Dec. 22, 2011 | Research Alert

Research Alert

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Research Prizes and Honors

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Six Faculty Members Named Fellows of American Association for the Advancement of Science

Benny FreemanJeff Chen
Ed MarcotteBrent Iverson
Kris WilsonMike Ryan

Six faculty members at The University of Texas at Austin have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS fellows are chosen annually by their peers to recognize their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

The 2011 fellows from The University of Texas at Austin are:

Z. Jeffrey Chen, top left, professor of molecular cell and developmental biology in the College of Natural Sciences. Chen was recognized for distinguished contributions to the field of genetics and agriculture, particularly for biological understanding and application of polyploidy and hybrid vigor in plant improvement.

Benny Freeman, top right, professor of chemical engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering. Freeman was recognized for seminal contributions to membrane science and engineering and for international leadership in polymer engineering.

Brent Iverson, middle left, professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the College of Natural Sciences. Iverson was recognized for innovations in the fields of supramolecular chemistry and protein engineering, and in the teaching of organic chemistry.

Edward Marcotte, middle right, professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the College of Natural Sciences. Marcotte was recognized for distinguished contributions in the area of computational, systems and synthetic biology.

Michael Ryan, bottom left, professor of integrative biology in the College of Natural Sciences. Ryan was recognized for distinguished contributions to the fields of animal behavior and evolution, especially to studies of sexual selection and the evolution and mechanisms of communication.

Kris Wilson, bottom right, senior lecturer of journalism in the College of Communication. Wilson was recognized for pioneering research on the role of weather forecasters in communicating accurate, credible information on climate change, and excellence in teaching future science communication specialists.

This year 539 members were elected fellows of the AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New fellows will be inducted Feb. 18 during the 2012 AAAS annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia.

LBJ Professor Named Fellow of Public Administration Academy

Angela Evans Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs Clinical Professor Angela Evans has been inducted as a 2011 Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) in a Nov. 17 ceremony in Washington, D.C. at the academy's annual meeting.

Evans joins 44 other academics and high-ranking officials from the federal government who have been elected to NAPA and will contribute to the association’s work with government agencies providing insight on key public management issues.

News and Information

Researching overseas? Check with the International Office

The University of Texas System requires all travel to countries with U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings to be reviewed and approved by the University's International Oversight Committee (IOC). If you anticipate international travel to any country on the Restricted Regions List, visit IOC’s website and follow the procedures for advance reviews and approval of travel.

This policy outlines the procedures that all students, faculty and staff must follow to ensure their international travel complies with the UT System directive. These procedures are in addition to all other requirements for travel set forth by the traveler's department or unit.

Note that the Travel Management Services office is the primary contact for faculty and staff travel to restricted regions, and all questions related to the IOC policy and restricted regions travel should be directed to

Subvention Grants

The University Co-operative Society Subvention Grants program funding has been depleted for academic year 2011-2012.

Quoted-UT Researchers in the News

Wall Street Journal/India Real Time
Dec. 16, 2011
HEADLINE: English-Hinglish, Angrezi-Fangrezi

Rupert Snell (In an article about using simpler Hindi in Indian government documents, Rupert Snell, a professor in the Department of Asian Studies, asked whether that solution would help the problem.)

Rupert Snell, who is  director of the Hindi-Urdu undergraduate program at the University of Texas at Austin, agreed that there is a certain lack of agility to some of official Hindi’s inventions.

But he was wary of Ms. Upadhyaya’s suggestion that people should freely use popular English words like “computer” and “Internet” when writing official documents in Hindi.

Mr. Snell wondered whether “dipping into English whenever you feel like it,” would really make Hindi easier to read for everyone – or just for English speakers who aren’t well-educated in Hindi, and perhaps don’t care to be. In many cases, he noted with concern, Hindi words that are not at all difficult to understand have been replaced with English words in everyday conversation.

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


Research Opportunities in Space Biology
Deadline: Jan. 23, 2012

National Institutes of Health

Focal Cognitive Deficits in CNS Disorders
Deadline: Feb. 5, 2012

Solicitation of Validated Hits for the Discovery of in vivo Chemical Probes
Deadline: Feb. 5, 2012

National Science Foundation

Manufacturing Machines and Equipment
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2012

Geotechnical Engineering
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2012

Civil Infrastructure Systems
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2012

Biomechanics and Mechanobiology
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2012

Deadline: Feb. 15, 2012

Deadlines: Regular Research, Jan. 15, 2012; Dissertation Research, Feb. 15, 2012

Arts, Humanities and Culture

Council on Library and Information Resources
Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives
Deadline: March 16, 2012

Other Funding Opportunities

2012 Pfizer Fellowships in Amyloidosis
Deadline: Feb. 10, 2012

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative
Request for Proposals-II
Deadline: Letter of Intent, Jan. 17, 2012; Proposal, March 8, 2012

Research Project

Collaborative Research: Development of a high-resolution real-time polarization image sensor for marine deployment

Molly CummingsRESEARCHER: Molly Cummings, associate professor, Department of Integrative Biology, principal investigator
AGENCY: National Science Foundation
AMOUNT: $550,326

This project seeks to develop an integrated instrument package including a polarized imaging sensor capable of measuring all Stokes parameters of the optical field with high temporal and spatial resolution. This instrument package will be deployed underwater and will be programmed to automatically record measurements of the near-surface polarized optical field at regular time-steps while re-orienting over the full solid angle. These measurements, used in combination with measurements of the associated water's Inherent Optical Properties and Monte Carlo based radiative-transfer modeling, are expected to lead to enhanced understanding both of optical radiative transfer relevant to remote sensing, and also of the adaptation mechanisms employed by biological organisms, either to enhance their contrast for communication or to conceal themselves against the polarized optical background.

If successful, the researchers will have developed an underwater polarimetric camera that can be deployed in a variety of ocean conditions. This could lead to new discoveries in engineering, oceanography, biology, geology and physics. The instrument itself may also lead to advancements in biomedical imaging, where polarization has shown significant promise. The interdisciplinary nature of the research will certainly appeal to a large number of groups, and is prime for educational outreach for all age groups.

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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