Research Prizes and Honors
[Have you or a colleague won a research-related prize or honor? Let the Research Alert know.]
Five Receive Sloan Research Fellowships
Four assistant professors at The University of Texas at Austin have received 2012 Sloan Research Fellowships.
They are, left to right, Kristen Grauman and Michael Walfish in the Department of Computer Science; Laura Colgin in the Section of Neurobiology; Rachel Ward in the Department of Mathematics; and Lauren Webb in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
They will receive $50,000 over two years for the research of their choice. They are among 118 researchers to receive fellowships this year.
Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded every year by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise.
Geoscientist Lauded for Drilling Contributions
Jamie Austin, senior research scientist at the Institute for Geophysics, received a career service award from the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling (ECORD). The award was presented at the Lisbon Port Call in January.
The award was special recognition from ECORD for three people who have had significant impact on scientific ocean drilling over a long time. The others were Catherine Mevel of the Institute of Earth Physics of Paris and Gerold Wefer of the University of Bremen.
News and Information
Texas Advanced Computing Center to Receive $10 Million in Private Funding
The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin has received a commitment of $10 million from the O'Donnell Foundation to advance data-driven science, also called data-enabled or data-intensive science.
TACC, one of the world’s leading supercomputing centers, will use the funding for new data infrastructure to sustain and broaden the university’s leadership in advanced computing and computational science. When completed, these projects will benefit research in dozens of departments and labs at the university, especially in the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences.
Quoted-UT Researchers in the News
(On CNN Newsroom, John Doggett, senior lecturer in the McCombs School of Business, was asked to which audience Chinese vice president Xi Jinping was playing when he visited the United States.)
PROF. JOHN DOGGETT, University of Texas: Well, it's both for the American audience and also for the Chinese audience, but it's much more for the people back in China. This is an indication that this guy is going to be the next president of China, but more importantly, that he has the strength to be able to deal with the current leaders of the United States.
Biden was in China talking with him for 10 hours earlier. They did reasonably well. And then he's dealt with protesters here in the United States. He seems to be pretty unflappable.
So, yes, there are two markets that he's playing to. The Chinese market is obviously much more important, but the U.S. market is also important to him.
Important University Research Deadlines
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
The University of Texas at Austin Stimulus Package Web page is online.
Department of Defense
Power Efficiency Revolution For Embedded Computing Technologies
Deadline: April 16, 2012
Announcement from FY12 Defense Medical Research and Development Program
Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program Funding Opportunities for Fiscal Year 2012
Deadlines: Not yet available
Butyrylcholinesterase Expression in Plants
Deadline: April 26, 2012
Department of Energy
Research and Development for Next Generation Nuclear Physics Accelerator Facilities
Deadline: March 30, 2012
Reduction of Tropical Cloud and Precipitation Biases in Global High Resolution Models
Deadline: March 30, 2012
Department of the Interior
Social Science Research
Deadline: March 15, 2012
Carbon Monitoring System Program
Deadline: April 20, 2012
National Institutes of Health
NIDCD Research Career Enhancement Award for Established Investigators
Deadline: June 12, 2012
NIMHD Basic and Applied Biomedical Research on Minority Health and Health Disparities
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, May 11, 2012; Application, June 11, 2012
NIMHD Social, Behavioral, Health Services, and Policy Research on Minority Health and Health Disparities
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, May 4, 2012; Application, June 4, 2012
National Institute of Standards and Technology
National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) Pilot Grant Program (PDF)
Deadline: Abbreviated Proposals, March 7, 2012
National Science Foundation
Coupling, Energetics, and Dynamics of Atmospheric Regions
Deadline: May 10, 2012
Deadline: July 2, 2012
Arts, Humanities and Culture
American Folklife Center/Library of Congress
Archie Green Fellowships
Deadline: March 16, 2012
Other Funding Opportunities
John Merck Fund
Developmental Disabilities Translational Research Program
Deadlines: Preliminary Proposals, May 15; Selected Proposals, Sept. 17, 2012
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Public Health Law Research: Making the Case for Laws That Improve Health
Deadline: April 4, 2012
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education
Postgraduate Research Participation at the St. Louis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Deadline: Applications accepted year-round
RESEARCHER: Megan Crowhurst, associate professor, Department of Linguistics, principal investigator
AGENCY: National Science Foundation
Rhythm in human languages is often expressed as repeated pairings of syllables with different emphasis (stress), as in the place name Apalachicola, (A-pa)(LA-chi)(CO-la). Because such binary groupings (feet) recur widely across languages, linguists view them as important building blocks of language prosody.
One very common foot type (a trochee) combines two short syllables with initial emphasis (BA ba), and another common type (an iamb) pairs a short with a following long syllable, (ba baa). Linguists have hypothesized that the evolution of these foot types in language may have been shaped by two principles of auditory perception according to which (i) sound sequences that contrast volume tend to be perceived as loud-initial groupings (trochees), and (ii) sound sequences contrasting duration tend toward long-last groupings (iambs). These principles have been validated in studies that have tested the influence of volume and duration separately, using primarily non-speech sounds (for example, tones).
However, human language is more complex in that intensity (volume) and duration cues generally vary together, not separately. Moreover, other sound features, for example glottalization (laryngeal creakiness), are known to interact with stress groupings in language, although the influence of these cues on subjective grouping has not been tested with human subjects in speech perception studies.
This project takes the next step with a series of speech perception experiments designed to study these issues. First, the influence on subjective grouping of jointly varying intensity and duration will be studied. Parallel experiments will study the influence of varying glottalization both in isolation, and in combination with duration. To study the issue of whether subjective grouping preferences based on the specific features studied are language specific or general, planned experiments will be conducted with native speakers of (Mexican) Spanish and Zapotec in addition to English. This work is expected to advance our understanding of how perceptual features that influence the cognitive activity of grouping may have helped to shape aspects of human language.