M AVERICK S CIENCE E-News
The University of Texas at Arlington
College of Science
JANUARY 2019
ALUMNI STUDENTS EVENTS PLANETARIUM ARCHIVES
UTA biologists describe snake species discovered in predator snake’s stomach
Artist's rendering of Cenaspis aenigma. Illustration by Gabriel Ugueto.
UTA herpetologists have described a previously unknown species of snake which was discovered inside the stomach of another snake over four decades ago. The new snake has been named Cenaspis aenigma, which translates from Latin as “mysterious dinner snake.” It is described in a re¬cent paper in the Journal of Herpetology titled “Caudals and Calyces: The Curious Case of a Consumed Chiapan Colubroid.” The paper was co-authored by Jonathan Campbell, UTA professor of biology; Eric Smith, UTA associate professor of biology; and Alexander Hall, who earned a Ph.D. in Quantitative Biology from UTA in 2016. Read more here.
Armstrong receives honorary doctorate from Slovak Technical University

Daniel Armstrong, left, with STU’s Robert Redhammer. Photo courtesy of STU.

Daniel W. Armstrong, UTA’s Robert A. Welch Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has received an honorary doctorate from a Slovakian university for his outstanding contributions to analytical chemis¬try and his history of collaboration with the university’s faculty. Armstrong was presented with the honorary title of “Doctor Honoris Causa” by Slovak Technical University (STU) in a ceremony in Bratislava, Slovakia on Novem¬ber 5. The award was given to Armstrong by Robert Redhammer, STU rec¬tor and chancellor. Read more here.
Friends recall math professor emeritus Corduneanu as kind, supportive, caring

Constantin Corduneanu

Constantin Corduneanu, an esteemed mathematician whose career spanned seven decades and two continents, was remembered by friends as a kind, caring gentleman who was supportive of his students and col¬leagues. Dr. Corduneanu, who spent the final 17 years of his career at The University of Texas at Arlington and for the past 22 years was professor emeritus in mathematics, died December 26 in Arlington following a long illness. He was 90. Read more here.
Rajeshwar named editor of ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology
Krishnan Rajeshwar
Krishnan Rajeshwar, distinguished university professor of chemistry & biochemistry at The University of Texas at Arlington, has been appointed editor in chief of the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology, a publication of the Electrochemical Society. The appointment began Janu¬ary 1 and will run for three years, through December 31, 2021. As editor, Rajeshwar will manage a technical editor/associate editor team of five people with support from the ECS Publications staff. Read more here.
Excellence in math comes naturally for Mid-Cities Math Circle student Robitaille
Luke Robitaille appears on the “Live with Kelly and Ryan” show after winning his first MATHCOUNTS contest in 2017. Photo courtesy of Raytheon.
To the question of “Who wants to be a mathematician?” Luke Robitaille answers with a resounding “Me!” Robitaille, a 15-year-old homeschooled ninth-grader from Euless, has been fascinated by math from a very early age and has a proficiency for advanced mathematics that few people many times his age possess. He has already won several national math competi¬tions, most recently the “Who Wants to Be a Mathematician?” contest, sponsored by the American Mathematical Society, on January 19 in Balti¬more. He credits the UTA Mid-Cities Math Circle with helping him hone and improve his math skills. Read more here.
Cuntz leads paper on dynamics of possible exocomets in 47 UMa system
Manfred Cuntz
Manfred Cuntz, UTA professor of physics, was lead author of a paper in the November 30 edition of The Astronomical Journal that examines the dynamics of possible comets in orbit around the sunlike star 47 UMa.
    The 47 UMa system, located 46 light years from Earth in the constella¬tion Ursa Major, contains a sunlike star which hosts three Jupiter-like plan¬ets. 47 UMa has significant similarities to our solar system.
    Comets are believed to have been important for delivery of water and other organic material within our own solar system. Cuntz and his col¬leagues are seeking to learn if exocomets played the same role in other planetary systems.
    In their paper, titled “Exocomets in the 47 UMa System: Theoretical Simulations Including Water Transport,” Cuntz and his co-authors theorized that 47 UMa could possibly host additional terrestrial planets in stable or¬bits. They examined the probability of cometary collisions with the plan¬ets, including possible Earth-mass planets in 47 UMa’s habitable zone (HZ). They noted that while comets in the 47 UMa system would be capable of delivering water to rocky planets in the system’s HZ, when compared to our solar system, such delivery would be much less efficient. However, alternate processes of water transport would still be available.
    Read the paper abstract here and read a Forbes article that discusses the paper here.
Physics students Rogers, Arya honored with scholarship, presentation award
Left: Leslie Rogers accepts award from Judith Carrier. Right: Harsh Arya re¬ceives award from APS member Rebecca Forrest. Courtesy photos.
Two UTA physics students were recently recognized for their outstand¬ing research and outreach efforts.
    Leslie Rogers, a graduate student in the lab of Ben Jones, assistant pro¬fessor of physics, was awarded the 2018 Judith R. Carrier Scholarship by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce Women’s Alliance. The award is given to one graduate student each year from any academic discipline.
    The award recognizes Rogers’ contributions to the Neutrino Experiment Xenon TPC (NEXT-100), a pioneering search for neutrinoless double beta decay being conducted at the Canfranc Underground Laboratory in Spain, and for her outreach work through the Tap Talks series. Tap Talks features UTA and guest scientists explaining science to the general public in free events at area breweries.
    Harsh Arya won the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Presentation Award at the Fall Meeting of the Texas Section of the American Physical Society in Houston for his project, titled “A new design of an electrostatic quadrupole quadruplet focusing lens system for low MeV multi-ion micro-beam.” Arya conducts research in the lab of Yujie Chi, assistant professor of physics.
COS alumna Abadzi presents talk on mind control at UNESCO headquarters
Helen Abadzi
Helen Abadzi, College of Science alumna and UTA visiting researcher/ adjunct professor, presented a public talk titled “Big Data and Mind Con¬trol: Insights from Evolutionary Psychology” at the United Nations Educa¬tional, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris on January 16.
    The talk, which was also broadcast live online, explored the cognitive neuroscience related to internet use. She discussed how psychological re¬search can help explain corporations’ ability to “hijack” the minds of peo¬ple who use computers and smartphones to access the internet, without their awareness or consent. Companies gain access to users’ personal data and sell it to advertisers, who customize the ads that users see. Users’ opinions can also be manipulated through the use of biased or false data.
    Abadiz studies instructional issues around the world. She earned a Ph.D. in Psychology at UTA in 1983 and spent 27 years as a senior educa¬tion specialist and evaluator with the World Bank. Last summer, she taught a new course at UTA titled Psychology and Mind Control Strategies.
    Learn more about UNESCO here.
O’Connell writes about research into species delimitation in whipsnakes
Kyle O’Connell
Kyle O’Connell, a postdoctoral researcher at the National Museum of Natural History who earned his Ph.D. in Quantitative Biology at UTA, au¬thored an article about species delimitation in North American whipsnakes in the January 8 edition of Science Trends.
    The article details findings revealed by O’Connell and Eric Smith, asso¬ciate professor of biology, in a paper titled “The effect of missing data on coalescent species delimitation and a taxonomic revision of whipsnakes (Colubridae: Masticophis),” which was published in the October 2018 edi¬tion of the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.
    Species delimitation is the process by which species boundaries are de-termined. In the article, O’Connell discusses the steps he and Smith used to test species boundaries with a group of snakes called coachwhips and whipsnakes.
    Read the Science Trends article here and read the journal paper here.
College of Science celebrates newest alumni at Fall 2018 Commencement
College of Science students during the Fall 2018 commencement ceremony.
Thousands of family members and friends came together to celebrate with the newest College of Science and College of Education graduates during the Fall 2018 Commencement ceremony on December 14 in College Park Center.
    The ceremony marked the conclusion of a long educational journey for many students; others will continue on to graduate school or postdoctoral work.
    Texas first lady Cecilia Abbott, wife of Gov. Greg Abbott, delivered the keynote address.
    See a video of the ceremony here and see photos from the ceremony on the COS Facebook page here.
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