Focus on Faculty

Focus on Faculty is a Speakers' Series for UT Arlington faculty, begun during 2002-2003 to provide a forum for outstanding faculty to share their research and achievements with students, faculty and staff of this campus and with the citizens of Arlington. Six speakers are scheduled each year. A light dessert reception is served, sponsored by The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

 

2014-2015

 

Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014
Samarendra Mohanty
Central Library, Sixth Floor Parlor
Noon - 1:30pm

Samarendra Mohanty

Light-controlled construction, control, and understanding of neuronal circuits

Dr. Samarendra Mohanty of the UTA Biophysics and Physiology Lab studies axonal guidance—how nerve fibers find their targets in the brain. “The human brain, the most mysterious phenomenon in the universe, is a highly complex system containing hundreds of billions of neurons and trillions of connections,” Mohanty said. “Neural signaling, transmitted and integrated through these complex connections, is responsible for thousands of specialized functions that control every aspect of our lives.”

 

Mohanty’s talk will describe how an all-optical approach for construction and control of neural circuitry will allow better understanding of signal processing by a single neuron and its contribution to the functioning of the complex neuronal circuitry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014
Samir Iqbal
Central Library, Sixth Floor Parlor
Noon - 1:30pm

Samir Iqbal

High-speed cancer screening with nanotechnology tools

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Dr. Samir Iqbal, associate professor of electrical engineering, will discuss high-speed cancer screening using nanotechnology tools on Oct. 8.

 

The miniaturization of computer chips has revolutionized medical diagnostics. "We can now quantify cellular and molecular behaviors with specialized silicon chips that were hard to measure before," Iqbal said. Nanotechnology is making early diagnosis of diseases like cancer easier and affordable. Iqbal will present some of his work on cancer diagnosis using silicon chip-based nanotechnology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014
Anne Healy
Central Library, Sixth Floor Parlor
Noon - 1:30pm

Anne Healy

Musical theatre: The fabric of our lives

 

Anne Healy, assistant professor in the department of theatre arts, will discuss UTA's new BFA in Musical Theatre, a program that she helped develop and implement between UTA’s Department of Theatre Arts and Department of Music. In addition to Dr. Healy's talk, the program will feature a video excerpt of The Musical Theatre Project 2014 and a short live performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015
David Narrett
Central Library, Sixth Floor Parlor
Noon - 1:30pm

David Narrett

Adventurism and Empire: The Struggle for Mastery in the Louisiana-Florida Borderlands, 1762-1803

Dr. David Narrett, professor of history, will present a talk on his book, Adventurism and Empire: The Struggle for Mastery in the Louisiana-Florida Borderlands, 1762-1803, published by the University of North Carolina Press in December 2014. Narrett will discuss how British-Spanish warfare in the Mississippi Valley and along the Gulf Coast had a profound impact on the continental balance of power during and after the American Revolutionary War. In this multiethnic conflict, Native peoples such as the Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Creeks were directly involved. Spanish victories over the British shaped the future of U.S.-Spanish rivalry in the region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Colleen Fitzgerald
Central Library, Sixth Floor Parlor
Noon - 1:30pm

Colleen Fitzgerald

Breathing New Life into Native American Languages

Every Native American language is endangered, with numerous tribes having few or no fluent speakers remaining. Language is an essential part of our humanity and how culture and traditional knowledge are transmitted, and it should be no surprise that tribes are working hard to reclaim or maintain their linguistic heritage. Helping on this front, Dr. Fitzgerald and UT Arlington's Native American Languages Lab collaborate with Native American communities and other partners to document and revitalize languages, to train community members and students, and to do everything possible to support the survival of American indigenous languages, these 'First' languages of our United States.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Chris Conway
Central Library, Sixth Floor Parlor
Noon - 1:30pm

Chris Conway

Details coming soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013-2014

Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
Qilian Liang
Central Library, Sixth Floor Parlor
Noon - 1:30pm

Dr. Qilian Liang will speak on

Engineering Big Data in Wireless Sensor Networks: An Art or Science?

Dr. Liang looks at real-world applications for engineering Big Data in wireless sensor networks. Big Data is the massive amounts of data generated by today’s electronic devices like email, videos, sensors, and Web browsers. To encourage the development of new data analytic tools/algorithms and increase understanding of human and social processes and interactions, Dr. Liang’s talk will focus on both the information theory approach and the psychological approach. “The two approaches may get contradicting results, which motivates thinking is it a science or art?” said Dr. Liang.

 

Dr. Qilian Liang is a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. Prior to this he was a Member of Technical Staff in Hughes Network Systems Inc. His B.S. is from Wuhan University, China, (1993), M.S. from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (1996), and Ph.D., University of Southern California (2000), all in Electrical Engineering. In 2013 Dr. Liang received the UTA Outstanding Research Achievement or Creative Accomplishment award.

 

A light dessert reception follows the talk. These events are filmed and later available on the UTA Library YouTube Channel Focus on Faculty playlist.

 

 

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013
Darryl Lauster
Central Library, Sixth Floor Parlor
Noon - 1:30pm

Darryl Lauster - A 520-Year Conversation

A 520-Year Conversation

Mr. Lauster will speak about his sculpture, Reach, which was UT Arlington's first commissioned public outdoor sculpture. Located on the Janet and Michael Greene Research Quadrangle in front of the Engineering Research Building, the 20-foot-tall sculpture is based on Helical Aerial Screw, Leonardo da Vinci's 15th-century sketch for a gyroscopic flying machine.

Darryl Lauster is an Assistant Professor of Intermedia/Sculpture at the University of Texas at Arlington. He has exhibited nationally in many museums and galleries. He is the recipient of the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and founder of the Samuel Gray Society, an institute dedicated to 18th-century American history. His work is based in the research of American history and mythology and utilizes digital media, printmaking, sculpture and installation.

 

A light dessert reception follows the talk. These events are filmed and later available on the UTA Library YouTube Channel Focus on Faculty playlist.

 

 

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013
Dr. Peggy Pritchard Kulesz
Central Library, Sixth Floor Parlor
Noon - 1:30pm

Dr. Peggy Pritchard Kulesz

Not So Distant: Collaboration and Community in Online Education

Dr. Kulesz will discuss the ways in which  face- to- face teaching and online teaching  result in best practices  for both learning environments. Additionally, she will speak about how multiple layers of collaboration among faculty, CDE professionals, and students have contributed to strengthening online courses and building vibrant scholarly communities.

 

Dr. Kulesz is a Senior Lecturer and Director of First Year English. She was a recipient of the President's Award for Excellence in Distance Education Teaching in 2013. This award recognizes an individual who is an outstanding instructor in the area of web-based distance education and has demonstrated excellence in distance education teaching, creating quality interaction with and showing exemplary responsiveness to UT Arlington's digital learners. Her teaching interests are in Composition pedagogy, Food Studies, Literature and Religion.

 

A light dessert reception follows the talk. These events are filmed and later available on the UTA Library YouTube Channel Focus on Faculty playlist.

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014
Heidi Hardt
Central Library, sixth floor Parlor
Noon-1:30 p.m.

Heidi Hardt

Pace of Peace: Deciphering Delays in International Responses to Conflict

 

In conflict-affected regions, delays in international response can have life or death consequences. The speed with which international organizations react to crises affects the prospects for communities to re-establish peace. Why then do some international organizations take longer than others to answer calls for intervention? To answer this question and explore options for reform, Dr. Hardt builds on contemporary scholarship with original data on response rates and interview evidence from 50 ambassadors across four leading organizations (AU, EU, OAS and OSCE). The explanation for variation in speed ultimately lies in core differences in institutional cultures across organizations. Although wealth and capabilities can strengthen a peace operation, it is the unspoken rules and social networks of peace and security committees at these organizations that dictate the pace with which an operation is established. 

 

Dr. Heidi Hardt is an assistant professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at Arlington. She has published widely on issues related to peace and security and recently published the book, Time to React: The Efficiency of International Organizations in Crisis Response with Oxford University Press. She has taught international relations courses in English and French in Paris, France and Montreal, Canada, and she received her Ph.D. in International Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. 

 

 

Wednesday, Mar. 19, 2014
Rick Lynch
Central Library, sixth floor Parlor
Noon-1:30 p.m.

Rick Lynch

UTARI: Assistive Technology Saving (or Enriching) Lives

 

Get a glimpse of the future as it's being developed at UTA. Lt. General Lynch will discuss how the research and development efforts at the University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute (UTARI) assist human beings in the performance of dirty, dull, and dangerous tasks and improve the lives of those with disabilities. Through innovations in the areas of advanced manufacturing, biomedical technologies, and robotics, UTARI focuses its efforts on helping humanity by providing unique, affordable solutions to complex problems.

 


Come early to see demonstrations of UTARI's robots, unmanned vehicles, and 3D-printed prosthetic devices in the Central Library atrium.

 

Rick Lynch is the executive director of UTARI, which focuses on short-term commercialization of research particularly in the area of assistive technologies. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. He earned his master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Robotics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served in the United States Army for 35 years. His commands included the Third Infantry Division in combat and III Corps and Fort Hood. 

 

 

 

Wednesday, Apr. 9, 2014

George Siemens
Central Library, sixth floor Parlor
Noon-1:30 p.m.

George Siemens

Coherence in a climate of fragmentation: The future structure of higher education

 

Technology fragments the structure of artifacts that were first created for physical spaces: albums have become individual songs, newspapers have become single articles and blog posts. In education, previously integrated systems of learning are becoming increasingly fragmented as universities partner with content developers and for-profit organizations to attract students and deliver online programs. What will universities look like in the future when the end-to-end model of higher education today (where the university enrolls, teaches, supports, and evaluates students in a research environment) is no longer as prominent as it is today? Content fragmentation, digital textbooks, and open online courses are in contrast with a key role of higher education: to assist learners in seeing the world as an integrated and coherent system. This presentation will explore how universities will be remade in the near future in response to participatory society, ubiquitous technology, and the ways in which systemic coherence is formed in digital environments.

 

An internationally renowned author, researcher, and theorist in the field of learning, knowledge management, and technology, Dr. George Siemens joined the faculty of UT Arlington this past December, 2013. Dr. Siemen’s research is centered on the social and technological learning, sensemaking and wayfinding activities of individuals in digital information environments and how these actions inform the design of learning, learning spaces, curriculum and ultimately institutions. At the core of this research is how people interact with information through technology and social methods and the types of knowledge institutions that are required to assist that process.

 

The Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge (LINK) Research Lab at University of Texas Arlington, where Dr. Siemens serves as Professor and Executive Director, is focused on advancing knowledge around the social and technological dimensions of learning and how this in turn impacts higher education institutions. This interdisciplinary research center will explore emerging pedagogies (such as self-organization in open learning, competency-based learning), interaction in distributed networks, wearable and embedded computing, and learning analytics. Founded at the intersection of research and application of technology, LINK serves as an intellectual and social springboard to engage faculty, doctoral and post-doctoral students in advancing their field of study through research, development, and application to practice.

 

Dr. Siemens has organized and presented numerous open online courses including Connectivism and Connective Knowledge. Instrumental in strategy development that supports global initiatives, he has consulted with corporate and governmental agencies including Alberta Education, University of Manitoba, Washington State, Duke University, US Department of Education, the governments of Portugal and Spain, European Education Ministers, and EDUCAUSE. He is the co-founder and President of Learning Analytics and Knowledge as well as the Society for Learning Analytics Research.  He has served as the Associate Director of the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (TEKRI) at Athabasca University and as the Associate Director of Research and Development at the Learning Technologies Centre of the University of Manitoba. He is a highly sought keynote presenter having shared his expertise in over 35 countries. Dr. Siemens holds a doctorate from the University of Aberdeen and a Master of Arts in Distributed Learning (Leadership and Technology) from Royal Roads University.

 

 

These programs are free and open to all. Registration is not required. Light refreshments will be served. If you need special accommodation to fully participate in this program, contact Evelyn Barker at817-272-6064 or ebarker@uta.edu. Allow sufficient time to arrange your requested accommodations.


Past Events

Did you miss a past Focus on Faculty event? You can watch the full video recordings here! (2004-2013)


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