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From the College of Natural Sciences
As AI Becomes Ubiquitous, There are Risks, Says New AI100 Report

As AI Becomes Ubiquitous, There are Risks, Says New AI100 Report

Artificial intelligence has reached a critical turning point in its evolution, according to a new report by an international panel of experts assessing the state of the field for the second time in five years.

UT Austin Climbs in Latest National Undergraduate Rankings

UT Austin Climbs in Latest National Undergraduate Rankings

The University of Texas at Austin rose to No. 38 among national universities in U.S. News & World Report's latest undergraduate rankings, climbing four spots since last year.

Ethical Artificial Intelligence is Focus of New Robotics Program

Ethical Artificial Intelligence is Focus of New Robotics Program

Ethics will be at the forefront of robotics education thanks to a new University of Texas at Austin program that will train tomorrow's technologists to understand the positive — and potentially negative — implications of their creations.

Three Natural Sciences Faculty Receive NSF CAREER Awards

Three Natural Sciences Faculty Receive NSF CAREER Awards

Three faculty members from the College of Natural Sciences have received distinguished Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards from the National Science Foundation.

Kristen Grauman Named Finalist in 2021 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists

Kristen Grauman Named Finalist in 2021 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists

University of Texas at Austin computer science researcher Kristen Grauman was selected as a finalist for the 2021 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists.

Xue-Xin Wei Asks Basic Questions about the Nature of Intelligence

Xue-Xin Wei Asks Basic Questions about the Nature of Intelligence

Image by Vivian Abagiu.

Xue-Xin Wei, a computational and theoretical neuroscientist, recently joined the Department of Neuroscience as an assistant professor. Wei grew up in Qingdao, China, before obtaining his undergraduate degree in mathematics at Peking University. His lab works at the intersection of computational/theoretical neuroscience, statistics, artificial intelligence and deep learning. He and his team work closely with experimental scientists to test predictions of computational models to form theory-experiment loops.

New Study Shows How Deep-learning Technology Can Improve Brain Imaging

New Study Shows How Deep-learning Technology Can Improve Brain Imaging

Compare these two images of a slice of brain tissue from a rat. The PSSR method applies deep learning to a low resolution image from a scanning electron microscope (left) to yield a higher resolution image (right).

Neuroscience researchers often face challenges when using high-powered microscopes to capture clear images of brain tissue. Microscopes suffer from what researchers call the "eternal triangle of compromise" — image resolution, the intensity of the illumination the sample is subjected to, and speed compete with each other. For example, taking an image of the sample very quickly can result in a dark image, but subjecting a biological sample to more intense light can damage it.

UT Austin Professors Named ACM Fellows by the Association for Computing Machinery

UT Austin Professors Named ACM Fellows by the Association for Computing Machinery

The Association for Computing Machinery, the primary professional organization in the field of computer science, has named two University of Texas at Austin professors — Peter Stone and Lizy Kurian John — as ACM Fellows. The award goes only to highly distinguished computer scientists representing the top 1% of ACM members.

The Hearts and Minds Behind AI

The Hearts and Minds Behind AI

Austin tech entrepreneurs and devoted Longhorns Amir and Zaib Husain. Photo: Sloan Breeden

​“Zaib and I chose to make this gift because we believe artificial intelligence will one day help elevate the human condition.”

— ​​​Amir Husain

At the age of four Amir Husain fell in love with computers — in his words, he "became obsessed" with them. In his teens he began writing to his heroes, computer scientists like Niklaus Wirth, who created the Pascal programming language, and Nicholas Negroponte, a pioneer in the study of how humans interact with computers. They all wrote back. Amir left his home of Lahore, Pakistan to attend The University of Texas at Austin 8,000 miles away, drawn by the work of one of UT's computer science labs. While at UT, he found a kindred spirit in his wife Zaib, who was also from Lahore and a student at the McCombs School of Business.

Mission Accomplished: Army Futures Command Teams with Texas Robotics

Mission Accomplished: Army Futures Command Teams with Texas Robotics

A methodical voice tells the watching crowd, "I am going to remove the lid." Everyone is quiet as a robot using artificial intelligence (AI) opens a trash can and lifts out a bag. Students and researchers hold their breath as it navigates across the floor of a mock house, avoiding obstacles to its destination. "Mission accomplished," it says. The trash has been taken out and the audience applauds. This is a huge achievement for the robot designed by a Texas Robotics team for the 2019 RoboCup competition.