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News

From the College of Natural Sciences

Posts highlighting some of the many articles mentioning College of Natural Sciences faculty and students in the media.

Beauty, Bonding and Rethinking Evolution

Beauty, Bonding and Rethinking Evolution

Across the animal kingdom, males and females of the same species are often locked in a battle of the sexes. The instigator is evolution itself. It drives them to develop weapons, tactical tricks and defensive maneuvers that aid in an animal's fight to pass its genes on to a new generation.

Top-Ranked Computer Science at UT Has a Message for the Tech Industry

Top-Ranked Computer Science at UT Has a Message for the Tech Industry

Computer science is so sought-after on certain college campuses that students like Aafia Ahmad, a sophomore computer science major at UT Austin, say they have to compete just to get into popular courses. Photo credit: Joanna Kulesza for The New York Times.

In a New York Times article and on the Bay Area airwaves, University of Texas at Austin computer scientists are speaking out about the increasing demand for classes – and how the department, which is top-ten ranked, is coping with the challenge.

Bullying May Alter Teen Brains; Nostalgia Can Be Good For You

Bullying May Alter Teen Brains; Nostalgia Can Be Good For You

A faculty member and his Ph.D. student from the University of Texas at Austin's Human Development and Family Sciences Department were quoted in several recent news articles highlighting studies they contributed to. Stephen Russell, the department's chair and Priscilla Pond Flawn Regents Professor of Child Development, contr...
Academy of Pediatrics Recommends Against Spanking Children

Academy of Pediatrics Recommends Against Spanking Children

Human development and family sciences professor Elizabeth Gershoff, an internationally renowned expert on the effects of corporal punishment on children, helped inform a new policy statement from The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) with her extensive body of research on the topic.

New Flu Drug Informed by UT Austin Professor's 40-year-old Basic Research

New Flu Drug Informed by UT Austin Professor's 40-year-old Basic Research

Last year, Texas saw a particularly deadly flu season. Now, there is a new Federal Drug Administration-approved treatment, Xofluza, designed to catch the flu in its early stages and stop it from spreading. The drug is thanks in large part to professor emeritus Robert Krug's basic research, undertaken almost 40 years ago.

Tinkertoy Models Produce New Geometric Insights

Tinkertoy Models Produce New Geometric Insights

Sam Payne. Credit: Vivian Abagiu

Equations may seem set in stone, but the shapes they describe rely on the space they occupy. This is a concept explored by tropical geometry, a relatively new field of mathematics which reduces complex shapes into simple stick drawings. Quanta Magazine featured a pair of joint papers with connections to the University of Texas at Austin that add new insights to the field.

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Fields Medal Recognition Linked to Work at UT Austin

Fields Medal Recognition Linked to Work at UT Austin

The Fields Medal is sometimes called the Nobel Prize of math – only this prize is given just once every four years. The 34-year-old mathematician announced as its winner today spent most of his career on the University of Texas at Austin's Forty Acres, making mathematical breakthroughs with applications for everything from meteorology to economic decisions about how to move and distribute materials.

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Major Quantum Computing Advance Made Obsolete by UT Grad

Major Quantum Computing Advance Made Obsolete by UT Grad

Ewin Tang, a 2018 University of Texas at Austin graduate in computer science and mathematics, is receiving national attention for a feat accomplished at the age of 18 by disproving, as part of an honors thesis, a widely held assumption about the hottest next-thing in technology, quantum computing.

Scientists Pinpoint New Alcohol Addiction Pathway in Brain

Scientists Pinpoint New Alcohol Addiction Pathway in Brain

There's a new line of attack in the war on alcoholism: Reporting in the journal Science, UT Austin researchers discovered that people suffering from alcoholism have less of a protein, GAT-3, in the part of the brain called the amygdala.

Parenting and Relating for the 21st Century

Parenting and Relating for the 21st Century

Credit: New York Times.

A series of high-profile news items have featured Karen Fingerman, professor of Human Development and Family Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. A series of national features look at the latest lessons for parents and all of us from her research, with tips ranging from what a new empty nester needs to keep in mind to which relationships help enhance our wellbeing.

A Look at How A.I. is Helping the Human Race

A Look at How A.I. is Helping the Human Race

Artificial intelligence is quickly creeping into our lives, from smart phone apps that help us find the quickest path through rush hour traffic to voice assistants that serve up lasagna recipes on command. In their new book AIQ: How People and Machines Are Smarter Together, James Scott and Nick Polson lay out an optimistic vision for how AI can help us overcome our cognitive weaknesses and live happier, healthier lives. The book is already attracting attention from media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, The Times (UK) and PBS's SciTechNow.

UT Tower Falcon May Have Finally Found True Love

UT Tower Falcon May Have Finally Found True Love

Photo of Tower Girl, the peregrine falcon that resides in the UT Tower, by Neil Crump.

​Valentine's Day may be over, but for the peregrine falcon that lives in the UT Tower, it may be the beginning of a love story.

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How Do You Solve Gerrymandering?

How Do You Solve Gerrymandering?

The US Supreme Court is considering whether Texas legislative districts are racially discriminatory. The high court is also hearing other high profile cases about partisan gerrymandering. Amid the increased national attention on the issue, the University of Texas at Austin hosted a conference focused in part on the mathematics of gerrymandering – how it's done, how to quantify it and ways to prevent it. Andrew Blumberg, associate professor of mathematics at UT Austin, co-organized the event with Moon Duchin, a Tufts University mathematician who runs the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group.

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Galaxy Movements Challenge Dark Matter Model

Galaxy Movements Challenge Dark Matter Model

Centaurus A. Photo courtesy of NASA.

A University of Texas at Austin astronomer has published a commentary in the journal Science noting that a new study on the movement of galaxies has the potential to either reinforce or change our understanding of how dark matter contributes to the motion of galaxies.

Physicists Offer Insight into Improving Perovskite Solar Cells

Physicists Offer Insight into Improving Perovskite Solar Cells

Solar panels. Photo credit: Flickr user zak zak. Used via Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0.

Physicists from the University of Texas at Austin and the Department of Energy (DOE) recently published a new study on how perovskite solar cells degrade, which could help improve the performance and durability of solar cells.

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