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From the College of Natural Sciences

Posts highlighting some of the many articles mentioning College of Natural Sciences faculty and students in the media.

Bringing Developmental Biology to South Texas

Bringing Developmental Biology to South Texas

Over the last two decades, John Wallingford has taught developmental biology short courses to students at two of the country's most highly prestigious and competitive biological research institutions: the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. But not all biology students have access to these transformative experiences.

Students in the Baffin Bay Developmental Biology short course in Kingsville, TX in August 2022. Photo credit: Miranda Smith.
Race to Find Earliest Galaxy Heats Up

Race to Find Earliest Galaxy Heats Up

Maisie's galaxy, imaged by the James Webb Space Telescope, may be among the earliest ever observed. Researchers estimate that we're seeing it as it was about 290 million years after the Big Bang.

In the past week, astronomers have been giddily sifting through the latest images from the James Webb Space Telescope and turning up golden nuggets nearly everywhere they look. Major news outlets including BBC, Nature, Space.com and CNET are reporting that several teams have found what appear to be a slew of galaxies seen much earlier than the earliest detected by the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Can Dogs Take Bite Out of Neighborhood Crime?

Can Dogs Take Bite Out of Neighborhood Crime?

Can having more dogs in a neighborhood help prevent crime? Yes, according to research from Kate Calder, chair of the Department of Statistics and Data Sciences; Jake Tarrence, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Statistics and Data Sciences, and their colleagues at The Ohio State University. The research was featured recently in USA Today and Medscape.

From Knots to Fluids to Extra Dimensions, Experts Weigh in on Mathematical Challenges

From Knots to Fluids to Extra Dimensions, Experts Weigh in on Mathematical Challenges

Several University of Texas at Austin mathematics faculty, including an incoming assistant professor, have seen their work spotlighted in the science publication Quanta in recent weeks.

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Attackers Can Syphon Crypto Keys with Newly Discovered Attack

Attackers Can Syphon Crypto Keys with Newly Discovered Attack

Photo by alerkiv on Unsplash.

A team of researchers including Ph.D. student Yingchen Wang and professor Hovav Shacham from The University of Texas at Austin has found that a common feature of modern computer processors can make even carefully written encryption software reveal its secrets when probed by an attacker. The new attack technique, dubbed Hertzbleed, upends decades of guidance for how to write encryption software and may lead to widespread patching as developers come to terms with its implications.

Biology Honors Senior Looks Forward to Practicing Compassionate Health Care in the Rio Grande Valley

Biology Honors Senior Looks Forward to Practicing Compassionate Health Care in the Rio Grande Valley

Biology honors senior Brian Chavez is one of a select few in the graduating Class of 2022 that The University of Texas at Austin chosen to highlight this year on UT News and this month's Texas Newsletter. The news team picked students who have made the most of their opportunities at UT and stand ready to create a brighter tomorrow.

Fixing Racial Bias in AI

Fixing Racial Bias in AI

In 2020, a deep learning generative model designed to turn low-resolution images into high-quality photos was posted online. When a user uploaded a low-resolution image of President Obama, though, it returned an image that is now referred to as 'White Obama.' The Face Depixelizer model, based on an algorithm called PULSE, was reconstructing images with predominantly white features, setting off a heated debate across social media.

AI Bests Expert Human Players at Video Game

AI Bests Expert Human Players at Video Game

A still from the video game Gran Turismo Sport. Credit: Jamie Wynder /Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

An artificial intelligence system made history recently by beating a human world champion in Sony's popular video racing game, Gran Turismo Sport. The technological feat, which made the cover of the journal Nature, involved an AI system designed in part by three University of Texas at Austin computer science Ph.D. alumni and professor Peter Stone.

Astronomers Talk James Webb Telescope Ahead of Historic Launch

Astronomers Talk James Webb Telescope Ahead of Historic Launch

University of Texas at Austin astronomers have recently been featured in several prominent publications in advance of the launch of NASA's largest-ever space telescope, the JWST, which is currently slated for Dec. 24, 2021. Caitlin Casey, associate professor of astronomy, is one of the principal investigators on the COSMOS-Web survey, the largest project scheduled to make use of the JWST. Steve Finkelstein, a professor of astronomy, is also leading projects on the telescope.

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Longhorns Make the Forbes 30 Under 30 List in Science

Longhorns Make the Forbes 30 Under 30 List in Science

An astrophysicist writer, a new assistant professor and an entrepreneur seeking to address the challenges of aging are among the latest additions to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list with University of Texas at Austin ties.

UT COVID-19 Experts Offer Pro Tips for Holiday Gatherings

UT COVID-19 Experts Offer Pro Tips for Holiday Gatherings

Many of us can't wait to catch up with friends and loved ones this holiday season, COVID-19 experts included.

"I look forward to connecting with family that I haven't seen in over 18 months," says Lauren Ancel Meyers, director of the UT COVID-19 Modeling Consortium. "Since we are not out of the woods with COVID-19 yet, we will take precautions so that we can enjoy being together with peace of mind."

Mathematician Seeks to Bring Quantum Field Theory into Mainstream Math

Mathematician Seeks to Bring Quantum Field Theory into Mainstream Math

Quantum field theory, a framework for explaining how subatomic particles behave, among other things, is one of the most successful areas of physics, but it's still incomplete — it's poorly described in terms of mathematics, so neither physicists nor mathematicians know what defines a quantum field theory. David Ben-Zvi, a mathematics professor at the University of Texas at Austin, described his intent to help solve this problem in a recent WIRED article.

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Changing the World, One Graduate at a Time

Changing the World, One Graduate at a Time

This month, hundreds of graduating College of Natural Sciences students will walk across a small outdoor stage, masked and socially distanced, and smile at the camera for friends and family mostly watching online.

Alumni Honor Three CNS Faculty with Texas 10 Award

Alumni Honor Three CNS Faculty with Texas 10 Award

Every year, The Alcalde asks alumni about their favorite professors and honors the top choices with the Texas 10 award. These faculty members inspire their students and make a difference in the lives of many Longhorns. This year, three CNS faculty were chosen for the honor.

'Last Resort' Antibiotic Pops Bacteria Like Balloons

'Last Resort' Antibiotic Pops Bacteria Like Balloons

A 70-year mystery has finally been solved and the solution could help in the fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria. A new study led by researchers at Imperial College London, and including UT Austin's Despoina Mavridou, reveals that colistin, a last resort antibiotic "punches holes in bacteria, causing them to pop like balloons." Published i...