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UTA In The News — Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

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State of the Union preview

Victoria Farrar-Myers, UT Arlington political science professor, said President Obama will walk a narrow line in his State of the Union address Tuesday night between establishing his legacy, pushing for past and future reforms, and trying to keep Democrats safe in this year's mid-term elections. Farrar-Myers, the 2013-2014 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Political Science at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, was a guest on Fox 4's Good Day Sunday.

Growing cooperation

The UT Arlington School of Architecture is teaming with the West Dallas Community Center, the La Bajada neighborhood and developers to create a community farm near the Trinity River, D Magazine reported. Architecture Dean Don Gatzke said the urban farm project, based on a similar program in New Orleans, will use some of the center's unused property to grow vegetables and fruits, employ economically deprived youth, teach them about horticulture and feed a neighborhood.

A closer look

Cedrick May, an UT Arlington associate professor of English and director of digital humanities research, wrote that part of the significance of "12 Years a Slave" lies in how the film sheds light on the unbearable treatment of women and children in the era of American slavery in an op-ed published by The Dallas Morning News. The movie has been nominated for several awards.

Images of America

Univision Houston interviewed Jose Gutiérrez  UT Arlington political science professor, and his wife, Natalia Verjat Gutiérrez, a professor of languages at Tarrant County College, about their new book, Images of America: The Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education. The book chronicles Chicanos' impact on higher education in Texas. The interviewed was recorded for the program Conexion Texas, which airs in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Midland and San Angelo.

Fundraising an election must

George P. Bush's fundraising efforts for the state land commissioner's race has dwarfed his competitors' efforts, the Fort Worth Star Telegram reported. Victoria Farrar-Myers, a UT Arlington political science professor, said, "The Classic 101 of running a good campaign is raise money early and raise as large a war chest as possible not only to stave off a primary challenge, but also one in the general election.”

Unmanned systems off the ground

UT Arlington and Arlington Chamber of Commerce leaders will talk about the current and future use of unmanned systems at a conference at the UT Arlington Research Institute, NBC 5 reported.

Davis debate dissected

While it might be fair to examine the details of state Sen. Wendy Davis' life story, some of her fiercest opponents are providing fodder to those who see a sexist edge to the scrutiny, a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News wrote. Rebecca Deen, UT Arlington political science department chair, said the latest controversy could serve as both legitimate inquiry and a nest for sexism. Dustin Harp, an UT Arlington assistant journalism professor who studies media coverage of women in politics, also pointed to a focus on Davis' mothering and “personal details about how a couple financially maneuvers through their marriage.”

Powering up

UT Arlington researchers have designed a MEMS-based "micro-windmill" that they hope may offer a solution for recharging batteries in mobile devices, and reported. The research is being done by research associate Smitha Rao and electrical engineering professor J.-C. Chiao.

Mass matters

A UT Arlington engineering professor has proven that the effect of mass is important, can be measured and has a significant impact on any calculations and measurements at the sub-micrometer scale, IPS Cell Therapy and Space Daily reported. The findings help to better understand movement of nano-sized objects in fluid environments. The unconventional results are consistent with Newton's Second Law of Motion, a well-established law of physics, and imply that mass should be included in the dynamic model of these nano-systems. The most widely accepted models omit mass at that scale.

Planning for rail

Bill Meadows, a former Fort Worth City Council member, is expected to chair the high-speed rail commission, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. A Star-Telegram editorial said a UT Arlington study laid out several suggested railway routes. The preferred is along I-30 connecting Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth.

Siemens' path

The University World News published a profile by The Chronicle of Higher Education about George Siemens, one of the originators of Massive Open Online Courses and a new research faculty member at UT Arlington. The piece focused on Siemens’ background as the son of Mennonite parents who resisted technology and his current work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on the MOOC Research Initiative, a research project that brought international scholars to UT Arlington for a December conference.