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From the College of Natural Sciences
Delays in Contact Tracing Impeded Early COVID-19 Containment, Researchers Find

Delays in Contact Tracing Impeded Early COVID-19 Containment, Researchers Find

Contact tracing programs were deployed around the globe to slow the spread of COVID-19, but these programs could not prevent the multiple waves of transmission and loss of life that have occurred since March 2020. In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin found that a five-day delay between identifying a case and isolating contacts was the Achilles' heel of a contact tracing program in a large U.S. city.

UT Austin Leads in New Summary of Top "Degrees of the Future"

UT Austin Leads in New Summary of Top "Degrees of the Future"

A dozen offerings from The University of Texas at Austin were ranked among the nation's best "Degrees of the Future 2022" by Gizmodo. The ranking came in a new special report from the technology, science and culture publication dedicated to "honoring the universities preparing students for tomorrow."

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.

Adolescent Stress Can Be Reduced by 30-Minute Online ‘Mindset’ Training

Adolescent Stress Can Be Reduced by 30-Minute Online ‘Mindset’ Training

Many young people today suffer from stress-related anxiety and depressive symptoms. A new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin finds that a 30-minute online training on how to think about stress and adversity can reduce both short- and long-term mental health symptoms, offering a potential low-cost treatment to combat a growing adolescent mental health crisis.

NSF Awards Graduate Research Fellowships to 22 UT Natural Sciences Students

NSF Awards Graduate Research Fellowships to 22 UT Natural Sciences Students

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awards a Graduate Research Fellowship to students who plan on pursuing a research-based master's or Ph.D. program in a STEM-related field. The fellowship is awarded to exceptional individuals and will support them in elevating their research with the goal of furthering advancements that will transform the future.

Professor Layla Parast Aims to Improve Healthcare Using Biostatistics

Professor Layla Parast Aims to Improve Healthcare Using Biostatistics

New faculty members in the College of Natural Sciences take on the important roles of mentor and researcher, always pushing the limits of science and inspiring their pupils. This academic year, we gained faculty members whose compelling character and work are worth learning about. Meet new statistics and data science professor, Layla Parast, whose work in biostatistics aims to improve medical treatments and trial outcomes.

UT Austin Offers New Undergraduate Major in Statistics and Data Science

UT Austin Offers New Undergraduate Major in Statistics and Data Science

With statistics and data science among the fastest-growing fields in the United States, The University of Texas at Austin will offer an undergraduate degree in these fields for the first time beginning in the fall of 2022.

Introducing a New Graduate Portfolio in Computational Medicine

Introducing a New Graduate Portfolio in Computational Medicine

A new Graduate Portfolio in Computational Medicine combines novel and existing courses from across the University of Texas at Austin to create a unique program in a rapidly expanding medical field.

COVID Forecasting Method Proves It Can Reliably Guide City's Response

COVID Forecasting Method Proves It Can Reliably Guide City's Response

Illustration by Jenna Luecke

Using cellphone mobility data and COVID-19 hospital admissions data, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have reliably forecast regional hospital demands for almost two years, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The forecasting system, which municipal authorities credit with helping Austin maintain the lowest COVID-19 death rate among all large Texas cities, has been built out for use by 22 municipal areas in Texas and can be used by any city to guide COVID-19 responses as the virus continues to spread.

Meet the Scientists Who are New to the Faculty this Spring

Meet the Scientists Who are New to the Faculty this Spring

The College of Natural Sciences is the academic home base for six tenured and tenure-track faculty new to Texas Science this spring—and one new department chair who returns to our Department of Molecular Biosciences and academic leadership on the Forty Acres. These new faculty members have expertise in a wide range of areas, from medical applications for data science and statistics to improving interactions between computers and people, including people with impaired vision. These outstanding researchers and teachers join the fall cohort for 2021-2022 as the newest members of our faculty.