PRESIDENT & TRUSTEES OF WILLIAMS COLLEGE
The award will be used for an AFM system for use by multiple research groups in multiple departments at Williams College. There are a number of ongoing research projects that will be enhanced by the acquisition of an AFM; in addition, a number of new collaborative explorations will be enabled both within the science departments represented here, as well as between science and art faculty on campus. Williams undergraduates will be intimately involved in every project described in this proposal. The research projects that will make use of the AFM fall into the following categories: 1) Synthetic Polymer Nanostructures, 2) Protein-based assemblies, and 3) Surface Science. The PI's also plan to use the AFM as a springboard for reaching out to many other communities in our area. In particular, we have three primary avenues for ensuring that an AFM will have significant impact on the broader community. First, we plan to develop targeted courses on modern imaging methods for middle school, high school, and community college teachers. We are working with local teacher education professionals so that teachers will be able to develop curricular units appropriate for their students based on our courses, and so that they will also be able to earn required professional development credits. Our second avenue for reaching the broader community involves working with members of the art department and the director of the Williams College Museum of Art on using scientific imagery as a starting point for both creating new works of art and for a larger discussion of the intersection of art and science in the context of imagery and abstraction. Finally, we have two art conservation labs in Williamstown, whose conservation scientists will be invited to use the AFM as needed in the analysis of various artists' materials. These scientists often work with Williams students as well as with other members of the art community, whose interests bridge both science and art.