University of Texas at Austin

Archive for the ‘History’ Category


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Folic acid one of several discoveries that made Esmond Snell world-renowned

Biochemist Esmond Snell, a researcher at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of California, Berkeley, left a legacy that continues to affect people’s lives.

Part of his legacy is that fewer babies are born with neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly because of one of his discoveries.

In 1941 Snell, who died in 2003, and Texas colleague Herschel Mitchell discovered folic acid, a B vitamin needed to make DNA and RNA and that enables red blood
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A history student’s road to dissertation travels through the southeast borderlands

Like many graduate students in the humanities, Cameron Strang, a Ph.D. candidate in his fourth year, came to The University of Texas at Austin’s History Department through a slightly circuitous route.

Cameron Strang, Ph.D. student in the Department of History.

Cameron Strang, Ph.D. student in the Department of History.

After graduating from McGill University, Strang worked as an elementary school teacher and a landscaper before returning to his undergraduate major of history. He started out in the Master’s Program in Museum Studies at the University of New Hampshire, but he soon transferred
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Revamped Herschel materials bring students closer to history and the stars

Even if you look through the telescope on the roof of Robert Lee Moore Hall in the middle of The University of Texas at Austin campus, it’s hard to feel close to the stars and other celestial objects.

Walk over to the Harry Ransom Center and you can get very close – and yes, even personal – to some of the people who made a science of looking at the skies.

For Mary Kay Hemenway, a research associate and senior lecturer in
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Research Round Up Fall 2011: New planets, a bigger black hole, more effective solar cells and more

It seems that the only time astronomers at The University of Texas at Austin took a break from finding new planets and bigger black holes during the fall 2011 semester was when university geologists edged in with evidence of a lake under the surface of Saturn’s moon, Europa.

As busy as those researchers were, the semester also brought discoveries in green energy, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, concealed handguns and the relationship between children’s happiness and their parents.

Here’s a look at
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Texas professors booked on BookTV

Several weeks ago, 10 University of Texas at Austin professors sat down with CSPAN host Peter Slen to talk about their books.

Julia Mickenberg

Julia Mickenberg

Those interviews have started to run on Book-TV, which appears on CSPAN-2 on weekends.

CSPAN is the cable television enterprise that covers the U.S. Congress and offers other public affairs programming. It turns CSPAN-2 over to interviews with non-fiction authors on weekends.

This weekend (Nov. 19-21, 2011) BookTV will feature interviews with three UT Austin professors, following two that appeared last weekend. More
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

The worldwide impact of the Columbian Exchange

Alfred W. Crosby, emeritus professor of history, geography and American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin, coined the term, “Columbian Exchange.” The term describes the reverberations throughout the New World and Old World after Columbus opened the door between them.

The concept came up recenty up with the publication of “1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created,” by Charles Mann. Mann drew on Crosby’s research in “1493″ and his previous book, “1491: New Revelations of the Americans Before Columbus.”

To
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Monday, June 13, 2011

Getting Started: Catching Greek fire in the fourth

In the Getting Started series, Further Findings highlights the paths some researchers at The University of Texas at Austin took to the laboratory, the library, the field—wherever they do their work.

Archaeologist Cynthia Shelmerdine examining artifacts in Iklaina, Greece. A fourth-grade class sparked her lifelong study of ancient Greece.

Archaeologist Cynthia Shelmerdine examining artifacts in Iklaina, Greece. A fourth-grade class sparked her lifelong study of ancient Greece.

Cynthia Shelmerdine met the Greeks in fourth grade and was enchanted with their myths and imagination. That seed, planted in elementary school, led to her life’s work.

Shelmerdine is a renowned scholar of Bronze
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Friday, June 3, 2011

“Science Secrets” author zaps popular science myths; i.e., Einstein not wound up by synchronizing Swiss clocks

Associate Professor of History Alberto Martinez.  Photo by Judy Hogan.

Associate Professor of History Alberto Martinez. Photo by Judy Hogan.

Jessica Sinn in the College of Liberal Arts conducted a question-and-answer session with Alberto Martinez, associate professor in the Department of History, about his new book, “Science Secrets: The Truth about Darwin’s Finches, Einstein’s Wife, and Other Myths.”

Legend has it Benjamin Franklin ventured out on a stormy day to fly a kite with a lightning rod and a key dangling on the end of the string. When the lightning struck the
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Monday, May 30, 2011

Got it in writing: A surprising Bronze Age discovery

Greek scholar Cynthia Shelmerdine said the clay tablet with writing from the Late Bronze Age is the most exciting find of her career, hands down.

Greek scholar Cynthia Shelmerdine said the clay tablet with writing from the Late Bronze Age is the most exciting find of her career, hands down.

Listening to Cynthia Shelmerdine describe the writing on a Greek tablet from more than 3,000 years ago, it’s like she was looking over the scribe’s shoulder as he worked.

She points out details and nuance of technique, the condition of the tablet and what it means, literally, and for the world of Greek archaeology.

“Notice how the signs
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wrinkle in Time: It’s Maya Meetings time

To get ready for the Maya Meetings and workshops at The University of Texas at Austin March 23-27, Further Findings presents a story about David Stuart, one of the foremost experts on the Maya:

David Stuart, director of the Mesoamerica Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

David Stuart, director of the Mesoamerica Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

David Stuart was getting out of the Land Rover after the bumpy 50-mile ride through the Guatemalan rain forest to San Bartolo, an ancient Maya ruin in northern Guatemala.

William Saturno, the leader of the dig
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