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Fall 2014

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.


Under the (Texting) Influence

A team of UT Arlington undergraduates designed a mobile application that discourages texting while driving 


It’s becoming almost Pavlovian: Your phone pings, indicating a new text message, and you instinctively reach for the device. While that’s fine (if occasionally rude) when your feet are firmly on the ground, it’s another matter when they’re on the gas pedal. In fact, the National Safety Council estimates that more than 1.5 million crashes every year involve drivers who are texting.

To help decrease those numbers, AT&T challenged developers to come up with a mobile application that could circumvent that Pavlovian text-response urge. The contest was part of the company’s nationwide “It Can Wait” anti-texting-while-driving awareness campaign.

James Fielder, then a senior at UTA, heard about the challenge and formed a team with four of his fellow computer science and engineering undergraduates: Keyurkumar Patel, Zedd Shmais, Kevin Chung, and Andrew Toscano. The app they designed allows users to temporarily block, but save text messages when their mobile device is moving at a certain speed. It also silences text alert sounds that could potentially distract the driver. Anyone trying to contact him or her would receive an autoreply letting the sender know that the receiver is on the road; privileged contacts could get additional information like destination and projected arrival time.

The students also built a reward system into the app that would allow small businesses in the area to create exclusive deals for users. For every intercepted text, the user would amass points that could be redeemed for various goods or discounts.

For their efforts, Fielder’s team won the contest and received a $10,000 prize. It’s the second year in a row that a UT Arlington group has won the competition.

“It’s a pretty important topic right now. People are dying because they just aren’t aware of the dangers,” Fielder says. “This app definitely helps discourage people from texting and, hopefully, it will prevent possible accidents from happening.”

Texting While Driving

...makes a crash
more likely. like driving blind for
5 sec.
which is enough time to cross a football field. the same as drinking
4 beers
and then trying to drive. currently banned in
states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. behind
of all car accidents.

...causes over
accidents a year.

Source: National Safety Council


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