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From the College of Natural Sciences

Marc Airhart is the Communications Coordinator for the College of Natural Sciences. A long time member of the National Association of Science Writers, he has written for national publications including Scientific American, Mercury, The Earth Scientist, Environmental Engineer & Scientist, and StarDate Magazine. He also spent 11 years as a writer and producer for the Earth & Sky radio series. Contact me

UT Austin Mathematician Wins Clay Research Award

UT Austin Mathematician Wins Clay Research Award

The Clay Mathematics Institute has awarded Philip Isett, a mathematics faculty member at The University of Texas at Austin and Caltech, the Clay Research Award. Isett received the prestigious award jointly with two other mathematicians in recognition of their shared contributions to "the analysis of partial differential equations" that are relevant to a mathematical understanding of moving fluids.

Chemist Receives NIH Outstanding Investigator Award

Chemist Receives NIH Outstanding Investigator Award

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Carlos Baiz, assistant professor of chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, an Outstanding Investigator Award. The award comes with $1 million over five years to fund basic research that could, among other things, help scientists better understand how our brains encode memories and reveal the causes of some neurological and cardiovascular diseases.

A Squishy Rubik’s Cube® that Chemists Built from Polymers Holds Promise for Data Storage

A Squishy Rubik’s Cube® that Chemists Built from Polymers Holds Promise for Data Storage

A new Rubik's Cube-like structure made of a self-healing hydrogel might inspire new ways to store information and possibly help patients monitor their medical conditions. Image courtesy of Xiaofan Ji.

A team of chemists from the U.S. and China have constructed a cube of colored, hydrogel blocks, which looks and acts much like a Rubik's Cube®. The researchers say their work is more than just fun to play with: it might inspire new ways to store and detect information, and possibly even help patients monitor their medical conditions.

U.S. Commerce Department Invests in Recovery of UT Marine Science Institute

U.S. Commerce Department Invests in Recovery of UT Marine Science Institute

The Economic Development Administration is funding the establishment of a new Center for Coastal Ocean Science at UT Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo credit: Jace Tunnell

The U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded a $5 million grant to The University of Texas at Austin to repair a large laboratory building on the UT Marine Science Institute campus in Port Aransas and help establish a new Center for Coastal Ocean Science.

Experimental Vaccine Against Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Elicits Strong Immune Response

Experimental Vaccine Against Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Elicits Strong Immune Response

An experimental vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), one of the leading causes of infectious disease deaths in infants, has shown early promise in a Phase 1 human clinical trial. A team of researchers, including The University of Texas at Austin's Jason McLellan, report today in the journal Science that one dose of their vaccine candidate elicited large increases in RSV-neutralizing antibodies that were sustained for several months.

Two Natural Sciences Faculty Receive 2019 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards

Two Natural Sciences Faculty Receive 2019 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards

David Laude and Alison Norman are recipients of the 2019 University of Texas Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards.

Two faculty members from The University of Texas at Austin, both from the College of Natural Sciences, have been chosen to receive 2019 Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System. The recipients are David Laude, a Distinguished Teaching Professor in chemistry, and Alison Norman, associate professor of instruction in computer science.

Keck Foundation Awards Chemists Grant to Squeeze More Energy from Sunlight

Keck Foundation Awards Chemists Grant to Squeeze More Energy from Sunlight

The W.M. Keck Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant to a team led by University of Texas at Austin chemists to develop an innovative new coating for silicon-based solar cells that could boost their efficiency by as much as 20%. It's a bold research challenge that, so far, no one else has figured out how to do — but if successful, could make solar power generation cheaper.

Computer Security Expert Named Simons Foundation Investigator

Computer Security Expert Named Simons Foundation Investigator

Brent Waters has been selected as a 2019 Simons Investigator in Theoretical Computer Science.

Computer scientist Brent Waters of The University of Texas at Austin has been selected as a 2019 Simons Investigator in Theoretical Computer Science by the Simons Foundation, for his work in cryptography and computer security.

New AI Sees Like a Human, Filling in the Blanks (Updated)

New AI Sees Like a Human, Filling in the Blanks (Updated)

Computer scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have taught an artificial intelligence agent how to do something that usually only humans can do—take a few quick glimpses around and infer its whole environment, a skill necessary for the development of effective search-and-rescue robots that one day can improve the effectiveness of dangerous missions.

5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Four Years of Undergrad Research

5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Four Years of Undergrad Research

Five graduating seniors share their tips for getting the most out of undergraduate research. Photo credit: Vivian Abagiu.

So you've been accepted to UT Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You've heard that doing research as an undergraduate will give you a leg up academically and in your career (really, research proves it). But how do you find a research lab to work in? How do you maximize the opportunity to work alongside some of the world's leading scientists and mathematicians? What do you do if you're on the brink of a big discovery, and then an overzealous cleaning crew throws out the colony of slugs it took you three months to raise and train in the lab?