Dec. 1, 2001 | 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.]

Chemistry Professor Elected Fellow of the American Physical Society

Xiaoyang Zhu Xiaoyang Zhu, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). He was cited for his research which has applications in surface photochemistry, molecular electronics and solar energy conversion.

The formal induction will be at the APS annual meeting in Boston in March.

Marr Prize Goes to Computer Science Professor

Kristen Grauman Kristen Grauman, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, received the Marr Prize at the International Conference on Computer Vision for the paper "Relative Attributes." She shared the prize with her co-author Devi Parikh of the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago and a former visiting postdoc at UT Austin.

The Marr Prize is a best paper award in computer vision given by the committee of the ICCV every two years.

News and Information

Austin Forum Presents Psychology Professor

David Laude James W. Pennebaker, professor and chair in the Department of Psychology, will talk about his research into the words people use and what they mean at the Austin Forum on Dec. 6, 2011 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center.

The event begins with networking at 5:45 p.m. Pennebaker's talk begins at 6:30 p.m.

The Austin Forum is a monthly speaker series organized by the Texas Advanced Computing Center of The University of Texas at Austin.

Quoted-UT Researchers in the News

Houston Chronicle
Nov. 23, 2011
HEADLINE: Using modern technology to find new treatments from the past

Marv Shepherd (Marv Shepherd, professor in the College of Pharmacy, provided context for an article about using drugs designed for one purpose for another.)

Finding new uses for drugs that already have been approved limits the risk - whether it is a cheap generic drug such as chloro­quine or an expensive medication that could create a new, multimillion-dollar market.

"You can drop over $1 billion and 14 years on a new drug," said Marv Shepherd, director of the Center for Pharmacoeconomic Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. "They'd rather find a new use for an older drug. It's cheaper. They already know the side effects."

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

FY12 DoD High Energy Laser Multidisciplinary Research Initiative
Deadline: Feb. 1, 2012

Endangered Butterfly Captive Rearing & Population Surveys for Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro, Calif.
Deadline: Jan. 4, 2012

Department of Energy

Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program
Deadline: Jan. 5, 2012

National Institutes of Health

Integrated Microphysiological Systems for Drug Efficacy and Toxicity Testing in Human Health and Disease
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Dec. 26, 2011; Application, Jan. 26, 2012

New Tools to Study Astrocyte Heterogeneity, Development and Function in Brain Regions Relevant to Mental Illness
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Feb. 9, 2012; Application, March 9, 2012

Developmental Mechanisms of Human Structural Birth Defects
Deadline: Jan. 25, 2012

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Etiology, Diagnosis, Pathophysiology, and Treatment
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Jan. 24, 2012; Application, Feb. 24, 2012

Research on Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders
Deadlines: Feb. 5, 2012

National Science Foundation

Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Jan. 2, 2012; Full Proposal, March 6, 2012

Physical and Engineering Sciences in Oncology
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2012

Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry
Deadline: Continuous

Advancing Health Services through System Modeling Research
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2012

Arts, Humanities and Culture

Center for the Humanities at Tufts
Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows Program
Deadline: Feb. 1, 2012

Other Funding Opportunities

Association for Computing Machinery
ACM History Fellowship
Deadline: Feb. 3, 2012

American Geophysical Union
AGU Congressional Science Fellowship
Deadline: Feb. 1, 2012

James S. McDonnell Foundation
Studying Complex Systems
Deadline: March 14, 2012

Research Project

Identity fusion and extreme group behavior

William SwannRESEARCHER: William Swann, professor, Department of Psychology, principal investigator
AGENCY: National Science Foundation
AMOUNT: $432,836

Most contemporary analyses of group processes have been guided by social identity theory or self-categorization theory. Both of these theories have emphasized group identification as the measure of alignment with groups. Identification is doubtlessly an influential determinant of the tendency for group members to band together in derogating members of out-groups and applauding fellow in-group members. Nevertheless, identification reflects people's alignment with the category rather than with the individual members of the category.

In contrast, identity fusion emphasizes familial sentiments toward the group connectedness and reciprocal strength sentiments that motivate fused persons to make profound sacrifices for individual "family" members. Recent research by Swann and his collaborators has shown that when people become fused with a group, their personal and social identities theoretically combine synergistically to motivate pro-group behavior. The result is that identity fused persons are especially inclined to donate their personal funds to the group and take bold action on behalf of the group, including even endorsing fighting and dying for the group.

The research supported with this award is designed to understand extreme devotion to a group ("hyper-fusion") and how it might be countered. In nine experimental laboratory studies, the researcher focuses on the antecedents of fusion, the circumstances in which identity fusion may play a unique role and considers the possibility that hyper-fusion may sometimes compromise people's capacity to fulfill multiple roles.



The focus on the antecedents of extreme behavior will enhance understanding of terrorism, which is obviously relevant to national security, international relations, and America's economic well-being. Moreover, both graduate and undergraduate students at The University of Texas at Austin will be involved in the conceptualization, design, and implementation of the research. Finally, women and minorities will be specifically recruited as assistants as a way of broadening the participation of underrepresented 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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