The University of Texas at Arlington College of Science October 2012  
Welcome to the October 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.
Memorial service scheduled on Oct. 27 for Physics Department pioneer Truman Black  

For Alumni

UT Arlington Alumni
Andy Baum Memorial Fund Tops $100K

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. The fund has now surpassed $100,000, including the Maverick Match portion. 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

Workshop on Future Linear Colliders Monday, Oct. 22–
Friday, Oct. 26

Physicists from around the world will convene at UT Arlington for five days of talks and meetings on the next generation of super particle collider. For more information, click here.
Public lecture by Dr. Steven Weinberg Wednesday, Oct. 24
7:30 p.m., Texas Hall

The Nobel Laureate and physics professor at UT Austin will talk on "The Standard Model, Higgs Boson: Who cares?" Free and open to the public.
2012 Science Week
Monday, October 29–
Friday, November 2

A weeklong celebration of the College of Science and the achievements of our students, alumni and faculty. More details coming soon.
November 22-23
Thanksgiving holidays
Wednesday, Dec. 5
Final day of classes for Fall 2012 semester
Dec. 6-7, 10-12
Final exams for Fall 2012 semester
College of Science Fall 2012 Commencement ceremony
Sunday, Dec. 16
3:30 p.m., College Park Center

The College of Science and College of Architecture will have a joint graduation ceremony.
The Planetarium at
UT Arlington

Have you been to a show at the planetarium lately? The facility, one of the finest in the nation, offers a variety of exciting shows and programs year-round and is equipped with Digistar 5, the latest in planetarium software. The Fall 2012 schedule, featuring the new public show Experience the Aurora, runs now through December 2. See the full Fall schedule here.
Maverick Science
New edition of Maverick Science is coming soon
The 2012 edition of Maverick Science Magazine is coming soon. Copies of the Fall 2011 edition are still available in the Dean's Office (Life Sciences Room 206) and in LS 112. The magazine has the latest College of Science news and features about faculty, students and alumni. 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.
Follow the COS on Facebook and Twitter
Facebook LogoKeep up with the College of Science on the popular social media sites Facebook and Twitter, and stay informed Twitter Logoabout what's going on and upcoming events in the College of Science.
Maverick Science
E-Newsletter Archives
Truman Black
     The College of Science lost a pioneering member of its Physics Department and a dear friend and colleague with the death of professor emeritus Truman Black on Sept. 12 at age 74.
     Dr. Black, who retired last year after 46 years with the Department of Physics, leaves a tremendous legacy. His work in experimental solid state physics and in optics, among other subjects, helped bring international attention and acclaim to the department. He played a leading role in transforming the department from one primarily involved in teaching to one which today conducts cutting-edge research and draws millions of dollars in external funding. He also played a leading role in the creation and development of the department's graduate programs.
     "Truman's impact was profound. He was one of the true pioneers of our department," said Alex Weiss, physics professor and department chair. "He was a kind and giving man. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was a good friend. He was a deeply influential teacher and mentor for multiple generations of students and colleagues."
     A celebration of Dr. Black's life is scheduled from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 in the Planetarium at UT Arlington. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Truman D. Black Scholarship Fund at the University of Texas at Arlington, Office of Development, Box 19198, Arlington, TX 76019-0198.
     Read more on this story here.
UTA hosting linear collider conference Oct. 22-26; Steven Weinberg to speak on Oct. 24
Steven Weinberg
     UT Arlington will host hundreds of particle physicists from all over the world Oct. 22-26 for the International Workshop on Future Linear Colliders.
     The meeting is being held in Texas for the first time. It will feature a public lecture by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg titled "The Standard Model, Higgs Boson: Who Cares?" at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24, in Texas Hall on the UT Arlington campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.
     The semiannual conference has added significance because of a July 4 announcement from researchers at the Large Hadron Collider at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, that they've almost certainly found the elusive Higgs boson.
     As the next step in discovery, the proposed International Linear Collider, or ILC, will be a 31-kilometer-long electron-positron collider to complement and expand the work of the proton-proton colliding LHC, said Jaehoon Yu, co-chair of the event along with fellow physics professor Andrew White.
     "This summer's announcement of a Higgs-like particle allows us to take the linear collider idea to the next level," Yu said. "The mass range where scientists at CERN believe they have found the Higgs boson - around 126 gigaelectronvolts or GeV - is well within the capabilities of the first phase of the planned ILC."
     Read more on this story here.
Schelly receives Kerr Medal for important contributions to field of electro-optics
Zoltan Schelly
     Zoltan A. Schelly, professor emeritus of chemistry and biochemistry, has been awarded the 2012 Kerr Medal for his seminal contributions to the field of electro-optics.
     Schelly was presented with the award September 5 at the 13th International Symposium on Colloidal and Molecular Electro-optics in Ghent, Belgium. The Kerr Medal, named for Scottish physicist John Kerr, has been awarded only eight times in the past 38 years.
     "Thank you. I feel greatly honored by the international electro-optics community," Schelly said upon receiving the award. "I accept the Kerr Medal on behalf of my co-workers - graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at UTA - whose more than two decades of dedicated research and novel contributions are being acknowledged."
     Read more on this story here.
College of Science to showcase students, alumni, faculty during Science Week 2012
      The College of Science will present its third annual Science Week from October 29-November 2, with a number of events designed to highlight the accomplishments and success of its alumni, faculty and students.
     Events planned for Science Week are aimed at helping alumni reconnect with the College and University, and at showcasing the outstanding research being done by students and faculty.
     The Science Week 2012 schedule will include these events:
     Monday, Oct. 29
     12 p.m. - Faculty luncheon and talk by Dr. Thomas Windham, a psychologist, educator and diversity expert. CPB Room 303 (by invitation).
     1:30-3 p.m. Open Q&A session with Dr. Thomas Windham about opportunities to participate in summer research at the Colorado Center for Multi-scale Mapping of Atmospheric Processing (CMMAP) in Fort Collins, Colorado, that are open to all STEM majors. CPB Room 303. Open to all faculty and students.
     Tuesday, Oct. 30
     3:30 p.m. - Alumnus Brent Skillman (B.S. Psychology '74), CEO of Irving-based Fun N Sun Pools, to talk to Nicolette Lopez's Psychology class (not open to public).
      Wednesday, Oct. 31
     12 p.m. - Environmental Careers panel discussion. Life Sciences Room 122. Panelists will include Brian Boerner, Chesapeake Energy; Stephen Brooks, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; James Hoelke, Lockheed Martin; David Long, U.S. EPA; and Dr. Ellen McDonald, Alan Plummer Associates. Open to all.
     1:30 p.m. - Careers in Mathematics panel discussion. Pickard Hall Room 321. Panelists will include Dr. Sue Brown (B.S. '79, M.A. '81, Ph.D. '89, Department of Mathematics, UT Arlington), Senior Engineering Specialist at Lockheed Martin; Martha Cannon (B.S. '69, Mathematics, UT Arlington), entrepreneur, Realtor, school board member and retired math teacher; Russ Spray (B.S. '74, Medical Technology, with emphasis in Mathematics, UT Arlington), president and CEO, SAFRAN Turbomeca USA. Open to all.
     Thursday, Nov. 1
     12 p.m. - Faculty luncheon with alumnus Dr. John Clements (B.S. Biology '74), chair of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Tulane University School of Medicine. University Club (by invitation).
     2 p.m. - Dr. John Clements talk for Freshmen Interest Groups (FIGs). Science Hall 103 (not open to public).
     2:30-4 p.m. - Biology Undergraduate Research Mini-Symposium. Pickard Hall Room 104. Students will present their biology research. Refreshments will be served from 4-4:30 p.m. Open to all.
Huang, Deng named winners of 2012 Hyer Research Award for work in space physics
Yanshi Huang Yue Deng
Huang Deng
     Yanshi Huang, a doctoral student in physics, and her research advisor, physics assistant professor Yue Deng, have been named the winners of the 2012 Robert S. Hyer Research Award (graduate level), given by the Texas Section of the American Physical Society (TSAPS).
     Huang and Deng are being honored for the research project Huang presented at the 2011 Fall joint TSAPS meeting, titled, "Energy budget to the upper atmosphere for the last solar cycle." Huang has won numerous awards for her research and academic work.
     "I was really surprised and honored," Huang said. "All these awards have definitely encouraged me a lot. It always feels great when your work gets attention and interest from others."
     "It is a great honor for both Yanshi and myself to receive the award," Deng said. "The Hyer Research award is highly prestigious and is presented each year to one pair of recipients (graduate student and advisor) at the graduate level over the entire Texas Section of the American Physical Society. It is a big recognition of our research."
     Huang and Deng will be presented with the award at the 2012 Fall joint meeting of the Texas Sections of the APS and AAPT, to be held Oct. 25-27 at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
     Read more on the Hyer Award here.
Liu receives $169K grant from NSF to study models of nonlinear shallow-water waves
Yue Liu
     Yue Liu, professor of mathematics, has been awarded a $169,692, three-year grant by the National Science Foundation to study nonlinear shallow-water waves.
     Liu is sole principal investigator for the project, which will "study mathematical models of nonlinear shallow-water waves, particularly the Camassa-Holm equation, the Degasperis-Procesi (DP) equation, and the two-component Camassa-Holm (CH2) systems," according to the project's abstract. Shallow-water waves are defined as waves whose wavelengths are far greater than the water depth.
     The project will "provide a greater understanding of wave breaking phenomena and contributes to the extensive modeling of shallow-water waves." It also "seeks further understanding of the dynamics of shallow-water wave breaking, especially before and after breaking has occurred when the flow is steady and more amenable to theoretical and numerical study. In particular, this project will conduct mathematical analysis pertinent to the modeling of tsunami waves, which in turn will help scientists better predict and understand the waves' characteristics."
     To read some of Liu's previous work with water waves, click here and here.
Park co-authors study analyzing facts about explosion that created Kepler's supernova
Sangwook Park
     Sangwook Park, assistant professor of physics, has co-authored a study about Kepler's supernova, which suggests that the supernova explosion was not only more powerful, but that it might have also occurred at a greater distance than previously thought.
     In 1604, a new star appeared in the night sky that was much brighter than Jupiter and dimmed over several weeks. Among those who witnessed the event was the famous astronomer Johannes Kepler. Centuries later, the debris from this exploded star is known as the Kepler supernova remnant. Astronomers have long studied it and tried to determine exactly what happened when the star exploded to create it. New analysis of a long observation from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has provided more clues.
     The paper, co-authored by Park and three others, was published in the Sept. 1, 2012 edition of The Astrophysical Journal. Read the abstract for the article here.
     Read a report on the study on NASA's website here.
College of Science faculty members receive promotions; one named professor emeritus
Larry Heath
     Larry Heath, who retired from UT Arlington last year after 46 years with the University, has been named professor emeritus in mathematics.
     Heath came to UT Arlington in 1965, when the University was still named Arlington State College. He served as department associate chair from 1987 - 2000 and was also the departments network manager and computer system administrator during those same years.
     Eleven College of Science faculty members were rewarded for their work by receiving promotions for the 2012-13 academic year. They were among those recognized at the Faculty Recognition Dinner on Oct. 16 in the Carlisle Suite of the E.H. Hereford University Center.
     College of Science faculty receiving promotions, along with their new titles:
     Shawn Christensen, associate professor of biology; Manfred Cuntz, professor of physics; Amir Farbin, associate professor of physics; Dimitar Grantcharov, associate professor of mathematics; Jongyun Heo, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry; Qinhong "Max" Hu, associate professor of earth and environmental science; Andrew Hunt, associate professor of earth and environmental science; Hristo Kojouharov, professor of mathematics; Eric Smith, associate professor of biology; Michaela Vancliff, professor of mathematics; Jaehoon Yu, professor of physics.
     "We're very proud of our faculty, and the promotions that these faculty members have received are tangible rewards for all of the hard work they have done," College of Science Dean Pamela Jansma said.
Lopez named to panel to review physics higher educational standards in South Africa
Ramon Lopez

     Ramon Lopez, professor of physics, has been named to a Group of Experts panel charged with conducting a Review of Undergraduate Physics Teaching and Learning in South African universities by the South African Council on Higher Education.
     Lopez is one of six panelists who will review departmental self-evaluation reports from South African undergraduate physics programs and compile a report to be presented in January 2013. The self-evaluation reports are due by November.
     Lopez was invited by the South African Institute of Physics (SAIP) to participate in the project after he attended an SAIP conference in July in Pretoria, South Africa. He has long been involved in attempts to improve science education, including the College Board Standards for College Success. He is currently involved in the Next Generation Science Standards, an ongoing effort to create a new set of standards for K-12 science education in the United States. He is also co-director of UTeach Arlington, UT Arlington's innovative science and mathematics secondary teacher preparation program.
     For more on Lopez's research, click here. For more on the Next Generation Science Standards project, click here.

Dang receives research fellowship award from American Society for Microbiology
Uyen Dang

     Uyen Dang, an undergraduate student in biology, has been selected as a 2012 award recipient of an Undergraduate Research Fellowship by the American Society for Microbiology.
     Dang, who plans to graduate in 2013 with a B.S. in Microchemistry, is a scholar in UT Arlington's LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) program. Dang, whose mentor is biology assistant professor Julian Hurdle, was honored for her project, "Analysis of fitness cost and virulence of Rifamycin resistance in Clostridium difficile".
     Dang, a graduate of Arlington Bowie High School and a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, plans to attend graduate school and pursue a Ph.D. after receiving her bachelor's degree.
     Each fellow receives up to a $4,000 stipend, a two-year ASM student membership, and travel expenses to the ASM Presentation Institute and 113th ASM General Meeting from May 18-21 in Denver, where they can present their research.
     For more on the ASM, click here and for more on UT Arlington's LSAMP program, click here.

Sharma earns scholarships to study biology and do research abroad in Ireland, Germany
Vishal Sharma

     Vishal Sharma, a biology major who plans to graduate in December, returned to UTA this semester after spending a year studying abroad. Sharma was the first UT Arlington student to study biology at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland through the TransAtlantic Science Student Exchange Program (TASSEP), funded by the U.S. government's Benjamin Gilman Scholarship. Sharma was also selected to conduct Hepatitus C virus (HCV) research, studying the bioinformatics of STAT3 protein and its function regarding HCV.
     Last summer, Sharma was selected as a research intern through the German government's annual Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst's Research Internships in Science and Engineering (DAAD-RISE) program. He worked in a neuro-immunology lab, studying the infiltration of immune cells into the brain post-stroke for 10      weeks at the University Hospital in Greifswald in Germany. He presented his research at a conference of RISE scholars in Heidelberg, Germany.
     For more on the DAAD-RISE summer internship program, click here.

UT Arlington hosts D/FW Herpetological Society's first Reptile and Amphibian Day

     A host of scaly and slimy critters made themselves at home in the Bluebonnet Ballroom of the E.H. Hereford University Center on Saturday, Oct. 13 as UT Arlington hosted the Dallas Fort Worth Herpetological Society's first annual Reptile and Amphibian Day.
     The event offered the public a chance to see a variety of snakes, frogs, turtles and lizards up close and ask Society members questions about the animals. A number of rare and unusual specimens were on hand, including an albino python and a Mexican mole lizard. Experts also gave free talks on a variety of topics.
     Carl Franklin, president of the D/FW Herpetological Society, gave a talk about herpetology at UT Arlington and the University's renowned Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research Center, of which he is the biological curator and collections manager. Derek Main, UT Arlington doctoral candidate and lecturer in earth and environmental sciences, gave a talk about the Arlington Archosaur Site, an area in north Arlington which contains fossilized remains of dinosaurs, crocodiles, turtles and fish from over 90 million years ago.
     For more on the D/FW Herpetological Society, click here. To watch an interview with Franklin on KXAS NBC 5 TV, click here.