March 8, 2012 | 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.]

Biologist Named 2012 Distinguished Texas Scientist by Texas Academy of Science

Lawrence Gilbert Lawrence Gilbert, professor of integrative biology and director of the Brackenridge Field Laboratory, has been named the 2012 Distinguished Texas Scientist by the Texas Academy of Science.

He received the recognition at the academy's annual meeting in early March.

Gilbert has studied the co-evolution of insects and plants, population dynamics, chemical and behavioral ecology, and evolution of novel wing patterns in mimetic butterflies. He is widely known for his research involving tropical Heliconius butterflies and their host plants, passion vines (genus Passiflora), and rainforest cucumber vines, Psiguria, a system he maintains in greenhouses at the university.

Engineering Professor Receives Group's Early Career Achievement Award

Andrea Alu Andrea Alù, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is the 2012 recipient of the SPIE Early Career Achievement Award in recognition of his pioneering contributions to optical metamaterials and plasmonic phenomena.

Alù is also affiliated with the Applied Research Laboratories, where he is involved in research projects on electromagnetics and acoustics. SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics.

News and Information

Newly Cataloged Collection of Science Materials Now Open for Research

Halley;s CometA collection of science materials from the family of Sir John F. W. Herschel (1792–1871) is now open for research after a $10,000 grant enabled staffers to rehouse the collection and to create an online inventory.

The Herschel family papers, acquired in 1960 with subsequent smaller accessions of additional materials, largely represent the life and work of Herschel, the English mathematician, astronomer, chemist and experimental photographer/inventor. John Herschel has been called Britain's first modern physical scientist, and his correspondence has been noted as one of the most valuable archives for 19th-century science.

Quoted-UT Researchers in the News

Wired Science
March 3, 2012
HEADLINE: Records: Mets' income drops at Citi Field

Michael Cramer (In an article about the New York Mets' financial problems, Michael Cramer, director of the Texas Program in Sports and Media in the College of Communication, takes the long view. And that is that the team will be OK.)

Michael Cramer, director of the Texas Program in Sports and Media at the University of Texas, said the team has positive long-term financial viability, despite its current struggles.

"They could get lucky and catch lightning in a bottle [this season] with 10 good players that are young, but that will be lucky," said Cramer, a former minority owner and president of the Texas Rangers. "But [long term], they're going to be fine. That's the crazy thing. The Mets are going to be fine."

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 Agriculture

2012 Hazardous Fuels Woody Biomass Utilization Grant
Deadline: April 2, 2012

Department of Defense

Breast Cancer Research Program
Idea Award (PDF)
Deadlines: Pre-Application, April 26, 2012; Application (by invitation), Aug. 15, 2012

Impact Award (PDF)
Deadlines: Pre-Application, May 3, 2012; Application (by invitation), Aug. 15, 2012


Modeling, Analysis, and Prediction
Deadlines: NOI/Step 1, March 23, 2012; Proposal, May 25, 2012

Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry
Deadlines: NOI/Step 1, March 30, 2012; Proposal, May 30, 2012

Heliophysics Research: Geospace Science
Deadlines: NOI/Step 1, April 13, 2012; Proposal, June 15, 2012

National Institutes of Health

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research – Dissemination by Health Professionals Associations
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, April 2, 2012; Application, April 25, 2012

Research on Alcohol and HIV/AIDS
Deadline: June 5, 2012

National Science Foundation

Deadline: July 15, 2012

Science of Learning Centers
Deadline: Aug. 6, 2012

Cultural Anthropology
Deadlines: Aug. 15 and 16, 2012

Antarctic Research
Deadline: May 31, 2012

Deadline: July 6, 2012

Petrology and Geochemistry
Deadline: July 6, 2012

Arts, Humanities and Culture

National Endowment for the Humanities
Challenge Grants
Deadline: May 2, 2012

Other Funding Opportunities

National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense
Open Call for Proposals
Deadline: See link for details

Retirement Research Foundation
Deadline: May 1, 2012

Grand Challenges in Global Health
Grand Challenges Explorations Round
Deadline: May 15, 2012

Research Project

CAREER: Analysis and Automation of Systematic Software Modifications

Miryung KimRESEARCHER: Miryung Kim, assistant professor, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, principal investigator
AGENCY: National Science Foundation
AMOUNT: $146,556

Software systems evolve. Developers must add features, fix bugs, and rewrite software systems to provide better functionality and higher performance. Existing systems also need to migrate to new hardware, computing environments, programming models, and libraries. There exist redundancies, inefficiencies, and error-proneness in the way that we evolve software systems today. In particular, recent empirical studies indicate that developers often apply similar but not identical changes to similar contexts. Making such systematic, repetitive program modifications is a tedious, manual, error-prone process.

This project will investigate the extent and nature of repetitive program modifications and will design, build, and evaluate a novel approach, called SYDIT, which improves developer productivity in applying systematic changes. In this approach, developers no longer apply similar changes manually. Instead, developers provide the old and new version of selected code as an example change, and SYDIT will generalize a reusable, abstract, context-aware program transformation from it.

The impact of this research will be substantially improved developer productivity in evolving large software systems. By helping developers apply changes to similar contexts exhaustively and inspect the effect of suggested changes, SYDIT will reduce errors of omission and relieve developers from tedious, error-prone hand editing. The empirical studies will expand our understanding of repetitive program changes during software evolution.

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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