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UTA In The News — Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

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Alternative power

Sahadat Hossain, a UTA civil engineering professor, is working with the City of Denton to produce more energy through closed landfill cells in a project that mines already buried refuse, Phys.org reported. The work is supported through a three-year, $399,806 Denton grant. It is the first ever landfill mining project in Texas and first-ever landfill mining project as part of a sustainable waste management system in the country.

Humans and robots

The Discovery Channel website Discovery News interviewed Julienne Greer, a UTA theatre arts lecturer, about humans’ need to be polite to the emerging breed of companion robots. "Our technology has reached a point where we have effectively made machines that look like human beings, and it is my belief that we wish to emotionally bond with these machines," Greer said. "Being polite and hoping they like us may be the first step in that bonding."

Trump's White House run

Brazilian news magazine Veja interviewed Rebecca Deen, an associate professor and chair of the UTA Department of Political Science, for a story about Donald Trump’s bid to become president of the United States.

Return policies

In 2014, product returns totaled about $280 million across all U.S. retailers, Science Codex reported. New research conducted by UTA and UT Dallas examined existing studies on return policies to quantify the policies' effect on consumers' purchase and return behavior. The study, published online in the Journal of Retailing, is the first attempt to understand the return policy literature quantitatively and prove that lenient policies positively affect purchase and return decisions.

Genderless language

The Houston Chronicle, Scroll (India), and AlterNet carried an opinion piece by Laurel Stvan, associate professor and chair of the UTA Department of Linguistics & TESOL, which addressed how the English language -- from titles to pronouns -- is in the process of adapting to new cultural attitudes about gender. The op-ed originally appeared in The Conversation.

Tarrant County political races

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram interviewed Allan Saxe, an associate professor of political science at UTA, for its story about Tarrant County political races, which have so far drawn more than $1.2 million. Even more money is expected to flow in by Texas’ primary elections on March 1.

Adaptive learning outcomes

New case studies from Pearson aim to demonstrate a measurable impact that educators teaching with MyLab & Mastering could have on learner outcomes, eCampus News reported. At UTA, data show strong positive correlations between average MyFinanceLab homework scores and both average Learning Catalytics and average Dynamic Study Module grades. Also, students who earned higher average Learning Catalytics and average Dynamic Study Module grades earned higher average exam scores.