The University of Texas at Arlington College of Science March 2012  
Welcome to the March 2012 edition of Maverick Science E-News. This monthly e-newsletter provides information about College of Science events involving students, alumni, faculty and staff. To contribute items for inclusion, please send an email to If possible, please include a high-resolution headshot photo of those mentioned in your items.
Biology professor Grover takes on new role as associate dean of College of Science    

For Alumni

UT Arlington Alumni
Andy Baum Memorial Fund Tops $100K

Andrew Baum
A special fund has been created to honor the memory of Dr. Andrew Baum, professor of Psychology and beloved member of the UT Arlington family, who died on Nov. 22, 2010. The fund has now surpassed $100,000, including the Maverick Match portion. Donations to the fund may be mailed to: UTA College of Science/Dr. Andy Baum Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 19047
Arlington, TX 76019

Calendar of events

Tuesday, April 3
SPIE Distinguished
Lecture by James Wyant
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.,
Pickard Hall Room 104

The UT Arlington SPIE Student Chapter and the College of Science present a talk by Professor James C. Wyant of the University of Arizona and 4D Technology, titled "Experiences Gained in Starting and Growing Op-tical Companies." Dr. Wyant will describe his experience in starting and growing two optical companies. The talk is open to all.
Friday, April 13
Distinguished Lecture
by Jeff Dangl
1:30 p.m., Life Sciences
Room 124

The College of Science presents a talk by Dr. Jeff Dangl, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the John N. Couch Professor of Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His talk will be on "Understanding plant-microbe interactions: Plant immune system function and rhizosphere metagenomics." The talk is open to all.
Wednesday, April 18
College of Science
Spring Picnic
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.,
Library Mall

The annual College of Science Picnic will feature hamburgers, hot dogs and more.
May 11-14
Final exams for Spring 2012 semester
Sunday, May 13
College of Science Spring 2012

4:30 p.m. at College Park Center. Guest speaker will be alumnus Thaddeus Arroyo (Mathematics '86).
The Planetarium at
UT Arlington

Have you been to a show at the planetarium lately? The facility, one of the finest in the nation, offers a variety of exciting shows and programs year-round and is equipped with Digistar 4, the latest in planetarium software. Check out all the exciting shows in the Spring 2012 schedule here.
Maverick Science
New edition of Maverick Science is now here
The Fall 2011 edition of Maverick Science Magazine is now available! The magazine has the latest College of Science news and features about faculty, students and alumni. Free print versions are available in the Dean's Office (Life Sciences Room 206) and in LS 109. You can also check out the online version here.
COS T-Shirt
College of Science
T-shirts are here

Support the College of Science by wearing one of our COS T-shirts! They're short-sleeve, 100% cotton, with a small College of Science UT Arlington logo on the front and a full color logo on the back. They’re only $10 each! Available in S, M, L and XL sizes. Buy them in the Dean's Office (Life Sciences Room 206) or in Life Sciences Room 109.
Follow the COS on Facebook and Twitter
Facebook LogoKeep up with the College of Science on the popular social media sites Facebook and Twitter, and stay informed Twitter Logoabout what's going on and upcoming events in the College of Science.
Maverick Science
E-Newsletter Archives
    James Grover, professor of biology, officially moves into a new position on April 1 as he becomes new associate dean for the College of Science.
    Grover replaces Krishnan Rajeshwar, who also took on a new role, as the University's associate vice president for research. Grover came to UT Arlington in 1993 and has played a leading role in the biology department. He is an ecologist with active research in algal ecology, microbial ecology, theoretical ecology, and water quality in lakes, rivers and reservoirs.
    "This is an opportunity to do some good things for my colleagues and our students," Grover said. "Many of my duties will be related to research. I will have other roles in helping to make sure that faculty have adequate research space and facilities, and in working on improvements and enhancements for the graduate curriculum."
    Grover is a perfect fit for the job, Dean of Science Pamela Jansma said.
    "Dr. Grover has been a very valuable part of our biology faculty for years in teaching, research and service," Jansma said. "He's a joy to work with and is an excellent mentor to his students. He has a distinguished record of collaboration, particularly on interdisciplinary initiatives. We're looking forward to working with him in his new role as associate dean to continue to enhance our research profile and find ways to increase funding fro our faculty and graduate students."
    Grover will also continue to teach and work on his various research projects.
Shimadzu Center for Advanced Analytical Chemistry to hold grand opening April 9
    The College of Science is pleased to announce the grand opening of the Shimadzu Center for Advanced Analytical Chemistry at UT Arlington. A reception will be held in the Chemistry and Physics Building Rooms 119-120 from 3-5 p.m. on Monday, April 9. A ribbon-cutting ceremony with remarks from President James D. Spaniolo will be held at 3:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
    The Shimadzu Center for Advanced Analytical Chemistry (SCAAC) at the University of Texas at Arlington provides analytical chemistry services to support science and engineering research. The center houses a suite of state-of-the-art analytical (chromatography, spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry) instruments that have been chosen to meet a wide variety of needs for analysis in such fields of biochemistry, bioengineering, biology, chemistry, environmental science, food science, forensics, and materials science.
     The center fulfills the need for service capabilities both for the University of Texas at Arlington to support science and engineering research, and for education and local and regional industries, governmental agencies, and academic institutions.
College of Science students receive bevy of awards for research at 2012 ACES symposium
    College of Science students were honored for their research with numerous awards at the Annual Celebration of Excellence by Students (ACES) symposium.
    The annual event, held on March 22 in the E.H. Hereford University Center, gives students university-wide a chance to show-case their research in oral and poster presentations, which are judged by a panel of faculty members. The winners receive cash awards.
    "We congratulate all of our College of Science students who presented their research at the ACES symposium," Dean of Science Pamela Jansma said. "They have all worked hard and are doing exciting research in a variety of areas. The number of award recipients we had shows how impressive these young scientists are, and we look forward to seeing what they will do in the future."
    In addition to the awards earned by students, Kevin Schug, associate professor of chemistry/biochemistry, was named the Outstanding ACES Faculty Member.
    Jeb Bush, former Florida governor, delivered the keynote address on March 23 at College Park Center, speaking about the need for education reform in the United States and calling it the critical issue of our time.
    See highlights of Bush's speech here. For a full list of ACES winners, click here.
Dasgupta receives 2012 Dal Nogare Award for his contributions to chromatography
    Purnendu "Sandy" Dasgupta, professor of chemistry, was honored as the 2012 recipient of the Dal Nogare Award on March 12 at the Pittcon Conference and Expo in Orlando, Fla., one of the premier events in the world of laboratory science.
    Dasgupta is UT Arlington's Jenkins Garrett Professor of Chemistry. Given by the Chromatography Forum of the Delaware Valley, the Dal Nogare recognition honors that group's co-founder and second president, Stephen Dal Nogare. Since 1972, the award has honored scientists on the basis of their contributions to the fundamental understanding of the chromatographic process. His awards symposium is one of the few at the conference that will be webcast live and on-demand.
    Dasgupta has made numerous improvements to methods of ion chromatography, the process of separating and detecting ions - atoms and molecules bearing a net electrical charge for analysis. Ion chromatography can be used in air or water quality monitoring, drug development and several other applications. Dasgupta is credited with the development of electrodialytic suppressors, eluent generators and post column reagent introduction devices.
    Read more on this story here.
Liu delivers talks at APS meeting in Boston and TMS, Magnetics meetings in Orlando
    Ping Liu, professor of physics, gave an invited talk during a special focus session at the APS (American Physics Society) annual meeting on March 1 in Boston.
    Liu's talk was titled "Towards high strength nanocomposite magnets: Approaches from the bottom." Before the APS meeting, Liu attended the Department of Energy ARPA-E awardee meeting in Washington, D.C. He recently received an ARPA-E award, with his portion of the funds totaling more than $500,000, the first phase of which is now beginning to arrive. In addition, Liu has received a Department of Defense/ARO award for $300,000, bringing his new awards total to $800,000.
    Liu also gave invited presentations at TMS 2012, the 141st annual meeting and exhibition of The Minerals, Metals and Material Society, held March 11-15 in Orlando, Fla., and at the Magnetics 2012 Conference, held March 13-14 in Orlando.
    In the past 10 years, Liu has received research grants of more than $10 million dollars, and his laboratory is recognized as one of the top nanostructured magnetic materials labs in the nation.
    For more on Liu's research, click here.
Jorgensen, Kribs Zaleta secure $108K THECB grant for math Teacher Quality program
    Theresa Jorgensen, assistant professor in mathematics, and Christopher Kribs Zaleta, professor in mathematics, have received a $108,000 grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to provide professional development for teachers of mathematics in kindergarten–8th grade through the Teacher Quality program.
    The grant, in partnership with local school districts, supports 21 teachers to earn up to nine hours of graduate credit in the K-8 Mathematics Education program during 2012-13. The Department of Mathematics has had continuous Teacher Quality program funding since 2006, and over 80 local K-8 teachers have strengthened their mathematical content knowledge through the program.
    The program provides grants to higher education institutions to promote improved instruction in mathematics and science for Texas school children by providing professional development for their teachers.
    For more on the program, click here.
Mattioli co-authors lead article in EOS about COCONet research project in Caribbean
    Glen Mattioli, professor of earth and environmental sciences, co-authored the lead article in the February 28 issue of EOS newspaper. EOS is published by the American Geophysical Union.
    The article, "Focused Study of Interweaving Hazards Across the Caribbean," details the reasons for creation of the Continuously Operating Caribbean Observation Network (COCONet), a National Science Foundation-funded project to enhance geodetic research infrastructure in the Caribbean following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ike in 2008 and by the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
    One of COCONet's objectives is to install 50 new continuous Global Navigation Satellite (cGNSS) and meteorology stations in the Caribbean and Central America and refurbish 15 other stations, as well as archive data from 62 active or soon to be active cGNSS stations.
    The project is being funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation of close to $7 million over five years. Read the article here. For more on Mattioli's research, click here and for more on COCONet, click here.
Jansma part of roundtable on ways to boost numbers of women in STEM education
    The UT Arlington Women's and Gender Studies program hosted a roundtable discussion on "Promoting Girls and Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)" on March 28 in the Central Library sixth floor parlor, spotlighting ways to increase the number of women in STEM education and fields.
    The panel included Dean of Science Pamela Jansma; Ann Cavallo, professor of associate dean for Teacher and Professional Education in the College of Education and Health Professions; Carter Tiernan, College of Engineering associate dean for Teacher and Professional Education; and Lynn Mortensen, vice president of Engineering for Intelligence and Information Systems at Raytheon, an engineering firm. Dana Dunn, associate professor of sociology, served as moderator.
    Cavallo said that girls begin to lose interest in science and math around fourth grade and need strong role models and mentors to help them understand they can be just as successful as boys in these subjects. Tiernan said that engineering faces many of the same problems getting girls involved as do science and math and said engineering teachers should emphasize the team environment and the fact that engineers create solutions to improve the world.
    Jansma said that while the percentage of women in science and engineering professorial positions are small, that is because the applicant pool is also small. Many women feel compelled to choose between having a career and having a family, she said. They need to know that it is possible to do both. Mortensen said the numbers of women in engineering are increasing as companies become more accommodating to those with families.
Math faculty hosting first Sonia Kovalevsky Day for middle school girls on April 21
    Math assistant professors Julianne Chung and Theresa Jorgensen and graduate student Julie Sutton will host the first-ever Sonia Kovalevsky Day at UT Arlington from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 21 in Pickard Hall.
    The event is for girls in grades 6-8. The goals of the event are to encourage the study of mathematics among young women, especially minorities and those from low-income families. The event will provide an enriching and encouraging environment for promoting positive attitudes toward mathematics.
    The day will include a variety of engaging activities, including fun interactive student workshops and a career panel called "Math Idol." The event is made possible by a grant from the Association for Women in Mathematics and the National Science Foundation, as well as support from the Department of Mathematics and the College of Science.
    Sonia Kovalevsky (1850-91) was the first major female mathematician. She was a strong advocate of women's rights and her exceptional work regarded her as an equal among male mathematicians.
    Participation is free but the deadline to apply is Monday, April 2. More details and application information can be found at the website
Peng, Hu co-author papers on understanding of fate and transport in porous media
    Sheng Peng, assistant research professor in earth and environmental sciences, is the first author for two recent papers in the top-leading journals in environmental science and technology and water resources.
    The papers utilize advanced analytical tools, coupled with theoretical interpretation, to understand the pore-scale effects on long-term contaminant release in porous media, which leads to prolonged remedial time and associated cost.
    The first paper, "Quantitative 3-D Elemental Mapping by LA-ICP-MS of a Basaltic Clast from the Hanford 300 Area, Washington, USA," was co-authored by 'Max' Qinhong Hu, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, and three others and is published in the January 27, 2012 edition of Environmental Science and Technology. Read the article here.
    The second paper, "Diffusivity of rocks: Gas diffusion measurements and correlation to porosity and pore size distribution," was co-authored by Hu and Shoichiro Hamamoto of Saitama University in Saitama, Japan. It was published in the February 9, 2012 edition of Water Resources Research. Read the abstract for the article here.
Ballard encourages next generation of sea explorers to take up mantle of discovery
Oceanographer Robert Ballard spoke on campus to a group of faculty and students about his career in deep sea exploration.

    Oceanographer Robert Ballard visited UT Arlington on March 6, encouraging the next generation of scientists to never stop exploring and saying the way to strengthen students' interest in science is to promote scientists as role models.
    Ballard gave a talk to a sold-out Texas Hall as part of the Maverick Speaker Series. Earlier in the day, he addressed students and faculty members at a lecture in the Geoscience Building. Ballard has spent over 50 years as a sea explorer and researcher and is probably best known as the man who found the wreckage of the Titanic in 1985. He said educators need to sell science "stars" to young students so that they can envision themselves in those roles.
    "I never got a letter from a kid in the first 50 (deep-sea) expeditions I did, then I found the Titanic, and I got 16,000 letters from kids," he said. "Kids are drawn to different fields because of role models. I've found in educating kids, the way to go is to sell scientists, with stars, because that's what kids identify with."
    Ballard, who is a professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island and also had a 30-year career as an officer in the U.S. Navy, has led or participated in more than 65 underwater expeditions, some of them involving deep-diving submersibles he has designed. He is also the pioneer of the JASON Project that allows schoolchildren to virtually explore the oceans. Ballard said since the vast majority of the ocean floor has yet to be explored, great discoveries await the next generation of scientists.
    "I tell the generation that's out there in middle school, 'Your generation, young man and young woman, are going to explore more of earth than all previous generations combined,' " he said.
    For video highlights of Ballard's Texas Hall talk, click here. Read about expeditions by Ballard's sea exploration vessel Nautilus here. For more on the JASON Project, click here.

Flower Mound High School wins 3rd straight championship at 12th Annual Calculus Bowl
Calculus Bowl Team
Flower Mound High School team members included, from left, Sarah Song, coach/teacher Russell Yeatts, Sabrina Thompson, Adeesh Jain, Ameya Bhat and coach/teacher Mary Walker.
    The 12th annual UT Arlington Calculus Bowl ended the same way the 10th and 11th versions of the math competition did – with Flower Mound High School celebrating as champions.
    Flower Mound claimed its third straight title and fourth in five years by edging runner-up Highland Park in the final round. The win allowed Flower Mound to break a tie with The Oakridge School of Arlington for most Calculus Bowl wins (3).
    This year's Calculus Bowl, held on March 2, brought teams from 22 North Texas high schools to Pickard Hall to compete in answering challenging pre-calculus and calculus questions for points, which were awarded for fastest correct response. The team with the most points in each of six preliminary rounds advanced to the final round.
    Read more on this story here.