The University of Texas at Arlington College of Science September 2011  
Welcome to the September 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 If possible, please include a high-resolution headshot photo of those mentioned in your items.
New professorship honoring Richard Claytor will attract optics innovator to UT Arlington    

For Alumni

UT Arlington Alumni
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

Monday, October 31-
Friday, November 4
College of Science
Science Week

A week of events putting the spotlight on COS peo-ple and their accomplish-ments. More details com-ing soon!

November 24-25

No classes for Thanksgiv-ing holidays

Friday, December 9
Final day of classes for
Fall 2011 semester

December 10-16
Final exams for Fall 2011 semester

Thursday, Dec. 15
College of Science Fall 2011 Commencement 12:30 p.m. at Texas Hall

Friday, Feb. 3, 2012
UT Metroplex Day at UT Arlington
A daylong event highlighting collaborative research opportunities between UT Arlington, UT Southwestern and UT Dallas.

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 Fall 2011 schedule has been released; see details here.
Maverick Science
New edition of Maverick Science coming soon
Read Maverick Science Magazine for the latest College of Science news and features about faculty, students and alumni. A new online edition of Maverick Science is coming soon! Free print versions of the Fall 2010 edition are still available in the Dean’s Office (Life Sciences Room 206), or read 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.
The College of Science is now on Twitter
Facebook Logo Keep up with the College of Science on Twitter, the popular microblogging service utilizing 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 LogoYou can also keep 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.
Maverick Science
E-Newsletter Archives

     A new, endowed distinguished professorship at The University of Texas at Arlington will honor Fort Worth physicist and businessman Richard N. Claytor while strengthening the University‟s cutting edge optics-related research.
     The professorship will be funded by a $500,000 endowment recently established through a philanthropic gift from Nelson E. Claytor, Richard Claytor‟s son.
     Richard Claytor founded Fresnel Technologies Inc., a leading manufacturer of molded plastic lenses and related optical components based in Fort Worth. He now serves as vice president of the company.
     “Our hope is that this commitment leads to more and more visible support for optics in this region,” said Nelson Claytor, Fresnel Technologies president. “Where there are strong networks of companies in a technology such as optics there are also strong universities. There‟s interaction between industry and the professors, and there are students coming out of the program that want to be hired locally.”
     For more on this story, click here.

Dasgupta receives $1.2 million NASA grant to develop ion chromatograph for Mars trip
     Purnendu “Sandy” Dasgupta, a professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry renowned for his innovations in the field of ion chromatography, has been awarded a nearly $1.2 million grant from NASA to develop technology that could help pave the way for future human missions to Mars and beyond.
     Dasgupta will use the funds to develop “An Ion Chromatograph for Extraterrestrial Explorations.” The goal is to create a new system for testing the chemical composition of extraterrestrial soil. Dasgupta‟s project was one of eight nationwide to be funded recently by the Astrobiology Science and Technology for Instrument Development grant program of the NASA Astrobiology Program.
     “By creating an easily portable and robustly designed ion chromatograph, we‟re hoping to rapidly expand scientists‟ knowledge of extraterrestrial geology and geochemistry,” Dasgupta said. Proving organic ions exist in Martian soil could be a first step to identifying organic compounds, the building blocks of life.
     The Star-Telegram ran a story bout the project on the front page of its Sept. 19 edition; read it here. Read more on this story here.
Cardenas tabbed as one of two recipients of 2011 Hyer Ward by Texas Section of ACS
Cardenas Mohanty
Cardenas Mohanty
     Nelson Cardenas, a senior majoring in physics, has been named one of two statewide recipients of the Hyer Award by the Texas Section of the American Physics Society.
     Cardenas and his faculty advisor, Samar Mohanty, are being honored for Cardenas‟ research, titled “Biomechanics and dynamics of red blood cells probed by optical tweezers and digital holographic microscopy”, in which he used low-power optic tweezers to conduct simulations and viscoelestic measurements on red blood cells. Cardenas and Mohanty will be honored at the Fall 2011 joint meeting of the APS and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) on Oct. 6-8 at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
     For more on the Hyer Award, click here.
Pires de Silva leads research seeking clues into evolution of roundworm offspring
Pires de Silva
Pires de Silva
     A roundworm with a mix of male, female and hermaphrodite offspring is offering researchers at UT Arlington a look at a species in transition from one mode of reproduction to another.
      In a paper published online in Current Biology, Andre Pires da Silva, assistant professor of biology, and his research team examined influences on the reproductive activity of the Rhabditis, a nematode worm about 1 mm long. They found that the worm‟s reproductive characteristics changed depending on environmental factors such as the availability of cholesterol. Graduate students Jyotiska Chaudhuri and Vikas Kache are coauthors.
      The results add to the understanding of evolutional biology. They could also shed light on the complex mating systems of parasitic roundworms, some of which infect humans, livestock and plants. More knowledge about roundworm reproduc-tion could lead to better methods of preventing and fighting infection.
      Read more about their research here.
Winters-Johnson receives $200K NSF grant to study enzyme found in bacteria causing TB
      Kayunta Johnson-Winters, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been awarded $199,988 from the National Science Foundation‟s Research Initiation Grant for Broadening Participation program, which aims to propel more under-represented minorities toward future federal funding for science research.
      She will study an essential enzyme found in Mycobacteria tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. Johnson-Winters joined the University‟s College of Science in 2010.
Nestells co-author paper on microfossils for presentation at ISEMMM conference in Russia
Galina and Merlynd

Galina and Merlynd Nestell shown during field work in
the Apache Mountains in Fall 2010.

     Galina Nestell, adjunct professor of earth and envi-ronmental sciences, presented an invited paper titled “A remarkable Middle Pennsylvanian microfossil assemblage from the Excello Shale Member, Mouse Creek Formation, south central Iowa, USA” at the 6th International Conference on Environmental Micropaleontology, Microbiology and Meiobenthology, held September 19-22 in Moscow.
     Nestell was also part of the organizing committee for the meeting, held every four years. Co-authors of the paper are Merlynd Nestell, earth and environmental sciences professor; John Pope, Northwest Missouri State University; and James Barrick, Texas Tech University.
     The paper concerns a microfauna of well-preserved radiolarians, foraminifers, and conodonts discovered in unusually large concretions occurring in black shale. The microfossils are recovered by dissolving pieces of the concretions in a diluted solution of formic acid. The assemblage is unusual because radiolarians of this age are very scarce and also because the microfossils occur in strata deposited on the near shore margin of the epicontinental interior sea present in Pennsylvanian time. Present day radiolarians are floating organisms that are found mostly in the upper part of the open ocean far from shore. Their tiny siliceous remains are very abundant in ocean bottom deposits at great depths.
Rajeshwar to be moderator for discussion at ECS electrochemical energy conference
     Krishnan Rajeshwar, College of Science associate dean a professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, will be the moderator for a panel discussion at the 220th Electrochemical Society (ECS) Meeting and Electrochemical Energy Summit Oct. 9-14 in Boston.
     The panelists will integrate the questions of energy with the solutions that electrochemical power systems can provide. The discussion will be an education for both policy makers and researchers on the issues and potential solutions.
     Panelists will include Eric Isaacs, director of Argonne National Laboratory and physics professor at the University of Chicago; Tatsuya Shinkawa, chief representative in the Washington D.C. office of New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) in Japan; Detlef Stolten, full pro-fessor for fuel cell technology at he University of Technology at Aachen, Germany; John Turner, research fellow at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; and Mark Verbrugge, who has had a long career with General Motors as a research scientist.
     For more on the meeting and energy summit, click here.
Mohanty co-authors biomed optics papers, presents seminars at UTSW, MIT, SUNY
     News from the research group of Samar Mohanty, assistant professor of physics:
     Mohanty presented a seminar on “Photons take control of structure and function of cellular network" in Radiological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering and Cancer Imaging Program, on Sept. 28 at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
     A paper on “Trapping and two-photon fluorescence excitation of microscopic objects using ultrafast single-fiber optical tweezers", by Mohanty, Y. Mishra and
N. Ingle was accepted for October publication in the Journal of Biomedical Optics. A paper on “Detachment and reorientation of cells using near infrared laser microbeam", by Mohanty, L. Gu and Ingle was accepted for November publication in the same journal.
     Mohanty presented a seminar on “Probing cellular systems using optical ma-nipulation", on August 11 in G.R. Harrison Spectroscopy Lab at MIT. Collaboration established with MIT Spec lab on optical manipulation, imaging and spectroscopy. On Aug. 10, he presented an invited seminar on “Exploring and controlling structural as well as functional properties of cellular systems using optical manipulation", in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at SUNY Medical Center.
     Mohanty presented the Wellman Lecture on “Optical control of cellular network" on August 9 at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
     For more on Mohanty‟s research group, click here.
Melotto presents plenary seminar on plant pathology at meeting of Brazilian society
     Maeli Melotto, assistant professor of biology, presented an invited plenary seminar at the 44th International Meeting of the Brazilian Society of Phytopathology, held August 14-19 in Bento Gonçalves, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
     Her seminar, “Host defense and pathogen counter-defense: a cross-kingdom molecular battle on the leaf surface”, was published as an article in the society‟s journal, Tropical Plant Pathology.
     For more on Melotto‟s research, see her lab page here.
Henry kicks off 2011-12 One Book program with talk on bioethics and injustice
     Tim Henry, Honors College assistant dean and lecturer in biology, presented the first One Book talk of the semester on September 6 about the 2011-12 selection, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.
     One Book is a program in which UT Arlington students and faculty, as well as members of the community, are encouraged to read the same book and then participate in a variety of talks and discussions about subjects contained in the book. Skloot‟s book, published in 2010, spent over 32 weeks on the New York Times‟ bestseller list and will be made into a film by Oprah Winfrey. It focuses on Henrietta Lacks and the immortalised cell line that came from her cervical cancer cells in 1951.
     Henry‟s talk was titled “Henrietta Lacks‟ Immortal Cells: Bioethics & Injustice” and examined the study of science and racism in the nonfiction book.
     The next talk focusing on the book is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 19 in the Rosebud Theatre of the University Center. Susan Reverby, professor of Women's and Gender Studies at Wellesley College, will talk about “Escaping Melodrama: Rethinking the Tuskegee and Guatemala Experiments.”
     For more on the One Book program, click here.
Corduneanu makes presentations at two mathematical conferences in Romania
     Constantin Corduneanu, professor emeritus in mathematics, presented talks at two international mathematical meetings over the summer.
     At the 7th Congress of Romanian Mathematicians from June 29-July 5 in Brasov, Romania, he was asked to deliver a short opening address representing Romanian mathematicians living outside of Romania. He also presented a talk titled “Almost periodicity in a new approach.”
     At the Conference on Nonlinear Operators and Functional Equations from July 5-8 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, he delivered a pair of talks, one discussing mathematical research in Romania from the late 19th century to 1950, and the second part dealing with research by he and former students Mehran Mahdavi, a math professor at Bowie State University in Maryland, and Yizeng Li, a math professor at Tarrant County College. Roughly applications of new concepts of almost periodicity to various classes of functional equations.
10 UT Arlington science students present research at UT System LSAMP conference
     More than 100 students from across Texas, including 10 from UT Arlington, presented their research on Sept. 16 as part of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Student Research Conference and General Meeting at UT Arlington.
     The LSAMP program seeks to increase the number of underrepresented minority students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers, providing scholarships and mentoring to help students earn a degree and move on to graduate school.
     Tuncay Aktosun, UT Arlington‟s LSAMP director and a professor of mathematics, selects UTA undergraduate students for the LSAMP Summer Research Academy, which provides students with the opportunity to participate in intensive research with faculty mentors, as well as instruction in how to present research, write ab-stracts and apply for funding.
     UT Arlington LSAMP students who made poster presentations at the conference included Jon Adamson, Joseph Adedeji, Kelly Bullock, Uyen Dang, Rebecca Denney, Marcos Duran, Sarah Gauntt, Gabriel Gonzales, Sarah Hussein and Lauren Tedmon. Duran won a third-place prize for his presentation.
For more on the UT System LSAMP program, click here.
Mid-Cities Math Circle offers opportunity for 6-12th grade students to improve math skills
     The Mid-Cities Math Circle, directed by Dimitar Grantcharov, assistant professor of mathematics, held its first meeting of the semester on Sept. 7.
     The group‟s goal is to provide a stimulating environment for local area middle- and high-school students to learn mathematics. Regular attendance will help students not only improve their individual problem-solving skills, but also enjoy and understand mathematics better. Teachers are also welcome at the meetings. The Mid-Cities Math Circle is also the host of the annual UT Arlington Math Competition.
     The group meets from 7-8:30 p.m. every Wednesday in Pickard Hall Room 103. For more information, click here.
Ghandehari co-authors paper on speed-flow models for freeways and managed lanes
     Mostafa Ghandehari, senior lecturer in mathematics and civil engineering, is co-author of a paper titled “Macroscopic Speed-Flow Models for Characterization of Freeway and Managed Lanes,” which was published in the journal Buletinul Institutului Politechnic Din Lasi, Vol. LVII(LXI), No. 1, 2011.
     Co-authors are Siamak Ardekani, professor of civil engineering, and former UT Arlington graduate student Shiva M. Nepal.
     The paper examined research which calibrated speed-density models as part of an effort to estimate operating speeds on freeway managed lanes as a function of predicted demands.
Speaker presents positive outcomes possible through redesign of university courses

     Carolyn Jarmon, vice president of the National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT), came to UT Arlington Sept. 12-13 to discuss course redesign as a way to achieve the dual goals of improving student learning and reducing instructional costs using information technology.
     On Sept. 12, Jarmon spoke on “Transforming Learning Environments through Course Redesign,” in which she presented an overview of NCAT‟s redesign efforts at over 100 institutions across the United States and the results those schools have seen. She spoke of the tested methodology and models that work and some of the redesigns that are in place at research universities such as the University of Massa-chusetts, Ohio State University and the University of Alabama. She described the projects and the learning and cost results these institutions are enjoying.
     The redesign models employed are effective in any college, in any type of discipline and size class, with students of any age, Jarmon said.
     In 10 years, NCAT has redesigned 120 courses involving 160,000 students. Many of the nonprofit organization‟s resources are available free online at its website, which can be accessed here.