April 14, 2011 | Research Alert

Research Alert

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Research Prizes and Honors

[Have you or a colleague won a research-related prize or honor? Let the Research Alert know.]

Law Professor's Book Wins Association's Prize

Inga MarkovitsInga Markovits, a professor the School of Law, was named a recipient of the James Willard Hurst Prize by the Law and Society Association.

Her book, "Justice in Luritz: Experiencing Socialist Law in East Germany," is about life in an East German village under the socialist legal system. She shared the prize with Christopher Tomlins, a professor at the University of California Irvine School of Law, and his book, "Freedom Bound." The Hurst Prize recognizes the best work in socio-legal history for the year.

News and Information

DOE Announces Nearly $170 Million in Available Funding to Advance Solar Energy Technologies

The Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative has $170 million over three years to support research in solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies. The initiative will support four areas of investment: improving the efficiency and performance of solar cells; developing new installation - or balance of systems - technologies; advancing solar energy grid integration; and researching new materials and processes for solar PV technologies.

Information on specific projects is at the Department of Energy Web site.

University of Texas at Austin Research News Featured on Futurity.org

Futurity.org Research news from UT Austin is posted on Futurity.org, a Web site of major research universities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Recent UT Austin research featured on Futurity includes:

Is alcoholism a learning disorder?.

Picture digital data on a massive scale.

Avoiding fear hikes soldiers’ PTSD risk.

Super-rare supernova outshines the rest.

Quoted-UT Researchers in the News

Washington Post
April 10, 2011
HEADLINE: Supreme Court declines to clarify rights of Guantanamo Bay detainees

Robert Chesney[Robert Chesney, a professor at the School of Law, offered perspective on U.S. Supreme Court hearing about Guantanamo detainees.]

Perhaps, said Robert Chesney, a University of Texas law professor who has been a careful student of the process, the decision “was never as important as its most vigorous supporters and opponents said it was.”

Research Opportunities

Important University Research Deadlines

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The University of Texas at Austin Stimulus Package Web page is online.

Funding Sources

Department of Defense

Acquisition Research Program at The Naval Postgraduate School
Deadline: Deadline: June 13, 2011

Department of Energy

Terabit Networking for Extreme-Scale Science
Deadline: May 23, 2011

Advanced Hydropower Development
Deadline: June 6, 2011

Department of the Interior

Social Science Research: Visitor Use Modeling
Request for Proposals FY 2009
Deadline: May 6, 2011


In-Space Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer Demonstration Mission Concept Studies
Deadline: May 23, 2011

National Institutes of Health

Life After Linkage: The Future of Family Studies
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, May 16, 2011; Application, June 15, 2011

Anchoring Metabolomic Changes to Phenotype
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, May 17, 2011; Application, June 17, 2011 Understanding Clinical Information Needs and Health Care Decision Making Processes in the Context of Health Information Technology
Deadline: June 5, 2011 Basic Research in Calcific Aortic Valve Disease
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Sept. 12, 2011; Application, Oct. 11, 2011

National Science Foundation

Environmental Chemical Sciences
Deadline: July 31, 2011

Chemical Measurement and Imaging
Deadline: July 31, 2011

Arts, Humanities and Culture

American Institute of Indian Studies
Research fellowship programs
Deadline: July 1, 2011 National Endowment for the Humanities
Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Deadline: July 20, 2011 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin
2011–2012 William and Madeline Welder Smith Research Travel Award
Deadline: July 31, 2011

Other Funding Opportunities

North American Case Research Association
2011-2012 Request for Proposals to promote excellence in case research, writing, and teaching in business and other administrative disciplines
Deadline: June 1, 2011 Oncology Nursing Society Neuro-Oncology Nursing Research Grant
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Sept. 1, 2011; Application, Oct. 1, 2011

Research Project

Moving Boundary Methods for Stochastic Control Problems

Kumar MuthuramanRESEARCHER: Kumar Muthuraman, associate professor, Department of Information, Risk, and Operations Management, principal investigator
AGENCY: National Science Foundation
AMOUNT: $200,000

The objective of this project is to develop and extend an emerging class of techniques referred to as Moving Boundary Methods for solving hard free-boundary problems in stochastic control. Stochastic control refers to optimal decision making under uncertainty. Applications can be found in a variety of physical, economic, management and biological systems. Despite their wide applicability, problems in these classes are not analytically tractable except in very special cases and several remain unsolved even numerically.

This project specifically identifies some problems in financial engineering, operations management and healthcare. Each of these problems, while being very significant by itself, also has distinct features that will make the methods developed, applicable to larger classes of problems. If successful, the developed methods will solve a large class of decision-making problems previously considered intractable. The project brings together a set of very important and hard control problems under the unifying framework of free-boundary problems and seeks to develop a set of novel computational methods. Success in the project has two major implications. First, it significantly advances the research on stochastic control. Second, the results and insights gained in each of the four specific projects will have a direct impact in financial engineering, operations management and healthcare. Optimal decision-making in healthcare is in its infancy and is poised to have a huge impact in prolonging life expectancies and reducing costs. Success in this project will also give healthcare professionals the much-needed confidence to view more problems from a quantitative perspective.

The Research Alert is an electronic publication from the Office of the Vice President for Research at The University of Texas at Austin. It includes news of research honors and awards, news of research programs and deadlines, researchers quoted in news media, a listing of funding opportunities and a look at a current research project. It is available by e-mail and on the Web.

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