The University of Texas at Arlington College of Science January 2012  
Welcome to the January 2012 edition of Maverick Science E-News. This monthly e-newsletter 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.
Annual UT Metroplex Day, highlighting research opportunities, slated for Feb. 3    

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

Friday, February 3
UT Metroplex Day
at UT Arlington

A daylong event highlighting collaborative research opportunities between UT Arlington, UT Southwestern and UT Dallas. For more information, click here.

February 26-27
Fort Worth Regional
Science and Engineering Fair

Two days of activities for area high school and middle school students that puts the focus on science, with awards for best projects. For more on the fair, click here.

Friday, March 2
Calculus Bowl
1:30-6:30 p.m. Pickard Hall 110

The 12th Annual Calculus Bowl will match teams of students from area high schools against each other in a lively contest which tests students' knowledge of calculus, with prizes for the winning team. More info here.

March 12-16
Spring Break
March 22-23, 2012
ACES symposium
at UT Arlington

The Annual Celebration of Excellence by Students (ACES) symposium is a university-wide, daylong event that showcases the best of our students' research and creativity. Undergraduate and graduate students work with faculty mentors in their disciplines to write and submit abstracts for the competition. The research symposium will be March 22 and the keynote address, by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, will be March 23. Research abstracts may be submitted now through Feb. 9, 2012. For more info, click here
May 11-14
Final exams for Spring 2012 semester
Sunday, May 13
College of Science Spring 2012

4:30 p.m. at College Park Center. Guest speaker will be alumnus Thaddeus Arroyo (Mathematics '86).
The Planetarium at
UT Arlington

Have you been to a show at the planetarium lately? The facility, one of the finest in the na-tion, offers a variety of exciting shows and pro-grams year-round and is equipped with Digistar 4, the latest in planetarium software. Check out all the exciting shows in the Spring 2012 schedule here.
Maverick Science
New edition of Maverick Science is now here
The Fall 2011 edition of Maverick Science Magazine is now available! The magazine has the latest College of Science news and features about faculty, students and alumni. Free print versions are available in the Dean's Office (Life Sciences Room 206) and in LS 109. You can also check out 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
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Maverick Science
E-Newsletter Archives
     UT Arlington will host the annual UT Metroplex Day — an event that highlights research opportunities at UT Arlington, UT Dallas, and UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas — on Friday, February 3 at the E.H. Hereford University Center.
     The goal of this one-day event is to present science research conducted at the three UT System institutions in North Texas and to encourage collaborations. The event is open to all faculty, post doctoral fellows, students, and research staff and trainees at the sponsoring schools.
     The keynote speaker is Sean Mackey, chief of the Pain Management Division and associate professor in the Department of Anesthesia, Neurosciences and Neurology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He will discuss "Opening Windows to the Brain: Lessons Learned From Neuroimaging of Pain."
     Faculty members and selected graduate students representing each school also will speak and present their posters. An award presentation for poster winners and reception will conclude the event.
     For a full schedule and more information about the event, click here.
Lopez named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
     Ramon Lopez, a professor of physics, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science or AAAS, a worldwide organization and publisher of the journal Science.
     Lopez specializes in space physics and is a co-investigator and the co-director for diversity for the Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling, a Science and Technology Center funded by the National Science Foundation. He is also co-director of UT Arlington's UTeach Arlington program, a collaboration that works to attract more science and math majors to teaching careers.
     The AAAS citation praises Lopez for "passionate pursuit of research made exemplary through additional contributions to education and public communication, and through achievement in broadening participation of minorities in science."
     Read more about Lopez here.
White named Fellow of American Physical Society for physics research, teaching
     Andrew White, co-director of the Center for High Energy Physics at UT Arlington, has been named a fellow of the American Physical Society, an honor given to just one half of one percent of that group's 48,000 members.
     White joined the College of Science as a physics professor in 1991. Since then, he has taken part in groundbreaking research on the fundamental nature of matter at the DZero Experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory or Fermilab in Illinois. In 1995, he was part of a team that discovered the top quark, one of the fundamental elements of the physics Standard Model.
     More recently, White has worked on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, searching for evidence of new physics and particles such as the Higgs boson. Physicists believe interaction with the Higgs boson gives particles in the universe their mass.
     Read more on this story here.
UT Arlington physicists hail first hints of Higgs particle by Large Hadron Collider
A proton-proton collision at the Large Hadron Collider. Courtesy of ATLAS Collaboration
     UT Arlington physicists celebrated with scien-tists worldwide on December 13 with the an-nouncement by researchers at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland that they have found the first "tantalizing hints" of the elusive Higgs boson particle in a narrow region of mass ranges, news celebrated throughout the world's scientific community.
     The College of Science's High Energy Physics team is part of the U.S. team contributing to the experiments, both on-site in Switzerland and by analyzing data at the University's massive data center. UT Arlington researchers held a seminar on December 13 in the Chemistry Physics Build-ing to discuss the work. They are part of the ATLAS experiment, one of two research groups that revealed the intriguing results.
     Physicists believe interaction with the Higgs boson gives particles in the universe their mass. It is the only particle in the physics Standard Model that has not been observed. Physicists at the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider have been aggressively seeking it.
     Read more on this story here.
Pires de Silva receives $300K grant to work on ways to prevent roundworm infections
Pires da Silva
Pires da Silva
    Andre Pires da Silva, assistant professor of biology, has received a three-year, $301,447 National Science Foundation grant for research that could improve prevention of dangerous roundworm infections in animals and agriculture.
     Along with Diane C. Shakes, a professor at the College of William and Mary, Pires da Silva will explore the evolution of reproductive modes in the roundworm Rhabditis. The Rhabditis are unique because they produce male, female and hermaphrodite offspring. Pires da Silva's previous research has shown that environmental factors can alter sex determination of Rhabditis. As an outreach project included in the grant, Pires da Silva and Shakes also will work with prospective third-grade teachers to introduce discovery-based science modules into their classrooms.
Smith receives $725K NSF grant to study highland reptiles, amphibians in Indonesia
     Eric Smith, assistant professor of biology and curator/researcher of UT Arlington's Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research Center, recently received a $725,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the highland reptiles and amphibians of Sumatra and Java, Indonesia, over the next three years.
    Smith is the principal investigator for the project, and Michael Harvey, of Broward College in Florida, is co-PI. The work is being done in collaboration with researchers from universities and museums in Indonesia. The project's title of is "Exploration and Speciation in the Volcanoes of the Indonesian Ring of Fire: A Large Scale Inventory of the Herpetofauna of the Highlands of Sumatra and Java."
     "With this project we will be able to involve students in tropical research and we will be able to discover many new species to science which will be housed at the Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research Center here at UTA," Smith said.
Researchers' work could help locate planet or moon which could support life
Zdzislaw Musielak, professor of physics, Manfred Cuntz, associate professor of physics, and doctoral student Billy Quarles recently expanded the discussion about a newly discovered planet orbiting two stars by presenting a study suggesting where an Earth-type planet could exist in the system.
     Quarles presented their findings at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society on January 9 in Austin.
     The Kepler-16 System made headlines in September when researchers at NASA's Kepler space telescope mission revealed the discovery of Kepler-16b, a cold, gaseous planet that orbits two stars like Star Wars' fictional Tatooine.
     The UT Arlington team, using data from the Kepler and previous research, has concluded that an Earth-type planet could exist in the system's "habitable zone" as an exomoon orbiting Kepler-16b.
     Read more on this story here.
Mohanty co-authors paper on micromotor which can direct growth of nerve fiber
     Samarendra Mohanty, assistant professor of physics, Is a co-author of a paper which appears in the January issue of Nature Photonics which describes their research of how spinning microparticles can direct the growth of nerve fiber, a discovery that could allow for directed growth of neuronal networks on a chip and improve methods for treating spinal or brain injuries.
     Mohanty's lab performed experiments which led to the studies reported in the paper. The study is based on Mohanty's hypothesis that neurons can respond to physical cues as well as chemical ones. His work led the University of California, Irvine, team of professor Michael Berns to test "micromotors" in guiding neurons.
     Read the paper in Nature Photonics here. Read more on this story here.
UTA team puts on fun physics show for kids at Aviation and Transportation Career Expo
Group Photo
Members of UT Arlington's team at the Expo include, from left, Bethany Hiller, Andrea Marlar, Dr. Nilakshi Veerabathina, Kyle Van Zuiden, David Barker, Cezanne Narcisse, Alex Villalobos, Elijah Murphy and Jeff Murphy.
    The 8th Annual Aviation and Transportation Career Expo was held December 9 at D/FW Airport. The event was attended by over 4,000 K-12 students and over 500 teachers and administrators from schools around North Texas. Students learned about aviation, transportation and science in general through a series of fun demonstrations and displays. A variety of aircraft were on display and open for students to explore. Also, a "Man vs. Plane" team competition was held for the first time at this year's Expo.
    UT Arlington's Physics Department, as it has every year, participated in this year's Expo. The team was led by Nilakshi Veerabathina, physics lecturer, and included undergraduate students Andrea Marlar, Cezanne Narcisse, Alex Villalobos, David Barker, Kyle Van Zuiden, Bethany Hiller, Jeff Murphy, and Elijah Murphy from the UTA chapter of the Society of Physics Student (SPS).
    Physics demonstrations included use of liquid nitrogen; mechanical electrical generators to create spark discharges and mild shocks; wheels and rotating stools for moment of inertia; hand-made spectroscope, various assemblies of mirrors and lenses, and other optics apparatus to explain the properties and uses of light.
    Attendees were also presented with information from the Department of Physics, the College of Science, the UT Arlington Planetarium and University admissions office. The event was hosted by D/FW Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration and American Airlines.
    For more on the expo, click here.
Former astronaut Bernard Harris Jr. urges kids to dream big, embrace science, math
Middle school students and teachers packed Ellis Davis Field House in south Dallas for the Dream Tour on December 7.
    Volunteers from UT Arlington, including members of the UTeach Arlington team, helped coordinate the 2012 Dream (Daring to Reach Excellence for America's Minds) Tour during its stop in Dallas on December 7.
    The tour aims to encourage middle school students to go to college, study one of the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) and achieve their potential. It features former NASA astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris Jr., the first African-American to walk in space.
    The event was staged at Ellis Davis Field House, part of the DISD's Jesse Owens Memorial Complex in south Dallas. Almost 5,000 students in grades 6-8 from the Arlington, Dallas, Fort Worth and Irving school districts attended the event, which featured science demonstrations along with music in addition to Harris' message. Harris related what space travel was like and encouraged the students to discover what they're passionate about, and then use that passion and hard work to achieve success.
    For more on the Dream Tour, click here.
Corduneanu delivers 3 colloquium talks on Fourier analysis in Virginia, Washington, D.C.

    Constantin Corduneanu, professor emeritus in mathematics, recently delivered two colloquium talks at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Va., titled "A Glimpse on Fourier Analysis: From periodic and almost periodic to general oscillations and waves, I and II," and one at Howard College in Washington, D.C., on the same topic. He is also writing a book in collaboration with a former student, M. Mahdavi, titled Special Topics in Functional Equations.
    Corduneanu also was interviewed for the December 2011 edition of the Newsletter of the European Mathematical Society, in which he discussed his career and his research at length.
    Read the interview here.

New edition of Maverick Science magazine spotlights people, news, research in COS
    The Fall 2011 edition of Maverick Science Magazine is here. The magazine includes stories about College of Science faculty, students and alumni, as well as a message from Dean Pamela Jansma. Pick up a copy of Maverick Science in Life Sciences Room 206 or Room 109. You can also read the magazine online at