The University of Texas at Arlington College of Science March 2013  
Welcome to the March 2013 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.
Shimadzu Scientific Instruments donates $7.5 million to support research at UT Arlington  

For Alumni

UT Arlington Alumni
You can help the next generation of Mavericks

Andrew Baum

Did the University of Texas at Arlington change your life? Do you want to help a future Maverick? Call Dr. Ignacio Nuñez, the chair of the College of Science Advisory Council. He'd love to help get you involved on campus again. The Advisory Council is issuing a challenge to each alumnus and to each member of our North Texas community who believes in our mission. The challenge: Give one day a year and $1,000 annually (that's just $83.33 a month) to benefit the students of UT Arlington. Dr. Nuñez was a first-generation college student, and UT Arlington made it possible for him to attend medical school and create a life vastly different than that of his parents. Did UT Arlington change your life too? Let's work together to help the next generation. You can contact Nuñez at or leave a message for him at 817-272-1497.

Memorial fund created to honor Truman Black

Andrew Baum
A special fund has been created to honor the memory of Dr. Truman Black, professor of physics and beloved member of the UT Arlington family, who died on Sept. 12, 2012.
Donations to the fund may be mailed to:
Truman D. Black Scholarship Fund at The University of Texas at Arlington
Office of Development
P.O. Box 19198
Arlington, TX 76019-0198

Calendar of events

Wednesday, March 27
2013 ACES Symposium

All day, E.H. Hereford University Center. The Annual Celebration of Excellence by Students symposium showcases students' research and awards prizes for best posters and oral presentations. Deadline for abstract submissions is February 6.
More information
Thursday, April 11
College of Science Health Professions Day

12-2 p.m. College Park Center; free. Recruiters from medical schools and health professions institutions in Texas and around the U.S. will be on hand to answer questions and provide admissions information.
May 4-10
Final exams for Spring 2013 semester
College of Science Spring 2013 Commencement ceremony
Saturday, May 11
8 p.m., College Park Center

The College of Science and School 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 Spring 2013 schedule, featuring the new public show Astronaut, runs now through May 26. See the full Spring schedule here.
Maverick Science
New edition of Maverick Science magazine
The 2012-13 edition of Maverick Science Magazine has arrived! Copies are 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. The website version will be online soon 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 112.
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
Shuzo Maruyama, left, president of Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, and Kozo Shimadzu, managing director at Kratos PLC, a Shimadzu Group company, visited with Kevin Schug, right, the Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry.
     A new $7.5 million gift from Shimadzu Scientific Instruments to UT Arlington will support one of the most significant installments of advanced scientific equipment in the United States, propelling the University to new heights of discovery and innovation.
     The Shimadzu commitment, announced February 28, is the largest, philanthropic gift in the history of UT Arlington. In honor of the gift, the University will rename the Institute for Research Technologies at UT Arlington the Shimadzu Institute for Research Technologies.
     "We are grateful for this generous support from Shimadzu and for their strategic relationship with The University of Texas at Arlington," said James D. Spaniolo, UT Arlington president. "This partnership promises to make North Texas a new hub of scientific discovery and innovation. The Shimadzu Institute will be a magnet for world class students and a resource for discovery across Texas and beyond."
     Read more on this story here.
Jansma and Farrar-Myers named American Council on Education Fellows for 2013-14
Jansma Farrar-Myers
     College of Science Dean Pamela Jansma and Victoria Farrar-Myers, a UT Arlington professor of political science, have been named American Council on Education Fellows for the 2013-14 academic year.
     President James D. Spaniolo nominated both educators for the prestigious program, which selected a total of 50 college and university senior faculty and administrators after a rigorous application process this year.
     Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for senior positions in college and university administration.
     "I am deeply honored and thankful for the selection as an ACE Fellow," Jansma said. "Students, faculty and the community-at-large should be proud that UT Arlington has gained a national reputation that allows its representatives to be welcomed into such an elite group."
     Read more on this story here.
Deng receives $408,000 grant from NASA to study effects of energy from solar winds
     Yue Deng, UT Arlington assistant professor of physics, has been awarded more than $400,000 in NASA funding to develop a 3D look at how electrodynamic energy from solar winds enters and moves throughout the Earth's upper atmosphere.
     Deng aims to help scientists and engineers protect satellites, power distribution systems and other vital infrastructure from the potentially harmful effects of these inevitable bursts of energy.
     Understanding interaction between the Earth's magnetic field, or magnetosphere, and its upper atmosphere - known as the thermosphere/ionosphere - is especially important this year and in 2014, Deng said. That's when the Sun is predicted to reach a time of heightened activity or its "solar max."
     Read more on this story here.
Goal of new Center of Excellence is to foster collaboration in study of chronic illnesses
Robert Gatchel, seen at left with members of the Center's research team and staff, is director of the new Center.
     The seeds for the Center of Excellence for the Study of Health and Chronic Illnesses at UT Arlington were sown nearly a decade ago.
     Those seeds have now borne fruit in the Center, which was formally launched on January 1. The Center's purpose is to coordinate and stimulate biopsy-chosocial and medical research, as well as community-based education and prevention efforts pertaining to the causes and management of chronic illnesses.
     The Center, led by Distinguished Professor of Psychology Robert Gatchel, also includes the Dr. Andy Baum Memorial Bioassay Clinical Research Laboratory, which was the brainchild of the late Andrew Baum, a giant in the field of health psychology and UT Arlington psychology professor who died in 2010. The lab is named in his honor and can perform a variety of assays.
     Read more about this story here.
Researchers exploring a more efficient way to use CO2 to make liquid methanol fuel
     UT Arlington researchers are pioneering a new method for using carbon dioxide, or CO2 to make liquid methanol fuel by using copper oxide nanowires and sunlight.
     The process is safer, simpler and less expensive than previous methods to convert the greenhouse gas associated with climate change to a useful product, said Krishnan Rajeshwar, interim associate vice president for research, Distinguished University professor of chemistry and one of the authors of a paper recently published in the journal Chemical Communications. Researchers began by coating the walls of copper oxide, CuO, nanorods with crystallites made from another form of copper oxide, Cu2O. In the lab, they submerged those rods in a water-based solution rich in CO2. Irradiating the combination with simulated sunlight created a photoelectrochemical reduction of the CO2 and that produced methanol.
     In contrast, current methods require the use of a co-catalyst and must be conducted at high operating pressures and temperatures. Many also use toxic elements, such as cadmium, or rare elements, such as tellurium, Rajeshwar said.
     Read more about this story here.
Cordero focusing on academic affairs in new role as College of Science associate dean
     For Minerva Cordero, it seemed like a natural fit when College of Science Dean Pamela Jansma asked her to take a leadership role over the college's academic affairs.
     Cordero, an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, has extensive experience as a leader in academic and student affairs over the course of her career, and the chance to help direct the College of Science's academic strategy appealed to her. She began her new role as associate dean for academic affairs this semester.
     "I was intrigued by the idea of serving in a role to facilitate matters pertaining to undergraduate science and mathematics education across the college and offer leadership in bringing together efforts focused on enhancing the teaching and learning of science and mathematics in the college in a manner that capitalizes on the great work that is already taking place," she said. "I love working with students and wanted to do my part to help increase their chances of success and their experiences in the College of Science."
     Read more about this story here.
New Earth and Environmental Science chair Basu wants to build on program's successes
    Asish Basu has been in charge of the Department of Earth and Environmental Science for less than two months, but he already has big plans for the program.
     He would like to see a major renovation of the interior of the Geosciences Building, which houses department offices, labs and classrooms and which will soon include the Center for Environmental, Forensic and Material Analysis. The Center will be part of the new Shimadzu Institute for Research Technologies at UT Arlington, a $25.2 million endeavor that will transform research capabilities and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education throughout the UT System and Texas and made possible by a partnership with Shimadzu Scientific Instruments.
     Basu is working with the UT Arlington College of Engineering to create joint programs, which could quickly become a strength given the amount of oil and gas drilling done in Texas. He also aims to launch a geochemistry program, utilizing the strong infrastructure already in place at UT Arlington, such as the new Shimadzu instrumentation facilities and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The main reason he left his previous job, at the University of Rochester in New York, was because of the EES department's potential and the opportunity to help build on the department's successes.
     Read more about this story here.
School of Science and Engineering Magnet claims title at 13th annual Calculus Bowl
The School of Science and Engineering Magnet team included, from left, Quinn Torres, Murali Subramanian, team captain Andrew Merrill, Wesley Runnels, Sirjan Kafle and team coach Joshua Newton.
     The contest went down to the wire but in the end, the new-comer edged out the three-time defending champion at the 13th annual UT Arlington Calculus Bowl.
     The School of Science and Engineering Magnet (SEM), a college preparatory public high school in Dallas, topped Flower Mound High School, which was trying for its fourth consecutive title at the annual fast-paced competition. SEM correctly answered the final question of the final round to narrowly edge Flower Mound, 24 points to 22. Mansfield Timberview High School took third place with 19 points.
     SEM – which is comprised of 400 students selected from the general Dallas ISD student population based on achievements and interest - was competing in the Calculus Bowl for the first time. Flower Mound High School was entered in the event for the sixth time and previously came away with the first-place trophy in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
     Read more about this story here.
Annual UT Metroplex Day offers chance to showcase research, stimulate collaboration
     The seventh annual UT Metroplex Day, bringing together students and faculty from the three UT institutions in North Texas, was held March 1 at UT Dallas in Richardson.
     The goal of Metroplex Day is to encourage interdisciplinary research and stimulate research projects that leverage the strengths of UT Arlington, UT Dallas and UT Southwestern Medical Center. All three offer outstanding research infrastructure, cutting-edge expertise, and innovative collaborative opportunities, and the event is aimed at making it easier to take advantage of those opportunities.
     This year, 165 registered to attend the event, which was highlighted by a key-note address by Shimon Weiss, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UCLA. UT Arlington assistant professor of electrical engineering Samir Iqbal presented a talk titled "Crossing Boundaries in Cancer Diagnostics."
     Students and faculty members from each institution presented research posters for judging, with winners in various categories each receiving $200 prizes.
     The award for UT Arlington's Best poster went to Arunoday Bhan, a biochemistry Ph.D student in the lab of assistant professor of chemistry Subhrangsu Mandal. The award in the Nursing Research category went to UT Arlington's Alexandros Papangelis. In addition, Ben Lippe of UT Southwestern, a Ph.D. student in UT Arlington distinguished professor of psychology Robert Gatchel's laboratory, won the Biobehavioral category for his poster, "Predictive Utility of PROMIS-based Computer Adaptive Testing in Pain-Related Disability."
Math Department hosts students, faculty at Texas Geometry and Topology Conference
     Geometry and topology faculty and students and faculty from around the southwestern United States converged on UT Arlington for the 49th Texas Geometry and Topology Conference on February 8-10.
     The conference featured invited talks from speakers representing universities from around the United States as well as from Germany.
     The UT Arlington Department of Mathematics and Texas Christian University were hosts for the event, held every fall and spring since its founding in 1989. The conference was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Conference organizers from UT Arlington included Ruth Gornet, associate professor, who served as organizing committee chair; Barbara Shipman, associate professor; Dimitar Grantcharov, assistant professor; and Gaik Ambartsoumian, assistant professor.
     "The conference was a great success," Shipman said. "About 50 people attended, including graduate students from UT Arlington and other places. The longer, one-hour talks allowed for more depth into the mathematical ideas, context, history, and applications, as well as interactions with the audience. It was a focused, dedicated group, and the topics of the presentations complemented each other very well. People were very engaged in the presentations, and they asked good questions that added insight to the discussions."
     Read more about this story here.
Nestell discusses reasons for formation of sinkholes in interview on KDFW Channel 4
     Merlynd Nestell, professor of earth and environmental science, appeared as an in-studio guest on KDFW Fox 4 TV on March 3 to discuss sinkholes like the giant one which demolished a home and presumably killed a man in Florida.
     "The ones in Florida are generally because of the limestone that becomes dissolved underneath these houses, and then the groundwater moves the limestone out, the soil collapses and the hole forms," Nestell said. "It happens over time. It takes quite a bit of time."
     Nestell said that while there are certain parts of Texas which are susceptible to sinkholes, North Texas is not one of them and while the possibility exists that one could form here, it is fairly unlikely.
     Watch a video of the interview here.

Read the newest edition of Maverick Science magazine

     The 2012-13 edition of Maverick Science magazine, the official magazine of the College of Science, has arrived! The magazine includes highlights from the past year and features in-depth looks at some of the College's outstanding faculty, students and alumni.
     Print copies of the magazine can be picked up in the Dean's office (Life Science Building Room 206) or in Life Science Building Room 112.
     The web version of the magazine will soon be online here. It also contains links to past issues of Maverick Science.