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From the College of Natural Sciences

On the Front Line: Defending Evolution

In the ongoing struggle over how to teach evolution in the Texas public schools, faculty in the College of Natural Sciences are playing an increasingly significant role as advocates of evolutionary science.

Beyond Culture Shock

For Carina De La Pena, who’s graduating this month with a degree in Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS), college has been a process of both challenging and re-affirming her core values. She came to the College of Natural Sciences, in large part, because of the HDFS major, which seemed like an ideal way to combine her commitment to working...Carina De La Pena

The Express Train

Ryan Hassan, who’s graduating this month with a degree in physics, came to the College of Natural Sciences with a simple plan.  He wanted to finish quickly, he wanted to set himself up to get into medical school, and he wanted to enjoy college. On all counts, he’s succeeded. He earned his degree in a grand total of five semesters. His medical ...Ryan Hassan

Biology as Boot Camp

The day that I sat down to chat with Max Seiter, who’s graduating this month with a degree in biology, turned out to be one of the marquis days of his life. Seiter, a native of nearby Lakeway, Texas, had just found out that he’d been accepted into the medical school at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He and I talked about his experie...max seiter

Going a Long Way for UTeach

Mary Long was there when UTeach was born in 1997. In fact, she helped create the science and math teacher preparation program from scratch and was UTeach’s first Master Teacher. Since then, she and others have worked hard to make the program the success it is today, with more than 500 graduates and growing. Long retired recently, but her support o...Mary Long
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In the Shadow of Giants

For Dr. Reginald Baptiste, who is coordinating a mentorship program that allows undergraduates in the College of Natural Sciences to shadow health professionals, the value of getting an early glimpse of the medical life is evident from his own life. “I was in junior high school when I decided I wanted to be a doctor,” says Baptiste, who’s now a c...Reginald Baptiste and students

Natural Sciences Student Wins Marshall Scholarship

Grace Eckhoff has been named a Marshall Scholar, one of 40 scholars from across the nation who earned the scholarship to study abroad in the United Kingdom.

Life on the Outside: Willy Fischler

Quantum physicist and professor fulfills a childhood dream by helping to save lives as a paramedic.

Simmons Advises Clinton Climate Initiative

Dr. Mark Simmons, a restoration ecologist at The University of Texas at Austin's Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, has been invited to join the technical advisory group for the Clinton Climate Initiative. The Initiative of the William J. Clinton Foundation works with governments and businesses to address climate change by looking for ways to in...

Q&A with President of the Natural Sciences Council

Matt Allen, president of the Natural Sciences Council What is the Natural Sciences Council? Our purpose is to act as a forum for communication between students and the administration, faculty, and staff of the College of Natural Sciences. We also play kickball, organize events (like Natural Sciences Week), do service activities, and hang out t...Matt Allen, president of the Natural Sciences Council

New Math Placement Exam for Incoming First-Years

There’s a new rite of passage for students who are accepted into the College of Natural Sciences. It involves a piece of artificial intelligence software called ALEKS (for Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces).

First-Year Jessica Gardea

For Jessica Gardea, the first few months of college have included a few surprises. One surprise was how difficult some of her classes have been. “Classes were pretty shocking at first,” says Gardea, who ranked third in her class of 600 at Franklin High School in El Paso. “I wasn’t quite as prepared as I thought I was. I’m getting the hang of thing...younger Jessica

Two Alums Receive Distinguished Alumnus Awards

The Texas Exes announced that two College of Natural Sciences alumni, Vice Admiral Vivien Crea and Mr. Lee Godfrey, are recipients of the 2009 University of Texas Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Dr. Fred Chang Takes Over as Associate Dean of Information Technology

“At the most basic level,” says Fred Chang, associate dean for information technology, “parents and students ought to know how the IT fees they pay are being used.”

Professors Receive $2.5 Million to Better Convert Water Into Clean Hydrogen Fuel Using Sunlight

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have received about $2.5 million to identify new materials that will efficiently absorb sunlight and split water into clean hydrogen fuel, which could power cars and be used to generate electricity.