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January 29, 2002
Vol. 28, No. 14



UT faces projected deficit; proposes $230 increase in student fees

Teresa Graham Brett named dean of students

Behavior of midwater fishes under Antarctic ice: Observations by a predator

Student group displays pro-life exhibit at West Mall area

Meningitis ruled cause of university student's death

New study examines effects of memory training

Endowed scholarship honors Myers

Researchers get $4.5 million to study child language therapy

New engineering chair made possible by $2.35 million gift

Global extinction rate reaches historical proportions

Special programs highlight celebration of Black History Month

Nichols named associate vice president for research

Texas Exes to honor teachers for their excellence as educators

Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Program Policy Statement

University approves new policy for lighting UT Tower

Coral study challenges long-held theory on glacial cycles

UT research shows radiation zapping Mars may affect biological evolution

Growing number of U.S.-Mexican border residents using herbs to treat ailments

News Briefs

Faculty Council

UT researchers receive $5.5 million to study effects of curricular changes in schools

Dana Center receives $94,000 award for math education

KUT adds Marketplace and The World to its program lineup

Arete: Harlan Miller

Critics program Viewpoint 2002 begins on Jan. 31

UT student returns home to conduct Corpus Christi Symphony in Rockport




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New engineering chair made possible by $2.35 million gift from Silicon Lab executives

Executives of Silicon Laboratories of Austin have contributed $2.35 million in stock to The University of Texas at Austin to create an endowed chair in mixed signal design, one of the most difficult and highly sought-after engineering disciplines in the semiconductor industry.

"The need for specialized engineering expertise is enormous, both in Texas and around the world," said Dr. Larry R. Faulkner, president of The University of Texas at Austin. "The Silicon Laboratories endowed chair will allow us to expand our academic programs and enrich the learning experience in the College of Engineering. We are deeply grateful to the donors for their insight and generosity."

The funding will propel The University of Texas at Austin into the ranks of such institutions as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley in terms of quality of instruction in mixed signal design, said Dr. Jacob Abraham, professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the Computer Engineering Research Center.


The funding will create an endowment for the Silicon Laboratories Chair in Mixed Signal Design in the College of Engineering.

The donors include Nav Sooch, chairman and chief executive officer of Silicon Laboratories based in Austin, and his wife Janet, and David R. Welland, Silicon Laboratories’ vice president of technology, and his wife Isabel.

Mixed signal design, said Sooch, "is a field that just doesn’t have a lot of training opportunities in the world, yet the demand for these types of skills is very, very high. We felt that donating to the university to create a world-class mixed signal effort in Austin would help our company, our community and our industry."

Despite the lack of training opportunities, mixed signal design expertise is required for much of the electronic equipment on the market. Mixed signal design involves a combination of analog and digital circuits on the same chip.

"This gift will enable us to provide our students a highly relevant education in this important field of circuit design," said Dr. Ben Streetman, dean of the College of Engineering. He said the Silicon Laboratories chair will become an integral part of the college’s master’s degree program in mixed signal design.

The field requires training in a number of engineering disciplines and there is a shortage of trained professors to teach it, Sooch said.

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