression. Monitoring brace compliance is difficult. Although temperature sensors can monitor the quantity of brace wear, these sensors are unable to monitor the quality of brace wear. If the brace is not worn correctly as fitted by the physician and orthotist, the brace is not effective. Our plan is to develop a wearable sensor system to monitor the quality of brace wear by measuring the pressures inside the brace. The continuous monitoring system will be tested clinically in 5 patients. If this pilot study is successful, we hope to develop a method of providing immediate feedback so that patients can monitor their own compliance.

    Link to poster

  • Socio-Cyber-Physical Framework of Future Retail Electricity Market

    Cube Members: Wencong Su (Engineering), Mengqi Wang (Engineering), Yi-Su Chen(Business)

    Amount: $60,000 Classic Cube

    Cycle: MCubed 2.0

    About this project:

    The next-generation residential distribution system is a level playing field in terms of electricity transactions, where all residential customers have an equal opportunity. While legacy power system operations are solely driven by least-cost and reliability concerns, the future electricity market requires that our society move away from, or at least supplement, the traditional centralized generation, distribution, and consumption business model to one where every user can actively participate in the electricity market. In this project, the envisioned electricity market framework is analogous to the stock market or the business model of internet consumer-to-consumer commerce such as eBay, Amazon, and Alibaba. We will investigate the socio-cyber-physical aspects of a next-generation retail electricity market framework with a wide variety of new active market participants (e.g., energy cells) at multiple time scales, considering their operational conditions and economic structures.

    Link to poster

Office of Research & Sponsored Programs

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Institute for Advanced Vehicle Systems Building (IAVS)
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