MAVERICK SCIENCE E-News
  The University of Texas at Arlington College of Science June 2011  
Welcome to the June 2011 edition of Maverick Science E-News. This monthly e-newletter provides information about College of Science events involving students, alumni, faculty and staff. To contribute items for inclusion, please send an email to pederson@uta.edu. If possible, please include a high-resolution headshot photo of those mentioned in your items.
Odegard utilizes MRIs in research, seeks better way to help dyslexic children learn    

For Alumni

UT Arlington Alumni
Association
The Dr. Andy Baum
Memorial Fund


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. 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

Thursday, July 7
Last day of classes for
Summer Term First 5
Weeks

Tuesday, July 12
First day of classes for Summer Term Second 5
Weeks

July 17-29
ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp
A two-week residential
camp for middle school students designed to increase interest in science and math through fun experiments, activities and field trips.

Thursday, August 11
Last day of classes for
Summer Term Second 5
Weeks

Thursday, August 11
Last day of classes for
Summer Term 11 Weeks

Thursday, August 25
First day of classes for Fall 2011 semester

Planetarium
The Planetarium at
UT Arlington

UT Arlington's planetarium, one of the finest in the nation, offers a variety of exciting shows and programs year-round and is now equipped with Digistar 4, the latest in planetarium software. The new Spring 2011 schedule has been released; see details here.
Maverick Science
Read the latest edition of Maverick Science
The Fall 2010 edition of Maverick Science Magazine is here. The magazine includes features on College of Science faculty, students alumni, as well as the latest news on what's happening in science at UT Arlington. Pick up a free print version in the Dean's Office (Life Science Room 206) or read the online version here.
COS T-Shirt
College of Science
T-shirts are here

The new College of Science
T-shirts are here, and they're only $10 each! They're shortsleeve, 100% cotton, with a small College of Science UT Arlington logo on the front and a full color logo on the back. Available in S, M, L and XL. Available in the Dean's Office in Life Science Room 206.
The College of Science is now on Twitter
Facebook Logo Keep up with the College of Science on Twitter, the popular mi-croblogging service utiliz-ing instant messaging, SMS or a web interface. Keep up with the latest COS news via short "tweets" by following our feed @UTA_Science
Follow the College of Science on Facebook
Facebook LogoKeep up with the College of Science on Facebook, the largest social networking site in the world! 'Like' our page and learn about the latest College of Science news and events on campus. Find our page here.
E-Newsletter Archives
Timothy Odegard

Timothy Odegard

      A new MRI-based study of children with dyslexia by assistant pro-fessor of psychology Timothy Odegard could explain why a small per-centage of dyslexic chil-dren don‟t respond to current teaching strate-gies.
     Odegard‟s work was recently published online and in the latest issue of the journal Neurocase. Emily Farris, Odegard's doctoral student, is the lead author on the paper that details the findings from Odegard‟s team.
     Researchers examined functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data from 15 children – ages 8-14. They found that children with dyslexia who responded to treatment and non-dyslexic readers showed greater functional connections between the interior frontal regions of their brains than dyslexic children who had not responded to treatment. The tests were conducted while the children performed basic reading tasks.
     Read more here.

Paulus explains how Dallas' NBA title can affect attitude, behavior of Mavericks' fans
Paul Paulus

Paul Paulus

     Paul Paulus, professor of psychology and former dean of science, was interviewed in a KTVT/CBS 11 story on June 16 about the euphoria that Dallas Mavericks fans in North Texas are feeling after their championship win.
     Paulus said when sports teams are successful, it inspires a personal identification with that success and with the team that won't soon fade away.
     "If the team wins, (the fans) reflect the glory of the win by how they talk, how they act, how they dress. … They‟re also likely to feel very optimistic, feel stronger, and actually have an enhanced self-esteem."
     The story discusses the feelings of euphoria and pride that fans of a sports team typically feel when their team wins a championship and how long those feelings can last after the win.
     Watch the CBS 11 broadcast here.

Gough part of team studying how climate change affects songbirds' migratory patterns
Laura Gough
Laura Gough
   Associate professor of biology Laura Gough is collaborating with Natalie Boelman of Columbia University and John Wingfield of the University of California at Davis on research taking place on the North Slope of Alaska.
     They are exploring how global climate change will affect songbirds that spend winters in our backyards and migrate to Alaskan tundra to breed every summer. Boelman is posting on the New York Times' Scientists at Work blog describing the work she, Gough and Wingfield are doing.
     Their research began in the summer of 2010.
     For more on Gough‟s research, click here. To read the New York Times blog posts, click here.
Schug to study well water near rural gas drilling sites; students make presentations
Kevin Schug
Kevin Schug
     Kevin Schug, assistant professor of chemistry, will assist in a new study to examine rural well water from areas near natural gas drilling sites to provide clear, accurate information about the potential impact of chemicals used to extract gas from rock formations.
     Schug will work with independent researchers with support from Assure Controls, a product development and marketing company in San Diego, Calif. The research team aims to test for contamination in water well samples from more than 100 locations.
     "This is an important study for us to undertake because North Texas is so heavily invested in natural gas production," Schug said. "We want to help figure out if there are valid environmental and health concerns associated with these operations, especially in more rural areas where well water quality is not specifically regulated by EPA."
     Read more here.
     Also, Schug, 10 of his students and one recent Ph.D. graduate presented posters at the 2011 ASMS (American Society for Mass Spectrometry) Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics in Denver from June 4-9. The group included undergraduates Caleb Hodge, Jonathon Bobbitt, Lauren Tedmon, Heather Tippens and Aaron Morgan, and graduate students Doug Carlton, Samuel Yang, Jeremy Barnes, Hui Fan, Li Li, along with Schug and 2010 Ph.D. in Chemistry recipient Hien Nguyen. Hodge and Tedmon also participated in a special undergraduate poster competition and Tedmon won first prize for her poster ($300 + certificate) titled "Differentiating Isobaric Steroid Hormone Metabolites Using Multi-Stage Tandem Mass Spectrometry". Her work on this was done in collaboration with UNT Health Science Center and UT Southwestern.
Gatchel receives 2011 Graduate Dean's Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring Award
Robert Gatchel
Robert Gatchel
     Robert Gatchel, Department of Psychology chair and the Nancy P. and John G. Penson Endowed Professor of Clinical Health Psychology, and Sajal K. Das of the College of Engineering have been named recipients of the 2011 Graduate Dean‟s Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring award.
      In describing his mentoring philosophy, Gatchel listed five major components: having an "open door" policy with students in order to maximize constant communication; emphasizing a "hands on" experience in conducting the requisite research requirements needed to develop and conduct research leading to a final dissertation product; getting students involved in the research, data analysis and publication process as early as possible; graduating students on time; and maintaining post-graduation contact to continue to help students develop their professional careers.
     "I have always highly valued my role as a mentor of graduate students," Gatchel said. "To date, I have been the major mentor for 35 masters‟ graduates and 65 Ph.D. graduates. They have all gone on to outstanding professional careers. I am quite proud of these "progeny,‟ and view them as one of my major contributions to academia."
Mora receives grant from Hogg Foundation to study depression among older Latinos
Pablo Mora
Pablo Mora
     Pablo Mora, assistant professor of psychology, has been awarded funding from the Austin-based Hogg Foundation for Mental Health to examine how Latinos‟ cultural views affect their decision to seek mental health services and contribute to mental health disparities for Latinos.
     His proposal was selected from a pool of 48 applicants from 17 universities across Texas. The foundation awarded one-year grants to 13 tenure-track assistant professors exploring different aspects of mental health in Texas.
     According to Mora, disadvantaged minorities, especially Latinos, have poorer physical and mental health than their majority European-American counterparts. Cultural differences in how elderly Latinos express physical or mental health symptoms can affect diagnosis and treatment and may be an underlying factor in these health disparities.
     Read more here. For more on the Hogg Foundation, click here.
UT Arlington licenses innovative process to convert natural gas to clean, synthetic fuel
     UT Arlington and a fledgling Fort Worth energy company have plans for a new natural gas-to-liquid fuel conversion process they say could change the global energy landscape.
     UT Arlington has entered into a licensing agreement with 1st Resource Group Inc. of Fort Worth to commercialize the process for converting natural gas to clean, synthetic fuel at a cost lower than current market rates.
     Science and engineering researchers from UT Arlington‟s Center for Renewable Energy, Science and Technology (CREST) have designed a portable conversion unit that transforms natural gas from the field for use as clean-burning, synthetic fuels. 1st Resource has partnered with UMED Holdings Inc., a Fort Worth-based, publicly traded company, to aid in commercializing the patent-pending process.
     1st Resource plans to deploy conversion units in domestic and international gas fields to yield synthetic jet fuels and diesel.
     The application is expected to be particularly useful in stranded gas fields, on sites where natural gas must be vented or flared and when it is not economically viable to move gas to a pipeline due to adverse market conditions.
     Read more here.
Lopez and physics students studying space weather, developing computer models
Ramon Lopez
Ramon Lopez
     Scientists know space weather caused by solar flares and other phenomenon holds the potential to disable electrical grids and disrupt the use of the global positioning system (GPS) that everyone from farmers to oil well drillers depend on. Now, physicists at UT Arlington led by Ramon Lopez, professor of physics, are working with others around the country to develop computer models that can issue warnings of such events available one to four days before their arrival.
     UT Arlington is one of 11 member institutions that make up the Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling (CISM), a Science and Technology center funded by the National Science Foundation that transitioned its first space weather forecasting model from research to operations earlier this year.
     "Space weather is becoming more and more important to our technological and space-based civilization, so the ability to predict space weather events will be as important as the ability to predict major hurricanes," said Lopez, who is also co-investigator on the CISM. Lopez brought the project to UT Arlington when he came to the College of Science in 2007.
     Read more here.
Levine delivers lecture at International Symposium on Neural Networks in China
Daniel Levine
Daniel Levine
     Daniel S. Levine, professor of psychology, was an invited plenary speaker at the International Symposium on Neural Networks in Guilin, China, on May 30-31. His talk was entitled "Neural Modeling of Information Selection, Numerical Judgment, and Prefer-ence Decision."
     At the same conference he was also part of a panel on the future of neural network research.
     Levine is a Fellow of the International Neural Network Society (INNS), having served on the Board of Governors of INNS from 1995 through 2008, and as President of INNS in 1998. He was Program Chair of the 2005 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks in Montreal, and the 2008 International Conference on Intelligent Computing in Shanghai. He was a plenary speaker at the IEEE Conference on Knowledge Interactive Multi-Agent Systems in Waltham, MA, USA, in 2007, and the International Workshop on Systems, Signals and Image Processing in Chalkida, Greece, in 2005.
     For more from the symposium, click here.
Musielak delivers lecture on quantum Dark Matter at University of Freiburg in Germany
Z. Musielak
Z. Musielak
     As a recipient of the prestigious international Humboldt Prize, Zdzislaw E. Musielak, professor of physics, is visiting the Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik (KIS) and Physikalisches Institut (PI) at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg in Freiburg, Germany in June.
     The KIS Institute is currently involved in the building of the new ground-based GREGOR telescope, which will be the highest-resolution telescope ever built to observe the Sun, and is scheduled to be in full operation in the Fall of 2011. Musielak is working with the designers of GREGOR to establish the most promising observational strategies that will allow him to test his theoretical prediction of the frequency range of solar atmospheric oscillations. At the Institute of Physics (PI), research activities range from nano-physics and material science to experimental and theoretical high energy physics.
     The Physics Theory Group at the PI is investigating formulation of fundamental theories of physics, and Musielak is working with members of the group on the origin and nature of Dark Matter. He delivered his talk at the Institute of Physics (PI) on June 27.
Grover part of team study about fish-killing golden algae being less toxic in sunlight
James Grover
James Grover
     James Grover, professor of biology, is part of a research team which has found that sunlight decreases the toxicity of golden algae, which kills millions of fish in the southern United States every year.
     The study was published in the Journal of Plankton Research, Oxford Journals, a division of Oxford University Press.
     While golden algae is primarily a coastal species, it has been found in Texas rivers and lakes. Experts believe that several environmental factors influence toxin production, but new research shows that sunlight is a key component in the magnitude and duration of the toxicity of the algae to fish. Specifically, the study found that the longer golden algae toxins are exposed to natural sunlight, the less toxic the algal toxin becomes to fish and other aquatic organisms.
     Read the full study here.
Baldelomar receives SPS undergraduate presentation award at APS national meeting
     Edwin Baldelomar, a senior physics major, was awarded the Society for Physics Students' Undergraduate Presentation Award at the American Physical Society's national meeting in April in Anaheim, Calif. Baldelomar's poster was titled: "Pressure Dependence Studies on UTA GEM Based Digital Calorimeter."
     It described research that UT Arlington‟s High Energy Physics group is doing into a new detector technology that could be used in a future linear collider project. A linear collider is a large scale accelerator on a straight line and thought to be a successor to the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, which is currently in use.