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From the College of Natural Sciences

Hillis, Aldrich Earn Top Honor

Dr. Rick Aldrich Dr. David Hillis AUSTIN, Texas—Two natural sciences faculty were elected members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors given to a scientist or engineer in the United States. Richard Aldrich and David Hillis were among 72 others for their excellence in original scientific research. “They are ...

2008 College Faculty and Staff Awards

The College of Natural Sciences is filled to capacity with intelligent, creative and incredibly devoted people. Each spring, we have the opportunity to honor some of the individuals that make the College of Natural Sciences so wonderful. This year's 2008 honorees are: OFFICE OF THE DEAN Ricardo Gonzalez Dean’s Office Staff Excellence Award DEPA...

Award-winning, Solar-powered House Built by University of Texas Students Comes to McDonald Observatory

FORT DAVIS — It’s Earth Day, and McDonald Observatory is preparing to add a new eco-friendly facility: the award-winning, solar-powered “BLOOMhouse.” Students in The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture designed and built the BLOOMhouse to compete in last year’s Solar Decathlon, a biennial event sponsored by the Department of Ener...

John Archibald Wheeler (July 9, 1911 – April 13, 2008)

John Archibald Wheeler passed away yesterday after contracting pneumonia. He is survived by two daughters, Alison Wheeler Lahnston and Letitia Wheeler Ufford, and a son, James English Wheeler. Read more about his life here.

Graduate Program Rankings '08

Several college Ph.D. programs rank among the nation’s top ten in this year’s U.S. News & World Report survey. Rankings are based on opinions of deans, department heads and other senior faculty. College programs and rankings: Biological Sciences - 23rd Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior - 8th Chemistry - 12th Analytical Chemistr...

Sen. Cornyn Recognizes UTeach Efforts

AUSTIN—United States Senator John Cornyn cited the partnership between UTeach—The University of Texas at Austin’s innovative science and math teacher preparation program—and the Austin Independent School District (AISD) as exemplary in meeting the nation’s need for highly trained science, math and computer science secondary school teachers. Cornyn,...

Five Faculty Win Sloan Fellowships

AUSTIN, Texas—Five faculty members at The University of Texas at Austin were awarded Sloan Research Fellowships for 2008. Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded every year by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. The 118 winners for this year were chosen fr...

Bill Gates Unplugged

Founder and chairman of Microsoft Bill Gates spoke at The University of Texas at Austin on Wednesday, Feb. 20. Gates’ visit was part of a five-campus university tour in which he  emphasized the importance of digital innovation in driving the global economy and addressing societal issues and the benefits afforded careers based in math and science. A...

Blast from the Past: Computing the Hard Way

Steve Ernst, Marc Hackert and Jon Robertus modeling proteins in 1978. Image courtesy Center for American History. When biochemists Marv Hackert, Jon Robertus and Steve Ernst began using the Vector General computer graphics system (pictured here) in 1978 to assist with modeling protein structures, it was at best a very limited and very expensive too...Steve Ernst, Marc Hackert and Jon Robertus modeling proteinsin 1978. Image courtesy Center for American History.

The Sound of Science

It’s taken a while for Josh Russell, a 37-year-old undergraduate in the College of Natural Sciences, to unify his interests in art, music, computers and science. A native of Galveston, Texas, Russell did his first stint as an undergraduate in the ’90s, earning a B.A. in photography from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. After graduati...josh-russell

Life on the Outside: Shelley Payne

Shelley Payne, a member of the university’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers, started weaving not long after she arrived in Austin as an assistant professor. “I wanted something that I could easily do as a way to relax,” she says, “and I was fascinated with weaving and cloth and how you use a single material and yet get these intricate patterns to...Shelley_Payne_final

Tracing Our Ancestry with Genetics

Dr. Spencer Wells, Biology '88, in Chad. Photo from National Geographic. Geneticist Dr. Spencer Wells (Biology, ’88) leads National Geographic’s ambitious Genographic Project, which uses participants’ DNA to map and trace migration patterns of humans who lived thousands of years ago. The five-year, $50 million effort aims to collect 100,000 DNA...Dr. Spencer Wells in Chad. Photo from National Geographic.

Wetlands Grow at MSI

More than 100 volunteers converged upon the Marine Science Institute (MSI) on Planting Day in August to landscape the Wetlands Education Center with native marsh and sand dune flora. Participants included representatives from environmental, governmental and research entities, local, state and national officials, as well as teachers, students and fa...msi_vol2

Q & A with Uri Treisman

Uri Treisman is a professor of mathematics and the executive director of the Charles A. Dana Center. Since Treisman founded the center in the 1980s, it has become a national leader in education policy and research. We sat down with Treisman, who was named a MacArthur Fellow (sometimes known as the MacArthur “genius” grant) in 1992, to talk about th...Uri Treisman

Gifts of Note

Abells Support Marine Science To honor their six children and provide a permanent gift to the Marine Science Institute, Joe and Mary Abell recently pledged $50,000 to establish the Abell Family Fund Endowment. The fund will provide tuition assistance to graduate students in the Department of Marine Science. Mary, advisory council member and the in...