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College of Science News

COS faculty members receive promotions in rank, emeritus status

The College of Science recently had seven faculty members promoted in rank, as well as one retired faculty member who was awarded professor emeritus status by UTA.

Faculty members were formally promoted during a Faculty Recognition Dinner and reception on October 11 in the E.H. Hereford University Center. UTA President Vistasp Karbhari delivered remarks and UTA Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Teik Lim presented gifts to the honorees.

“Congratulations to all of our faculty members who received promotion in rank this year,” said College of Science Dean Morteza Khaledi. “They have all earned this honor with their hard work and dedication to their students through teaching and mentoring, and to their research. They are all fine examples of the commitment to excellence which is propelling the College of Science forward as we help lead UTA in becoming the model 21st century urban research university.”

Promoted from associate professor to full professor:

Dimitar Grantcharov, mathematics – Grantcharov came to UTA in 2008. He earned a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of California at Riverside in 2003. His research interests include weight representations of Lie algebras and superalgebras and their applications to mathematical physics; and crystal bases.

Laura Mydlarz biology – Mydlarz, associate chair of the department of Biology, came to UTA in 2006. She earned a Ph.D. in Marine Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2004. He research interests include the biology and physiology of coral and alga in response to stress, specifically the application of concepts of ecological immunity to examine variation in immune responses between different species and under biotic and abiotic stress.

Promoted from assistant professor to associate professor with tenure:

Todd Castoe, biology – Castoe came to UTA in 2012. He earned a Ph.D. in Biomolecular Sciences from the University of Central Florida in 2007. His research broadly focuses on understanding how genomic changes result in the extraordinary biological diversity of vertebrates, and in leveraging evolutionary variation to better understand the relationships between an organism’s ecology, phenotype, and genotype.  

Saiful Chowdhury, chemistry & biochemistry – Chowdhury joined UTA in 2012. He earned a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Washington State University in 2006. His research focuses on mass spectrometry-based method development in the following specific areas of proteome research in order to study environmental diseases impacted by innate immunity: (1) Global and targeted discovery of protein-protein/protein-ligand interactions by antibody/affinity based enrichment methods in combination with novel mass spectrometry-supportive chemical cross-linking approaches; (2) Identification and quantitative characterization of protein posttranslational modifications (PTMs) by mass spectrometry- supportive chemical probes; (3) Elucidation of protein structures by mass spectrometry; (4) Quantitative proteomics studies for the discovery and validation of cellular protein targets (bio-signatures or bio-markers).

Matthew Fujita, biology – Fujita joined UTA in 2012. He earned a Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from the University of California at Berkeley in 2009. His research includes studying the evolutionary genomics of reptiles and amphibians by focusing on two core research programs: (1) identifying the evolutionary and ecological processes underlying genetic diversity within and among populations and genetic divergence between species, and (2) understanding the genomic consequences of an asexual life history in parthenogenetic lizards.

Joseph Ngai, physics – Ngai came to UTA in 2012. He earned a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Toronto in 2007. His research focuses on the growth and characterization of complex oxide thin films and heterostructures. His lab uses advanced thin-film growth techniques, such as molecular beam epitaxy, to grow crystalline oxide films on single-crystal substrates and conventional semiconductor wafers. Complex oxides exhibit a wealth of electronic and ionic properties that his lab seeks to utilize for applications in microelectronics and clean energy technologies.

Matthew Walsh, biology – Walsh joined UTA in 2012. He earned a Ph.D. in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology from the University of California at Riverside in 2009. His research bridges the gap between community/ecosystem ecology and evolutionary biology to explore the reciprocity between ecological and evolutionary forces in natural populations (i.e., eco-evolutionary dynamics). His research addresses questions of broad ecological and evolutionary interest.

Han named professor emeritus

UTA also honored nine retired faculty members with the title of professor emeritus during a ceremony in early October in the E.H. Hereford University Center. Among them was Chien-Pai Han, who served in the Department of Mathematics for 35 years beginning in 1982. He retired in December 2017.

“Dr. Han is very deserving of this honor,” said Jianzhong Su, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics. “He spent his career going above and beyond for his students and has been a wonderful mentor not only to them but also to his fellow faculty members, many of whom were just starting their careers in academia. He was always willing to share his knowledge with others, and his kind and gentle nature made him a joy to work with.”

Han came to UTA following a 15-year tenure as a member of the faculty at Iowa State University in the Department of Statistics. Han earned a B.A. in Economics from National Taiwan University in 1958, then came to the United States for graduate school. He earned an M.A. in Statistics from the University of Minnesota in 1962 and a Ph.D. in Statistics from Harvard in 1967.

At UTA, Han taught courses in Sampling Theory, Statistical Inference and Statistical Methods, among many others. He also conducted research and mentored students (he supervised 36 master’s students and 20 Ph.D. dissertations in his 50 years in academia). His fields of specialization in mathematical statistics include Statistical Inference, Multivariate Analysis, and Sample Survey.

He authored or co-authored over 140 publications, served as editor or coeditor of various journals and served on numerous boards and committees relating to statistics. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, was elected a member of the International Statistical Institute and is a member of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and various other professional societies.